POW! “You cowardly son of a [email protected][email protected]! You just shot an unarmed man.” “Well he should have armed himself if he’s going to decorate my DVD/Blu-Ray collection with highlights of WWE’s Katie Vick storyline. So you better not give me a copy of the Al Snow versus the Big Boss Man Kennel From Hell Match or I’ll come back and burn this whole town down to the ground!” (At least this is how I feel going through the WWE DVDs from this year.)
The Good a.k.a. Gimme a Hell Yeah!
Eric Bischoff: Sports Entertainment’s Most Controversial Figure
“I want you to love me. Hollywood bought me this bike don’t you know? Now I came this close to putting the WWE under. Don’t you want to know more?”
WWE’s Eric Bischoff DVD/Blu-Ray is not just an interesting wrestling story. It is a fascinating business story too, which explains extremely well what goes into running a wrestling company, what it’s like to live through a corporate merger, and provides a basic understanding as to how the television industry works. It has a ton of promos and interviews, the two-part JBL interview, and features a couple of rare matches, though surprisingly not Bischoff’s match against Ric Flair. It truly provides further depth and insight into what happened during the days of WCW and offers a fully rounded portrait of who Eric Bischoff is that has never been done to this level before.
Greatest WWE NXT Matches – Volume 1
“It’s my time JR! I am The Game and I’m just that damn good! So is NXT which features the future of WWE, stellar matches and an old school feel that fans have been clamouring for! So are you ready?”
The amount of stellar matches included in the Greatest WWE NXT Matches – Volume 1 is really quite stunning, especially when you consider how many of those same Superstars have been mishandled by the creative teams of RAW and Smackdown. Want to understand why the Four Horsewomen — Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bailey — are held in such high regards? This is the collection which will answer that definitively, while also providing the beginning of the Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens feud in WWE, and how each NXT champion and the NXT tag team division has been built over the last couple years. Plus, the interview clips add a great deal to the matches and provide a real sense of how NXT has grown into what it is today. Perhaps the greatest compliment I can give for buying this collection is that it will restore your faith that at least the creative team behind NXT know how to build future WWE Superstars and deliver a great show!
Living on the Razor’s Edge: The Scott Hall Story
“Look at me Chico. Look at my hair. Look at my clothes. How can you not want to learn all there is about The Bad Guy?”
When most fans make a list of wrestlers from the 1990s that should have been given a run as WWE Champion, Scott Hall is typically one of those at the very top. That’s probably why if there is any oversight in the otherwise excellent documentary it’s that Vince McMahon never comes out and states why he didn’t make Scott Hall WWE Champion during the 1990s; after all that was the next logical step after he had won the WWE Intercontinental Title four times. Nevertheless, Living on the Razor’s Edge has plenty for fans of The Bad Guy including early vignettes, matches from throughout Hall’s career including the AWA, and a documentary that explores Hall’s life and some of the demons he has struggled with during his lifetime.
Straight Outta Dudleyville: The Legacy of the Dudley Boyz
“Devon come here there’s someone who hasn’t bought The Legacy of the Dudley Boyz.” “Should I get the tables?” “No just hold off. Maybe they’re hoping we’ll offer to setup a date with the Duchess of Dudleyville. Sorry not going to happen.”
For those who have picked up WWE’s first three ECW collections one of the great questions might have been why there were not more matches that included the Dudley Boyz. Well this collection is obviously what they were saving them for because they have not only a good helping of the Dudley Boyz’s ECW matches, but also their WWE matches including some of their singles matches and their recent return matches. However, the highlight of Straight Outta Dudleyville is the documentary and interview clips before many of the matches which give a lot of insight into Devon and Bubba Ray Dudley’s career. The documentary even has a first for WWE as The Dudley Boyz’s talk in some detail about their time in TNA. Get the tables!
U.S. Championship: A Legacy of Greatness
“You should feel honoured to be in the presence of greatness because I am a wrestling gawd!”
There was a lot uncertainty as to what WWE would do with this collection about the U.S. title because in a lot of ways people still regard it as WCW-based championship. So the primary question was how much of a focus would be on the WCW days versus the WWE ones. I’m happy to say that WWE achieved a great balance in that regard and gave a decent focus on such past WCW/NWA wrestlers such as Magnum TA and Nikita Koloff. Additionally, John Bradshaw Layfield does an excellent job providing background and insight into each of the past United States champions and the pivotal moments in the title’s history. Lastly, the matches themselves are a lot of fun and there is even footage from a 1978 match between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat that is a real treat. For anyone that is a wrestling fan this is an essential purchase.
The Bad a.k.a. Oh You Didn’t Know?
The History of the WWE Hardcore Championship 24/7
“Well it’s time for a shameless plug right here on SLAM! Wrestling! Have a Nice Day!”
The History of the WWE Hardcore Championship 24/7 just missed the mark from being included under the “Good” section, as there were a couple things that kept it from hitting the mark. First, while Mick Foley, Raven, and Rob Van Dam do a good job as hosts they’re hampered by WWE forcing them to follow a script, which Foley makes fun of at times, and it makes for some awkward moments. Honestly, WWE should have just let them have an unrehearsed conversation which it could have edited after the fact. Second, WWE needed at least interview clips with Vince McMahon and others who were behind the creation of the Hardcore title, and the decision to eliminate it in 2002, because without that the viewer is left wondering what they really thought of the hardcore division. What is great about this collection, though, are the matches and how it highlights how strong the overall roster of the WWE was during this period of time. It highlights several stars that haven’t had much of the spotlight in past WWE releases such as Test, Hardcore Holly, Crash Holly, Steve Blackman, Al Snow, Raven, Steven Richards, and Rob Van Dam to name a few. For anyone who misses the Attitude Era this collection is definitely worth picking up.
The Kliq Rules
“The Headliner, the Showstoppa, the Main Event…” “Umm Shawn isn’t this supposed to be a little more about all of us? Heck me and Kid haven’t ever had our careers fully documented by WWE.” “Now look Big Sexy I’m sure WWE will get around to doing something for you and X-Pac, but right now the people want to hear from Mr. WrestleMania, Triple H and Razor.”
The matches featured in The Kliq Rules collection are a true assortment. There are several that haven’t been seen for a number of years, particularly the early 1990s 1-2-3 Kid matches. The flaw with this release is the documentary which is incredibly short, doesn’t provide any kind of extensive background on how X-Pac and Kevin Nash started their careers, and due to much if it having been taped backstage with the Kliq, the audio isn’t the best at times. However, the strength of the collection rests with the fact that so many of the matches are from the early and mid-1990s before the rise of the New World Order and the Attitude Era. It isn’t often that matches from this period are covered this extensively, in fact the only other WWE release that is comparable is the Best of In Your House DVD. So for anyone curious about those years this would be a good purchase.
“Well this should be a great show King.” “Really Cole? Have you seen the main event we’ve got? What about the Ambrose/Lesnar match? Dean Ambrose hasn’t got any chance.” “Oh I don’t know King. Somehow I think it’ll be pretty competitive and I can’t wait for The Undertaker versus Shane McMahon in Hell in the Cell.”
The WrestleMania 32 DVD/Blu-Ray came perilously close to ending up in the Shockmaster section, and really what saves it is the inclusion of the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony; as usual it is one the best things that World Wrestling Entertainment produces. However, the presentation of the Pre-WrestleMania matches is poor because it edits out all of the entrances of the wrestlers, and none of the pre-show panels are included, nor is Lita’s full introduction of the WWE Women’s Title. When that’s added to the very flawed WrestleMania main event, the disappointing match between Ambrose and Lesnar, a Hell in the Cell match that is only remembered for Shane McMahon’s leap off the cage, and an uneven undercard, what you have might make for an interesting diversion, but is certainly not the crème de la crème of WWE releases.
The WWE Attitude Era Volume 3 Unreleased
“What? You’re saying Stone Cold is in a WWE collection that isn’t rated five stars? What? It’s no good? What? It sucks? Well someone is going to get their @%$ whupped and that’s the bottom line, because Stone Cold said so!”
Based on the high quality of the first two volumes of the WWE Attitude Era DVDs, expectations were understandable high for Volume 3. So imagine my surprise when the first disc of this collection was popped into the Blu-Ray only for shaky video footage to appear on my television screen. Yet that wasn’t the end of the disappointments as it became readily apparent that almost none of the matches had commentary tracks, background explanations or promos. WWE could have easily brought in past WWE Superstars or commentators who would have enhanced this collection, but instead WWE chose to slap the words ‘Attitude Era’ on this in order to raid your wallet.
Our Nation’s Pride: The Best of Canadian Superstars
“Enough is enough and it’s time for a change. WWE collections featuring Canadians deserves better than this!”
WWE’s Our Nation’s Pride collection is an odd release, and not just because it was a Canada-specific release. The matches in this collection are already featured in other WWE releases including this year’s Greatest WWE NXT Matches Volume 1 and it fails to provide much background or insight into what made each Canadian Superstar a great wrestler. Yet, as a primer collection for someone that is just starting to become a wrestling fan you could do worse as it gives a fairly good assortment of Canadian Superstars in the WWE from the last few decades. So for anyone who is already a longtime fan of WWE they should probably avoid purchasing this collection.
Royal Rumble 2016
“Trust me. I’m the snake you should be worried about if this is what WWE are going to offer people. Trust me.”
On rewatching the 2016 edition of the Royal Rumble, the glaring storyline plot-hole where Bray Wyatt doesn’t simply keep the rest of The Wyatt Family down at ringside so they could ensure that he would win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, instead of Triple H, is even more ridiculous compared to the first time I saw it. In far too many ways this Royal Rumble is a prime example of the problems with WWE’s storylines. Add to that the lack of any real substantial extras even on the Blu-Ray edition, only the dedicated WWE collector should consider picking this one up.
“Do you feel lucky punk? Well do yah WWE? Well you should do new DVD/Blu-Rays about the WCW/NWA Television Title, a history of women’s wrestling, Goldust, the Undertaker, Rick Rude, the WCW/ECW Invasion storyline, and the best of the WWE Hall of Fame.”