Friday, 4 March 2016

SummerSlam 2015

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 231 Minutes
Certificate: 15
Number Of Discs: 2
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: October 12 2015

(To read a full event review of WWE SummerSlam 2015, click here.)

The DVD release of SummerSlam 2015 is a strange one. The '15 SS was a four-hour presentation, in an attempt to make it feel like a massive supershow. This means that the show would be, erm, shown across two discs, which can contain three hours of material. So, surely this DVD would include two hours of exclusive extras, right?

Nope. Besides the usual bonus interviews, there are no DVD extras, a terrible decision which leaves you with a very short second disc, and further enhances the thought that WWE DVDs will soon be a thing of the past, a point I will discuss in a future article. (This may have been done to ensure that the Blu-ray version remains a one-disc release, but it still makes the DVD seem unimportant.)

With that complaint out of the way, the card itself is pretty good. After a frankly bizarre opening segment involving host Jon Stewart and Mick Foley, we get an engaging clash between Randy Orton and Sheamus, which is an example of a match which is more enjoyable upon second viewing (watching a match cold on DVD means you could be watching it anytime, which in this case fortunately means that you probably aren't watching a bout at a time when we've seen it far too many times to culminate a feud with no real storyline behind it).

The four-way for the Tag Team Titles is fun, but the DVD version is spoiled by the exclusion of The New Day's tribute to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' tune Empire State Of Mind. Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev features some cool spots but has a disappointing finish and occurred at the height of the cringe-worthy love quadrangle plotline also involving Lana and Summer Rae; meanwhile, Neville and Stephen Amell vs. Stardust and King Barrett is acceptable and sees the celebrity Amell look to prove himself as being worthy of starring in a major wrestling match.

The Intercontinental Title three-way doesn't last very long, whilst Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper is alright, but isn't a match unlike any others that you will see involving these participants. Of note is the "Roman's sleeping!" chant which occurs whilst Reigns is supposedly knocked out at ringside.

I enjoyed Seth Rollins vs. John Cena far more than I did at the time, despite the weird ending, although it still feels like Rollins did most of the work here. The Divas 3-way trios bout gets a surprising amount of time and is worth watching, although it happened around the time that people started to see the "Divas Revolution" as being somewhat mishandled (to put it mildly). The penultimate clash between Cesaro and Kevin Owens is a great little match, a hidden gem which fans of both wrestlers (of which there are many) should definitely revisit. Since this opens disc two, it could be argued, ironically, that the rather brief second disc is the better of the two.

The main event between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker was hugely anticipated and, unlike their WrestleMania XXX match, this lives up to expectations by delivering a hugely dramatic, brutal and at times bloody battle. The visual of Brock laughing at Taker to be met with a truly evil cackle in response never gets old. The finish seemed strange at the time but it did allow both men to save face and set up the feud-ending bout at Hell In A Cell; unfortunately, though, the WWE editing team strikes again by censoring Lesnar's middle finger to Taker at the end, making the moment pointless (surely a five-second "Up Yours" wouldn't have prevented this being a PG-rated DVD in the States?).

So, whilst SummerSlam 2015 was a fairly memorable show, the DVD release is something of a let-down. Unless you're an avid collector or a big fan of Undertaker or Lesnar, you may want to wait until this one is available at a discounted price. Alternatively, you could save your money and watch the show back on the WWE Network instead.

Overall Rating: 6.5/10 - Okay

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