Sunday, 19 June 2016

WWE Live In The UK: April 2013

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 300 Minutes
Certificate: 12
Number Of Discs: 2
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: July 15 2013

Live In The UK: April 2013 packs in a whopping five shows, not including the NXT episode from Orlando for obvious reasons. If you had watched the episodes as they aired in the US with commercials, your weekly viewing on this occasion would have been a whopping eight hours! (Nine, with NXT.) Fortunately, these DVDs do not include non-WWE commercials, so the running time is significantly chopped, although we do still get Raw, Main Event, Superstars, SmackDown and Saturday Morning Slam in their entirety.

Raw in the UK finally feels important on this release, as WWE brought over a generous number of big names. The clear highlight of the show, and the DVD, is the six-man pitting The Undertaker, Kane and Daniel Bryan against The Shield, but we also see a good bout between Chris Jericho and recently-crowned World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, an appearance by Triple H to answer Brock Lesnar's challenge by dropping Paul Heyman with a Pedigree (Lesnar never made the trip), and a cameo by Mick Foley in an angle with Ryback (during which Ryback hits Foley with the hilarious yet cruel insult "You fat, pathetic lazy b-----d!"). Add to that some decent under-card bouts and this occurring at the peak of the "Fandangoing" craze, and you have a very memorable Raw from the UK for a change. The only downside is how John Cena, in Super-Cena mode, manages to fight off The Shield and Ryback at the end of the show. Senseless.

Main Event had already dropped in prestige by this point, and this is emphasised by the show being based around a gauntlet for Mark Henry. Superstars is the typical "decent action, no significance" fare, and SmackDown is pretty good too with a compelling Undertaker-Dean Ambrose main event with a major post-match angle. SD also features Sheamus vs. Big Show, Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry, a brief Wade Barrett-William Regal bout and a No Disqualification match between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger. The bonus match is a good one between Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle for the WCW World Title from Rebellion 2001.

Oh, and then there's Saturday Morning Slam. SMS is one of the strangest WWE telecasts I've seen, as it was chiefly aimed at the younger audience. To that end, we have some comical backstage segments, some unusual commentary, and the matches have a comedic layer to them with a de-emphasis on anything remotely violent. That being said, all these things actually made it pretty interesting to watch, mainly because it stood out from the other shows, so it's a shame that SMS (which never aired in the UK) only lasted a few months and then wasn't renewed.

This is one of the best Live In The UK releases. Despite the snowball-effect of the content on offer, Raw and SmackDown are well worth watching, the retro match is enjoyable, and SMS is compelling for different reasons. So, if you're planning to revisit UK television tapings from WWE, this is one of the better options.

Overall Rating: 8/10 - Very Good

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