Monday, 1 August 2016

Best Of Raw - After The Show

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 400 Minutes
Certificate: 15
Number Of Discs: 3
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: April 28 2014

This is one of the more unusual WWE DVD releases. The idea of providing fans with a collection of moments which would only have been seen by the fans in attendance is a cool one; however, stretching this across three discs proves to be a bad move, as even the most entertaining scenes become repetitive.

I won't list every segment, but across the first two discs, the vast majority involve Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock or both. We tend to see some comedy exchanges, followed by a handshake or a beer toast, which results in a finisher (in some cases several finishers). Around 2001, the focus shifts almost entirely to comedy, and there are some really funny situations that develop, along with some interesting scenarios.

They include Austin hitting HHH and Shane McMahon with a double Stunner, a multi man dance-off led by Chris Jericho, a heel Austin interviewing fans about their various lines of work, Austin Stunning Hulk Hogan before the two icons share a beer together, Rock and friends (and enemies, actually) trying to persuade The Undertaker to perform a Spinaroonie (this one is really funny), and several ad-lib segments led by Austin from 2003 and 2004 (one of which is an Attitude Era reunion involving Austin, Rock and Mick Foley).

Much of this is very entertaining, but there's a reason why we usually only see one or two as a DVD extra. The formula grows tired, so even when some corking lines are thrown out, the impact is lost because it feels like you're watching the same segment over and over with only minor differences (some are almost identical, including the personnel involved). One segment involving Austin, Booker T, Rob Van Dam and Lilian Garcia lasts far too long, so while this particular instance has some great moments, you end up wanting it to finish. Plus, some moments (the Ric Flair tribute, a superb Austin-Jericho square-off and a Rock-Austin exchange, all from 2003) have been released on previous DVDs.

Disc three is better in a sense because we get some matches to break up the formula. They're mostly of the filler variety, though: Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton against Triple H and Ric Flair feels phoned-in, and a later HHH-Orton bout only lasts around five minutes. Better is a six-man tag from the night after WrestleMania XXVIII, with the "Yes!" chant dominating proceedings, a rare John Cena-CM Punk bout from one year earlier, and a 2006 Street Fight between Cena and Edge, which is almost PPV-quality. Unfortunately, none of the bouts (or the segments) feature commentary, which weakens their presentation. Closing the DVD are more non-match segments as the roster celebrate John Cena's birthday (we also have a Fabulous Moolah birthday celebration earlier on), some shenanigans between Cena, Rock and Big Show after Raw 1000, and Cena leading the rowdy-as-hell New Jersey crowd to Fandango their hearts out the night after WrestleMania 29.

I hope I don't come across as miserable during this review, as this DVD provides a lot of funny, entertaining moments. The problem is that after watching so many of them, they lose their impact, making them - well - less entertaining. I thought that this was a fun DVD to watch, but I'd recommend you watch it in parts, between the weekly television shows or even between watching other DVDs, and you will probably appreciate it more. Had it been reduced by a disc and if some of the filler had been taken out, the rating below would have been higher.

Overall Rating: 6.5/10 - Okay

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