PPV DVDs from WWE don't impress
JON WALDMAN - SLAM! Wrestling
Over the last couple months, World Wrestling Entertainment has released a number of their pay-per-view DVDs, and over the last couple months I have yet to be really impressed by any of these recordings.
The biggest problem with the DVDs is the lack of creativity of emphasis on the extras. Anyone who saw the event live or grabbed it on the replay likely had their VCR rolling as the show went on. They also likely would have watched Sunday Night Heat (if they were ever inclined to watch the show) and the promo spots for the events that play for weeks on WWE TV.
So it mystifies me why these components are pretty much the only parts of the DVD. On occasion we?ll get some back-story matches or post-even moments (such as Eugene/Evolution on Raw after Vengeance), but the majority of the time the only extras as post-match exclusive interviews. For the most part, these interviews are very formulaic and lend very little that would sustain interest beyond a first-time viewing.
So what can be done to improve the DVDs? Simple -- draw on an event?s history. Each and every one of the five recent releases have been around for several years. In particular, SummerSlam and Great American Bash have extensive heritages that WWE can draw from. Putting a retro match or two on the compilation would be a great feature that woud undoubtedly spur sales.
Recent WWE Pay-Per-View DVDs
Great American Bash 2004
Extra Match: Spike Dudley vs. Jamie Noble
Exclusive Extras: Luther Reigns/Kurt Angle skit with Kurt?s cast off, Bradshaw in the Trainer?s Room
Rating: 1 out of 5. The Angle sketch would have been better used elsewhere than on this DVD, which was released after the whole angle had finished. Noble and Spike is a waste of time.
SLAM! PPV Report: Bash provides surprise endings
BUY: WWE Great American Bash 2004 DVD
Extra Match: Val Venis vs. Tyson Tomko
Exclusive Extras: Lita and Trish Backstage confrontation, Biscoff tells Eugene to apologize
Rating: 2 out of 5. The Lita/Trish sketches have been great throughout their run, and this was still somewhat relevant now given that the capper to their long rivalry ended just this month. The Eugene stuff was bad, but not atrocious. The match, however, was dull.
SLAM! PPV Report: Canadians have Edge at Vengeance
BUY: WWE Vengeance 2004 DVD
Extra Match: Rodney Mack vs. Maven
Exclusive Extras: Evolution Interview, Lilian walks in on Tyson Tomko
Rating: 0 out of 5. The match is awful, Tomko?s skit is pointless, and the Evolution promo would have been good, except it only referenced planning a victory party for Raw the following night. Terrible.
SLAM! PPV Report: Unforgiven a good night for HHH
BUY: WWE Unforgiven 2004 DVD
Bad Blood 2004
Extra Match: Batista vs. Maven
Exclusive Extras: Eric Bischoff talks to Eugene after his match, Kane interrupts Lita?s post-match phone call from Matt.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5. Okay, I?m a bit biased here. Batista has become one of my favourite wrestlers in the last few months; battling Maven, however, isn?t enough to push this DVD any higher than a mid-rating, especially when you get some bad exclusives.
SLAM! PPV Report: Bad Blood a total bore
BUY: WWE Bad Blood 2004 DVD
Extra Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Rene Dupree
Exclusive Extras: Evolution reaction to Orton?s victory, Eddie Guererro consoles Chris Benoit after his match, Coach interviews the Diva contestants
Rating: 3 out of 5. This will be the only time I say this, so mark it down; get this DVD for the promos. The ad spots here are absolutely hilarious, especially the Regal/Eugene, Eddy, Chavo/Chavito and Batista spots. Along with those, you get a good match from RVD, so this one is worth picking up.
SLAM! PPV Report: Orton-Benoit, Guerrero-Angle save SummerSlam
BUY WWE SummerSlam 2004 DVD
Jon Waldman has been a DVD critic for quite some time. He is still waiting for the Best of Special Delivery Jones bio DVD.