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Epicenter DVD Review: WWE Best of RAW: 15th Anniversary DVD Review

Submitted By James Walsh on 01/20/08
I remember when RAW started. It basically took over for WWF Prime Time which I was sad to see go as I loved the Bobby Heenan/Gorilla Monsoon comedy. I think the WWE would be giving myself and all like me a treat if they put together a Best of the Brain & the Gorilla DVD because there would be some truly classic comedy there. RAW, however, was the first step in a completely new direction for sports entertainment as we knew it.

We had lots of television shows before it that featured wrestling but RAW took pro wrestling to the next level. Instead of only one good match on a show, every match on the RAW broadcasts were important. If you missed a week, you missed something that you would regret! And, it has stayed that way for 15 years! That's amazing.

RAW was, in its formative years and once again is, a live broadcast every single week. It's time slot, 9 p.m. E/T every Monday night, is known by all. And, it has survived and weathered storm after storm only to grow stronger than ever. RAW is the flagship of the WWE. And, this DVD shows why.

The first disc of this DVD features the best of the era known best as the "New Generation". As Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage went elsewhere, the WWE was forced to start to look to the "new generation" to carry on. While this era is hardily comparable to that of the Rock 'n' Wrestling or the Attitude Era, there was great content in this era and most of it can be found on this DVD!

The match that I was shocked to see on the disc was always one of my favorite matches. It pitted Bret "The Hitman" Hart against the 1-2-3 Kid in a match that most threw away as a babyface match with little else going for it. Myself? I thought there was a lot going for it and feel the story told in the match is fantastic. At the end of the match, Randy Savage (who was calling it from ringside) gave it a standing ovation. I remember watching it and giving it the same as it got me to my feet in excitement. Awesome match and one I hope gets remembered more as we go forward.

Classics like the "Retirement Match" with Mr. Perfect sending Ric Flair back to WCW after his disappointing run in "New York" made the cut. So did matches such as Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty - Their best match on film!

Speaking of Shawn Mchaels, Disc 1 really features his transition from lower level heel to top level babyface. Like him or hate him, some of Shawn Michaels' best moments are some of the best moments on this DVD.

Disc 2 kicks off with the Attitude Era and basically covers the finest moment of that era in WWE history. From DX's "Suck It" to Steve Austin's "Hell Yeah", this disc has it all!

The majority of the Vince McMahon and Steve Austin stuff can be found on this disc and that is perhaps the best and yet simplest stories in wrestling history. Vinec played the role of an arrogant boss well and Steve Austin managed to convince the crowd that he was "every man". Call it anti-hero, I don't believe in that. Steve Austin was just plain cool and did things that we all want to do but can't because of laws.

Who can forget the transformation the Undertaker made throughout the Attitude Era? From Satanic to a bad ass biker. This is covered on this DVD with some of his forgotten classics.

Degeneration X's childish humor is found here also. I firmly believe Degeneration X helped in my decision to become conservative in political views. Why? If the other side was that moronic.... That said, I look back on it now and do see the humor. I don't agree with some of the content on a show that kids watch... But, I see the humor!

Watching the second disc just reminds you of all the things that were great about the Attitude Era. Sure, I am critical of aspects of that particular era. But, even I have to watch this DVD and be impressed with the quality of programming the WWE produced.

Disc 3 is of an era that is not yet named. The Attitude area lingers in what is seen on disc 3 but it isn't quite the same. Nevertheless, new stars had to step up to the table just as they did in disc 1 and prove that the WWE will live forever.

Stars such as Edge snd John Cena step into the limelight on this DVD. That said, stars like Shawn Michaels and Triple H (DX) on their solo ventures make this DVD as well.

To put it plain, this third disc features the best of the post Attitude era RAW footage. As critical as many on the Internet are of this era, there is A LOT to like about it. And, this disc shows you that you should watch first and be a critic second!

Overall, this 3 disc set really impressed me. A lot of care and consideration obviously went into this set and I am glad I had the opportunity to see it. It reminds me what is so great about RAW and why it has been the premiere wrestling show for the past 15 years. Don't miss out on this one! It's a no brainer! Pick it up!



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