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Written By: Mark Armstrong
Running Time: 263 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 2
Studio: Clear Vision Ltd/Silver Vision
Released: February 20 2012
As a Liverpool resident, it was an exciting prospect when WWE decided to tape Raw and SmackDown from Liverpool for the first time ever in November 2011. During the days when Bret Hart ruled the roost, or during the Attitude Era, it seemed unthinkable that Raw would air just a few miles away from my home. Therefore, I had to attend the shows; but is it a necessity to own the DVD featuring said shows?
The answer is: possibly not. Raw was decent but nothing more, although Zack Ryder teaming with John Cena against Awesome Truth in the main event seemed like the first sign that WWE was really going to give Ryder the push that, really, he had earned by this point. (That didn’t really happen, but never mind.) Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison is good, and we get a Kevin Nash appearance too. Otherwise, the show has that “filler” feeling to it, and even CM Punk only appears to cut a promo rather than to have a match. Incidentally, this was during the push for the “Never Before, Never Again” combo of Cena and The Rock at Survivor Series 2011, and it should come as no surprise that Rock does not appear in any form on this show. (He did the next week, though … in America.)
NXT was now a fourth-rate version of Raw or SmackDown, evidenced by the big story being a potential romance between Johnny Curtis (the future Fandango) and Maxine (remember her?). It does, however, feature the best match on the DVD, a genuinely great bout between the long-forgotten Trent Baretta and the eternally-underrated Tyson Kidd. This match alone makes this edition of NXT worth watching. Superstars has its own standout match in the form of Daniel Bryan vs. William Regal, which Bryan once described as one of his favourite matches ever. This takes place just before Bryan would cash in Money In The Bank and develop into the “Yes!”-obsessed character which would eventually lead to a fan rebellion.
Speaking of Bryan, he’s in action again on SmackDown in an uneventful clash with Mark Henry. Big Show intervenes and faces three jobbers at once. We also see Randy Orton face Wade Barrett and Sheamus battle Christian in two worthwhile matches, and a glimpse of the extremely short-lived alliance between Hunico, Primo and Epico. A personal highlight for me was seeing Anfield, home of Liverpool FC, shown on the big screen. The bonus match here is Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Dude Love from One Night Only 1997.
I have to mention three things which took place in the Echo Arena during those tapings which you don’t see here. The ending of the Raw main event was amazingly re-taped due to some sort of error, and hilariously they somehow messed it up a second time! Watch the ending closely on this DVD and you’ll realise that there’s editing at work here. Also, Mark Henry actually flubbed his lines during his promo, which again is edited out. And post-SmackDown, there was a six-man match which resulted in Booker T, Randy Orton and Mark Henry all doing the Spinaroonie; it was more entertaining than it sounds.
With four really good matches (Raw is the only show lacking a true standout bout, funnily enough), this set is actually pretty decent. It’s not an essential purchase by any means, but there’s enough action and some intriguing feuds in development that you should find this to be one of the better Live In The UK sets.
Overall Rating: 7/10 – Respectable