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Written By: Mark Armstrong
Running Time: 363 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 3
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: February 4 2013
Some DVDs are easy to review; others aren’t. The Top 100 Moments In Raw History is one of the more difficult ones because its main feature is split into many short parts, meaning that one can only really judge it with an overall perspective rather than the quality of its key components. Nevertheless, I shall give it a try, and the good thing is that whilst reviewing the release is a bit hard, enjoying the DVD certainly isn’t.
The DVD is actually a two-parter: part one, as the name suggests, is a countdown of Raw’s top 100 moments/matches. Part two, meanwhile, is the entire 1,000th episode of Raw from July 23 2012 (by the way, the DVD was designed to mark this milestone).
The countdown definitely spotlights Raw’s most memorable moments from its 1993 debut to its one thousandth episode in 2012. The actual order of some entries is debatable; however, it is clearly intended to be a feel-good run-through Raw’s back catalogue as opposed to a serious consideration of its highs and lows. This is evidenced by the talking head comments by wrestlers, many of which are in-character and, whilst at times entertaining, don’t add a great deal.
As one may expect, the majority of the moments spotlighted are from the Attitude Era, something I cannot argue with. Recent moments are more about truly memorable occurrences and returns, and the earlier entries are more about matches and are sparse in number.
Truthfully, one could create a list of the top 200 or 300 moments in Raw history and have material left over; there have been so many good Raw matches which are somewhat forgotten because the non-match moments are so unforgettable. And what constitutes a memorable moment is at times debatable; for example, Stone Cold could probably fill half the list by himself but, to keep things fair, we are left with only his greatest material, and we do not get such gems as the Whataburger promo and his retelling of the Beverly Hillbillies story.
Overall, though, few should have complaints with the list, and the main programme is superficially entertaining. If there’s a moment you don’t enjoy, another one will come along within minutes. I certainly wouldn’t class this as anything close to a brilliant feature, and if you don’t enjoy countdowns then this is definitely not for you. Taken for what it is, though, you should find this an entertaining couple of hours, although probably not something you would watch over and over again.
The other main part is Raw 1000. To quickly run through the show, we get a nice opening package (if oddly lacking some of those top Raw moments); a D-Generation X reunion (sans Chyna); a good but forgettable six-man bout; a double dance for Brodus Clay and Dude Love; a two-part segment which includes a wedding, a Raw GM announcement and the return of The Rock; an enjoyable Intercontinental Title bout between Christian and The Miz which is introduced by Bret Hart; a confrontation between Triple H and Brock Lesnar to promote their SummerSlam 2012 main event; the reunion of The Brothers Of Destruction; and John Cena cashing in Money In The Bank against WWE Champion CM Punk, the main presentation of which has a shocking conclusion. We also get other fun segments, a few funny highlight reels and plenty more old faces (Heath Slater falls afoul of many of them).
As a way to mark the milestone of 1,000 episodes, this Raw is more than enjoyable, and is the main reason to buy this DVD. The only downsides are the non-appearances by a few big names including Stone Cold (then injured), Hulk Hogan (then in TNA) and Ric Flair (then in the middle of a strange saga which began with him as a WWE Hall Of Fame inductee whilst a TNA performer, and which eventually ended with him returning to … WWE).
Although I don’t review Blu-rays, I should point out that if you do collect them, you should get that version of this release. The Blu-ray extra is a lengthy legends discussion about the history of Raw from an insider’s point of view, which makes this a far better all-round package. As it is, the DVD just has a couple of extra moments including, inexplicably, Jeremy Piven’s stint as guest host in 2009 (why does WWE continue to trump this as a success when the whole show was awful largely because of him and his irritating sidekick Dr. Ken?).
Still, I would suggest giving the DVD a viewing. It won’t make any Best Of lists of its own, and you’ll probably have seen most of the profiled moments in full elsewhere but, mainly because of the addition of Raw 1000, it’s still fairly enjoyable. If you can, though, buy the Blu-ray instead of the DVD as it is a more complete and entertaining package.
Overall Rating: 6.5/10 – Okay