DVD Review: WWE Live In The UK: April 2010

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Image Source: Amazon

Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 291 Minutes
Certificate: 15
Number Of Discs: 2
Studio: Clear Vision Ltd/Silver Vision
Released: July 19 2010

Live In The UK returns to cover the April 2010 tour, which was perhaps most memorable for the fact that the Raw crew ended up being stuck in Dublin, Ireland due to the volcanic ash incident. (You might remember it for Mark Henry being arrested in an incident involving Chavo Guerrero and some fans wanting autographs; when I heard the full details, it didn’t surprise me one bit that the “heels” in this scenario were the often-grumpy Henry and Chavo.)

WrestleMania XXVI had just gone down (I went to that Mania too), and with it, we lost Shawn Michaels to retirement. Add to that The Undertaker having his traditional break from television, and Triple H being absent due to injury (which in hindsight marked the beginning of the end of his full-time career; he competed shortly afterwards at Extreme Rules, but has only wrestled occasionally since), and the roster was looking a bit thin for this tour. It’s therefore unsurprising that besides one or two moments, these tapings aren’t particularly memorable.

Raw has David Hasselhoff as guest host, who at least does a much better job than Ricky Hatton did; and his cameos are entertaining, to be fair. Batista vs. Randy Orton is the somewhat underwhelming main event, and the secondary main event is John Cena against then-NXT rookie David Otunga. Yes, really. The only other notable part of Raw is an appearance from the recently-resurfaced Bret Hart, who gets a great reaction. It isn’t unfair to suggest that if you had missed this episode of Raw at the time, you probably wouldn’t have regretted it.

By now, ECW was gone, and in its place we had NXT. Not the NXT which stars Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Bayley, but the version which was meant to partially resemble a reality show. The producers of NXT hadn’t quite lost the plot yet, so this edition is decent for what it is, and it’s cool to see Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett and others at this early stage (well, this early stage in WWE for Bryan). Superstars is the usual average fare; you’ll enjoy it if you don’t expect much from it. It was silly that the main event was MVP vs. Ted DiBiase, because the exact same match main evented Superstars on the previous UK tour. At least DiBiase gets retribution from their previous meeting, giving this match a purpose (although it isn’t acknowledged; I only know this from remembering the initial match). Superstars was not a priority of WWE by this point, with clips from Raw being the only presence of main event stars, and things would get worse for the show in the future.

SmackDown is the best show on this DVD, spotlighted by an exciting main event between Jack Swagger, Chris Jericho and Edge for the World Heavyweight Title. Swagger won Money In The Bank at WrestleMania completely out of the blue, and his WHC win was also a huge surprise. This was the first step forward for Swagger in his title reign, although it would ultimately prove to be mishandled, leading Swagger to achieve little in the six years since his main event run ended. This match is good, though.

The extras here consist of two retro bouts: The Rockers vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus from the first televised UK show in 1989, the opening segment of which is drawn out for far too long, and a respectable Bret Hart-Rick Martel bout from 1992.

Judged on its own, this isn’t really a good wrestling compilation, if you can call it that. After watching the largely dire November 2009 output, though, this feels like a big improvement, since Raw is slightly more interesting and NXT (even at this point) is superior to the p-ss-poor ECW show. I wouldn’t suggest that you should go out and buy this DVD, but I would say that you’ll probably enjoy this DVD more than the previous LITUK release, even if the ratings are the same.

Overall Rating: 6/10 – Reasonable