Written By: Mark Armstrong
Running Time: 524 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 3
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: January 14 2019
(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)
Once again, we have an annual DVD recap of WWE’s most memorable PPV showdowns. As usual, anything from the final two months hasn’t been included, and rather than repeat the suggestion that this set should have a February or March to allow for this (one that WWE will clearly not be taking up anytime soon), let’s get straight to the action.
Unusually, we open proceedings with the entire men’s Rumble match, though that’s hardly a bad thing because it was one of the best Rumble bouts of the decade with plenty of surprises and an unexpected outcome. Next up, we have the men’s Elimination Chamber match from said PPV, a seven-man affair that has its moments, but doesn’t stand out quite as much in hindsight. Bobby Roode vs. Randy Orton from Fast Lane is pretty good if unmemorable, unlike the three-way Intercontinental Title opener at WrestleMania 34 between The Miz, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor which opens the year’s biggest event, and closes disc one of this DVD, with a bang.
We’re still at Mania as disc two commences, and we get Ronda Rousey’s in-ring debut alongside Kurt Angle against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a mixed tag match that ultimately stole the show. Rollins and Miz resume their feud with arguably the year’s best singles match from Backlash, before we jump ahead to Money In The Bank for two bouts. The first is the women’s MITB Ladder match, which is a very good effort by all involved, and the underrated Nia Jax-Rousey match from later in the night.
Extreme Rules also gives us two matches: a Cage bout between Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens (memorable only for one spot, but what a spot it is), and Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley (which manages to overcome the initial attempts by fans to hijack the contest, at a time when live audiences couldn’t help themselves). AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe from SummerSlam ends disc two with a thrilling WWE Championship encounter.
We stick with SummerSlam for disc three, in the form of a fine Daniel Bryan-Miz battle, and the short yet brilliantly booked (under the circumstances) Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns match, which at the time seemed like Brock’s WWE swansong (how wrong people were). From Hell In A Cell, we have Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton (a memorable war which included a gnarly spot involving a screwdriver), a strong outing between Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, and – in a baffling inclusion – the Cell match between Braun and Roman that is a big disappointment, partly because it ends in a draw. In Hell In A Cell, no less!
Rounding things off, we have another Becky vs. Charlotte bout, this time their Last Woman Standing match from Evolution. As noted, we don’t have contributions from Survivor Series or TLC due to the timing of this release, but we also don’t have anything from either of the Saudi Arabia events (Greatest Royal Rumble, held in April, and Crown Jewel, held five days after Evolution) or Super Show-Down (held in early October). This is a clear sign that these international events are essentially non-canon to WWE (since these sets represent every proper WWE PPV from January to October), despite the continuation and conclusion of major storylines on said cards.
Summing it up, this is not the best entry from the PPV Series; there are a couple of matches that are either average or less than average, and their extensive running time means that they take up a chunk of the compilation, thus dragging down its quality. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of highlights that do portray the best of WWE on Pay-Per-View for the most part. If you’re looking for a way to spend the cash that you received from relatives at Christmas, WWE Best PPV Matches 2018 isn’t a bad way to do it.
Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good