Running Time: 512 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 4
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: June 3 2019
(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)
It’s time to relive WrestleMania on DVD, as the 35th instalment is available on both three- and four-disc formats (the latter being a special edition). The compilation includes the entire Mania show (no mean feat for a show that lasted well over five hours), as well as the four Kick-Off Show matches, the entire episode of Raw from the night after WM, and in the case of the four-disc collection, the entire NXT TakeOver: New York event.
After a Hulk Hogan cameo during Alexa Bliss’ opening speech, WM opens with a bang, courtesy of a short yet memorable Universal Championship battle between Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton is technically proficient, but suffers from a crowd that apparently couldn’t see due to the lighting within MetLife Stadium. The SmackDown Tag Team Championship four-way is a hidden gem, while Shane McMahon vs. The Miz under Falls Count Anywhere rules is entertaining enough to hold one’s attention, as well as having a surprising finish.
The Women’s Tag Team Championship four-way is alright but nothing more (and it currently stands as being Sasha Banks’ last match in WWE). Far better is Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston, which is an awesome WWE Championship match and the highlight of the whole event, in my opinion. After a brief tussle between Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio (necessitated by an injury to Rey), Roman Reigns has his first match since battling and beating leukaemia for a second time against Drew McIntyre, which has to be considered a huge personal achievement.
Following an amusing John Cena rap promo at the expense of Elias during a fairly lengthy segment, we get Batista’s final match against Triple H under No Holds Barred rules; it’s no classic, but both men definitely graft, and there are some gnarly spots which are shocking to see in the PG environment. Kurt Angle also wraps up his career against Baron Corbin, though the match and the finish are underwhelming. Finn Balor unleashes The Demon to beat Bobby Lashley for the Intercontinental Title in another short bout, albeit one that is still exciting. Finally, Becky Lynch conquers the world against Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair in an enjoyable main event, albeit one that comes so late into the show that the fans are almost completely drained of energy (hence why WWE should rethink the times of its supershows, or to at least insert an intermission of around 20-30 minutes to allow people a proper rest).
As noted, the Kick-Off Show matches are all here too. Buddy Murphy vs. Tony Nese is a fine representation of the Cruiserweight division, even if fans seem disinterested (likely due to a lack of awareness about 205 Live). The Women’s Battle Royal is decent enough, if not something that you will remember once the show had ended. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder get a feel-good home state title win over Raw doubles champs The Revival. Lastly, Braun Strowman overcomes the, erm, threat of the Saturday Night Live stars and many other WWE names to finally win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
When it comes to the Raw the night after WM, though an entertaining show, there were fewer standout matches and moments than we have become accustomed to for this occasion (it seemed like WWE were saving the key stuff for the Superstar Shake-Up, which is understandable). There was another Elias interruption, though, this time by The Undertaker. Taker appearing unannounced on Raw was a nice surprise, but not having Taker appear in front of the crowd in any capacity at WrestleMania still seemed very odd, largely because he once ruled WM with an iron fist.
Finally, for those who pick up the four-disc exclusive, NXT TakeOver: New Orleans lives up to the sky-high standards that TakeOver events have set. The opening Tag Team Title scrap between The War Raiders and the combo of Aleister Black and Ricochet is a strong battle with loads of big moves, and Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle is a real treat to watch. Pete Dunne vs. WALTER is a hard-hitting war, and the NXT Women’s Championship four-way is a good showcase for all involved. Finally, Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano under Two Out Of Three Falls for the NXT Title is a great main event, though a shade below previous TakeOver headline battles due to the unrealistic amount of big move kick-outs at the end by Gargano.
On the whole, WrestleMania 35 packs an incredible amount into one DVD set. The Mania card itself is one of the better shows in recent years, and with some trimming of filler, it could have been one of the all-time great WM shows. The Kick-Off matches are always a nice touch, while the Raw isn’t particularly memorable but serves its purpose for inclusion here. And TakeOver is typically awesome. Simply put, WrestleMania 35 is well worth buying on DVD.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Excellent