WWE Best of Raw-After The Show Blu-Ray Review

WWE Best of Raw-The After ShowWhether it is celebrating a WWE cameraman’s birthday, bouncing beach balls, beer baths (not recently anyway) or tearful tributes these are probably not what you would expect to see in the WWE and under normal circumstances you would be right. But in the case of this new WWE home video release, these things are in fact just the tip of the iceberg!

The purpose of this release is to lift the lid on what goes on in the arenas after the cameras stop rolling on WWE’s flagship Monday Night Raw show. For many years, this has been a secret that fans have had to rely on other media such as fan reports, blogs and poor quality mobile phone footage to show them.

This set, which we hope will be the first of many of its type, focuses on newly released footage from the 1990’s and beyond. Viewers are treated to sequences featuring a plethora of WWE talent such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Mick Foley, Ric Flair, The Undertaker, Triple H, RVD, Booker T, Vince McMahon, Goldberg, Scott Steiner and many more.

The scene is set in the beginning by WWE presenter Renee Young, who explains the premise of the set and proceeds to introduce the first collection of clips. The announcer then returns periodically to introduce new segments and set up what you are about to see, much like what you would find in a video clip show on TV. This part of the set is something that you do not really need, as it can feel that you are having your hand held a little, but thankfully you get just the right amount of links to narrowly avoid it becoming too much of a problem. After these introductions, you are provided with the real meat in the form of the footage itself.

WWE Best of Raw-The After ShowThe earlier footage is great quality but is sadly not HD. It does not appear to have been given the treatment that it needs and as a result is letterboxed. In this case, however, you do have to question whether or not HD treatment is really necessary, as the lack of quality relative to the more recent content helps to highlight the fact that the footage is from a different, pre HD-era. HD purists might argue that it is a problem, as you are paying for a Blu-Ray and therefore you expect a high level of quality from the product. But in the end the only thing that truly matters is whether the actual content of the disc lives up to what has been advertised, as that, after all, is what fans will be buying the set for. 

Exploring the content further, you do get some truly fantastic and unique moments that not only make the set worth buying, but also prove that the WWE can provide great entertainment both to those watching at home and to those at the arenas. Stand-out examples include a scene where a variety of the WWE’s top performers break character in an effort to make one of the most character-driven performers (The Undertaker) do the same – no spoilers as to whether they succeed or not, though the journey to the answer is very entertaining. Another brilliant segment features WWE legend Stone Cold Steve Austin holding one of his traditional, post-show, in-ring beer sessions with fellow wrestler, Hulk Hogan. As usual, the celebrations last for some time, which results in many, many Stevewisers being drunk. Following this, you get to watch the real WWE Raw highlight of a drunk Hogan walking – or rather, swaying – back up the ramp.

In addition to these examples of post-show skits, there is also a selection of what are called “Dark Matches”, in which some of the company’s top performers have matches that are only for those in the arena. These matches are designed to be crowd-pleasers and in most cases they are. Granted, in some cases, the matches or segments can seem to run on for a little too long, but when you consider that they are designed to suit a live show audience and not a TV one, then this is a minor issue and one that you get used to as the set progresses.

The only real downside to this set is that there have been over 1,000 episodes of Monday Night Raw and that is clearly too many post-show matches to fit on any one set. So, what you get is what the company decides is the best, and whilst they are more often than not right, it would not have hurt to have let the fans choose some of these moments via an online poll or on Facebook. That said, it does also give WWE a chance to release another few sets that cover this type of content. And speaking of extra content, the Blu-Ray set also features some additional bonus content which, along with the slightly improved picture quality, adds to the value of paying that little bit more for this set rather than the DVD.

Another interesting point to mention is that, unlike what you see on TV, none of the content on this set features live commentary. Whilst some viewers may find this odd at first, after a while you find yourself not even noticing as you get swept up in the action. In some cases you may even find yourself commentating in your head. It also adds to the feeling that you are actually live in the arena, sharing the experience with the fans in the audience.

WWE Best of Raw-The After ShowOverall, this set is a successful release from WWE and is certainly one that every WWE fan should purchase, though it remains a mystery as to whether we will see more sets featuring similar content released, due to such material possibly having a place on the WWE network. It is this reviewer’s hope that there will be more to come, since its content proves that the WWE truly are the masters, not only of sport, but also of entertainment.

WWE Best of Raw-After The Show is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from April 28th priced at £29.99 and £34.99 respectively.

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