Say what you like about WWE and its booking, writing and seemingly endless stream of PPVs, weekly television and side products, it’s still at the top of its game when it comes to output and popularity - even in its worst week, WWE sets social media alight with often vicious opinion and this three disc box set is a crucible of the division of love and hate.
Introduced by Corey Graves, the three disc set acts as a selection box of matches from across 2015, with few surprises when it comes to the PPV appearances of Cena, Lesnar and company, but some arguably “fan favourite” matches in the form of Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs. The New Day from Extreme Rules, Charlotte vs. Brie Bella vs. Sasha Banks from Battleground, as well as appearances from Daniel Bryan (vs Roman Reigns at Fast Lane), Kevin Owen (vs John Cena at Elimination Chamber), the fateful Sting confrontation from Night of Champions and both encounters between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker (at SummerSlam and Hell in a Cell).
Further to the matches, there are highlights of the PPVs themselves, bundled together in short video packages and reminding us what happened throughout the year, without Corey Graves helping recap events that led into the key events, though it does seem to be a bit random as to when he does this.
Amongst the truly great PPV moments of 2015, it’s not a bad year for Cena - Rusev vs Cena, including the fantastic Rusev in a tank entrance, stands out, as does Cena vs Owens. Undertaker vs Lesnar, both times, are an example of the lengths that WWE talent can go to in order to entertain, whilst Charlotte features in the two women’s matches that WWE deign to be worth of the “Best PPV Matches” monicker, taking on Nikki Bella at Night of Champions for the WWE Diva’s Championship, in addition to the aforementioned triple threat. Seeing Cesaro and Tyson Kidd is a bittersweet reminder of how good and entertaining they were, especially against The New Day’s Big E Langston and Kofi Kingston who, at this stage, were still finding their feet in a stable. The various members of The Shield are well represented, too, as their individual stories crossed paths in 2015 and it, as with all the matches, make entertaining viewing. Whilst some may question the “wrestling” aspect of WWE, it can’t be denied that they provide “entertainment”.
Production values are, as is often the case with WWE, peerless and the crowd are incredible vocal, and audible, above the commentary team of Jerry Lawler, rolling out his jokes whilst offering his analysis, JBL with his cutting remarks and his ability to draw on his career as a frame of reference and Michael Cole who occasionally delivers his commentary as if he were in an old Smackdown video game.
What the disc set does show is the breadth of talent within WWE and how, for every current day main eventer, there’s a relative newcomer to the grand stage with a potentially bright future.
Whilst there’s an argument that every single match is available for a reasonable price on the WWE Network, it can’t be denied that this format, focusing on “the best” WWE has to offer, also has a place for casual fans who just want to stick a match on and enjoy it.
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