WWE: The Top 100 Moments in Raw History
Recently I've been disappointed by some of WWE's big DVD and Blu-ray releases. Both the nWo and Attitude Era collections have been heavily promoted, but they both lacked editorial content. When I go to the store and spend money on a product that is supposed to revisit one of the greatest eras in professional wrestling, I want a comprehensive take with never-before-seen interviews and exclusive content. I want something like "WWE: Greatest Rivalries" or "The Rise and Fall of ECW".
I am happy to announce that WWE nailed this release, creating a near-perfect revisiting of some of Monday Night Raw's greatest moments, and also serves as a homage to the last twenty years of the most iconic wrestling show in the history of the business.
Like I said, the biggest frustration with releases like "The Attitude Era" and "Undertaker - The Streak" is the lack of original content. There's not a lot of time or real consideration when throwing together a five hour collection of matches, particularly when - in the case of the Undertaker's DVD - they're already chosen for you. "The Top 100 Moments in Raw History" takes its time, interweaving each "moment" with commentary from a WWE Superstar or personality relevant to the piece.
A lot of these short interviews act as fluff pieces, which can be a little frustrating after the fifth time you've heard Jerry "the King" Lawler say "that was the craziest thing I'd ever seen". More often than not it's just Kofi Kingston talking about how awesome it was to hit a particular "Boom Drop" or John Cena being John Cena. But there are enough truly genuine promos from guys like CM Punk, Jeff Hardy, and Mick Foley that you never really get bored.
The moments themselves, like all lists compiled by anyone ever, lend themselves to a lot of debate and controversy. You'd be hard-pressed to find many fans that will agree Santino's "tea time" with Sheamus was a better Raw moment than the 2011 return of the Undertaker, but according to this collection, it's true. There are plenty of times you'll be scratching your head, trying to figure out how WWE could place more or less value on a specific segment. The important thing to realize is this: it doesn't really matter how WWE's video production team ranks the moments, they're pretty much all there, and each is given a fair amount of time. It's not necessarily about which moments are better or worse; think of it instead as a tribute to the 20-year history of Monday Night Raw.
The word "content" has been thrown around several times already, but I can't stress how much is included in this set. Not only do you get 3.5 hours of "Top 100" material, but the entirety of Raw 1,000 is presented from start to finish. I can't even begin to describe how great it is to relive that night without commercials! After that there's a short ten minute special called "The Making of Raw 1,000" which compiles footage of WWE Superstars backstage before the legendary night begun. It's a little weird to see Brock Lesnar hanging out with Psycho Sid, but I enjoyed the unique - albeit short - look behind the curtain.
The collection ends with a 1.5 hour special edition of "Legends of Wrestling". This feature is done every month for WWE's Classics on Demand program, and is a round table discussion with various legends from the industry's past. The Raw 1,000 edition that is presented at the end of this set boasts Jim Ross, Road Dogg, Michael Hayes and a few others. It's a very candid look at Raw's history by some of the absolute best minds in the business.
"The Top 100 Moments in Raw History" is a satisfying and complete collection; one of the best on the market right now. Between the countdown list, the entirety of Raw 1,000 and the unexpected inclusion of "Legends of Wrestling", you're looking at over eight hours of enjoyable content with enough replay value to keep coming back. I didn't think WWE could put something together that accurately captures the spirit of 20 years of Raw, but they succeeded, and it's awesome.