HomeWrestlingWWE: The Attitude Era WrestleMania Collection - DVD Review

WWE: The Attitude Era WrestleMania Collection – DVD Review

As WWE Home Video UK collects Wrestlemania 14-17 in an “Attitude Era” box set, Matthew Roberts review the WrestleMania DVD, and takes a look back at the good, the bad and the indifferent from the shows that defined an era. 


DVD Review: WrestleMania XIV

The Good: 

First of all, there is an electric atmosphere in the arena.  There is the sense, and you don’t need hindsight for this, that this is the night that will swing the “Monday Night Wars” fully back in the WWE’s favour.  The product is hot and the masterstroke of getting Mike Tyson means that the eyes of the world’s media were on this show. 

Match wise, nothing REALLY excels but considering Shawn Michaels should have been in a hospital bed his main event with Stone Cold Steve Austin is nothing short of miraculous.  And for all the barbs thrown at (and accepted by) Shawn for his aversion to losing, he certainly did all he could here to put Austin over the right way.

The undercard is more about spectacle than great grappling, but the Dumpster Match between Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie and the New Age Outlaws is fun, Kane against The Undertaker (for the first ever time) is “sport entertainment” at it’s finest and as daft as it may sound now in 2021, Sable’s in-ring debut is absolutely stunning.  Sure it was all smoke and mirrors, but the crowd loved it and it made her a genuine star.

The Bad: 

The logic is fine (they want to keep the belt on the Rock but don’t want to job out Ken Shamrock) but the finish to the Intercontinental Title match is not one that should be taking place on a WrestleMania.  If you can’t have a clean winner on a match at the biggest show of the year you probably shouldn’t be booking it on the biggest show of the year. 

The Indifferent:

The fifteen team battle royale that kicks things off works in the sense of a “look at all these bodies” spectacle for those tuning into wrestling for the first time in a long time but as soon as “LOD 2000” show up, it’s clear who is winning. 

The Verdict:

You would be hard pushed to say that this show is packed full of great “wrestling” but then when has the WWE ever really been about just that.  This is spectacle and it’s on the grandest scale.  Only the IC match really outstays it’s welcome (and that’s the fault of the non-finish) and really when Stone Cold Steve Austin’s hand is raised by Mike Tyson at the end of the show nothing else really matters.  But overall it’s one hell of a spectacle and can certainly never be called boring. 


DVD Review: WrestleMania XV


The Good:

It’s perhaps the weakest of their WM Trilogy, but the Rock and Stone Cold serve up a very good main event that is about the only good in-ring thing about the show. 

The Bad:

Vince Russo. There’s no getting around it. But Russo was given somewhat of a free reign with the undercard and what was building relatively nicely was totally thrown up in the air because Russo likes to swerve for no reason.  Billy Gunn was supposed to be going for the IC title but won the Hardcore title leading up to the show.  Road Dog was entrenched in the Hardcore title scene so he of course won the IC belt leading up to this show. He probably was responsible for a match on the Mania undercard deciding who referees the main event going to a DQ finish.  The dual HHH/Chyna/DX swerves seem to be overkill too (HHH and Chyna turning on DX negate the earlier stuff) but as it was essentially HHH’s switch to becoming “The Game” and, eventually, a genuine main event star I guess if we’re being nice we can give him a pass on that one.

Hell in a Cell.  It awful match that ends up with Big Boss Man being “hung”.  Enough said.  And any real fire and/or desire that Sable had shown a year ago has long since gone here.  Her match with Tori must at least be on the shortlist for the accolade of “worst Mania match ever”. 

The Indifferent:

It’s hard to be too harsh on the Brawl for All Match between Butterbean and Bart Gunn, but it certainly puts the final seal on just how bad an idea the whole concept was as Bart gets knocked out within 30 or so seconds.  The IC and Hardcore title matches exist and the booking leading up to the show almost makes them meaningless.

The Verdict:

It’s a one-match show.  The smoke and mirrors of the Attitude Era is clearly shown here.  Because the product is so hot and almost everyone is over to some extent as a result you can get swept up in it at the time.  Watched it again the flaws are all too clear.  It’s rarely boring, but it’s rarely thrilling either. 


DVD Review: WrestleMania 2000


The Good:

The Triangle Ladder match for the Tag Team titles between The Dudley’s, The Hardy’s and Edge & Christian was a five-star classic at the time and doesn’t diminish one bit two decades on. 

The two fall triple threat match for the IC and European titles may be blindingly obvious in terms of the booking (double champion Kurt Angle loses both belts but isn’t pinned for either of them) but it’s a quality wrestling match.

If we ignore that in the main event the WWE Championship plays second fiddle to the McMahon family saga, it’s a good match until the final McMahon overkill minutes. 

The Bad:

The only “singles” match on the card is The Kat vs Terri Runnels.  Go figure that one out.

The Godfather & D’Lo Brown against Bull Buchanan & The Big Boss Man is not my idea of a must-see WrestleMania match.  Still, it’s a lot better than the mess that is Test & Albert Vs Al Snow & Steve Blackman.

The Indifferent:

Too Cool & Chyna against Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko & Saturn is fine but ends up being a complete irrelevancy by the time the next night’s Raw is in the bag.

The Verdict:

We do have one genuine all-time classic on the show so there is that going for it.  And in an “overbooked Attitude era” style there are some other entertaining moments. But again, it’s those smoke and mirrors in effect.  Twenty years on the flaws become all too apparent. 


DVD Review: WrestleMania X-Seven


The Good:

Where do you start?  An all-tine classic main event match between two of the biggest stars ever in front of a white-hot crowd.  And play hindsight all you want, but at the time it surely made sense for Austin to go heel (even if, as we say, ultimately that run wasn’t not a total success). 

The Tables Ladders and Chairs match arguably manages to be even better than the Ladder match from last year.

The Hardcore Title triple threat between Raven, Big Show and Kane is riotously entertaining and genuinely funny in parts. 

Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle is a very good match and if you’re going to have two non-workers from the McMahon family in a high profile match, Vince and Shane certainly deliver the entertainment, as over-booked as it is (and should have been to be honest). 

Whisper it quietly, but the forgotten match of their WM trilogy here may be better than the more famous Undertaker and Triple H battles that were to come.

The Bad:

For the sake of being able to put something here, the WCW stars being shown from a distance in an executive box was a portent for what was going to happen with that whole “brand”. 

The Indifferent:

Chyna against Ivory is nothing but squash, although that’s all it needed to be really.  Similarly, the APA & Tazz against the Right To Censor is short, but it gives the fans what they want to see. 

The Verdict:

What can you say?  Many people’s choice for the greatest WWE show in history, never mind WrestleMania, and there is absolutely no doubt that this has to be in that conversation.  There’s literally nothing “bad” on show, with even the Gimmick Battle Royale being a laugh.  Great matches across the board, nothing that gets boring and a white-hot atmosphere do indeed makeup one of the best PPV events the WWE has ever brought us.

Overall

You cannot argue with the value for money on this set.  Four WrestleMania’s over five discs certainly give you a lot to watch.  That it includes one of the greatest events of all time is a boost but if the preceding three can’t live up to that one that doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden gems to be found elsewhere.  And if at times the flaws of the Attitude Era become all too apparent, that can be a fascinating viewpoint as well. 

9 out of 10.


Photographs courtesy of Fetch and WWE. Thank you to WWE Home Video for our review copy of Wrestlemania The Attitude Era Collection which is out 27th September on DVD. You can buy your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk by clicking here.

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Matthew Roberts
"Who's your daddy, Montreal?" - Shawn Michaels
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