DVD Review – Kurt Angle – The Essential Collection


kurtangleHello BWR readers and welcome to another WWE review and this time we have Kurt Angle – The Essential Collection for my perusal and to give my overall recommendation on it! I know that this is a week late this is due to me taking my annual break last week and also having interviews that were done before this to be released so I apologise for that but for future releases I am here and ready to complete the reviews on time and even before release in some cases!

Like I say today we have the release of Kurt Angle – The Ultimate Collection to check out and this is one that I have been looking forward to for quite a while for the reason that compared to some wrestlers that WWE releases DVD’s and Blu-ray’s about I am actually a big fan of Kurt Angle and I believe that he should have returned a lot sooner than he did to the biggest company in Sports Entertainment but that is beside the point.

This release was as expected with the title being collection full of Kurt Angle matches and I read online when looking at the match listings that there is about 25 matches on the DVD which means real value for money which is wha you want froma r elease like this and it was expected with a release like this as he was in WWE for quite a number of years and you could probably release multiple DVD’s with the amount of matches he had in WWE in his initial run.

So I will be giving you a rundown of my favourite matches on the release and all depending a rundown of those that I don’t think should be on the release and why accomponied by the usual /10 rating and my recommendation and overall thoughts to end off.

Like a lot of WWE releases where matches involved I believe they have improved a lot and once again they are using a method that I am a big fan of where over the course of three chapters they give an indication of how a wrestler has improved and like with the Orton set in particular this is no different here

We start off with his Pay-Per-View debut at Survivor Series 1999 and even back then he was quality and even though for other sets we usually go down the developmental route for Angle because he literally went from the Olympics to the WWE it is astonoshing to see just how good the guy was even at the start of his career. We also got his match with Val Venis where he picked up the European title on SmackDown and even though it wasn’t brilliant compared to some of Angle’s matches it serves as the start of Angle’s haul of titles in his career.

We then get two matches from pay-per-views in the early 2000’s with No Way Out 2000 and King of the Ring 2000 featuring his IC title match against Jericho and his King of the Ring final match against Rikishi, both serve as good examples like with the Val Venis match of his pursuit for gold like he won at the Olympics when he started in WWE and while some wrestlers have to wait a few years for a push he was given it from the word go. His match with Jericho was very good and both men have brilliant chemistry in the ring that sadly was never properly explored in a feud while the Rikishi match wasn’t terrible by any means and was a good watch, both are good additions to the set.

We then get one of the matches I have seen before in the form of Kurt Angle vs Triple H vs Chris Jericho from an episode of RAW at Madison Square Garden, I am not a big fan of this match and especially considering it has been on previous releases it is one I wouldn’t pick but there is always matches like this but considering his first PPV main event from SummerSlam was left off this is a pretty weird substitute

To end his first year in WWF we got his first WWF title win against the Rock which is a pretty good match and this is then followed by his first ever title defence against the Undertaker at Survivor Series the PPV he made his debut at 12 months prior to this match and what it shows is like I have said multiple times how dominant he was in the first year and how big of a push he ended up getting.

We start 2001 with his match vs Triple H at the Royal Rumble which was quite poor in my opinion and compared to Chris Jericho their styles just do not mesh which is a shame but I would say that if you are going to skip a few matches on the set due to the amount there is more than anything it would have to be this one but still deserved t be on here as it showcased him in a title match to start his second year.

We end the first disc with one of my favourite matches on the set involving Shane McMahon and Kurt in a Street Fight at the 2001 King of the Ring PPV which I still really enjoy now, probably because it’s so brutal and includes quite a bit of blood which I enjoy in spells in wrestling with some people hating it but compared to the previous match this one is a must watch!

Disc Two starts with Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Kurt Angle in a brilliant match from Unforgiven 2001, this is of significance as Kurt ended up winning his title back in his home town and especially after a very good match it adds to it and usually when it is a hometown sort of deal, the result goes in the opposite way but this is a good start to the second disc.

Next up we got a double dose of his feud with Edge with his match from Backlash 2002 first on show which like the match previous against Stone Cold was excellent and especially in the elevation of Edge this did him a great deal of good and despite him losing he looked great and is one of both men’s  best matches in Angle’s early goings of his WWE run.

Next up we got a feud ender on SmackDown of all places in a Steel Cage match which once again was excellent (you can see a theme developing with a lot of these matches), Edge lost lots of blood which shows the whole concept of the Steel Cage being unforgiven and really emphasises the end of a long running saga between the pair that also took in a Hair vs Hair match at Judgement Day.

Following this we got a match vs Hulk Hogan from King of the Ring in 2002 which was a good match despite the fact that Hogan of course wasn’t as good at this point as he used to be but unlike a lot of wrestlers who when getting older look bad in the ring and sloppy, Hogan even towards the end of his in-ring career kept the entertainment value up through his charisma and gimmick which still resonated with the WWE Universe in his recent run. Not an amazing match but entertaining to watch nonetheless.

Next up we have a match that about 90% of WWE fans have seen regardless of what era you started watching it in and that is Kurt Angle vs John Cena from SmackDown which is important as it’s Cena’s debut of course. A brilliant match that really puts the young upstart at the time over like he does against Edge on previous matches and it is overall a match you have to see.

Following this we have a quality triple threat match between The Undertaker, The Rock and Kurt Angle which in my opinion is one of the must watches on the set. The names say it all before you even get to the match and they put in stellar performances with all the drama you want added in and despite me not being a big fan of Undertaker I really enjoyed him in this and its his earlier stuff that really is rewatchable for me as well as him vs Shawn at 25 and 26 as they are two of my favourite matches ever.

Next up like with the Edge and Cena matches we get one vs Rey Mysterio and in particular it is Rey’s PPV debut back at SummerSlam 2002 and this is a brilliant match that like the Edge match meant that even though Mysterio lost he made a real impressive debut and that is thanks to Angle and how good he is with up and coming talent and overall despite it not being hugely long, it is good and still leaves the fans satisfied and it left me satisfied seeing it for the first time.

To end Disc 2 we got Angle vs Lesnar from SummerSlam 2003 which like most of the matches on Disc 2 is very very good and weirdly they had two matches to choose from between these two with their match at WrestleMania in their main event as well but WWE must of thought that the viewers could do with seeing different matches and ones that are underrated mixed in with his essential ones and this one is very good and features both at their finest.

Disk 3 has his match with John Cena from No Mercy which was one that surprisingly I hadn’t seen and is a bit of a hidden gem in terms of Kurt Angle matches go, he then takes on Eddie Guerrero in an alright match from SummerSlam but it isn’t a patch on their contest from WrestleMania and even though this is like that match it isn’t the same and I think they should have used the former. Following this we get a weird match from SmackDown! in Iraq from 2003 which although plays of the idea that Angle is a patriot for his country doesn’t really need to be on the set but you are always going to get matches that aren’t 5 star classics unlike the next one which is Kurt’s match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 21 which is a personal favourite of mine and in the wrestling business is seen as a classic between two of the best ever in WWE and they almost repeated it at RAW Homecoming a few months later in a 30 minute iron man match which was nearly as good as their Mania match, if your going to watch 2 matches on this set watch these two!

We end the set with a good 3 way between the 3 main showcased men in Cena, Angle and Michaels from Taboo Tuesday and even though this wasn’t amazing it was a good end to the matches between the 3 and is worth a watch but we then finally end it with a match between Angle and RVD from ECW in 2006 which is one of Angle’s last matches and like quite a few matches on this set is a hidden gem and that might be a bit biased as I am a big RVD fan but I really enjoyed it and it brought back memories of the old ECW which I enjoyed at the start of its revival back in 2005/2006 and then we get bits from the HOF and his return as GM to end the set off.

Rating – 8/10 – Even though there is some rubbish on this set, there is also some absolute hidden gems that are worth watching and buying the set alone for, Angle is a true legend and even though he’s not my favourite wrestler of all time he is up there and I hope he gets into those WWE ropes one last time for a match and I think that will happen sooner rather than later!

I am looking forward to my next WWE review and you can find out when the next one will be by going to :

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