Welcome to another WWE review and another week. Today we will be bringing you the latest WWE release over here in the UK, Best of RAW and SmackDown 2017.
If you read my reviews on a regular basis, you will know that I tune into RAW and SmackDown occasionally but by and large don’t watch it as much as I did around 3 years ago for example.
So this review will be as much of a good watch for me as any as I do keep up with the PPV’s mainly for these reviews.
Here is my thoughts on the release, this is giving a quick look at each of the matches followed by the usual rating and a word as to whether I would recommend it at the end.
Starting Disc One, we get the Miz vs Dean Ambrose from SmackDown in January of last year. This was the start of a great feud between both of them and it was a good effort to start the release off. I have always been a big fan of both so I would say that but even if your not you can appreciate this match and the feud that ends up coming with it.
Next up is a match that I remember very well, Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch. This was the first ever female main event in SmackDown history as well meaning that it had to be on this release. As well as that we saw the return of someone I grew up watching and somebody I am really glad is back with the WWE and that is Mickie James. It was the end of a feud but it showed Alexa to be a real cog in the women’s division for sure.
Following that we turned our attention to RAW, this time getting Charlotte vs Bayley. This was a bit of a weird one in itself. This match saw Bayley finally become a title holder in the WWE but it was on a seemingly throwaway episode of RAW as opposed to at the Royal Rumble a few weeks prior or example. The only way this could really make sense is if Charlotte has got a new feud in mind but it is good to see Bayley accomplish this which is why it’s probably on the set.
Neville and Rich Swann followed from RAW in March, this was for the Cruiserweight title and was probably one of the best matches in that division last year judging by the crowd as well as the two competitors. It is a shame that Rich is now gone from the WWE but I believe he will tear up the Independent circuit again and we don’t know yet what’s happening with Neville but overall a great match that has a rightful spot on this set.
A brilliant match between Randy Orton and AJ Styles from SmackDown followed. This brought together one of WWE’s best performers in the past ten years alongside one of WWE’s best signings of the past 5 years who has been tearing it up. A match that I had always wanted to see and it did not disappoint. Would love to see these two battling for the WWE title eventually in an extended feud and it will hopefully produce results like this match.
American Alpha vs the Usos followed in a continued trend of great matches but a shift to end the disc of tag team matches. The Usos especially are highlighted in this case. It was a great year for them, a team that has been with the WWE for seemingly forever but never did anything spectacular, 2017 proved to be a launch pad for them with especially classic bouts with the New Day including a brilliant rap battle. American Alpha on the other hand did the complete opposite going their separate ways after coming up from the main roster to so much hype and promise.
Following that was The New Day vs the Revival. The New Day have still continued their momentum not going separate ways like I thought they would at the start of last year, this coincides with the debut of the Revival who got injured quite soon into their main roster debut. I am a big fan of Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson and hope that now they are back fully that they can have an extended run at the titles to show everybody what they showed in NXT.
Disc Two begun with The Miz vs Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor. This was so so good and one of the best matches on WWE TV last year. 3 talents who have all debuted in different eras but have all left their mark on the WWE coming together for a mighty bout which we will see once against next month at WrestleMania almost a year on from their first. I for one am looking forward to that one.
Following that we had a feud ending match between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens with Owens regaining the title from Jericho and in this match the end of Jericho’s run at that time on WWE TV. This was a great feud between the two and as a result the end of it had to be on this DVD.
Another class match involving Seth Rollins followed that and it was him vs Roman Reigns. Both men continued with a back and forth battle between two of the best talents of the past five years in the WWE. Reigns does get quite a lot of abuse for being put in the positions he is put in but matches like this make you see why it is the case. Not the best match on the set but definitely worth watching, that is for sure.
We shift our attention back to the Women’s Revolution, a #1 Contender’s Gauntlet Match between Bayley, Sasha Banks, Mickie James, Nia Jax, Emma and Dana Brooke with some of the leading lights of the women’s division involved all wanting a shot at Alexa Bliss’s title. It is Sasha Banks who shines in this though which is a precursor to her challenge against Alexa. Good to see Emma in this who unfortunately left WWE soon after.
A second edition of the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match between Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella and Tamina followed. This was much better than the first with Carmella victorious. It will be interesting to see if Carmella does ever actually win the title though as I found it weird that she ended up winning considering the talent involved. It could be WWE’s attempt of trying to push a new star though.
AJ Styles vs Chad Gable followed. This was a match I never thought I’d want to see but it was class and a real good watch. This singles run didn’t last that long but it could be a pre-cursor after he stops teaming with Shelton Benjamin. Styles always brings the best out of most of his opponents and this was the case still here.
Next up was Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho, a great 3 way bout between 3 of the best in WWE in my opinion. Jericho was a last minute addition and a great one at that. One of the highlights of the whole Owens-Jericho feud with a great nod to it being this match.
Finally a triple threat match that would include 3 quarters of the SummerSlam main event, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe. It’s not as good as the SummerSlam main event but it builds up to it well with a class match between the trio which was one of the best on RAW in the year.
John Cena vs Shinsuke Nakamura started Disc Three in a quality match as expected. This was more of an old Nakamura than the new Nakamura that hasn’t really stunned as much on the main roster. John Cena of course is always class and despite only working part-time now never loses a step.
Bobby Roode’s debut followed this and despite it being throwaway you have to have one or two of these matches on these dvd’s to highlight debuts and Roode was a big revelation of last year with his Glorious gimmick being a hit with the easily repetitive theme song.
Next up was Braun Strowman vs Big Show in a cage match on RAW which was the last time as of now that Big Show has competed in the WWE. If it is his last match it was a god way for them to go out with hi being seen as a new driving force in the WWE put over by the former big man of the company. Worth a watch for sure.
We spoke earlier about the Usos and how they had a breakout year, one of their great feuds was with the New Day which is highlighted in their Sin City Street Fight on SmackDown. It wasn’t their best match but that shows how good a lot of them were last year. Another brilliant contest and if you have the Network source their PPV matches from last year, you will not be disappointed.
The next match was highlighting again Braun Strowman who like the Usos had a bit of a breakout year. Here he has an okay match with Dean Ambrose, it’s not the best I have seen of either wrestler but it shows how good of a year that Strowman had and was another big win against one of the hottest properties in the WWE.
Jinder Mahal vs AJ Styles followed in another match featuring The Phenomenal One. This saw him win the title on UK soil for the first time in the company’s history. Mahal in my opinion was a good pick for a champion but lacked the support of the crowd so Styles does make more sense going into 2018 and WrestleMania season.
The penultimate match saw Natalya and Charlotte face off for seemingly the millionth time, they never have recaptured what they did at TakeOver a few years ago but they came close with this. Charlotte winning the title in this part of the year made sense and it gave Natalya the run with the title she had always wanted since her first run. Also there was a nice moment at the end with Ric Flair who had just come back from major health issues which is worth watching.
The final match was between The Miz and Roman Reigns. Reigns becomes a grand slam winner in WWE and the Shield are all there to congratulate him. It ends the DVD as it started it off in a good way.
Rating 8/10 – A great set which encapsulates all of the best WWE matches from TV of the last year. For me there was one or two okay matches that stop this from being a 10 but even those a lot of the time are because it was debuts for talents so it was moments more than matches. Well worth the purchase whether you tune in regularly or not.
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