Sunday, August 31, 2014

WWE The Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn Blu-Ray Review

More Ladder Matches......on Blu-Ray!!

WWE The Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn

Disk 1

WrestleMania X (4/20/94) - Undisputed WWF intercontinental Title - Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon: *****

Smokey Mountain Wrestling (March 1994) - Tracy Smothers vs. Chris Candido: **1/2

n.W.o. Souled Out (1/25/97) - WCW United States Title - Eddie Guerrero vs. Syxx: ****

RAW Is WAR (11/30/98) - WWF Hardcore Title - Mankind vs. The Big Bossman: **3/4

RAW Is WAR (2/15/99) - WWF Title - Mankind vs. The Rock: ***3/4

King Of The Ring (6/27/99) - Control Of The WWF - Handicap Match - Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon & Shane McMahon: ***1/4

New Blood Rising (8/13/00) - Six Man for the "Gold Record" - 3 Count (Shane Helms, Shannon Moore & Evan Karagias) vs. The Jung Dragons (Jamie-San, Kaz Hayashi & Yun Yang): ***1/2

RAW is WAR (9/25/00) - WWF Tag Team Titles - The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian: ***3/4

RAW (7/22/02) - Title Unification Match - WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. WWE European Champion Jeff Hardy: ***1/2

Judgment Day (5/18/03) - WWE Tag Team Titles - Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri: ***3/4

RAW (9/29/03) - WWE Intercontinental Title - Christian vs. Rob Van Dam: ****1/2

Ohio Valley Wrestling (12/23/06) - Undisputed OVW Women's Title - Katie Lea vs. Beth Phoenix: ***1/2

WrestleMania 23 (4/1/07) - Money In The Bank Ladder Match - Mr. Kennedy vs. CM Punk vs. Edge vs. Finlay vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy vs. King Booker vs. Randy Orton: ****1/2

One Night Stand (6/3/07) - World Tag Team Titles - The Hardy Boyz vs. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin: ****1/4

RAW (12/10/07) - WWE Intercontinental Title - Jeff Hardy vs. Carlito: ***1/4

Disk 2

One Night Stand (6/1/08) - World Heavyweight Title - TLC Match - Edge vs. The Undertaker: ****1/4

No Mercy (10/5/08) - World Heavyweight Title - Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels: *****

WrestleMania 25 (4/5/09) - Money In The Bank Ladder Match - CM Punk vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Finlay vs. Christian: ****1/4

Money In The Bank (7/18/10) - The Mia vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne vs. Ted DiBiase Jr. vs. John Morrison vs. Edge vs. Mark Henry: ****1/4

TLC (12/19/10) - #1 Contender's Match - John Morrison vs. Sheamus: ****1/2

Extreme Rules (5/1/11) - Vacant World Heavyweight Title - Christian vs. Alberto del Rio: ****1/2

Blu-Ray Exclusives

Extreme Rules (6/7/09) - World Heavyweight Title - Edge vs. Jeff Hardy: ****1/4

TLC (12/13/09) - ECW Title - Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin: ***3/4

RAW (11/29/10) - TLC Match - WWE Title - The Miz vs. Jerry "The King" Lawlor: **1/2

TLC (12/19/10) - WWE Intercontinental Title - Triple Threat Match - Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger: **3/4

Overall: 9.5/10

This is second anthology set that WWE has put out covering the Ladder Match. We start out Disk 1 with the Ladder Match aka Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon from WrestleMania X. There are also a number of Ladder Matches from The Attitude Era that weren't picked to be on the first anthology. It's definitely a variety, with matches for the WWF Hardcore Title, WWF Title, WCW United States Title, WWF Tag Team Titles, a Handicap Match for Control of the WWF, and a match for a....Golden Record (That's WCW 2000 for you). We then transition into some Ladder Matches from the Ruthless Aggression Era, which included clashes over the Intercontinental Title & the Tag Team Titles, as well as a Unification Match, a Money In The Bank Ladder Match, and a rare Women's Ladder Match from OVW.

Disk 2 is where things REALLY pick up in a major way. Simply put, this disk is awesome. You have a ton fantastic matches (not a single match below ****1/4) that cover both the beginnings of the new PG Era as well as some great rivalries during that period (Undertaker vs. Edge & Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels). We also get two great Money In The Bank Ladder Matches, a very pleasant surprise in Sheamus vs. John Morrison, and a really awesome Ladder Match with Christian & Alberto del Rio, which saw Christian finally reach the top of the (metaphorical) WWE Ladder.

The Blu-Ray Version of the Anthology also includes a bonus disk, which has four matches. Here we have matches that really vary in quality. Edge/Jeff Hardy is great, Christian/Shelton Benjamin is really good, but the other two matches really are just kind of there and, while fine, aren't that impressive. 

In summary, this is another fantastic set. The first disk really had a couple of great matches, but was mostly made up of really good matches, as well as a few matches of lesser quality. The second disk, however, is the real reason to get this set. Six AMAZING Ladder Matches that are a true joy to watch. The bonus disk (again, only on the Blu-Ray Version) is a mixed bag on an otherwise great anthology set. Comparatively, the first Ladder Match Anthology covered more of the famous & well known Ladder Matches throughout WWE History, while this anthology has a combination of Ladder Matches that were missed the first time around, and more modern Ladder Matches from the last couple of years. A very enjoyable set to watch.

WWE The Ladder Match Anthology Review

A Three Disk Set looking back on one of the most revolutionary matches in WWE History!

WWE The Ladder Match Anthology

Disk 1

Stampede Wrestling (July 1979) - North American Title - Jake Roberts vs. Big Daddy Rutter: *1/2

WWF Wrestling Challenge (7/21/92) - WWF Intercontinental Title - Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels: ***1/2

SummerSlam (8/27/95) - WWF Intercontinental Title - Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon: ****3/4

SummerSlam (8/30/98) - WWF Intercontinental Title - The Rock (with Mark Henry) vs. Triple H (with Chyna): ****1/2

No Mercy (10/17/99) - Terri Invitational Tournament Finals - Edge & Christian vs. The Brood (The Hardy Boyz with Gangrel): ****1/2

SummerSlam (8/27/00) - WWF Tag Team Titles - TLC Match - Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz: ****3/4

Starrcade (12/17/00) - Cruiserweight Contender's Match - 3 Count (Shane Helms & Shannon Moore) vs. The Jung Dragons (Yun Yang & Kaz Hayashi with Leia Meow) vs. Jamie Knoble & Evan Karagias: ***3/4

Royal Rumble (1/21/01) - WWF Intercontinental Title - Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho: ****1/2

Disk 2

WrestleMania X-7 (4/1/01) - TLC II - WWF Tag Team Titles - The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz: ****3/4

Smackdown (5/24/01) - TLC III - WWF Tag Team Titles - Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz: ****1/2

No Mercy (10/21/01) - WWF Intercontinental Title - Christian vs. Edge: ***1/2

RAW (5/27/02) - WWE Intercontinental Title - Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam: ****

RAW (7/1/02) - WWE Undisputed Title - The Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy: ***1/2

RAW (10/7/02) - World Tag Team Titles -  Kane & The Hurricane vs. Jeff Hardy & RVD, Christian & Chris Jericho, Bubba Ray Dudley & Spike Dudley: ****1/4

Unforgiven (9/12/04) - Vacant WWE Intercontinental Title - Christian vs. Chris Jericho: ***1/2

Disk 3

WrestleMania 21 (4/3/05) - Money In The Bank Ladder Match - Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Christian (with Tyson Tomko) vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Edge vs. Kane: ****1/2

SummerSlam (8/21/05) - Custody Of Dominic - Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio: ***3/4

RAW (10/3/05) - Money In The Bank, Loser Leaves RAW - Edge (with Lita) vs. Matt Hardy: ***1/4

RAW (1/16/06) - TLC Match - WWE Title - Edge (with Lita) vs. Ric Flair: ****

Unforgiven (9/17/06) - TLC Match - WWE Title - Edge (with Lita) vs. John Cena: ****1/4

RAW (11/20/06) - WWE Intercontinental Title - Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro (with Melina): ***3/4

Armageddon (12/17/06) - WWE Tag Team Titles - Paul London & Brian Kendrick vs. William Regal & Dave Taylor vs. MNM (Joey Mercury & Johnny Nitro with Melina) vs. The Hardy Boyz: ****1/4

Overall: 9.5/10

This is the first of two compilation DVD's put out by WWE that covers the history of the Ladder Match (and it's subsequent variations). Disk 1 covers the early years of the Ladder Match, with guys like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Razon Ramon, Triple H, and The Rock set the initial "bar" with their famous clashes over the Intercontinental Title. The disk conclude with the various Tag Team Clashes involving Edge & Christian, The Hardy Boyz & eventually, The Dudley Boyz, where they really raised the bar, from Tag Team Ladder Matches to the first TLC Match. We also got another classic bout for the Intercontinental Title between Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho.

Disk 2 picks up with more of the TLC Matches, including the famous TLC II from WrestleMania X-7 as well as what some call the "forgotten" TLC Match (TLC III) from Smackdown. Most of the matches on this particular disk cover Ladder Matches from the early 2000's (post-Attitude Era), with a number of them taking place, for some weird reason on random RAW's from 2002 (this includes the infamous Undertaker/Jeff Hardy Ladder Match and another "forgotten" match, TLC IV).

Disk 3 starts off with a bang, as we get the first Money In The Bank Ladder Match from WrestleMania 21, which has now become an annual fixture on the WWE Calendar. This disk is, in it's own way, a Best Of Edge disk, as four of the seven matches on Disk 3 involved the Rated-R Superstar. We also get a very solid Ladder Match between Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio (despite the weird storyline), and the infamous Four Team Ladder Match from Armageddon 2006, which saw Joey Mercury suffer a very nasty broken nose.

In summary, this is a great set, especially if you're a fan of the Ladder Match. One thing this DVD Set does is give a very good look back at the evolution of the Ladder Match, from it's beginning and the instant classics of the 90's, to the innovative & extreme limits that were reached during the Attitude Era involved three of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history, and then into the mid-2000's with the introduction of the Money In The Bank Ladder Match. A lot of great matches (for the most part), make this a really enjoyable look back into wrestling history.