Sunday, August 31, 2014

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.

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