05th Nov2014

‘WWE The Attitude Era: Volume 2’ Blu-ray Review

by Chris Cummings


What does everybody want?

Head to the nearest man cave, give your boss a Stone Cold salute and spend the next six hours watching The Attitude Era Vol.2, the hottest set to be released since Sable’s handprint bikini. If you are old enough to order a Steve-Weiser, “Hello ladies” was your pick up line in college and you loved WWE before “Federation” became the new “F” word, then here is what you need to do. Take this all new collection, shine it up real nice, flip it sideways and stick it straight up… your DVD player!!

The Attitude Era is a time in WWE’s history that is highly beloved and well-remembered by fans of professional wrestling. A time when names like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, D-Generation X, The Undertaker and Kane, Too Cool, The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz, Val Venis, Mr McMahon, Mick Foley and others were taking things to another level and making wrestling “cool” again. I was watching WW(F)E during that period, and it was such a creative and exciting time, watching previously ignored workers getting a chance to shine, and seeing the boom period of guys like Steve Austin causing the fans to roar when the sound of shattering glass hit the PA system. It was just pure fun, and edgy entertainment that reinvented WWE, moving on from the cartoon-like product that had been it’s staple style in the early 90’s and turning it on its head. Sure, sometimes they went too far, but the sex, violence, comedy, blood and barbed wire helped take WWE to another platform, with a fanbase older than their previous one.

Here, in WWE The Attitude Era: Volume 2, we see more of what we saw in the first volume a year or so ago. Here, though, more of the forgotten performers, the workers who aren’t mentioned as often as guys like Austin and The Rock, are given some time. Droz, Gangrel, Ken Shamrock, Kaientai, Al Snow and other guys who worked in the mid-card division at the end of the 90’s are here, often in tag matches of gimmick matches, but it all goes to creating an interesting release that, at least, has some moments seldom seen on WWE DVD releases. Getting a chance to revisit some obscure matches from WWE television is enjoyable, and there are obviously plenty of moments featuring the main stars of the period too.

A variety of matches and segments, from 1997 through to 2000 are here, and the quality is a mixture, as you’d expect. Still, the quality isn’t really why you’d be buying this release. This is a look at an era that was more about the spectacle, the controversial angles, and the creative booking than it was about the in-ring product. Sure, there were some great matches, but for every Austin/Rock there was an evening gown match between Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco (which is on this set, by the way). So, that’s what this set delivers, a mixture of in-ring quality, but a fantastically entertaining and, sometimes, bizarre series of moments from WWE’s era of craziness, an era that will never be repeated. For me, matches like Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart and Triple H vs. Edge are examples of its strongest points, whereas daft and messy contests like Sable vs. Jacqueline, Al Snow vs. Sgt Slaughter and the aforementioned evening gown match between the “stooges” shows the weaker side to the set, but overall it is really fun to watch, and the chosen content is diverse and interesting.

The Blu-ray release of WWE The Attitude Era: Volume 2, as is the usual nowadays, features a bunch of extra matches, these ones featuring the likes of Kane, Mankind, Al Snow, Road Dogg, Chris Jericho and Triple H, among others. There’s enough extra content to make it worth choosing the Blu-ray over the DVD too, plus there’s a few promos and segments to enjoy that aren’t on the DVD.

If the WWE Network manages to survive, and the world is able to receive it, then I’m not sure there’s much of a future for titles like this, but for the time being, this is a fun stroll down memory lane, and an entertaining peek into the era that defined pro-wrestling at the end of the 1990’s.

WWE The Attitude Era: Volume 2 is out now on DVD and Blu-ray from FremantleMedia.

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