Review for WWE: Wrestlemania Monday
The day after Wrestlemania is generally one of the best shows of the year. Usually they will celebrate the crowning of the champion, pay tribute to the end of a career or see the start of a new one. It is when people return or people leave, but it is generally one of the most enjoyable shows of the year for the crowd and the superstars alike.
This hour long documentary looks at the preparations for the Raw after Wrestlemania 32. This includes the debut of Big Cass and Enzo, Apollo Crews and the re-debuts of Cesaro and Maryse. We also get a glimpse backstage with the signing of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
We get to look at some of the most memorable moments from that event such as the debut of Goldberg and Brock Lesnar in the WWE and the many other moments that have made this particular Raw so much fun.
The documentary itself is fine, though nothing special. If anything, it is more just a string of stories throughout the day. However, the look at how Big Cass and Enzo got to the WWE was great and hopefully they get big enough to warrant a longer version of this story.
The two disks are filled to the brim with matches and extra moments and a few extra Blu-ray Exclusives. With restricting them to just that one Raw there are really only a few shows that they can go from. The majority of the matches are from the 2000-2016 era with only a few from the 1990s.
Highlights include Mankind vs. Bob 'Spark Plug' Holly from 1996, which is notable for being Mankind’s debut and a great introduction to this character. European Championship match between Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero from 2000 was proof (if proof was ever needed) just how awesome these two were and how stupid WCW were to let these guys go. This is a classic match from two of the best. Chris Jericho is also part of a great triple threat for the Intercontinental Championship from 2005 with Shelton Benjamin and Christian which is again a great technical match.
From 2007 they include the insane Battle Royal for World Tag Team Championship this is between Shawn Michaels and John Cena against every tag team in the WWE and it is hugely entertaining. As is 2009’s massive match between Jeff Hardy, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, John Cena and Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat against Chris Jericho, Kane, Matt Hardy, Big Show and Edge. Though I do wish there had been an elimination element to make it more exciting.
A lot of the matches are really just curiosity watches such as Dolph Ziggler cashing in his Money in the Bank in 2013 against Alberto Del Rio. I had almost forgotten that Ziggler was once a World Champion and like most Money in the Bank cash-ins the match is about 10 seconds long. The same could be said for 2013’s match between Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango which is really on here for the utterly bizarre crowd chanting of the crowd to Fandango’s theme music.
2014’s WWE Divas Championship between AJ Lee and Paige was a great way to debut the character from NXT and though I don’t agree with people winning belts on their first match I can’t deny it was a great moment to relive.
2015’s matches between Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship and between John Cena and Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship were a good way to show that the belts were not going to just be used as props for these two big stars.
The final match is the amazing Fatal 4-Way for Number 1 Contender of WWE World Heavyweight Championship between AJ Styles, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, Cesaro. When you consider this is sixteen years after Jericho’s first ‘After Wrestlemania Raw’ match this is simply amazing that he can still put on a performance like this. It is a fantastic match and certainly PPV quality.
Of the thirteen Moments that they include most of them depend on your opinion of the person. Highlights include the debut and re-debut of Brock Lesnar in 2002 and 2012 are interesting to see just how he changed (or indeed how good he looks in both). Goldberg’s from 2003 is a great start to the short feud he had with The Rock and certainly a great way to debut the WCW star.
The best for me is ‘The Easy Way or The Hard Way’ segment from 1998 between Vince McMahon and new champion Stone Cold Steve Austin. This was the official start of the McMahon/Austin feud and one of the best moments for me.
Also from 1998 is X-Pac Returning from being fired by WCW and joining D-Generation X. This was one of the first defectors from WCW and the guaranteed contracts and the ‘shoot-like’ promo he gives is fantastic.
They include Enzo and Big Cass’s Debut in WWE from 2016 and what I love most about this is it shows just how passionate WWE fans are. These are two guys from NXT, a show that isn’t even properly televised, yet this crowd knew every single word of Enzo’s speech… and you can’t teach that… and they chanted and cheered and showed them they knew who they were… and you can’t teach that!
They include Ric Flair’s retirement speech from 2008 and Shawn Michael’s one from 2010 which were both emotional moment. The one that gets me is of course 2014’s speech from Ultimate Warrior which was his last WWE appearance, or indeed his last appearance at all before his death.
WWE Wrestlemania Monday is an odd set. In some ways it is such a niche show that I wasn’t sure it would work, but it does. Watching how the crowd reacts is just infectious and makes you wish you could join in. I forgot how amazing it was when people like Lesnar debuted or when Austin proclaimed he was going to start his WWE Championship run the ‘Hard way’. If you went to the shows this is a great way to relive these memories and it shows just how important the fans are to the show and if there was ever a way to convince me to pay to watch WWE live, it would be this.