Review for Best of Raw and Smackdown 2014
2014 was a topsy turvy year for the WWE. It saw the loss of the best in the world, the break up of three friends which led to the rise of three fine new stars. The rise of the Yes movement and its fall to injury. It saw the launch of the network and a beast take the streak and the title in his path of destruction. Throughout all of this, Raw and Smackdown proved that they had some of the best action shown on television. Now you experience the best of all of that on the Best of Raw and
This three disk set features Twenty-Two great matches and some great moments from Raw and Smackdown over the year. This includes Daniel Bryan's Yes Movement Occupying Raw, which really was a great way to show just how popular Bryan is. Seth Rollins' turning on The Shield which is still a very intense moment that you just don't see coming. Confrontations between Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon and Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. The Rock's classic confrontation with Rusev and Lana. There is also the wonderfully creepy moment Bray Wyatt's 'children' surrounded the ring and arguably cemented himself as a true superstar.
There are some great matches over these disks and I will say that nothing is unwatchable and deserves to be here. Highlights include a match between John Cena and Cesaro is pretty good and afterwards there are a number of people commenting about how great Cesaro is, yet it makes you wonder why he is not being pushed as much?
All three members of The Shield had wonderful years both as part of the group and separately.
The set includes a fabulous Six-Man Tag between John Cena, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus against The Shield. Also a handicap match which featured The Shield against eleven opponents. After their split a Falls Count Anywhere Match between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins is almost a PPV-level quality match.
Other highlights include New Age Outlaws against The Usos for the Tag Team Championship which is pretty good and at least proved that the New Age Outlaws winning wasn't just a nostalgia ploy and that they could still go. A wonderful Steel Cage Match between Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt. There is also a great 20-Man Battle Royal for the US Championship.
AJ Lee against Paige for the Divas Championship was pretty good and I am glad they included their whole confrontation and not just the few minutes of their match. Great debut from Paige, but it is a shame that neither appear again throughout the set as both had great years. This maybe due to them being overshadowed by The Bellas and their feud with Stephanie McMahon.
It would be difficult to say if there are any matches missing. The three disks are full with great matches and moments and taking the PPVs out of the equation means these are all the best matches from Raw and Smackdown and they are (at times) hampered by the fact they were filmed for timeslots.
The odd thing included on this set (though nice if it's going to be an ongoing thing) is the inclusion of alternate commentaries on certain matches. I like the idea and think it is great, I just need to question the match choices. Zeb Colter comments over the Number 1 Contender Fatal Four-way featuring Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry and his client Jack Swagger. Why? When the next match was John Cena against his other client at the time Cesaro and was a much more interesting and memorable match? Zeb is great though as you would expect from someone with his kind of experience in the business.
Bo Dallas comments over his debut against Sin Cara which I can understand, but who really wanted to hear from Bo Dallas? The only other one is Cody Rhodes... I mean Stardust over his debut is pretty good and at least I can understand this one. If this is something that WWE are going to be doing in future releases I agree, I just think they should be a bit more selective.
The Best of Raw and Smackdown 2014 is a pretty good overview of the year in WWE. It is proof that Raw and Smackdown can still have great amounts of action on it. I do believe that WWE suffered in the year with the loss of CM Punk and injury of Daniel Bryan, but the pushing of new stars and even the use of Brock Lesnar has been a great way to build the blocks that will be getting better in 2015.