Wrestling is just awesome and any fan will usually tell you that the point of emphasis in their train of thought is “more wrestling is good wrestling.” That doesn’t necessarily hold true in my book, but the WWE thought it would be a great idea to add a second show ten years ago to go along with RAW, its flagship model. Some phenomenal moments have come from the WWE’s weekly television shows and veritable host of PPVs each year that constantly seems to keep growing, but sometimes you have to just sit back and pick out the best. That is a lot of work to do when you think of ten years worth of fifty to fifty-two shows a year at two hours a piece and well…that is a lot of sifting through just to pinpoint the greatest moments. Sure some may be easy to remember right off the top of your head, but then you’ll go back after completing your list and see a moment you really wish you had added. Let’s not forget though…there are also a few you may have really wanted to leave out.
Ten years ago the WWE figured that it wasn’t good enough just to have a show on Monday nights and a lesser known show on Sunday nights. Something needed to be done to spruce up the middle of the week so they took a page (or a word) out of The Rock’s vocabulary and came up with a new series for Thursday nights, SmackDown!. Over the years it has changed times here and there and eventually ended up changing nights and falling to the end of the week so Friday nights could be full of wrestling. Superstars have jumped from SmackDown! to RAW and vice versa while even ECW has gotten involved in the fray now. But no matter who was on the show or when; SmackDown has had a lot of great moments happen in its first decade on the air and this DVD set aims to point out the top 100 for your viewing pleasure.
This DVD set looks at the first ten years of SmackDown! and pinpoints the best moments and matches so that they can be put together in one handy dandy package. I must tell you that there are a lot of events put into this collection that had totally slipped my mind over the years, but then there were plenty that I would have rather kept forgotten. Still there are some truly kick ass times shown here like Kurt Angle’s baldness cover-up, Mick Foley moving his commissioner’s office to random places, the return of Hulk Hogan, and one of my all-time favorite moments in watching Rhyno gore Chris Jericho through the SmackDown set.
Now when it comes to things that don’t belong here in this set, the list is actually much longer. Sure they may seem like monumental or memorable events in the history of wrestling but true fans know that they don’t belong here. For instance, Vince McMahon winning the WWE Championship from Triple H with help from Steve Austin is not something I really care about. Remember some of the things WCW did wrong like putting its top title on people like David Arquette and Vince Russo? Come on Vinnie-Mac! If someone can explain to me why Heidenreich reading his lame poetry made it onto this set then I’d be forever grateful. Sure it may have been humorous occasionally, but a “best of” moment it never was. The biggest crime here is that John Cena’s incredibly ignorant spinner belt made it as a “best of” moment. That belt is a blemish on the entire history of wrestling and should be burned in a pot of molten metal…along with Cena.
Let me just say that the “Marriage Of Bully & Chuck” can be considered a shame to this DVD set or a true “best of” moment. It can really go either way…HEYYYY-OOOOO!
There are plenty more instances thrown in here that piss me off, but there are a number more that also make me smile. The Best of SmackDown! is full of love/hate moments that will probably change with everyone that watch it, but it’s hard for me to think this is anything more then a mediocre collection. Yeah there are twenty-one matches spread throughout the set, but then there are other fantastic bouts that all we get are highlights. TLC III is just shown with the high spots and in a bit of sheer “WHAT THE HELL!” Chris Benoit actually appears on a WWE release. It isn’t for very long, but he’s there. Strange moments like that are what make this set so good yet so bad all at the same time.
Matches – in no particular order
~ 09/16/2005: Undertaker Vs. Randy Orton
~ 09/09/2005: Steel Cage Match – Rey Mysterio Vs. Eddie Guerrero
~ 12/30/1999: Intercontinental Championship Match – Chris Jericho Vs. Chyna
~ 10/07/2004: United States Championship Match – John Cena Vs. Carlito
~ 04/20/2000: WWE Champion Vs. ECW Champion – Triple H Vs. Tazz
~ 05/02/2002: Chris Jericho Vs. Hulk Hogan
~ 10/03/2008: Batista, Rey Mysterio, Finlay, & Jeff Hardy Vs. MVP, JBL, Kane, & The Brian Kendrick
~ 07/04/2002: Undertaker Vs. Kurt Angle
~ 07/15/2004: Steel Cage Match – Eddie Guerrero Vs. JBL
~ 04/25/2002: Randy Orton Vs. Hardcore Holly
~ 06/05/2006: Cruiserweight Championship Match – Rey Mysterio Vs. Matt Hardy
~ 03/09/2000: Handicap Tables Match – The Rock Vs. The Dudley Boyz
~ 09/06/2001: Stone Cold Steve Austin Vs. Rob Van Dam
~ 05/29/2003: Team Angle Vs. Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri
~ 08/26/1999: WWE Championship Match – The Rock Vs. Triple H
~ 06/27/2002: John Cena Vs. Kurt Angle
~ 07/04/2002: World Tag Team Championship Match – Billy & Chuck Vs. Edge & Hulk Hogan
~ 10/14/1999: The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection Vs. The New Age Outlaws
~ 04/12/2001: Intercontinental Championship Match – Triple H Vs. Jeff Hardy
~ 09/26/2002: No DQ Match – Edge Vs. Eddie Guerrero
~ 07/03/2003: Handicap Match – Zach Gowan & Stephanie McMahon Vs. Big Show
The event is shown in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and it all looks great from the oldest footage all the way up to the most recent. Matches look fantastic and you’d never even know some of this stuff is ten years old.
The event is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and it comes through perfectly as usual on just about all WWE home releases.
Ok, let me first tell you that no special features doesn’t bother me at all since this is a compilation set so that doesn’t really hurt the score here. My biggest problem is that this set is nowhere near as good as The Best of RAW: 15th Anniversary set that came out two years ago. More time was given to each moment that was shown and a better choice of matches was picked out as well. This set has so many “forgettable” moments thrown onto a “best of” collection making me scratch my head numerous times disc after disc. It just astounds me that a show that has really come around as its own being like SmackDown! and is consistently dominating each week is given such shoddy treatment here. Sure there is a handful of entertainment from here and there, but I am overly disappointed. This could have been so much better and I’d like to layeth the smacketh down on whomever sat back and thought this list was accurate or complete.
WWE Home Video presents The Best of SmackDown!: 10th Anniversary 1999 – 2009. Featuring: The Rock, Steve Austin, Undertaker, Rey Mysterio, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Edge, Rob Van Dam, and many more. Running time: 540 minutes on 3 discs. Rating: PG. Released on DVD: September 15, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: 9/11, smackdown, The Rock