DVD Review: WWE Superstars Collection – John Cena

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that John Cena is one of the biggest names in wrestling history. Right now (and as evident in the matches on this disc) there’s a constant divide in the crowd, with half chanting, “Let’s go Cena!” which is quickly followed by the other half shouting, “Cena sucks!” Still, the guy puts on a show each time he steps into the ring, and he’s had his fair share of great matches – even if it’s up to his partner to carry most of the technical workload most of the time.

That’s why I can somewhat understand why WWE would think it was smart to make a John Cena Superstar Collection DVD, as it instantly adds a big name to this new home video collection that looks to give fans a cheaper alternative for those looking to support their favourite superstars.

The thing is, I feel that this collection should be used like the WWE’s smaller shows, like Superstars or NXT, in an attempt to promote their stars who haven’t built up enough of a resume to warrant an entire 9-hour biography disc that the WWE is famous for (which Cena already has two of.) The other three Superstar Collection DVD releases alongside Cena’s are Zack Ryder, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus. These three make sense for the time being, and other stars like The Miz and Dolph Ziggler would also work, though I’m sure they’ll be in the next wave of releases.

It’s just that when you start adding guys like The Undertaker, or Chris Jericho to these, unless you make the match selection worthy of a separate purchase from their 9-hour collections, it simply doesn’t add up.

This needed to be said, as it’s easy to look at the score of this review and think, “Well, he’s just not a Cena fan,” and move on. That’s not the case, as it’s just a matter of “Is this DVD worth the $9.99 that’s being asked for it?” And as I’ll touch on throughout, but mainly explain in the end, the answer is not this time.

Let’s get to the actual review, as the DVD starts with a quick Cena montage before jumping right into a World Heavyweight Championship match against Jericho.

World Heavyweight Championship Match (Armageddon – Dec. 14th, 2008)
Chris Jericho Vs. John Cena

This is definitely not the best way to start the DVD, as this match really is pretty cut-and-dry. It is what it is, and does exactly what you’d expect from a wrestling standpoint, with Jericho hitting some technical moves, Cena using brute strength, and both hitting their signature moves throughout.

Sure, most matches could be broken down into this type of explanation, but this match really isn’t memorable at all, and the story being told during it falls completely flat. It also suffers from the same thing I mentioned in my review of Zack Ryder’s DVD release, as they should really add those PPV montages that edit the entire feud together before their big pay off match. That would add only a couple of minutes before each match to the DVD, which could be made up by simply editing out the introductions if they’re really aiming to keep each DVD at 90 minutes, but it would really add some life to the matches viewers are simply thrown into.

Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship (Survivor Series – 2009)
Triple H Vs. Shawn Michaels Vs. John Cena

This match seems like it’s going to start with the usual 2 on 1 beatdown, with Michaels or Triple H eventually going for a pin, only to have that pin broken up by the other who, of course, wants to win themselves. Instead, it starts with sweet chin music to Triple H right off the opening bell, which sets a great pace of solid singles fights for most of the match, with some great three-way interactions throughout.

This is one of those matches that while you’re watching it you just have no idea what’s going to happen, and the great idea to start things off really helped. The ending is perfect and fitting, and this is definitely a match that’s worth watching more than once.

Superstar of the Year Match (RAW – Dec. 14th, 2009)
John Cena Vs. Randy Orton

During the introduction to this match there’s a little girl that won’t stop screaming when John Cena comes out. We’re not talking cheering, we’re talking pure screaming, repeatedly, until Cena is in the ring. I feel bad for whoever was sitting beside her during this three-hour episode of RAW, that’s for sure.

This is a good, fast paced RAW match, and another solid chapter to the storied feud between these two. They hit all the required spots to make this a match you’d be happy to see at the end of the weekly television program, and it works for this type of DVD as well. That said, it’s not a match that you’re going to remember by the end of the DVD, and while it’s short, repeat viewings likely aren’t in its future for most.

Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship (Extreme Rules – May 1st, 2011)
John Cena Vs. The Miz. Vs. John Morrison

I absolutely love The Miz’s entrance theme song, as it just sets the tone for his character so well – which is exactly what a theme song should do for a wrestler. I also love his long, leather jacket, and his attitude, so I guess in short, I’m a fan of The Miz and hope he gets back into the main event picture sooner rather than later. Sure he may be the latest name to be added to the list of Triple Crown winners in WWE but the Intercontinental title just seems like a way to be near the WWE championship picture. If a wrestler goes down with an injury or finds himself suspended, The Miz will be in the championship picture. And that would just be awesome!

What I love about Triple Threat Steel Cage matches is how even when someone nails a finisher, they have to make sure the other participant doesn’t sneak out of the cage while they’re going for the pin. It adds a lot of speed to matches that are usually broken up more into singles bouts (much like the Triple Threat match earlier on this disc, even though that one was incredibly well done).

There are some vicious moves throughout this match, especially at the midway point when Cena and Morrison nail The Miz with a double-suplex from the top of the cage, and it is brutally painful looking, with Miz landing harshly against the back of his neck. There’s also some great “close call” action, with my favourite being when The Miz is locked in the STF from Cena, and as he’s crawling to the exit he shouts “Open the door!” It’s quite funny to watch him yell this in such pain as he tries to make it out for the win.

The John Cena Superstar Collection DVD has two great matches, one good match, and one mediocre match, and with three other Cena DVDs available – the latest being The John Cena Experience, which is packed with matches, as well as a biography disc – this one just doesn’t hold up in comparison.

It’s the lower price and the fact that some of these superstars have no other DVDs as of yet that really makes these Superstar Collection discs worth purchasing, and Cena just doesn’t fit this style. I’d like to say it’s worth purchasing for the Triple Threat match with Shawn Michaels and Triple H; however, that’s on Cena’s latest 9-hour DVD. I’d also like to say that it’s worth purchasing for the Steel Cage Triple Threat match, but you can buy the entire Extreme Rules PPV on DVD for cheaper than this DVD.

In the end, what it all comes down to is that there’s just not enough content to warrant the purchase of this DVD. Fans of Cena will already own his other DVDs, and if they don’t, those would be a better investment than this one.

Like usual for WWE DVD releases, the visual quality of this DVD is solid throughout, and so is the audio portions. As I’ve stated before, the WWE is almost always on the top of their game when it comes to video production, so this should be no surprise to those who collect these DVDs.

There are no special features found on this DVD.

WWE Home Video presents WWE: Superstar Collection – John Cena. Featuring: John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, The Miz, John Morrison. Approx. Running Time: 90 minutes. Rating: TV-PG. Released: July 10, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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