I picked up the WrestleMania XXV DVD upon its release this past Tuesday. Most people have weighed in with their opinion, so I would like to take this opportunity to review the DVD.
Personally, I was highly disappointed with the presentation given to WM 25. A three-disc set normally sounds impressive, but, when you actually view the contents, there's very little in the way of extras.
It covers the start of the show up to and including the Edge-Cena-Big Show match. There must have been a distribution issue with Kid Rock, because he is not to be found.
The Miss Wrestlemania 25 Diva Battle Royal starts rather abruptly with all participants already in the ring. I will leave it up to you to decide if this is a good or bad thing.
It contains the remainder of the PPV (Hall of Fame Class of '09 intros and Orton-HHH). Beyond the actual matches we saw live on Apr. 5, there was the inclusion of the advertised WM25 Tag Team Lumberjack Match between Primo & Carlito and The Miz & John Morrison, billed as a "home video exclusive." Is it really an extra when everyone thought they'd be seeing this as part of the WM PPV?
You also get the WM 1-24 highlight packages we saw for free on WWE programming leading up to the show.
It features the entire 2009 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, a welcome albeit expected inclusion.
And, yes, I forked over the extra five bones for the History of Wrestlemania mini-book. Most wrestling fans won't learn anything new from this item, but it does make for a handy, quick reference. It contains two-page rundowns for each 'Mania or Royal Rumble winners, and some other general information. It also serves as a good plug for the WWE Encyclopedia, and, should the need arise, it'll make for a good coaster.
With the lackluster reaction WrestleMania XXV received from many fans, I would have thought Vince & Co. would really dazzle us with a spectacular DVD release filled with loads of bonuses. Alas, no such luck. How about a short retrospective on Snuka, Piper and Steamboat, possibly including a match for each to give newer fans some context as to why these guys are Legends? What about some Fan AXXESS content or more behind-the-scenes footage? Post-match material from MITB participants such as Hardys and Shawn-Taker, amongst others, would have been extremely welcome.
At the end of the day, if you enjoyed WM 25, you'll definitely enjoy this DVD set: Money in the Bank was just as amazing as it was live. Jericho vs. The Legends was better than I remembered (the post-match Rourke segment did drag, though). Hardys rocked and took full advantage of their opportunity on the big stage. I could go on for days about UT-Shawn, and the World and WWE title matches were good, although anticlimactic after the aforementioned instant classic, Taker-HBK. But, if you were left feeling shortchanged by the "25th Anniversary of WrestleMania," this DVD package won't do much to redeem it for you.
It's recommended for anyone who has not seen WM 25 (you can probably skip the "enhanced" version) and completists, but nowhere near essential to the average fan.
Until next time, Peace & God bless – Chris “The Crippler” Kelly, co-host of The Beatdown on 1340 WBGN The Ticket every Sunday night at 9 - www.wbgnbeatdown.com