Welcome to the first “Digital Digest” column at WWEDVDNews.
For a while now I’ve been reporting digital news on this website, as well as my own. Now I’m bringing all of the elements together in a new column that will feature the latest digital news from the WWE and TNA, including my own view on the latest videos streaming via WWE Greatest Matches and TNAondemand.com.
Latest Digital News
– The biggest digital news was the release of the Rock’s new home video, The Epic Journey of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The digital version features the 2 hour documentary from the DVD set. This video is available to download through iTunes, Vudu, Playstation Store and Zune, currently only available to purchase ($14.99 (SD) / $19.99 (HD)), and available to rent from March 20th.
– WWE’s other big release was Royal Rumble 2012 which is available on iTunes, Zune, Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.com. Much like previous PPV releases, each match is available to download separately. This release has been a little messy due to it appearing on Amazon nearly 2 weeks early, and taking a few days after the real release before the Rumble match itself became available. While on iTunes, only three matches are available (divas tag match, Clay vs. McIntyre and the Rumble match) and they have to be purchased via a season at $9.99 (SD). There is no sign of the Cena/Kane, WWE or World Championship matches, so generally this release hasn’t gone according to plan!
– WWE Greatest Matches has been updated with lots of new content from the 1st of March, with a look back at the year 1987 featurings lots of fantastic matches. With so many great matches that year, the GM team decided to double the amount of single matches available rather than include a single PPV, so there are matches from Wrestlemania 3, Starrcade, Survivor Series and Clash of the Champions. They have also updated the site with other exclusive content such as the Best of WWE Volume 4 and classic television shows.
– New episodes of WWE Smackdown, RAW & Impact Wrestling have continued to be made available to download through the usual outlets.
– WWE Unauthorised has been made available to download on Vudu priced at $1.99 to rent and $4.99 to buy (in SD only) and was originally released on DVD in 2006.
– Vudu.com and Playstation Store have both had all 15 early Wrestlemania’s added to their platforms, each available to buy at $9.99 or $49 for a collection (1985-1991 & 1992-1999). All 15 had been previously been made available on Zune for a week’s exclusive.
– In TNA news, every 2011 Pay Per View is now available to watch via TNAondemand.com as they have added Bound for Glory, Turning Point and Final Resolution. Also episode 15 of the Asylum Weekly shows is now available on TNAondemand.com which dates back to 2002 when they ran weekly PPV’s instead of TV shows. That features AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn in a ladder match.
– The wrestling documentary Lipstick & Dynamite expired on Netflix as did the WWE’s Big Show: A Giant’s World. Title are only placed on Netflix for so long, so if you want to watch a video, be sure to check how long ’til expiry as some of the older WWE title expire in May.
– For DGUSA fans, be sure to check out their live “Open the Ultimate Gate” IPPV at WWNlive.com on March 30th. This is a special promotion as the IPPV is being offered live for just $1.99 for fans around the world (it will revert back to the original $14.99 price tag for On Demand, making it the perfect way of checking out a live Dragon Gate show.
– Also DGUSA has a special offer on at the moment, now offering all DGUSA and EVOLVE iPPVs from 2010 for just $9.99 each until March 8th. These include the shows with Daniel Bryan (Danielson) and much more. When you buy an iPPV On Demand you can watch it as many times as you want forever.
Top 3 Downloads
1) The Epic Journey of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
This digital edition features the 2 hour documentary from the DVD set. Unlike the previous Rock home video, this documentary is much more broad as it successfully brings together the Rock’s entire wrestling career into a nice little package. It is also great to see the Rock actually sat down to do this interview for this documentary as I hadn’t expected to see as much footage from him due to his hectic schedule. One problem I’ve got with this documentary is that it feels like a big cash in on his Wrestlemania appearance and I think this video should have been delayed until after Wrestlemania 28. Production value wise though, this is a very crisp and well made documentary. The 2 hours fly by and the interviews look and sound excellent. Everything combined, the feeling is that it wasn’t just a quick money making video after all.
2) WrestleMania VII (WWE WrestleMania Collection)
With WWE re-releasing the first 15 Wrestlemania’s as digital downloads, I thought I would suggest one of my favourite Wrestlemania’s from this era. Wrestlemania VII is a great show because of the two excellent matches Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt Slaughter and Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior. Plus throw in the Wrestlemania debut of the Undertaker and some classic Rocker’s & Hart Foundation tag team action and you’ve got a classic old school WWF show. There are still too many filler matches which bring down the overall quality of the event but it’s still a great piece of wrestling history and if your downloading the other classic Wrestlemania’s, it’s worth getting the package just to get this one for free. Wrestlemania 7 gives us a final look at the 80’s before they started to change to the New Generation. Make no mistake, Wrestlemania 7 is a classic PPV worth checking out.
3) Royal Rumble 2012 Match
At the 2011 Rumble, we saw the largest ever Rumble due to the influx of Nexus members, but in 2012 we not only see 10 superstars less completing, but we end up with a third of the contestants being ‘joke’ or legend entrants such as Michael Cole, Booker T, Jerry Lawler, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Road Dogg, Ricardo, Mick Foley and a returning Kharma. This resulted in a very unimpressive line up even if there was a great little moment with Socko vs Cobra. While the result might have been a surprise with Sheamus winning the Rumble, there were really only a few entrants who might have headlined Wrestlemania in Wade Barrett, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho.
While both the Miz and Cody Rhodes had the longest runs this year, there never seemed to be any suggestion that they might have gone the distance to win, like they have previously done with previous number one entrants. Much of the Rumble felt like a comedy segment with too many mid card performers dominating over half of the Rumble. Nevertheless, I love the Rumble gimmick match and for just a couple of dollars this is a must download.
Top 3 Videos on WWEGreatestMatches.com
With a whole new month of content to choose from, here are my picks of what to watch:
1) Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania III)
I recently watched Wrestlemania 3 again since it’s been released on digital download, and when this one popped up on WWE Greatest Matches this month, it had to be a top recommendation. The match, Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship, a classic and possibly the biggest main event in Mania history. Not only because of the size of the live audience but that the big slam is without doubt a key point in WWE history, etched on the memories of millions of wrestling fans around the globe. If you have never seen it, this is classic Hulk Hogan in action and while maybe not Andre’s finest work, still his most memorable.
2) Introducing – Ultimate Warrior
My next pick is from the Original Content section. ‘Introducing’ is always a favourite series for me and this month is no different as we see the debut of the Ultimate Warrior. Included on this video includes clips of his debut as Dingo Warrior in action while he was still a rookie, including extra words from Bobby Heenan, Mean Gene, Jim Ross and Vince McMahon. They explain how he became the Ultimate Warrior, with a nice montage of his early days and his first match from Wrestling Challenge which was nothing but a couple minute squash match. While it might not be a classic, the Warrior has a special place in my heart.
3) Team Hogan vs. Team Andre (Survivor Series 1987)
With so many classic matches available this month, I thought this one stood out to me the most. It’s from Survivor Series 1987 and features a classic elimination style 10 man tag match involving Team Hogan (Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Ken Patera, Bam Bam Bigelow and Don Muraco) facing Team Andre (Andre the Giant, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed and Rick Rude). This is classic 80‘s WWF but with the big bad heels getting a needed victory over the baby faces. While this isn‘t a 5 star classic, it’s a fun trip down memory lane with Andre getting the better of Hogan.
Top 3 Videos on TNAondemand.com
1) Fatal 4 Way for World Heavyweight Championship (Victory Road 2010)
With Victory Road taking place on March 18th, I’ve picked one of my favourite Victory Road matches from 2010. The Fatal 4 Way for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship which saw Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, Mr Anderson and Abyss meet. This main event falls short on the expectation with the guys involved in this match, with both Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy looking like they are just going through the motions. Regardless, it is still an enjoyable match to watch, and has funny finish that continues to keep Abyss looking strong.
2) Asylum Years
With a nice brand new episode of the Asylum Years added this month, it has to be in my top 3. It’s always great to go back and watch some classic TNA action from 10 years ago. While this show isn‘t a fantastic 5 star classic, it does include an epic ladder match between AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn which doesn‘t disappoint. With this year being TNA’s 10th anniversary, its certainly interesting to see how far they have actually improved through this decade.
3) Robert Roode vs. Kurt Angle (Bound for Glory 2011)
Since the last 3 PPV’s of 2011 are now available on TNAondemand.com, it only seems right to feature TNA’s biggest show of the year, where Robert Roode challenged Kurt Angle for the TNA World Title. My expectations are slightly higher for Bound for Glory. I always feel TNA should try to get their PPV’s out of the Impact Zone in Orlando because it makes the show feel much more important when they do. TNA might like to think of this as their version of the Superbowl or Wrestlemania but there were so many average matches and no match of the year candidate. That said, it featured the big ending to the Sting/Hogan feud. I thought of putting this in my top 3 downloads since the entire PPV is just $2 on iTunes, but figured I could slide it into here instead!
As with anything new, over the next few columns I might tweak what I’m doing a little. I’d love any feedback, either using the comments section below or by tweeting me (@PWondemand). Also, if you have any digital news, be sure to let me know!