The second WWE Home Video release of the year has arrived — Royal Rumble 2020 has officially hit stores on DVD format across the United States. It’s available for $14.99 here on Amazon.com, currently tagged on Amazon as a “#1 New Release”.
Before we delve into that, a heads up that our WWE DVD Release Dates page has updated again, including the WrestleMania 36 release date which will be May 12th in the United States and June 8th in the United Kingdom.
We’re pleased to report that WrestleMania 36 will be available on both DVD and Blu-ray formats domestically and internationally.
WrestlingDVDNetwork.com also has early word that this year’s WrestleMania DVD/Blu-ray will include a Kofi Kingston Topps trading card. In the run-up to the ‘Mania release, the Elimination Chamber 2020 DVD will include a Sasha Banks trading card, while the Super Showdown 2020 DVD is set to include one featuring Finn Bálor.
With thanks to WDN reader TheDVDFreak, it’s time check out first look photos of this week’s Rumble DVD which in the U.S. contains a free Becky Lynch Topps trading card inside the packaging! Fans in the UK will be treated to an exclusive Blu-ray edition of the Royal Rumble next month.
HOUSTON… WE HAVE A RUMBLE!
Two Royal Rumbles. One Ring. One chance to headline The Grandest Stage of Them All… WrestleMania. Who will be the last Superstar standing in WWE’s over-the-top-rope free-for-all?
Roman Reigns battles the tyranny of King Corbin in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan extend their heated rivalry in a Strap Match for the Universal Championship! Becky Lynch aims to avenge her loss from the 2019 Royal Rumble when she defends the RAW Women’s Championship against Asuka.
The Road to WrestleMania begins at Royal Rumble.
Grab a copy of the WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 2020 DVD (or Blu-ray)…
– United States: RIGHT NOW! Get your hands on the Rumble DVD here on Amazon.com.
– UK/Europe: March 16th. Pre-order right now on DVD (or Blu-ray) via Amazon.co.uk.
– Australia: April 15th. Your pre-order opportunity has just gone live on Madman.com.au.
While we’re talking Pay-Per-Views, let’s take a look at the past few WWE PPV releases on DVD – Crown Jewel (UK exclusive), Survivor Series and TLC – with three new reviews.
WWE Crown Jewel 2019 DVD
Crown Jewel 2019 came under less criticism beforehand than the notorious 2018 event, and the show itself ended up being better than expected. But it still has a black cloud hanging over it due to the subsequent events which saw most of the WWE roster stranded in the country, the reasons for which vary depending on who you believe. The show itself was still entertaining, though, and unlike Crown Jewel 2018, it did receive a DVD release, at least in one territory.
The artwork for the front cover is okay, highlighting the two celebrity-themed bouts along with their opponents. With Braun Strowman, Tyson Fury, Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez all covering the four corners, it provides a big-time feel and stands out from other recent designs that we’ve seen.
The back cover shows six images, which means that all but two of the main card contests are spotlighted here. There are spoilers (namely Team Hogan celebrating and The O.C. holding the WWE Tag Team World Cup aloft), but it could be worse, since the outcomes of the two major championship bouts aren’t revealed here.
The two discs each sport a white version of the Crown Jewel logo (photos), with a yellow background for disc one and a light green background for disc two. They are visually striking, but still feel a little low-budget, which is understandable given the reduced focus on WWE DVDs, but also ironic considering that money is the driving force behind the card happening in the first place.
The DVD menu for disc one features Lacey Evans and Natalya to the sides of a screen showing the usual mix of clips to promote various matches on the show, with music typical of the Saudi culture playing in the background. Disc two features Seth Rollins and The Fiend on the top menu, and the same image from the front sleeve is used within the sub-menus on both discs. I also appreciated the “crown” from the event’s branding being used as the cursor.
The only extra content for Crown Jewel is the pre-show Battle Royal (a tradition of sorts by now for Saudi events, with every card to date having some sort of over-the-top-rope elimination contest), won by Humberto Carrillo to earn a United States Championship opportunity against AJ Styles on the PPV itself.
Those expecting a DVD extra consisting of a WWE 24 special on the aftermath of the card will be disappointed (imagine the attempt at explaining this chain of events if they couldn’t even reveal the truth behind the WWF/WWE name change on the recent Ruthless Aggression series, something that almost every viewer would have already been aware of). Mind you, at least Crown Jewel has some additional footage; neither Survivor Series nor TLC come with any extras whatsoever (which is particularly annoying for Survivor Series, since there were three pre-show bouts to potentially include, although it would have necessitated a second disc for that release).
WWE Championship Match
Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Cain Velasquez
I thought this was a major let-down. I appreciate that Velasquez was injured heading into the bout and that the financial rewards overruled the possibility of him not competing, but the layout of the match made him look like Brock’s weakest challenger to date. The post-match fracas involving Lesnar and Rey Mysterio is fun, though.
Tag Team Turmoil Match For The WWE Tag Team World Cup
This is a well-worked match involving Lucha House Party, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, The B-Team, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, The Revival, The New Day, Heavy Machinery, The Viking Raiders and The O.C., with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson coming out on top to win the WWE Tag Team World Cup. However, it’s ridiculously long for an under-card bout, coming in at over 32 minutes in total. If you’re a fan of these teams then check it out, but otherwise it’s completely skippable.
Mansoor vs. Cesaro
In contrast, these two put on a very good match in less than 13 minutes. Of course, Mansoor received the spotlight due to the event’s location, but he more than held his own alongside The Swiss Superman, who is a master at getting an opponent over, especially a hometown or home country hero.
Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury
This was better than the opening bout, but it wasn’t as good as previous wrestler vs. boxer matches (such as Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. at WrestleMania XXIV). Fury certainly tried, but the crowd reaction just wasn’t there, while the confusion over whether Tyson was a face or a heel meant that this was a mild success at best. Still, I suspect we’ll see more of Fury in WWE in the future.
WWE United States Championship Match
AJ Styles (C) vs. Humberto Carrillo
Humberto earned this opportunity by winning a Battle Royal on the Kick-Off Show. This is another athletically-proficient contest, but one which does not last long in the memory. Carrillo is highly skilled, but when competing in front of a crowd which is more interested in larger-than-life personalities and colorful characters, he struggles to maintain attention, which proved to be the case here.
Natalya vs. Lacey Evans
This match was a historic achievement for women’s wrestling in Saudi Arabia, and for women in the country as a whole. Nattie and Lacey both played babyface for this match, which existed to mark a milestone and ended with Natalya submitting The Sassy Southern Belle to the Sharpshooter. Regardless of your thoughts on the WWE-Saudi Arabia relationship, there’s no question that this was a moving moment for both females and for many watching.
Team Hogan vs. Team Flair
In the long-awaited sequel to TNA Lockdown 2010, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair brought their five-man armies into battle here. Roman Reigns, Ricochet, Rusev, Shorty G and Mustafa Ali took on King Corbin, Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley, Shinsuke Nakamura and Drew McIntyre (this feels like a long time ago now for McIntyre), and this slowly builds to an exciting conclusion, with Reigns securing the win by pinning Orton with a Spear. Just overlook the lack of stakes for this contest (and the unexplained presence of Jimmy Hart).
WWE Universal Championship Falls Count Anywhere Match
Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend
“Redemption” would be the best way to describe this main event, as WWE looked to correct the disaster that was Rollins vs. Fiend at Hell in a Cell. In this environment where pinfalls and submissions could count anywhere, Seth and Bray Wyatt had more toys to play with, and battled all over the stadium, before Rollins seemingly destroyed Fiend by knocking him into exploding electrical equipment, only for Fiend to rise up and take out Seth with Sister Abigail for the victory and the title. Those expecting Fiend to be “buried” here were pleasantly surprised, and the monster’s triumph ultimately ended the show on a memorable note.
When it comes to Crown Jewel, I would suggest that the main event, the ten-man tag team affair and Mansoor vs. Cesaro are worth seeing from an in-ring standpoint. The value of the two celebrity-focused contests and Nattie vs. Lacey will depend on personal tastes, but overall, Crown Jewel 2019 was WWE’s strongest show in Saudi Arabia to date, making for an intriguing watch-back on DVD.
WWE Survivor Series 2019 DVD (+ UK Blu-ray)
Survivor Series 2019 was something totally different to the star-focused Crown Jewel. Here, it was all about the battle of the brands, and this time, RAW and SmackDown were joined by their younger sibling, NXT. The black-and-gold brand stepped up to the plate with performances worthy of the PPV stage, and they also received a huge boost across the board when it came to the results, too.
The front cover of the DVD highlights the three main matches, with Becky Lynch, Shayna Baszler and Bayley in the middle, Brock Lesnar and Rey Mysterio above them, and The Fiend and Daniel Bryan at the bottom. The backdrop shows the colors for each brand, with Shayna highlighted right in the middle, surrounded (perhaps fittingly) by a shining yellow light. It’s an effective and colorful cover which perfectly emphasizes the major matches and the vibes of each brand.
On the back, there are multiple images from the event, but they aren’t too big on spoilers, with the female NXT squad celebrating being the only real giveaway to emphasize a result. The text also nicely incorporates the mix of brand colors, which helps to make the reverse artwork unique and unlike those of other PPVs in recent memory.
The disc here has a simple tri-color design, with red, yellow and blue symbolizing each brand (photos). That’s pretty much it, but it does its job well of emphasizing the brand warfare theme.
The top menu shows the three female main eventers above a white box containing a screen with hype footage, all retaining the tri-color backdrop. The cursor itself consists of a thin horizontal line also showing the same color mix. The chapters menu features Lesnar and Mysterio in front of a red backdrop, with indistinguishable music playing in the background.
Team RAW (Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Asuka, Kairi Sane & Sarah Logan) vs. Team SmackDown (Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke, Carmella, Lacey Evans & Nikki Cross) vs. Team NXT (Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, Io Shirai & Toni Storm)
The women’s elimination match here is superior to that of the previous year, partly due to the increased energy offered by the NXT stars, who were warmly greeted throughout the night in Chicago, Illinois. The best Survivor Series matches are those which manage to take one or more performers and push them over the top to make the contest a career milestone, and Rhea Ripley was the beneficiary, with her ultimately defeating Sasha Banks to claim the victory for Team NXT.
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Roderick Strong
I really enjoyed this bout, especially considering that all three combatants were heels. AJ looked good as always, Nakamura looked better than he has in ages, and Strong delivered a performance worthy of the stage, with him surprisingly snatching the pin by upsetting Shinsuke following a Phenomenal Forearm from Styles.
NXT Championship Match
Adam Cole (C) vs. Pete Dunne
Despite the loud “NXT!” chants throughout the night, the first half of this bout saw the audience sit in near-silence as Cole and Dunne worked hard to pull out all the stops. By the second half, though, the crowd were on their feet in full appreciation of the incredible efforts by both men, made more impressive based on each man having wrestled at NXT TakeOver: War Games the previous night. Cole retained, but hopefully Dunne will get another chance at the NXT Championship someday.
WWE Universal Championship Match
The Fiend (C) vs. Daniel Bryan
There wasn’t much of a build-up for this contest, but in hindsight this was only the beginning of the feud between Bray Wyatt’s deranged alter ego and D-Bryan, who was only just starting to embrace the Yes! Movement again around this time. Although it may not be remembered as fondly as their subsequent Strap match at Royal Rumble, this is still a thrilling bout, with Bryan yet again managing to get the best out of his opponent.
Team RAW (Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens & Ricochet) vs. Team SmackDown (Roman Reigns, King Corbin, Braun Strowman, Mustafa Ali & Shorty G) vs. Team NXT (Tommaso Ciampa, Damian Priest, Matt Riddle, Keith Lee & WALTER)
The men’s Survivors match deserves to be compared with other recent gems such as the 2014 and 2016 clashes, because this is full of noteworthy spots and eliminations. Although Roman Reigns ultimately stands tall when all is said and done, it’s Keith Lee who managed to get over more than anybody here, with him pinning the suddenly-unpopular Seth Rollins being a particular high note. I suspect that when Survivors 2020 comes around, Lee will be in a prime spot on either RAW or SmackDown, en route to a major WrestleMania match for spring 2021.
WWE Championship No Holds Barred Match
Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Rey Mysterio
This match will be remembered primarily for the moment when Rey’s son Dominic interfered and joined Rey in destroying Lesnar, which included a double 619 and a double cover following a Mysterio splash, which had fans in Chicago believing that one of the biggest upsets in recent history was very much possible. It didn’t happen, as Brock dropped Rey with an F5 moments later, but as a quick burst of excitement, this was very good.
Becky Lynch vs. Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler
Sadly, the main event falls flat. It feels like they were building to a major finish, and then it ended all of a sudden, as if the combatants had ran out of time and had to go straight to the ending. Becky did attack Baszler afterwards (which surely made her seem like a sore loser?), which laid the foundations for the probable Becky vs. Shayna showdown at WrestleMania 36.
To me, Survivor Series 2019 was either the best or second best WWE PPV of 2019, depending on how you rank WrestleMania 35. With the exception of the headline bout, every single match on the main card delivered by providing excellent action, and NXT and its biggest stars received a huge boost by winning three of the four major inter-brand bouts. Here’s hoping that all three brands are pitted against one another again for Survivor Series 2020.
WWE TLC 2019 DVD
Tables, Ladders & Chairs has the annual unenviable spot of providing a transition between two far more important shows in the form of Survivor Series and Royal Rumble. That being said, the show often comes up with hidden gems, and the latest edition was no exception, particularly in the early portion of the show, though it did lose momentum as things progressed.
The front artwork again promotes the card’s three biggest matches. Bray Wyatt and The Miz sit at the top, while The Kabuki Warriors and the combo of Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair are in the middle, with Roman Reigns and King Corbin at the bottom. The latter two contests are separated by a ladder, with “2019” written in the gap between the top and second-top rungs, which is neat and shows that some thought has been put into this design.
The reverse artwork is extremely busy: two broken ladder sides contain no less than seven images from the show (two of which are spoilers), and it is also text-heavy with a lot of description for what awaits on the card. One cannot fault the effort here, but this is a case where less would have meant more, or at least less would have been friendlier to the eye.
The disc here is red, with the event logo having a gleaming effect (photos). This is a nice touch, and the use of red adds to the unofficial festive feel of the event, given that in every instance except one since its inception, TLC has been the last show before Christmas and therefore the last of the year as well.
The top menu shows Bray Wyatt and The Miz in front of a simple background, with generic music playing and with a small highlight reel held within a screen in the shape of the main TLC logo. The chapter menus are also kept simple, with the logo and none of the performers displayed among the match listing, and with the corner arrows that form the card’s branding acting as cursors.
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Ladder Match
The New Day (C) vs. The Revival
At the time, I wasn’t a big fan of this match, feeling that it was a bit predictable in terms of the ladders being set up specifically for the benefit of subsequent spots. Having watched it again, though, I thought this was a thrilling opening bout, and one of the better Revival matches on the main roster. Kofi Kingston was the one to ensure that New Day retained, though, in a great end to his biggest year ever in WWE.
Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy
I absolutely loved this match. Not only was it chock-full of action, but it was physical as hell, with Black seemingly suffering a broken nose. What’s more, it looked and felt different to anything else on the card, which is vital for anyone in WWE to stand out. Black picked up the pin with Black Mass, but he and Buddy would have two more great bouts on RAW in the following weeks.
WWE RAW Tag Team Championship Match
The Viking Raiders (C) vs. The O.C.
This was absolutely pointless, and served as a commercial for show sponsor KFC more than anything. Totally unnecessary.
Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
This was plagued by the issue I initially had with the first match: that being, the feeling that we were seeing the same old spots recycled, meaning that Reigns and Corbin were trying to have a brawl rather than actually having a brawl. I assumed that Roman would win here, but thanks to interference from Dolph Ziggler and The Revival, Corbin picked up a pinfall win over The Big Dog, in a feud which is somehow still ongoing two months later as I write this review.
Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz
If you judge this match based on the in-ring action, then you’re missing the point. This was all about getting over how insane Wyatt is, even when he is in typical Firefly Fun House mode, and I liked the concept of him not trying to fight back whenever Miz was on the offence, until he listened to his Hurt/Heal gloves and reacted in a wicked manner. Daniel Bryan (once again showing off a short hairstyle) returned from a short absence afterwards to attack Wyatt, culminating what was far more of an angle than a match.
Bobby Lashley vs. Rusev
I have personally gotten a kick out of the Rusev/Lana/Lashley storyline, and I will defend the intentionally-ridiculous wedding segment to the death, but I cannot deny that when it comes to the actual matches, Rusev and Lashley don’t have the best chemistry, as evidenced by some awkward spots here. Bobby picked up the victory here, presumably setting up a subsequent Rusev triumph, but we’re still waiting on The Bulgarian Brute to exact full revenge on The All-Mighty, so much so that I’m starting to wonder if he ever will.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship TLC Match
The Kabuki Warriors (C) vs. Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair
I’m not really sure how to judge this main event. It definitely had some creative spots which we haven’t seen before in a TLC bout (which is amazing considering how much that we have seen down the years), but there wasn’t a great deal of drama when the heels were building their heat, and then Kairi Sane suffering a concussion led to the match falling apart at times. It should have been stopped or at least truncated to head straight to the finish of Asuka retaining the belts for her team, but even this was an anticlimax for those expecting Becky and Charlotte to become uneasy champions here. A random brawl involving several wrestlers, among them Roman Reigns and King Corbin, ended the show, and since it happened so quickly and was never referenced again on television, I almost believed that it was just a dream as opposed to an actual part of the event.
TLC 2019 has two strong matches to kick things off, and I did like the character work and storytelling pertaining to Bray Wyatt. That being said, the rest of the show ranges from average to poor, and though I didn’t think it was the supercard stink-bomb that others did, overall it’s probably the weakest of the three cards being highlighted in this super-sized DVD review.