Here we have it, the third installment of “Attitude Era” on WWE Home Video. Is it third time a charm, or is it just a case of ANOTHER Attitude Era DVD/Blu-ray falling short of my expectations?
The answer… I still can’t quite make up my mind.
So, to help, I’m going through the good points and the bad points of this release, then maybe by the time we reach the end, I’ll have the Low-Down for you folks (and no, not the Chaz & D’Lo one).
GET IT!? Click here to get your copy of WWE’s next Attitude Era DVD, or here for the Blu-ray.
#1 – GOOD POINT – UNRELEASED CONTENT
In the ‘Network Era’, in which we all live now, we’re fortunate enough to have access to pretty much the entire Attitude Era (RAW, SmackDown and PPVs) in our pockets – 24/7, no matter where we are, by way of the WWE Network. So it’s a massive plus when WWE goes out of their way to deliver a DVD of content that we can’t find anywhere else. In fact, I think that this really has to be the future of WWE Home Video – they need to deliver us original content (documentary, countdown, etc.) or compilations of matches that can’t be viewed elsewhere. Then, if they have to utilize already available content it should have some form of added value (i.e. special commentary).
Right off the barbed-wire baseball bat, we’re off to a pretty good start with this set!
#2 – BAD POINT – WHEN DID THE ERA BEGIN AND END?
Granted, there isn’t an ‘official’ beginning and end to the Attitude Era and I’m sure everyone has an opinion on where the era begun and concluded. The content on this particular set though spans from the period of April 1996 to October 2000.
I’m pretty sure that if you polled wrestling fans, the general consensus would be that the Attitude Era began at either the 1997 Survivor Series or when Mr. McMahon’s “Cure for the Common Show” promo aired (where the scratch logo debuted). This is of significance as it’s more than a full year from where this DVD actually begins; and in fact the set begins more than 8 months prior to the term ‘Attitude’ ever being uttered on WWE TV (for you trivia buffs, it was December 1996 when ‘Attitude’ was first mentioned by a member of the WWE Universe during a call in segment with Vic “Vince Russo” Venom on WWE Livewire).
So, if we accept that the era begun in November/December 1997 (for arguments sake) that means that more than 53% of the content here actually takes place in the post-New Generation era and pre-Attitude Era. So does 47% of Attitude Era matches make an Attitude Era DVD/Blu-ray? While I could handle a few pre-Attitude Era matches without issue, I think this collection maybe features 5-7 too many non-Attitude Era matches for me to be a true Attitude Era set.
On top of that, it finishes up in October 2000, similar to the previous two Attitude Era releases in which the latest piece of footage was from December 2000 — why is there no love for 2001?!?
After all, we all know that the Attitude Era has to end at WrestleMania X-Seven when the ‘Texas Rattlesnake’ joined forces with Mr. McMahon. Even WWE acknowledges that the era ended between the March 26 and April 2, 2001 edition of RAW (look at the thumbnails on the Network).
So, is this an Attitude Era DVD? By my standards, probably not.
#3 – GOOD POINT – THE HOST
As a matter of full disclosure; I’m a really big Corey Graves fan. So for me the choice of host was a good one. Yes, Graves didn’t wrestle or commentate during the Attitude Era, BUT he saw the era unfold from the exact same spot that majority of you folks reading it did – his sofa. Graves is a pro-wrestling fan, and nowhere is this more evident than here on this DVD/Blu-ray.
Graves does a great job hosting and introducing the matches on discs one and two. Disc three is treated as a bonus set of matches so it doesn’t feature the introductory segments – the reason for this, I guess is to keep an Attitude vibe going early on when it may feel that the content isn’t actually from the era (but I went through this previously).
In a cool little feature that you may not have heard much about, we also have a number of “GTV” segments and it’s here that Graves fandom is truly evident. The GTV segments feature a hidden camera focused on Graves between takes. Here you’ll see him discussing topics such as WWE’s Kuwait Tour, Owen Hart’s broken arm and the Warrior with seemingly uninterested WWE production staff. These are a cool little feature and definitely adds to the Attitudinal authenticity of the DVD.
In addition, the choice of set is also very Attitude Era inspired with a reproduction of the 1997-2002 RAW backstage interview set. The host and hosting setup get two big thumbs up for me.
#4 – BAD POINT – THE COMMENTARY
For me personally, the commentary adds so very much to pro-wrestling. Hell, I’ll even take *some* bad commentary over none (as modern day WWE viewers, we’re used to bad commentary).
Generally, whenever I am watching wrestling (or any TV, frankly) I’m always doing something else too; be it keeping notes, texting, tweeting or even just browsing the Internet. I very rarely just watch without the extra activity. So without the commentary, I’m kind of in the dark while I’m not staring at the screen. An occasional match here or there without any commentary isn’t too much of a bad thing – see the NXT DVD from earlier this year or even “RAW: After The Show” from a couple of years ago. I’m aware those RAW matches also didn’t feature commentary, but if you recall there were only handful of actual matches featured on that DVD.
In actuality only one match on this entire set features any commentary (Yokozuna vs. The Sultan). For some of the others, particularly the bouts from Kuwait, we expected to hear commentary as they were broadcast on television locally, but they do not feature any commentary whatsoever.
Of course we did get a heads up going in that the DVD/Blu-ray wouldn’t feature a commentary track – but as a not quite completely jaded fan there was always a little bit of hope deep in my heart.
In a dream scenario it would have been really cool if WWE had drafted in Jim Ross with Corey Graves to lay down a commentary track – that could have been an incredible plus point to this set! Frankly had that have been the case I could see many more folks picking up this DVD on day one; but hey, maybe I should keep this little day dream for a Fantasy Concept…. 😉
#5 – GOOD POINT – VIDEO QUALITY
The vast majority of the matches compiled are not filmed in your typical WWE style with multiple cameras and mix of hard and roving camera work. These matches, for the most part, are shot with one or two ringside cameras through the ropes (there’s even some fan camera shot footage that WWE mixes in with hard and ringside footage for one or two of the matches).
On the whole the quality is very good as even some of the ringside camera work looks to have been shot with WWE’s broadcast quality equipment – however I would be remiss to mention that some of the footage is camcorder quality and so you need to be aware of this going in. For the most part though I was very presently surprised with the video quality on this set.
#6 – GOOD POINT – THE MATCHES
Aside from the fact that many of the matches don’t actually emanate from the Attitude Era, you can’t really complain about the match selections made here. Pretty much all of the matches feature at least one major star (the likes of Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Undertaker, Triple H, Mick Foley, HBK and The Rock) and in some combinations which we haven’t ever seen before – I don’t recall seeing other Triple Threat Matches with Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Bret Hart or Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Sycho Sid anywhere before. So, for me these are the real gems on this set.
Additionally, maybe you didn’t realize while simply looking at the match list, but the new DVD/Blu-ray features some historic encounters such as: one of the earliest Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin matches (a year prior to their WrestleMania 13 showdown), the match where Owen Hart broke his arm in 1996, the very first Undertaker vs. Mankind match… and that’s just THREE of them!
Because they are mainly from live events, the matches are all a decent length. An issue for some, especially during this era, was TV main events lasting less than five minutes. The shortest matches on the set are about five minutes but the average length of the matches are between 10 and 30 minutes – so there’s plenty of action for your money on this one!
All in all, I really did enjoy this release and I have no real hesitation in recommending that you too pick it up. Was it the perfect release? No. Were there elements which could have been improved upon? Yes. Was it a true “Attitude Era” DVD, no — but maybe as longtime WWE fans, we should be getting used to having the rug pulled out from under us.
This was a really enjoyable watch and the mix of never-before-seen and unique matches made the viewing all the more fun. So, if you can get past the name not quite matching the content and the fact that there isn’t any commentary (the two biggest negatives), then I’m sure you’ll it.
I really hope that you guys and gals enjoy this one and who knows, maybe afterwards we can look forward to future Unreleased comps with more rare matches from live events and television tapings – the possibilities are near endless! This is sounding like a fantasy that needs to be a reality…
Get your copy of WWE’s “Attitude Era Vol. 3: Unreleased” DVD/Blu-ray…
– UK/Europe: This Monday! Grab the Attitude Unreleased DVD here on Amazon.co.uk.
– USA: This Tuesday! Grab the Attitude Unreleased DVD here on Amazon.com.
– Australia: September 28th. Pre-orders for Attitude Unreleased now live at Madman.com.au.
Best one of 2016 so far
Don’t care what the “title” is, it’s the content that counts, and this release was a home run in my opinion. Unseen footage of Austin & Shawn in their prime, Mankind & Goldust at their creative peaks, Bret Hart painting those “Picassos”….yes, more of that please. …and I’ll gladly commentate the damn matches myself if I find myself so starved for the sound of a human voice.
I really dont know what the hell is wrong with people. Winge and moan about Commentary when these matches wernt even part of the television Broadcast. You guys should be honouring this DVD like a Holy grail. Its exclusive matches never broadcast before FFS! To be honest im sick of these profile matches like taker, Austin and its full of stuff Ive already seen a hundred times being PPV matches. So its nice we finally get something we ve never seen before. I just want to see the segment Austin stunned the Nation & DX while in his denim shorts the one thats in Austin entrance Video. Pac wears a black tracksuit.
to be fair though, would it really have taken that much to get JR and the King to record commentary for them?
Oh you know you’re all getting it, so stop complaining! Waah WWE didn’t give us commentary! Waah WWE didn’t include this match! Waah WWE has the wrong year! Such babies
No, we’re nod all getting it, because we’re not all like you.
Why? They wernt televised matches so what would be the point? When they do Studio dubbing during matches its horrible because look how terrible those edited Finkel entrances are on the DVDs when they kept dubbing over WWF Champion introductions.
Look, if u wanna agree with what WWE has done then kudos to you but don’t expect everyone else too. Commentary is a big part of matches so when it’s left off the majority of matches here, it’s an issue to the fans.
If it sells a lot, Unreleased Matches 1986-1995 could be coming in 2017.
Which is what alot of people desire to see. WWE teased a Undertaker/Macho Man match when they did the Top 5 opponents you didnt know Undertaker faced and the quality shows they taped the match and if its this kind of stuff they need to show it.
Just say if you want to buy it or not, (Ron Simmons) DAMN!
Hmm, well if the content doesn’t live up to the name then I have no interest in getting this then. And the fact there’s zilch when it comes to commentary would give me another reason more to save my money. I don’t need WWE to continuously pull the rug from underneath me or re-educate me for whatever reason, I know when the Attitude Era started and ended so I don’t need my intelligence to be insulted any further.
I’ll just stick to watching Volume 2 and whatever I can find on youtube.
I really appreciate this review actually, thank you. I was awaiting a review on this as I think it was essential to know whether this set was worth it, and I think what I’ve decided is that although I’m not gonna hate on the set and it is worth owning for the rare footage, it’s certainly not worth spending £20.00 on whatsoever, as it’s quite clearly not going to get re-watched much due to a lack of truly classic matches or commentary. This is a classic “buy in a couple of years on Amazon when it’s down to £3 used” kinda purchase.
There are many definitions. Some say, it began when Bret shoved Vince in early 1996. To me, it started with the Austin 3:16 speech. In 1996,you already have Stone Cold, Mankind, Goldust and some experimental content like luchas, later followed by the light heavyweight division. You have Bret and Shawn bringing some reality stuff into the shows. It’s as much part of the Attitude Era as The Hobbit is part of Lord of the Rings, it is the prequel. And: 1996 was not yet much covered besides one year in review DVD. Besides, early 1996 (Taker, Shawn, Bret, Sid, Vader, Mankind, Goldust) made me a wrestling fan so I’m glad that 1996 gets a lot of love. I would have preferred it if they had included content up to WM X-7.
My view on the AA is KOR 1996 – WM X-7 and my dream Blu-Ray set would consist of highlights of every Raw, SD! and PPV from that era – incl. 3 segments and 3 matches per show. Including rare stuff from HBK who was so provocative that they don’t show that kind of stuff anymore (at least on discs, I don’t know if they leave his shenanigans intact on the Network).
Am I the only one who saw the listing and said who cares about what theme it is….those matches look amazing?? Instant buy!!!!
Amen to that
They’re not “amazing” though are they. They’re not Angle vs. Michaels or Jericho vs. Benoit; they’re 1996/7 house show matches, lol. The term “amazing” is way too much of an over-statement.
How many hidden gems are left in the Attitude Era? In ring quality, the Attitude Era isn’t all that great. Not until The radicals showed up at the end of it.
I’d take this match listing over Attitude Era vol 1 and 2.
And like I said..it looks amazing. I haven’t seen it yet but this review gives me hope the matches are pretty good.
1.: Some folks really do not understand sarcasm. Read between the lines of some of the brillilant comments down under, and think.
2.: Watching wrestling like with anything else is different from person to person how to watch.. I and it is different from match to match, how to watch.. KOTR 2001 street fight between Angle and Shane I have seen about 500 times, more or less..that match always demands my full attention.. Attiude era compilations is an example, where I do not need to watch with 100 % attention on everything that’s going on, cos unlike the before mentioned masterpiece that is the KOTR 2001 street fight match that is filled with details from start to beginning, most of the attitude era matches are not. But I love it just the same, only different ways how to watch.
At least someone around here understands sarcasm.
Think of it like this: it’s the best of the attitude era stars, not the era itself. Most of the guys who lead the late 1990s are the guys featured here (Warrior and others being exceptions).
Although I would have liked an actual Attitude Era release (97-2001) I will still pick up this pretend Attitude Era DVD (96-2000) to see guys like Owen Hart, Shamrock, Bulldog, Nation of Domination and Pyscho Sid. It’s more than just about the main event guys.
What exactly is the point of watching professional wrestling if you are just sitting on your phone listening to commentary instead of watching the actual match and moves? When I watch I watch in spite of the bad commentary and if I am on my phone I pause the wrestling and resume when I’m done on my phone. No offence man but if you can’t even sit through and watch a whole match you aren’t much of a fan.
Sorry but to me it’s disrespectful to pay more attention to the terrible commentators who are sitting on their asses(Michael Cole, JBL) than the actual wrestlers who are busting their asses in the ring.
I second this!
Hmm.. I have to say, that this set wasn’t ‘Great’ for me, due to no commentary 🙁
However I must say that I really enjoyed some matches such as HBK Vs Goldust, Charlie, Cactus, Taker & Steve Vs The Nation & the Blu-Ray exclusive of Mankind Vs Michaels! My favourite match being; Austin Vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Disc1).
I think I’d give this set a 75% out of 100 🙂
1996 was obviously the peak year for the New Generation era…to me, The Attitude Era started 3/10/97 (when Raw is War/War Zone debuted) and ended when the 2002 draft took place
My personal favorite years from the Attitude Era were 1992-1996. The peak of the Attitude Era.
But seriously, I’ll definitely pick this up when I get a chance. Not having commentary doesn’t bother me. It’s just like being at a show live. You don’t hear commentary there either and you have more fun. Commentary can ruin a match sometimes. Perfect example, WrestleMania 31. I remember being there watching the Sting vs HHH match and how awesome it was. Then I come home and watch it on tv with commentary and it just killed the match. So yeah I don’t mind there not being commentary. WWE for years had an unwritten rule about not wanting to release matches with no commentary and now they’re finally doing that.
The peak of the Attitude Era was 1992 – 1996??? What are you smoking?
You must be on some pretty hardcore stuff if you think the attitude era or it’s peak was anywhere near 92-96.
Give it time…
Lol you just lost all credibility if you thought the peak if the attitude era was between ’92-96. I can’t take you seriously anymore.
But thanks for making me laugh out loud.
Wow. The number of people who can’t pick up obvious sarcasm is really scary. Especially in the next sentence when I wrote “BUT SERIOUSLY”. Unbelievable.
There was no “obvious” sarcasm from what we read. Just because you said two words after to redeem yourself doesn’t exactly help. There was no smiley face, haha, lol, etc after your statement.
The fact that I said “1992-1996” should have been obvious enough. Good lord. 1992 was pre-New Generation era. The New Generation ran from 1993 to early 1997.
I’ll accept the Attitude Era Raw into 2002. When Austin took his ball and went home, I think that was the end of an era.
Great review..like always from one of the WDN staff, this time Mark! 🙂
And a return of the Fantasy Concept-concept is always welcomed. 😉
So let me get this straight. You’re biggest problem is that you don’t agree with WWE choosing 1996 as “Attitude Era”, even though there are really awesome never before seen 1996 matches on here and we all are dying for unreleased content. And because you have 0 attention span and can’t just WATCH tv without being on your phone, you need commentary to tell you what’s on the screen. Good to know. I’ll be picking this up in spite of this nonsensical review
He didn’t say there weren’t good matches from 1996 or that he didn’t like having those matches available to own. He made a logical point about how those matches don’t fit the theme of this release. It would be like WWE releasing a Best Of Hulk Hogan video for example and then throwing in a bunch of matches that doesn’t feature Hogan. They might be good matches to have, but if they don’t fit the theme then it’s really kind of silly.
A better analogy would be if WWE made a Best Matches Of The 1990’s video and then more than half the matches on the set are from the 80’s.
I think they fit the theme just fine. He says himself that everyone has a different opinion on when the Era started. He’s no authority on it and neither are we. The mere fact that he even went so far as to calculate the percentage of matches that, in his opinion, shouldn’t be on there means he should spend less time in his mom’s basement and more time outside
Why is it that there are always people who assume that wrestling fans always live in their mom’s basement? It’s as stupid and ridiculous as those people who claim all Pokemon Go players are jobless slobs who spend all day Pokemon hunting and not working.
No one ever said anything about Pokemon Go. Are you feeling guilty about something? You should get a job
The only “authority” that matters on when the Attitude Era started are WWE themselves. In their Attitude Era book that came out a couple of years ago and on the WWE Network they list the Attitude Era as lasting from December 1997 through April 2001. So I guess everyone in WWE lived in their mom’s basement too.
And now they put out a DVD saying it started sometime in 1996. You have no point. Go back to drinking your ecto cooler and looking at girls you’ll never get on the internet
Name calling. Very classy. Good day sir.