The Best Pay-Per-View Matches release has become a staple of the WWE DVD schedule occupying a late December/early January slot. However, the year 2014 has been a year of change in the wrestling world – specifically relating to Pay-Per-View due to the launch of the WWE Network in February (for fans stateside and in August for many other fans). This change to the delivery of PPV has also had an impact on the wrestling DVD world, as the Best Pay-Per-View Matches release has become a European exclusive DVD release via WWEDVD.co.uk.
As is the norm, WWE have provided us with a number of classic, unforgettable showdowns on PPV in 2014 – likely matches which we will remember for many, many years. Also as is the norm, we’ve had a couple of stinkers and some completely forgettable matches (unfortunately though it’s never the stinkers that we forget! Ha).
Fortunately the Best Pay-Per-View Matches 2014 DVD collects together some of the very best and most memorable Pay-Per-View bouts from WWE in the year 2014.
Not only has the Best PPV Matches 2014 DVD become an exclusive release in the UK and Europe, but it has also had a little bit of a change in format. Traditionally these sets would feature a host providing introductions to many of the matches featured; however this year these segments have been scrapped in favor of jam packing even more matches onto the set. Personally, while these segments didn’t add too much to the previous releases they did make it feel like a little more ‘love’ had gone into the sets production. However, I doubt that anyone was laying down their spondulicks for those segments, they’re actually paying for THE MATCHES; I’ll get into those in just a moment.
The total run time for Best Pay-Per-View Matches 2014 is: 8 hours, 48 minutes and 10 seconds; not since nearly 2011 have we had a 3 disc DVD set which has come even close to this. So, if you are going to be picking up this DVD you’re going to be getting plenty of bang for your buck.
I’m not going to be discussing each and every match on this DVD set; rather I will be giving you thoughts on the high and low points of the DVD; in terms of the match selections. So, without further ado, let’s start where it all began for WWE on PPV in 2014: the very first show – the Royal Rumble and actually the very first match on a WWE PPV in 2014…
Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt (Royal Rumble, 01/26/14)
We (the WWE Universe) may have wanted Daniel Bryan to be pointing at the WrestleMania sign as the Royal Rumble went off the air, but it wasn’t to be. Instead we got Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt in an incredible back and forth contest. The story going into the match may have been a little convoluted, but the match was anything but. The Rumble has a quasi-tradition of having an awesome opening bout; 2014 was certainly no exception to that rule. The match provided a great start to 2014 and an equally great start to this DVD from the fellas with the beards.
Six-Man Tag Team Match: The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family (Elimination Chamber, 2/23/14)
The term “big fight feel” might have been coined specifically for this match right here. Maybe it was due to the fact that these two trios (The Shield and The Wyatt’s) had been brought up so strongly or maybe it was due to the fact they hadn’t touched in the build up to the match. Likely it was both factors, but the WWE Universe went crazy for this match, even getting a “this is awesome!” chant BEFORE THEY EVEN TOUCHED! These two trios had amazing chemistry together and they put on an amazing match, structured perfectly, with all the high spots in all the right places, it was a thing of beauty. The only real way to sum up this match would be with the statement: “This was awesome!”
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan (WrestleMania XXX, 4/6/14)
The main event of WrestleMania XXX proved that the route to obvious outcome isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in fact it can actually be a pretty sweet ride. After going through Triple H (in another really great match, which you can find on this set), Daniel Bryan found himself in the main event of WrestleMania against “the future” portion of the Evolution faction: Randy Orton and Batista. It was clear that the crowd was kind of taken out of the match early on, following the kick to the bread basket which was the ending of The Streak, however the performance by these three superstars provided a thrilling WrestleMania main event. The drama was only added to with the involvement of the dastardly Authority, but at the end the Superdome crowd was kind of won back enough to muster together a few “Yes!” chants for Daniel Bryan. Those chants coupled with the confetti and pyro made for an incredible WrestleMania moment; one which we will likely remember for a very long time.
WeeLC Match: El Torito vs. Hornswoggle (Extreme Rules: Kickoff, 5/4/14)
WeeLC… so bad, it was good; and who doesn’t love a little bit of cheese every now and then? Sure, you lactose intolerant wrestling purists might not like a little cheese, regardless WeeLC is a highlight of any DVD it is featured on. The match saw El Torito take on Hornswoggle, complete with midget ring announcer, referee and even a midget announce team (Micro Cole, J.B.Elf & Jerry Smaller — their names changed during the bout, so I’ll go with the latest versions). The match saw its fair share of interference from 3MB and Los Matadores who took crazy, crazy bumps – especially given this was a a pre-show comedy match. While WeeLC probably won’t be classified as a classic, it certainly was an entertaining bout and without a doubt one of the better pre-show matches that we’ve ever had! I wonder if we’ll be seeing WeeLC II on the grand stage of WrestleMania XXXI? 😉
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Seth Rollins vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Dean Ambrose (Money in the Bank, 6/29/14)
This Money in the Bank Ladder match was almost an afterthought at the 2014 event, as much of the focus was placed on the Ladder Match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship. However, for me, this was a show stealer. For me this particular Ladder Match harkened back to the original Money in the Bank matches, as it featured mainly hungry up and coming WWE Superstars struggling to climb the ladder (figuratively and literally!). This one had everything that makes these matches special: high flying, crazy bumps and for possibly the first time in a Money in the Bank Match – a storyline which got us really invested, that being the continuation of the Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose feud.
Best 2 out of 3 Falls Match for the Tag Team Championship: The Usos vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper (Battleground, 7/20/14)
Battleground might have been the stinker PPV of 2014; however it didn’t start out that way. The opening contest featured The Usos vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in an AMAZING best 2 out of 3 falls match. The Tag Team division has really developed over the past few years, you could argue that 2014 with the Usos as champions was the renaissance of tag team wrestling in WWE. The 2 out of 3 falls stipulation meant that the match was given a good amount of time and all four superstars had the crowd invested in the match – which always improves any match. This was a damn fine addition addition to the DVD and a great way to represent the Tag Team division.
Lumberjack Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (SummerSlam, 8/17/14)
When this match was first announced I’m sure most people were disappointed with the stipulation; especially given that this would be the first PPV singles meeting between the former Shield brethren. The lumberjack match has been around (and overused) for such a long time, the stipulation had lost all of its luster… until August 17, 2014. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose redefined the Lumberjack Match formula with an: unexpected, original, exciting, fast paced, wild brawl.
Hell in a Cell Match: John Cena vs. Randy Orton (Hell in a Cell, 10/26/14)
Hell in a Cell 2014 marked the 72nd time that John Cena and Randy Orton met in a televised wrestling match (including singles, tag and multi-man matches). Because of this there wasn’t much excitement going in. As an attempt to increase the interest in Cena vs. Orton LXXII, the match was hyped as a big time #1 Contender match for Brock Lesnar and the WWE Championship. The match was quite long, but it turned out to be a pretty good match. The weaponry and false finishes created an air of drama and both guys really worked hard to give us a memorable match. Ultimately the outcome didn’t excite me too much, but I was still more than presently surprised with the match.
In terms of low points on this set, actually there really aren’t many, the only match which I was a little flummoxed to see included was the Battle Royal for the Intercontinental Championship at Battleground. While the match wasn’t bad, I didn’t feel that it really match the quality the other matches which were selected for the DVD. The lack of low points on the set really illustrates the stellar job which has been done with the match selections and possibly the overall quality of matches to choose from in 2014.
As with past years of Best PPV Matches sets, only the first ten months of the year are represented, in order to get the sets released close to the turn of the year which results in the Survivor Series and TLC being ignored. I guess at least in 2014 nothing of consequence happened on those shows. Thankfully we didn’t get a really kick ass elimination match with a shocking debut or an awesome ladder match; if we did that would be a little bit of a disappointment. #sarcasm
However, even with the lack of November and December going against this DVD, it’s really hard to argue against the all round match quality. 2014 was a really great year for WWE on PPV; each show provided us with at least one classic/memorable match-up, and as a result it would be somewhat difficult to mess up the Best Pay-Per-View Matches 2014 DVD.
To buy, or not to buy… If you haven’t been collecting all the PPV DVDs individually as the year went on, for my money Best PPV Matches 2014 is a very easy recommendation. If you have been collecting all the PPV DVDs, maybe this one is only worth picking up if you are a hardcore collector or you can’t be bothered switching DVDs to watch all the matches.
I would be remiss not to mention the WWE Network, which launches (fingers crossed) in the UK just one week after this DVD is released. While the Network will include all of the 2014 PPVs, they won’t be in a handy little set which you can just put on and sit back to enjoy. Just like your DVD collection you’ll have to hunt down different matches, so again, if that’s not your bag, then the Best Pay-Per-View Matches 2014 DVD is for you — plus it’ll look pretty on your DVD shelf. 😉