The extras for WrestleMania 34 on DVD and Blu-ray were revealed this time last month and included every Kickoff Show Match, the full RAW after ‘Mania and moments from the SmackDown after ‘Mania — but missing was the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
However, fans and collectors picking up the Home Video will not entirely miss out on the Hall of Fame as WWE will instead be releasing the show as a digital bonus to all purchasers, as shown by the first sighting of the WrestleMania DVD sent in by WDN reader Ryan Mccormick.
Presumably the Hall of Fame bonus is to be included with all first-run copies of WrestleMania to make up for the ceremony being omitted this year. There’s a possibility that it’s a Walmart exclusive, the store in which the DVD pictured above was found – we’ll be able to update on that soon. Either way the development all but confirms that the Hall of Fame will not be seeing an individual DVD release of its own, for those who have been wondering.
Given that we’ve seen three WWE Pay-Per-Views in the last month (WrestleMania 34, Greatest Royal Rumble and Backlash), who’s up for watching two more on DVD?
Joking aside, Elimination Chamber and Fastlane have just been released as the “Double Feature: Elimination Chamber & Fastlane 2018” DVD, and as things stand, they are the last single-branded PPVs that WWE will be holding, meaning that this will be the last “Double Feature” pack for the foreseeable future. They also share one other common factor: the main purpose of their existence, which is to arrange the pieces for WrestleMania 34. But can either of these cards deliver enough worthy action and entertainment along the way? Let’s take a look…
RAW Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber Match
Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville vs. Mickie James
Opening proceedings is the first-ever all-women Chamber match, and it’s a worthy effort by all involved. The focus is primarily on Bayley, Banks and Bliss, though Absolution also have their moments to shine early on by double-teaming Bayley. Mickie James ultimately ended up remaining a reunited friend to Alexa, having rekindled their bond prior to EC but being eliminated here before Alexa entered. In the end, Bliss retains, and cuts a fake babyface promo only to reveal her true, heelish colours in a memorable post-match segment.
RAW Tag Team Championship Match
The Bar (C) vs. Titus Worldwide
Though Titus Worldwide picked up some upset victories over The Bar prior to Elimination Chamber, and Sheamus and Cesaro had no obvious opponents lined up for WrestleMania 34 when this PPV was held (as evidenced by who ended up leaving New Orleans with the titles), it was still hard to imagine Titus O’Neil and Apollo (formerly and now currently Apollo Crews; it’s wrestling, just go with it) capturing the belts here. And that proved to be the case, which is why a fairly decent bout didn’t exactly elicit a major crowd reaction in Las Vegas.
Asuka vs. Nia Jax
I really enjoyed this match. Because Nia would be added to the RAW Women’s Championship match at ‘Mania if she triumphed here, Asuka’s undefeated streak seemed to be in some jeopardy. And it’s a hard-hitting, physical battle, with some brutal-looking spots. Asuka ultimately manages to keep her streak alive, though she gets pummelled by Nia in the post-match. In hindsight, this beatdown is the first of several recent moments that have managed to harm much of Asuka’s aura as a truly vicious competitor.
Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
As of this writing, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are the RAW Tag Team Champions. Before that, and before their Ultimate Deletion clash on RAW, the Hardy-Wyatt storyline was in danger of being a real let-down, and this may have been the low point of their lengthy feud. Matt wins after a few minutes of basic action, but it’s the fact that the audience largely ignores the match that hurts it the most, making the bout seem worse than it actually is.
Ronda Rousey Contract Signing
Since we were in the midst of WrestleMania Season here, it was only natural that we’d get a major segment between matches to set up a huge bout for WM34. In this case, that would be Ronda Rousey’s contract signing, which involves shenanigans with Kurt Angle and The Authority that paved the way for their mixed tag team match in New Orleans. Though Rousey’s contribution is the most memorable, Angle is arguably the star of the segment with his straight delivery of some hilarious lines.
Elimination Chamber Match (Winner Earns A Universal Championship Match At WrestleMania 34)
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Bálor vs. The Miz vs. Elias
The first Chamber match to feature seven singles competitors spotlights two men in particular: Braun Strowman, who eliminates all but one of his opponents, and Roman Reigns, who pins Braun to win the match and earn a Universal Championship clash at WrestleMania. Similar to Jax earlier on, Strowman destroys Reigns afterwards, which seems incongruous in hindsight since they have since tagged up with no issues whatsoever (and after their Feud of the Year in 2017, no less). Match quality is fine but unexceptional; you’ll have read enough articles about Reigns’ big push, so I’ll move on to Fastlane.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev
Considering how predictable the outcome was, and that there weren’t any stakes attached to this bout whatsoever, this is a strong start to the card. The crowd are well into it, Rusev makes the most of his fairly high-profile opportunity, and Nakamura looks as motivated as he has been since joining the main roster last April. We’re still yet to discover the date of Nakamura Day, though.
United States Championship Match
Bobby Roode (C) vs. Randy Orton
Had this taken place a few years ago, this would have felt like one of the show’s best matches. In 2018, though, the styles employed by both of these competitors come across as a little slow and safe in comparison to other members of the roster, meaning that while both men put in a shift, it’s just okay at best. My favorite part was Byron Saxton suddenly becoming Vince McMahon and randomly requesting that Kevin Dunn show a replay of a top rope suplex (which he does)!
Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Carmella & Natalya
This felt like a filler tag team match when it was announced, and that’s exactly how it came across. It’s an unmemorable affair, and the occasional botch towards the finish doesn’t really help matters. The victory for Carmella and Natalya, which was surprising at the time, makes more sense as of this writing, considering Carmella’s current status as SmackDown Women’s Championship, and Natalya’s recent babyface turn and formation of an on-screen alliance with Ronda Rousey.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos (C) vs. The New Day
For the first few minutes, this has the potential to be another classic tag team match. Then, The Bludgeon Brothers come down and destroy all involved, and the bout ends there. As disappointing as it was that a possible show-stealer was abruptly terminated, it did make sense to position Harper and Rowan as major threats to the blue brand’s tag division. The bigger shame is that, thus far, none of the Bludgeons battles have measured up to the Usos-New Day matches from 2017.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
Charlotte Flair (C) vs. Ruby Riott
As with the opener, the result of this was never in doubt. But like with Rusev earlier on, Ruby Riott steps up to the occasion by putting forth a commendable performance, ensuring that the bookers will take a second look at her when considering future challengers to either of the Women’s Championships. Post-match, Asuka officially confirmed that she would face Charlotte at WrestleMania 34. At that point, who anticipated that her undefeated streak would end on April 8?
WWE Championship Six-Pack Challenge Match
AJ Styles (C) vs. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
This is one of those main events that will probably be forgotten by the time that 2018 ends, but it’s a really fun, action-packed match. It also incorporates a number of ‘Mania storylines, from Shane McMahon’s hostility with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to John Cena’s desperation to win and set up a major WM match. AJ Styles ultimately triumphs, and ensures that his much-anticipated clash with Shinsuke Nakamura would indeed take place in New Orleans.
Fastlane Kickoff Show
Breezango & Tye Dillinger vs. Shelton Benjamin, Chad Gable & Mojo Rawley
For reasons that I cannot explain, the Kickoff Show match from Elimination Chamber – Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Revival – is not included, but the KO bout from Fastlane is here. It’s watchable enough, but nothing special, as if often the case for Kickoff Show clashes, at least those that have no build and are there solely to fill time.
Judged solely on the in-ring action, both Elimination Chamber and Fastlane have their moments to shine. In terms of overall entertainment, though, neither show will win Card of the Year when the awards are drawn up at the end of 2018. Any PPVs in the first few months of the year are obviously designed to put in motion the major matches and storylines for WrestleMania, and that’s definitely the case here. It’s a job that WWE pulls off quite well across both shows, but the lack of drama surrounding several bouts due to the somewhat predictable results brings things down a notch.
Ronda Rousey’s contract signing is a memorable segment, and the uncertainty surrounding John Cena’s WM status admittedly keeps some fans guessing for the Six-Pack Challenge. Otherwise, though, it’s a double-act of cards which simply exist to promote ‘Mania and nothing else, despite there being several good matches on show. “Double Feature: Elimination Chamber & Fastlane 2018” is not a terrible DVD set by any means, but besides the die-hards and the collectors, I’d recommend that you instead wait to get WrestleMania 34 when that is released very soon.
So what do YOU think? Was the final WWE “Double Feature” pack worth adding to your collection? Will you miss the series? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Get a copy of WWE’s ELIMINATION CHAMBER & FASTLANE 2018 DVD…
– USA: NOW! Grab the final “WWE Double Feature” DVD now here on Amazon.com.
– UK/Europe: NOW! Get the final “WWE Double Feature” DVD now here on Amazon.co.uk.
– Australia: May 23rd. Get the final “WWE Double Feature” DVD at Madman.com.au.