WWE RAW 20th Anniversary DVD Collection Review: Benoit Matches On DVD, Years Missing, More
- November 24, 2003: This was an action packed episode, although it's not as historic as the other shows featured on the set. It did feature the first-ever women's Steel Cage Match in WWE history with Lita vs. Victoria. Also on the episode, Goldberg defeated World Heavyweight Champion Triple H via disqualification, while Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels defeated Ric Flair and Batista after Jericho superkicked Michaels onto Batista, allowing Michaels to get the pin. Batista destroyed Michaels after the match.
- October 3, 2005: We fast forward two years to RAW Homecoming, featuring a classic 30 minute iron man match between Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels, which ended in a draw. It was the return of RAW to the USA Network, as well as the first three hour episode which featured stars from both RAW and SmackDown. In the main event, WWE Champion John Cena defeated Eric Bischoff (with Kurt Angle).
- December 10, 2007: Historic, in the sense that it was the 15th anniversary of the show. There was an Evolution reunion with Triple H, Batista & Ric Flair defeating Randy Orton, Edge & Umaga, as well as Hulk Hogan issuing a challenge to Steve Austin, that never went anywhere. Also on the episode, Vince McMahon proclaimed himself to be the greatest WWE Superstar in history. This led to him getting beaten down by Mick Foley, The Undertaker and finally, Steve Austin. Austin then said that the fans were the greatest Superstars in history.
- April 21, 2008: Not as historic as some of the other episodes, this show featured William Regal winning the King of the Ring Tournament with stars from all three brands (RAW, SmackDown & ECW) participating. The reason that this episode made the cut was because it featured promos from President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain about Randy Orton during the 2008 Presidential campaign. It's pretty surreal when you think about it. Also on the show was the monumentally terrible match between "Hillary Clinton" and "Barack Obama," which was bad on all levels. This episode could easily have been replaced, and the promos from Obama, Clinton and McCain could have been kept as a bonus feature.
- June 15, 2009: Another memorable episode, this show featured stars from all three brands (WWE, ECW, SmackDown), as well as all three world titles being defended. This was also the final RAW featuring the ECW brand, and also had Vince McMahon selling "RAW" to Donald Trump, which only lasted a week
- November 16, 2009: Another episode from Madison Square Garden, with Roddy Piper guest hosting. This is another episode which could have been skipped. In the main event, WWE Champion John Cena & World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker defeated D-X (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) and Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & Big Show in a non-title bout.
- March 15, 2010: Stone Cold Steve Austin hosted this pre-WrestleMania 26 episode, which featured three big WrestleMania rematches: John Cena vs. The Big Show (WrestleMania 20), Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (WrestleMania 19) and Triple H vs. Randy Orton (WrestleMania 25). The show also featured the official WrestleMania contract signing for Bret Hart vs. Mr. McMahon.
- June 27, 2011: RAW Roulette returns, but this was really a one segment show featuring CM Punk's infamous "Pipebomb" promo.
- April 2, 2012: The RAW after WrestleMania 28 featuring The Rock declaring his intent to once again become WWE Champion. Also, John Cena called out the Rock only for Brock Lesnar to return after a near-eight year absence to take Cena out in the show-closing angle.
Again, outside of a few episodes that I felt could have been replaced, this really is a fantastic collection. While the early years are a little under-represented, there still is enough here for fans of every era of the show. You can purchase the 12-disc collection at Amazon.com by clicking here.
Rating: **** (4/5)
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