It's part two of our WWE Live in the UK November 2014 DVD review, and this time around we've got three shows for the price of one as we take a look back Main Event, Superstars and Smackdown.
Show One: Main Event
Not much here really, just a brief video montage hyping the big guy Ryback.
The opening match of the show saw Tag Team Champion Stardust, accompanied by Goldust, taking on Adam Rose.
Rose was looking for a little more luck this time out after his loss to Tyson Kidd on Raw, and after telling the Bunny to get further away from the ring he controlled the early going until Cody....I mean Stardust took over. Such was Stardust's confidence that he found time to hiss at the Exotic Express at one point.
The party guy managed to come back a few moments later, but when Goldie jumped onto the ring apron Rose was stopped in his tracks. However, this time around the Bunny came in handy when he attacked Goldie, and as Stardust watched this rather unique brawl from the ring Rose rolled up him from behind for the winning pin, and this time around Rose was quite happy with his big eared companion.
The Divas match saw Alicia Fox going up against Cameron.
Not really much to write about here. Cameron controlled the majority of the action before Alicia made her comeback, taking Cameron down with a backbreaker. The ending looked a little botched, because when Alicia ran the ropes Cameron was still crouched over, trying to get back to her feet, so Alicia stopped in her tracks and rolled up Cameron for the three count and pin.
Then it was on to NXT star Sami Zayn taking on Tyson Kidd, accompanied here by his lovely wife Natalya.
This was a rematch from the previous week's show where Kidd took the pin with a handful of tights. I never saw that match, but if it was as good as this one then it must have been a quality encounter.
It was a great piece of storytelling from both guys as they went about their business, as well as from Nattie at ringside. Kidd came across well as the cocky guy looking for a break and willing to use his wife to get that break, while Zayn's performance was top notch throughout, and it seems that he's got even better since he ditched the mask and the Mexican accent.
The end came after Kidd once again used his missus to gain an advantage. After taking a bump out of the ring Zayn tried to bring him back in. It was then that Kidd grabbed hold of his wife in a mock hug, making it almost impossible for Zayn to move him, and once he was back in the ring he took Zayn down with a fisherman's neckbreaker for the winning pin.
The final match of the show saw Dean Ambrose taking on Justin Gabriel.
When I saw this match listed on the publicity sheet for this DVD I knew that I just had to see this, and although it was one of those short and sweet encounters a big part of me wished they'd been given a whole lot more time.
There was some nice back and forth action early on as they exchanged various holds, and the action level went up a notch or two when Ambrose launched himself over the top rope onto Gabriel on the floor. From there Gabriel got in a few more good looking moves until Ambrose came back and took his man down with the dirty deeds DDT. Afterwards Ambrose took to the microphone to cut a promo on his rival Bray Wyatt.
Show conclusion - this wasn't too bad. The Divas match didn't really do it for me, but the other were pretty decent, with Zayn/Kidd the best of the bunch for me.
Show Two: Superstars
Nothing much to write home about here, mainly because they were all Raw Rebounds.
Just two matches here, beginning with Sin Cara taking Curtis Axel.
Axelmania was certainly running wild that night, given the reaction that the Liverpool crowd were giving the third generation star, especially after he grounded the masked man and took him down with a few choice moves.
The crowd kind of changed their tune a little when Cara came back into the match, and it wasn't long before he came off the top rope with a senton for the winning pin, stopping Scouse Axelmania in it's tracks.
The other match saw Big E taking on Heath Slater.
So after Axelmania the Liverpool fans gave us a big dose of Slatermania, cheering everything the southern rock star did and soundly booing Biggie whenever he took control. In truth it was a pretty decent match, although to be honest with you I can't remember when I last reviewed a Heath Slater match.
Sadly for the Scousers their man couldn't get the job done. As Slater came off the top rope Biggie caught him and took him out with the big ending for the winning pin.
Show conclusion - I still have fond memories of when Superstars was THE show to watch for all the main happenings, and I'm still kind of saddened that it's nothing more than a C-show with highlights from Raw and a couple of low card matches. The action was okay, but mostly forgettable.
Show Three: Smackdown
The show kicked off with Chris Jericho and the Authority exchanging barbs on an episode of the Highlight Reel. Elsewhere Dolph Ziggler made a few comments to his new enemy Luke Harper, and Ryback said that the only team he was on was Team Ryback. Lastly there was a brief backstage brawl between Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose which saw Wyatt smashing Ambrose into a wall.
The first match saw Bray Wyatt taking on Sin Cara.
A dominating performance from the crazy one here. Cara got in a few high-flying moves, but these moments of offence didn't last very long as Wyatt ended things by taking the masked man down with sister Abigail. And before you ask, yes, he did do that crab walk thing.
Afterwards Wyatt took to the microphone and called out Dean Ambrose. The other crazy one was happy to oblige but found himself frustrated when Wyatt refused to fight him. He then offered to lead him away from the dark as he left an even more frustrated Ambrose standing in the ring.
Tag team action followed as champions Goldust and Stardust faced Adam Rose and the Bunny.
Now this was quick, but not necessarily in a good way. Rose took a bit of punishment from the face-painted ones before getting the hot tag to the Roger Rabbit wannabe. The Bunny pulled off a few good looking moves on Stardust, but when Rose wanted to tag back in the Bunny refused as he climbed to the top rope. But when he came flying down for a big splash Stardust raised his knees before putting him out of his misery with his dark matter finisher for the pin.
Rose was none too pleased with the result, and after giving the Bunny a ticking off he took him down with his party bow finisher, leaving him laying in the ring as he went back to the rest of his Rosebuds.
The only title match of the show saw Tyson Kidd and Cesaro challenging Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental title in a triple threat elimination match.
This was good, really good. These guys came up with some great three-way sequences throughout their time in the ring together, beginning with the lightning-quick segment where one would break up a pin with a pin attempt of his own. Later on they got a bit more serious, such as the moment where Kidd took Cesaro down off the top rope with a sunset flip, which led to Cesaro taking Ziggler down with a suplex. As for the eliminations.....
Cesaro was the first to go. While Kidd was recovering at ringside Ziggler and Cesaro had a fast exchange of moves before Ziggler connected with the zig zag. Kidd then jumped back into the ring and threw the champion to one side so he could pin Cesaro.
This left Ziggler alone with Kidd, and these two put on some great sequences, but just when it looked like Kidd was going to take the whole thing with the sharpshooter Ziggler rolled through, forcing Kidd to release the hold. He then took Kidd down with another zig zag to get the title-retaining pin.
The penultimate match featured Divas action as Layla, accompanied by Summer Rae, went up against Natalya.
Despite Layla being a Brit the Liverpudlians were firmly behind Nattie in this one. Layla came up with a few good wear down holds after she annoyed Nattie somewhat with her plucky attitude. Nattie tried to fight back a few times but she often found herself flying through the ropes. Eventually Nattie had had enough, and after giving the cheering Summer a slap in the chops she threw Layla back in the ring and applied the sharpshooter for the submission win.
The main event saw Corporate Kane taking on Ryback.
No fancy stuff here. With Triple H and Stephanie McMahon watching on from ringside these two big guys basically beat the proverbial out of each other. It was okay I suppose, but nowhere good as Ryback's match with John Cena on Raw.
Both guys broke out their signature power moves, but when Kane tried to take the big guy down with a chokeslam Ryback simply broke his hold, and as the match went on the frustration began to tell on the former big red machine, so much so that when the action spilled out to ringside Kane grabbed a chair and clobbered his man. The referee called for the bell immediately, giving Ryback the disqualification win.
Kane continued his attack after the bell, but the tide turned when Ryback took him down with a spinebuster and delivered a few chair shots of his own, sending Kane through the ropes. It then looked as if Ryback was going to take it to Trips as the show came to an end.
Show conclusion - without wanting to sound like an old stuck record but Smackdown definitely isn't the show it used to be. You could call it a B or C show now, and it's as if the show has now become something of an afterthought when you compare it to Raw, although overall it wasn't too bad.
Overall conclusion - although this disc contained some good matches it was nowhere near as good as the first disc. It's pretty obvious, even to those who don’t watch these shows on a regular basis that Raw doesn't have an equal as far as the creative team is concerned, and that's a big shame considering how much Smackdown was pushed when it was first launched all those years ago.
But with that being said there was one match that was a cut above a rest, and that was the Ziggler/Kidd/Cesaro title match, and that's why it gets the prestigious match of the night no-prize.
So with that out of the way there's just one more thing to do, and that's to give this entire collection the thumbs up.
With thanks to Fremantle Media and Fetch Publicity for supplying a copy of this release. WWE Live in the UK November 2014 is available to buy online at www.wwedvd.co.uk.