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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » WWE - the Best Of RAW 15th Anniversary
WWE - the Best Of RAW 15th Anniversary
World Wrestling Entertainment // Unrated // December 26, 2007
List Price: $34.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Crichton | posted February 18, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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"Nothing can go wrong if it's live." - Vincent Kennedy McMahon

This past January, the WWE celebrated a milestone when Monday Night Raw became one of the longest running original entertainment shows on television today. As of this writing, there have been 767 live weekly shows with no repeats. That statistic, inofitself should be considered a milestone. To commemorate  this event, the WWE has released the Best Of RAW 15th Anniversary, a three-disc set that gathers together what the sticker on the front of the set refers to as the "best 9 hours of RAW". There are occasional comments by Todd Grisham, but for the most part, these moments have no introduction, save for popups that...umm...pop up during the chapter to share some relevant facts about the segment you're watching. Here's the card:

Disc One 1993-1997 [2 hours 54 minutes]:

  • Introduction by Todd Grisham [1m 8s]

  • First Raw - January 11, 1993 [3m 11s]- Edge, Trish, Triple H, Booker T, JBL, Lita, William Regal and other superstars describe the feeling of wrestling on Raw.

  • Loser Leaves WWE Match - January 18, 1993 [Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair] [10m 54s]

  • Parking Lot Brawl - May 10, 1993 [1m 32s] - While talking to cameras outside the Manhattan Center, Shawn Michaels is attacked by Mr. Perfect. Howard Finkel's car gets $3,300 worth of damage in the process.

  • Razor Ramon vs. the Kid - May 17, 1993 [3m 53s] - I've heard about this match before. After watching it, i'm still not so sure why it's so talked about.

  • Todd Grisham - A Momentous Night [31s] - To further confuse me, Todd refers to the above match as an 'emotional" moment before segueing into the next match.

  • Intercontinental Championship Match - May 17, 1993 [Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty] [12m 31s] - After declaring he'll put the IC belt on the line and wrestle "anyone...anywhere...anytime", Shawn is surprised to see his old tag partner take up the offer.

  • Gorilla Monsoon Fires Bobby 'the Brain" Heenan - December 6, 1993 [2m 58s]

  • WWE Championship Match - July 11, 1994 [Bret "Hit Man" Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid] [18m 8s] - A very good match that sees Bret contest a refree's count - one that was in his favor.

  • the Search For Undertaker - August 1994 [1m 36s] - Frank Drebin (aka Leslie Nielsen) searches for Undertaker, who'd been missing since losing a casket match to Yokozuna at the '94 Royal Rumble. Does he find him? We'll never know.

  • King's Court with William Shatner - January 9, 1995 [4m 20s] - During the promotional tour for his series Tek War, Bill pays a visit to the King's Court.

  • Todd Grisham - A Global Audience [1m 8s]

  • Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart - November 20, 1995 [10m 13s] - During a pretty good match against Owen, Shawn collapses and is taken out of the ring on a stretcher and doesn't come back until the '96 Royal Rumble. This incident is discussed more in-depth on Shawn's Heartbreak & Triumph collection.
  • Vader Attacks WWE President Gorilla Monsoon - January 22, 1996 [5m 46s] - After taking out Savio Vega and a couple referees, Vader attacks Monsoon after Gorilla "indefinitely suspends" him. This was the first time a superstar attacked a WWE president and lead the way to "Rowdy" Roddy Piper serving as interim president.
  • A Touch Of Goldust - May 27, 1996 [4m 10s] - Ahmed Johnson, is revived by Goldust (via mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) after being wheeled to the back. I have no idea why this is included.
  • Pillman's Got A Gun - November 4, 1996 [6m 54s] - The infamous remote that features appearances by Pillman, Austin, a garbage can, a Radio Flyer wagon and a turtle swimming pool, took place at Brian Pillman's house. This segment of Raw was so controversial and the USA Network was so uncomfortable with the footage, that the WWF had to apologize to stay on the network. I wonder what Vince had to do after the Katie Vick segment?
  • No Holds Barred Match - December 9, 1996 [Mankind vs. Undertaker] [7m 45s] - This terribly edited match took place in New Haven's now-demolished Coliseum and was the first time Undertaker wore a leather overcoat. Had this match not been edited so much, I'm sure this would've been a good match.
  • Shawn Loses His Smile - February 13, 1997 [7m 14s] - As previously discussed on Shawn's Heartbreak & Triumph collection, Shawn relinquishes the WWF Championship belt to "find his smile". Pop-ups inform us that, in addition to being the first Raw to take place on a Thursday, Shawn is also the responsible for relinquishing more titles than anyone on the WWE roster.
  • the Ninth Wonder Of the World - February 17, 1997 [5m 41s] - I was wondering why this was included, but I guess the second appearance of Chyna counts for something.
  • Original ECW Invasion - February 24, 1997 [4m 9s] - Vince was nice enough to let ECW invade the WWF to promote their PPV. Apparently, Lawler's not a fan of the promotion.
  • WWE European Championship Match - March 3, 1997 [Owen Hart vs. British Bulldog] [17m 46s] - Owen Hart and the Bulldog compete for the first new WWE title in almost 20 years.
  • Todd Grisham - RAW is WAR [46s]
  • Bret Speaks His Mind - March 17, 1997 [1m 21s] - As has been mentioned numerous times on various recent WWE DVDs, many believe this was the moment responsible for creating the character of "Mr. McMahon". Thanks Bret!
  • Flag Match - July 21, 1997 [United States vs. Canada] [4m 48s] - Unfortunately, this match is joined in progress, as Dude Love, Stone Cold and Undertaker take on the Hart Foundation.
  • Stone Cold Stuns the Boss - September 22, 1997 [6m 4s] - During the first Raw from Madison Square Garden, Austin stuns Vince and ignites the Austin/McMahon feud.
  • Bret Screwed Bret - November 17, 1997 [9m 27s] - Vince tries to spends some time trying to justify the Montreal screwjob.
  • Sable In A Sack - December 8, 1997 [2m 38s] - Marc Mero introduces the "new and improved" Sable in a potato sack.
  • Gold Meets Water - December 15, 1997 [5m 13s] - The Nation Of Domination, led by the Rock, calls out "Stone Cold". Unfortunately, Austin's on a bridge doing some winter cleaning...starting with the Intercontinental Championship Belt.
  • Christmas with DX - December 22, 1997 [10m 4s] - Shawn and Hunter unveil DX's Christmas presents for the Massachusetts audience.

Disc Two 1998-2002 [2 hours 59 minutes]:

  • Todd Grisham - A Worldwide Phenomenon [49s]

  • "Tyson And Austin!" - January 19, 1998 [6m 44s] - After making an appearance at the Royal Rumble the night before, Mike Tyson shows up on Raw and Stone Cold takes the opportunity to share his thoughts him.

  • DX Special Report - February 2, 1998 [2m 5s] - During this special report, DX apologizes for past, present and future controversies.

  • Dumpster Diving - February 2, 1998 [4m 18s] - This clip has Cactus Jack wrestling Chainsaw Charlie (aka Terry Funk), until Foley dives off the titantron into a dumpster. I didn't find this too interesting. Maybe it would be more interesting

  • Formation Of the New DX-X - Pac Returns - March 30, 1998 [6m 48s] - Since HBK is out of commission thanks to a back injury sustained during a match with the Undertaker, HHH decides to recruit a new member.

  • Stone Cold vs. Mr. McMahon - April 13, 1998 [13m 44s] - During the first episode of Raw to beat WCW Nitro since June 1996, a 52 year old Vince takes on Stone Cold.

  • DX Invades WCW - April 27, 1998 [2m 52s] - While Raw was in Hampton, Virginia, DX decides to travel down to nearby Norfolk to pay the WCW a visit.

  • DX Nation - July 6, 1998 [5m 46s] - DX mocks the Nation members.

  • Zamboni 3:16 - September 28, 1998 [4m]- Stone Cold interrupts Vince's presentation to Kane & the Undertaker by driving in on a zamboni and tearing shit up.
  • Todd Grisham - Hate Hate Relationship [31s]

  • the Debut Of Mr. Socko - October 5, 1998 [4m 32s] - Mankind visits Vince in the hospital and attempts to cheer him up by introducing him (and the world) to Mr. Socko.

  • Mr. McMahon's Cement Corvette - October 12, 1998 [3m 41s] - Vince decides to drive himself to that evening's Raw in one of his $50,000 Corvettes. With Stone Cold and a cement truck in the area, Vince is going to learn he should've taken public transportation.

  • Bang 3:16 - October 19, 1998 [4m 52s] - The night after being fired by Vince, Austin visits him in the ring...with a gun.

  • Mankind Wins the WWF Championship Match - January 4, 1999 [14m 26s] - Since this episode of Raw was prerecorded, this gave WCW the opportunity to spoil the events on this evening's Nitro. Raw got the last laugh, since they still beat Nitro in the ratings. I have to say that, in addition to seeing Triple H supporting another wrestler, I found it refreshing to see two stables with more than one wrestler involved.

  • Stone Cold Beer Truck - March 22, 1999 [5m 4s] - You should know this one...the Corporation is having a party in the ring. Stone Cold brings the beer.

  • Monster Truck vs. Town Car - April 19, 1999 [2m 34s] - As the Rock is giving Stone Cold a eulogy inside the coliseum, Austin decides to detail the Rock's car before heading inside to pay his respects.

  • Mean Street Posse vs. the Stooges - May 10, 1999 [4m 17s] - When I first saw the chapter title, I was expecting a battle between Sly Stallone and Iggy Pop. Once it started, I had no idea who was in the ring (other than Patterson and Brisco), nor why this was included. Or better yet...why they came out to Hogan's "Real American" music. But it's only four minutes long, so I wasn't wondering for long.

  • the Greater Power Revealed - June 7, 1999 [2m] - It's a shame this promo package was so condensed, because it actually seemed like an interesting storyline. Maybe?

  • Todd Grisham Millennium Countdown [27s]

  • Y2J - August 9, 1999 [8m 55s] - For the weeks leading up to this clip, and similar to the buildup for his recent return to the WWE, a clock on the titantron would countdown until this moment - when the "Ayatollah Of Rock 'n Rollah" made his presence known to the Rock.

  • the Rock: This Is Your Life - September 27, 1999 [19m 5s] - This highest rated segment in Raw history. Personally, I only chuckled a few times.

  • Big Bossman Sympathy - November 8, 1999 [2m 14s] - Big Bossman hits the ring and offers sympathy to Big Show, after Show's dad passes away.

  • What Happens In Vegas... - November 29, 1999 [1m 29s] - Stephanie McMahon is set to marry Test, but not before Triple H crashes the ceremony with some shocking news - and the video to prove it.

  • Jericho Not the New Champion - April 17, 2000 [18m 56s] - This segment sees HHH taking on Chris Jericho for the WWF Championship belt. When referee Mike Chioda gets knocked out, Earl Hebner runs into the ring to replace him and count out HHH, resulting in Jericho becoming the new champ. However, HHH decides to contest this decision and ends up getting physical with Hebner.

  • Todd Grisham Wrestling Monopoly

  • Shane Purchases WCW - March 26, 2001 [2m 45s] - As Vince gloats over his acquisition of rival company, WCW, he states he won't sign the contract until WM. Shane McMahon, however, has other plans.

  • Milk-O-Mania - August 20, 2001 [3m 17s] - Stone Cold was the leader of the alliance against the WWF. Taking a page out of Stone Cold's book, and during Austin's own "appreciation night", Kurt Angle brings the refreshments for the party.

  • Triple H Returns - January 7, 2002 [9m 50s] - HHH makes his way back to Raw after a quad injury. Kurt Angle is there to welcome him with open arms.

  • Past Meets Present - February 18, 2002 [11m 17s] - As "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan rambles on about his greatness, the Rock makes his way to the ring to put him in his place.

  • Worlds Unite - Bischoff Hugs Mr. McMahon - July 15, 2002 [10m 3s]- Vince has to hire a new GM of Raw. His choice? Former WCW rival, Eric Bischoff. Of course, when I first saw this, I had no friggin' clue who Bischoff was and what the big deal was that Vince was hugging this guy. Then again, I hadn't watched wrestling since the late 90's.

Disc Three [2 hours 44 minutes] :

  • Todd Grisham Behind the Scenes [41s]

  • the Rock Concert - March 24, 2003 [11m 24s] - We have no one to thank for this clip, but Willie Nelson. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have to sit through nearly 11 minutes of the Rock "in concert".

  • Kane Unmasks - June 23, 2003 [3m 21s] - After losing a championship match against Evolution, Kane is forced to remove his mask - one that he'd been wearing since 1997.

  • Musical Chairs With Eugene - July 5, 2004 [7m 25s] - Eugene offers Coach, Tajiri, Jericho, Ric Flair, Tyson Tomko, Jerry "the King" Lawler and...Stacey Kiebler? a chance at a championship match. All they have to do is win a game of musical chairs.

  • Evolution Beats Up Randy Orton - August 16, 2004 [2m 30s] - Celebrating his win as the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history, Randy Orton's pals from Evolution give him a present.

  • Are You Ready For Some Wrestling? - November 22, 2004 [2m 48s] - Vince ridicules the NBA and Monday Night Football, with this spoof of a controversial pre-game sketch that aired the previous week before an Eagles/Cowboys game.

  • Batista Turns On Triple H - February 21, 2005 [3m 46s] - I guess Batista had to choose between Raw and SmackDown! and apparently, HHH and Flair wanted him to go to SmackDown!. Of course, Dave didn't feel the same way.

  • Shelton Benjamin vs. Shawn Michaels - May 2, 2005 [14m 35s] - This was a great match that made me wonder why Shelton is still languishing as a jobber. Then again, i've been wondering that for a while now. He and Haas are a great tag team. Instead, we get a bunch of "teams" thrown together for no reason in particular.

  • Todd Grisham - Raw's Huge Gain

  • John Cena Drafted #1 To Raw - June 6, 2005 [12m 26s] - John Cena gets drafted to Raw on Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel. Frankly, I don't think it was a "huge gain".

  • Kane/Lita Wedding - June 20, 2005 [10m 18s] - Judging by the chapter title, I thought this was going to be Lita and Kane's wedding. Turns out, it's actually Lita's wedding to Edge. See, during 2005, "real life" intruded on Raw when it was reported that Edge had an affair with Lita. Matt found out and spent a few weeks sharing his thoughts with the world on his web site. Eventually, he was resigned to the WWE and worked out some of his aggressions.

  • Shawn Michaels Turns On Hulk Hogan - July 4, 2005 [2m 31s] - A tag team match featuring Shawn and Hulk against Carlito and Kurt Angle, ends on a sour note. Or a tremendously happy note - depending on how you look at it.

  • Jericho Is Fired - August 22, 2005 [3m 20s] - The storyline was - Jericho is tasked by Bischoff to take on Cena in a Championship match with a stipulation that the loser leaves Raw. Jericho was set to leave the WWE, so guess who loses?

  • Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle - Iron Man Match - October 3, 2005 [24m 43s] - Before two whole rows of WWE legends, Kurt and Shawn spend thirty minutes wrestling in this Iron Man match, which is shown in its entirety. Thank goodness.

  • Todd Grisham - WWE Homecoming [22s]

  • Stone Cold Stuns the McMahons - October 3, 2005 [13m 49s] - As Vince was celebrating Raw's return to the USA network (after a 5 year absence), Austin shows up to join party in his own unique way.

  • Eric Bishoff Trial - December 5, 2005 [3m 3s]- Since Bishoff wasn't meeting his goals as Raw GM (in other words, he was leaving), Vince decides to put him on trial.

  • Edge/Lita Live Sex Celebration - January 9, 2006 [11m 14s] - After beating Cena the week before, Edge and Lita decide to celebrate by putting a bed in the center of the ring and "have sex". At least, until Ric Flair shows up to show 'em how it's done. This was the "highest rated Raw segment in years" and Edge lost the title three weeks later at the Royal Rumble.

  • DX Impersonates Shane And Mr. McMahon - June 26, 2006 [14m 51s] - While the impersonation skit might last too long, the conclusion of this chapter is far from shitty.

  • Edge Wins Championship - July 3, 2006 [15m 8s] - Edge takes on John Cena and "Mr. Monday Night", Rob Van Dam during this triple threat match. In case you didn't know, the conclusion of this match was the first part of Rob's punishment for being caught with cannabis. The second part would come the following night on ECW.

  • Edge vs. Shawn Michaels - Street Fight - January 22, 2007 [12:53] - This match, the second street fight between Edge and HBK, involved two steel staircases, a ladder and was pretty damn brutal.

  • Shawn Michaels Returns! - October 8, 2007 [3m 58s] - After telling every Raw superstar to congratulate Randy Orton on winning the WWE Champion at the No Mercy PPV the night before, HBK pays a (totally) unexpected visit to the champ.

  • Todd Grisham - A Television Tradition [29s]

Video: the Best Of RAW: 15th Anniversary's picture was colorful and presented in the WWE's standard full frame 1.33:1 ratio. There were the usual shortcomings as far as the quality was concerned, particulally when there was pyro involved. However, it looked much better than it does on broadcast TV and it will not distract from your enjoyment of these memories (WWF scratch logo blurring aside).

The Dolby Digital 5.1 was clear for most of the chapters, however, I did have a hard time hearing what Marc Mero was saying during Sable's chapter at the end of disc one. Fortunately, that was the only time I had a problem with the audio. Well, except for the occasional dropout when someone refered to the "WWF" (those pandas have ears, ya know).

I'm sure we all have RAW moments we'd consider the "best". Heck, I wasn't even watching the show for the first eight years, but there are moments not on these discs that I would've like to have seen. Or better yet, I would've liked to have more information about certain chapters. Still, with 15 years, 767 shows and over 1500 hours of content, you're not going to be able to please everyone. I've mentioned in previous WWE PPV reviews that it would be nice if Vince decided to put the weekly shows (minus WWECW) on discs, though one month's worth of RAW would probably require a two or three disc set for that month's shows. Regardless, RAW fans will want to own this for those moments/footage that have never been seen on DVD before. Also, you might want to pick this set up at Wal*Mart - it comes with a bonus disc that supposedly contains the first episode of RAW. Unfortunately, I don't know if it's unedited or not. Recommended.

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