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WWE - The New & Improved DX
Now, I wasn't around for the first incarnation of DX. Heck, I missed the entire "Attitude" era. So when HBK and HHH reformed DX, I had a slight advantage - I had no basis for comparison. Therefore, I wasn't biased one way or another - except on HBK and HHH's characters in a solo capacity (well, not counting Evolution). However, I have to admit I marked out like a little schoolgirl when Shawn made the save as HHH was taking on the Spirit Squad. And, unlike DX's first go 'round, I saw each and every appearance when originally broadcast - yay me!
DX's appearances on these discs are in chronological order and, as far as I can tell, complete and unedited. Additionally, in between some appearances and/or skits, there are comments from various WWE superstars. Disc one is 3 hours and 13 minutes long and features the following chapters:
- Spotlight: Shawn Michaels And Triple H
- Mr. McMahon forces DX to reunite? - "the Miz" (ugh), Johnny Nitro, Carlito, Lawler, Stone Cold, Coach, Mikey and Nicky talk about how Vince was responsible for DX's reforming, as he made Shawn and HHH's lives miserable.
- Raw 6/12/06: DX Re-united - Regardless of the fact that everybody and their cousin knew that DX was reforming, once Shawn hit the ring and helped HHH clean house, the place went freakin' CRAZY. The only thing that hindered the reunion for me was the absence of DX's theme (using HHH's alternate Motorhead theme).
- Raw 6/19/06: Official Reunion Of DX - Vince is presented with a cock, a penis enlarger and mocked by an alien. After a stripper-gram, he also fits in a plug for Dusty Rhodes' DVD before splitting for the possible birth of Steph's baby (it didn't happen that night - it was a silly DX prank). So, after subjecting us to Coach's naked ass and treating the Spirit Squad to a new paint job, DX finally hits the ring...with midgets.
- Vengeance 6/25/06: 5-on-2 Handicap Match: DX vs. Spirit Squad - From my review found HERE: "In yet another improbable storyline, HHH and HBK who, after quite a few years of feuding, giving each other dirty looks and basically beating the shit out of each other, have decided to team up and reform DX. And, MAN does the audience eat it up. Wonder how long it'll last?"
- Raw 6/26/06: DX Impersonates the McMahons - HBK and HHH come to the ring dressed as Vince and Shane and treat the crowd to some moderately entertaining impersonations (along with Vince's performance at the Slammy's). However, like most WWE skits, it runs too long until it reaches its "shitty" conclusion. By the way, unlike the original broadcast, when HHH says "shit" there's no bleeping present.
- Raw 7/3/06: DX Banned From RAW - Since they were banned from the area thanks to their fecal escapades last week, DX decide to throw a juvenile 4th Of July picnic outside before taking control of the production truck.
- Raw 7/10/06: Mr. McMahon & Shane vs. Eugene - We don't see the entire match between Vince, Shane and Eugene, just a brief package of all the torture inflicted upon Eugene.
- Saturday Night's Main Event 7/15/06: Elimination Match: DX vs. Spirit Squad - This SNME is, as of this writing, still unreleased. However, what made the inclusion of this match interesting, was that it was the entire match - including what took place during the commercial break (without commentary from Lawler or JR, though).
- Raw 7/17/06: Shawn Michaels vs. Shane McMahon - Once DX gets done pimping their new merchandise, Vince decides to have Shane take on HBK. Along the way, there's also some shenanigans with the Highlanders.
- Raw 7/24/06: Shawn Michaels vs. Jonathan Coachman - Since HHH wasn't around (because Steph gave birth), Vince (via cellphone) orders Coach to fight HBK. Of course, the deck is stacked against HBK.
Disc two runs 3 hours 14 minutes and contains the following:
- Strong Personalities
- Raw 7/31/06: Shawn Michaels vs. Umaga - After hitting the ring on top of the world thanks to the birth of Steph's daughter, Vince and Shane utilize Armando's Cuban connection to get HHH throw out of the arena so Shawn can face Umaga one-on-one.
- Raw 8/7/06: Triple H vs. Umaga - Once again, Vince & Shane find a way to divide and conquer DX, leaving HHH to face Umaga all by his lonesome.
- Raw 8/14/06: DX Talks About SummerSlam - Basically, ten minutes of HBK and HHH going back and forth with Vince. Captivating stuff.
- SummerSlam 8/20/06: DX vs. Mr. McMahon & Shane McMahon - Despite the McMahon's best efforts - including Finlay, Big Show, Kennedy, William Regal and the Spirit Squad - DX triumphs against all. Surprise, surprise.
- Raw 8/21/06: DX Vandalism - Though they don't make a ring appearance, they spend the entire episode vandalizing a few of Vince's favorite things - namely his lear jet, his limo and WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
- Raw 8/28/06: DX vs. William Regal, Finlay And Mr. Kennedy - As Vince recovers in a nearby Atlantic City hotel, Shane schedules this mini-rematch between DX and three of their opponents from SummerSlam - along with some unexpected guests.
- Raw 9/4/06: DX Confrontation With Mr. McMahon, Shane McMahon And Big Show - Technically, their confrontation isn't with the McMahons or Show - it's with a bunch of WWE security.
- ECW 9/5/06: DX vs. Big Show - Further cementing the fact that this ain't your daddy's ECW, DX show up to take on Show.
- Raw 9/11/06: Triple H vs. Mr. McMahon - After roughing up DX ten minutes earlier, Vince takes on HHH in this "No Holds Barred" match.
- Unforgiven 9/17/06: Hell In A Cell: DX vs. Mr. McMahon, Shane McMahon And Big Show - From my review found HERE: "There's a rumor going around that Show's on his way to retiring due to heath problems. While I hope that's not true (both, his retiring and his health is bad), I was paying particular attention to him during this match and he looked pretty winded. To be honest, I think Vince is overusing him. I mean, he's the ECW champ, he's been on SmackDown! god knows how many times and he's been on Raw even more. Give the guy a break!" Okay, so I didn't mention DX. Nor did I mention Vince taking a dive between Show's cheeks. However, immediately after this replay Vince comments on his impression of an anal speculum.
- Raw 9/18/06: DX Address Mr. McMahon
Disc three wraps up DX's 2006 appearances with the remaining two and a half hour of matches and skits:
- Raw 10/2/06: DX Takes Over Raw - But before they do, they have to go through a Texas Tornado match. After winning that (didja have any doubt?) they make the Spirt Squad dress up the way cheerleaders normally do, before a funny plug for Eric Bischoff's new book that leaves them wondering if they truly were a rip-off of NWO as Bischoff stated in his book. Lawler, Austin, Cena, Coach and Murdoch also comment on this.
- Raw 10/9/06: DX vs. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch - Speaking of Murdoch, after a skit where DX apologizes to everyone they offended last week (while taking a moment to shill more merchandise), he and Cade have a match against them.
- Raw 10/16/06: Edge & Randy Orton Impersonate DX - The show begins with a "major announcement" from DX - well, Randy Orton and Edge dressed as HBK and HHH.
- Raw 10/16/06: Triple H vs. Randy Orton - Orton and HHH battle (with HBK, Edge and eventually Lita at ringside).
- Cyber Sunday 11/5/06: DX vs. Edge & Randy Orton - From my review found HERE: "Even though, as of this writing, I am officially sick of seeing these guys wrestle each other, this was a pretty entertaining match - made moreso by the participation of Bishoff."
- Raw 11/6/06: DX Gets Revenge On Eric Bischoff - Deciding to kill two birds with one stone - putting DX over and pimping Eric's book - Vince makes Bischoff "Acting General Manager for one night only". I only have three words to describe this chapter - Big. Dick. Johnson. Oh wait, make it four - Ugh.
- Why Do the Fans Like DX? - Coach, Shane, Mikey, Cena and some overseas fans talk about why fans like them. Turns out it's because they're fun-loving rebels! Whodathunkit?
- Raw 11/13/06: Jonathan Coachman Puts Bounty On DX - Over in the UK, Coach puts a $10,000 bounty on DX. Cade & Murdoch and Haas & Viscera are the first to try to claim it, but they're certainly not the last.
- Survivor Series 11/26/06: DX, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy And CM Punk vs. Edge, Randy Orton, Johnny Nitro, Gregory Helms And Mike Knox - From my review found HERE: "This is another match that subtlety demonstrates where Vince's head is as far as ECW is concerned. Not five seconds after Knox hits the ring, Michaels superkicks him and gets the pin. That's right. FIVE seconds. If this doesn't demonstrate what Vince thinks of ECW, then I don't know what does. It's not like Knox was an original ECW wrestler, but he still gets squashed here during his first PPV appearance. In addition, he continues to ignore the pop the CM Punk gets every single time he enters the ring. It seems no matter how often HHH refers to him as "the future of wrestling", he'll never get an adequate push and eventually ECW will go the way of WCW - once again making the WWE the only game in town. That said, this wasn't a bad match. Heck, any time the Hardys are together, i'm happy. And I have to say, even though I haven't seen him since he abandoned his "Hurricane" persona, I thought Helms did a pretty good job.
In addition to all of the previous material, we're also treated to the following "extras" on disc three. Most of these chapters are basically recaps of the various DX "storylines":
- Cyber Sunday 11/5/06: DX vs. Randy Orton & Edge Highlight Package
- Unforgiven 9/17/06: DX vs. Big Show, Shane & Mr. McMahon - Hell In A Cell Highlight Package
- Vengeance 6/25/06: DX vs. the Spirit Squad Highlight Package
- SummerSlam 2006: "Hot Dog" Vignette - A one minute skit involving Viscera, Kane, DX, Lita and a hot dog.
- SummerSlam 8/20/06: DX vs. Shane & Mr. McMahon Highlight Package
- New Year's Revolution 1/7/07: DX Promo - 30 second promo for WWE's "New Year's Revolution" PPV.
- Home Video Exclusive: DX Vandalism Package - 7 1/2 minutes of footage from the Vandalism
Video: the New And Improved! DX's picture was colorful and vibrant. However, upon closer inspection (read: standing close to my 36" screen) I noticed some wicked compression artifacts whenever the duo hit the ring. From a distance, it wasn't nearly as bad, but I honestly didn't feel this was a deal-breaker and only pointed it out to be thorough. It's presented in the WWE's standard full frame 1.33:1 ratio.
Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound was crystal clear and enveloped my living room while I was watching it.
Conclusion: the New And Improved! DX will definitely satisfy fans of the current incarnation of DX. Though they quickly gloss over the long road it took for Shawn and HHH to reunite, you'll find every single WWE appearance in this set. Watching it made me wish that Vince released the weekly eps of Raw and SmackDown! (for its fans) on DVD. Sure, you might be looking at two double disc sets a month, but would that really be so bad? Besides, not every WWE superstar/super team would get this sort of treatment. Anyways, back to DX. Originally, slightly disappointing picture quality aside, I was going to give this highly comprehensive set a "highly recommended" rating. However, the more I thought about it, the more I couldn't deny that the completeness of this set, coupled with the presentation and packaging, is something that deserves DVD Talk's highest rating - DVD Talk Collector Series.
"And if you didn't like this review, i've got two words for you..."