WWE – Best PPV Matches 2018 (Cert 15)
3 Discs DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 524 minutes approx.
As is the tradition, the start of a new year sees the WWE take a look back at the year before via home video releases that compile the best PPV and TV matches from this twelve-month period. That’s the plan, except, as ever, the term “best” needs to be taken with a crate of salt.
Obviously they can’t put out a release entitled “Match compilation of varying quality, some of which you’ve probably forgotten, others totally suck but feature the “big” names we hope will entice you buy this DVD” as honesty only goes so far and in this instance, is commercial suicide, not to mention would take up too much room on the cover artwork.
But, that pretty much summarises the content of this collection, as the sad truth is WWE didn’t have a spectacular year as far as stand matches on PPV. This is down to there being too many shows (until the end of the single brand event) with the addition of the Saudi Arabia and Australia specials and five hours of first run TV which meant the feuds were usually exhausted by the time the PPV came around.
This makes me sound extremely cynical and possibly even unfair to WWE but many of the genuine “best” matches of the year involved the same few people, and if the criterion for “best” were based on match quality, this would essentially be a showreel of the same four or five wrestlers on endless loop. However, there is no excuse for TWO mindlessly dull Randy Orton matches (is there any other kind?)!
2018 also saw the women prove their worth to the WWE, eventually getting their own PPV in October, which for this writer was hands down the best main roster WWE show of the year. The division boosted by the addition of Ronda Rousey to the ranks – her Wrestlemania debut kicks off disc two – and the tone deaf heel turn for Becky Lynch that saw her go from afterthought to the hottest thing in wrestling!
Hosted by Charly Caruso – well, I say “hosted”, she appears at the start of each disc and again to sign off the last one which must have taken all of five minutes to record – we find her in typical hyperbolic presenter mode to suit the occasion, so if you’re a sucker for a pretty face then you’ll find her enthusiasm charming if hardly believable.
The matches have already been covered before on this site as part of the reviews for the original PPV releases, so feel free look for those in the original reviews if you’re interested to read them again, or skim the line-up and make your own mind up of this is worth buying or not.
30 Man Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble – January 28th
WWE Universal Title No 1 contender Elimination Chamber Match – Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. John Cena vs. Finn Bálor vs. The Miz vs. Seth Rollins vs. Elias – Elimination Chamber – February 25th
WWE US Title Match – Bobby Roode (c) Randy Orton – Fastlane – March 11th
WWE IC Title Triple Threat Match – The Miz (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Bálor – Wrestlemania 34 – April 8th
Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon – Wrestlemania 34 – April 8th
WWE IC Title Match – Seth Rollins (c) vs. The Miz – Backlash – May 6th
Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Charlotte Flair vs. Naomi vs. Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Lana vs. Ember Moon vs. Natalya vs. Sasha Banks – MITB – June 17th
WWE RAW Women’s Title Match – Nia Jax (c) vs. Ronda Rousey – MITB – June 17th
Steel Cage Match – Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens – Extreme Rules – July 15th
Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns – Extreme Rules – July 15th
WWE Championship Match – AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe – Summerslam – August 19th
The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan – Summerslam – August 19th
WWE Universal Title Match – Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns – Summerslam – August 19th
Hell In A Cell Match – Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy – HIAC – September 16th
WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Match – Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Becky Lynch – HIAC – September 16th
WWE Universal Title Hell In A Cell Match – Roman Reigns (c) vs. Braun Strowman – Special Referee: Mick Foley – HIAC – September 16th
SD Women’s Title Last Woman Standing Match – Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair – Evolution – October 28th
RAW Women’s Title Match – Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nikki Bella – Evolution – October 28th
Just to reiterate, the line-up might not be as inspiring as it could have been but there is enough decent action to be found here, unless your tastes are less discerning than mine, in which case this will be a stonking 10-hour almanac of WWE’s year in PPV for 2018 in one handy collection.
Rating – ***
Man In Black