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Review: WWE The Attitude Era Volume 3: Unreleased (Blu-ray)

REVIEWS - BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Richard Cosgrove opens the cage to see whether the third WWE Attitude Era release is a champ or a chump...

In a move as inevitable as The Rock dropping a People’s Elbow on somebody at WrestleMania, WWE have released the third in their Attitude Era series, focusing this time on previously unreleased content. This gives this volume a slightly different feel to the previous two, but is a little hit and miss because of it.

What does work about this volume is drafting Corey Graves in to provide context and comment between each of the fifteen matches in the main feature. Graves brings an enthusiasm and knowledge to this role that others sometimes lack, namely John Bradshaw Layfield on the recent US Championship release, and his comments are interesting and enlightening.

The choice of matches, too, is inspired with WWE digging deep to present several previously unreleased matches that are historically significant in the company’s history. The jewel in the crown of these has to be the first ever clash between Undertaker and Mankind that occurred on the In Your House show in April 1996. These two titans would go on to have arguably the greatest match of all time at SummerSlam a couple of years later, but it’s interesting to see the genesis of their rivalry here for the first time.

We also get an early clash between Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin a year before their iconic WrestleMania XII classic, and several triple threat matches that haven’t seen the light of day since they were broadcast, including a bout between Steve Austin, Bret Hart and Undertaker from 1997 which is included as one of fifteen – count them – additional extra matches on the Blu-ray release (the DVD version has 10, which is still pretty good value).

The downside to a collection that has reached its third incarnation, of course, is a lot of the really good stuff has already been harvested for the previous sets, and so while there’s a lot of novelty value in these unseen matches, such as the clash between the Dudley Boyz and Test & Albert on Wall Street from October 2000 and a dog collar match between Road Dogg and Mr Ass Billy Gunn from July 1999, there are very few genuinely awesome moments.

That said, with thirty matches on offer and Graves’ incisive thoughts on half of them, WWE The Attitude Era Volume 3: Unreleased is still worth picking up if you remember the old days, or if you’re curious as to what WWE was like in its arguably most liberated period.

WWE The Attitude Era Volume 3: Unreleased is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.

3 stars


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