Best of WWE: Raw and SmackDown 2014


Why Seth, Why?

Seth Rollins Explains His Side
SmackDown • June 6, 2014

Best of Raw Smackdown 2014 - Triple H, Seth Rollins and Randy Orton after Shield turnRollins comes out to say he doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for his actions after a big build up from Triple H. Had Rollins delivered a mic-dropping promo to sell why he turned on The Shield at their peak, the split wouldn’t have left so many fans feeling like The Shield breakup was ill-advised and far too soon. Heck, since the WWE likes titles so much, they could have made a six-man title and let The Shield fight off The Wyatts and other six-man units. Putting booker hat back down, the stage was set for a big explanation for the turn and we didn’t get it on this night.

There’s Always a Plan B

Gold & Stardust vs. RybAxel
RAW • June 16, 2014
(Alternate Commentary with Stardust)

Cody Rhodes felt like he had let Golddust down since they lost the tag titles and was losing his mojo. After recruiting other potential partners for his big brother, Cody found the perfect partner — himself in the new guise of Stardust. Cody is one of those guys on the roster who works hard to overcome any lousy booking. While Stardust probably won’t be the gimmick that takes him to the world title, Cody makes it work. And oh yeah, RybAxel gets taken out with little effort. This was all about Stardust’s introduction and in that regard, this was a success. Rating: 2 out of 5

Vickie’s Last Laugh

Mud Pool Match with Vickie Guerrero’s Career on the Line
Vickie Guerrero vs. Stephanie McMahon
RAW • June 23, 2014

Best of Raw Smackdown 2014 - Vickie Guerrero vs Stephanie McMahon mud poolStephanie tells Vickie the match isn’t taking place in the ring, but in the chocolate pudding mud pool. The rules on this one are a bit different from the norm though as the first one in the pool loses. Steph has another surprise for Vickie as Alicia Foxx, Layla and Rosa Mendes come out to toss her in the pool, but since even the Divas division has a job squad, Vickie is able to fend them all off and into the pool. This is kinda like a video game as the trip into the pool somehow eliminates the trio from going up and pulling Vickie in too. Vickie celebrates too soon though and Stephanie shoves her into the muck. Stephanie stops and gloats long enough to see where this is going as she tries to get the crowd to sing “Nah, Nah, Nah Hey Hey Hey Goodbye” before realizing the fired Vickie has nothing to lose. Say what you will about Stephanie and Triple H, but they’re good for the occasional humiliating moment. Vickie sashays out to Eddie Guerrero’s theme and takes a bow to thank the fans as she heads to retirement. Nice sendoff for one of the WWE’s best recent on-screen characters. Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Brie Bella & Stephanie McMahon’s SummerSlam Contract Signing
RAW • August 4, 2014

Best of Raw Smackdown 2014 - Stephanie McMahon contract signing with Brie Bella Nikki BellaBe a co-owner of the company. Have consecutive segments on the Best of 2014 set. Brie Bella still isn’t a natural cutting promos and Stephanie absolutely destroys Brie with her rebuttal before laying out both Nikki and Brie Bella with Pedigrees. Like The Undertaker/Brock segment, I’m surprised contract signings were included on the set since the actual payoff — the match — won’t be included in the set. With the switch to the WWE Network, I wonder if the 2015 Best of will include Network specials/former pay-per-view matches?

Stephanie Will Pay

The Authority Introduces Brock Lesnar as WWE World Heavyweight Champion
RAW • August 18, 2014

Best of Raw Smackdown 2014 - Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar The AuthorityThis is some high level gloating with Paul Heyman gleefully smiling and Brock smirking as they pose for pictures with The Authority. I’ve yet to have a good explanation why The Authority would want anyone besides Cena to be the champ seeing as how he’s the company’s top merchandise seller. Wouldn’t that guy as the champ be “best for business?”

Whatever, Heyman cuts another masterful promo explaining how his client destroyed Cena at WWE: SummerSlam 2014 (Blu ray) [Blu-ray] . For a bonus, listen to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s podcast with Heyman where he goes over how he crafted that promo. There aren’t many smarter people involved in the wrestling business than Heyman.

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
RAW • August 18, 2014

Best of Raw SmackDown 2014 - Ambrose vs Rollins falls count anywhereHere’s a frustrating inclusion as it was also on “WWE: The Destruction of the Shield” Rollins and Ambrose can do no wrong when matched against each other, but Kane annoyingly interjects himself in the fun and prevents a definitive conclusion to the feud. Rating 3 out of 5

Jericho and Wyatt’s Last Stand

Steel Cage Match
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
RAW • September 8, 2014

This is the blow-off to the disappointing Jericho/Wyatt feud. Jericho was making another cup of coffee comebacks and Wyatt was in need of some momentum after losing his feud with Cena. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this match, but it lacked that feeling of importance that a steel cage typically signifies as the final match in a heated rivalry. Rating: 3 out of 5

The Rock Interrupts Rusev and Lana
RAW • October 6, 2014

Rock and Rusev“The Great One” returns to RAW to hang out with Derek Jeter in New York and since he was in the neighborhood, he decided to swing by and greet the millions … and millions and confront The Bulgarian Brute. Normally I’m not in favor of a mostly-retired star humiliating a rising star on the roster, but c’mon, it’s The Rock!

15-Man Tag Team Match
Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny
SmackDown • October 10, 2014

To commemorate Smackdown’s 15th anniversary, two of its longtime general managers — Teddy Long and John Laurinitis have their teams [Sheamus, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, The Usos, Los Matadores & El Torito] and [Damien Mizdow, Cesaro, Bo Dallas, Gold & Stardust, Slater Gator & Mini-Gator] respectively face off. As a throwaway multi-man match, it was pretty entertaining. Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
RAW • November 3, 2014

Best of Raw Smackdown 2014 - randy orton seth rollinsThe Authority explodes! Or not. Tempers flare between The Authority’s two lead dogs. The rest of The Authority is at ringside and Triple H is torn between which of his protégées to back. Rollins actually wins clean and Orton shakes hands with Mercury, Noble and Kane, but can’t quite bring himself to accept Seth being “the bigger man” and apologizing so he hits him with an RKO followed by one for everyone. Triple H, proving his diplomacy skills need some sharpening, once again fails to calm a situation down as Orton clocks him en route to an Authority beat down to write Orton off while he shoots a movie. After a lull in terms of high quality matches, this was a welcome addition to the disc. Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Triple Threat Elimination Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd
SmackDown • November 14, 2014

Best of Raw Smackdown 2014 - Dolph Ziggler Cesaro Tyson KiddMy kind of three-way match — elimination style. This was the one match of the set that with an actual build and about 10-more minutes could have been a Network special main event. It’s no coincidence that the set’s two best matches feature Cesaro and he works well with Kidd and Ziggler. This was a SmackDown throwaway in route to Survivor Series, but this was a fun match that recalled the glory days of the WCW cruiserweight division. Rating: 4 out of 5

John Cena, Ryback, & Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins, Kane & Luke Harper
RAW • December 1, 2014

Best of Raw Smackdown 2014 - Team Cena after Survivor Series Ziggler Cena Rowan RybackFollowing Survivor Series, three members of Team Cena take on members of Team Authority. Nice, long fun matchup that sees Team Cena stand tall and get a little payback on team turncoat The Big Show. The good guys standing tall makes for an easy and smart way to wrap up the set. Rating: 3 out of 5.

Looking Back at 2014

With the change to The WWE Network, the money in this Best of the Year set is focusing on the big angles and the blow matches as the current look back can’t pay-off a lot of what is set up. Still, there’s a number of gems here specifically anything involving Cena, The Shield, The Wyatt Family and Cesaro and that’s enough to make this a recommended purchase.

Buy it here on DVD: WWE: Best of Raw and Smackdown 2014