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WWE: The Best of RAW and SmackDown 2011 DVD Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By

Best of RAW and SmackDown 2011 DVD Cover

Best of RAW and SmackDown 2011 DVD Cover

© 2012 WWE, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
As part of their look back at 2011, WWE Home Video released The Best of RAW and SmackDown 2011. This set features some of the most memorable moments that took place on RAW and SmackDown during the first eleven months of 2011. This set also marks the first time that the yearly highlights for both shows were combined into one DVD set. In the past, each show had its own DVD set and each of them ran under a different yearly calendar.

Review and Recommendation

Format of the DVD: This production is hosted by Josh Mathews. The 4-disc DVD set features over 30 matches and several promos while the 3-disc Blu-ray version of this set features an additional six additional matches.

Packaging Note: The match listing for the DVD is printed on the inner sleeve of the package. In addition, the back of the box lists an approximate running time of 10 hours.

Editing Issue: The matches are shown just as they were on television. Any matches which were interrupted by a commercial break when they aired will have that portion of it clipped away on this DVD set.

Format Changes From Prior Years: Prior to this year, WWE programming ran over the course of three different calendars. Their year-end compilations for pay-per-view matches used to have WrestleMania as its year-end while RAW worked under a traditional calendar year and SmackDown had its year begin in September. This year, both the compilations for their television shows and their pay-per-view events begin in January.

Of course, the other huge change is that this year's set combines the best of both RAW and SmackDown. In prior years, each show had its own annual DVD compilation set. It makes sense this year that they combined the two DVD sets into one because of the end of the brand split on television that took place during 2011.

Match Selection: When there is over 200 hours of footage to choose from, when you clip it down to only 10 hours, there will certainly be some things that you wish didn't wind up on the cutting room floor. There were two items from this year that I was surprised not to find on this DVD set. The first was footage from the night that the Green Bay Packers interfered in a match between Edge and Dolph Ziggler. The other was the stare down between the Undertaker and Triple H that led to their match at WrestleMania XXVII. That stare down made it Blu-ray edition of this set.

My biggest gripe with the Best Pay-Per-View Matches of 2011 was that the DVD set ended in October. Because of that, it failed to feature the return to the ring of The Rock as well as Daniel Bryan winning the World Heavyweight Championship at TLC 2011. This compilation suffers from a similar issue in that it ends in November. Thankfully, nothing too big happened in December last year on either show. While I'm glad that the WWE is now working with the same calendar for all of their DVD sets, I just wish that next year they will hold off for a few months on the production of each one so that the entire year is represented on them.

Overall Recommendation: When I think back on 2011 for both shows, I immediately think of three promos (Punk, Rock, and Edge) and not so much about any of the matches. Watching this DVD made me remember that there was some great action that was televised for free last year. I also enjoyed that the two annual sets 3-disc sets for RAW and SmackDown were condensed into one 4-disc set this year. Not only does it save money for the fans, but sometimes those sets really had to struggle to find some good stuff to put on the set. That wasn't a problem with the new format this year.

While this DVD set is not a must-have, I don't think you will mind adding it to your wrestling DVD library either. While my review is for the DVD set and not the Blu-ray set, based upon the exclusive match listing for the Blu-ray set, I would recommend saving a few dollars and buying the DVD set instead of the Blu-ray.

Chapters On This DVD Set

For chapters that are available on other DVDs, I will note the DVD it is also available on in parenthesis and italics. In addition, I have provided a link for each chapter that was recapped the night it happened. Chapters that are

Disc One

  • RAW 1/3/11 - Falls Count Anywhere Match: WWE Champion The Miz vs. John Morrison
  • SmackDown 1/7/11 - Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston (Includes an immediate rematch between the two men)
  • SmackDown 1/7/11 - 2-Out-of-3 Falls Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio
  • RAW 1/24/11 - Divas Champion Natalya vs. Melina
  • RAW 2/14/11 - Non-title Match: WWE Champion The Miz vs. US Champion Daniel Bryan
  • RAW 2/14/11 - The Rock Returns to RAW (The Rock: The Epic Journey of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson)
  • RAW 2/21/11 - John Cena Responds to The Rock
  • SmackDown 2/18/11 - The Championship Coronation of Dolph Ziggler (also includes a match between Edge & Ziggler for the Title)
  • RAW 3/7/11 - A Stone Cold Referee
  • RAW 3/14/11 - "The Rock" Attacks John Cena
  • SmackDown 3/18/11 - Steel Cage Match: Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio
  • SmackDown 3/25/11 - Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett
  • RAW 3/28/11 - Streak in Jeopardy?
Disc Two
  • SmackDown 4/15/11 - Edge Says Goodbye
  • RAW 4/25/11 - A New Side of R-Truth
  • RAW 5/2/11 - WWE Champion John Cena vs. The Miz
  • SmackDown 5/6/11 - World Heavyweight Champion Christian vs. Randy Orton (Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator)
  • RAW 5/23/11 - Riley's Revenge
  • SmackDown 6/3/11 - Christian is the Special Guest Referee: World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
  • RAW 6/20/11 - 6-Man Tag Team Elimination Match: John Cena, Randy Orton, & Alex Riley vs. Christian, R-Truth, & The Miz
  • SmackDown 6/24/11 - Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes
  • RAW 6/27/11 - CM Punk Speaks His Mind
  • SmackDown 7/1/11 - Sin Cara vs. Christian
  • RAW 7/18/11 - Mr. McMahon is Relieved of His Duties
Disc Three
  • RAW 7/25/11 - WWE Champion Rey Mysterio vs. John Cena (Includes the return of WWE Champion CM Punk after the bout)
  • SmackDown 8/12/11 - Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson vs. Cody Rhodes
  • RAW 8/15/11 - Falls Count Anywhere: John Morrison vs. R-Truth
  • SmackDown 8/19/11 - Non-title Match: WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan
  • RAW 8/22/11 - WWE Tag Team Champions David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty vs. Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne
  • SmackDown 8/30/11 - Steel Cage Match: World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Christian
  • SmackDown 9/9/11 - Non-title Match: World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes
  • SmackDown 9/16/11 - The Cutting Edge With Mark Henry and Randy Orton
  • RAW 9/19/11 - Mark Henry is Unleashed
  • RAW 9/19/11 - Non-title Match: US Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder with Hugh Jackman
  • SmackDown 9/23/11 - Lumberjack Match: World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry vs. Christian
  • RAW 9/26/11 - CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio
Disc Four
  • RAW 10/3/11 - John Cena, CM Punk, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, & Mason Ryan vs. Alberto Del Rio, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, & David Otunga
  • RAW 10/3/11 - Vote of No Confidence
  • RAW 10/10/11 - Triple H is the Special Guest Referee: John Cena vs. Sheamus
  • SmackDown 10/21/11 - Mask vs. Mask: Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara
  • SmackDown 11/4/11 - Non-Title Street Fight: Randy Orton vs. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes
  • SmackDown 11/4/11 - World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan
  • RAW 11/21/11 - Non-title Match: WWE Champion CM Punk vs. US Champion Dolph Ziggler
Blu-Ray Exclusive Content (source: Silvervision)
  • SmackDown 1/7/11 - Last Man Standing Match: World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Kane
  • RAW 1/17/11 - Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
  • RAW 1/17/11 - John Cena vs. CM Punk
  • RAW 2/21/11 - Undertaker & Triple H Stare Down
  • RAW 3/28/11 - John Cena Adjusts The Rock’s Attitude
  • RAW 4/14/11 - Save the Date: The Rock vs. John Cena
  • SmackDown 6/24/11 - Kane vs. Christian
  • RAW 6/27/11 - No Count Out Match: Evan Bourne vs. Sin Cara
  • RAW 6/27/11 - Tornado Tag Team Match: Rey Mysterio & Alex Riley vs. The Miz & Jack Swagger
  • RAW 7/11/11 - CM Punk’s Public Contract Negotiation
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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