The Spotlight On The WWE “Attitude Era: Volume 3” Unrelased Matches DVD Set

Over the last week our friends over at WrestlingDVDNetwork.com have released the full content listing for the brand new WWE “Attitude Era Volume 3” DVD Set that is scheduled to be released this upcoming August. For those that haven’t heard WWE is planning on making this particular release a set filled with previously unreleased matches. Below is the complete match list (no word on whether or not this includes blu ray exclusives) and I think it’s really interesting. Check it out…

— WWE Championship Match

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels

Kuwait City, Kuwait • May 12, 1996

— Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker
Madison Square Garden • August 9, 1996

— Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Goldust

[Non-Televised] In Your House: It’s Time • December 15, 1996

— Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H
Anaheim, CA • March 13, 1998

— The Nation of Domination vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie

[Non-Televised] RAW • December 29, 1997

— WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock

Anaheim, CA • March 13, 1998

— Stone Cold Steve Austin & Cactus Jack vs. The Rock & D’Lo Brown

Madison Square Garden • January 10, 1998

— Stone Cold Steve Austin, Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie vs. The Rock & The New Age Outlaws

Meadowlands, NJ • February 22, 1998

— The Ultimate Warrior vs. Owen Hart

Madison Square Garden • May 19, 1996

— Yokozuna vs. The Sultan

Sun City, South Africa • September 14, 1996

— Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship

Shawn Michaels vs. Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Sycho Sid

[Non-Televised] RAW • February 3, 1997

— Long Island Street Fight

Dude Love vs. The British Bulldog

Uniondale, NY • October 24, 1997

— The Hardy Boyz vs. Lo Down

Wall St, New York City, NY • October 25, 2000

— The Undertaker vs. Mankind

[Non-Televised] In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies • April 28, 1996

— The Undertaker & Bret “Hit Man”” Hart vs. Owen Hart & The British Bulldog

Kuwait City, Kuwait • May 12, 1996

— The Undertaker, Goldust & Ahmed Johnson vs. The Nation of Domination

[Non-Televised] RAW • March 17, 1997

— Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship

The Undertaker vs. Bret “The Hit Man” Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

Anaheim, CA • June 28, 1997

— Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker

Madison Square Garden • June 26, 1999

— WWE Championship Match

Shawn Michaels vs. Goldust

[Non-Televised] In Your House: Buried Alive • October 20, 1996

— Shawn Michaels & Triple H vs. The Legion of Doom

Uniondale, NY • October 24, 1997

— Triple H vs. The Big Show

Madison Square Garden • June 26, 1999

— Dog Collar Match

Road Dogg vs. Mr. Ass Billy Gunn

Meadowlands, NJ • July 31, 1999


Closing Thoughts: 

This set is a must buy for me personally. I love that they’ve included a set of matches that you can’t just pull up on the Network & view everything right there. This is a set where you’ll have to go out of your way to purchase the blu Ray to see a rare collection of matches. I love the rare matches that were either dark matches (Shawn Michaels vs Goldust from the Buried Alive pay per view especially) or matches from overseas or completely unique like the Hardy Boys match from Wall Street. Also, as a New Yorker I am loving the matches from New York as I went to so many live events as a kid and remember witnessing some of these live. 

Overall, this is going to just going to be cool to watch these matches for the very first time. Some of the triple threats, for example, took place before WWE did triple threat matches regularly and will be cool to see. I’m also glad that they weren’t so strict with the attitude era timeline & included some matches from 1996, especially a rare Ultimate Warrior-Owen Hart match as they’ve only had one tv match, to the best of my knowledge, and it was a short throwaway match with a non finish. I am curious,however, if there will commentary on these matches as watching matches without commentary is always a little odd for my personal taste. 

In the end, this set proves that even with the Network, with WWE’s huge video library, there is a still a market for blu Ray releases. We’ll have more on this set when it is released this summer! 

The Spotlight On Stone Cold Live!

Last month when I sat live at Wrestlemania, I looked at my girlfriend with a look of anticipation when a commercial came up previewing all of the new original programming planned for the WWE Network in the future.  On the list I was intrigued with such new ideas as Culture Shock with Corey Graves, Unfiltered with Renee Young and the return of WWE’s mini documentary series- “24”.  However, one thing that seemed to be missing from the schedule was Stone Cold Live- a live sit down podcast/ interview hosted by Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Austin’s first two interviews with Vince McMahon and Triple H were both two of my favorite original specials on the network and I was disappointed that it wasn’t included in the lineup.  Well, today WWE changed all of that when they released a press release welcoming Stone Cold Steve Austin back into the WWE family by announcing that his live special would be returning after all.  Not only would it be returning, but it appears that Austin has signed a contract to do a new monthly sit down interview series set to air immediately following Monday Night Raw.  Here are some highlights from that press release.

1) Stone Cold is Back-  Make no mistake, the biggest thing to come out of this show being green lit for the WWE Network is that Stone Cold Steve Austin is back in WWE.  Thankfully the two sides were able to work out some sort of deal and to do so way before Wrestlemania 32  which just so happens to be in Steve Austin’s backyard of Arlington, Texas.  What better way to get 100,000+ people to fill in Cowboys Stadium than by having one more, true retirement match for the Texas Rattlesnake.  I still have my doubts that it will ever happen but at least now we can all add a bit of hope for that dream match with Austin back in the WWE family.

2) Paul Heyman on June 1st- Leave it to WWE, just when you think they’ve given you all you can handle for new subscribers in May by adding an Elimination Chamber Pay Per View on May 31st, the final day of May, they hook you to stick around in June by putting the return episode of “Stone Cole Live!” the next night on June 1st!  The guest for that show?  The man behind the one in 22 and 1, Paul Heyman!  So now not only did WWE just give you the return of Steve Austin to WWE telelvision but also the on screen return of Paul Heyman, who hasn’t been seen since Brock Lesnar was suspended the night after Wrestlemania, quite the hook isn’t it?  Regardless of the content, it’s always fun whenever these two former Dangerous Alliance Alumni get together.

3) Future Guests–  One of the things I wondered about when I started hearing about all of these live interviews on the Network was, how they’d keep up with the A-list level stars to be guests for the shows.  Certainly the first four Vince McMahon, Triple H, John Cena, and Stephanie McMahon were as big as they got but at some point there would have to be some sort of drop off, no?  Well it doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon as the first guest is Paul Heyman and in the future guests section of that press release, the three names listed were Hulk Hogan, Sting and The Undertaker.  That means that on future epsiodes of Stone Cold Live, being promoted is a candid one on on discussion between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan, Sting’s return to WWE in any capacity isnce Wrestlemania (perhaps to announce a return match?) and the first interview with the Undertaker since, well at least a decade (aside from some DVD clips).

Closing Thoughts

In the end, the big take away from this press release that I got, aside from Steve austin returning to WWE in some capacity, is that WWE still seems to be making the WWE Network a priority.  They seem to want the fans to think “whoa four pay per views in four weeks” and then still give us more with the return of Stone Cold Live.  It’s indeed a great time to be a WWE fan and as good a time as any to be a WWE Network Subscriber, after all it is just $9.99!

Below you will find the complete press release for all of those interested…

“STONE COLD®” LIVE ON WWE® NETWORK

STAMFORD, Conn., May 18, 2015 – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will host Stone Cold Podcast, Live!, a no-holds-barred, in-your-face monthly interview series beginning Monday, June 1 at 11 p.m. ET on the award-winning WWE Network, with special guest Paul Heyman.

Each month immediately following Monday Night Raw, which airs on USA Network, the WWE Hall of Famer will sit down with the biggest names in WWE including Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, Sting and other celebrities from the world of sports and entertainment for an exclusive interview on WWE Network.

“If you’re ready for the Stone Cold Podcast, give me a ‘Hell Yeah!’,” said “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

Click here to see a clip from Austin’s interview with WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon from December, 2014, and click here to see a clip from his interview with WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative Paul “Triple H®” Levesque from February, 2015.

The hour-long series joins the slate of brand new original programming recently announced by WWE Network including, Too Hot For TV Presented by Jerry Springer, Swerved and WWE The List.

WWE Network, which launched on February 24, 2014, is the fastest-growing digital subscription service with more than 1.3 million subscribers as of March 30, 2015.  It is available in more than 175 countries, and was named Best Over-The-Top Content Service for 2015 at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards.

Like other digital subscription services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, fans are able to sign up for WWE Network online by going to WWE.com and can watch WWE Network on their TVs through connected devices such as Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku streaming devices as well as Smart TVs including Sony and Samsung. WWE Network’s one-of-a-kind programming includes all 12 WWE pay-per-view events LIVE at no additional charge plus groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches, exclusive coverage of special events and more than 3,000 hours of video-on-demand programming.

For a complete listing of WWE Network availability by country and device, please click here.

The Spotlight On Attitude Era Raw- 12/29/1997

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of the spotlight on Attitude Era Raw where each week we continue our journey through every episode of Monday Night Raw that took place during the famous Attitude Era as listed on the WWE Network’s Attitude Era Raw section.  Remember the hope is to have these listed for you as you’re waiting for this week’s Raw so that if you’d like to wet your wrestling pallet prior to Raw, you can go back and watch this episode.  This week we journey back to December 29th, 1997 in which Raw took place in the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.  For what it’s worth, the Nassau Coliseum is my favorite venue to watch a wrestling show, at least it rivals Madison Square Garden.  I have been going to shows at Nassau Coliseum since I was all but five years old in 1991.  With that said, however, I hadn’t gone to any television tapings until the late 1990s so I was not present for this Raw taping. Regardless, this was a really fun and eventful episode of Monday Night Raw so let’s get right into it with the highlights of the show.

Highlights
1) Crapper 3:16-   The highlight of highlights on this show has to be the opening segment featuring the brawl between The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust (Coming to a Do you remember section of this blog near you) and Stone Cold Steve Austin.  TAFKA Goldust comes out as the single most annoying character back then, dressed as the new year’s baby as this was the final Raw of 1997.  This leads to Stone Cold Steve Austin showing up and lowering a porta john from the rafters before throwing Goldust into said porta john.  It’s one of the great Stone Cold Steve Austin memories that I feel gets overlooked because it took place early in his run pre-McMahon feud but to me it’s one of my favorite memories of the Stone Cold character, well worth going out of your way to track down.
2) Jim Cornette’s Rant-  This is an interesting episode of Monday Night Raw because in many ways it’s a transition episode.  This being the final episode of 1997, a year in which WWF lost mostly every week in the Monday Night War and lost Bret Hart in well documented controversial fashion, this is right before the WWF started one of it’s most successful year’s in history, that being 1998.  Thus, in this episode you get a heartfelt thank you from Vince McMahon thanking the fans for sticking by the WWF and also to expect big things from the WWF in 1998.  Also on this episode, in a similar vein, you get a pretty controversial promo from Jim Cornette about the state of wrestling of 1997.  It’s worth taking a few minutes to check out and I’ve embedded the video for you guys above.
3) Shawn Michaels Vs. Owen Hart- The war between Sgt. Slaughter and D-Generation X continued this week as Triple H pulled out of his title match with Owen Hart, due to injury, only to have Sarge declare that Shawn would now have to defend his world title against Owen instead.  This is really a packed show as this was also the night that The Undertaker’s casket arrived to scare Triple H only to have Shawn pop out of the casket dancing to start the build for their match at the Rumble.  As for match quality, I’m trying to give you one each week and, even though there’s a screwy finish, it doesn’t get much better than Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart.  Owen was still super hot at the time as it seemed that perhaps he would be getting that major push towards the world title following the Montreal Screwjob.
Do You Remember…
Chainsaw Charlie?!?!?- This episode of Monday Night Raw won’t only be remembered for the great DX and Stone Cold Steve Austin segments, oh no!  This stacked Raw will also be remembered for the night in which Chainsaw Charlie made his debut.  If you don’t remember Chainsaw, this was the character portrayed by Terry Funk during the time period where Mick Foley (Now Cactus Jack) was searching for a partner to help him out in his battles against The New Age Outlaws.  So yes that man with the pantyhose over his face in the picture above is WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk!
Closing Thoughts
Overall, this was obviously a stacked episode of Raw that’s worth going out of your way to check out.  I really like that not only did they start to put such an emphasis on the Royal Rumble (In December) but they also started to cement some of the seeds for Wrestlemania that year, three months out.  It’s because of long term booking like this that midcard matches at Mania that year like Owen Hart Vs. Triple H and The New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie meant so much more.  That’s going to do it for this week, I’ll be back early in the morning with the spotlight on this week’s Raw and back next week looking at the first Raw of 1998!

The Spotlight on Attitude Era Raw-12/22/1997

Just last month the WWE Network launched a collection of 55 episodes of Monday night Raw that were titled “Attitude Era Raw”. The Raws started with the final two episodes of Raw from 1997 & spanned up until the first Raw from 1999. This means that for the first time since its inception, every single Raw from 1998, one of the most successful years in WWF history, is available in the on demand section of the WWE Network. So beginning today, I’m going to go through every single Raw on that list once a week spanning a full year. The idea with this is not to break down every segment of every Raw, but to do the Spotlight on each Raw like I have everything on here with some highlights of each show & also some overall thoughts.  There will also be a “Do You Remember?” feature which will cover a variety of superstars, storylines or matches that you may have forgotten about, most of the time with good reason. My plan is to release these over a full year and drop these posts at 630PM EST so you have the full 90 minutes to check out these classic attitude era Raws prior to this week’s Raw, if you’re so inclined.  Thus, without any further ado let’s get to Monday Night Raw from December 22, 1997 which took place at the memorial auditorium ins Lowell, Massachusetts.

Highlights 

1) Raw Is Christmas–  I’m a sucker for holiday themed wrestling specials.  I always used to feel like the old Survivor Series events that took place in and around Thanksgiving did a great job incorporating Thanksgiving into the show and getting you into the holiday spirit.  Well this episode of Monday Night Raw is, arguably, the most Christmas themed episode of in history (and this includes the Raw hyped around the good santa vs the evil santa just a couple of years ago).  From the infamous clips of Stone Cold giving Santa a stunner the week before, to Sable coming out first dressed as a reindeer then revealing a sexy mrs claus get up, to vader  claus, to the merry DX mas mooning to start the show to even the entire arena being decked out in red & green while snow fell throughout the night, made this a very festive Raw.

2) D Generation-X in Classic Form– The main story of this episode of Raw was the continuing saga of the feud between DX & Commissioner Sgt Slaughter.  The show starts with Slaughter, offended by DX’s antics mooning the crowd & wearing mistletoe G strings to the ring, forcing World Heavyweight Champion Shawn Michaels to defend his European Championship against Dx counterpart Triple H.  The entire show is then built around this developing tension between Shawn & Triple H with the announcers wondering if this was the end of DX.  Of course in the end DX was in on it and Shawn basically lays down for Triple H as the two laugh at Sgt. Slaughter to end the show, but not before Sarge gets one last jab in on DX by saying that next week Triple H would defend his title against Owen Hart.  I always liked this about Raw back then, they always gave you something to look forward to the following week.  I also felt that DX vs. Sgt. Slaughter was a really underrated feud.

3) The Rock Vs. The Undertaker– From an in ring standpoint the only real match that you were able to sink your teeth into was an often forgotten but solid match between the Rock and the Undertaker.  This was during the time period where the Rock was in the Nation of Domination and still finding his way as the intercontinental champion but still this was a fun match that went about 10 minutes.  In the end, their really wasn’t a finish as Kane showed up.  This was during Kane’s first few months in the WWF and so he was still trying to get The Undertaker to fight him.  Kane was so scary upon his debut, the character was so great.

Do You Remember…

Kurrgan?- This was still during the period of time in which Kurrgan was apart of the Truth Commission, with Snyper, Rekon & The Jackyl.  On this show Kurrgan destroys 8-Ball while The Jackyl cuts a promo throughout the entire match.  While Kurrgan looked menacing, there wasn’t much to this match or the entire Truth Commission vs. DOA feud.

Closing Thoughts

This was obviously a taped show as the announcers are shown in front of a green screen.  This was also during the period of time in which they would separate Raw into Raw is War and the Warzone.  They’d end the show at 9 and then have a separate introductions, theme songs and announcers (Except Jim Ross he called both shows) for each half of Raw which I never understood why they did that.  There were also a ton of video packages and highlights on this show so it looked like they filmed the few matches and DX storyline before or after Raw the previous week.  It was also interesting to see how much the crowd was into the Legion of Doom who were taken out the week before.  I also liked that on a Raw in December you already saw some of the pieces coming together for Wrestlemania 14 with Kane-Undertaker, HHH-Owen and Mankind-Outlaws.  Overall a fun show and they got you excited for the next week by announcing that Owen Hart would finally be able to get his hands on DX following the Montreal Screwjob.