The Best of RAW and Smackdown LIVE 2016

2016 was quite a year for WWE’s flagship shows, RAW and Smackdown (which was now live on Tuesday nights).  We saw various members of NXT promoted to the main roster and most importantly one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet AJ Styles finally came to WWE.  A bonafide WCW icon also arrived towards the end of the year in Bill Goldberg.  However in my opinion, the whole ‘Return/Lesnar’ storyline which is still continuing at time of writing is artistically bankrupt and a complete yawnfest.  There was also a little thing called the Brand Split where the two shows now had their own seperate rosters and PPV’s.

There was plenty to get excited about as Becky Lynch finally got a championship belt around her waist, although she didn’t hold on to it as long as I would have liked.   I did personally get to see her defend it though against Alexa Bliss at a house show in Cardiff.  The feud between Charlotte and Sasha carried on throughout the year and comprised of quite a few switches of the belt.  Also, someone had the balls in head office to pull the trigger on Kevin Owens (at the expense of Finn Balor’s injury unfortunately) and make him the Universal Champion.  The New Day became the longest holders of the tag team belts beating Demolition, because… “New Day Rocks!!”

Sadly, the year also saw some damn fine wrestlers leave in Alberto Del Rio and Wade Barrett.  Del Rio is ripping it up in the independent circuit and managed to nab Paige as well so he’s doing fine.  Barrett is doing a spot of acting and gone back to his real name Stu Bennett.  His WWE film Eliminators with Scott Adkins was pretty good so hopefully that will serve him well as a new (second) career.  Cody Rhodes also left along with his wife Brandi, he is also doing well on the indies which you would expect being the fantastic talent he is.

The DVD set is comprised of three discs introduced by Jerry Lawler and is almost 9 hours long.  There’s plenty of good matches and promos spread across the discs including Daniel Bryan’s retirement speech and the return of Shane McMahon.  The newcomers to the brands get exposure as well, so we see the likes of Tyler Breeze, Apollo Crews and Big Cass.  Unfortunately there is some of James Elsworth as well but nothing in life is ever perfect I suppose.

All in all, a nice retrospective but I wish WWE would do one for for NXT and the Cruiserweight Classic as well.  Good value for countless hours of WWE fun and frolics.

  • Starring Daniel Bryan  The Miz  Becky Lynch  Jerry Lawler  Vince McMahon
  • Distributor WWE/Fremantle