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WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology(TV) (2013)
A collection of the best of the "Money in the Bank" matches, hosted by The Miz.
For more about WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology and the WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology Blu-ray release, see WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on November 7, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: The Miz, John Cena, Glenn "Kane" Jacobs, Edge, Booker T, Dolph Ziggler
» See full cast & crew
WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology Blu-ray Review
This release? Money.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, November 7, 2013
Take the awe of the classic ladder match -- Blu-ray fans already have more than a taste in the excellent Ladder Match 2 release -- and replace the Championship Belt with the next best thing, namely a shot at the Championship Belt, and behold the wonder of Money in the Bank, one of the WWE's finest main attractions and a guaranteed entertainer quite unlike anything else across the wide WWE landscape. In many ways, the "Money in the Bank" concept improves on the standard championship ladder match. Before, with the belt fastened high up over the ring, the stakes were incredibly high, the wrestling inspired, and the immediate gratification of a winner crowned when it was all said and done making for quite the thrill. Then, the air comes blowing out of the building. It's done and over with until the next time the belt is on the line, one way or the other. With the "Money in the Bank" match comes something much more open to long-term drama. The winner of the match -- the man who defies the odds and defeats his opponents to ascend the ladder and grab the sought-after satchel -- not only enjoys the thrill of a well-earned victory in the immediate but earns the opportunity, for one calendar year, to "cash in" his win and get a shot at the championship at his convenience, on his terms. Time it right -- say, when the newly-crowned or title-retaining champion is at his weakest after a long, punishing match -- and a victory is almost all but guaranteed. While the Money in the Bank winner still has to wrestle for his hardware, the added drama, potential for a lengthy holdout, and the surprise of a cash-in opportunity make for undeniably enticing and exciting wrestling that's sure to remain a staple of the WWE for years to come.
Obviously, the Money on the Bank event was more an evolution of an existing wrestling staple rather than a revolution that would redefine the industry. It was no War Games, to be sure, but its impact has been significant within the few years of its existence and it's certainly become one of the most popular contests in the WWE. It was introduced at WrestleMania 21 by Chris Jericho in 2005, conceived as a six-man event that would see the wrestlers battle for the right to wrestle for the WWE Championship by surviving the grueling, unforgiving world of the ladder match, a match in which the ladder (or ladders) isn't merely a tool to climb a few feet above the ring's floor but also a weapon of mass bodily destruction with which opponents may spear or sandwich one another, leap from the top for a devastating aerial assault, or knock over a combatant just within a fingertip's length of the coveted briefcase. The event's popularity exploded almost overnight. It expanded from six wrestlers to eight and from eight to ten. It transitioned from RAW to SmackDown -- including a dual July 18, 2010 extravaganza -- and eventually morphed into a Pay-Per-View event all its own, leaving behind the bright lights of WrestleMania in favor of its own honored place amongst the WWE's top events.
One-time WWE Money in the Bank Champion The Miz hosts WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology. As one might expect, he's a charismatic, "me first" sort of presenter, but with tongue occasionally planted firmly in cheek. He makes for a good host considering his natural screen presence and personal history in Money in the Bank lore. Technically, the disc arrives as-expected of a WWE release, with a steady assortment of classic Money in the Bank matches -- featuring a wide array of modern Superstars -- and occasionally interspersed with footage featuring The Miz talking up the event's history, a specific match, or himself. Most of the matches hail from the high definition era, so there are only a handful at the beginning that aren't sourced from HD material. It's good to go straight out of the box and a surefire entertainer for both hardcore wrestling fans and those looking for an easy way in to the exciting world of professional wrestling.
The following matches are included as part of the Money in the Bank Anthology:
WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology Blu-ray, Video Quality
WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology looks quite good across its wide range of technical qualities. The first three matches are sourced from 4x3 footage hailing from late in the SD era; they are presented with vertical "black bars" on either side of the 1.78:1 display to retain the integrity of the original television program. Here, the image appears with some technical difficulties and an absence of the precise color, definition, and stability enjoyed by HD material but fares about as well as one might expect of SD material. The middle matches from the early years of HD video show a little bit in the way of compression issues and flatness while revealing quality details and bright, stable colors. The newest matches fare best, showing less in the way of detracting compression problems while maintaining a high level of visible detailing and color. However, the interspersed segments with The Miz don't look all that great. They're rather murky and poorly defined, and the absence of bright colors doesn't help, either. Close-ups fare a little better, but this is one of the worst looking intermission commentaries on recent WWE releases. Note that standard definition footage shown during these Miz segments has been reformatted to 1.78:1.
WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology Blu-ray, Audio Quality
WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology features the typical WWE audio offering: Dolby Digital 5.1. As with the video, the audio varies a bit in quality but never loses much steam in the earliest matches compared to the latest. Generally, listeners will discover a fairly wide stage, with the introductory music pumped through arena speakers which in turn nicely drifts into the listening area. That music sometimes comes through a bit harshly, but it's generally effective. Ringside commentary plays evenly and accurately from the center, while a few supportive elements nicely fill in the gaps and help bring the chaos of the ladder match into the home. The intercuts featuring The Miz enjoy good, even stage presence and reverberate lightly around the rather cavernous room in which he speaks.
WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology contains a number of added Money in the Bank cash-in "matches" and one post-match moment, all found on disc two. The two-disc set comes housed in a unique slipcover made to look like the Money in the Bank briefcase. Folded cardboard handles are built into the slipcover to further the illusion.
WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
WWE: Money in the Bank Anthology makes for a fun and deserving WWE release. The matches are exciting and plentiful, and considering most are presented in high definition, the collection enjoys that slightly more modern, up-to-date feel that compilations featuring material from the 80s and 90s and early-to-mid 2000s often lack. It moves quickly and proves most enjoyable; the antics of the ladder match never grow old, and the WWE has done well to assemble the best of the best of the event's brief but storied history. The Blu-ray release features typical WWE video and audio. Some smart bonuses are included on disc two. highly recommended to wrestling fans.
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