Filmed in front of an audience of 15,000, this all star WWE extravaganza offers almost three hours of musclebound pandemonium. The centrepiece is a clash where contestants have to climb a ladder to collect a briefcase containing a big bucks contract for a World Championship bout. Sounds simple? Not when you’re up against six other equally eager opponents. If you’re not already a fan of wrestling, you might not instantly see the appeal of watching guys with amazing bodies and wearing very little (Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler) being stomped on by even bigger guys (Sheamus, Kane) and then somehow wriggling their way back into contention, but the whole thing has an infectious physicality, with flashes of graceful, well-timed gymnastics and moments of slapstick humour. And for all the theatricality, there are some stunts and falls that look truly, bone-shakingly painful. By the end, there are more sprawling, semi-conscious bodies than in Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa.
The rest of the billing is just as memorable. For the Diva’s Championship, there’s an enjoyably dirty cat-fight with some remarkably flexible, joint-straining contortions between hostile hottie Nikki Bella and rather whiny British Goth girl Paige, then a super heavyweight contest between 7 footer The Big Show and Ryback. The sight of Ryback picking up the 450 pound behemoth and tossing him around like a rag doll has to be the standout moment on this DVD, and proof that some of these leotard-wearing dudes really are as superhuman as the hypsters would have you believe. Last up is another ladder match, this time for the Championship Belt, between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (who you tend to assume is perfectly at home with ladders if only because he dresses like a house painter). This starts off at a lightning pace and slows into a punch-drunk war of attrition. All in all, plenty for WWE fans to cheer about.
EXTRAS Another 8-min match featuring King Barrett and R-Truth. ~ An intentionally comical 8-min bragging scene with the winner of the Money in the Bank bout.