The latest two releases from the WWE’s budget Superstars Collection to make it to the UK market at least have an advantage over the last two we reviewed in that this time around the people in the spotlight, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan, haven’t previously been the focus of extensive releases by the company.

    So whilst the world might not have been crying out for single disc release of John Cena or Randy Orton discs, there should be at least something of a market for these.

    Both follow the format of the series in that a brief introductory segment sets things up before we get a straight run through of some of the most important matches in their career.

    To start with the Sheamus set, things kick off with the match from TLC 2009 which saw him become the WWE Champion for the first time. It was wildly premature, not least because Sheamus was simply not over to a main event level, and features one of the worst finishes to a World Title match the WWE has ever seen. That John Cena has to rather obviously propel himself off the top rope and through the table rather than be rocketed off by the Celtic Warrior is one of those suspension of disbelief killing moments that occur a little too often with Cena.

    Better is match from Fatal 4-Way 2010. Cena is back as champion by this point but is unseated by Sheamus for a second time, in a four way match also including Randy Orton and Edge. It’s far from brilliant, and the most excitement is generated by the Nexus run-in, but it is entertaining enough and never drags.

    From there the King Of The Ring final from 2010 between our man and John Morrison is next up. The King title has meant very little for years but the two assemble a tidy little match which at least highlights another “prestigious” match in Sheamus’ career. The match with Daniel Bryan for the US Title nominally does the same but it’s a fairly perfunctory TV match and it never sits well with me when a World Champion drops down to secondary title level. It’s nearly always proof that something wasn’t done right by the promotion.

    We close with Sheamus’ contribution to the Royal Rumble 2012. Our man enters at number 22 and whist I couldn’t pretend his coronation is one of the best in the Rumble’s history, it does end the DVD on a high note.

    On the one hand, if you are a HUGE Sheamus fan and want a record of the “biggest” matches in his career up to the 2012 Rumble, this would tick all the boxes. Three title wins, one King of The Ring win and a Rumble win is an impressive record. As a set of matches though it rarely lifts too highly. Sure 3 of the 5 matches are worth a watch at least once, but there’s nothing that really demands a permanent place in your collection unless you really, REALLY, like the Irishman.

    The Daniel Bryan set would certainly seem to promise better in-ring action to begin with it really does deliver.

    Bryan’s “debut” with the company comes on NXT and his famous match with then World Champion Chris Jericho. Considering that the whole point of Bryan’s NXT run was seemingly to allow the WWE to denigrate Independent Wrestling this is a remarkably even bout. It’s nothing spectacular, but it was a very impressive start.

    For once the next match is provided with a hype video package and I cannot deny that it brought a huge smile to my face watching it in 2014 as the WWE’s attempt to do down Daniel Bryan at the expense of The Miz shows just how times can change. What The Miz wouldn’t give to be in Bryan’s position now. And just for clarification, I hate The Miz. Their Night of Champions 2010 match is very good and it is fitting that Bryan’s US Championship Title win makes it onto this set.
    From there we get the 2011 Smackdown Money In The Bank Match which is a choice effort where all eight entrants put their bodies on the line. Sadly this is the last time we get a great match on this collection

    A November 2011 Smackdown match where Bryan fails to defeat incumbent World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry (in a non-title match) is pretty poor. Worse still, Bryan fails to cash in his Money In The Bank shot afterwards (as in doesn’t get to do it) despite The Big Show’s help and this just portrays Bryan as weak. It would have made more sense if we’d seen the cash-in but instead we go straight to Royal Rumble 2012 where Bryan defends the title in a Steel Cage match against The Big Show and Mark Henry. Our boy tries his best, and it’s by no means a dreadful match, but there’s a limit to what even this miracle worker can pull off.

    Overall the Bryan collection has a couple of good matches and one excellent encounter, although it ends on a lumbering note. Still, there isn’t such a thing as a bad Daniel Bryan match (though the Henry singles match does come awfully close) and as there isn’t any other official WWE release dedicated to the man, this is the place to come if you have to have that Daniel Bryan fix on DVD.

    – By Matthew Roberts | @IWFICON

    Thank you to our partners, and for providing our copies of Superstar Collection: Sheamus and Superstar Collection: Daniel Bryan. Superstar Collection: Sheamus and Superstar Collection: Daniel Bryan are available on DVD from 10th February. You can buy your copies from now by clicking here.