James Dixon: These Toys R Us exclusive tapes are a colossal waste of time, and while they are designed merely as teasers, there is so little actually on offer that they are almost entirely worthless.
Raw Attitude Volume #2 is almost an insult to the customer (free gift tape or not), because not only is all of the footage blitzed through at indigestible speeds, but the whole lot is just the same stuff that features on the Best of Raw Volume #1 tape (from Volume #5), only far less of it and rushed through even quicker.
For the millionth time, the WWF champions the Steve Austin-Vince McMahon feud, which is undoubtedly a great one, but the sheer amount of airtime and videotape dedicated to it is extraordinary, and actually serves to reduce the enjoyment of it each time out due to over familiarity. If you have never seen the rivalry, and I can’t imagine that would be the case for anyone reading this, then you are missing out and should check it out immediately. However, this is not the tape to do that. (Logically, the Austin vs. McMahon tape would seemingly be your best option, but check out Volume #5 of this series to see if that one is worth picking up).
Elsewhere the decidedly un-kid friendly Attitude era is broken down into almost acceptable chunks for the pre-teen audience the tape is aimed at. I am sure many an unwitting parent bought their child a figure or a play-set and were thrilled at receiving a free tape. Even upon watching this TVPG release, they would have probably not seen then modern wrestling as any different to back in the days of Hogan, Warrior and Savage. But look a little further and the tape is almost the video equivalent of “grooming”. While this tape waters things down, it is designed to be a taster and pique interest. Like giving a child a shandy. It introduced little Johnny to the wild world of sexual innuendo, Satanism, silicone puppies, beer-drinking, cursing and weapon-based violence that was the WWF in 1998/99. But hey, who cares about the immoral corruption of youth when it means moving more merchandise, right?
For collectors, the relative rarity of the tape might make it appealing, but you are far better off with a hole in your collection than paying any money for something that is over in the blink of an eye. It is all stuff readily available elsewhere and there is nothing new or fresh that fans haven’t seen dozens of times before anyway. DX acting like dicks, Kane and the Undertaker at loggerheads, the horrible Corporate Ministry, it’s all here. And just to send a surge of hormones raging around those pubescent bodies, Sable makes an appearance too. A role model for impressionable teenage girls everywhere for sure, what with her big fake breasts, abandoning her child (and husband) and her bitchy, egocentric attitude. As Undertaker says in the middle-finger-to-the-detractors pre tape splash: “wholesome, family entertainment”. “Get it?” asks Vince? No.
Summary: It seems petty to complain about the content on a free tape, but just because something doesn’t cost money doesn’t make it enjoyable. Like an STD. This tape is an STD… Only harder to give to someone else. A fittingly unpleasant and unacceptable conclusion about a morally questionable and really rather useless release. There is almost nothing about this worth having. Like the rest of this series, this tape is a big fat avoid.