Written By: Alexander Settee
Bragging Rights 2010, October 24, 2010, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, & Matt Striker
Opening Match: Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. United States Champion Daniel Bryan
The Setup: Bryan made the challenge for a Champion vs. Champion match here, and it was accepted, but neither Title is on the line.
The Action: They start out with Bryan controlling on the mat, but Ziggler keeps making the ropes to escape the holds. Ziggler then takes over and starts working the neck. The fans are into it and are really getting behind Bryan in spite of their efforts to make him come across as a geek, which is a real testament to his in ring ability. Bryan makes a comeback, but is cut off with a Superkick for 2. Zig Zag is countered and Bryan gets a series of kicks for 2. Dolph hooks the sleeper, but Bryan escapes it. They do a series of nearfalls that leads to Dolph hitting a Fameasser for 2. He gets the sleeper again, but Bryan makes the ropes. Dolph then get frustrated by the fact that he can’t put him away, and when he lets his guard down, Bryan hooks him in the LeBell lock for the submission at 16:17.
The Verdict: I loved this match, and it was easily the best thing on the show. I think Dolph is underrated and Bryan is great and the result was that the show kicks off with a **** match.
Most of team Raw is backstage in the locker room, and they’re not on the same page, but Miz claims that this will somehow work in their favour.
Then we get the Tag Team Champions, Dashing Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre out. They say they’ve run through the entire tag team division (in the one month they’ve been champs) and that there’s no competition left for them. But the Raw GM says he’s got a team for them to face, which brings out Wade Barrett to announces that the challengers will be David Otunga and John Cena.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Dashing Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre vs. David Otunga & John Cena
The Setup: See Above.
The Action: Otunga lets Cena know that he’ll handle it, but he gets beaten down by the champs. He tags Cena, who immediately takes over with a delayed suplex on Rhodes. Now Otunga wants back in, but Cena keeps going. After briefly getting caught in the corner, he makes his own comeback and goes into the Moves of Doom. A cute bit sees Rhodes escape the Protobomb and tag out, with Cena then picking up from there with McIntyre. Rhodes makes a blind tag and goes for Crossrhodes, but it’s countered to the STF for the submission at 6:29. Otunga celebrates like he did all the work himself, so Cena gives him an Attitude Adjustment.
The Verdict: I don’t know why Nexus needed to win the Titles here, and it sure makes your tag division look bad when you have the champs talk about having no competition, and then immediately get squashed by a makeshift team that doesn’t even get along. The match was too short and storyline oriented to really mean anything. *1/2
Ted Dibiase (w/Maryse) vs. Goldust (w/Aksana)
The Setup: Goldust used his patented mind games to set himself up to steal the Million Dollar Belt, which he wears to the ring, and Dibiase wants it back. I’ll also note something that occurred to me during this match: Goldust made his TV debut fifteen years and two days prior to this match at In Your House IV. Maybe this match was an anniversary present or something?
The Action: Goldust controls early on, even taking it to the floor where Dibiase is sent to the barrier. Back in the ring he gets a bulldog for 2, but then misses a bodypress and goes crashing to the floor. Dreamstreet is countered, but Goldust takes a spinebuster for 2 anyways. Maryse then attacks Aksana and rolls her in the ring, with Goldust trying to protect her, but that leads to him taking a DDT for the 3 count at 7:28. After the match we have a catfight, and then another fight between Aksana and her dress, which keeps riding up. It ends with Aksana getting the belt, and Dibiase confronting her, so she seduces him, but it’s all a ruse so Goldust can lay him out with the Final Cut and retain possession of the belt.
The Verdict: This was a perfectly acceptable match as Goldust is a solid veteran who can take care of business in the ring and Dibiase is not bad himself. **1/2
Divas Championship Match: Layla (w/Michelle McCool) vs. Natalya
The Setup: It’s a rematch from Hell in a Cell where Natalya beat Michelle by DQ, but this time she gets the other one.
The Action: Natalya starts with a Davey Boy Smith delayed suplex and then beats them up on the floor, but as the ref gets Layla in, Michelle nails her. Layla works her over briefly until Natalya comes back to no heat whatsoever. Going for the Sharpshooter finally gets a reaction, but Layla escapes and takes a walk. Natalya chases her down and gets Layla back in, but then Layla grabs the ref and that lets Michelle hit a boot to the head. Layla gets the pin off of that to retain at 4:50.
The Verdict: It wasn’t as good as Hell in a Cell because Michelle is better than Layla, but it was still fine by Divas standards. * Since Laycool has pretty much plowed through the babyface Divas, I guess that means Beth Phoenix is our saviour when she returns, and that’s fine with me.
World Heavyweight Championship, Buried Alive Match: Kane (w/Paul Bearer) vs. The Undertaker
The Setup: Undertaker has lost two straight Title matches on PPV, but somehow remains the number one contender for yet another gimmick match.
The Action: They brawl in the aisle, and in the crowd, and then back to the ring, and then into the crowd on the other side, and then back to the ring again where Kane starts working him over with a chair. He hits two chokeslams and carries him to the grave, but Taker fights him off. They fight up beside the grave where Taker hooks Hell’s Gates and puts Kane out. He rolls Kane in, but then makes the mistake of going after Paul Bearer, shoving him into the dirt in a bit that looked horrible. And then for no apparent reason, here comes Nexus to attack Taker. Kane is up now and nails Taker with the urn and they all put him in the grave. Kane then calls them off and uses his powers to summon a nearby front end loader and have it drop a pile of dirt onto Taker for the win at 16:57.
The Verdict: This was another bad match between these two. At least with Taker going for surgery, the feud is over for now, but I’m not looking forward to the day when he has to come get his wins back. The Nexus involvement was out of nowhere, but it appears they’re going to make an effort to explain it down the road, so I’ll reserve judgment on that. ½*
So with Undertaker laying there dead and buried, it’s over to Smilin’ Josh Matthews with Randy Orton, who promises to kill Cena if he gets involved tonight. Wade who?
Bragging Rights Elimination Match: Team Raw: The Miz (Captain, w/Alex Riley), CM Punk, John Morrison, Ezekiel Jackson, Santino Marella, R-Truth, & Sheamus vs. Team Smackdown: Big Show (Captain, w/Hornswoggle), Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Tyler Reks, Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio, & Edge
The Setup: These guys all qualified for the right to represent their brands in this meaningless elimination match. Can you tell I hate this concept?
The Action: Santino is naturally the first victim, taking an inverted Death Valley Driver from Tyler Reks for the pin at 2:37. Sheamus then pins Kofi with the High Cross at 7:52. Del Rio steals a tag from Rey and then turns on him, sending him hard to the barrier. Rey gets helped to the back, while the rest of the team bitches Del Rio out for being so selfish. Morrison finishes Swagger with Starship Pain at 13:08. Reks eats a Brogue Kick from Sheamus and gets pinned at 14:32. Show and Sheamus then brawl to a double countout at 15:28. Truth misses an ax kick on Edge and gets speared for the pin at 16:42. Morrison then misses Starship Pain and also gets speared and pinned at 17:10. Del Rio steals a tag from Edge, who was obviously doing just fine, and ends up getting pinned with a backslide by Miz at 18:05. Rey returns at this point, nailing Del Rio on his way in, and takes his place on the apron while Edge gets worked over by Team Raw. Eventually Edge gets Punk with an electric chair and makes the hot tag to Rey, who promptly hits the 619 and springboard splash for 3 at 24:09. Jackson is next and after briefly controlling, he gets the same treatment, although Rey botches the splash and Jackson appears to kick out, but they call him done anyways at 26:12. This leaves Miz against Rey and Edge. Miz is immediately setup for the 619, but Alex Riley leaps in and takes the bullet. Rey crashes off the top and Miz covers for a close 2. Rey then escapes the SCF and tags Edge who spears Miz and pins him to win the trophy at 27:46. Survivors: Edge & Rey Mysterio
The Verdict: The match was only ok, as they really had to compress things to get all the falls in, and sadly that meant a lot of cheap finishes as well. To their credit, they did do an extended celebration to try and act like this win was a big deal, but come on. Fans have no reason to care which side wins because there’s nothing that matters on the line, and no one buys into the idea of a rivalry between the two groups. **
Main Event, WWE Championship Match: Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett (w/John Cena)
The Setup: Barrett won a battle royal on Raw to get the shot when Cena was ordered to eliminate himself in the end. Barrett then decreed that Cena would be in his corner here tonight and that if he doesn’t win the match, then Cena will be fired.
The Action: We get a bit of drama early as Orton goes to the floor near Cena and Cena does nothing, with Barrett then staring him down for his inaction. They wrestle for a bit and the fans aren’t into it because they know it all means nothing until Cena gets involved. The ref gets bumped, which our cue to pay attention as Barrett orders Cena into the ring. Orton runs Barrett into him though and he crashes off the apron to the barrier. Plan B is Otunga, Slater, and Gabriel running in for the 4 on 1 beat down. Cena then cleans house on them, explaining to Barrett that the ref is coming to and he’s saving him from being disqualified. Orton then makes the comeback, hitting a powerslam and the hanging DDT, but as he sets up the RKO, Cena comes back in and hits Barrett with the AA, which draws the DQ on Orton at 14:36. Orton then lays both of them out with RKO’s after the match.
The Verdict: The idea was that Cena found a loophole in the deal as Barrett had only ordered him to help him win the match (which he did, by DQ), but said nothing about the Title. That’s cute, I guess, but it’s the kind of thing that at most belongs in a Raw main event, and not on PPV. The match itself wasn’t any good either as they just went in neutral until the storyline kicked in. *1/2
Overall Thoughts: With the exception of the opener, this PPV was a waste of time. They definitely didn’t need to be back so soon after Hell in a Cell, let alone with a lineup and concept as weak as this. Thumbs Down for Bragging Rights 2010.