The idea of a PPV between Smackdown and Raw is simple yet it took WWE seven years from the original split to make it happen. This was most likely because it used to occur at Survivor Series... the team based PPV that takes place next month.
Not a smart move by any account WWE. It kills the buy rates for both events!
Either way last year saw the following card.
US Champion The Miz def. IC Champion John Morrison in Bragging Rights Match 1
Smackdown Divas (McCool, Phoenix & Natalya) def. Raw Divas (Melina, Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim) in Bragging Rights Match 2
World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker def. Batista, Rey Mysterio and CM Punk (Fatal Fourway)
Team Smackdown (Chris Jericho, Kane, Matt Hardy, R-Truth, Finlay and The Hart Dynasty) Def. Team Raw (DX, Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston and Mark Henry) in Bragging Rights Match 3
Smackdown Wins the Bragging Rights Trophy
WWE Championship: John Cena Def. Randy Orton(c) 6-5 (60 min Iron Man)
So how does this year compare?
One of my few luxuries from watching Raw once included that LayCool never appeared on the show. Sure the Diva's matches were still pretty poor but I at least got some peace and quiet (to an extent).
Since the Diva's Championship has become unified they have been eligible to appear on both shows... and they never SHUT UP!
I used to actually watch all of Raw before they appeared on it. I used advert breaks to do stuff and flick channels but now I do this when LayCool appear because it get on my nerves more than anything in pro wrestling today.
Like all Diva's feuds there has been little effort beyond putting the title on the line and having LayCool make childish remarks. So I have no comment.
Three weeks ago Natalya was unlucky to not become the new Diva's champion. Since the result was a DQ this month needs to see a decisive result. Personally I think Layla is going to be defending the championship and will lose.
Whether this means McCool will pull a fast one e.g. "Layla was never the official champion so she can't lose the belt." or Natalya actually unifies the belts, I don't know. For now let's say she will become the new champion.
Winner and New Champion: Natalya
Recently I see a lot of comments and articles saying Daniel Bryan has been getting buried lately. I think some people may be overreacting slightly. Sure The Miz beat him down most weeks, but when it mattered Bryan won the matches.
Sheamus destroyed him on Raw but the next week he gave him a hard fought match. Apparently because he did a dance with the Diva's last Monday means he is also being buried. This man used to come out to the Final Countdown by Europe. That was before his WWE tenure.
As for the match I really cannot comment on much since very little has happened. One week before the PPV Bryan challenged Ziggler and he accepted. There was a scuffle and Bryan came out for better. Personally I am looking forward to the match as I feel it could be one of those classic matches that come out from no where.
The thing about Daniel Bryan is that he is so over with the fans he probably does not need to win this one. Despite how much I like Ziggler, I know that he still has a hard road ahead to prove that he deserves to be Intercontinental Champion, let alone a future World Champion.
With this in mind and considering Bryan came off the better on Raw I would normally go with Ziggler for the win.
This should be advantageous to Dolph Ziggler but I just got a feeling that Bryan is going to strike it lucky once again and find himself making Dolph tap out. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Team Raw: The Miz (Captain), R-Truth, John Morrison, Santino Marella, Sheamus, CM Punk and Ezekiel Jackson
Team Smackdown: Big Show (Captain), Kofi Kingston, Tyler Reks, Alberto Del Rio, Edge, Jack Swagger and Rey Mysterio
Let's first highlight two big flaws with this match. Smackdown vs. Raw is a fun idea but five of the seven Smackdown stars were on Raw last year (three on their BR team). Three of the Raw superstars were on Smackdown (one on their BR team).
Also with WWE.com claiming this year's Bragging Rights match is an elimination tag you realise how bad WWE's booking is. SummerSlam saw Team WWE vs. Nexus. Survivor Series will see at least one elimination tag itself. Wouldn't this PPV be better suited say before the draft in April?
I'm not going into the backstory much, once again there is very little. I have to question why both Edge and CM Punk couldn't have waited a little longer to be traded over if they are just going to be opposites in this match.
Ezekiel Jackson, prior to Monday, had not wrestled on TV since ECW ended... actually the same goes for Tyler Reks. The match is the ideal time to give them some place to show their skills. On the other hand considering last year's "twist" ending you would think more loyal men would have been picked.
Also why the hell in Santino on Team Raw? He got his position by defeating Zack Ryder. How does that make him good enough to represent Raw? Never mind...
If this was just a regular match with one fall I would have said Smackdown would win again this year. But with elimination rules it makes things more unpredictable.
Still the Smackdown team looks stronger and with WWE trying to secure high ratings on SyFy they are going to want to put them across as strong.
But it would be a mistake to let them have a third show in a row being dominant over the supposed flagship show. If Raw is made out to look weak, why would we want to watch it?
Winners: Team Raw
It's time for this feud to Rest In Peace. The third PPV in a row features an Undertaker vs. Kane match for the World Heavyweight Championship. So far I have enjoyed their PPV bouts while their TV stuff has been a little off.
The big part of this match is once again Paul Bearer who is now sided with Kane after betraying The Undertaker at Hell in a Cell. The feud needs to end here despite how entertaining I have found the matches.
The match plays out the same way every time which is why a new stipulation has to be added every PPV. A Buried Alive match is the most extreme any feud can be taken after all by the stories standards these guys are literally buried alive (if Survivor Series 2003 is to be believed).
I'm going to take a risk with this one. I should be saying Undertaker will become the new World Champion but I actually think Kane will retain again. Undertaker has it seemingly going for him with the match being one of his specialties (albeit he has only won two out of four he has competed in) and that he beat down Kane on the last Smackdown before the event.
If he was to win though he would be 2-1 down still in the feud. A rematch with Kane would put them even. It would require three matches for Taker to come out in a beneficial state. We would be here until TLC in December.
Still I wouldn't be surprised for Paul Bearer to once again make the turn and help Undertaker bury Kane alive in a triple cross.
Winner and Still Champion: Kane
In my head this match is clean cut but I have a gut feeling that the match could easily go the other way.
John Cena has been forced to join the Nexus and do their bidding otherwise he will be fired from WWE. The first action of this saw Cena help Barrett win a shot against Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. Since then it has mostly been actions to embarrass the man.
Orton has been pretty much removed from the feud and the entirety of it has been built around Cena and Nexus. This seems to suggest that Barrett will be walking out of Bragging Rights as the first ever English WWE champion.
WWE also seem to have realised the World part of their name and have started to push some foreign talents such as Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. This too would work in Barrett's favour to some extent. Yet I just got a feeling that Barrett may have the "it" factor, but WWE don't want to put the belt on him just yet.
Barrett will not main event WrestleMania which means his reign at the most will last until Elimination Chamber. I have already talked about the curse of short WWE Championship reigns in a previous article. Also if WWE really want Orton to take off as a fan favourite keeping him as champion for a while longer will do that.
Toss a coin and it will just as likely pick the correct man as I could. I am going to go with my fellow countryman Wade Barrett to win the WWE Championship. It's a long shot but he may hit the target.
Winner and New Champion: Wade Barrett
The PPV card looks strong but under-developed.
Whether this is down to the fact the focus has been one-sided, non existent or the match was only made a week ago does not matter.
If WWE really want us to pay out for these events then they need to start making some epic confrontations between those involved. They need to get us interested.
If I only had enough money to pay for this PPV or Survivor Series you can be certain the money would be going to latter.
Nothing really makes me think this will be a definite bad PPV but nothing has made me think it will be memorable. Luckily this one is free in the UK.