Squared Circle: WWE Bragging Rights 2010 Review
Well I suppose WWE did put on another good PPV following the very good Hell in a Cell. Unfortunately Bragging Rights did not end its matches in the greatest way, like HIAC. After it was all said and done, Bragging Rights was very anti-climatic.
It was a strong start to a tired finish with some really illogical endings. Whereas three weeks ago every match finished on a strong note, the last few BR matches failed to impress me. There was some good plot development, but I felt a little let down by the end.
But enough talking. Let's look at the matches.
Daniel Bryan Def. Dolph Ziggler
If you asked me last year who was the best opening act of WWE 2009, I would have easily said Kofi Kingston. He was fast, energetic and creative. The perfect mix to draw a crowd into a PPV. As 2010 rolls to a close in a few months, I would happily say Daniel Bryan not only fulfills the role of opener perfectly, but better than anyone in recent time.
The match was surprisingly long for the first match of the night, yet there was never a dull moment. To give all the credit to Bryan would be unfair though, as Dolph Ziggler was the perfect opponent in this match. He gave it his all and in the end we got such a good match. Lots of counters and reversals meant it was unpredictable. The fact that no finishers were hit until the end meant WWE may have learnt from three weeks ago where kicking out of a finisher equalled drama.
At times I noticed Ziggler got stiffed by Bryan. Most likely it was an accident, but other than that the match was clean. Ziggler thought he had won the match a couple times, but after attempting a sleeper in the match he was countered into a LeBell Lock and tapped out.
Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero kicked up a fuss at the end, but were thrown out of the arena by the ref to the sounds of "You tapped out!" The match really got me into the PPV.
Tag Team Championship: Nexus Def. Cody Rhodes(c) and Drew McIntyre(c)
Considering what happened at this PPV, Nexus needed this. For a force that claims to be so destructive and dominant, they have achieved very little beyond losing big match situations and major opportunities. It didn't matter which two members won as long as Nexus had some gold.
Rhodes and DiBiase claim that despite being the tag champs only a month, they are the most dominant team in the WWE. Well Cody, I think that's a sign of how bad WWE's tag division truly is rather than the skill of your team. The Raw GM piped in and mentioned there is a certain team they have not faced yet. Out comes Barrett, who announced they will defend their titles against David Otunga and John Cena.
Otunga started off the match, but Cena would do most of the work after he was tagged in. He practically won the belts on his own. There was a little friction between Otunga and Cena, but in the end Rhodes was placed in a STF and tapped out.
After the match Cena hit Otunga with an AA and left with both belts. Considering today's tag team division, this is actually a wise move. Nexus are a faction so to have the tag team championship is a natural step. It's an improvement over the makeshift team of Rhodes and McIntyre.
It also gives Cena something to do outside of being Barrett's lackey, while also allowing Nexus onto Smackdown. I predict that the Freebird rule is going to come into effect, meaning all members of the Nexus can defend the tag team championship.
Ted DiBiase Def. Goldust
I don't get PG WWE sometimes. I'm not against making the show family friendly and more suitable for younger audiences, providing the right measures are taken. In this feud between DiBiase and Goldust, WWE practically supports stealing as well as illegal immigration.
The match itself was surprisingly good for midcard fodder. Goldust is arguably reaching the standards of his Intercontinental days after most of 2002-09 saw him become a terribly out-of-shape and out-of-luck wrestler. DiBiase put on a good showing that puts forward an argument that he should at least be competing for the US Championship.
The match ended when Maryse attacked Aksana and threw her into the ring. This distracted Goldust, who was given a DDT and pinned. Maryse would briefly reclaim the Million Dollar Championship but was attacked by Aksana. DiBiase would get distracted and hit with the Final Cut before golden couple walked off with the championship in tow.
Enjoyable match but I do wonder why Goldust had to keep the championship. I would have much rather seen him reclaim it in a match on Raw the next night. Essentially the match was pointless because of this action after the end.
Diva's Championship: Layla(c) Def. Natalya
As with any match involving Divas (in particular Laycool, especially when they win), I am going to keep this short.
So I was right in saying Layla was going to wrestle, but wrong in thinking she was going to lose. Natalya basically dominated, but lost due to outside interference from Michelle McCool. I should have seen this coming. After all Beth Phoenix is coming back in a few weeks, and no doubt WWE is planning her revenge with a title victory.
The terrible crime about this is that we won't see Natalya challenge for the title for ages. Beth Phoenix will return and keep up the fight against Laycool, and in the end WWE just doesn't know how to keep more than three divas in the spotlight at once.
World Heavyweight Championship: Kane(c) Buries The Undertaker Alive
Now this is what I call a title reign, 99 days and still going strong. At the earliest Kane could lose at Survivor Series and this means by then he will have had the belt 126 days. There are only two problems with his run as champion. First he won it by Money in the Bank, but a win over Rey Mysterio a month later helped rectify this problem. The other is that he needs a defense against someone who is not The Undertaker. I think Edge or The Big Show will be his next opponent.
Kane was surprisingly dominant in this match, at one point hitting Undertaker with two chokeslams. Weapons became involved briefly during the match, but overall it was kept to a minimum. It was only after they were up the ramp and fighting next to the grave that Undertaker had a resurgence. He locked in Hell's Gate and pushed Kane into the hole.
Taker was distracted by Paul Bearer when Nexus attacked him, allowing Kane to climb out and hit the Deadman with the urn. With Undertaker in place, Kane called for the dirt to be lowered and won the match.
The Nexus involvement was a smart move. This means that when Undertaker returns, he will fight them rather than Kane. This could all lead up to Undertaker vs Nexus Cena or Wade Barrett at WrestleMania. As for Kane it now allows him to move onto new challengers and solidify this title reign as one of the strongest in recent times.
Team Smackdown Def. Team Raw
So why would I want to watch Monday Night Raw anymore? WWE have clearly established Smackdown as the better show by having them dominate Raw all week. I know Smackdown's ratings on SyFy are a big thing, but let's not forget Raw is having trouble recently on USA.
I don't think I would have been so annoyed that Raw lost if they didn't lose so badly. Smackdown had infighting and at one point were at a big disadvantage until Edge tore through three members in quick succession. Surely it would have been better to show Raw to be an equally strong show, as it would have been a more credible win.
The match was OK, but I didn't feel that it was as good in comparison to last year's same event. Sure the ending was a disappointment, but it was hotly contested and actually looked like even sides going up against each other. The fact that the Raw team sent out was meant to be seven of the best was a joke.
With Survivor Series next month we will hopefully see some decent elimination tag matches.
WWE Championship: Wade Barrett Def. Randy Orton(c) By DQ
Considering how this match ended, it should not have been the main event. There is nothing more disappointing in a championship match when it ends in a DQ. I do not disagree with the result because drawing out rivalries is something WWE has had trouble with in recent times, but it would have made more sense for the show to end on the Elimination tag or the Buried Alive match.
The problem was that as soon as Barrett made his announcement before the match begun, I knew it would be a DQ. If he didn't win the match, he would fire John Cena. You know that when someone says match instead of championship that the DQ is a loop hole.
The match was once again OK, but not main event worthy. John Cena was the primarily focus on whether he would help Barrett win the title or not. Twice he inadvertently helped both Orton and Barrett. The first time occurred when he cleared the rest of Nexus from the ring because the ref was coming to after being knocked out. The other was at the end of the match when he gave Barrett an AA before Orton could RKO him. This allowed Barrett to win by DQ and Orton to retain the title.
Cena went to give Orton his championship, but was RKOed as the show ended.
In four weeks time is the last of the big four PPVs of 2010, Survivor Series. Considering the advetising that is being shown (and I don't mean the poster), it looks as if Nexus are going to be the main draw. The advert last Sunday seemed to suggest that their greater purpose is going to be revealed soon.
Will Barrett get another shot at the championship? Will Cena remain employed? What is the greater purpose? Will the Raw GM show himself now they have been beaten so thoroughly? Who will be Kane's new opposition?
All will be revealed in the build-up to Survivor Series.