WWE Bragging Rights Results: 12 Things We Learned
Hello, Buzzers, Buzz is back.
The second annual installment of Bragging Rights is now over. I can judge it by saying that it was a watchable PPV that had few good matches.
Furthermore, we did witness some interesting and surprising events during the show. These events will sure lead us to new stories.
I'm not bragging but all my predictions regarding the five official matches announced prior to the show were right.
The next pay-per-view is Survivor Series and it's only four weeks away. This PPV is considered one of the flagship shows of WWE alongside Summerslam, Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. So I hope they have good build up for it.
In the next slides, I'll shed light on twelve things we learned from last night's PPV.
All said and done, let the show begin.
1. Goldust Might Retire Soon
Well, two additional matches were announced during Bragging Rights and it seems that last minute announced matches are now a tradition for WWE.
One of the matches was Goldust vs. Ted Dibiase, Jr.
When was the last time we saw Goldust in a PPV match? I'm not sure about the exact period but I'll confidently say more than five years ago.
Goldust hasn't been getting enough exposure for years, and I'm sure that his final feud isn't meant to push him as he's been in WWE since the 90's and never received a big push.
Now, Goldust is involved in a new feud with Dibiase, and it seems to be going on for a while. He's also in a love story with Aksana where they will get married (kayfabe) soon.
I think it's early to say this, but it seems for me that Goldust might be close to retirement. He's 41-years and that might not be considered very old in WWE nowadays. But still I felt that his involvement in a storyline and a PPV match after all these years is meant to give him more exposure before he retires.
I may be wrong, but that's what seems to be true until now.
2. It's Official: WWE Hates The Tag-Team Division
Yes, it's official, the Tag-Team Championships are now randomly booked. I guess it was obvious months ago, but every time we think we've seen the last from it, WWE add more proofs to confirm this,
Few days ago, I wrote an article discussing the current title reigns. When writing about the Tag-Team Championships, I said that Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre are looking good, even though they're not a legit team. I mean they were defending the titles on most Smackdown and RAW shows, and I thought they were improving.
However, just when we thought that they're doing good as a team, WWE decided to throw another random match and take the titles away.
Rhodes and McIntyre were scheduled to defend their title against Nexus member, David Otunga, and none other then the newest member of this stable, John Cena.
The match lasted for six minutes and it was only done to push the Nexus/Cena storyline further. Cena and Otunga were able to pick up the win in the end after "Not so Dashing" Rhodes tapped out to Cena's STF.
I think it's obvious that the new Champions might not hold the titles for long and that this was just done as part of the Ce-Nation story.
But it's still a shame that they booked it to end this way. I mean they could have made the Champions retain after some controversy between Cena and Otunga. How will that tag titles help the story?
Poor Rhodes and McIntyre. You were only part of another story, and you couldn't even keep your belts.
By the way, who thought that David Otunga would be the first Nexus member to receive gold?
3. The LayCool Saga Continues
Again, Laycool were able to overcome another challenge, and just like that, Natalya's dreams of winning the Diva's Title vanished before her eyes as the match neared its end.
The Hart Dynasty Diva got her first chance at Hell in a Cell against Michelle McCool, and the match ended via disqualification. However, Layla got a clean pin this time, but it only happened after some help from McCool.
I guess we've seen the last from Natalya after this. I don't think she'll get another title shot, and I guess she'll be busy with the possible coming feud between Tyson Kidd and David Heart Smith.
So there goes another victim of the "Flawless Ones."
This team has been dominating for months, and despite the previous teasing of a possible split between the BFF's, they never showed any serious sign of a break-up.
With this said, I guess we should now look for the next challenger to the self processed co-champions. It doesn't seem that Theodore Long will end this co-championship concept anytime soon.
Whoever this challenger will be, I guess it's gonna end the same way, and I think that the only Diva who can defy the odds would be a returning Beth Phoenix.
Until then, and whether you like it or not, Laycool will not shut up.
4. Daniel Bryan's Match Stole The Show Again
I guess that most fans agree that this was the match of the night, and I couldn't agree more with them.
Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler were able to put an amazing match that had numerous great spots and crazy submission holds. I'm glad that WWE didn't throw a silly Kaitlyn and Vickie Guerrero involvement. It would have ruined the match.
In the last two PPV's, Daniel Bryan was able to put good matches and come out victorious in the end.
His first PPV singles match at Night of Champions was against the Miz for the US Title. Many people expected this match to steal the show. The match didn't disappoint and many people thought it was good.
His second PPV match was at Hell in a Cell where he faced Miz and John Morrison in a submissions count anywhere match. This match was also named the match of the night by many people. Of course, the story of the Night was Cena joining Nexus, but I'm only talking in terms of matches and not stories.
It's obvious that Bryan's PPV matches are always featured contests and he hasn't disappointed until now.
I'll have to give props to Ziggler because he did put a great effort and made the match even better.
Daniel Bryan's PPV winning streak is still going on. I guess many people think that he still needs some time before winning a World Championship Title, and I agree.
I don't see him winning a World Title before the end of 2011. But no one can deny that "The American Dragon" was able to impress until now.
5. Smackdown Is Still Favored In Direct Clashes Against RAW
For the second year in a row, Smackdown was able to top RAW and win the Bragging Rights Trophy.
Prior to the show, I wrote an article and mentioned five reasons why Team Smackdwon will win.
Unlike many people, my predictions were on Smackdown's side. I mean they were looking better than Team RAW. Furthermore, most of its members had a huge momentum on their side while most Team RAW members were struggling.
The match ended after Edge speared the last member of Team RAW, the Miz, and pinned him for the win.
So what did we learn?
RAW might be the "A" show, but Smackdown always gains the upper hand in head to head clashes. I guess WWE want the blue brand to get more attention.
So this victory will be added to other Smackdown victories against RAW.
Many people thought that RAW should have won after losing last year. But this isn't the case used here. As I said in my prediction slide show, Smackdown is always favored in direct competitions in order to get more attention. Their debut on SyFy even made it more obvious that they will win so that they can solidify themselves on the new network.
However, something did catch my attention during the match. The captains weren't so effective as expected. Miz did nothing during the match. As for Big Show, I expected more domination and eliminations. He only helped take out Sheamus after they were both counted out.
I have some thoughts on other superstars, and I'll mention them in the next slides.
6. Sheamus Is Still Booked As a Tough Competitor
Many people said that Ezekiel Jackson was the most dominant superstar in his team. I might agree with this, but the most effective member in Team RAW was Sheamus without question.
The Celtic Warrior was able to eliminate two superstars. Furthermore, he was part of the third elimination where he got counted out with Team Smackdown's captain, Big Show.
So technically, Sheamus was part of three eliminations out of five for Team RAW. The other two eliminations were executed by John Morrison and CM Punk.
If we take a look at Team RAW, we notice that most of them weren't really in their best days prior to the PPV.
Ezekiel Jackson showed some dominance during the Battle Royal match on RAW. He was also impressive in the Smackdown vs. RAW match last night. But still, Big Show did handle him once he was tagged in. Add to this, the elimination by Rey Mysterio.
Ever since Sheamus lost his WWE Title to Randy Orton, many people expected to see a drop in his status for a while. However, this never happened until now. He was able to beat Daniel Bryan on RAW, and during the Inter-promotional match, he had the most eliminations.
I guess WWE are still high on him. Maybe he'll go on like this until the return of Triple H.
In general, I expected to see more impressive performance by others, and I guess no one of the mid-craders was pushed.
I was annoyed how Kofi Kingston was booked in the match. I guess he's back to the mid-card section for now.
7. Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio's Feud Will Go On
For me, the only weakness that Team Smackdown had was the tension available between most of its members. Most of them were in feuds against each others and I thought that some of them might collide and cost their team the victory.
Unsurprisingly, our expectations came true, and Alberto Del Rio couldn't prevent himself from attacking his nemesis, Rey Mysterio, sending him out for a while.
However, this didn't really affect the show, as Mysterio was able to come back and amazingly eliminate two superstars from Team RAW.
Rey Mysterio has been looking good ever since his return. As for Alberto, he's good, but it seems that WWE are focusing more on his egoistic and snobby character.
The brief encounter that occurred during the match was a proof that things are still far from over between the two superstars.
So we should expect this feud to continue for a while.
8. It's Official: Edge Is On Fire!
That's the only way to describe Edge's current run.
Ever since the "Ultimate Opportunist" moved to Smackdown, he has been looking great. He had impressive victories against Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler.
He was even moments away from victory in his match against CM Punk in the last Smackdown prior to Bragging Rights, but Team RAW members interfered and ruined the contest. However, he was the last man standing in the clash that occurred in the aftermath of the bout.
Furthermore, he was the sole survivor alongside Big Show in the Battle Royal match on RAW.
It was obvious that Edge was going to have a major role in the Inter-promotional match after being able to stand tall in most confrontations between the two brands on the road to the PPV.
Though he didn't get involved a lot in the beginning, but the Rated "R" Superstar incredibly eliminated three superstars and picked up an impressive win for his Team.
All said and done, I can confidently say that Edge might be the next number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship if his run continues this way.
9. Kane Did The Impossible
Yes, Kane defeated his brother, and long time nemesis, the Undertaker, for a third PPV in a row. I know he did this with some help from Nexus. I even knew that Undertaker was booked to win, but due to his injury, plans were changed.
However, this doesn't wipe out the fact that the "Big Red Monster" won again.
Kane has been impressive ever since the "vegetative state" storyline. He showed some great mic skills and he was tough in most matches.
He even looked great against Orton on Smackdown, and for a second I thought he was about to win before the interference of Undertaker.
Kane has been holding the World Heavyweight Championship for 100 days now. I guess it's fair to say that this reign is great.
With the "Phenom" gone for a while, I guess Kane will now have a new feud waiting for him.
I think that the next challenger would be either Big Show or Edge. I won't be surprised to see Mysterio thrown into the mix, but I guess he'll feud with Alberto Del Rio.
Whatever happens to Kane next, I'm glad he was able to get this lengthy reign, and I'll be more than happy if he can keep the belt for a longer time.
I'm not sure if he's part of Nexus, but only time will tell us.
10. Undertaker Is Out For Another Future Big "Return"
So Undertaker is buried again. This is the third time we see the Dead Man buried. All reports say that he's suffering from a shoulder injury and that he'll take some time off.
So I guess we should prepare ourselves for another big return by the Phenom, and I think it's fair to say that his returns always have money in them.
I hope they don't book his return in a messy way.
However, the involvement of Nexus made the story more interesting. It seems that Undertaker's return won't be to go after Kane alone. We might have a whole new story coming.
It was said that Nexus were only involved so that they don't ruin Taker's image. I mean making him lose three times without help would have harmed him as the news said. But still, they can sure create a new story out of this.
I can name countless possibilities for his next feud, but I'll leave it as it is for now.
So how will Undertaker's return be? Will he feud with Kane again when he comes back? Will Nexus be involved? Will he come to feud with a full "Nexus" Cena by then? Will he return with a new character? A biker?
Only time will tell us, but right now, the Dead Man is out, but he'll rise again for sure.
11. Ce-Nexus Is Far From Over and It Might Expand
Prior to the match, Wade Barret said that if he loses the match, Cena will be fired.
So that put huge pressure on Cena and he was forced to make sure he doesn't get fired. And he did this for sure. Cena entered into the ring in the final moments of the match and pulled the AA on Wade Barret causing a disqualification win for the Nexus leader.
However, titles can't change hands by DQ, so Barret didn't win the belt.
Until now, Cena is still acting as a reluctant and hesitant member of Nexus. He's even attacking his teammates on several occasions.
He attacked his new tag-team, David Otunga, after they won the WWE Tag-Team Titles. He also attacked his other teammates when they tried to interfere in the WWE Title match.
His last action was just to ensure that he doesn't get fired. He obviously did what his leader literally ordered him to do. He made sure Barret wins.
I guess was the best end they can come with at the moment, and I don't think Barret needs a WWE Title in the story right now. Maybe he can win it later.
We'll have to wait and see how will the arm-banded stable react to Cena's actions on RAW tonight. I'm not sure of the tag-team titles will add anything to the story, but we'll wait and see.
But one thing is evident here. This story has just been further pushed and it's still far from over. I guess WWE are trying to be careful when dealing with it, and I hope that fans can stay patient for a while.
Orton's RKO to Cena was a very interesting ending and it could show us how fans might react to the encounter between the two superstars. Barret might get another title shot.
Or we could see something different. The next PPV is Survivor Series, and we already saw a RAW vs. Smackdown match. So will we see a Nexus vs. WWE match at Survivor Series this time? Of course, if this happens, Cena will be on Nexus side.
However, the Nexus story might not stay limited to RAW and John Cena. Last night, the yellow and black garbed group interfered in the buried alive match and made sure Kane buried the Undertaker.
That wasn't the first time we see a Nexus attack on Undertaker. In fact, it wasn't the first time we see a Nexus interference in Smackdown matches.
As I said before, the interference was just booked so that Taker don't lose clean. He needed to lose because he will take some time off for surgery, so they didn't want to harm his image and make him lose clean again.
But still, WWE can create a new story starting from here.
I won't give predictions, but could Kane and Paul Bearer get involved with Nexus? Will WWE link Kane's attack on the Undertaker with the Nexus invasion to RAW? Will we get more involvements?
Undertaker will be out for a while but he will certainly return soon. Will he return and feud with Nexus? Will Cena be heel by then? Will this be the beginning of a possible Undertaker vs. Cena at Wrestlemania 27?
A lot can be said about this. But right now, Ce-Nexus is not over yet and it might expand. I only hope Cena wears the Nexus t-shirt later.
12. The Age Of Orton Continues But It Might Not Be The Main Subject
Randy Orton retained the WWE Championship once again.
Forget about the drop in RAW ratings that followed his win at Night of Champions. Forget about backstage rumors on WWE regretting Orton's win. The "Viper" is still the WWE Champion and the "Age of Orton" continues.
However, let's just face it here, the main focus on RAW is definitely on the Nexus/Cena storyline and not on Orton.
I'm not saying that Orton is a horrible champion, but WWE are focusing on another story. His match against Barret was revolving around Cena's role more than the Title itself.
Even when he faced Sheamus at Hell in a Cell, the main focus wasn't on this match during the road to the PPV, and it was more on whether Cena will lose and join Nexus or win and end the stable.
RAW recaps are the best evidences to strengthen my point.
I think his match against Kane on Smackdown was a bit disappointing for his fans too. He was dominated during most parts of the match and only won after Undertaker's interference.
I apologize to all Orton fans. I'm not trying to sound smart, and I'm not trying to bash the "Viper." I'm only saying how things are going on WWE. But you can go brag that your favorite superstar is still the champ.
So Orton might have won the WWE Title, the "Age of Orton" is still running, but the main story is not lying here. Barret could even get a rematch and win later.
I'll have to say that his last RKO's reminded me of Stonecold when he used to give stunners to all available superstars in the ring.
Those are the things I think we learned from Bragging Rights results.
I'm sure that more points can be added to what I mentioned, but those are some main things we witnessed.
As I said, Survivor Series is four weeks away. I hope they have a good road to this "flagship" PPV and not ruin the build up like they did to Summerslam.
As you see in the photo, Barret and Nexus will be an essential part of the PPV. I predict a Nexus vs. WWE match.
So what do you think of my points?
All thoughts and comments are welcome.