Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Bragging Rights 2010
Date: October 24, 2010
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commentators: Matt Striker, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole
Oh and there’s the whole bragging rights concept with Smackdown vs. Raw all over again, though this time the big fourteen man tag is under elimination rules to make things a little bit more interesting. Hopefully they don’t bother with the best of three idea tonight because it’s just a big waste of time. Let’s get to it.
The opening video focuses on buried alive, which at least is a match you don’t see very often and deserves some special attention.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan
Bryan returned at Summerslam in a big surprise. Well assuming you don’t mind WWE.com spoiling it that is. Intercontinental Champion vs. US Champion but again it’s non-title. Ziggler has his girlfriend and Smackdown Consultant (meaning GM for all intents and purposes) Vickie Guerrero in his corner. Unfortunately the bell rings and we’re treated to heel Cole, which can get really annoying in a hurry.
Bryan (Mr. Bland according to Cole) takes Ziggler down to start and it turns into an amateur match with Ziggler getting the better of it. Dolph heads outside anyway and hides behind Vickie so Daniel dives over her with a flying knee. Back in and Ziggler throws him down before cranking on some kind of shoulder hold.
That’s switched off to a chinlock as Cole makes sex jokes about Ziggler and Vickie. Dolph’s big jumping elbow drop sets up another chinlock though Ziggler is smart enough to grab a bodyscissors to mix things up a little bit this time. It’s not much but it’s better than nothing. Back up and Bryan misses a running dropkick in the corner and crashes down onto the back of his head. That’s so much harder to sit through when you know how bad his neck was.
Another chinlock doesn’t work as well as Bryan comes back with more kicks and a knee to the face. A middle rope dropkick gets two and Ziggler grabs a rollup for the same. Ziggler gets in a loud superkick (which may have missed but a quick camera cut made sure we didn’t see it) for two more but he can’t hit the Zig Zag.
Bryan kicks him in the head for two, though for some reason the camera was on Vickie instead of the count. Ziggler crotches him on top but Bryan does the same thing to him, setting up a belly to back superplex but Ziggler counters that into a crossbody, which Bryan rolls through for two of his own. Awesome sequence.
They both hit crossbodies at the same time and it’s time so slug it out from their knees. A quick Fameasser gets three on Bryan but he gets a foot on the ropes. Dolph grabs his signature sleeper (yes a sleeper) but Bryan makes the rope again. Ziggler yells a lot and gets caught in the LeBell Lock (YES Lock) for the submission at 16:14.
Rating: B. Good stuff here with Bryan just being on a roll at this point. It’s clear to see why he was pushed so strong soon after this as he hit the ground running and never stopped. This was the kind of opening match you want to have as it was long enough to remember and hot enough to let the next match or two coast without much effort.
Team Raw argues over who the captain is. Santino would rather talk about snacks and beverages. Everyone leaves CM Punk and Miz alone with Miz saying they have to get along for one night only. Miz says the team is awesome but Punk says at least some of them are. Miz’s lackey Alex Riley is worried but Miz has a plan.
Here are Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes (now Dashing Cody Rhodes and obsessed with grooming) and Drew McIntyre to brag about how they’ve dominated the division. In case you’re curious, they won the belts five weeks earlier. Anyway they say they have no competition so we get an e-mail from the Anonymous Raw General Manager (long story, don’t ask) saying there’s a team ready to fight. Cue Wade Barrett to introduce the Nexus challengers: David Otunga (a Harvard educated lawyer and….actually that’s about it for his good points) and John Cena.
Tag Team Titles: Cody Rhodes/Drew McIntyre vs. David Otunga/John Cena
Cody and Drew are defending. Rhodes stomps Otunga in the corner to start and it’s already off to Drew for an early near fall. A double suplex sends Otunga into the corner for a rather angry tag to bring in a reluctant Cena. John grabs a delayed vertical suplex on Rhodes but Otunga tells him to make the tag, allowing the champs to take over again. Striker compares Rhodes and McIntyre to the Road Warriors for reasons that elude me. Cody grabs a chinlock with an arm trap until raw power gets Cena out of trouble. We get the comeback with the usual and the STF finishes Cody clean at 6:29.
Rating: D. This was a TV angle disguised as a pay per view match and that’s not something you want to see. Cena being forced to team with Otunga is fine enough, even though it’s not something that is likely to last long. At the end of the day, Cena is destined to have a showdown with Barrett so I’m not sure why they didn’t just do this on TV like they should have. Oh and you might want to advertise John Cena wrestling on your pay per view.
Cena gives Otunga an AA to blow off some steam.
We recap Ted DiBiase vs. Goldust, which is built around Ted’s unofficial Million Dollar Title, which Goldust stole and DiBiase is trying to get back. Not every story has to be so complicated and that’s not a bad thing. The fact that their fathers feuded twenty years ago isn’t a good sign.
Ted DiBiase vs. Goldust
DiBiase has Maryse with him and is doing a younger and less interesting version of his dad’s gimmick. Goldust on the other hand has his NXT rookie Aksana in his corner, basically guaranteeing a catfight. Striker brings up Aksana being in America illegally and Goldust marrying her to keep her in the country because that’s how wrestling weddings work.
Goldust starts fast with a clothesline to send Ted outside, only to have him come back in with a dropkick for two. We hit the chinlock as the match turns into an advertisement for the upcoming wedding. Goldust fights up and breaks the hold, followed by a clothesline and bulldog for two. Ted dropkicks him out of the air for two and a sitout spinebuster gets the same. A double clothesline puts both guys down and it’s time for the blonde catfight. DiBiase uses the distraction to grab a DDT for the pin at 7:29.
Rating: D-. They really are running out of ideas for things to fill out these pay per views. The wrestling was boring, the story is weak at best and the whole match was a big ad for an episode of NXT. DiBiase really wasn’t much to see in the ring and the title was barely mentioned, save for Cole making jokes. It says a lot when good looking women can’t save a match this bad.
Post match Aksana has the belt and Goldust grabs a quick Final Cut on DiBiase so they can leave with the gold.
Divas Title: Layla vs. Natalya
Layla (a British Diva and slightly better than the average good looking model) is defending and is currently co-champion with Michelle McCool. Unfortunately this means we have to hear Striker do a horrible accent as he calls her his little English muffin. Laycool (you can figure out where the name came from) makes fun of the Minnesota accent and gets in some bad Bret Favre jokes. Natalya starts fast with a delayed vertical suplex, complete with a few squats at the same time.
A dropkick puts Natalya on the floor but she pulls Layla out by the hair. Michelle’s big boot fails so Layla wraps her legs around Natalya’s arms to crank on both of them at the same time for a unique looking hold. That doesn’t last long as Natalya powers up and slams her with ease. A bunch of clotheslines have Layla rocked and the discus lariat sets up the Sharpshooter. Layla crawls to the floor and it’s time to leave but Natalya throws her back in, only to have Michelle get in a big boot so Layla can retain at 4:54.
Rating: D+. Better than the previous match at least but that doesn’t mean it’s good. Laycool was such a breath of air for the division but McCool was by far and away the better in ring worker. Natalya continues to be one of the perfect choices for a match like this as she wrestles the same style no matter what and you get something watchable out of here, but there comes a point where you realize she’s just not going to win.
We recap Kane vs. Undertaker, which is the latest set of chapters in their very long feud. This time Kane attacked Undertaker and won the Smackdown World Title in his absence but Undertaker came back and wanted vengeance. He couldn’t get it inside the Cell so maybe he can do it here instead in a Buried Alive match.
Smackdown World Title: Kane vs. Undertaker
Kane, with the recently returned Paul Bearer, is defending and you win by putting your opponent in the grave and covering them with dirt. Undertaker goes after him in the aisle to start and sends Kane into the steps a few times. With a throat slit to Bearer, Undertaker stomps Kane down in the corner as the first two minutes have been completely one sided.
They fight into the crowd with Undertaker still in full control, though the Target logos on the steps are a bit distracting. A backdrop sends Kane back to ringside and Undertaker throws some chairs into the ring. Kane has had almost no offense and we’re five minutes in. Undertaker loads up the announcers’ table but opts to knock Kane back into the crowd. They slowly head back inside with Kane getting in a few chair shots for a breather, followed by a chokeslam.
A second chokeslam keeps Undertaker down but that’s not enough for Kane to get him in the grave. They slowly slug it out in the aisle with Undertaker knocking him up towards the grave but getting dirt thrown in his eyes. Striker: “The symbolism alone speaks volumes.” Undertaker sits up and pulls Kane into the Hell’s Gate for the knockout but Bearer is up next to the grave as well.
Kane is sent into the grave but Undertaker wants to go after Bearer instead. As he’s about to chokeslam Bearer into the grave, here’s the Nexus for no apparent reason to beat Undertaker down, setting up an urn to the head from Kane to knock him into the grave. Kane runs Nexus off and uses his powers to make the dump truck fill the grave in, retaining the title at 17:00.
Rating: D-. Oh yeah this was bad and of course there was never an explanation for why Nexus did what they did here (Barrett mentioned a bigger plan but nothing ever came of it). Undertaker losing made sense here as there’s only so much you can do when you only wrestle a few times a year. Kane winning was the right call as he needed a longer reign to build him up a bit more after all those years of being a jobber to the stars. This wasn’t about wrestling and it’s almost never a good idea to take that off of a wrestling show.
Kane leaves and a bolt of lightning hits the grave as Undertaker’s music plays.
Randy Orton isn’t worried about Cena screwing him over tonight and promises to make Cena regret it if he tries anything out of line.
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown
Raw: The Miz, CM Punk, John Morrison, Ezekiel Jackson, Santino Marella, R-Truth, Sheamus
Smackdown: Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Tyler Reks, Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio, Edge
Reks is a good sized guy with weird looking hair and Del Rio is a newcomer, meaning he’s still just an honest rich man. Smackdown also has Hornswoggle as a viking mascot for no logical reason. Reks and Morrison start things off with Tyler running him over with a shoulder. Santino comes in a few moments later and it’s time for some double teaming on Reks which doesn’t work as well as the Raw contingent would hope. Reks shrugs it off and puts Santino in a torture rack for a reverse AA into a DDT for the elimination at 2:38.
Jackson comes in next and throws Reks around so of course it’s off to Big Show (good guy at the moment). The bigger giant easily throws Jackson around and it’s off to Mysterio who needs some help from Kofi to deal with Big Zeke. Sheamus comes in and pounds on Kofi with an armbar keeping Kingston in place. Kofi kicks Sheamus in the face to set up the Boom Drop followed by the SOS for two. Unfortunately Kofi makes the mistake of diving at Sheamus in the corner, setting up the High Cross (a new name for the Razor’s Edge) for the elimination at 6:52.
It’s off to Punk vs. Mysterio with CM getting two off a powerslam before bringing Sheamus back in. While this is going on, Cole keeps going with his praise for Miz, which would only get worse over time. Mysterio brings in his rival Del Rio, who kicks Punk in the head to send him outside. Like a real villain, Del Rio sends Rey into the barricade before going back in to stay on Punk. Mysterio has to head to the back with a bad arm.
Back in and it’s Swagger cranking on Punk’s arms to slow things down a bit. Punk kicks Swagger away and makes the hot tag off to Morrison as things speed way back up. The Flying chuck gets two on Jack and a kick to the head sets up Starship Pain to get rid of Swagger at 13:07.
Reks comes right back in for a battle of the long hair. Morrison kicks him away too and the latest tag brings in Shemaus as Striker and Lawler keep sniping at each other. Tyler goes after people on the apron and eats a Brogue Kick to eliminate him at 14:32. Big Show throws Sheamus outside and he goes after Hornswoggle for no logical reason. That’s not cool with Show as he fights Sheamus up the aisle for a double countout at 15:29. To recap, it’s Edge/Del Rio/Mysterio (out with an injury at the moment) vs. Miz/Morrison/Jackson/Truth/Punk.
Edge and Truth are in next with Truth hitting a few kicks before eating a spear for the elimination at 16:42. Morrison comes in to try Starship Pain but only hits mat, setting up another spear to get rid of John at 17:03. It’s off to Punk who eats a quick Edgecution but the spear misses. Del Rio tags himself in but Alberto’s cross armbreaker is countered into a backslide for the elimination at 18:05.
Alberto really doesn’t seem to care that he left but here’s Mysterio to run him over and rejoin the match, albeit with a bad arm. Miz comes in for the first time after about nineteen minutes and we get a MIZ IS AWESOME chant. They’re right actually as Miz is Mr. Money in the Bank at this point and it really does feel right.
Jackson comes in and stands on Edge’s neck as Raw starts taking turns stomping on Edge. Punk misses a charge though and gets caught in an electric chair, setting up the hot tag off to Mysterio. We get a quick pinfall reversal sequence for a series of two counts as the arm seems fine so far. A headscissors sends Punk into the ropes for the 619, followed by the springboard splash to get rid of Punk at 24:07.
Jackson comes in next and another 619 and springboard splash put him out at 26:16. That leaves Miz to fight alone but Mysterio’s arm is banged up all over again. Riley takes a quick 619 to save Miz from the shot. The Skull Crushing Finale is countered and Edge adds a spear for the final pin at 27:45. Striker: “IN YA FACE! IN YA FACE! IN YOUR FACE! You know where it is? IT’S IN YA FACE!”
Rating: C+. Well that happened. There was a severe lack of drama in this as there’s no real reason to care about either side winning or losing. There was a little something with Mysterio being injured halfway through but again that went nowhere with him coming back out and the team just winning that easily. It’s certainly not bad and I didn’t get bored but there’s nothing memorable or really entertaining about it and that’s not good when the show is named after this match.
We recap Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett. Cena was forced to join Nexus after interference (in the forms of the yet to be named Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris (Bray Wyatt)) cost him a match against Barrett last month. Barrett then ordered Cena to help him win a battle royal to become #1 contender because Cena couldn’t lose his job because it was all he wanted to do. Now Barrett has to win or he’s fired.
Raw World Title: Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton
Orton is defending and Cena is out with Barrett because Cena vs. Orton must continue without actually continuing. The champ takes over to start and doesn’t seem all that worried about Barrett. The announcers spend most of the match talking about Cena as Barrett takes over with some stomping in the corner.
Barrett mixes things up with choking on the ropes but makes the mistake of going outside to yell at Cena. The distraction lets Orton send Barrett face first into the steps before we hit the chinlock back inside. A belly to back suplex puts Barrett outside and the match stays slow. Back in and Barrett hits some jabs to keep up with his bare knuckle fighter background, followed by a middle rope elbow for two.
Barrett grabs a chinlock for a bit before Orton comes back with a right hand and that great dropkick of his. The referee gets bumped during an elevated DDT attempt and here’s Nexus to beat on Orton. Cena finally has enough and comes in to help clean house, only to get in a shouting match with Barrett. The referee comes back and Orton hits his usual, only to have Cena come in and hit the AA on Barrett for the DQ at 14:34. In other words, Barrett wins the match but not the title, meaning Cena keeps his job.
Rating: D-. They aren’t even hiding the fact that this was an angle disguised as a match or that you were supposed to pay for the thing. The majority of the match was talking about Cena’s actions and that’s not an interesting pay per view main event. At the end of the day though, it doesn’t help that Barrett is still a glorified jobber who hasn’t actually won anything against main roster competition. You need more than that to sell a pay per view, which is why this was almost all about Cena and that shouldn’t need to happen when you have a World Title match.
Cena takes an RKO for continuing this stupid story. It takes Cole and company a good two minutes to figure out that Cena still has his job because they’re not that bright. A bunch of replays end the show.
Overall Rating: F. Oh yeah this was bad. There were three major matches on this show. Two of them were horrible and the third, which was the namesake of the show, was treated as an afterthought. The rest of the show was filled with lame matches that belonged on an episode of Raw (save for the good opener) and a lot of filler like DiBiase vs. Goldust.
You can’t build a show around three matches and have two of them tank, but that’s what we had here and it was a disaster as a result. Finally, the Bragging Rights name made even less sense than usual here as it was one match and not even the main event. Terrible show here and another good example of a card that didn’t need to be a pay per view.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!