Brannigan's Log, date October 24th, 2010. The Mission: to explore the conundrum known as WWE- “Bragging Rights.” Note to self, remember that it's not that bad, at least we're not visiting TNA Impact! There may just be a God after all, but if so, tonight might be punishment for past sins. To atone, we set forth to endure a 14-man tag team match which is guaranteed to be clustered to say the least, matches thrown in at random, and two men travel back to 2003 to rehash the same storyline seen beforehand. Cornette was right after all, anything after 7 years is fair game in wrestling.



Location: Target CenterMinneapolis, Minnesota

Time: 2000-2245 EST; 8:00-10:45 P.M., for the uneducated



 Cold open with another vignette hyping the “Buried Alive” match between The Undertaker and Kane tonight, as well as the WWE Championship match between Randy Orton and Wade Barrett, and finally the Bragging Rights match of course. So far, nothing looks too promising, but what else is new? It's hard to have great PPVs when you do one every 2 to 4 weeks, but I digress. At the very least, these vignettes are always marvelously produced, and for that I thank the WWE. For the recycled booking, I am saddened.


            We are greeted by none other than Vickie Guerrero and her incessant need to shout “Excuse me!” which of course is received with nothing but disdain. The Latina Heat vacuum introduces her main squeeze, Dolph Ziggler, and even he looks bored with this act. Perhaps because the ultra-hot Kaitlyn was absent from this match? His opponent tonight is the man with the most epic theme in WWE right now, one Daniel Bryan Danielson. This could be a great match, permitting that Vickie doesn't cause a disqualification or some nonsense like that occurs.


            Champion vs. Champion challenge: US Champ Daniel Bryan vs. IC Champ Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero (non-championship match)     


            The match opens with Bryan working over Ziggler, and Dolph makes a hasty exit to the outside, hiding behind Vickie to recuperate. Daniel(son) decides this is bullocks, as he leaps off the apron, over the piggly wiggly, and hits Dolph with a wicked shin to the jaw. Back into the ring, and Daniel has the advantage until Dolph reverses into an inverted vertical suplex. Nice to see someone use that move again finally. After this, Dolph maintains a solid advantage over DBD, with the fans rallying for Bryan. Very nice to see a crowd this hot for a show at the opener.


            Daniel finally regains an advantage though when he nails some stiff kicks to Ziggler, and if that wasn't Japanese enough, he nails a variation of the Waaah! Shining Wizard to Dolph. A shiny vegetarian wizard isn't enough to end the match though, as this only gets the deuce. Same goes for a springboard missile dropkick, and this match is becoming quite competitive. Both men have their work boots on tonight, which I'd hope so as neither as Samoan so couldn't inherently wrestler barefooted anyway. The two are reversing one another's moves, even going with the old HBK/Bulldog superplex counter into a cross body. Dolph hits a Zig Zag, and gets the three, until it's noted that Daniel's foot was on the rope. This referee will have none of that chicanery, tomfoolery, or jiggery-pokery, as the match continues. Frustrated, Ziggler tries for the Sleeper, but Daniel won't tap, and when Dolph brings him back to the middle of the ring, Daniel(son) cinches in the LaBell Lock! To quote Joey Styles, “He tapped! He tapped! He tapped!”


Winner: Daniel Bryan (Danielson)


            Interesting to note that as the fans chant “You tapped out” to Dolph Ziggler, this is when the referee decides to eject Vickie Guerrero. If only it was out of a cannon, and no, not a Lucky or a Palmer Cannon either. Oh, obscure wrestling references. Promo backstage sees The Miz with his true BFF Alex Riley (sorry Michael Cole), and the rest of Team Raw arguing and bickering over Miz being team captain tonight. Santino is the level headed one here and cools every down, which makes no sense, but oh well. Miz says he has his team where he wants it to be. Total disarray? A great recipe for success indeed.


            “Dashing” Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre are here to remind everyone they have the WWE's bronze medals, or to others the gigantic  pennies, the Tag Team Titles, and that no one could beat them. Well, it'd help if there were actual teams to face too. The night is soiled when that stupid sound effect plays from the “anonymous” GM, and Cole announces that for talking trash, the champs will be defending tonight. Their team name should be something like “Dashing Interest” or something honest like that. Oh, it's going to be The Nexus. Heel versus heel is always an awkward match. Well, Cena's in this match, so it's not only awkward, but just pretty predictable as well.


            WWE Tag Team Championship: Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes vs. David Otunga & John Cena of Nexus


            So is this why Otunga's been flirting with Cena backstage the past few weeks? For some reason, Cena is still being cheered despite being associated with evil. Maybe they're right about the intelligence of some wrestling fans after all. Otunga is the black Ricky Morton in this match, meaning he is getting the crap kicked out of him and is direly needing to make that hot tag. Not being able to wrestle, David is quite limited in the ring, so he tags in Cena and yells some orders at him, which makes Cena get his sad face. Oh no, not more contemplation! No John, not this way~! Cena with two suplexes on Cody, and he refuses to tag in Otunga. Drama! Intensity! Not really.


            Otunga manages to kill the momentum of Cena as Cody & Drew regain the advantage once more. Drew drops Cena with a version of a Flat Liner, or Complete Shot if you like puroresu. Two count only, and Cody is back in, working over Cena as the crowd chants on for Johnny boy. Cena manages to talk trash to Otunga though, overcome the odds in what has to be an original moment involving Cena, and he applies the STS for the tap out victory. It's more a stepover toehold sleeper than it is a stepover toehold facelock, so I'm calling it an STS like it is. That is irrelevant though as this match ended as expected. Did you expect Cena to job to Rhodes & McIntyre?


            Winners and new champs: The Nexus


            So how much do you want to bet they'll use the Freebird/Spirit Squad rule for these new tag champs? So Otunga is celebrating, as if he did anything to really help win the match, even though after Cena entered the match he was just on the apron. So naturally, Cena decides enough of this as he goes for the Attitude Adjustment. So I guess he just can't hurt Wade Barrett? Audience loved this moment though, and Cena leaves with both shiny copper belts. Backstage, Ted DiBiase Jr. and Maryse are interviewed by Josh Matthews. Maryse does the whole “I speak French only” gimmick, which is quite old by now, and Teddy says he's getting Daddy's belt back tonight. Not that it's actually a title match though. Why not? There's a belt and two men fighting, what the hell else do they need? Oh and Ted also wants to get Aksana, Goldust's NXT rookie, deported. The world is in turmoil after such a revelation, surely.


            Non-championship: Goldust w/Aksana and the Million Dollar belt vs. Ted DiBiase, Jr. w/Maryse


            Ted charges Goldust early on, backing Goldie into the corner, but this is countered into the Bobo Brazil butt bump. They fight to the outside, but once back inside, Teddy gains the upper hand. Aksana tries to root on Goldust, and since it's wrestling, this works. However, Ted killshits that momentum with a pretty decent lariat. Momentum is traded back and forth, with both men scoring near falls here and there. Headlock by DiBiase is countered into a backdrop suplex by Goldust, and both men are down. Goldust is used to being down, but that's another story, right Razor? Both men recover, with Goldust regaining the advantage after a pretty loud uppercut. TIGER!


            Uh oh, Goldust goes to the top rope, and this doesn't bode well. The guy who never goes aerial leaps for a double axehandle smash, and well wouldn't you know it, Teddy dropkicks Goldust in mid-air. That was a pretty decent spot, actually. Spinebuster gets Ted a two count, and when both men collide with what looked like a double clothesline, the two women decide to fight at ringside. This distracts Goldust when he recovers, allowing Ted to nail Dream Street and pick up the win.


            Winner: Ted DiBiase, Jr.


            Not a bad match at all, and at least they're telling a story here. Maryse tries to escape with the Million Dollar belt for Teddy, but Aksana stops that from happening. Ted goes to take the belt, and Aksana tries to flirt with him, which confuses Ted as he checks out his way hotter girlfriend. Goldust sneaks up and nails the Curtain Call, or now they call it the Final Cut, I guess. I remember it being called the Director's Cut too at some point. Anyway, Goldust and Aksana leave with the Million Dollar belt. This crowd was hot for every match so far, and honestly, it's been an OK show so far.


            Next up, LayCool make their way to the ring, and WWE management apparently wants us to suffer as they've supplied the two divas with live mics yet again. They insult the crowd, get some cheap heat, and it's revealed finally that it will be Layla wrestling tonight. At least it's the hot one, so I am alright with that.


            Diva's Championship: Layla El ( c ) w/Michelle McCool vs. Natalya


            Layla tries to muster some offense early on, but it's pretty apparent her wrestling knowledge isn't that extensive. Nattie delivers a delayed vertical suplex, free of charge no less. Once again, the fighting goes to the outside tonight, and predictably, McCool tried to get involved, but was stopped short when Natalya whipped her right into the barricade. Back inside, Natalya is worked over by Layla, but regains the advantage and tries for a Sharpshooter. McCool helps Layla out of the ring, and they try to walk out but Nattie ends up dragging Layla back to the ring. One distraction further though, and Layla hits the neckbreaker to pick up the victory.


            Winner: Layla El


            It was a short recap and a very short match. That's WWE's standard for PPVs these days. Following the match, many fans rejoice as their wish seemingly comes true as Josh Matthews is in a grave. However, much to their dismay, he's merely describing the upcoming Buried Alive match. We can't just leave him in there too? I kid, Josh is way more tolerable than say, Todd Grisham. This leads to a vignette that we've seen for the past 13 years, quite literally, detailing the feud between Undertaker and Kane. Except they exclude most relation and key points from the inception, and we're supposed to pretend this feud is something newer than it really is.


            World's Heayweight Championship

            Buried Alive Match: Kane ( c ) vs. The Undertaker


            Kane makes his entrance first, so that Undertaker can interrupt and start the match right away. That saved an extra 10 minutes for the main event at least. Undertaker and Kane punch one another all the way down the ramp, as the fans chant “We Want Blood” for some reason. It's WWE TVPG, wrestlers can't bleed. They're too tough to bleed! Kane is getting beaten down pretty badly early on, as the fighting goes into the audience, and Undertaker pummels Kane on the arena steps. Back to the ring, and Undertaker throws the steel chair from the time keeper's tabe at ringside and into the ring. “Vintage Undertaker” as he drapes Kane along the apron and nails the leg drop. This is a battle of hatred, blood-lust, violence, malevolence, and rage, but 'Taker is nice enough to clear the announcer's table of any debris. You wouldn't want to hurt someone out there after all. Kane tries to make a retreat, but Undertaker drags him back to ringside once more.


            Kane sees an opportunity and uses the steel chair from earlier to take down Undertaker. Kane wallops his brother with the chair a few times when Paul Bearer makes his way to the ring. Kane chokeslams 'Taker, but realizes that was just stupid because the gravesite is up by the titantron. So, for whatever reason, he decides another chokeslam is needed, and it looks like “The Phenom” is going to be a vegetable again. No word yet if he'd be a squash, since he's so used to being involved with them anyway. Kane hoists his brother onto his shoulder, trying to take him to the gravesite onstage, but Undertaker of course recovers once they make it up there. The two punch each other some more, with Undertaker setting up for a chokeslam, but Kane stops that with some dirt to the eyes. If only it were Japanese throwing salt, he'd have won by now surely. Kane tries to roll Undertaker into the grave, but this is countered into the “Hell's Gate,” or gogoplata, or even go-go-platter if you're from Brooklyn.


            'Taker rolls Kane into the grave, but instead of just shoveling dirt, he looks behind him to see Paul Bearer. Way to focus, you'd think a guy named “Undertaker” would be more apt at this job. So Undertaker rubs Paul's face into the dirt for some reason, and even more bizarre, out comes Nexus. The Green Guys beat down the Dead Man, and Kane is back up to hit his brother with the urn. Now this is what you call brotherly bonding. End sees Kane use his magical powers to command someone in a tractor to drop a big load of dirt onto Undertaker. So, we learned for him to job, all you need to do is hit him with an urn. Go figure.


            Winner: Kane


            After the match, lightning hits the headstone to reveal the logo of the Undertaker. This is the exact same match from Survivor Series 2003, and I guess Jim Cornette was right after all. 7 years later and they repeat history, only last time, Kane buried Undertaker for Vince McMahon to win instead of retaining the world championship. That's really all that was so different.


            Are you ready for a total clusterbomb of a match? A 14-man tag team match is set next. It's the second annual Bragging Rights match, and the teams are as follows: for Raw, it's The Miz, Sheamus, Evan Bourne, John Morrison, CM Punk, Ezekiel Jackson, R-Truth, and Santino Marella; for Smackdown, it's Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Edge, and Tyler Reks. I have a problem with this actually. So LayCool just kinda ditched Kaval, and he got pulled from the PPV for a guy no one probably remembers from the WWE-ECW brand days. Oh well, I doubt he'll be the one to win it for his team tonight anyway, but Kaval would've certainly made more sense. Good timing by the way, as two days later, SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 was released, and surely it's mere coincidence. Surely.


            Bragging Rights match, Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown


            Jo-Mo and Tyler start off, with Morrison gaining the upper hand early. Reks shows some resiliency though, so they're not just making him out to be a wuss at least. Santino is tagged in, and goes for the Cobra, which has worked like what one time? Reks counters and hits a slight variation of the Burning Hammer, but it's dropped more into a faceplant than it is a DDT. Still, cool to see a move like that in WWE. Big Zeke into the match and Reks hightails it out of there, to tag in Big Show. Show with some echoing chops to Jackson, and he tags out to Rey who then tags in Kofi. Jackson blocks the double team attempt to tag in Sheamus. Kofi gains the advantage with a high cross body off the top rope, and he hits the S.O.S., or ranhei for the IWC, for a two count. Kofi goes for the punches in the corner, but Sheamus reverses that into the High Cross crucifix powerbomb to eliminate Kofi.


            Rey and Punk are next in the match, but Punk decides to push Rey back into Raw's corner. Sheamus and Punk beat down Rey once the celtic warrior is tagged in, so once near the SmackDown corner, Alberto manages to tag himself into the match, unbeknownst to Rey. Rey yells at Del Rio, so Alberto does the logical thing and smashes Rey into the ringside barricade. Alberto Del Rio is greatness. Big Show throws a fit, so Del Rio just smiles at him and tags in Jack Swagger. Punk tags in Morrison, and Jo-Mo gains momentum with the Flash Kick. Swagger kicks out, but he looks rocked here for sure. Swagger fights back though, trying for the Gutwrench Powerbomb, John escapes but is hit with a powerslam. Swagger, being Angle-lite right now, slaps on the anklelock after Jo-Mo escaped another powerbomb attempt, but he escapes to the ropes. Morrison hits a wicked kick to set up for Starship Pain, and three seconds later, Jack Swagger has been eliminated.


            Reks comes in looking to wreck Morrison, nice pun right? Well, Johnny tags in Sheamus, and Sheamus honestly just dominates Reks, hitting the Brogue Kick to eliminate the former surfer dude. Well, that was certainly worth putting him into the match. Irate, Big Show enters the match, and battles with Sheamus all the way up the aisle as both men are counted out. Team Captain must be code for “I don't want to work tonight. Pay me anyway.” Edge and R-Truth are in the ring now, but this doesn't last long as Edge spears Truth for a quick elimination. No getting crunk tonight, that's what's up I guess. I suppose you could say that elimination was K-Kwick? I slay me.


            John Morrison back into the match, and he takes down Edge, trying for Starship Pain one more time, but Edge avoids this and chucks a spear at Morrison for another elimination. They must need more time for the main event, because this match is winding down rather fast. CM Punk is next into the match, but Del Rio tags himself in one more time. As he argues with Edge, Punk eliminates him with a backslide. Wow! This is the first time in like 15 years honestly that I've seen a backslide win anyone anything. Tito Santana and Rick Martel would be proud. Rey taunts Del Rio as he comes back out, yet it's Miz who is in the match now to take control over Edge. Miz keeps Edge in the corner, tagging frequently to Jackson as they knock the snot out of Edge. CM Punk back into the match, and Edge is able to stop the momentum with an Electric Chair Drop. ZING! Edge tags out to Rey, who eventually hits a 619 and that weak looking splash to eliminate CM Punk. Whatever happened to “Droppin the Dime” anyway? At least that looked like it had some impact to it.


            Jackson back in to hoss it up, and he takes Rey down with typical power moves. However, since he's a jobber, this doesn't hurt as much obviously, so Rey is able to recoup after landing a DDT, the dropkick to the back, and a 619. Gotta love the variety here as he eliminates Jackson the same exact way as Punk pretty much. Miz looks to fall victim as well, but Riley pushes Miz out of the way when Rey tries for another 619, thus knocking him out forever. When you're just at ringside for someone else, you somehow lose your strength like that. Miz tries for the Skullcrushing Finale, but Rey wriggles out and tags in Edge, who launches out with a spear and picks up the win.


            Winners: Team SmackDown


            Harry Simon, this is your word, but a clustershmazz if there ever was one would be this match. It was ok, but at the same time, too many people involved for anyone to have much of a chance to stand out. So now, SmackDown has defeated Raw two years in a row, and yet, come Monday, Raw will still be the more important show, sans trophy no less.


            Wade Barrett is out to remind us that if John Cena doesn't help him, he'll be fired. Show some defiance please Cena, I think you could use a vacation. Or an actual gimmick. Or an actual moveset. You get the idea by now, as Orton is out and this match is under way.


            WWE Championship: Randy Orton ( c ) vs. Wade Barrett w/John Cena


            Collar and elbow tie up ensues as Orton pushes Barrett into the corner, and the referee tells Orton to break the hold. How pissed would anyone be if a match actually ended by DQ because the guy didn't let go in the corner? Well, Orton is on the offense, and we're reminded he is WWE's apex predator, but I think Jerry Lawler has had that title for many years now. Barrett tosses Orton out of the ring and distracts the referre as Cena looks to Orton, but allows him to enter the ring of his own volition. Barrett leaves the ring and yells at Cena, who looks sad as usual. Your PPV dollars at work here, people. Back in the ring, Orton is in control until Barrett decks him and chokes him out against the middle rope. Barrett is intentionally by Cena, hoping he'd take a cheap shot, but Cena just gives a stoic stare, and I think he might shed a single tear. “Crybaby” that's a gimmick worth seeing.


            Once again, Barrett yells at Cena when Orton chucks him back into the ring, but once on the outside again, Barrett reverses an Irish whip and sends Orton into the steel steps. Back inside and Wade goes for the pin, but only gets a two count. A little ground and pound by Barrett, followed up by a second rope elbow drop, which of course only nets a two. My judge's card had at least a 6, but oh well. Back outside, and Wade pushes Orton into the barricade, while Cena looks on...apathetically. I undertsand that though, I mean, your company's biggest star is relegated to this? I'd be bored too if I was just standing outside...defiantly.


            The fight goes back into the ring, and oh no the tables have turned! The master of the chinlock is now victim to his own maneuver as Barrett works over Orton. Randy stands up, pushes off Wade and drops him with a dropkick. Vintage Viper? Suspended DDT follows this when Wade tries to leave, so yeah, we're on a vintage reel. WWE, wrestling's Pert Plus: wash, rinse, repeat as often as needed. Ref bump leads to Wade using some dirty tactics to regain advantage, commanding Cena to get on the apron. Orton reverses though and whips Wade into Cena, following that with that weird backbreaker he always does. Cena recovers, as Nexus heads to the ring, and Cena works with Orton to take out Nexus. So is this following Barrett's orders? Did they really forget that stipulation already? Well Cena apparently was looking out for Orton, because the ref is waking up finally, so he prevented the DQ. Awe, what a sweetheart. Maybe they'll make it after all.


            Barrett looks to nail the Wasteland, that really lousy move, but Orton escapes with ease, as he is the next Superman after all. Wait, which superhero destroys hotels and craps in duffel bags? I forget. Well, Orton hits yet another DDT, setting up for the RKO. Orton looks like an epileptic out there, but Cena comes into the ring. He hoists up Wade and hits him with the Attitude Adjustment, handing Barrett the victory over Orton.


            Winner: Wade Barrett (DQ)


            That's a victory in the sense that someone who took an AIDS test learns they didn't have that disease, but instead have herpes, hepatitis, and genital warts. Overall an OK match but the ending was rotten. What's up with Cena just attacking Nexus though? Seems like rather awful booking to me though. So, to thank Cena, Orton gives him an RKO. That's what friends are for. Show ends with Orton celebrating as if he actually did something of worth, as Wade Barrett's credibility gets knocked down yet again and John Cena...uh did something I guess.


            If I could be serious for a moment...


            Overall, the show was good. The opening match was high octane fun, the Divas match wasn't as bad as you'd expect, and Goldust put on a pretty enjoyable match with Ted Jr. However, the Bragging Rights match itself should have been the main event, and really, there were too many stars for the match to really shine. 10-man tags are generally the biggest a match should be, and even then, it's usually just too much. The main event ended up being total garbage though, as they pretty much puked on the storyline they had been building with Nexus. However, to grade the entire show either pass or fail, I'd say this one passed, even if it was just for the first match. If you didn't see it, do yourself a favor and check it out. Easily Dolph's best match this year, and one of Daniel's strongest outings as well. I just hope sincerely they actually do something with this Nexus storyline...anything at all. Reporting for The Wrestling Fan, I'm “Big Ern,” Ernie Brannigan. Uno, dos, adios!

(C) Copyright 2003-2010 - The Wrestling Fan/Sean Carless. All Rights Reserved.