John: This Sunday is Bragging Rights. With me as always to talk about the show is my buddy crazy David K. It’s a five match card featuring the two World Titles, a match where the winning team gets a trophy that doesn’t mean a lot the next day, a Unified Divas title match and also a Champion vs. Champion match where neither belt is on the line. It’s a weird lineup. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad lineup. It’s just…different. And I really miss Chris Jericho. That’s for sure.
David: Ladies and gentlemen, and the rest of you Cantonites, welcome to our preview of WWE Bragging Rights or for those of you who are buying WWE pay-per-views regularly, saying goodbye to the 135th dollar in the past 35 days being spent on WWE products. While being promoted as a inter-Brand card, it’s suprisingly thin, with only a handful of matches being announced. That being said, we should be in for some lengthy matches, or some really dumb segments. Let’s hope for the former rather than the latter.
John: Before we start, have you stood up for WWE yet? I am sitting down although writing this preview feels like my contribution.
David: I haven’t even gotten out of bed. We’re supposed to stand now? Man, I thought having to watch NXT Season 3 was work enough.
Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler
John: First up we’ve got the US Champ Daniel “Dancing Man” Bryan vs. IC Champ Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match. They threw this one together on Raw this past week I guess because they realized they need to advertise more than four matches on a PPV lineup. This could lead to a rematch down the road ot unify the belts and keep only the IC title although who really knows? Thoughts on this one?
David: I love how weird this match is on the surface. With the Divas flocking to Bryan, are they taking “Best in the World” a whole new direction? Can Vegans eat … nevermind. So this guy has all these Divas flock to him, and the pseudo-porn named Ziggler ends up with Vickie. Man, being a male in the WWE must take a toll on you downstairs. Anyways, from a technical standpoint, could be a fun match. With no title on the line, and no storyline feud to worry about after Sunday, it could go either way.
John: I’m worried about the crowd because there’s not much of a feud here and I don’t know if they’ll be able to keep their interest that much. From a workrate standpoint I read they had some house show matches against eachother, so it should be pretty good. What about a winner?
David: Well, looking at the two characters, it makes sense for Bryan to win after more interference from Kaitlyn and Vickie. It’ll keep Bryan’s momentum going, while giving more fuel to the fire on the Intercontinental champ’s side of town.
John: I guess Bryan could win. I’m going to go with Dolph by cheating just because I think that will lead to the rematch at Survivor Series where Bryan will win to unify the belts since WWE’s latest thing is to cut back on the titles.
David: Fair enough. Will they make a single title of it? Or go boxing style and carry both?
John: I think they’ll keep the IC title because it’s got a lot of WWE history behind it whereas the US belt was a NWA/WCW thing. Just don’t put a fucking butterfly on it!
John’s Pick: Dolph Ziggler
David’s Pick: Daniel Bryan
Unified Divas Title: Michelle or Layla vs. Natalya
David: Next up we’ve got the Unified Divas Championship match between somebody in Lay-Cool and Natalya. I’m surprised there hasn’t been any “If Lay-Cool wins, we riot” signs in the crowd. Oh wait, that’s right, that’s because they killed the division with stupid booking. My bad. Any chance of my girl Nattie getting over here?
John: It’ll probably be Michelle because Layla seems to be the mascot of the team while Michelle is the one that actually wrestles. As for a winner, I’m torn here. I think either Natalya wins so they can put the belt on somebody new or they keep it on Laycool to try to fend off a returning Beth Phoenix, who is due back any moment now.
David: They’ve built up the Sharpshooter a lot in this feud, I’m praying to God right now that they don’t let Michelle use it on the finish. Further, hoping they don’t do a Montreal Screwjob finish, cause fans will scream more of copying TBP in that other promotion.
John: I don’t understand the whole copy thing. I mean I guess it’s similar, but isn’t every heel in the history of wrestling in that “I’m better than you” category. I am very annoyed by Laycool. I guess that’s the point. With Layla I think she’s funny. With Michelle it’s more irritating. As for Natalya, Canada’s favorite diva and mine as well, I think she deserves the belt. And I’ll pick her reluctantly.
David: My irritation comes from the concept. It’s not that they’re annoying, it’s that I’m supposed to somehow be entertained by this, even though I could see this crap on reruns of 90210 (or Degrassi, for those of you north of the border). WWE insulting my intelligence and taste because they know I’ll continue to tune in. That’s how you get ratings people! Nattie in 5 with a Sharpshooter.
John: I never watched Degrassi, but I watched the original 90210. Valerie Malone. Mmmm. Back to the match I guess we’re both going Natalya although like I said don’t be surprised if Beth Phoenix shows up as a babyface for the surprise return. Personally I’d rather have Beth as a heel to wrestle Natalya as a face. That’s the best feud they could have. But we all know Michelle will always be around the title.
David: Why?? Is she sleeping with somebody in management? You’d think we’d know about details like that with dem der internets thing out there. Damn, if only we were privy to such information.
John: That wouldn’t be real talk, though. Would it?
David: I’m not dignifying that with a response.
John: Maybe you would if you rolled your eyes into the back of your head and shot lightning with your hands.
John’s Pick: Natalya
David’s Pick: Natalya
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown
John: Next up is the 7 on 7 Raw vs. Smackdown match for the COVETED TROPHY that doesn’t really matter. I love how the poster for this PPV has Undertaker and Cena’s faces at the front yet neither guy is in this match, nor is Cena even wrestling. I know they do the promotional posters months in advance, but that’s just poor planning. Anyway it’s Big Show captaining the Smackdown team against Miz captaining the Raw team. Last year Smackdown won because Big Show, then a Raw guy, turned on his team to help Jericho (a Smackdown) guy win due to them being in Jerishow together. This year it’s Raw’s turn right?
David: Hmm, let’s see. Smackdown moves to new network, is starting to get talent and Raw-style booking no, this isn’t the year of Raw unfortunately. This match will be loooooong, but will see some Cole/Hornswaggle interference, thus killing any momentum.
John: I can’t believe they are teasing Cole vs. Hornswoggle already. Save it for WrestleMania you idiots!
David: I can’t believe they have Tyler Reks in this match. Out of all the talent they could have put in this match, he makes little to no sense, even if it’s only to build a future feud with Kaval. Hopefully some last minute change happens and Kaval gets back into this match. You see any other swerves happening here?
John: I don’t think anything big is going to happen here. They’ll have guys like Jackson and Reks get an elimination because they might be high on them for now, but to last long? Not happening. I see it being something like Miz, Sheamus & Punk (three main event level heels) against Big Show 3 on 1. Show might be able to eliminate Punk & Sheamus, but I see Miz scoring the pinfall win for his team. He’s coming off two straight PPV losses. They want to get behind him and have momentum on his side. Plus, it’s a great ego boost for an egotistical character.
David: I see Mysterio/Del Rio blowing up somewhere mid-match as well. Del Rio will be taunting, and Rey will nail him out of nowhere with a kick or something. Matches like this can kill feud-momentum, or it can fuel it. That feud will be raging after Sunday.
John: Yeah but they are on Smackdown and WWE likes to remind us all the time that Smackdown doesn’t really matter. I’m still surprised they won last year. Again, though, did it even matter after they won the match other than getting a trophy?
David: John, there you go remembering things again. I thought you Canadians were supposed to be heavy drinkers and could forget things like that?
John: Did you make a pick yet? I don’t remember that!
David: Smackdown, Show pins Miz after Hornswoggle interference. SyFy needs a boost in ratings, and winning a useless trophy on a low buy-rate show will definitely help!
John: Okay before we move on what idea do you have about making this match matter more. To me, having the winning team’s 7 members get the last 7 spots in the Royal Rumble would be a worthwhile stipulation. It’s better than winning the COVETED TROPHY that looks different than last year’s trophy.
David: I like it, but I definitely like the Draft pick idea more. The winning program gets to take any non-Title bearing talent would make things interesting. It makes it more of a Brand-match then. And before we move on, why are they doing a team-elimination match a month before Survivor Series?
John: Ha, stop using logic! And I’ll stop remembering! I guess they think this is a good way to sell their video game, but I don’t know who is buying the game because of this PPV. They are buying the game becuase they want to buy the game. Not because they saw Raw vs. SD on PPV. My head hurts. And I’m not even drunk like a stereotypical Canadian. Maybe I’ll get deported.
David: But then you’ll leave the land of hot women! Cause they all look like Angelina Love up there, right? /Trish Stratus
John: No. They look like Natalya and Maryse.
John’s Pick: Team Raw
David’s Pick: Team Smackdown
World Title in a Buried Alive Match: Kane vs. Undertaker
David: Finally, we get to my boy McTaker vs. Kane in a Buried Alive match. Is it just me, or does this seem to take a backseat to the rest of the card? These used to be heavily billed as THE match on the card, yet now it seems like it’s the third wheel to the other two “main events”. Regardless, in a PG-Corporate-Senate vying WWE world, this match has little place, and will be sure to be strange. Do you see this working out?
John: The more pyrotechnics and non-wrestling stuff they do to appeal to Syfy, the less interested I become.
David: You’d think with SyFy having shows dedicated to that stuff, that WWE would come off as cheesy and hokey in comparison and boy does it. It’s unfortunate because I’ve been pleasantly surprised at Kane during this feud, and have even found myself clamoring for more. With these PPV’s back-to-back-to-back in such a short time span though, it seems too rushed in this world of short feuds. I wish this would last longer, and this match would be the blow-off at the end somewhere around the Rumble. But with Taker’s streak being the talk of Wrestlemania every year now, this feud needs to die before January so a new opponent can be built up.
John: Remember how excited we were for Night of Champions when they had the match and it felt fresh? It was good. It was a three star match, which is solid for two guys in their 40s that are as big as they are. Then they had Hell in a Cell and it was just average. Now, after two straight PPV losses, Undertaker gets ANOTHER title shot. And what stip do they use? Buried Alive. They are hyping it as a big deal that it’s the first time in 7 years. You know why it’s the first time in that long? Because Buried Alive matches suck. They aren’t draws and they are boring for the fans to watch because the action doesn’t last in the ring. I was okay with Undertaker/Kane a month ago. Now it’s just dragging too much.
David: I think WWE forgets why Stip matches work. They work because of all the shit going on in the storyline. Cage matches work because of somebody running off, or interference running in. Hardcore matches work when two guys want to brawl it out over a heated feud. Buried Alive matches are meant to “kill” off a character for a little while, and it doesn’t make sense to do that to either of these guys. Does either need a break right now? Taker’s coming off his Summer hiatus, and Kane just got the title not too long ago. Stips need to make sense, and this one does not.
John: I guess we should make predictions. I’ll go with Kane winning again just because Undertaker’s barely able to work much these days and I think putting the belt on him is foolish. This stip allows them to beat Undertaker without having him take a pin. I’m not sure about the pick, though. Logic can be thrown out the window with this feud.
David: They team up and bury Bearer again! Nah, this one is going the route of Kane losing. Third time will be the charm with Taker, as he’s got all the odds against him now. Do we see outside interference? I say yes, but I’m not gonna say who. Let’s just say his first initial is D, and ends in Evil. Who’s the favored son? Tune in and find out!!!
John: I think the Swagger Soaring Eagle should interfere. Apparently it’s Jamie Noble in that costume since he travels with the SD crew. Best run-in ever!
David: And he thought wrestling Nidia blindfolded was bad …
John: One final question here. Do you think they do Kane vs. Taker again next month for Undertaker’s 20th Anniversary in possibly a Casket Match? I say yes and that’s where Undertaker gets the belt.
David: Logic would state that as the best option, but by the way wrestling booking has worked lately for the Big Two, I’m going with the highly illogical. You want logic, go watch that ROH show on HDNet (and read reviews posted at TheJohnReport.net).
John’s Pick: Kane
Dave’s Pick: Undertaker
WWE Title: Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett w/John Cena
John: The main event is for the WWE Title and it features John Cena…standing at ringside! Um, yeah. When’s the last time John Cena’s been healthy and not wrestling on a PPV? Doesn’t happen. As we know from the ongoing Raw story and the many video packages that WWE likes to play ad nauseum, Cena’s at the mercy of challenger Wade Barrett. Will WWE champion Randy Orton overcome the odds?
David: I’m not sure how I feel about this match. Orton has been okay as a face, and the Nexus angle is hot as always, but not seeing Cena in a match feels uncomfortable. I’m a Cena-fan as you know, and I’m okay with him being out but again, I’m just not seeing the benefits of sidelining him on a PPV. Obviously this’ll play to the whole Slave-Cena mentality, and we’ll see a moment where he’s able to destroy Orton. Gut says he’ll be the reluctant hero, but what I really want is for him to destroy Orton and like it. Like Anakin Skywalker turning to the darkside, he smiles as he puts him into an AA for the kill. Odds on that though? Million to one.
John: I don’t think that’s happening yet. I think the most likely scenario is there’s a ref bump, Barrett encourages Cena to help him, John’s reluctant, then he screws it up and the end result is Barrett walking right into a RKO for the Orton victory. There are a lot of different ways they can go, but I see Orton leaving as champion after this.
David: Where does Orton go from here though? I hate seeing the same match over again when Barrett doesn’t deserve a rematch. Orton has to play the defeated rival here who’s gonna come back and try for the title next pay-per-view. That’s when Cena costs Barrett the title, that’s when they start to butt heads, if that’s what they’re going for.
John: Orton goes onto Miz obviously. That’s the next title feud. I’d recommend not having Miz cash MITB here, though. Do it at Survivor Series if you do it on PPV, but it’d be even better to do it on Raw because that’s when you have 4.5 million people watching. Then you make them pay for Orton’s revenge on PPV.
David: Do you do it the following Monday though? Or do you wait a week to let it simmer? And does any of that hinge on Miz winning Bragging Rights?
John: Miz wins Bragging Rights. Then he wins the belt the next night after Cena successfully beats the shit out of Orton at the request of Barett. Miz can cash in there, so then it makes Orton furious with Cena because it cost him his belt. Why not? Something new. Something fresh.
David: Something old, and something blue and then you and the Miz can get that commitment ceremony you two always wanted! I like the guy and all, but wait off on the briefcase. Another month of walking around with it will help. Here’s my question though, will anybody care if Miz is Champ right now? He’d be a backseat champ to at least 3 other storylines going on.
John: That’s true, I guess. It’s either that or you put the belt on Barrett, which is a possibility. I got Orton retaining though. Your official pick?
David: Barrett … gut feeling, but it’ll hinge on who wins Bragging rights.
John’s Pick: Randy Orton
David’s Pick: Wade Barrett
THE BIG FINISH
Note: This is blatantly stolen from Pardon the Interruption. We love that show. Consider it an honor.
John: This “Stand Up for WWE” stuff is going to be gone after Linda loses the election right? I can’t creep pics on WWE.com because it bothers the hell out of me.
David: I think so. Frankly, I’m not sure it’ll last the duration of it either, because there’s already an investigation into it. Great plan, Vince. Two government investigations into your business!
John: I think it’ll end soon after the election, but not right away. It’s a lame campaign. If people hate let them fucking hate. Don’t pay attention to it.
David: Token PPV Preview Question: Who you missin’?
John: I miss Jericho, but he’s not on the roster. There’s really nobody on the roster that excites me enough to make me miss them that isn’t on there.
David: Oh John, your Canadian blood betrays you. Where the hell is the almost splitting up Hart Dynasty? Sure, the best part is in a match, but where are the other two?
John: Oh right, Tyson and DH. The breakup is coming.
John: So when IS Jericho coming back?
David: Entrant Number 30 in the 2011 Royal Rumble is …..
John: Are we allowed to remember they did that with Edge last year? I say before WrestleMania. Maybe at the Royal Rumble as a babyface. Feud vs. CM Punk please.
David: He won’t win it, but as far as big returns that’d be huge. And definitely would feud with Orton again. (Be on the lookout for my review of the Jericho DVD early next week!)
David: Buried Alive, Hell-in-a-Cell, Casket Match – what match is next that they’ll pull out of the archives?
John: Punjabi Prison baby!
David: I thought that was what we were in whenever we were forced to watch Khali in a title match? I haven’t seen a good Backstage Brawl since Cena vs. JBL when they lit the car on fire. Fun stuff.
David: Bragging Rights seems like WWE is more proud to be able to say they’ve got those in the world of Sports Entertainment right now, because there isn’t a single promotion out there that stands to rival their dominance over the wrestling world. TNA’s booking as destroyed their credibility, and it’s not looking pretty as time goes on. ROH has a television deal, but they make more money from being that underground promotion only you and your buddies talk about. WWE’s stock doesn’t hinge on pay-per-view buys or ratings, the stock is about the confidence in them being number one. Advertisers are comfortable with their product, they’ve got young talent there to last them a long time, and they’re still making money off all this. This pay-per-view is too soon, but nobody cares. We’ll still buy, and we’ll tune in, because in the wrestling world there’s really nothing else.
John: This will be the least bought WWE PPV of 2010, without a doubt. They’re competing against a huge NFL game on NBC between the Packers and Vikings that will likely be the most watched of their season. We’re talking about 20 million viewers there. Then you’ve got a huge UFC show on Saturday night with Brock Lesnar defending the Heavyweight Title against Cain Velasquez, which should get over 1 million PPV buys. I’ve got Lesnar to win in round 3, by the way. Then you throw in the fact that this is the third PPV in 6 weeks and the odds aren’t good that a lot of people will be buying this show. With all that said, it’s not a bad show. It should be okay. I just don’t think WWE’s doing a good enough job with their stories to entice their viewers to pay for it.
Check out thejohnreport.net either late Sunday night or Monday for a recap of the show. Have a great weekend.
Thanks for reading,
John Canton firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter.com/johnreport
David K. Twitter.com/DaveTheAwesome