Wednesday, 27 October 2010

WWE Bragging Rights on Sky Sports - TV Review

So which brand is best in WWE? That was what I was hoping to find out by watching Bragging Rights, shown live in the early hours of this past Monday morning on Sky Sports here in Britain.

The show began with Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler, accompanied by Vickie Guerrero, facing United States Champion Daniel Bryan.

To say this was a good match would be an understatement. Both guys gave their all in what proved to be a compelling back and forth opener.

This has to be Ziggler’s best WWE match, but then again he was in the ring with a man regarded by many as the best in the world.

Frustrated at his inability to put his man away Ziggler fell prey to Bryan’s Lebell lock. This didn’t sit too well with Ziggler and Guerrero, who voiced their frustrations to the referee after the match ended.

When then had an impromptu match. Tag-Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre came to the ring, complaining about the lack of competition.

This complaint drew a response from the mystery Raw general manager, and an appearance from Wade Barrett, who introduced the next challengers, Nexus members David Otunga and John Cena.

I kind of knew how this one was going to play out. Otunga got his clock cleaned early on before he tagged in Cena.

Cena then carried the rest of the match, refusing to tag Otunga despite getting a pasting from the champions. His instincts took over after he made his recovering, locking in the STF as Rhodes tapped out.

Otunga then celebrated as if he’d done all the work, until Cena took him down with the attitude adjuster, before walking off with both title belts. Entertaining stuff.

Normal service resumed as Ted Dibiase, accompanied by Maryse, went up against Goldust, accompanied by Aksana, in an attempt to get his Million Dollar belt back. Yep, you read that correctly. Goldust actually wrestled on pay-per-view.

Another entertaining affair saw both of these sons of famous fathers putting in a good effort with an interesting storyline.

We also had the obligatory cat fight from the lovely ladies at ringside, which was the distraction that Dibiase needed as he took the pin after taking Goldust out with a DDT.

He didn’t get the title belt back though. After Maryse took the belt back Aksana attacked her in the ring, grabbing the belt back and playing Dibiase for a fool so he would fall prey to Goldust’s final cut. The soon to be married couple then left the arena with the belt still in their possession.

The first title match of the evening followed as Natalya challenged Layla for the Divas title.

Looks like the girls went back to filler material duty this time around. It was okay, but it was nothing special. LayCool played their usual games, and Layla tried to take the high road at one point until Natalya grabbed her by the hair and threw her back into the ring.

This proved to be the beginning of the end as Michelle McCool took Natalya out with a big boot while the referee was distracted so Layla could get the pin.

Then it was on to the first of the big title matches as the Undertaker challenged Kane, accompanied by Paul Bearer, for the World title in a buried alive match.

For once we had a battle that wasn’t dominated by the champion. It was another entertaining brawl, although not as good as their previous encounters, with both men fighting in and around the ring, as well as through the crowd, before they made their way to the grave.

Then we saw the surprise attack by the Nexus, minus John Cena, as they went after the Undertaker so Kane could clobber him with the trusty old urn.

After the Dead Man fell into the grave the Nexus began to shovel dirt onto him, until Kane sent them away and used his powers to drop a digger load of soil into him to secure the win.

Then, after the champion left the Undertaker’s music played as his symbol appeared on the headstone. Which probably means we’ll see him back in time for Wrestlemania.

Then it was time to find out which was the dominant brand as Team Raw, the Miz, C.M. Punk, John Morrison, Ezekiel Jackson, Santino Marella, R-Truth and Sheamus, faced Team Smackdown, the Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Tyler Reks, Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio and Edge in an elimination match.

Plenty of drama in this one. As was expected Marella was eliminated early on, and Team Smackdown seemed to implode when Del Rio threw his own partner Mysterio into the barricade, putting him out of the match for a while, and the Big Show was counted out as he brawled with Sheamus up the aisle.

Things settled down when Edge took out two of his opponents with the spear, but things didn’t look good for Smackdown when Del Rio was eliminated. It was then that Mysterio returned, attacked Del Rio as he returned to the back an evening the scores a little.

They got a little more even when Mysterio pinned Punk after the 619/top rope splash combination, a combination he would repeat seconds later on Jackson, although the splash on that one was somewhat sloppy.

This left Miz alone against Mysterio and Edge, and after Miz’s buddy Alex Riley protected him from a 619 Mysterio countered Miz’s skull crushing finale to get the hot tag, with Edge taking Miz out with a spear to win the match for his team, ending a very enjoyable affair.

The final match of the evening saw Wade Barrett, accompanied by John Cena, challenge Randy Orton for the WWE title.

Before the match began Barrett grabbed the microphone and told Cena that if he didn’t win the match then Cena would get fired.

This was the situation that was played out throughout the match. Early on when Barrett had Orton in a precarious position and distracted the referee Cena stood idle, which earned him Barrett’s ire.

But as the match progressed Barrett put on an entertaining encounter, and it looked like he was going to get the job done on his own until the referee took a snooze.

It was then that Barrett ordered Cena to interfere. This only resulted in Cena getting knocked off the apron, which brought the rest of Nexus down to the ring so they could attack Orton. They were soon sent running when Cena snapped and attacked them, throwing them out of the ring and reminding Barratt that he’d lose if the referee came to and saw what was going on.

Moments later Cena got involved again. As Orton was about to take Barratt down with the RKO he got back into the ring and took his boss down with the attitude adjuster. The referee called for the bell, giving Barratt the disqualification win, meaning that technically Cena had done what Barratt had ordered him to do.

To say that Orton wasn’t happy with the way things played out wouldn’t be underestimating things as he took both Cena and Barratt down with the RKO. A good match with a storyline that was played out perfectly.

In conclusion - I decided to go against type this time around and I didn’t read any reviews before I watched this show.

Bragging Rights proved to be a very entertaining show. From the opening encounter between Bryan and Ziggler it became obvious what sort of show we were going to get. The undercard matches delivered for the most part, the Bragging Rights match was full of great action and drama, and the Orton/Barratt encounter was the icing on the cake, a well executed match with a great storyline.

So this WWE pay-per-view definitely gets the thumbs up for this particular writer, although I have doubt that some people will respond by saying that I must have been watching a different show.

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