After the amazing event last night that was UFC 121, we turn our attention to tonight's WWE: Bragging Rights. We will do our usual coverage of providing live bullet point updates as the event unfolds. The show starts at 8 p.m. ET so be sure to join us then. The night's card looks like this, per the WWE website:
WWE Champion Randy Orton def. Wade Barrett (with John Cena) to retain the WWE title
World Heavyweight Champion Kane def. The Undertaker (Buried Alive Match) to retain the World Heavyweight title
Team Smackdown def. Team Raw (WWE Bragging Rights Tag Team Elimination Match)United States Champion Daniel Bryan def. Intercontinental Champion Dolph ZigglerSelf-professed "Co-Divas Champion" Layla def. Natalya to retain the Divas titleJohn Cena and David Otunga def. Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre to become the new WWE Tag Team championsTed DiBiase def. Golddust
See you then.
Apparently MVP defeated Chavo Guerrero in the dark match. Live broadcast should be up shortly.
- Broadcast is up and we are underway with Bragging Rights. As per the usual, they open with a video package.
- "Perhaps only once in a lifetime do you get the opportunity to see someone get buried alive." Great start to the night for the commentary team. First thing to happen on the broadcast is Vickie Guerrero with her "Excuse Me" schtick. We'll open the night with Bryan vs Ziggler.
- Relatively slow paced match so far. Ziggler using heel tactics like hiding behind Vickie on the outside. Why is it that Ziggler, for all his speed and supposed talent, works such plodding matches?
- Bryan has done a few big spots with Ziggler mostly carrying the match. Again, I can't help but wonder about the psychology here. What happened to the WCW formula of starting the night with the small guys that would work fast paced exciting bouts to get you pumped for the matches that moved slower later on? Way too many rest spots in this match. Bryan is mounting his big comeback and finally they've picked up the pace.
- Huge spot off the top rope with a back suplex attempt from Bryan getting turned into a cross body slam from Ziggler. He gets two before Bryan reverses and gets a two count of his own. That was a great spot and they've firmly got the crowd. A rest spot before they trade about twenty two count reversals. Less is more, fellas.
- Ziggler puts on a sleeper that Bryan gets out of and Ziggler taunts Bryan while he recovers. Out of nowhere he locks on the LeBell Lock and gets the submission win.
- Backstage segment with Miz talking about Team Raw getting off to a great start with the Bryan win. Sheamus comes up and calls him out. CM Punk's turn to come in. They all argue and Santino comes in for comedic relief. They argue some more and Miz is trying to get everyone on the same page. Teasing dissent was the point of the segment. Kind of fell flat though.
- Out comes the WWE Tag Team champs, Dashing Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntrye. They're out there cutting a promo saying everyone is scared to face them. There's that stupid beep and the Raw G.M. is chiming in. Says there is a team worthy of a title shot tonight. Nexus music hits and Barrett comes out to announce the team going up against Rhodes and McIntrye, David Otunga and John Cena. Holy shit. Didn't see that coming.
- Cena is still getting great reactions from the crowd as a babyface. Otunga starts the match and he's taking a beating from Rhodes and McIntyre. Finally he runs over and tags Cena, who doesn't like it. He comes in and goes to work though. Cena picks Rhodes up for a suplex and poses with him for about ten seconds. Otunga asking for the tag and comes in to complain about not getting one. Rhodes takes advantage and the offense goes back to the tag champs.
- With Rhodes and McIntyre still on the offensive a dueling chant starts in the crowd. One faction chants "Cena sucks" and the other chants "Lets go Cena". Comeback time and Cena hits the five moves of doom. Five knuckle shuffle after he did the you can't see me sign to Otunga. He locks on the STF on Rhodes. He taps out and Otunga and Cena are the new Tag Team champions. They bring the belts in and Otunga is posing with both of them. He gives one to Cena and poses. When he turns around Cena gives him the Attitude Adjustment and then poses with both belts before leaving the ring with both belts on his shoulders.
- Interview with Ted DiBiase in the back. He's cutting a promo on Golddust about how weird he is. That was horrible. This man is about 1/100th as good as his dad on the mic. It's a shame, too. I think he's got potential. This leads us right into the next match of the night which will be DiBiase vs Golddust.
- These two are actually working a pretty good match. "Let's go Golddust" chant breaks out and that makes me happy. He deserves a nice little program like this. This is the kind of match I was expecting out of Ziggler and Bryan. Goldust getting some nice offense in before he goes flying out of the ring. He jumps off the top rope and DiBiase hit a dropkick on him in mid-air. That looked very good. After a little back and forth, DiBiase hit a very nice spinebuster. That's easily one of my favorite moves.
- They get the ladies involved and Aksana costs Golddust the match. Maryse grabs the Million Dollar belt to give back to Ted and she gets attacked by Aksana. She takes the belt back and then mock seduces DiBiase. Right when he goes in for a kiss she backs off and Golddust hits the Curtain Call. That's a great finisher.
- Time for the Divas championship match. Take your breaks now, hit the bathroom, grab a snack, all that good stuff. The LayCool schtick is really old. It's also really lame. Natalya is great though.
- Natalya really cracked her head on the outside when she was pulled down off the mat by McCool. That looked rough. She's cool though and the match goes on, unfortunate as that may be. McCool of course interferes in the match and helps Layla retain the title. Weak.
- They go with drama by having Josh Matthews stand in the "grave" and cut a promo for the Buried Alive match to come. That leads into a video package for the upcoming match between Kane and Undertaker.
- Taker runs out and meets Kane before he even gets to the ring. I won't lie, I really don't have high hopes for this match. I also can't get the image out of my head of Taker staring down Lesnar and asking him if he wants to do it. Am I the only one?
- They do a lot of brawling on the outside. Finally they make their way back to ringside. Taker starts throwing chairs into the ring to loud cheers from the crowd. Now he throws in the cover of the announce table. He goes to use a chair and Kane gets out of the ring and they're brawling on the outside again. It's exactly the slow paced match you would expect from these two. Kane overselling every punch Undertaker is throwing.
- They exchange some offense in the ring and Kane makes the first attempt at taking Taker to the grave. I wish that was just a figure of speech. Of course, Taker fights out and they exchange punches. The crowd does the cheer for the face punch, boo the heel punch bit. Taker knocks Kane down and gets a nice little pop from the crowd. They're out by the grave near the entrance now.
- They are right next to the grave and Taker locks in the Hells Gate which is actually a gogoplata. Kane taps but of course that doesn't matter. Kane goes out and Taker rolls him into the grave. Taker grabs Bearer and forces his face in the dirt. He's being really gentle with him though and it's showing. He was going to choke slam him but out comes Nexus. Taker is fighting them all off but they eventually overwhelm him. I don't understand this at all. Kane comes up out of the grave and Nexus holds Taker while Kane hits him with the urn. He rolls into the grave and Nexus grabs the shovels and start throwing dirt on him. Kane pushes them away and tells them to leave and they do so. He then orders the dirt down from the bulldozer and he wins the match. That was an odd ending with the Nexus run-in.
- Kane walks out and then Taker's music hits. They do the lightning on the headstone and it shows the cross on it. His music is still playing as the announcers do their best to look shocked. They cut to the back and it's time for an interview with Randy Orton. He says if Cena interferes in his match, he'll drop him right in the middle of the ring. Up next is the Team Raw vs Team Smackdown elimination match.
- Team Raw gets their introductions first. I'm actually really looking forward to this match. I'm a mark for elimination style matches though. Team Smackdown on the way out now and it's almost time to start.
- Tyler Reks and John Morrison will start us out. Morrison tags out to Santino after getting in some good offense. He's looking for the Cobra but of course gets smashed like usual. Reks gets the pin and Santino is the first man out.
- Ezekial comes in so Reks tags out to Big Show. Kingston gets the tag and get dropped before Jackson tags out to Sheamus and he's going to work on Kofi now. Kingston starts getting some good offense in but it's pretty ugly. He gets hit with the high cross and Sheamus gets the pin to even things up. Kofi Kingston is gone. In comes Rey Mysterio.
- CM Punk comes in and the crowd starts cheering for him. Sheamus gets tagged back in. A little offense and a two count and he tags back out to Punk. Mysterio goes up against the ropes and Alberto Del Rio tags his back to come in. ADR then knocks Mysterio off the ring. He tossed him into the barrier as well before getting back into the ring. They are showing Mysterio acting like he's badly hurt. They are leading him to the back. I guess that means he's out. Jack Swagger in the ring now.
- Morrison gets tagged in and he's working on Swagger now. Wow, Morrison hits his finisher and get the three count. Swagger is gone now. Tyler Reks comes in.
- Sheamus gets in and takes some offense before hitting the big kick and the 1-2-3. Tyler Reks is now gone.
- Big Show and Sheamus brawl outside the ring and they both get counted out. Big Show and Sheamus are both out. Edge and R-Truth get in with Raw having a 5 on 2 advantage.
- Edge hits the spear and just like that R-Truth is out. Morrison comes in quick and looks for a pin but only gets a two count. Another spear and Morrison is out now. Punk runs in and looks for the GTS but can't get it. Edge is a one man wrecking crew here. He looked for the spear on Punk but missed. Del Rio tagged himself in and he's working on Punk now. Punk reverses him and rolls him up and gets the three count. Alberto Del Rio is out now too. That leaves CM Punk, Ezekial Jackson and the Miz for Team Raw and only Edge for Team Smackdown.
- But of course not. Rey Mysterio comes out and hits ADR on his way back to the ring. It's actually 3 on 2 in favor of Raw. Edge looks for the hot tag but Miz shuts it down. Time for him to get his offense in on Edge. Jackson tagged in to get offense before going back to Miz and then to Punk. They are quite obviously building towards a hot tag to Mysterio and it's clear they are booking Smackdown as the babyface show. Edge finally gets the hot tag and Mysterio comes in with a head of steam. He got reversed rather quick to slow things down, which was odd. They trade two counts for a while before Mysterio hits the 619 and CM Punk is out. That leaves Edge and Mysterio vs Jackson and Miz.
- Pretty slow rolling since Jackson came in. Mysterio is working pretty well with the big man though. Edge has been selling on the apron for quite some time now. Mysterio lands awkwardly on Jackson and a really odd pinfall happens. He tried to kick out and looked like he did so in time but he's out. Miz comes in with a head of steam. He quickly gets set up with the 619 but he counters. It's Mysterio and Edge vs Miz now. Edge gets the hot tag from Mysterio and comes in hard with a spear for the pin. Mysterio and Edge last through the end and Team Smackdown defeats Team Raw for the Bragging Rights trophy.
- Video package now for the WWE title match between Randy Orton and Wade Barrett. I seriously doubt they job Orton out to Barrett here but I would love to see that.
- Out comes Barrett with Cena once again. If he goes this entire run as a member of Nexus and never actually wears a Nexus shirt, I'll be very unhappy. That little armband is a joke. It's basically an admission that they aren't really committed to the angle. Barrett didn't get as much heat as I'm sure they were hoping for when he walked out. Orton got a decent little pop but this crowd hasn't been one of the better PPV crowds.
- Barrett grabs the mic before the match starts and reinforces the fact that if he doesn't win the match, Cena will be fired. Cena does his usual facial expression of looking like a wounded duck and slides to the outside. We get the match underway. Orton coming out powerful and establishing dominance. A "fire Cena" chant breaks out. I'm suddenly digging this crowd a lot more. Barrett tosses Orton out and he and Cena have a brief staredown before Orton climbs back in. Barrett goes out to get in Cena's face about doing nothing before climbing back in. Wonder where this is headed.
- Sorry for the lack of updates. Had an issue here at home. Got that resolved. The match from what I could see has been a bit slow. Barrett knocks Orton into the referee and the ref is out of the ring. Barrett orders Cena to get up on the apron. Orton knocks Barrett into Cena who goes out in the barrier. Orton hits a backbreaker and here is the run in by Nexus. They are working over Orton with Cena and the ref on the outside. Cena comes in and attacks Nexus. He dumps them all out. Barrett turns him around and yells at him. Cena explains that if the ref came to and saw Nexus he would have been disqualified. Barrett looks for Wasteland but gets reversed. Orton on the offensive now. Barrett tries to crawl out of the ring but it just sets up the middle rope DDT. He's pounding the mat lookng for the RKO. Cena runs up and grabs Barrett and gives him the Attitude Adjustment and the ref calls for the bell. Barrett wins the match by disqualification and Orton keeps his title. Cena grabs the belt and walks up to give it to Orton and Randy hits him with an RKO. Orton poses with the belt and that was a ridiculously stupid ending to the match. What an overly easy way to get out of the stipulation. Cena didn't cost Barrett the match, because he won, but he didn't cost Orton the title because it was by DQ. Horrible. Barrett gets up and walks right into an RKO from Orton and he goes right back to posing with the belt. That's all for tonight, folks.