So the WWE is trying to come up with new themes for a lot of their Pay-Per-Views (PPVs) and are hoping to see exactly what would work best. It appears that most of the themes have to do with particular types of matches like the elimination chamber, hell in a cell, or TLC. Those are all just fine honestly even though my opinion is that they haven’t exactly done those correctly yet either, but that’s a story for another time. Bragging Rights took over for what was the PPV formerly known as No Mercy and personally that was a pretty catchy name to be honest with you. This time though it would be Raw versus SmackDown in order to determine just which brand was better than the other and therefore would be able to gloat and brag. Like we don’t already know which one they consider the A show anyway.
On October 25, 2009, live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the first ever Bragging Rights PPV pitting the stars of Monday nights against those from Friday nights. Only five matches were in line for this card, but there is a big reason for that. The biggest match for the event would be an hour-long Iron Man Match between John Cena and Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. Ya know, it’s a good thing this particular type of match doesn’t happen all too often because I just can’t handle matches when it is known that it’ll last for at least an hour. Last year’s WrestleMania match between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels went a shade over the half-hour mark, but it never once seemed like it. This match between Orton and Cena wasn’t horrible, but it started to seriously drag before even the halfway point. Way too many pinfalls as well.
The only other match on the card that wasn’t an interbrand match was for the World Heavyweight Championship and it saw Undertaker defend against Batista, Rey Mysterio, and CM Punk. The former and the latter I can watch all day while the two names in the middle could disappear for good and it wouldn’t bother me a single bit. Oddly enough, though, this match was more enjoyable than the Cena/Orton battle and it lasted only about ten minutes. It is fast-paced with a lot of action, and in a way it made me kind of like Batista again. Seeing him turn on Mysterio and into this giant villain heel that destroys everything in his path is exactly how he should be all along.
The divas match wasn’t awful and short enough to keep it watchable. Miz and Morrison worked together so well as a team that it was a travesty to split them up. But now that they can face one another from time to time, there are no complaints here because they have great chemistry in the ring. The big tag match between the two brands was far too short even though it was good for what it was. I would really have preferred it be an elimination match but that wasn’t meant to be. Hate the fact that it was an unclean finish though. Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers and therefore Bragging Rights didn’t have a bad first-showing honestly. Each and every match was good to great even though the main event sort of plodded on and on. Still, this may end up being a rather successful theme for a PPV except one piece of advice is that every single match should be brand versus brand to really keep the whole idea alive.
~ Champion Vs. Champion Raw Vs. SmackDown: John Morrison Vs. The Miz
~ Raw Divas Vs. SmackDown Divas: Melina, Kelly Kelly, & Gail Kim Vs. Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, & Natalya
~ Fatal Four Way for the World Heavyweight Championship: Undertaker (c) Vs. CM Punk Vs. Batista Vs. Rey Mysterio
~ 7-on-7 Raw Vs. SmackDown: Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, & Cody Rhodes Vs. Chris Jericho, Kane, Matt Hardy, R-Truth, David Hart Smith, & Tyson Kidd
~ One Hour, Anything Goes Iron Man Match for the WWE Championship: Randy Orton (c) Vs. John Cena
The event is shown in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and WWE never fails here as everything looks clean and crisp. That especially holds true for the video packages which are simple phenomenal.
The event is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and no problems here either as the surround sound does its job while the center speaker delivers all the commentary nicely.
Josh Mathews Interviews Chris Jericho – Jericho has the Bragging Rights trophy and talks about how he was the true leader of the SmackDown team and they won because of him. (2:05)
Really not a bad showing from the WWE for a first time event and it has a really good idea that I hope continues into this year without them trying to change it all up again. Another thing I’m hoping is that the Iron Man match is not something they keep as tradition for this PPV either, because it’s just hard for me to sit through those things. Overall this is a pretty good event, but the DVD may not be worth a purchase simply because the special features suck and there really are only five matches. Might as well go with a rental if you really can’t wait for it to end up on the cheap.
WWE Home Video presents Bragging Rights 2009. Featuring: Undertaker, CM Punk, John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Kane, and many more. Running time: 180 minutes. Rating: PG. Released on DVD: November 24, 2009. Available at Amazon.com