Welcome to the final roundtable of October 2010. WWE Bragging Rights is the third pay per view this month, proving once again that there are just too many wrestling PPV events. Hopefully next year WWE will move to only 12 events and things will get easier (At least for guys like MM and CB who showed their true strength by participating in all three roundtables this month). On to Bragging Rights roundtable.
Randy Orton (C) vs. Wade Barrett (with John Cena)
Steven Gepp: I am actually looking forward to this. I think Barrett can match it with Orton. And I can also understand why they have put Cena in there, to help get Barrett over. And I think that this is his coming out party. Yes, itâ€™s on a crappy PPV that no one is going to buy, but that way if the experiment flounders it can be much easier to cover up. Okay, thatâ€™s cynical, but I really am looking forward to this. Someone new in the title mix, and someone who looks legit like he can do it. Iâ€™m there. Well done, WWE.
Winner: (and new champ) Barrett
Andrew Wheeler: I have gone on record as stating that I love the idea of John Cena as the unwilling footsoldier of Nexus; it takes him out of the main event picture (in terms of actively competing for the title), it elevates a fledging stable and it allows us to experience Cena as a heel despite him still being a face. There is no better evidence of the value of John Cena in this role than the Orton/Barrett match. Without Cena there, what are the odds that Wade even gets the chance to challenge one-on-one? Or, if the WWE actually went ahead with the match, what were the odds of anyone believing that he could honestly win? Iâ€™m not saying that heâ€™s going to win, but Iâ€™m saying that it is at least plausible. If Wade were to actually win the title because of John Cena, it would be the single most â€œevilâ€ action that he could take. Cena would have robbed Randy Orton of his WWE Title and put the belt squarely in the hands of his most hated enemy. Now thereâ€™s a reason for Orton to hate Cena even though heâ€™s a babyface, allowing Randy to be more like Steve Austin than heâ€™s been allowed to (because TV-PG WWE World has a rule that good guys have to like good guys, even when said good guy tried to detonate said good guy with pyrotechnics). Anyway, I think that Randyâ€™s going to win here because Survivor Series next month needs a strong champion and weâ€™re probably due for another Sheamus/Orton match. Plus, with Cena â€œfailingâ€, thereâ€™s a reason for folks to tune into RAW to see what happened.
Winner: Randy Orton
Chris Biscuiti: I think WWE is going to pull the trigger on Barrett here, if for no other reason than Orton’s latest championship run has taken a back seat to the whole Nexus owns Cena angle. Orton’s a much better chaser as a face than he is a champion, and this could be the beginning of the long tease to either a Cena heel turn, or a faux-Cena heel turn leading to the eventual demise of Nexus. Either way, it’s Wade’s time.
Winner and new champion: Wade Barrett
Kelly Floyd: This entire match has been based on all the Nexus/Cena stuff, we barely got to see anything building up the actual match. I’ve tried to get spunky with my choices for the last few Roundtables, and it has NOT worked out for me. So let’s go with something that seems obvious, at least to me. The believability aspect points us in the direction of a Barrett victory, because he finally has Cena aiding him. However, I don’t think it’s Barrett’s time yet, and I can see something happening where Cena accidentally costs Barrett the title. Total guess though.
Winner: Randy Orton
Raffi Shamir: After a hot start and a lukewarm followup, the Nexus is once again of the hottest storylines in wrestling in a very long time. And we have John Cena to thank for. But, as good as Cena is and as hot as the Nexus is, Wade Barrett is still not ready for the big one. I can see the logic behind giving him the title and it would be hard to argue with it, but I think it’s too much too soon. It’s not like he’s Brock Lesnar who was a legitimate champion early in his career, he’s still only Wade Barrett and giving him the title now might cause the entire storyline to jump the shark. Randy Orton should continue his run on top as a face at least till the end of 2010.
Winner: Randy Orton
Matthew Michaels: Not really sure how Barrett can NOT win here, unless Cena tries to help and gets him DQ’d. Probably likely now that I think about it.
Mark Allen: Barrett’s not ready for the WWE Title quite yet plus there’s more mileage left in both Orton’s face Title run and the Barrett-Cena saga. Orton wins and with any justice holds it all the way going into WrestleMania. Cena and Barrett can go on to finish their rivalry.
Winner – RKO
World Heavyweight Championship – Buried Alive Match:
Kane (C) vs. The Undertaker
Steven Gepp: I didnâ€™t care last time. I said I wouldnâ€™t care this time. I was right. Just go away. Both of you.
Winner: Certainly not the audienceâ€¦ oh, okay. Undertaker (and new champ)
Andrew Wheeler: This feud has been a necessary evil because of a thin Smackdown main event and a limited opportunity to do one more Taker/Kane storyline. As most of you know, I hate Undertaker storylines. I hate them because they always go cartoonishly over the top and wind up embarrassing fans over the age of 11. With that said, I actually want this thing to continue and have a proper finish at Survivor Series (to basically get this thing over with once and for all). What eats at me is the fact that a Buried Alive stipulation has an element of finality to it, so I canâ€™t see how this can allow the feud to continueâ€¦if Undertaker wins. Kane should win here, allowing the WWE to get the great visual of Takerâ€™s hand bursting up from the dirt to evoke eye-rolling from everyone in the crowd. Then, at Survivor Series, we get one final gimmicky blow-off to let this feud rest in peace. Hokey pun doused in lame sauce? Yep. But it felt appropriate given this storyline.
Chris Biscuiti: Here’s some fun history for you: In 1996, The Executioner and Mankind teamed up to bury Taker alive at the In Your House PPV. The Undertaker’s been burying his coworkers ever since.
Winner and new champion: The Undertaker
Kelly Floyd: We’ve been doing this dance for ages now. For two elite stars, it’s hard to believe how boring it’s gotten. I feel the Undertaker is due this title, and it now is a good time to shift it. This seems like a good turning point in the storyline, so hey, let’s go with Taker on this one.
Winner: The Undertaker
Mark Allen: The Kane fan in me wants me to win this one to end the feud but I guess it’s time for Undertaker’s annual World Title push going into his flagship show (Survivor Series) and into WrestleMania.
Winner â€“ Undertaker
Raffi Shamir: As crappy as TNA’s storylines have been in the past couple of months, the Taker-Kane feud wins the 2010 Wrestlecrap of the Year award in my book. I hate everything about this feud and I can’t wait for it to end. Sadly, I don’t see this happening here. With all the rumors about this being the last ever Taker-Kane feud (Yeah right, I’ll believe it when I don’t see another one) and about Kane being close to retirement, there’s one gimmick missing from this feud â€“ a casket match. As “deadly” as a buried alive match might be, it will always come behind a casket match in Taker gimmick matches. So don’t be surprised in Kane buries Taker here, but Taker returns and challenges his brother to a casket match next month, where this will hopefully end.
Matthew Michaels: One would think The Undertaker would get his revenge here, but I’m loving Kane as champion and wouldn’t mind seeing him keep the belt, Paul Bearer stick around, and Kane move on to feud with someone else, perhaps Edge (but hopefully not Big Show). Taker can take some time off, and come back one more time for RumbleMania Season.
WWE Bragging Rights Tag Team Elimination Match:
Team Raw (The Miz, Sheamus, John Morrison, R-Truth, Santino Marella, CM Punk and Ezekiel Jackson) vs. Team SmackDown (Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio, Edge, Tyler Reks, and Kofi Kingston)
Steven Gepp: So sue me, I liked last yearâ€™s match. It was great big mess with a â€œshockingâ€ turn, but I was entertained and even watched it again to get a feel for this offering. I donâ€™t think this will be as good. But I still think I will be entertained. Looking at the teams, itâ€™s hard to tell. So letâ€™s look at it business-wise. Smackdown is now on SyFy, needs a boost, so letâ€™s say itâ€™s a repeat!
Winner: Team Smackdown
Chris Biscuiti: This whole PPV makes me think to myself, “Really?” Seriously, “REALLY?!” That Bragging Rights trophy looks even worse than the piece of plastic they give to Dancing with the Stars winners every season, and this feud between Raw and SmackDown! is more artificial than a Lita promo. (Sorry, it’s TV-PG these days, otherwise I would have said t*ts!)
Winners: Team Raw
Andrew Wheeler: Ah, the Bragging Rights trophy. It is the most prestigious trophy in all of pro wrestling for one reason: it hasnâ€™t been destroyed yet. Seriously, how has that thing endured an entire year without being smashed to pieces? Anyway, the match itself has an interesting mix of wrestlers on each team with Team RAW edging out Team Smackdown in terms of heels. RAW is The Miz, John Slo-Mo-Rrison, Resurrection-Truth, Santino Marella, Sheamus, CM Punk and Ezekiel Jackson. Smackdown is Big Show, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Kurt Swangle, Alberto Del Rio, Kofi Kingston and Tyler Reks. RAWâ€™s faces are the weakest members of the team, and are all clearly there to job for one reason or another. Kofi and Morrison will probably get one moment to shine in the ring, thus fulfilling their reason for existing. In the end, RAW is going to beat Smackdown. Team Smackdown has too many mini-feuds in it; Edge doesnâ€™t like Swangle, Del Rio hates Rey, Big Show hates Swangle, Reks hatesâ€¦umâ€¦hygiene. In the end, this is a chance for Sheamus to look strong and come out a monster. Plus, it is worth a hell of a lot more for Miz to have unnecessary confidence as opposed to Teddy Long having the trophy as another prop in his â€œofficeâ€.
Winner: Team RAW
Kelly Floyd: Tricky, tricky. This is the match I’m looking forward to most, as Bragging Rights is one of my favorite PPV concepts. The true winner last year was Raw, and I could see them finally earning it here. But honestly, Smackdown is on a roll. As it is my favorite of the brands, I not only predict their win, I hope for it as well.
Winner: Team Smackdown
Mark Allen: The Miz is on such an incredible hot streak it would be foolish to stop his momentum here. Plus SmackDown looked dominant on RAW, which in WWE speak means they lose on Sunday. Miz (and RAW) need to win this so he can continue his Bragging Rights (and bragging rights) streak alive, all the way to the WWE Championship.
Winner â€“ RAW
Matthew Michaels: Smackdown won last year; could WWE let the b-show do it again here? All signs point to Raw winning, but Smackdown’s team is definitely more stacked with ex-World Champs galore represented. However, The Miz is on a roll, and winning here gives him some great cred leading into a feud with Orton, which I’d like to see.
Winner: Team Raw
Raffi Shamir: This match will probably be good and fun, though completely meaningless. I mean, why the hell should anyone care about some sort of non-existent rivalary between Raw and Smackdown? Team Raw needs to win here with Miz getting the final pin only so he will be able to cut ASWESOME promos about being Raw’s most valuable player (Pardon me for not using the acronym, for obvious reasons).
Non-title Champion vs. Champion Match:
United States Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler
Steven Gepp: This will go one of two ways. Either Ziggler will be left lost and struggling to keep up with Bryan, meaning one of them gets punished/de-pushed, or he keeps up and that means they will impress those in the back and they may be trusted with more than just mid-card titlesâ€¦ or could be used to elevate the mid-card titles to the status they have had on occasion over the years. I think Ziggles has improved these past 18 months, so Iâ€™m hoping for the latter. However, the outcome is not as clear. I see interference, either from Miz, Vicki, some NXT chick, whatever, thus costing Bryan the match and setting up something.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Andrew Wheeler: Daniel Bryan got his ass handed to him by Sheamus, but then came back and held his own in a rematch that he absolutely should have lost. Dolph Ziggler is in yet another Vickie-inspired bizarro love triangle. These two could potentially tear the house down, as long as Danielâ€™s back is strong enough to carry Dolph through the match. Daniel Bryan needs the win here more than Ziggler, because while Dolph is already established as a heel, the fans still need to be reminded to continue to back Bryan. Plus, if Iâ€™m wrong about Team RAW winning, itâ€™ll be great for Bryan to point out to the Miz that he was the only person from RAW to win a match.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Chris Biscuiti: Obvious match of the show candidate, if they are given enough time and a clean finish. Something tells me Kaitlyn gets involved in a major way, again. Dolph wins to set up Bryan’s future payback victory in a mid-card belt unification match.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Kelly Floyd: I guarantee, this match will knock me on my ass at the bar. These two are so impressive and talented, I can just imagine what they’re going to do. Still, with Dolph finding a way to pull out a win every time, I can see him finding a way to get this one, as well.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Mark Allen: Talk about a random match and a clash of styles. But I’m excited to finally see Bryan Danielson wrestle live. Neither man can really afford a loss here but the booking of the PPV and the Vickie Guerrero factor makes it easy for either man to win or lose and keep momentum and heat. Let’s go with Ziggler here so SmackDown gets a win.
Winner â€“ Ziggler
Raffi Shamir: Seems like everything is working against Daniel Bryan in this match. Ziggler has Vickie and perhaps Kaitlyn in his corner, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Alex Riley get involved. This almost guarantees that he loses here. Then again, a victory here will only help Bryan’s “winning against all odds” character. But it doesn’t really matter, if these two will pull out all the stops and steal the show, they will both look great and hopefully earn management’s trust.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Matthew Michaels: Since I’m predicting Raw wins the main event, unfortunately I have to predict that Dolph will win bragging rights for Smackdown in this match. Thankfully it’s non-title, and I’m hoping I’m wrong because I think Danielson’s on the verge of being something special in the eyes of new (i.e., WWE) fans. Maybe Vicky will turn on Dolph here since Bryan’s such a ladies man!
Divas Championship Match:
LayCool (C) vs. Natalya
Steven Gepp: Last month was a cop-out. But with the Hart Dynasty break-up being teased (boy, that didnâ€˜t last long, did it?), I think a title change here will actually play into that storyline well. However, husbands speak louder than legacies. Which is a shame. But I will go with my instinct, and the fact I really like Natalya, and I think someone may run interference to negate the non-wrestling part of LayCool â€“ a Hart relative, Hart Dynasty member, maybe a father â€“ and to go with everything else Iâ€™ve guessed tonight.
Andrew Wheeler: LayCool will roll on here as The Hart Dynasty will have wacky miscommunication leading to Natalya getting distracted and rolled up for the pin.
Chris Biscuiti: I really hope Natalya gets the belt, but I think WWE is still waiting for Beth Phoenix to come back and get revenge on LayCool. Here’s some “Real Talk” for you: LayCool is approaching its expiration date pretty quickly, and I’d love Natalya to get things unraveling for Michelle and Layla here, even though it won’t happen.
Winner(s) and still champion(s): LayCool
Kelly Floyd: What a ride this has been. It’s nice to see a serious contender for the belt, instead of the rotation they used to put on. And boy, am I glad it’s Nattie, and not Kelly Kelly or Alicia Fox. I think this feud has only just begun, and there’s still a lot of potential friction between Layla and Michelle, that they’ll retain this, for now.
Mark Allen: Love Nattie, but LayCool is the hottest thing the WWE women’s division has had since Trish-Mickie. No sense in stopping it until Beth comes back.
Winner â€“ LayCool
Raffi Shamir: So, how long until LayCool stops being cool and becomes stale? I think there’s still a couple of weeks before WWE will have to break these two up, and since a title loss will probably be the catalyst for said breakup, it’s too soon for them to lose the title. Natalya’s loss will probably be just another step towards another looming breakup, that of the Hart Dynasty.
Matthew Michaels: I hate that there are “two” women’s champions, so it’s hard to care about this one. I think Michelle wins.
That’s it for this roundtable and October events. Join us on Sunday night right here at Pulse Wrestling for full, live coverage of WWE Bragging Rights 2010
Tags: alberto del rio, big show, cm punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, edge, Ezekiel Jackson, jack swagger, john cena, John Morrison, kane, Kofi Kingston, Laycool, Natalya, NXT, Paul Bearer, R-Truth, randy orton, Raw, rey mysterio, Santino Marella, sheamus, Smackdown, The Miz, the undertaker, Tyler Reks, Wade Barrett, World Heavyweight Championship, WWE, WWE Bragging Rights, wwe championship, WWE Divas Championship