This Sunday, live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN, WWE holds its second annual Bragging Rights pay per view. This is an expensive time of year for WWE fans as they have to fork over the cash for an extra pay per view. To make it worth the while WWE has themed many of their pay per views. With Hell in a Cell and Bragging Rights within days of each other, the WWE has captured the attention of many fans. This Sunday’s matches are few, yet stacked.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan
Bryan-Ziggler is the potential match of the night. In 2009 Ziggler really helped build John Morrison’s Intercontinental title reign. It just seemed wrong that he didn’t get a run with the gold back then, but he has now claimed his spot in the limelight. On paper this just looks like the perfect mid-card match.
Team Smackdown vs. Team Raw
This match is a far cry from last year’s brand vs. brand battle. The original Smackdown team looked so weak that the team had to be restructured. This year the match looks much better. Big Show as the Smackdown captain is very fitting given that Miz is the captain of Team Raw. They are a former tag team and now make perfect foils for each other. Edge is a good fit for the match given that he was just sent packing from Raw by the mystery Raw GM. Rey Mysterio is a natural choice, as are Jack Swagger and Kofi Kingston. Tyler Reks is a surprising participant on the team. Once would think Kaval should have been a part of the match, but WWE felt differently.
Like Edge on Smackdown, CM Punk now represents a new brand in this match. Along with Sheamus, Miz, and the returning Ezekiel Jackson (who is a fantastic addition to Team Raw), the Raw side is very heel heavy. Smackdown has just as many heels but they have stronger baby faces in Big Show and Mysterio. Santino is perfect for the match, but really there for comedy. R-Truth and Morrison are just not the baby faces that Show and Mysterio are. But this is a good thing. It gives the fans a villain and a baby face. Having the Raw side stacked with more high profiled heels will have fans cheering for Smackdown. WWE is not saying that Smackdown is the better team, just giving the fans a different lens to view the match.
Making this an elimination match would make sense but we just saw a seven-on-seven elimination match at Summerslam, and we are scheduled to watch an entire pay per view’s worth of elimination matches in November with Survivor Series. Despite its mask, this match done not determine which show has the better talent. It is simply a fun match to have on a show.
The Undertaker challenges Kane for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Buried Alive match
For the third straight pay per view Undertaker gets a shot at Kane’s World Heavyweight Championship. Their feud was built extremely well over the course of the summer, but then Night of Champions came. That night Kane decisively defeated Undertaker leaving many to wonder why the feud would continue. At Hell in a Cell Kane defeated Taker again. Yet here they are set to go at it one more time. Had this not been a series involving a title it would be fine for these two to keep going at it, given their history and hatred, but this is for a championship. It makes little sense that Undertaker is getting title shot after title shot on pay per view when he keeps losing. Nevertheless, these two have had their best program with each other yet. It always seemed fitting to put these two in a Cell match as well as a Buried Alive match, and this feud has allowed the WWE audience to see both. At this point it can really go either way. The Dead Man does not have to win. Taker has proven that he will keep coming back to get Kane. A Buried Alive match loss will do just that. It allows WWE to take Taker off programming and then have the character come back once it has fully recovered from both this match and its attack over the summer. Meanwhile Kane can take his championship reign onto other challengers, namely Big Show.
Natalya goes for the WWE Divas Championship against Layla
Arguments can be made all day about Team Lay-Cool being a rip off of Beautiful People. Still, Layla and McCool have proven they are entertaining. Having them go up against a baby face like Natalya, the most talented member of the Hart Dynasty, gives them the perfect foil.
Randy Orton defends the WWE Championship against Wade Barrett
Any day of the week this would be a match fans would want to see. With their showdown coming on Sunday WWE has made the contest all the more intriguing with the involvement of John Cena. Cena’s reluctant place in Barrett’s corner means more to this match than Cena actually competing in the match itself. Not since perhaps Judgment Day of 1998 when Steve Austin refereed the main event has the top star’s non-wrestling presence on a pay per view meant more. There really is now way around it. Either Cena will cost Barrett the match or he will reluctantly cost Orton the championship. Cena’s character has developed a whole new dimension in recent weeks. He hates his place but he is forced to play the role he is in, conflicting his conscience with his heart. We may see the end of the Taker-Kane feud and be pulled in by the Raw vs. Smackdown war, but not match on this card means more than this one.
Sibling rivalry, a war, a conflicted hero; these are the ingredients for an enthralling pay per view come this Sunday. Yours truly will be there live as WWE returns to Minneapolis for Minnesota’s first pay per view since Summerslam 1999. Feel free to send any comments or questions you have about the show as next week’s Nosebleeds will feature an in-depth review of Bragging Rights.
Thanks for reading.