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So Bragging Rights has come and gone, as has Raw.  And we’ve received a dearth of new developments in the crazy-go-nuts world that is the WWE.  Let’s go through Bragging Rights results first, since that happened prior to Raw (obviously).

The Miz defeated John Morrison in a Champion vs. Champion Bragging Rights Match – Raw up 1-0

I honestly believed that Morrison would continue his enormous run and steamroll his former tag team pertner.  But apparently Creative had other ideas.  I know Miz has this huge potential upside.  But potential doesn’t win championships.  He’ll be good someday, but Morrison will be better sooner.  I’m a little puzzled as to why they gave Miz the victory.  Probably simply so he can brag about being the only successful Raw superstar on the entire show.  Something pointless like that.  And thanks to this (and the next match), I’m immediately 0 and 2 for picks.  On the plus side, it was a fun match and I wish for more bouts between these two.  I’d love to see a Miz/Morrison elimination match at Survivor Series.

Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, and Natalya defeated Melina, Gail Kim, and Kelly Kelly in a Bragging Rights Six Diva Tag Team Match – Teams tied 1-1

It was inevitable.  Whichever brand won the Miz-Morrison match would lose the Divas match.  Though, to be fair, the winners of this match were much more logical than the winners of the previous match.  Beth Phoenix and Natalya are far too good overall to lose to a team that includes Kelly Kelly.  Not that Kelly’s a bad wrestler.  She’s just the weakest actual wrestler out of all six ladies involved in this match.  Melina and Gail did their best, but Beth was ridiculously powerful and crushed them all.  And we’ve got some nice tension between the three Smackdown ladies, so we’ve got some Women’s Championship matches already in the works I’m sure.  I’d love to see Beth vs. Michelle, or Natalya vs. Michelle for some revenge, and I’d really love to see Beth vs. Natalya.  There’s an IWC women’s dream match right there.

The Undertaker defeated CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, and Batista in a Fatal Four Way Match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship

This is one of the worst types of matches you can get: a huge PPV main event for a championship that’s merely a vehicle for another feud that’s about to start.  Of course, the match itself was pretty standard fare.  It feels like most matches involving Taker these days are very by-the-numbers and stale.  His match with Punk at Hell in a Cell was a waste of time, and their submission match last Friday night was basically a carbon copy of their Breaking Point match except for the ref getting knocked out and no screwjob taking place.  This match was no different.  It seems like all of Taker’s matches these days go no more than ten minutes.  I would at least expect a Fatal Four Way to go a bit longer, since you’ve got other guys who can take the lead in the match.  Just toss Taker on the floor and let him sit out four or five minutes at a time, then have him clean house, hit a Tombstone on somebody, and win.  Simple and it still satisfies the fans.  I realize he’s getting up there in age and probably won’t work past Wrestlemania next year, but at least give the fans more than ten minutes of these four guys.

(Sidebar: I’ve been thinking about what I said last time about a storyline of Vince actively trying to screw Taker at Wrestlemania and ruin the perfect record, and it dawned on me today: I’m betting that the main event of Wrestlemania 26 will be Undertaker vs. Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred Match.  This is even more likely thanks to the main event of Bragging Rights)

Anyway, Punk got his rematch on Friday, so he’s probably out of the title picture for a while.  And the big story coming out of the show was Batista’s heel turn, beating the crap out of Rey Mysterio after the match.  Batista has been needing a change for a while.  He’s gotten awfully stale.  A monster heel Batista will be a lot more fun than a gentle giant face Batista, that’s for sure.  And Rey brings out the best in Dave.  They had a match last year (I think), and it was the most entertaining match I’ve ever seen Batista in.  So Rey will be a perfect way to bring Batista back to the dark side.  I’m looking forward to their ensuing feud.

Team Smackdown (Chris Jericho, Kane, Finlay, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, David Hart Smith, and Tyson Kidd) defeated Team Raw (HHH, Shawn Michaels, The Big Show, Mark Henry, Hack Swagger, and Kofi Kingston) to win the Bragging Rights Cup for One Year

Vince and Creative made the absolute right call in changing up Team Smackdown just prior to the PPV.  Finlay, Truth, Hardy, and the Hart Dynasty showed why they should have been on the show all along.  There were also moments where I was wishing we could see several one-on-one matches between certain competitors.  Here, I’ll list some for you now: Finlay vs. HBK, R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston, and Matt Hardy vs. HBK.  I just like the idea of these matches, especially the Finlay match.  I know those two have never faced off in a singles match, and I bet Finlay would have an awful lot of fun beating up Michaels.  I’d also bet that the Truth/Kofi match would be full of insanity.  Anyway, the match was basically your standard giant tag team match, full of double-teams, chains of finishers, and mega-brawls.  But I did not see the Big Show Betrayal coming.  I did, however, like it that it solidified Jericho and Show as the team of 2008.  Well, at least until Monday night…but still, it showed that Show didn’t actually care about Raw.  He cared more about himself over everything else.  I like that.  It shows independence from a man who’s been beaten down and humiliated far too often (including Monday night, but I’ll get to that a little later).  Anyway, Chris Jericho gets the pin and we’ll never, EEEEEEEVER hear the end of it.  Especially since it appears he’ll be clutching that Bragging Rights trophy until next year’s Bragging Rights show.  I wonder if he kisses his wife as much as he kisses that trophy…

And I’m 2 for 4 in picks.  I also correctly predicted that Team Smackdown would win Bragging Rights, so I’m taking that as a victory as well, though it wasn’t technically a pick for a match, so I’m not including it in the pick results (was that enough of a run-on-sentence for you?).

John Cena defeated Randy Orton in a 60 Minute Anything Goes Iron Man Match to win the WWE Championship

When the Undertaker fought Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25, I was entirely without doubt that it would be called Match of the Year.  Now, I have my doubts.  These two had an absolutely epic encounter.  You would have to believe that anyone having a one hour match would pretty well have to bring the goods and have a damned good match, and these two delivered in spades.  They had a great opening 10-15 minutes, with both getting a decision and an absolutely awesome double pin.  I wonder why more people don’t counter the FU with a facebuster (I refuse to call the FU by its ridiculous new name; it will always be the FU to me).  Anyway, Orton had a very long control segment where he basically destroyed Cena three or four times, including that near-hit spot with the pyrotechnics.  I would imagine that that last explosion was very, very loud for the fans (I should know: the pyro at The Bash was absurdly loud).  But, as always, Cena came back and had a surprisingly long control segment of his own that included an awesome FU through the announce table.  It was a side of Cena we’ve never seen before.  It was like his performance at Breaking Point, but on crack.  He went about as crazy as Orton usually is in daily life.  And Orton…he looked about as crazy as Kurt Angle looks on every TNA show.  It was scary.  My only problem with the match was the ending.  When I saw Orton rearing back for the punt with over a minute left, I knew Cena was going to counter and win the match.  And lo and behold, my prediction came true.  Though I was rooting for Orton to hold on those last few seconds.  But, as usual, Orton proved that he’s a huge pussy and tapped out with four seconds left.  It’s okay, though, because I prefer having Cena as The Champ over Orton.  At least now Raw has a champion who’s not afraid to fight anybody and doesn’t need two lackeys to make sure he never loses his title.

For the IWC, this also likely means no Cena/Taker at Wrestlemania 26.  I’m sure many people are disappointed that this isn’t going to happen.  I’m honestly okay with it.  I don’t think either man needs the win over the other.  Cena doesn’t need to beat anybody to make sure his legacy is intact, and Taker doesn’t need another win, ever, barring WM26.  I’m hoping Taker has a great match against whomever he faces, be it a heel Batista or Vince McMahon himself.

Overall, a pretty good show with an amazing main event.  If you didn’t get to see the show, but want to see what I’m talking about, I’d recommend at least renting the DVD to watch the Iron Man Match.

I just remembered another moment in the match I didn’t enjoy.  When Cena got his head cracked open, either from the monitor or the microphone, he got busted open legitimately, and Vince immediately sent trainers out to fix the situation.  Now, I know that you’re going for a PG rating, Vince, and apparently there are very strict rules about athletes bleeding in the state of Pennsylvania, but if you’re having what essentially comes out to an Extreme Rules Iron Man Match, somebody’s got to bleed.  You don’t normally see guys getting hit over the head with a monitor and NOT bleed.  So Vince had medics run in between one of the falls and glue his head shut.  It didn’t last terribly long, and Cena had to continually wipe the trickle of blood off of his head.  I wish he (Vince) would have just let it go, and paid whatever fines the Pennsylvania State Athletics Commission would have enforced upon him.

Okay, on to Raw.  The first really important thing we got was a huge victory for Kofi Kingston over Chris Jericho.  That was the first step in his movement up the card, which was enhanced even further by his actions later in the show.  Orton tossed him off the entrance ramp after Kofi’s win, so Kofi got some revenge by destroying the stock car that Rhodes and Dibiase bought and customized especially for Orton (NOTE: when Orton was staring rather lovingly at his airbrushed picture on the hood of his car, I kept saying that he’s the new Narcissist.  But unlike Lex Luger, Orton actually has talent).  I have to say, that segment pushed Kofi about a dozen spots higher on the Raw roster.  He showed genuine emotion, and he became a person instead of a caricature.  I’m really hoping they expand more upon the facade he played on the world for nearly two years: the fake accent, the wrong birthplace, everything.  If he continues on this road, he can become a complete and total badass, and I would really like that character change for him.  I hope he gets some new music and new ring attire to match this personality change.  And with a feud with Randy Orton imminent, he’ll only rise higher and higher on the Raw roster.  I think he’s almost ready for a main event push.  He just needs to show he’s more than the flippy-do guy who’s always cheerful.  He needs to show some more character development and he needs to show he’s got the wrestling chops to go with the big dogs on Raw, but once that’s done, he’ll be in line for a World Title shot.  He’s already on his way to proving the latter with a great match against Jericho.  I’m sure once he goes a few matches with Orton, we’ll see if he’s ready for a big push.

Let’s see…we had a mixed tag match with Santino, which is always a bonus for everyone.  But, unfortunately, the entire match was a lead-in for a segment with Hornswoggle getting a ceast and desist letter from DX for wearing their merchandise while on TV without giving them royalties or some such nonsense.  Which, of course, led to the end of the night, but that’s later on.  I still think Santino should get another title run and somehow actually manage to break a record for the longest-reigning whichever champion he ends up being.

We had a fun little promo with Cena and Legacy, and a fun little match between Legacy and MVP/WSM.  I really like MVP and Henry as a team.  I just wish it wouldn’t detract from their singles careers, which right now are in the gutter.  That needs to be fixed very soon.

Evan Bourne won a match for the first time in far too long.  Unfortunately, it was a count-out win, but a victory is a victory and I really hope it puts him in line for a US Title shot sometime after Miz has had his time to shine.  I’m betting there’ll be a multi-man match for the US Title featuring Miz, Bourne, Swagger, and somebody else.  Santino, perhaps?

Then we get the Raw debut of Sheamus.  He got called up to the big leagues awfully quickly.  Too quickly, I think.  He was on ECW for not even four months.  That’s hardly enough time for a guy to develop enough experience on national television.  Look at Swagger.  He barely entered ECW before they put the ECW Title on him, and that reign was a disaster.  Then he gets moved to Raw earlier this year, and he’s still being needlessly pushed.  Sheamus isn’t even that good in the ring or on the mic.  He just has an awesome entrance theme.  I fear he may cause some serious damage to the other wrestlers.  I hope he didn’t hurt Jamie Noble severely during their match tonight.  It wasn’t pretty.  Sheamus certainly benefits from the editing treatment.  He should have stayed on ECW.

And then we basically get the crucifiction of the Big Show.  We get it: he screwed his brand over.  But did he deserve the treatment he received just for a stupid trophy that, we all know, doesn’t really mean a damn thing?  I mean come on!  Everybody gets to crush him in the corner, then he gets hit by four or five finishers, and basically is disowned by Raw.  All while Jericho snuck away right at the beginning with the Bragging Rights trophy.  I will admit that Jericho’s facial expression while he was running away was absolutely hilarious and priceless.  He’s becoming a real favorite of mine specifically because of his facial expressions.  He’s making me believe what he says just by how he looks.  Not many people can do that in any acting profession, let alone WWE.  Anyway, the match was all just another feed-in for the guest hosts (some NASCAR guys they didn’t promote until the beginning of the show) to make the main event for Survivor Series: a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship between John Cena and DX!

Wow…To quote the Miz, “Really?  Really?”  You basically kick Randy Orton out of the WWE Title picture for the forseeable future, and who do you replace him with?  MORE VETS?  Jesus Harold Christ on rubber crutches, Creative, GIVE US SOME NEW FACES IN THE MAIN EVENT SCENE!  I am sick and goddamned tired of seeing the same three guys wrestling for the WWE Title.  I’m pretty sure that there has been some variation of Orton, Cena, and HHH going for the title for the past year.  At least give us SOMEBODY new to the main event scene.  Elevate someone already!  Move Mark Henry and MVP up to the main event.  Put THEM in a title match with Cena.  THAT I would pay money for.  Not as much money as WWE charges for a PPV…or a DVD…but I’d pay money for it!  I would absolutely mark out for a Cena/Henry face vs. face match.  I would cream in my pants for a Cena/heel MVP match.  Put new people in the main event!  I don’t care about this match at all!  I was hoping for DX vs. Jericho and Show at Survivor Series.  If there’s one team that actually stands a chance to take the titles away from Jericho and Show, it’s DX.  But no, you’re giving us the same old shit yet again.  When will Creative step out on a limb and give somebody new a chance to shine?  Probably not until both HBK and HHH retire.  Sigh.

Oh, right, and we’re getting Taker/Show at some point, probably Survivor Series.  Yay.  Wait…no…what’s the word I was thinking of?  Oh, that’s right…meh.  Survivor Series is already looking weak and boring.  The undercard better be damned good!

Okay, that’s nearly 3,000 words I’ve written tonight.  I think that’s plenty for now.  I’ll be back sometime with new topics, new developments, and my oen personal brand of crazy, angry ranting that apparently you still enjoy reading.  So, until next time, keep reading and I’ll keep writing.

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