Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the reviews so nice I’ve gotta say it twice, Cewsh Reviews, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight as we witness the epic, all deciding clash between the two largest brands in wrestling today. Has TNA invaded WWE? Has Japan finally combined into one super company? Has some new promotion entered the fray with Paul Heyman riding a unicorn out front? Well no, actually it is WWE Bragging Rights 2010, and Raw and Smackdown are locking horns once again to determine which brand is superior, and who will get the prestigious Bragging Rights trophy. Will Raw’s team, led by the Miz, make up for Big Show’s betrayal and claim their stake as the number 1 show in WWE? Or will Smackdown, led by The Big Show, repeat last year’s shocking performance and take home the gol…err…silver? Plastic. Take home the plastic.
All that and we have Nexus swirling around behind the scenes with designs of the WWE title, and, oh yeah, somebody is going to be MURDERED ON THIS SHOW. Oh yeah, and it won’t even be the main event. THAT’S how nuts this show is. So kick back, relax, and snuggle up to your Ultimate Warrior pillow, it’s time to get buck. Whatever that means.
Cewsh: Well we’re here at Bragging Rights, and it IS in October, so I guess it makes some sense for the first half of this video to be entirely comprised of Kane and The Undertaker trying to out spook one another. Which is fine, even if this stuff seems way, way lamer when they aren’t actually there in person doing it, and you have to hear the backstory related to you via creepy guy voice over. But I digress. The second half of the video is in the style of the Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 video game (out on store shelves now), and it struck me all at once that Bragging Rights really is just a big ol’ commercial for the video game. Which is way more subtle and clever than WWE’s normal way of naming a PPV Smackdown vs. Raw The Videogame 2010, and then having the wrestlers all settle their feuds by playing themselves in the game.
Wait, would that be super awesome? I’m lost now.
Cewsh: The backstory to this match is simple. On Raw when all the Smackdown guys were causing trouble with the Raw team, Dolph Ziggler came out as Smackdown’s Intercontinental Champion and talked himself some trash. As a result Daniel Bryan, Raw’s United States Champion came out to shut his mouth and call him out, and much against Vickie Guerrero’s wishes, Dolph has agreed to a match here tonight to determine which secondary champion is the greater. Unlike last year the trophy isn’t going to be awarded to which show wins the majority of the rivalry matches throughout the night, it’ll only be for the elimination tag later, so this one is about pride pure and simple.
Now these guys have never wrestled before, to the best of my my knowledge, but they come firing on all cylinders right out of the gate going absolutely ballistic on one another. They fire into the chain wrestler right off the bat, and Dolph stays right with Bryan, showing some very impressive mat skills of his own and meeting Bryan move for move. As the match moves on it becomes almost a chess match of both men trying to get ahold of their submission finishers and being too equal to get the job done. Dolph manages to get ahead by cheating and dicking over Bryan at every turn, but with stiff shot after stiff shot, Bryan fights his way back into things. They go full bore for nearly 20 minutes just ripping each other apart with stuff kicks and incredibly chemistry and equality between them. Every time one guy has a plan, the other one is one exactly the same page, creating some crazy awesome stuff like the two of them both going for running crossbodies at roughly 8,000 miles per hour.
By this point, the fans are chanting “This is awesome”, and since this isn’t TNA it might actually be true. Finally, after a tense ending sequence, Bryan manages to catch Ziggler not paying close enough attention and makes him pay with a Patty Labelle Lock that, much to Vickie Guerrero’s dismay, ends things for the Intercontinental champion.
Was all a very simplistic way of describing this match. A better, more accurate, way to describe it may be to say that it was fucking AWESOME.
A great deal of the concern for fans of Daniel Bryan when he came to the WWE, was that he wouldn’t be able to wrestle the kinds of technical, hard hitting matches that he had built his name on, with that not really being the WWE style. But here, what we have is the perfect example of that kind of match done in a WWE style, with focus on finishers and prominent heat getting, and as a result it becomes something special all on its own. I don’t want to make it seem like this is all Bryan getting this done, either, because you expect greatness from him. But from Dolph fucking Ziggler I am getting the chance to see just one more time that this man is going to be an absolutely exceptional in ring talent. He may never make it to World title level, but his ability to adapt to the styles of others and his extraordinary selling are things that will make him a favorite of yours truly for a long, long time.
I can’t stop raving about this match. It was utterly unexpected, entirely fantastic, and stole the show completely before anybody else ever got a chance. This is two truly fantastic PPV matches in a row for Bryan. One more, and i’m ready to call him the anti-Rob Van Dam.
89 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Cewsh: Backstage Miz is telling Alex Riley how awesome he is when CM Punk and Sheamus show up and put him in a red sandwich of awesomeness, mocking him to the moon. Then Santino shows up and demands snacks and beverages. This is met with the due amount of scorn, despite Santino’s wise choice of Sunchips. Everybody storms out and Miz harumphs to himself because nobody likes him. But then he smiles and claims that chaos breeds opportunity.
Meaning that by letting everyone yell at him and call him lame will apparently make them indestructible fighters. A strategy which you will be able to find in the new reprints of Sun Tzu’s Art of War: Reverse Psychology Edition, due on bookshelves this winter.
Cewsh: This isn’t actually a scheduled match on the card. The deal is that Rhodes and McIntyre come out to talk some trash about how there are no worthy tag teams left (after their whole 3 titles defenses), and everyone is too afraid to face them. Cue the Nexus music as Wade Barrett comes down (to big time cheers actually) and volunteers up Otunga and his favorite slave harem girl, John Cena to go and bring some gold back to Nexus. Cena is less than pleased at this, but Otunga is psyched and we get off on our way.
Now strictly speaking this match is between two non tag teams, is pretty short, and essentially features David Otunga getting beaten up while John Cena remains pretty unhelpful. Finally, though, Cena gets annoyed at something Rhodes does, and since he’ll be fired if he doesn’t win the match, he goes ahead and puts Rhodes in the STFU while David Otunga jumps up and down like a school girl who got a Hello Kitty Ferrarri for her 16th birthday.
It’s almost touching to see him so goddamn happy to be a champion for the first time in his career. Unfortunately for Otunga, John Cena doesn’t really see it that way, and promptly gives him an Attitude Adjustment of his very own, steals the belts and walks backstage all sunshine smiles and happy days.
As a match, there really wasn’t much here. It was just a vehicle to fill some card space and get the title belts on Nexus while driving home the whole “John Cena is Wade Barrett’s slave” deal. But as an angle this was a lot of fun, and once again the use the undercard effectively to promote Nexus later in the show, continuing to show that they area force to be reckoned with against anyone on any show at any time. While I know that many people complain about this, I can’t help but like it. The stronger Nexus looks, the better the shows are. And with their first taste of gold, they’re looking very strong indeed.
Also, David Otunga is adorable.
67 out of 100.
Cewsh: So as you may know, the Big Show has a movie out called Knucklehead. You may also know that we here at Cewsh Reviews are predominantly Big Show fans and would like this movie not to flop as badly as 12 Rounds did, because nothing in the history of coherent thought deserves to be in the same company as 12 Rounds. So for this ONE TIME ONLY special occasion, we are actually going to help out in the promotion of this movie. But only because Big Show is great and we adore him. But again, one time thing. Don’t come whining to me when we don’t do it for you too Ted Dibiase.
Knucklehead is the heartwarming tale of a young man named Walter who lives in a small town and is, well, the Big Show. Now Walter is not the brightest bulb in the back (he’s not even one of the fluorescent ones that last forever), but he’s a kind hearted guy and, again, is the Big Show, so when a fight promoter down on his luck rolls into town he instantly decides to turn Walter into the next big thing (no word on the potential Brock Lesnar cameo as a no nonsense black cafeteria worker with a heart of gold) on the fighting circuit and make Walter his ticket back to the big time. Along the way they makes friends, make enemies, have rollicking adventures, and make the occasional giant poop joke. The best way to describe this movie would be that it is a cross between Kingpin and My Giant with Billy Crystal and George Mueresan. But in the interest of getting you to actually see it, let’s hope its more like the first one.
So yes, that’s it. Go give Big Show your money, and for god’s sake watch the trailer or something. I get paid by the click.
Cewsh: this feud was all touched off a few weeks ago when Maryse and Dibiase started getting strange messages in their bags, their lockers, on the jumbo tron, everywhere. Bizarre and mysterious messages implying that a very amorous admirer was interested in one, or both, of them. After a few weeks of the mystery, it was revealed to be Golddust doing the stalking (as is his way), but the prize he had in mind was neither Ted nor Maryse, it was actually the Million Dollar Championship studded with diamonds as it is. So after getting beaten up and having his belt stolen, Dibiase has been irate all week waiting for this match where he intends to get it back. But he and his diabolical lady friend will have to contend with not only the Bizarre One, but also his new lady of the night, Aksana, who he’ll even be fucking MARRYING on NXT next week.
I almost forgot how much I miss crazy fucking stories like this.
The match gets started, and…well…it continues. These two have a nice little match that might have made a nice filler segment on Raw and the crowd absolutely sits on their hands the whole time Ted Dibiase is doing anything, coming alive only for Golddust’s comebacks. They dance through their match for awhile before it finally ends unceremoniously to a resounding silence from the crowd and from me. And as I watch Ted celebrate the win I finally realize what it is that is wrong with the match. It’s Ted.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think Ted Dibiase has talent, has a great look, and essentially has all the tools necessary to go far. Buuuuut so did Shelton Benjamin, and much like Shelton, Dibiase just doesn’t seem to have that spark that makes people actually care about you. I mean Golddust is a 40 something year old man with a decade and aa half old gimmick who has been trapped on Superstars for forever now, but he has that something that makes the fans care, and you can’t really teach that, or pull it out of someone who you wish would have it. The truth is that in every generation there are going to be a few guys who, from the outside, seem like can’t miss prospects, until you put them there and you get…nothing. Shelton Benjamin, Billy Gunn, Glacier, A-Train, Charlie Haas, Eric Young. The list goes on and on. And after today, it has one new name. Ted Dibiase Jr.
After the match Aksana and Maryse get into a cat fight and Aksana recovers enough to seduce Ted until Goldy grabs him from behind, hits the Final Cut, grabs the sparkly belt, and hightails it out of there. Amusing? Yes. Storyline continuing? Yes. Match rescuing? No.
64 out of 100.
Cewsh: I think it’s time we just all admitted something to ourselves and each other. It’s okay, I know we’ve all been holding it in for awhile, but I think it will be therapeutic to let it out. Ready? On three. 1…2…3…Laycool are awful. And not in the way that produces X-Pac heat that can used to actually get someone over or get the crowd hot for them, no. They are simply hard to watch. Their timing is all over the place, they don’t make sense together, their talking as they come to the ring (as they do here) is so painfully unfunny that it doesn’t even provoke a hateful reaction from the crowd.
As an act it has had its run and now it is falling so painfully flat that these two talented women are now ruining every segment they step foot in. And that’s saying something.
Man, this review has gotten kind of negative, hasn’t it?
Luckily they are facing someone, or rather Layla is facing someone, who is altogether fresh and exciting, and her name is most certainly Natalya. Now the whole beef between these women started when Nattie won the number one contendership, and since then she’s been mocked pretty much mercilessly by the self styled “Mean Girls”. Mostly about how Nattie has a beard like her dad. So now Natalya is getting her shot tonight at the titles, and here’s hoping to everything that she wins.
As the match gets started, it’s all Natalya from the get go, as she bullies Layla all over the ring, showing her strength and at one point just doing some squats while she holds Layla up in a suplex. You know, no big thing.
As usual Laycool find a way to use their numbers game to their advantage and they quickly take control back and hold onto it, with Layla grounding Natalya with numerous submissions moves and holds. Including one which could be referred to as the, ahem, Vigorous Hump.
In the end, though, it isn’t long before Layla distracts Nattie long enough for Michelle to boot her in the face, allowing Layla to pick up the victory and continue on the never ending reign of Laycool. Huzzah.
As a match, this was entirely unspectacular, and in fact, this is the third match in a row that honestly felt like a segment on Raw more so than anything we really ought to be getting on PPV. Cewsh not happy. Cewsh smash.
62 out of 100.
Cewsh: Oh boy.
You know how on occasion we’ll dispense with actually reviewing a match because it is either to bizarre for words or too terrible? Well…yeah.
First this happened:
Which resulted in this:
Which prompted this reaction:
60 out of 100.
Cewsh: Backstage, Josh Matthews is interviewing Randy Orton, and when asked what he’ll do if John Cena interferes in tonight’s match, Randy says that he’ll drop him like a bad habit, because he is the master of disaster and the greatest of all time. Or possibly something else, i’m not sure. I think I may be confusing him with Apollo Creed.
Regardless, the gauntlet has been thrown down. As long as Cena is in Nexus there is not one guy on the roster on his side. Well, except for maybe David Otunga who he JUST BEAT UP FOR NO REASON. C’mon John, you’re just making this worse for yourself.
Cewsh: Well here we are at that most precious of matches between these two mighty brands of sports entertainment. On one side you have the perennial underdog Smackdown, where the stars are a little younger, a little faster and a little hungrier, even if they’re also a little less known. Then you have the flagship, Raw, where the lights shine bright and the best of the best rise to the top of wrestling, but also get exposed if they can’t make it. The teams are comprised of the two team captains (Miz and Big Show) and everybody else had to earn their way in. Except for Big Zeke who just kind of wandered onto the team, and Tyler Reks, who took advantage of a weak Kaval.
Last year Smackdown took this prize handily after Big Show turned on Team Raw at the last minute and now he returns to captain Team Smackdown against the big red machine (lol). Just like last year, and even more recently Summerslam, this is an elimination tag match where a team can only win by eliminating every member of the other team. Let’s ride it mommachacha.
Tyler Reks and John Morrison start us off, which gives me time to wonder what the fuck Tyler Reks is doing here. He apparently has turned heel because now his dreadlocks are thicker and fall in his face like some kind of surfer supervillain in a Batman comic. He earned his way into this match by wrestling for about 8 seconds, so the jury is still out on whether he, you know, CAN, but I digress. He and Morrison hook it up for a bit, before Morrison tags in the Great Santino who does two moves of offense before Reks promptly lifts him up and buries him with a Torture Rack DDT.
Next up is Big Zeke, and he throws Flexy Rexy around like a paper doll. So Reks wisely tags in the Big Show and we get what the legendary inventor of the turducken, John Madden, might call “rumbling and bumbling”. Some quick tags between both teams lead to Sheamus and Kofi Kingston mixing it up. Unfortunately for Kofi (but fortunately for Ms. Cewsh who cheered uproariously) Sheamus counters his ten punches on the turnbuckle into the Celtic Cross and that’ll do for Kofi.
Rey steps in to be the next victim, and Team Raw starts brutalizing him with quick tags and dickishness. Rey starts to make a comeback but Del Rio tags himself in and we get a tense moment as the two enemies eye each other warily.
Then Punk pushes Del Rio into Mysterio, knocking him off the apron. Del Rio fights off Punk…and then decides it would be fun to throw Rey into the guardrail like a watermelon. Splat goes Mysterio and some medical guys come to walk him out as he looks shaken up, and Del Rio just smiles a good ol’ happy smile at the sight.
Back in the ring Morrison and Swagger are squaring off, and Swagger makes a good accounting of himself, but eventually Morrison knocks him to the ground and leaps from the ring apron onto the top rope, delivering a swinging Starship Pain in the process, which is more than enough for poor Jackie.
Morrison doesn’t have much time to celebrate before Tyler Reks comes in the Reks his shit (I kill me). He manages to get the tag to Sheamus, though, and the Irishman makes short work of the California Creep.
Finally the Big Nasty gets into the ring and bullies Sheamus around like a little kid. He beats him all around ringside and up the ramp, but when the ref’s count gets to 9 he goes sprinting back to the ring, only to miss beating the count by a milisecond, resulting in both he and Sheamus being eliminated.
Morrison jumps in, leading with a big kick and goes for Starship Pain again, but his misses and jams his leg, and before he can get focused again, Edge meets him coming the other way with another crashing Spear.
Punk jumps in and immediately goes for the Go 2 Sleep, but Edge counters it with my namesake, the Edgecution. Edge starts signaling for a third consecutive Spear, but Punk dodges that weak shit and Edge goes headfirst into the turnbuckle. Del Rio chooses this moment to remember he’s still in this match and tags himself in. He delivers a few kicks and some punches, and then Punk unceremoniously eliminates him with a backslide to Del Rio’s disbelief, and Edge’s vast amusement.
Wouldn’t you know it? As Alberto is walking to the back blaming everyone else for the loss, Mysterio comes streaking out of the back and blasts him from behind. After taking a second to mock Del Rio, Mysterio runs back to the ring to support Edge, making this a 3 on 2 match once again.
In the ring, Edge starts getting worn down by the three remaining member of Team Raw (Jackson, Punk and Miz) and after minutes of this huge ass beating, he finally gets the hot tag in to Mysterio who cleans house and proceeds to put CM Punk through the ringer before finally putting him away with the 619 and a springboard body splash.
Jackson is next, and he and Mysterio miscommunicate and bumble their way through a series of silly and bad looking moves before Mysterio trips off the top rope and pins Jackson anyway.
And now all that is left is the Raw team captain Miz, all alone. He makes a strong showing by annihilating Mysterio and stalking him for the Skullcrushing Finale, but somehow Rey flips out of it at the last second and tags in Edge, who leaps into the ring and delivers a Spear right then and there. 1…2…3. Smackdown wins the Bragging Rights Cup again.
I actually really enjoyed this match, even if it had nowhere near the emotion and atmosphere to it that the similar match with Team WWE and Nexus had at Summerslam. This was just a collection of good wrestlers (mostly) having a long and satisfying elimination tag match, and honestly they could do one of these every month as far as i’m concerned.
Thank god this happened to rescue the show before the main event. I hate to think would have have happened if there had been that many dead matches before it.
80 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Cewsh: Ah here we are in the main event of the evening. Nexus, and specifically Wade Barrett, finally get their chance to lay claim to Raw as a whole by snatching the WWE Heavyweight Championship, but in order to do so he’s got to beat Randy Orton, who has been nearly untouchable for months now since his face turn. So Barrett will be depending on his ultimate weapon, John Cena, to help him win here, after telling John that he would be fired if he did not help Barrett win this match. So John is in a pickle, Wade is in the opportunity of a lifetime, and Randy Orton is simply in trouble.
The match starts and Orton and Barrett begin the clash of the titans immediately, going full bore at each other as Cena looks perturbedly on. Barrett plays his heel role well, denying Orton all of his big moves, and Orton, for his part, tries to fire up and fight back before he gets shut down again and again. It’s a good back and forth match with some good atmosphere, and the intrigue of Cena skulking in the background with his intentions undetermined adds a lot. So it’s a good match. But the match isn’t the story. Let’s discuss the finish.
When Orton starts another one of his firey comebacks, the ref gets knocked out. This prompts Nexus to jump in and kick the everloving fuckshit out of Orton before Cena runs into the ring and throws them all out. Barrett demands to know why he did this, but Cena directs his attention to the now stirring ref and makes it clear that the ref would have seen the interference, disqualified Barrett, and Cena would have been fired as a result.
This makes sense and placates Barrett, but he turns into an ass kicking by Orton. Then, as Orton stalks Barrett, getting ready for the RKO to end the match, and Cena’s career, Cena creeps into the ring behind him, runs right by him and gives Wade Barrett the Attitude Adjustment. DQ. Barrett wins the match but not the title, and John Cena’s job is safe for one more day.
Now here’s the thing. This was an exceedingly clever and unexpected way for them to end this match. If it were anything other than the main event of a PPV in a title match, then I would applaud it hugely. But unfortunately for them, this show went off the air with no definitive finish to its main event, and after the show they’ve had so far, the fans didn’t need another reason to be annoyed. They were silent throughout Orton’s celebration, and I would be too, because what is there to celebrate? That he only sort of lost? This was another step in a compelling storyline, but what it forgot to be was a compelling title match and main event. And for that, it has to be considered a bit of a flop.
71 out of 100.
Cewsh: This was a 3 hour episode of Raw.
If it had ACTUALLY been a 3 hour episode of Raw, it would have been a fantastic one. But since this was a show people were asked to pay money to see, and was put directly up against a Brock Lesnar title fight in UFC on the same fucking weekend, this was an unmitigated disaster. Only two matches truly stood out throughout the whole thing, and two world title matches were such a mess of wacky booking that I can’t even give them the credit I may like to otherwise. Lots of angles were moved forward, and some good times were had, but with the finish of the main event, this show winds up feeling curiously empty, like it doesn’t contain as much thought as It did matches.
I hate to say it, but TNA beat WWE this month. And the score doesn’t express just how far the margin was.
Well that’ll do it for us this week boys and girls. If you missed Vice and Ms. Cewsh this week, don’t worry, because we’ve got plenty of Vice coming up in the weeks to come and we’re giving Ms. Cewsh a bit of a break after a heroic 4 reviews in a row. Next week Vice and I tackle the manliest show in the history of manliness, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s KURT RUSSELLMANIA 2010, where California gets invaded by the Great Muta, London and Kendrick, Jushin Liger, Rob Van Dam and so much more. So be there or be square, and in the meantime keep reading, and be good to one another!