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CALDWELL'S WWE BRAGGING RIGHTS PPV RESULTS 10/24: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Orton vs. Barrett, Kane vs. Taker, Raw vs. Smackdown

Oct 24, 2010 - 9:50:35 PM
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WWE Bragging Rights PPV Results
October 24, 2010
Minneapolis, Minn.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


Monday through Friday, join Wade Keller or James Caldwell and a guest co-host for the PWTorch Livecast, featuring live callers, live chat room questions, and conversation on the latest breaking news in pro wrestling from WWE, TNA, and other organizations. The show launched in late-December and is already one of the top sports talk shows at the Blog Talk Radio network.

***

-- The second WWE PPV of the month will feature WWE champion Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett (with John Cena in his corner) for the WWE Title, World Hvt. champion Kane vs. The Undertaker in a Buried Alive match, and Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown in a seven-on-seven elimination match. And it all seems to be taking a backseat to The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar exchanging words at UFC 121 last night...

PPV open: Evil lurks in the darkness looking for you with Kane vs. Undertaker. Interesting start to the opening PPV video package focusing on Kane vs. Taker part III. The video ended, then briefly focused on Raw vs. Smackdown before going live to the Target Center. Michael Cole said tonight is about earning a year-long opportunity to gloat about victory. Jerry Lawler plugged the main event tonight of Orton vs. Barrett for the WWE Title.

Ringside: They focused on the Stanley Cup lite Bragging Rights trophy. Matt Striker was shown sitting next to Cole and Lawler to discuss Kane vs. Undertaker tonight. They focused on the burial plot positioned near the stage that looked rather PG-safe.

On-stage: Vickie Guerrero interrupted the tombstone visual before asking the crowd to help him welcome out Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler - the man who chose her to date when he could have chosen anyone else in the world. Out came Ziggler to pose on stage before making his way to the ring. Daniel Bryan came out to face Ziggler as the announcers plugged each men's respective submission holds.

1 -- IC champion DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. U.S. champion DANIEL BRYAN -- non-title champion vs. champion match

After a loud "Daniel Bryan" chant from the crowd, the match started on the mat with some nice holds exchanged. Ziggler then rolled to the outside to recover and Bryan followed out. Ziggler tried to hide behind Vickie, so Bryan flew over her with a running knee strike to the forehead from the ring apron. Back in the ring, Bryan landed a corner attack and Ziggler rolled to the apron again. Bryan got caught and Ziggler slingshot him throat-first across the middle rope. Worth noting is a nice touch with the ring ropes going "Texas vs. Oklahoma" splitting the colors right down the middle red and blue.

The crowd rallied behind Bryan with a "Daniel Bryan" chant as Ziggler continued to work the throat and neck area. Bryan countered a neckbreaker into a backslide for a two count, then Ziggler caught Bryan with a throat-first drop across the middle rope again. Ziggler followed with a nice overhead body slam for a nearfall. Ziggler went back on the attack and the crowd resumed a pro-Bryan chant. Ziggler landed a running neck snap for a two count, then taunted Bryan and slowed down the pace. Bryan tried to come back with a desperation corner attack, but Ziggler moved and Bryan ate the turnbuckle neck-first.

At 8:00, Ziggler resumed an attack on Bryan's neck as the crowd resumed a Bryan chant. Bryan fought out of a chinlock with a jawbreaker, then both men recovered to their feet. Bryan landed a kick strike to the shoulder, then a second, and a third. Bryan landed rapid-fire kicks before landing a knee to the face that rocked both men. Bryan ducked a clothesline, then hit a flying elbow smash and showed babyface fire that the crowd responded to. Bryan landed a flying kick to the face and made a cover for a two count.

At 10:00, Bryan caught Ziggler coming off the ropes with a kick to the upper chest. Bryan then went to the apron and flew halfway across the ring with a springboard kick strike that just caught Ziggler on the way down for a two count. Ziggler suddenly came back with a standing kick and Bryan fell like a tree in the forest to sell the move, which barely grazed Bryan. Ziggler with a nearfall, then he teased the Zig-Zag, but Bryan blocked. Bryan hit a kick strike to the head, then rolled him over and made a cover for another nearfall.

At 12:00, Bryan went up top, but Ziggler crotched him. Ziggler went up top for a superplex, but Bryan slipped underneath and crotched Ziggler. Bryan then climbed up behind Ziggler for a suplex, but Ziggler fell on top of Bryan on the way down and scored a close two count, followed by Bryan rolling on top of Ziggler for a close two count. Nice sequence. Ziggler came to life and tried a sleeper, but Bryan countered. They suddenly collided hard off the ropes with dual cross-body block attempts, sending both men crashing to the mat.

At 14:00, they started trading bombs from their knees before making their way to their feet. Ziggler suddenly tried a small package, but Bryan kicked out. They started trading pin attempts with a close count for Ziggler, who then hit the Rocker Dropper. He made a cover and scored a three, but the ref saw Bryan's foot on the bottom rope before the three count was made official. The ref waved off the pin, which drew applause. Ziggler went back to work with the sleeper, but Bryan fought off the hold. Ziggler eventually re-locked the hold and dropped Bryan to the mat, but Bryan reached the ropes for a break.

Vickie started screaming in protest and Ziggler started taunting Bryan. Ziggler lost his cool and Bryan suddenly slapped on the LeBell Lock center ring. The crowd popped as Ziggler had nowhere to go. Ziggler eventually tapped out, giving Bryan the submission win. Post-match: Vickie screamed at the ref and argued with him in protest. Ziggler argued too and the ref sent them packing to the back. The crowd added insult with a "You tapped out" chant aimed at Ziggler on the way out.

WINNER: Bryan at 16:14 via submission. Awesome opening match. They set a great pace early on, then featured some good back-and-forth pin attempts and counters to counters with a good story to the finishing sequence. A very nice showcase of what we know Bryan is capable of and what Ziggler is capable of with the right opponent. (****)

Backstage: Miz and Alex Riley celebrated the victory for Team Raw. That's a sight. Miz credited himself for being Bryan's Rookie. Sheamus then walked in and reminded Miz he's the former WWE champ on Team Raw, so he's not going to listen to Miz. Miz was interrupted by C.M. Punk, who said he's captain straight edge. He reminded Miz that last time they saw him in the ring, he was pinned by Rey Mysterio. Suddenly, Rey Mysterio interrupted seeking snacks and beverages. Riley whispered he said there might be snacks and beverages. Punk said he knows strategy, especially about Smackdown. He said he will be giving orders. Since they're taking orders, Santino said he would like some Sun Chips.

Sheamus got things back on track saying if anyone gets in his face, he'll kick his head off. Punk laughed and Miz turned around to talk about them not trusting each other. He said they need to be "one" for once. He said they are Team Raw...and they are awesome. Punk just laughed and laughed. He said some of them are awesome. Punk walked off and they were back to Miz and Riley, who screamed at Miz to take control of things tonight. Miz said they're taking Smackdown down tonight.

In-ring: Unannounced, WWE tag champ Cody Rhodes came out on stage to admire himself. Drew McIntyre then joined him on stage to make their way to the ring. No word on their opponents here. Cole and Striker discussed grooming tips, then Rhodes took the mic. He said no one has more to brag about than the WWE tag champs. McIntyre started talking, which drew mockery from the announcers. He said all the boys in the back are scared of them and they don't have any opponents left.

Suddenly, the Raw GM buzzed. Again, the inconsistency with the GM having authority over a PPV. Cole stepped to the podium and read an email from the GM. Cole said there is a team on Raw worthy of facing Cody and Drew for the tag titles. Cue up Nexus's theme music. Cole closed the laptop and walked back to the announce table as Wade Barrett walked out on stage. Barrett said he will soon be crowned new WWE champion, but right now, welcome out one-half of the next WWE tag champs, David Otunga. Out came Otunga as the first challenger. As his partner...John Cena. Cue up Cena's theme music as the tag champs wiped their foreheads in shock. Suddenly, Cena went sprinting right to the ring past Otunga and Nexus. Cena did his routine as Otunga slowly made his way to the ring to start things off.

2 -- WWE tag champions CODY RHODES & DREW MCINTYRE vs. DAVID OTUNGA & JOHN CENA -- WWE tag title match

Otunga told Cena he's starting things off. Cena wanted to get the first piece of the action, but Otunga held him off. The bell sounded and the tag champs quickly took down Otunga and started working him over in their corner. Otunga finally broke free and slap-tagged Cena into the match. Cena slowly entered the ring to milk his first entrance into the match. Cena and Cody locked up, with Cena pushing Cody to the corner before leaving himself exposed for a knee to the gut. Otunga asked for a tag once Cena gained control, but Cena waved him off. Cena then executed a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Otunga interrupted and shouted at Cena to tag him in. Cody took advantage of the discussion by smashing Cena from behind to isolate Cena in the heel corner.

The crowd got into the match with a dueling chant of "Let's Go Cena" and "Cena Sucks" as the heels continued to work over Cena. At 5:30, Cena broke free of Cody's attack and attempted signature offense before Drew tagged in and took the sit-out slam to set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena told Otunga he can't see him, then dropped the Shuffle on Drew. Cena chased off Cody, then dumped Drew over the top rope. Cody blind-tagged in for Drew, though. Cody wanted the Cross Rhodes, but Cena countered into the STF center ring. Cena locked it in and Rhodes tapped out after a few seconds, giving Cena and Otunga the win and the belts.

Post-match: Otunga excitedly grabbed the tag title belts and acted like he had a huge accomplishment. Cole noted Otunga didn't contribute much of anything during the match. Otunga eventually handed over one of the belts as Otunga continued to gaze into the belt. Cole noted it's the first time Nexus has won championship gold in WWE. Otunga posed in the ring as Cena just watched him. Cena waited for Otunga to stop celebrating, then dropped him center ring with the Attitude Adjustment. Cena then grabbed both title belts and posed in the ring before leaving the ring. Otunga eventually recovered and looked around bewildered at what just happened.

WINNERS: Cena & Otunga at 6:29 to capture the WWE Tag Titles. Hopefully Nexus goes Freebirds Rules so Gabriel can slide in for Otunga, who isn't exactly the most proficient wrestler. Decent story to the match continuing to give the Cena Fanbase something to cheer about while Cena is "forced" to be part of Nexus. (*1/2)

Backstage: Josh Mathews caught up with Ted DiBiase and Maryse. Mathews wanted to know how DiBiase plans to win back the Million Dollar Title. Maryse started speaking French, which drew agitation from DiBiase, who interrupted. He said Goldust is weird and he doesn't like him. He credited Goldust for being clever and tricky stealing his property, but he's going to do him a favor by beating Goldust, then taking back his title, and then having his fake NXT girlfriend deported. "Yeah!" Maryse said from behind.

In-ring: DiBiase and Maryse came to the ring first as Lawler said the match isn't necessarily for a WWE title, but it's a prized possession. Out next was Goldust, accompanied by the future Mrs. Goldust. Striker started talking rapid-fire about Aksana "competing on WWE.com every Tuesday night," which just sounds weird. Goldust sat down in the corner before the opening bell sounded.

3 -- TED DIBIASE (w/Maryse) vs. GOLDUST (w/Aksana) -- Possession of DiBiase's Million Dollar Title belt

Goldust dumped DiBiase over the top rope early on. Goldust followed to the outside and rammed DiBiase back-first into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Goldust went up top and DiBiase kicked him in the head to send Goldust crashing to the mat. DiBiase worked over Goldust for a few minutes before Goldust made a comeback with his classic offense. Goldust made a cover and Maryse screamed as DiBiase just kicked out in time. Goldust then missed with a flying cross-body and crashed to the floor. Back in the ring, Goldust recovered and tried to fire up the crowd, but DiBiase dropped Goldust with a spinebuster for a two count.

After a pause, both men came back to their feet as the crowd had a light chant for Goldust. Goldust and DiBiase then collided mid-ring. Silence. Suddenly, Maryse jumped Aksana from behind, which drew the biggest pop of the match. Maryse then flung Aksana into the ring and Aksana began crying. Goldust checked on his "fiancee," allowing DiBiase to nail Dream Street from behind for the win.

Post-match: Maryse entered the ring with the Million Dollar belt to give back to DiBiase, but Aksana tackled her in the ring. Aksana slowly approached DiBiase with the belt and started rubbing his chest. She teased a kiss, then Goldust caught DiBiase from behind with the Final Cut to get the final word on DiBiase. Cole complained about Aksana being deceptive and Lawler made his anti-women remarks, trying to get sympathy on...the heel, DiBiase. They replayed the finish and post-match before showing Goldust and Aksana leaving with the Million Dollar Title belt again.

WINNER: DiBiase at 7:29. Decent match. DiBiase needed a credible victory here, but the post-match wiped that away. Meanwhile, the booking and inconsistent announcer talk continues to be befuddling. (*1/2)

In-ring: LayCool came out and cut accent jokes on Minnesota. They said the men like their women big since it's really cold here. McCool said Natalya being in Minneapolis can't help her, just like they can't help receiving all those text messages from Bret Favre. That actually drew a complementary applause and laughter from some of the crowd. Striker said that was Shockmaster bad. Out came Natalya to challenge for the Unified Divas Title.

4 -- Unified Divas champion MICHELLE MCCOOL (w/Layla) vs. NATALYA -- Unified Divas Title match

Natalya got an early crowd reaction executing a delayed vertical suplex, then McCool took control of the match working over Natalya with submission offense. Natalya made a comeback and teased the Sharpshooter, but McCool reached the bottom rope for a break. Eventually, the numbers game caught up to Natalya and Layla ran a distraction to give McCool the victory for the second straight PPV.

WINNER: McCool at 4:45 to retain the Divas Title. It felt like a TV match leading to the expected TV-like finish. (*)

Survivor Series plug: A different video presentation showed Wade Barrett in a dark room with a single overhead light talking about a "new chapter" in Nexus's history at the next WWE PPV. They had a multiple-camera shoot here that added a unique production value to the commercial.

Exterior shot: Mall of America. Cole said Lawler was there today. Lawler shot back that he wasn't since he was stuck on a plane after a fire broke out and avoided disaster. Cole just moved right along in an uncaring away.

Stage: Josh Mathews was shown standing inside the six-foot grave to set up the Buried Alive match between Undertaker and Kane. Mathews hyped the match before they went to a video package explaining the story of "betrayal" leading to this match.

In-ring: Tony Chimel announced the Buried Alive match up next. Undertaker is checking in at 299 pounds tonight, for what it's worth. Taker slowly made his way to the ring as smoke and fog covered the entrance ramp. Very odd seeing him in-character less than 24 hours after an out-of-character appearance at UFC 121. Taker eventually made his way to the ring and limped around a bit before Kane and Paul Bearer made their way halfway down the entrance ramp. Taker met Kane on the ramp and the brawl began ringside.

5 -- World Hvt. champion KANE (w/Paul Bearer) vs. THE UNDERTAKER -- World Hvt. Title match -- Buried Alive rules

Taker sent Kane reeling into the ring steps before landing right hand strikes. Taker turned over the ring steps before ramming Kane face-first into the ring steps. A light "We want blood" chant turned into a louder chant for blood. (It sounds like "We want Brock" at first, then sounded like "We want blood" as it grew louder.) In the ring, Taker continued to dominate the match, so Kane rolled to the floor. He tried to hop over the guardrail and met Taker with an uppercut. The fight moved to the floor and they approached a lounge table with a red tablecloth. After a trip through the VIP seating area, they moved down to the production area and to the second level of temporary grandstands. Target received some free advertising as Kane and Taker fought on the Target logo'ed steps. The fight moved back to the production area as they traded bombs.

At 4:00, the fight moved back to ringside as objects suddenly started flying. The crowd popped as chairs flew into the ring via Undertaker. Taker landed a boot to the head on Kane before landing a "vintage" leg drop across the throat as Kane was hung over the ring apron. Taker then cleared the announce table and chucked the table cover into the ring. Back in the ring, Taker grabbed a chair and Kane ducked out of the ring to run away again. Taker clotheslined Kane back over the guardrail to the other side of the arena. Taker followed him to the outside and they went to the second level of seats again. Taker landed rights after rights as the males 18-34 got some camera time. They moved back over the guardrail to ringside as the crowd chanted for Taker.

At 7:00, Taker punched Kane back into the ring. Kane then grabbed a chair and jabbed Taker with it before cracking the chair over Taker's back. Bearer encouraged Kane to continue the attack. Another shot to the back. And another. Kane jabbed the chair into Taker's throat before landing another chair to the back. Kane stumbled around the ring before teasing the chokeslam. And he executed center ring. Cole noted they're a long way away from the burial plot on the stage. Kane wanted another chokeslam and he connected with Part II.

Kane scooped up Taker and began carrying him up the entrance ramp, but Taker slipped off Kane's shoulders and they started trading bombs. Taker punched Kane toward the grave area, but Kane punched him back toward the ring. Taker eventually landed the KO Punch that floored Kane on the entrance ramp. The fight moved to the dirt area surrounding the burial plot as Kane retreated. Kane then threw dirt in Taker's eyes before landing an uppercut that floored Taker on the grass beside the dirt. Taker suddenly slapped on the Hell's Gate submission. Kane tapped, then faded out.

In the background, Bearer was walking around on the burial plot. Taker then rolled Kane over and into the grave. Bearer kind of leaned over on the tombstone, then Taker spotted Bearer. Bearer shrunk down to the ground and Taker rubbed Bearer's face with dirt. Taker then grabbed Bearer and wanted a chokeslam, but Nexus suddenly stormed the grave site. Taker fought them all off as Bearer called down to Kane in the background. The numbers game eventually caught up to Taker as Cole asked why they're attacking Taker. Is Brock Lesnar the Nexus's higher power? Anyways, Kane escaped the grave and bashed Taker with the urn. Taker fell into the grave as the crowd booed.

Nexus went to work with shovels pouring dirt on top of Taker. Kane wanted to bury his brother himself and told Nexus to get out of here. Kane then did his pyro call and his music hit. Suddenly, a bulldozer over the grave site dumped a big load of dirt on top of the grave, covering where Taker was. The bell anticlimactically sounded and Chimel declared Kane the winner.

Kane walked off with the title belt as the camera zoomed in on the grave site. Suddenly, Taker's music hit and pyro flashed across the arena like a bolt of lightning to hit the tombstone. Smoke covered the tombstone as Taker's logo flashed across the text. They cut back to the announcers selling befuddlement. Cole was speechless. Lawler said he thought this was about shoveling dirt onto your brother. They cut back to the tombstone as Taker's music continued to play.

WINNER: Kane at 16:59 to retain the World Title. Really lame. The brawl-through-the-crowd seems to be the only thing Kane and Taker are capable of at this stage of their careers. The finish was pretty lame, but it will be interesting to see if there's a bigger storyline in-play involving Kane and Nexus or if that was a convenient means to achieve the goal of Kane getting a tainted victory over Taker. (n/a)

Backstage: And on with the show to a smiling Josh Mathews. He brought in WWE champ Randy Orton, who cut a three-sentence promo on John Cena's predicament tonight.

In-ring: The Miz, called the Bud Grant of WWE by Cole, led out Team Raw one-by-one for the semi-main event. Miz and Alex Riley, then C.M. Punk, then John Morrison, then Ezekiel Jackson, then Santino, then R-Truth, and then Sheamus made their way to the ring. Big Show's music hit to bring out Team Smackdown's Show and Hornswoggle, who was sporting the Vikings gear as the mascot for Team Smackdown. Rey Mysterio was out next, then Jack Swagger, then Tyler Reks to zero reaction with that generic rock music. Show clapped it up for him, then Kofi Kingston came out, followed by Alberto Del Rio and Edge to round out the team.

6 -- TEAM RAW (captain The Miz & C.M. Punk & John Morrison & Ezekiel Jackson & Santino Marella & R-Truth & Sheamus) vs. TEAM SMACKDOWN (captain Big Show & Edge & Rey Mysterio & Jack Swagger & Kofi Kingston & Alberto Del Rio & Tyler Reks) -- elimination match

Morrison and Reks started things off as the announcers tried to create some back-and-forth discussing the merits of Raw and Smackdown. Santino tagged in and teased the Cobra, which drew a great reaction from Del Rio in the background. Reks ducked the Cobra and dropped Santino with his new finisher for the first elimination at 2:38. Striker noted no one tried to break up the pin.

Jackson entered and dropped Reks, who backed off and tagged in Show. Zeke smiled as Show entered the ring. They traded blows, with Show dominating the exchange. Show landed multiple chops to the chest before scooping up Zeke for a powerslam. Rey Mysterio then tagged in and dropped a leg on Zeke for a two count. Kofi Kingston then tagged in, but Zeke shoved them off and landed a double shoulder knock down.

Raw began working over Kofi as Sheamus officially entered the match and pounded away on Kofi. Kofi came back with a high cross-body from the top rope for a two count before building some momentum and landing a twisting Boom Drop. Kofi started to warm up for the Trouble in Paradise, but switched into an SOS drop. Sheamus grabbed the bottom rope to escape a pin attempt. Up top, Kofi landed multiple punches before Sheamus crotched him and landed the High Cross. Sheamus with the pin to eliminate Kofi at 6:52.

Rey entered for Team Smackdown and Sheamus ran him over. Raw began working over Rey, then Punk tagged in to a big pop. The males chanted for Punk, who took a boot to the face. The announcers noted the feud between Rey and Punk earlier this year before Punk tagged in Sheamus, who went back to work on Rey. Punk re-entered to more pro-Punk chants. Rey then knocked down Punk and Del Rio blind-tagged himself into the match, which upset Rey. Punk then shoved Del Rio off to the ropes where Del Rio bumped Rey off the ring apron to the floor. Del Rio knocked around Punk on the floor, then decided to throw Rey, his teammate, into the guardrail just because. Big Show screamed at Del Rio as the camera followed Rey, who was tended to by WWE medics to sell the attack by Del Rio. Rey was taken to the back with no official ruling on whether he was out of the match.

The match continued with Swagger working over Punk as Team Raw members asked for a tag. The crowd rallied behind Punk again before Punk landed a kick on Swagger to escape. Morrison tagged in and landed high-flying offense on Swagger. Morrison fired himself up and landed the Flying Chuck for a two count. Cole said Rey has been taken to the locker room, but no announcement on whether he's actually out of the match. Swagger teased the Anklelock on Morrison, but Morrison escaped and hit the Starship Pain. Swagger was eliminated at 13:07.

Striker recapped Smackdown down three with Rey's injury, but Cole said it's six on five officially. So, who knows. Reks entered for Smackdown and Sheamus ran him over with clubbing offense. Lawler sarcastically asked Striker how big of a star he was over on Smackdown. Striker retorted he was huge, but he didn't book his own territory. Reks was then eliminated at 14:32 via the Brogue Kick from Sheamus.

Big Show entered next for Smackdown and he started brawling with Sheamus on the outside. The ref started a ten count after Sheamus shoved down Hornswoggle. The fight moved all the way up the entrance ramp. Show realized the count was at eight and he tried to run back into the ring, but he was counted out along with Sheamus. So, Smackdown is down to two unofficially with Edge and Del Rio.

Truth entered for Raw and Edge entered for Smackdown. Truth asked the crowd what's up before missing with the Lie Detector. Edge then hit the spear for a pin on Truth at 16:42. Morrison missed with a springboard move, then Edge dropped Morrison with a spear for another pin at 17:09. Punk entered next and teased the G2S, but Edge countered. Edge then missed with a spear and Del Rio tagged himself in for Edge. Suddenly, Punk pinned Del Rio with a back-slide out of nowhere at 18:05 to bring Smackdown down to Edge unofficially. The camera focused on Del Rio on the way out as he didn't seem to care. Suddenly, Rey Mysterio jumped Del Rio from behind and knocked him down. And Rey is back in the mix.

Edge crawled toward the Smackdown corner looking for a tag to Rey, but Miz cut off Edge and landed left hand strikes. Striker noted Miz's current MITB briefcase possession as Miz worked over Edge. Zeke added a boot to the head on Edge from the ring apron and Miz made a cover for a two count. Zeke then entered and worked over Edge with power offense. Miz re-entered and kicked Edge in the head for a two count. Raw's three remaining members slowed down the pace and tagged in and out wearing down Edge. Edge suddenly caught Punk in the corner with an electric chair.

Edge crawled across the ring and tagged in Rey, who came in hot on Punk. Rey hit a cross-body splash, but Punk rolled through into a cover for a nearfall. Punk and Rey started trading pin attempts ala Dolph vs. Bryan, resulting in a polite applause from the crowd after the stalemate. Rey then hit the 619 and quickly flew onto Punk with a big splash for the pin on Punk at 24:07. So, it's Zeke and Miz vs. Rey and Edge.

Zeke quickly stormed the ring and tackled Rey before starting an attack on the injured arm. Zeke told Miz that he has him now. Zeke shot off Rey and set up for a big charging splash, but Rey kicked Zeke in the face. Rey tried to bounce off the ropes, but Zeke floored him with a big shoulder tackle. Zeke and Rey exchanged control, then Rey hit a 619. Rey followed with a springboard splash attempt, but slipped on the top rope and kind of fell on Zeke. Rey made a cover and Zeke kicked out, but they called it a three count since that was supposed to be an elimination. After some confusion, Zeke was declared eliminated.

Miz and Riley tried to work together to take out Rey, but Rey shook off Miz and tagged in Edge, who dropped Miz with the spear center ring. Edge made the pin for the win. They cut to a shot of Striker celebrating and gloating as Cole was shown leaning back in his chair selling disgust. Striker recapped the highlights of the match as Rey and Edge celebrated with Hornswoggle and the trophy in the ring. Hornswoggle got his hands on the trophy, but it tipped him over. Striker said this might be the only way the cup comes to Minnesota. Edge eventually left with the trophy and celebrated with Rey on the way out.

WINNERS: Team Smackdown (Rey & Edge) at 27:45. A bit slow at times and just an okay elimination match based on the artificial Raw vs. Smackdown feud. Some of the better sequences couldn't make up for the overwhelmingly blah exchanges. The mix of characters just wasn't that strong for the majority of the match and this will likely just wash over the audience. WWE advanced the Rey vs. Del Rio feud, but other than that, Raw will be back to resetting their feuds on TV after focusing on "Raw as a collective unit" for three weeks. (**1/2)

Order of Elimination:
Santino (Raw) via Reks at 2:38.
Kingston (SD) via Sheamus at 6:52.
Swagger (SD) via Morrison at 13:07.
Reks (SD) via Sheamus at 14:32.
Sheamus (Raw) via count-out at 15:29.
Big Show (SD) via count-out at 15:29.
Truth (Raw) via Edge at 16:42.
Morrison (Raw) via Edge at 17:09.
Del Rio (SD) via Punk at 18:05.
Punk (Raw) via Rey at 24:07.
Jackson (Raw) via Rey at 26:16.
Miz (Raw) via Edge at 27:45.
Edge & Rey win for Team Smackdown.

In-ring: After a video package hyping the PPV main event of Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett, Nexus's music hit to bring out Barrett. Cena followed close behind as an unwilling servant. WWE champ Orton then came out and Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros. Before the bell sounded, Barrett made it clear to Cena that if Barrett does not win this match, he fires Cena tonight.

7 -- WWE champion RANDY ORTON vs. WADE BARRETT (w/John Cena) -- WWE Title match

Orton dominated in the first minute as Cena simply stood by non-reactionary on the outside several feet away from the ring. Some of the males chanted, "Fire Cena," as Orton worked over Barrett. The chant gained momentum and the announcers ignored it. Barrett then tossed Orton to the outside, leading to a stare down between Cena and Orton. Barrett didn't like Cena's reaction to an opportunity, so he rolled out of the ring to challenge Cena with his eyes. Back in the ring, Barrett rocked Orton into the corner with kicks before Orton fired back with a clothesline. Barrett continued to work over Orton as Cena watched from a distance.

Barrett didn't appreciate Cena's lack of effort, so he screamed at him ringside. Orton snuck up behind Barrett and clotheslined him into the ring steps as Cena backed up to the announcer table. Orton stared down Cena, then rolled Barrett back into the ring and applied a chinlock. The match moved back to the floor where Barrett reversed a whip sending Orton flying into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Barrett landed three left hand jabs to Orton and made a cover for a two count. Barrett went to the second rope, paused, and delivered a flying elbow drop for another nearfall.

At 8:00, Barrett shoved a boot into Orton's face in the corner as the camera continued to focus on Cena staring into the ring from ringside. Barrett continued to score nearfalls as the crowd waited for something to get excited about. Barrett slowly came to his feet and dragged Orton to the outside before ramming him head-first into the guardrail in front of a fan dressed as a clown and a man wearing a Peyton Manning jersey. The clown or Peyton shouted, "You suck!" toward Barrett as he rolled Orton back into the ring and slapped on a chinlock.

Orton sold a comeback, was cut off, then finally gave the audience some hope with right hand strikes, followed by a dropkick. Orton positioned Barrett on the second rope for his patented spike DDT, but Barrett slipped out and the ref was bumped. Barrett knocked down Orton with a clothesline as Barrett shouted at Cena to get on the ring apron. Orton suddenly bumped Barrett into the apron, bumping Cena off the apron to the floor. Nexus then stormed the ring and Orton tried to fight them off. Striker ominously said Barrett is going to be the new WWE champion. We know that's not happening now.

Nexus held up Orton, who accepted right hand strikes from Nexus members. Cena suddenly stormed the ring and tackled Nexus members. Barrett knocked down Orton in the confusion, then Barrett screamed at Cena. Cena said that if Barrett gets DQ'ed, he loses. Barrett accepted the explanation, then went on the attack, but Orton made his comeback as the ref came back to life. Orton dropped Barrett with the spike DDT from the second rope before he started pounding the mat with his fists.

Suddenly, Cena snuck in the back door and scooped up Barrett. He dropped him with the Attitude Adjustment and the ref called for the bell. Barrett was announced as the winner via DQ, which drew silence since it was one of those groan-inducing, predictable cop-out finishes for Barrett to win. Cena grabbed the title belt and started to hand it over to Orton, who dropped Cena with the RKO. That drew a mild pop from the males. Orton celebrated with the title, then dropped Barrett with the RKO as Barrett tried to sneak attack him. The announcers tried to explain the finish and Cena working Barrett's system as Orton celebrated. They replayed the key moments of the match as Cole said Barrett will be livid going forward. Orton held up the title belt in the ring as the show concluded.

WINNER: Barrett via DQ at 14:34, Orton retains the WWE Title. Another lame finish to one of the two big title matches on the PPV. That same finish has resulted in the match simply being thrown rather than a DQ more times than not in recent years. WWE's inconsistent match finishes and non-finishes on TV this year caught up with them, as the audience simply groaning at the announced finish perfectly captured the reaction to this. The first ten minutes of the match was like Orton vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 25. (*)

FINAL THOUGHTS: I can't recall the last time three headline matches all came in that much below expectations. Right now, Orton's character is damaged goods as a babyface champion. They have to go back to square one with Orton's character while WWE presumably continues the majority of their TV focus to Barrett and Cena. Strong start to the PPV, followed by a downhill slide. Thumbs down.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.


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