Bragging Rights Predictions

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
My Bragging Rights Predictions
Our resident philosopher looks at the WWE’s newest “gimmick” Pay-Per-View.

The WWE is back with another one of their silly “gimmick” PPVs. It’s a situation of Smackdown v Raw. One of the main reasons for this one is to push Smackdown v Raw 2010. The concept has changed, a couple of times. Originally, the various winners of the undercard matches would be placed against each other in a Smackdown v Raw tag team battle. That idea was scrapped and the main event was turned into a 7-on-7 tag team war. Even that has been changed, as team members of Team Smackdown have been replaced by other Smackdowners. I’ll do my best to sift through this mess and try and figure out what the heck the WWE is trying to do.

Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix and Natalya v Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly and Melina
Prediction: This will likely open the show. Kelly is definitely the weak link in this sextet of sexy grapplers. Since I have the feeling that WWE plans to split the first two Smackdown v Raw matches, I’m going to got with the Raw girls to take this one. Since Kelly is starting to get another push, she will defy the odds and pin Natalya to take the win for her team.
Predicted Winner: Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim and Melina
Predicted Grade: B
The Miz (United States Champion) v John Morrison (Intercontinental Championship)
Backstory: The two formed one of the strongest tag teams in recent WWE memory. The Draft split the duo up. The two have spent quite some time trash talking each other, over the last few weeks. This is another Brand Superiority match
Prediction: Morrison is superior to Miz, bottom line. Morrison has already worn the ECW title, as well as the I-C strap. Miz will try to clown it up but Morrison will be all business. Miz will get some close calls but Morrison will nail Starship Pain to eliminate Miz.
Predicted Winner: John Morrison
Predicted Grade B+
Randy Orton v John Cena
Iron Man Match for the WWE Championship. If Cena loses, he must leave Raw
Backstory: These two have fought for the better part of two years over the Raw title. WWE has really pushed the “if Cena loses” angle.
Prediction: If the WWE really wanted to have fun, they would have Cena win and basically thumb their nose at all the “in the know” guys who were convinced that Cena was off Raw. I think they just might pull a reverse swerve and actually have Cena lose. I really think that WWE is moving towards Cena v Batista II, maybe as soon as Survivor Series. The next match could well play into that scenario. Expect Legacy to get involved in this Anything Goes war. Orton will likely take out Cena for the final pin with an R-K-O on the steel steps, along with a Punt to the head.
Predicted Winner: Randy Orton
Predicted Grade: A-
The Undertaker v Batista v Rey Mysterio v C.M. Punk
Fatal Four Way Match for the World Championship
Backstory: Undertaker came back from a six month hiatus to challenge Punk for the World title. The first contest ended up as Montreal Screwjob II. Undertaker returned to take the strap from Punk on their next confrontation. Batista returned from injury and chose to head to Smackdown. Rey returned from a Wellness Program Suspension and went straight into the title hunt.
Prediction: Undertaker has some major issues with his legs/knees. He is likely only good for a short run, due to his injuries. I think this is a set-up for the bigger Survivor Series card. Punk has already jumped Rey, setting up another “Holier Than Thou” angle where Punk will diss Rey for his failing the Wellness Program. As such, both are out of the chase for the title. That leaves Taker and Batista. With Cena likely heading over to Smackdown, putting the belt on Batista could help set the stage for Cena v Batista II at Survivor Series. It is a strong match that could definitely pull the numbers for the PPV. It would also be a revenge scenario, since Taker took down Batista at a past Wrestlemania.
Predicted Winner: Batista (New Champion)
Predicted Grade: A+
Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger and Mark Henry (Team Raw) v Chris Jericho, Kane, Finlay, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd (updated Team Smackdown)
Backstory: Shad of Cryme Tyme pulled out of this match, due to a questionable illness. Smackdown had to scramble and figure out a way to replace him. They set up a 4-on-5 Handicap tag match where Matt pinned JTG to have him team replace the entire Smackdown team, except the co-captains, Kane and Jericho. Over on the Raw side, the team is completely dysfunctional Cody swears that he just won’t tag anyone in and will take out all the Smackdown stars, on his own. Big Show, who is Jericho’s partner, has basically warned Cody (and all the others) to keep their mind on the game and work together. Kofi, now speaking in non-accented English, is the team cheerleader.
Prediction: This is going to most likely be the first of many of these Smackdown v Raw PPVs, unfortunately. Poor ECW got totally hosed on this one. Since WWE is pushing the 10th anniversary of Smackdown, I figure that they will get the honorary “prize” this year. If WWE had good sense, they would do something similar to what the two colleges in Nevada do. The Cannon is a prize that ends up either blue (Reno) or red (Las Vegas) depending on who wins at the annual college football game. There really should be a trophy or something. Anyway, the dysfunctionality of Team Raw, combined with the last minute change of Team Smackdown will give the Blue Brand the edge in this battle. I’m kind of expect Big Show to pull some kind of turn on his team to work with Jericho to push Smackdown into the winner’s circle.
Predicted Winners: Team Smackdown
Predicted Grade: B+
Final Grade: A-
Final Thoughts: The matches seem reasonably solid but this one just doesn’t work for me. I feel the WWE is pushing far too many PPVs and it’s starting to show in their offerings. The Fatal Four Way is the only really good match on the card. Cena v Orton has been done to death. The Team Battle is a lame concept. I’m hoping that the WWE has the good sense to toss in another match or two to fill out the card. There are quite a few stars who aren’t on the show, including the entire ECW roster! If I were writing this one, I’d have the ECW Forces (Christian, Zack Ryder, Shelton Benjamin, Yoshi Tatsu, Vladimir Kozlov, Ezekiel Jackson and Sheamus led by Tommy Dreamer and William Regal) “crash the party” and challenge both Team Raw and Team Smackdown. Sadly, that isn’t likely to happen. This show is just going to be mediocre.
Peace

–Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(102409)