United States champion Daniel Bryan def. Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler (Non-title)
Long before they were petitioning to wrestle each other one-on-one at a WrestleMania (WrestleMania 29 notwithstanding), Bryan and Ziggler were contesting a stellar series of matches in 2010. What's interesting is that this match was confirmed for the card literally days ahead of the event, but despite not having a build, this match stole the show and was one of the greatest matches all year. The action was exceptional as they went back and forth and had the crowd on their feet the entire time. They had two more matches on Raw and SmackDown the subsequent week, but this was easily the best of the bunch.
The Nexus def. Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre to Win the WWE Tag Team Championship
Nexus here was represented by John Cena and David Otunga, so while they weren't the most cohesive unit, they were still stronger than Rhodes and McIntyre, which is rather sad. Mind you, this match was made on the spot and had no build-up, and Rhodes and McIntyre never received their rematch. Their title reign was completely forgettable and WWE wasted McIntyre after this. The match was merely an angle to further tease tension between Cena and Otunga and get Cena in a match on the show (although he would appear later on in the night).
Ted DiBiase def. Goldust
DiBiase looked to be a breakout star in 2010 once The Legacy ran its course, but WWE never really seemed to get behind him as a singles competitor. While this feud with Goldust gave him something to do, it didn't benefit anyone involved. Maryse and Goldust's rookie Aksana were also part of this program as they all fought over the Million Dollar Championship, but this match was fine yet unspectacular. The fans in attendance clearly couldn't have cared less about it.
Divas Champion Layla def. Natalya
Natalya already fell short once of capturing the championship at Hell in a Cell, so this should have been her moment to become champion. Unfortunately, it was not. It was a decent match, but LayCool taunting their adversaries by bullying them had gotten old by this point. Natalya was once again screwed out of the title with another fluky finish, and although that kept her in chase mode, the crowd didn't approve of the matchup ending in that fashion.
World Heavyweight Champion Kane def. The Undertaker in a Buried Alive Match
Similar to their Hell in a Cell match earlier in the month, it was cool to see The Brothers of Destruction clash in a stipulation match they had history in, but this was slow and plodding for the most part. They just fought all around the arena before arriving at the casket near the stage, and even that dragged on forever. Rumor has it Undertaker was slated to win this match had he not gotten injured, which was why he had to take more time off until WrestleMania season. The Nexus interfering and costing 'Taker the match was supposed to set up a Wade Barrett vs. Undertaker match for WrestleMania 27, but those plans were abandoned somewhere along the way, making this completely pointless.
Team SmackDown def. Team Raw in a 14-Man Elimination Tag Team Match
As enjoyable as this match was on the whole, it essentially killed the Survivor Series gimmick because it was the exact same thing. The Raw vs. SmackDown rivalry had been so watered down by this point that winning that dumb trophy meant nothing, but from an in-ring standpoint, this was a blast. Edge and Rey Mysterio had to overcome the odds down the stretch, and once they did, the crowd came unglued. Some of the other eliminations happened a bit too quickly, but at least Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio furthered their feud and Ezekiel Jackson received a boost by being in there close to the end.
Wade Barrett def. WWE Champion Randy Orton by Disqualification
As soon as Barrett announced to the live crowd before the bell rang that he would fire Cena if he didn't win the WWE title here, it was pretty predictable what was going to happen: Cena would allow Barrett to win by disqualification by attacking him. Any idiot could have figured that out, so it was a stupid thing to point out to the audience because they sat on their hands for a majority of this match waiting for that to happen. On the bright side, they did pop for Orton laying out Cena and Barrett with RKOs afterward, but it was obviously designed to set up the main event for Survivor Series the next month.
I always enjoy watching this pay-per-view back, probably for personal nostalgia purposes, but when I write out the results like this, I'm reminded that it was an awfully abysmal show. The event peaked with Bryan vs. Ziggler in the opener, but it was all downhill from there. The 14-man tag team elimination match was a treat, too, but the whole Raw vs. SmackDown "rivalry" was dead by this point, so it was no surprise that Bragging Rights was cancelled the following year. Check out the two matches I mentioned, but skip the rest.
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