Promotional poster featuring various WWE Superstars
|"Step Up (I'm On It)" by Maylene & The Sons of Disaster|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||October 25, 2009|
Bragging Rights was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which took place on October 25, 2009 at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It featured talent from the Raw and SmackDown brands. Five matches were featured on the card.
The concept of the show was based around a series of interpromotional matches for "bragging rights" between wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands, with a Bragging Rights trophy awarded to the show that won the most matches out of the series. The matches included Raw's United States Champion The Miz defeating SmackDown's Intercontinental Champion John Morrison, SmackDown's team of Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix and Natalya defeating Raw's team of Melina, Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim, and SmackDown's team of Chris Jericho, Kane, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, Finlay, Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith defeating Raw's team of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston and Mark Henry. The SmackDown brand won the Bragging Rights trophy with two wins to one.
The show also contained two world championship matches including the main event where John Cena defeated Randy Orton in an Anything Goes Iron Man match to win the WWE Championship, and The Undertaker defeating CM Punk, Rey Mysterio and Batista in a Fatal Four-Way match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
The pay-per-view drew 181,000 buys, and is up from the 153,000 buys Cyber Sunday 2008 got. A second Bragging Rights event is scheduled to take place on October 24, 2010 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Bragging Rights featured numerous professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that were played out on Raw, SmackDown, ECW and WWE Superstars—World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) television programs. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that build tension, and culminated into a wrestling match or series of matches. All wrestlers on the televised broadcast were from WWE's Raw and SmackDown brands—a storyline division in which WWE employees are assigned to a television program of the same name. An untelevised dark match from the ECW brand also took place.
The concept of the show features a 7-on-7 tag team match pitting contingencies of Raw versus SmackDown. On the October 12 edition of Raw, it was announced one-half of Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho would act as the captain of SmackDown's team, and Shawn Michaels and Triple H (collectively known as D-Generation X) would act as the co-captains of Raw's team. Later in the program, the other half of the Tag Team Champions The Big Show would qualify for the latter team by defeating Chris Jericho in a match that would qualify him to be on the team. Continuing the trend of qualifying matches on said edition of Raw, Cody Rhodes defeated Ted DiBiase and John Cena in a Triple Threat match, Jack Swagger defeated Montel Vontavious Porter, and Kofi Kingston defeated Evan Bourne. Mark Henry became the final member of Team Raw by defeating Chris Masters on the October 15 episode of WWE Superstars. The following night on SmackDown, Kane revealed that in fact the SmackDown team will be co-captained both by Jericho and himself. Qualifying matches for the SmackDown team commenced on the same night, with Dolph Ziggler defeating Mike Knox and Finlay in a Triple Threat match, Shad Gaspard and JTG (collectively known as Cryme Tyme) defeating David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd (collectively known as The Hart Dynasty), Eric Escobar defeating Matt Hardy, and Drew McIntyre defeating R-Truth. On the October 23 episode of SmackDown, Jericho and Kane booked a 4-on-5 handicap match pitting Ziggler, JTG, Escobar and McIntyre against Finlay, the Hart Dynasty, Hardy and R-Truth, where the winning team would join the two at Bragging Rights. The latter team won the match, thus replacing the former team, along with Gaspard.
The main rivalry from the Raw brand heading into Bragging Rights was the continuing conflict between Randy Orton and John Cena over the WWE Championship. The two had faced at the three previous pay-per-view events, with Orton retaining the title at SummerSlam, Cena winning the title at Breaking Point in an "I Quit" match, and Orton reclaiming the title at Hell in a Cell in the event's eponymous match. The following night on Raw, Cena challenged Orton to one last rematch for the title, this time a 60-minute Iron Man match where the competitor with the most decisions at the end of that time would be named the victor. In order to accept the challenge, Orton added two more conditions to the match, that Cena would leave the Raw brand if he loses and that the match would be "anything goes".
The Undertaker made his return to the company at SummerSlam after CM Punk won the World Heavyweight Championship. Punk would then defeat his challenger at Breaking Point under controversial circumstances before to losing the title to The Undertaker at Hell in a Cell a month later. On the October 9 edition of SmackDown, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced Punk would receive his rematch at Bragging Rights, but it would be in a Fatal Four-Way match with Batista and Rey Mysterio.
On the October 12 edition of Raw, the reigning WWE United States Champion, The Miz, announced that he will face the WWE Intercontinental Champion John Morrison at Bragging Rights. In 2007, the two formed a tag team and gained success in the tag team division, winning the WWE Tag Team and World Tag Team Championships as well as the 2008 Slammy Award for Tag Team of the Year. In an untelevised match at WrestleMania XXV, the team lost their unification match against The Colóns (Carlito and Primo) that would form the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship. A week later, The Miz found himself drafted to the Raw brand in the 2009 WWE Draft due to botched interference from Morrison. Miz subsequently attacked Morrison after the match, ending the partnership. Morrison was later himself drafted to the SmackDown brand. Both wrestlers found singles success with Morrison winning his third Intercontinental Championship from Rey Mysterio in September, while The Miz defeated Kofi Kingston to become the new United States Champion on the October 5 edition of Raw.
The event was generally well received by critics, with positive comments on the opening bout between Morrison and The Miz, and mostly on the Iron Man match main event. The Sun, in a positive review, praised Randy Orton's story telling ability, and the Fatal 4 Way Match, but criticized the tag team Bragging Rights equalizer as confusing, and causing many of the competitors to become lost in the action. They awarded the event a positive 7 out of 10.
|Dark||Christian (c) defeated Paul Burchill||Singles match for the ECW Championship||N/A|
|1||The Miz defeated John Morrison||Interpromotional Singles match||10:54|
|2||SmackDown Divas (Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix and Natalya) defeated Raw Divas (Melina, Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim) ||Six-Diva Interpromotional tag team match||06:54|
|3||The Undertaker (c) defeated CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, and Batista||Fatal Four-Way match for the World Heavyweight Championship||09:55|
|4||Team SmackDown (Chris Jericho, Kane, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, Finlay, The Hart Dynasty (Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith)) defeated Team Raw (D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels), The Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston and Mark Henry)||14-man Interpromotional Tag team match||15:34|
|5||John Cena defeated Randy Orton (c) 6-5||60-minute Anything Goes, Falls Count Anywhere, Iron Man match for the WWE Championship; if Cena had lost, he would have had to leave the Raw brand||60:00|