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[2009-10-25-WWE-Bragging Rights] John Cena vs Randy Orton (60-Minute Iron Man)

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Just saw this for the first time. Not really sure why - just kinda jumped out at me as something I'd never seen it when I saw it mentioned in an article, I guess. I watched the whole Bragging Rights 2009 show and was pleasantly surprised at how not bad it was.

THE PROS -

* He's not the first to do it in an Iron Man match, but Orton tapping immediately to the STF in the first 5 minutes. It sells the move as devastating effectively and "sets the table" for how this match is different than your typical match.

* Cena getting color.

* Orton sending Cena through a light wall and then trying to blow him up with friggin' pyro. Is it ridiculous? Cartoonish? Laughably outrageous? Yes, yes, and yes. But this is a Cena/Orton Falls Count Anywhere Iron Man Match, so, I'm not sure realism was ever going to be in the cards.

* Orton hitting a hangman DDT onto the arena floor.

* Orton trying to stall around minute 40 by making an exhausted Cena "chase" him to and from the ring. 

* Cena winning the crowd over with his comeback, which featured Cena sending Orton through the timekeeper area and hitting him with an Attitude Adjustment through a table.

* The quality of production and camera work. The aforementioned light wall, pyro area, announcer table, and timekeeper wall can all be described as "set pieces" or props and sometimes these things just don't break the right way, or the camera misses the best angle, or the big spot is ruined by not being mic'd correctly or just not looking as devastating as it should. Here, every big spot was captured correctly, looked like the right level of violent, and made those big crash, boom, bang noises that you need to elicit a real "Ooooh" from the audience. 

 

THE CONS -

* I'm not a fan of Iron Man Matches and 60 minutes is a long time to invest in any match, much less a John Cena/Randy Orton match - two guys who, if you've been watching wrestling for the past decade, you've probably seen wrestle at least a thousand times each. The match never gets slow or boring - but its really hard to call a 60-minute match "must see" unless it is basically flawless and features performers who are so captivating in a match filled with so much emotion that you're on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. That's a very high bar. The very nature of the stipulation makes this a tough sell as an "all-time classic" because, while there are lots and lots of great moments, its still quite a commitment to sit and watch an hour long match that...

* Plays a lot like a superhero movie and features both guys doing, for better or worse, Themselves with a capital T. SuperCena is in full effect - selling and selling and selling for 20 minutes only to tie the score with an inside cradle and, later, no-sell the exhaustion of wrestling for 40 minutes by performing two Herculean shows of endurance and strength (carrying Orton on his shoulders up two stairs and then, after that, from the arena floor all the way into the ring and onto a table). Orton keeps the restholds to a minimum, but still plays the hits from beginning to end - lots of seething, lots of banging his arms and fists into the mat, RKOs out of nowhere, lots of frustration and crazy eyes. If you find either of these characters irritating, this match will bug the hell out of you because it is basically The Most Cena-ish Cena vs. The Most Orton-ish Orton and it goes on for a full hour. 

 

On my scale, a 4-star match is something I would recommend or consider "must watch." This is close...but not up to that level because, ultimately, its not a "must see" match and I don't think it is good enough to warrant devoting a full 60-minutes to watching unless you are huge fan of either guy. 

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