Even though it isn’t considered one of the “Big Four” WWE pay-per-view events, Money in the Bank has the potential to shake things up in a way most other shows can’t. That promise is baked into the premise, with the winner of the titular match at its heart getting a free shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship that can be used any time.
Any time … including later that same night, a scenario that’s happened in the past and fans have speculated about on numerous other occasions. Thanks to that mechanism, the fans at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas got to see more title changes and more champions that they might otherwise have expected.
The wheels were set in motion during the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, which took place sixth on the card and featured six competitors, each of whom could be considered to have at least some chance to win.
Sami Zayn’s soccer chants were the first thing heard from the crowd as a series of one-on-one confrontations broke out in the ring. Cesaro pulled off the first high spot, flipping into a ladder on the outside, and Sami followed him out with a somersault splash.
Kevin Owens teased running up a ladder before stopping to superkick Zayn. Numerous competitors ended up tasting the steel of a ladder inside the ring, with Chris Jericho taking great pleasure in smashing Dean Ambrose with the metal.
Cesaro got a chance to deliver uppercuts to three of his opponents in various corners, but Owens hurled him into a ladder that Alberto Del Rio had set up in the remaining corner. Zayn followed him by clearing the ring of everyone, becoming the first person to attempt to climb for the briefcase before Del Rio stopped him.
That left Zayn stuck in the tree of woe with a ladder in front of him, quickly replaced by Cesaro atop that same ladder, where he took Del Rio’s double foot stomp. Alberto had a clear path to climb until Cesaro went up the other side to meet him, and the Swiss Superman was briefly stuck in the cross armbreaker until others returned to the fray.
Climbing quickly to the top, Jericho had a hand on the briefcase only to find himself getting knocked to the ground along with the ladder. Del Rio went for the Cesaro Swing, as did Jericho, though Chris’ ride ended with him flying into another ladder.
Ambrose dropped an elbow on Cesaro from a ladder set up in the corner, and Owens one-upped him with a splash from up high onto a ladder on the mat. A Blue Thunder Bomb from Zayn cut KO’s moment of triumph short and looked quite painful to boot.
With most of the others down, Zayn climbed for the case, only to take numerous ladder shots from a recovering Del Rio. A ladder got set up as a bridge between the main ladder and one turnbuckle, then another, and pretty soon all six men were battling atop the makeshift structure.
Zayn, Jericho and Ambrose all got close to the prize, with Y2J eventually felled by a Dirty Deeds off the ladder. An Owens powerbomb on one of the ladders ended Zayn’s heroics, leaving Owens and Ambrose battling for the briefcase. Several punches later, KO went bouncing and flopping off a ladder, and Ambrose ascended the rest of the way unopposed to claim the contract.
Ambrose’s two former Shield teammates had a showdown in the main event, with Roman Reigns putting his WWE World Heavywight Championship on the line. It was the same belt challenger Seth Rollins held until going on the shelf with a knee injury last year, and one he dedicated himself to reclaiming as soon as he was allowed to return to the ring.
After a long staredown, the match began with both men circling each other and the fans chanting for Rollins. The champ powered his former teammate back into the corner, where the ref had to separate the men. Reigns knocked Rollins down with a shoulder down, but Seth jumped up quickly to land a dropkick and launched himself through the ropes to the floor as a follow-up.
With Rollins trying to hurry and press his advantage, Reigns slowed him with a Samoan drop. A flurry of forearm shots followed in the corner, and a tilt-a-whril slam forced Rollins to kick out for the first time.
Rollins regained his mojo on the outside, slamming Reigns into the steps and other objects. He went up top as they returned to the squared circle, yet the champ grabbed him and dropped him hard with a sitout powerbomb and another near fall.
The Superman punch signal was made, but Rollins countered by chucking Reigns’ face into the turnbuckle, then throwing him back outside for a somersault dive that hit the mark. Reigns bought himself a moment back in the ring, clearing his head enough to escape a Pedigree attempt and hit the Superman punch. Rolling kicked out at two to continue the match.
A flying knee off the top knocked Reigns down, and a frog splash off the top earned Rollins another near fall. The combatants climbed atop the turnbuckles again, with Seth flipping out of the corner and using a turnbuckle powerbomb to try another unsuccessful cover.
Using a running clothesline to soften up the champ, Rollins pulled off a superplex linked into a falcon’s arrow only to see Reigns respond with a one-armed powerbomb. As they rose to their knees, strikes were exchanged, and a turnbuckle powerbomb was answered by a Superman punch. Roman managed a weak cover that was not enough to seal the deal.
For some reason, Rollins went over by the timekeeper’s area, calling to someone beyond the wall. Reigns tried to use that to his advantage by running in for a spear, but his target moved and the barricade took a huge amount of damage. Doctors came out to check on Roman, and the ref took a bump while Seth was trying for a Pedigree. A spear was next, yet the groggy referee’s count was too slow.
Reigns tried for another spear that was countered by a Pedigree, a cool spot that still wasn’t the match-ender. Undeterred, Rollins positioned Reigns for another Pedigree and finally got his win.
Seth’s celebration was short-lived, as Dean Ambrose’s music hit and the Lunatic Asylum needed only a moment to hit the Dirty Deeds. The night ended with a new champion getting his hand raised, and it wasn’t either man who headlined the card. Such is the power of the briefcase.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Battleground on July 24th.
There are no cracks in the foundation of our recap crew. With that in mind, Nick’s comments will be in plain type while Dale’s are in italics.
The Golden Truth vs. Breezango – Pre-show Match
Earlier in the preshow, Truth and Goldy messed with the settings on the tanning beds that Tyler Breeze and Fandango were using to get a base tan for the match. Unfortunately for them, they got a little crispy and are feeling the burn. Many sunburn burn hijinks ensue during the match. The Golden Truth finally breaks through with a win after Goldust hits the final cut on Fandango.
Winners … The Golden Truth
The Lucha Dragons vs. The Dudley Boyz – Pre-Show
Does anyone have any idea why this is a match? Kalisto gets the hot tag, and he springboards into D-Von before taking out Bubba on the apron with a dropkick. Kalisto makes the pin after a seated senton, but Bubba runs in to make the save. Bubba hits an electric chair and Kalisto is double teamed. He evens the odds by low bridging D-Von out of the ring. He hits the Salida del Sol on Bubba as Sin Cara makes a blind tag. Cara drops the Dragon Bomb and covers to the get the win.
Winners … The Lucha Dragons
Enzo and Cass (challengers) vs. The Vaudevillians (challengers) vs. Anderson and Gallows (challengers) vs. The New Day (champions) – Fatal Four Way Tag Team Title Match
The New Day’s promo rips on Enzo and Cass for having a little guy who runs his mouth and a big guy who does all the work. Pot, please meet kettle. Those two teams end up in a bit of a showdown during the match itself, but the Vaudevillains decide to intervene and get the actual match back on track. Cass gets a pretty nice pop when he finally enters the match as the legal man, lifting his partner for Air Enzo and dropping him down on Karl Anderson for what sure looked like a three count, but apparently was broken up in time. Kofi Kingston gets hit with the Whirling Dervish but is bailed out by Luke Gallows, managing to pull off a DDT on Aiden English. He gets hit with the Magic Killer and is bailed out again, but he can’t escape a cover after Karl Anderson is taken out by a double team move by the champs. New Day retains, because they rock.
Winners… and still your (please read while gyrating) W … W … E … World … Tag … Team … Champions … The New Day
Match Rating: 7/10
Todd Phillips asks Kevin Owens about his first Money in the Bank Ladder Match, as last year he took out John Cena during the show with a powerbomb on the apron. Chris Jericho interrupts and tells him to watch it. Jericho says he is the spotlight. Owens points out that Jericho may have invented it, but he hasn’t won one. Alberto Del Rio joins the party and wants to speak the truth. He makes it known that he is the only man in tonight’s match that has won one.
Shame on Alberto for walking right into Chris’ pun game. And how come no one wants to drink in the gift of Jericho?
Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
Are we the only people that aren’t coming around on Baron Corbin? I mean, he gets heat, but not the right kind from us. Ziggler goes for a leg takedown, trying to focus on his mat wrestling skills. Corbin ducks a superkick and rolls to the outside. Corbin hits a big right and stomps away at Dolph. Corbin gets whipped across the ring, but is able to slide under the ropes and catch Ziggler off guard with a shot to the back of the head. Ziggler gets dropped on the top rope, and Corbin pounds on him. Corbin blocks the Zig Zag and a superkick, taking Dolph down with a stiff clothesline. Corbin catches Ziggler coming off the ring steps and hits the Deep Six on the floor. Ziggler just beats the ten count. Ziggler counters the End of Days with a superkick but still can’t get a pin. Baron Corbin finally hits the End of Days and gets the pin.
Winner … Baron Corbin
Match Rating: 5/10
Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Becky Lynch
This feels like a placeholder feud until someone goes for the title in earnest at SummerSlam. Since it’s too early for Dana Brooke to turn on the champ, there isn’t a whole lot of intrigue here. And while they could at least throw Natalya a bone by having her get a win in a non-title match, she gets her Sharpshooter broken up by an accidental headbutt by Becky, and she’s pinned after the Natural Selection by Charlotte. The most interesting part comes after the bell, when Nattie thrashes Becky from behind. Becky doesn’t have any friends who don’t turn on her eventually. Maybe the issue is with her? Nah.
Winners … Charlotte and Dana Brooke
Match Rating: 5.5/10
Dean Ambrose gets his interview time, and he reveals that he doesn’t much see the need for strategy in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match. He calls the match the jungle, and the only rule in the jungle is that there’s no fear and no hesitation. Wait, two, two rules of the jungle.
Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews
Sheamus wastes little time, attacking Crews before the bell. Apollo lands a dropkick and sends the Celtic Warrior over the top rope with a clothesline. Sheamus catches Crews on the apron with the Irish Curse backbreaker. Apollo fights off Sheamus on the apron and nearly gets a pin with a roll up. A cross body block sends Sheamus to the mat, but Crews can’t get the pin. Crews suplexes Sheamus out of the ring and hits a moonsault off the apron to the floor. Apollo goes up top, but gets caught on the turnbuckle. Sheamus hits White Noise off the top turnbuckle. Sheamus goes for the pin, but Apollo counters with a roll up and gets the pin.
Winner … Apollo Crews
Match Rating: 7/10
AJ Styles vs. John Cena
So many dueling chants! Styles won’t even be Irish whipped if he doesn’t want to be. The crowd loves it as John has a hard time laying a fist on AJ, but he eventually plants him for a near fall. After some back and forth, Cena plants Styles and preps for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but A.J. recovers quickly and hurls his foe out to the floor. Styles misses a spinning dive to the floor and lands hard, and when he re-enters the ring, he ends up in the STF. AJ crawls to the ropes to break the hold, though he quickly ends up on the top rope needing to escape from a superplex attempt. Cena tries again in another corner, but Styles sends him crashing to the canvas. The Attitude Adjustment looms, yet only until AJ counters with the calf crusher. After his inevitable escape, Cena uses a huge clothesline to try for the AA again. It finds the mark, but Styles kicks out at two. An AJ powerbomb counter on Cena’s flying leg drop leaves both men down. He covers for another near fall. A Pele kick sets up the Styles Clash, and AJ has his head in his hands after Cena kicks out. The knees come up on Styles’ springboard 450, and a series of counters has both men missing their signature moves. The ref takes a bump during the Attitude Adjustment, leaving him unable to make the cover that would have won it. Gallows and Anderson hustle down to deliver the Magic Killer, rolling Styles on top of Cena for a conveniently times ref recovery and giving AJ the win.
Winner … AJ Styles
Match Rating: 8.5/10
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Sami Zayn vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Chris Jericho vs. Cesaro – Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Winner … and Mr. Money in the Bank … Dean Ambrose
Match Rating: 9/10
Titus O’Neal (challenger) vs. Rusev (champion) with Lana – United States Title Match
And here we thought that this match was getting bumped for time. Rusev rolls out of the ring to taunt Titus’s kids and then runs right into a clothesline from Titus as he delivers one of his own. The fight continues on the floor, as Titus slams Rusev into the barrier. Back in the ring, Titus runs into a spin kick, and Rusev follows with a senton. Rusev locks in a reverse chin lock. Titus breaks free and slams Rusev to the mat, but he can’t get the pin. Rusev looks for the Accolade, but Titus counters and slams him. The fight spills to the floor, and Rusev eats the ring steps. Titus walks into a kick, allowing Rusev to lock in the Accolade. Titus taps out.
Winner … and still United States Champion … Rusev
Match Rating: 2/10
After the match, Rusev tells Titus’s kids that their father is a loser.
His one son smacked Rusev and looked like he wanted to jump the barrier to throw down with him. In the words of the great Tony Stark, “not a great plan.”
Seth Rollins (challenger) vs. Roman Reigns (champion) – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Winner … and new WWE World Heavyweight Champion … Seth Rollins
Match Rating: 8/10
Dean Ambrose (challenger) vs. Seth Rollins (champion) – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Match Rating: 10/10 (for awesomeness, not for the match itself, which lasted just one move)
Event Rating: 8.5/10
Dale and Nick hope all the dads out there had a great Father’s Day and ended it the only proper way, by watching WWE programming with your kids. Follow Dale on Twitter at @Dplummer 627 and Nick at @nick_tylwalk.