Perhaps it was appropriate that the first image of WWE’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view event was Naomi in a bee-themed outfit. Because “B” was a recurring theme on the show, between the brawling beast Brock Lesnar blazing back to boldly bash bodies before becoming Mr. Money in the Bank, and Bayley briefly bearing a briefcase before battling Charlotte to become a belt-holder. The show, though, was an A-plus.
Lesnar made his surprise return at the end of the main event, the men’s Money in the Bank Ladder match. That match was simply awesome, with crazy highlights throughout. Early on, Randy Orton belied his normal boring self, by dropping Ali, Finn Balor, and Ricochet onto the announce table in rapid succession. Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre worked together for much of the match, taking out all of the others with hard ladder shots. Ricochet and Ali had a nice segment, trying to outrace one another up the ladder, but eventually got stopped by Drew and Baron. There were some seriously painful-looking ladder spots, including Andrade sunset-flip-powerbombing Balor onto a ladder bridge, and Ali hitting Andrade off a ladder with a Spanish Fly. Later, Corbin chokeslammed Ali hard through the Spanish announce table. The Drew and Baron alliance came to an end, with Corbin backstabbing Drew, only to pay for it later with a big Claymore Kick. McIntyre superplexed Balor onto a ladder, and then hit Andrade with a reverse Alabama Slam right onto Balor. McIntyre then chucked Richochet over the top rope onto another ladder bridge. Drew looked to climb the ladder, but got RKO’d out of nowhere from the top. Ali took Orton out, and then was left alone to climb the ladder. As he had his hands on the briefcase, Brock’s music hit. Lesnar easily dispatched Ali, climbed the ladder, and grabbed the Money in the Bank briefcase to end the show.
The show was actually sandwiched by excellent Ladder matches, as the Women’s match opened the PPV. The match started off hot, with Nikki Cross making an immediate impact, taking every one else out with a ladder, Terry Funk style. A lot of creative – and intense – ladder spots in this one as well. Mandy used a ladder as a ramp to hit Nikki with a running kick to the face. It looked like Bayley got hurt when a ladder fell over right into her thigh – that could have really been bad, given later events. At one point, Carmella’s knee got dinged by a ladder, and when Mandy went to hit her, Carmella brusquely pushed her away and yelled at her, to then roll out of the ring and be escorted out by medical – she returned to the match later on, but if this was simply a spot, then kudos to both for their acting skills, because it was very convincing. Naomi got butt-dropped onto a ladder by Natalya. Later, Bayley hit Dana with a Sunset Flip Bomb onto another one. Bayley got sandwiched between a ladder by Mandy and Natalya, which couldn’t have tickled. Later, Naomi hit a moonsault on Bayley on a ladder. Dana then pushed over a ladder that clocked Nikki in the head on its way down. Natalya pushed over four of the women who were on the ladder at one point. Later, Ember Moon leaped from a gigantic ladder on the outside to the ring to hit Natalya with a Super Eclipse – tremendous. Mandy then flattened Ember, leaving her alone in the ring. Re-enter Carmella who, damaged knee and all, took Mandy out, and scaled the ladder. Sonya DeVille pulled her down, and speared her out of the ring. Then Sonya picked up Mandy and carried her up the ladder, giving her a boost at the top, to assure her of a win. Until Bayley came up out of nowhere, climbed up the other side, pushed them both off, and grabbed the briefcase to win the match and the briefcase, which she would cash in later on in the night.
Full Show Results
Kickoff Match 1: The Usos vs. The New Daniel Bryan and Rowan
Curious… is Rowan the only person other than Brock Lesnar allowed to wear non-WWE trademarks in the ring? Either way, his power quickly gave him and Bryan the edge, and they punished Jey for several minutes. Daniel hit a couple of running corner dropkicks, but Jey caught him on the third attempt, and then dodged a charging Rowan to make the tag to Jimmy, who came in hot. He hit Rowan with a spinning aerial attack, but got caught on another. In an impressive spot, Rowan dropped both Usos in a double superplex, which looked great. Things picked up after a nice exchange of Yes kicks and double-superkicks. The Usos double-dove onto Rowan on the outside, then hit Bryan with stereo superkicks, following that up with a double Superfly Splash on Bryan for the win.
Winners: The Usos
Match Rating: 8/10
The show started with a graphic for Ashley Massaro, who passed away this weekend. RIP.
Match 1: Naomi vs. Carmella vs. Nikki Cross vs. Mandy Rose (w/ Sonya DeVille) vs. Ember Moon vs. Dana Brooke vs. Natalya vs. Bayley – Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match
Match Rating: 10/10
After the match, Bayley did an interview, where she talked about Sasha Banks… so look for Sasha to return to RAW tomorrow.
Backstage, Sami Zayn asked Triple H for protection from Braun Strowman, despite assurances that the “monster among men” was banned from the building.
In the locker room, Rey Misterio was hanging out with his son, Dominic.
Match 2: Rey Misterio vs. Samoa Joe (c) – United States Championship match
Is it just me, or do Rey’s chesticle tattoos make it look like he’s wearing a lace-trimmed blue bra? Odd choice, Rey. Very quick match that saw Joe bloodied early after a kick to the face. And a weird finish that saw Rey reverse a powerbomb attempt into a hurancarana and get the rollup win. This was really questionable, as Joe’s shoulder was clearly up, and it looked like he was trying to shift position into the Kokina Klutch. The commentators noted the reffing controversy.
Winner, and new United States champion: Rey Misterio
Match Rating: 3/10
After the match, Dominic came to the ring to celebrate with his dad. On the way up the ramp, Joe charged them and knocked down Rey. He then rolled Rey into the ring and flattened him with a pair of uranagis and a brutal senton splash, while Dominic could only look on.
Backstage, Braun Strowman was throwing things around, including a stagehand, looking for Sami Zayn.
Match 3: The Miz vs. Shane McMahon – Steel Cage match
As soon as the bell rang, Shane tried to scramble out of the cage – good plan, since Miz was on fire, attacking at every opportunity. Shane was able to finally turn the tide and bombed Miz into the side of the cage. He tried for a coast-to-coast kick, but Miz evaded it, and then locked on a Figure-Four Leglock. Shane escaped and got halfway out of the cage before being dragged back in. He was able to grab a chair on the way in, but it backfired, as Miz walloped him with it repeatedly. Miz nearly got the pin with a Skull Crushing Finale on the chair, but Shane grabbed the rope to break up the pin. More strange refereeing here, as the commentators noted that the count shouldn’t have been broken with a rope grab, since this is a no-DQ contest. Miz tried for another SCF, this time off the top rope, but Shane pushed him off and Miz landed hard. Shane tried to escape over the top, but Miz stopped him by smashing his ankle with the chair. This led to Shane hanging off the top of the cage, and Miz pulled him back into the ring where Shane crashed hard. Miz catapulted Shane into the cage, but Shane channelled his inner Spiderman and started climbing. This once again led to both of them on the top of the cage wall, Shane on the outside, Miz on the inside. Miz tried to pull Shane back into the ring by his shirt, but instead, the shirt slipped off of Shane’s head, and Shane fell down to the floor, to win the match by fluke.
Winner: Shane McMahon
Match Rating: 7/10
It was announced that Mick Foley will be on RAW tomorrow to announce a new Championship. With Foley there, maybe it will be a new Hardcore title?
Backstage, there was commotion, as Sami Zayn was found unconscious, hanging from his ankles. Triple H and some stagehands tried to hide this from the cameras.
Match 4: Tony Nese (c) vs. Ariya Daivari- Cruiserweight Championship match
After the introductions, the commentators introduced the foreign language commentary teams. Some strong shirt-tie combos on all of them, though I think Kyle Edwards is still the measuring stick. This wasn’t a bad match, but it wasn’t anything really special, either. I don’t watch 205 Live, so I wonder if Daivari always wears his gold chain while wrestling… seems risky. Also, it’s depressing that Tony Nese and I weigh the same, but we’re about as different physically as is humanly possible. Anyway, Daivari hit an arm-twisting bomb off the top, but Nese kicked out. Nese hit a 450 splash, but Daivari kicked out. Daivari hit a huge Lariat, but Nese kicked out. Finally, Nese hit a Running Nese to get the win.
Winner, and still Cruiserweight champion: Tony Nese
Match Rating: 5/10
Backstage, Triple H confronted Braun Strowman, and told him that he was not going to replace Sami Zayn in the Money in the Bank match. Strowman denied knowing anything about what had happened. But Triple H still asked Braun to leave the building.
A promo aired for Super Showdown which airs on June 7, and features the Undertaker taking on Goldberg. Wait, does Saudi Arabia allow Jewish people? Maybe I’m just politically ignorant, but I didn’t think they did. Interestingly, they billed this as being “as good or better” as WrestleMania.
Match 5: Lacey Evans vs. Becky Lynch (c) – RAW Women’s Championship match
This one started off with intensity, with Becky hitting a big running dropkick and then going to the floor and flinging Lacey into the restraining wall. Back in the ring, Lacey slowed things down with a couple of power moves, and then targeting Becky’s arm. She remained in control, alternating between attacks on the arm and then some more power-based moves. A bit of cockiness cost her – she used a sweat-cloth to wipe down and then tried to stuff it into Becky’s mouth, which enraged the champ. Becky then went into attack mode, hitting her share of power moves. Lacey escaped one, and hit an ugly slingshot stunner, but only got a two-count. In more strange refereeing, Lacey chopblocked Becky’s knee and rolled her up, but the ref didn’t count the pinfall, despite Becky’s shoulders clearly being down. After that, Becky locked on the Dis-Arm-Her and Lacey submitted.
Winner, and still RAW Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch
Match Rating: 6/10
As Becky headed to the back, Charlotte Flair’s music hit, and demanded her title match start immediately, even though it was scheduled for later in the night. A fighting champ, Becky accepted the challenge.
Match 6: Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch (c) – Smackdown Women’s Championship match
The chemistry between the two was much crisper here than in Becky’s match with Lacey, and this was evident from the get-go. Charlotte hit a series of chops to Becky and then locked in a high Boston Crab, but Becky was able to get to the ropes. Twice, the two exchanged a series of forearm smashes, leading to alternating yay/boo chants. Charlotte tried for Natural Selection on the apron, but Becky was able to block it, and Charlotte landed hard on the floor. As the ref counted Charlotte, Lacey Evans ran to the ring and decked Becky with the Woman’s Right. This left Becky prone for a huge running kick by Charlotte that knocked her down and out for the count, leading to another title reign for Flair.
Winner, and new Smackdown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair
Match Rating: 8/10
After the match, Becky attacked Lacey, who was still at ringside gloating. Charlotte saved Lacey, and the two double-teamed Becky. The crowd started chanting for Bayley, and the new Miss Money in the Bank happily obliged. She ran in and saved Becky, but she also fell prey to a double-team. Charlotte looked to end Bayley with a running spear, but Bayley avoided the charge, and Charlotte hit the corner hard, knocking herself out. Bayley cashed in her contract, leading to…
Match 7: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair (c) – Smackdown Women’s Championship match
Immediately after the bell rang, Bayley dragged a prone Flair to the centre of the ring, hit a Flying Elbow Drop, and pinned Charlotte to capture the title.
Winner, and new Smackdown Women’s Champion: Bayley
Match Rating: No rating, as this wasn’t really a match. That said, this segment and the events leading up to it were perfect for what it was.
Backstage, Roman Reigns was making his way to the entrance way, when Elias sneaked up behind him, and delivered the old El-Kabong guitar shot. Elias then came to the ring, and sang a song dissing Hartford, this time on an electric guitar. As he went up the ramp to leave, he ran into a rabid Big Dog, who blasted him with a Superman Punch. Reigns rolled Elias into the ring, leading to…
Match 8: Roman Reigns vs. Elias
The bell rang, and Reigns hit a staggering Elias with a Spear to get the pin.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Match Rating: No rating.
Again, this wasn’t really a match. This could really be divisive, since it’s kind of a bait and switch, and was ultimately a waste of time. That said, was anyone really buying this event for this particular match?
Match 9: AJ Styles vs. Seth Rollins (c) – Universal Championship match
This started off very evenly, with technical wrestling on display, with neither opponent being able to get a sustained advantage. The evenness eventually led to some escalating aggressiveness, with AJ teasing a piledriver or perhaps a Styles Clash on the apron, the attempt of which was thwarated, and Rollins actually hitting a pair of running dives that did land. The pace quickened with some repeat goosestep kicks by Seth to AJ’s face, and a big Frog Splash on AJ that earned a two-count. AJ fought back, hitting a Fireman Kneedrop and a Spinning Bomb Driver, but he couldn’t keep Seth down. Rollins hit an inverted superplex and rolled that into a reverse suplex slam, but AJ kicked out. AJ then reversed a move to lock on the Calf Crusher for some time before Seth could kick himself free. A few great sequences here. A great one saw Seth go for the Curb Stomp, but AJ popped him up, and caught him in position for the Styles Clash, leading to a very close fall. Right after that, Seth stopped a Phenomenal Forearm attempt with a Ripcord Knee. He followed that up with a Superkick and a Curb Stomp and got the pin.
Winner, and still Universal Champion: Seth Rollins
Match Rating: 9/10
After the match, AJ extended his hand to Rollins, and the two shook hands in a sign of mutual respect.
Backstage, Kofi Kingston acknowledged that he was champion in part because of the lift he got from the New Day. Woods tried to downplay it and told Kofi that he always had it in him to become the champion. And, to prove it, he would stay away from the ring during Kofi’s match, and let Kingston prove it to Kevin Owens as well.
The Lucha House Party came to the ring for an unannounced six-man tag match. Predictably, Lars Sullivan crashed the party, and he destroyed them all. In a great visual, Lars headbutted Kalisto so hard that he busted his own head open. This was fine, though unnecessary, since it could have just as easily been a TV segment. Ever notice that Sullivan has weird-looking knees?
Match 10: Kevin Owens vs. Kofi Kingston (c) – WWE Championship match
Kofi displayed a fiery temper in this one, taking it to KO early on, including a nice double ax-handle fromthe top turnbuckle to the floor in the opening minutes. But Owens used his power advantage to quickly ground Kofi, punishing him with full body assaults. A neat sequence saw Kofi whipped into the turnbuckle post on the outside of the apron, and as he fell, he collided with the cameraman on his way down. Kofi reversed a Buckle Bomb attempt and back body dropped Owens who hit the buckles awkwardly. Later, Kofi hit a sweet-looking standing stomp that drove Owens’ back onto the apron. Kofi went for another aerial assault from the top to the floor, but ate a boot for his troubles. Kofi hit SOS and Owens hit a Pop-up Powerbomb, but neither one could put the other away. Owens stumbled to the floor after being hit with Trouble in Paradise, and as Kofi rolled him back into the ring and was following him, Owens hit a Stunner. Kofi was able to grab the rope to break up the pin. Owens went for a Somersault Senton off the top, but Kofi got his knees up. A Trouble in Paradise later, and it was all over.
Winner, and still WWE Champion: Kofi Kingston
Match Rating: 8/10
After the match, Xavier Woods came out and celebrated with Kofi.
Another promo for Super Showdown, with more matches announced: Triple H faces Randy Orton; the Demon Finn Balor defends the Intercontinental Championship against Andrade; Braun Strowman takes on Bobby Lashley; and 50 men will compete in the the largest ever Battle Royal. Also, WWE will openly challenge the corrupt and oppressive Saudi government on behalf of its citizens… oh, sorry, maybe we got that last one wrong.
Match 11: Baron Corbin vs. Finn Balor vs. Ricochet vs. Andrade vs. Ali vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton – Money in the Bank ladder match
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Match Rating: 8/10
Overall Show Rating: 9/10
Countdown to WWE Money in the Bank
Bob Kapur has worked for a bank. E-mail him your banking info (and PIN) at email@example.com.