Is WWE’s Money In The Bank this year a worthwhile PPV, or does it have all the value of Bitcoin? That is $9.99 question I ask myself, as I prep some “genius juice” of vanilla bean rum and cola and Flock to the Peacock to watch WWE’s first PPV outside the Thunderdome and Florida. So join me as I utter the mantra: Show Me What You Got, WWE.
Live from the Dickie’s Arena in Ft. Worth, TX. Your commentators for the Smackdown side are Michael Cole and Pat McAfee, who is a Rhinestone Cowboy, y’all. On the RAW side, Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and (sigh) Byron Saxton (the wrestling world’s answer to Ron Boone) have the call. So As I proceed to drink away whatever yammering is going through the preshow, it’s time for the…
Pre-Show Match: The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) vs. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio (c) for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Mysterios enter the ring with Lucha hockey masks, and I want one. Start has double team action by the Mysterios. Rey has the veteran moves, but Dominik is no slouch doing a springboard moonsault to pin for a count of two. Pretty soon, the Usos get back in action, knocking Rey off the ring and working the younger Mysterio, pulling at Dominik’s legs wishbone style at the hips, says Cole (best response by McAfee: “Thank you, we’re on the Peacock.” Ha!) Jimmy works over Dominik up top in the corner, but Dominik sends him crashing to the floor. He gets the hot tag, and Rey is your Mysterio En Fuego, with a sit out splash for two. Rey gets a nice huracanrana to Jey, but eats a super kick by Jimmy. Rey knocks out Jimmy, and Jey is draped on the middle rope in prime position for the 619, but Jimmy eats the kick to protect Jey. Jey goes on the offense with a Samoan Drop and a Superfly splash for a two count. But it’s Jimmy who rolls the Snake Eyes to Rey for the pin, and Jey holds to get the pin and the titles.
Your Winners, and new Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The Usos
Hot way to start the crowd, as The Usos head back for a celebratory drink. Oh, wait…too soon?
And the Show is officially started with the First Match of the Night…
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Asuka vs. Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki A.S.H. vs. Liv Morgan vs. Zelina Vega vs. Natalya vs. Tamina
This is my first time seeing Nikki in her superhero garb, and my reaction was, “What in the name of Mighty Molly?” Bliss is perched on the second turnbuckle, not moving during the intros. No cinematic matches this time around, but this is a spot fest of the highest magnitude. The match is all over the map, and no clear favorites (but some heavy boos for Tamina and Natalya). Strangely, the folks were into the demonic Miss Bliss. Go figure.
Asuka is the big favorite, as she was last year’s winner. She takes it to Tamina, and uses a ladder to pin her down. Asuka climbs, but Tamina starts to lift up the ladder, until Liv Morgan jumps on the ladder. But Asuka sends her down, and they brawl outside. Now Vega takes a chance climbing, but she’s met by Bliss who hypnotizes her to climb down (and McAfee yells, “Don’t look at the psycho!” I am now a fan of his work on the mic. Lord knows I coulda used his advice a few years ago, but enough about my love life). No one has the advantage, but Nikki has a ladder propped outside and gets up top and flies (or rather, crashes down) on the women competitors. Now with three ladders set up, Morgan and Naomi fight up top, and then everyone gets in on the act, but Nikki uses her super powers (or something) to rocket past the women to grab the case for the win
Your Winner of the Women’s Money in The Bank: Nikki A.S.H.
After the match, all the women look on in disbelief as Nikki gets up to a ladder and raises the case high up on her head.
Backstage, The Usos celebrate their win (sans champagne, naturally) with The Tribal Chief Roman Reigns. Reigns is glad they got the gold, and Jimmy and Jey both suck up to their cousin. Meanwhile, I swear I could hear chants of “Boring” during segment before it got tuned out. Someone must miss controlling fan reactions from the Thunderdome.
The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. AJ Styles and Omos (c) for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
I have to admit, I am becoming a fan of the finesse/power dynamic that Styles/Omos respectively have found as tag champs. But the Raiders are no slouches, and they start the first part strong against the champs. But once Omos gets tagged in, that’s where it gets interesting. At one point, Omos gorilla slams Ivar quite impressively. Move of the night (until Ricochet gets in the ring, let’s be honest) has Omos send Styles over the ropes and hit a beautiful huracanrana to Eric on the outside. The Raiders aren’t done, and they isolate Styles and hit a deadlift suplex/rope clothesline to pin for a count of two. The Raiders hit the Viking Experience, but Omos shoves Eric to Ivar to break the pin. Now, Omos grabs Eric’s head and slams him down for the pin, and the win
Your Winners, and Still WWE Raw Tag Team champs: Omos and A.J. Styles
Patrick Murray is backstage with Drew McIntyre, who acknowledges the fans and he never wants to hear Thunderdome again. McIntyre says he has to win, and he will be Mr. Money In the Bank.
Recap of the beef between Kofi Kingston/Bobby Lashley segment. Now, I don’t recap recaps, but hearing Lashley say “I’m tired of this bulls*** and it doesn’t get bleeped out on the Peacock? Well, now, I am curious, and they now have my attention. Long story short: Lashley keeps getting beat by The New Day, and feels that he’s losing his edge. He wants to correct that tonight. Which brings us to…
Kofi Kingston (with Xavier Woods) vs. Bobby Lashley (c) (with MVP) for the WWE Championship
Crowd is treated to boxing style intros, with Lashley laser focused on Kofi.
As for the match….well, you remember a few years ago when Brock Lesnar just destroyed John Cena to win the title? Yeah, this is like that, but a smidge longer.
I would have been tempted to find a squash recipe for this squash match, but here’s the big points: Lashley keeps up carnage in the ring, and then cinches the Hurt Lock. Kofu scrambles out, but Lashley turns into a fallaway slam, then a flapjack, and a Dominator that would make Ron Simmons proud (Damn!). Small crowd chants of “One more time! (jerks)”, and another Dominator and a Hurt Locker cinched real tight and ref calls it.
Your Winner via Submission, and still WWE Champion: Bobby Lashley
Now for another championship match that looks to be a good rivalry in the making….
Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley (c) for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Second best comment of the night goes to Graves, who remarks about Flair, “When your blood type is gold, this is just another day at the office.” Again, more boxing style intros to the already raucous crowd, and there is a point where Flair flips off crowd, and the screen is blacked out for a few seconds, but it comes back to The Queen still delivering a one-fingered salute, like she was Le Champion. Ahem.
Start of the match is a game of one-upmanship…errr, one-upwomanship (since I tend to be feminist AF), and Ripley is ahead of the curve and getting into Flair’s head. She send Flair out with a baseball slide, and then follows up with a cannonball from the apron, but Flair dodges and Ripley hit the hard mats of the floor. Now it’s all Flair, and the Queen hits a T Bone suplex to the champ in the corner. Flair keeps Ripley grounded, playing mind games with the champ, and the crowd is evenly split with dueling chants of “Let’s Go Ree-ah/Let’s Go Flair.” Flair German suplexes Ripley, but she lands on her feet and returns the receipt with authority.
Ripley goes up top to deliver a missile dropkick, but Flair catches her to turn into a Boston Crab. Ripley reverses to a pin for a two count. Flair goes to Ripley’s leg to tease the Figure Four, but escapes. Big boot by Ripley and it still gets her two. Ripley follows up with an impressive Deadlift to a vertical suplex to pin, but still a two count. She chops at Flair’s chest, and she send Ripley flip flopping and flying to the outside, a la Shawn Michaels. Flair hits the moonsault from up top the ring post to the floor to Ripley. Back in the ring, she goes for the Natural Selection signature move, but Flair misses, and Ripley cinches a reverse cloverleaf, but Flair powers through to a pinning combo for two. Ripley goes for the Riptide, but countered to a pin for two. Flair chops away (Wooo!), and hits a back elbow. Pinning combo by Flair, who uses her feet on the ropes, but the ref catches Flair. Now Ripley shoulder tackles Flair in the corner. She sets Flair up top, but gets knocked down as Flair hits a top rope Natural Selection to pin for one, two…kick out. Flair again goes for the Figure Four, but Ripley has it scouted and she gets Flair with a short suplex to the bottom turnbuckle. Now Flair’s had enough, and traps Ripley’s leg in the steel steps, and slams on steps. Ripley is hurting, and Flair now cinches in the Figure Four, and then arches the back for the Figure Eight and she has no choice but to tap.
Your Winner via Submission, and New WWE RAW Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair
All hail The Queen, indeed.
King Nakamura and Boogs talk with Riddle, but my Internet decides to lag at that moment, and it turns out I wasn’t the only one having this issue. So, I was spared the stupidity of that segment to spend more time with my genius juice, but that was going to be an issue, since the lag led into the…
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Ricochet vs. John Morrison vs. Riddle vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Big E vs. Kevin Owens vs. King Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins
The issue was still ongoing for up to 9-11 minutes until I restarted the app, and then I come back to leg strikes from Riddle and Nakamura, but then getting double Claymore’d, and then McIntyre adds a Future shock DDT to Big E. Ricochet is in the ring, and McIntyre gets Ricochet in a reverse Alabama slam face first to a ladder in the corner. McIntyre climbs, but Veer and Shanky (the goons of Jinder Mahal) take him out of the equation, and Mahal comes out give the bad mouth to the former Three Man Band partner as they carry him to the back.
Back in ring, Riddle climbs the ladder, but then Ricochet tightrope walks the tope rope and jumps on the ladder, and sends Riddle down to the mat. Then Riddle knocks proceeds to knock down the ladder, and Ricochet manages to jump on the top rope and he 450 splashes everyone outside the ring. Seriously, watch it. It was an impressive sight to see. Now Nakamura climbs the ladder, but Morrison is there to hit the Dripstick to stun Nakamura (prompting me to say, “What in the name of Rick Martel is this Arrogance?!”), but Owens is back in the ring and stunners Morrison. Ricochet is back and gets a pop up powerbomb by Owens for his troubles. But Rollins gets behind Owens and powerbombs him to a ladder that was propped up from the ring to the commentators table, breaking it in half. Now Rollins climbs up, but Big E comes in with other plans, grabs Rollins and hits the Big Ending from the top of the ladder to the floor. With no one in the way, Big E climbs and gets the case.
Your Winner of the Men’s Money In The Bank: Big E
Backstage, Rollins struggles with the loss, and Murray comes out and congratulates on his remarkable effort, but Rollins is upset by the lack of effort on his part. But he realizes he shouldn’t wait for championships to happen. He needs to cut in line, and he waits for no one. Hmm, what could it all mean?
Well, we’ll have to ponder that later, since it’s time for The Main Event…
Edge vs. Roman Reigns (c) (with Paul Heyman) for the WWE Universal Championship
Major pop from the crowd for The Rated R Superstar. Also, the crowd acknowledges The Tribal Chief with boos. More boxing style intros, and the fans are on the edge of their seat, if you will. Stare down with dueling chants of “Let’s Go, Roh-man!/Let’s Go, Edge!” Lock up to a collar and elbow, and Roman pushes to the corner and pie faces Edge hard. Another lock up, and Edge gets Roman a receipt in turn, showing disrespect to The Tribal Chief. Edge locks up, and manages to get Reigns down and slap his head around a bit. This enrages Reigns, and he sends Edge out of the ring to a chorus of boos (gods, how I’ve missed that sound!).
This is a back-and-forth paced match, and Roman powders out for Heyman’s words of wisdom, “What would your father do?” Now channeling his Wild Samoan heritage, He goes back in the ring, and Edge works on Roman’s arm and sends him outside. He goes out in pursuit, and Reigns delivers Edge a Samoan Drop to the floor. Reigns keeps working over Edge on the outside. Edge is laid out as referee Charles Robinson starts to count out Edge, until he gets back in the ring at the eight count. The match is all The Tribal Chief, working over poor Edge. Chants of “Roman Sucks” echo throughout the Dickie’s Arena. Reigns drives Edge through to the opposite ring posts, and nails a suplex and covers for a two count. Reigns really cinches a cravat to Edge, but he powers through, until Reigns sends Edge back to the mat with a headlock to wear out the Rated R Superstar, while jaw jacking at the crowd. Edge starts to rally, but a shot to the jaw by Reigns ends that quickly. Edge’s head hangs out of the ring, and Reigns runs around the ring and hits the apron kick to Edge’s uncovered head. Reigns back in for a pin cover for a two count.
Reigns goes to the opposite corner and locks and loads for the Superman Punch, but Edge reverses to a backslide for a two count, and each delivers a big boot to get knocked to the mat. Robinson has no choice but to count both men out, and the start to get back up at eight. From there, Edge and Reigns throw bombs, complete with “Yay/Boo” chants. Reigns is flipped around for an Edge-o-Matic (sitout rear mat slam) for a two count. Edge is fired up, hits a clothesline, followed by the Edge-cution (Impaler DDT) for another two count. Now, Edge gets Reigns with a crossface to a STF, but gets The Tribal Chief gets out. Edge goes back to a crossface, but Reigns gets the ropes to break the hold. Edge preps for a Spear, but Reigns gets a Guillotine choke. Edge rams him to corner, but Reigns really tightens in the chokehold, and Edge sends them both to the outside
Reigns on the outside goes for his spear, but Edge evades the move, as Reigns goes through the barricade. Edge goes back in the ring to stop the ref’s count, and he spears Reigns through another barricade. He sends Reigns back in, for one, two…no dice. Edge hears the crowd, tries Edge-cution, but Reigns hits Superman Punch, and Edge knocks down Robinson, clipping his knee. Reigns goes outside, grabs a chair, snaps off a bar, and tries to get his crossface to Edge, but Edge fights back, and gets Reigns in his, pulling on the bar that is now in Reigns’ mouth in a Glasgow smile. Meanwhile med staff rush out to check in Ref Charles and his injury seem to be much worse. Meanwhile, the Usos come out to help The Tribal Chief, but the Mysterios block that to the crowd’s delight. When no one was looking (or the genius juice kicked up a new gear, either one) Seth Freaking Rollins comes out, and superkicks Edge to the back of the head. Reigns is up in the corner, and Edge hits a spear. Edge has him pinned for a long time until, a new ref comes out to count one, two…no! Now Edge gets back in the corner for another spear, but Rollins comes back. Edge kicks Rollins out, and Reigns hits his spear for one, two, and three!
Your Winner, and Still WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
Now Rollins back in beating down Edge. Afterwards, he stares down his former a SHIELD mate, and Edge comes unglued, and takes Rollins outside, brawling through the arena.
Now Reigns has the mic and says to the disgruntled crowd:
“Now the whole world can acknowledge me!”
What in the name of Peacemaker?! It’s John Cena stepping up to The Tribal Chief, and the fans are still losing their minds as the show fades to black.
Maybe it’s the emotion of the crowd finally being able to come out that added to the euphoria, but this was a PPV that delivered all the stops, and gave the fans what they wanted and left them happy.
The title matches with Ripley/Flair and Edge/Reigns look to be far from over, and they do add some nice angles for fans to sink their teeth into as the WWE heads to SummerSlam.
As for the Moeny in the Bank wins by Nikki A.S.H., not sure how her character with play out with Flair or Bianca BelAir, but it can present some interesting moments for a chance at the top belt. As for Big E getting a title shot…I want to be positive, I really do. But does anyone remember how well Otis’ WWE push went after he got the briefcase at last year’s Money In The Bank?
Well, here’s hoping to cover the next PPV. See ya all soon!