Sorry for the delay for my Money in the Bank review. I didn’t get to watch it early because of life stuff. But, in all honesty, I wasn’t looking forward to this year’s Money in the Bank event. There’s just something about WWE’s programming of late that seems so… lame. There aren’t any notable feuds or anything to keep me hooked. The only thing that’s somewhat entertaining is the entire Becky Lynch having to defend both her RAW and Smackdown Women’s titles on the same night. But, even with that, the WWE has somehow normalized The Man’s stature as she doesn’t seem as witty as she was when it was just the fans that were behind her and the company wanted to push Charlotte as the woman babyface of the company.
Anyway, enough ranting about the state of the WWE. I’ll rant about it on a separate post! So, let’s go see what happened during this year’s Money in the Bank. Like in my Wrestlemania review, I won’t be reviewing things on a match by match basis and, instead, I’ll just be talking about the high points and the low points and everything in between.
The best match of the night, hands down, had to be Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles for the WWE Universal Championship. While I will say that I am rather tired with Seth Rollins as he’s not a particularly interesting WWE Superstar as a face, I can always rely on him to pull off all the stops to deliver an exciting match. Pairing him up with AJ Styles really worked as they gave us one heck of a match. The match started out slow but picked up really quickly. Lots of good counters and mark out near falls. The selling performance by both Rollins and Styles was also believable.
By the end, you really couldn’t figure out who was going to win. I was so sure that Styles was going to get the pinfall victory after he countered the Curb Stomp into the Styles Clash! Too bad Rollins kicked out. Styles then went for a Phenomenal Forearm but Rollins reversed it into a ripcord knee. The Architect followed it up with a superkick and Curb Stomp to retain the WWE Universal Championship. I would’ve loved it if Styles won it with the Styles Clash but that’s a minor gripe to a great match.
The Women’s Money in the Bank this year was definitely worth watching. There were a few fantastic moments, such as Ember Moon’s Eclipse from the top of a ladder to Natalya. But there were some awkward moments as well, like with Carmella seemingly getting injured by Mandy Rose but returning later. But I liked how the ladies used the ladder and their environment to make it feel like a legitimate Money in the Bank match. They do seem a little spotty, though, as there was a noticeable pause before they do execute the spot. Then again, if I knew I was going to get hit by a rotating ladder, I would hesitate, too.
The finish, in my opinion was really dumb looking. Sonya Deville helped out her friend Mandy Rose to climb the ladder and snatch the Money in the Bank briefcase. Bayley manages to scale the opposite side of the ladder and stares down both Rose and Deville. Why would they be so afraid of Bayley? It’s two-against-one! Anyway, this leads to Bayley pushing both down and then getting the briefcase. Really stupid finish but I am glad to see Bayley win the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Speaking of Bayley winning, this would come into play with Becky Two Belts defending both her RAW and Smackdown Championships against Lacey Evans and Charlotte Flair, respectively. I fully expected Lynch to retain both titles since the WWE Universe has been hot for the entire Becky Two Belts schtick. The matches themselves weren’t all that special; they were just good enough to feel like a pay-per-view event match. I also like how they stacked the deck against Lynch by having her compete directly against Charlotte after her win against Lacey Evans.
Lacey Evans does make her presence felt after losing as she helped Charlotte beat The Man. Evans cold cocked Lynch with her Women’s Right while the referee wasn’t looking. Becky Lynch almost beat Flair with a small package but Charlotte kicked out and delivered a big boot (that looked like it missed but Lynch still sold the heck out of) to get the pinfall victory and become the Smackdown Women’s Champ.
It wasn’t enough though as Charlotte and Lacey Evans then beat down The Man. Bayley rushed in for the save. Charlotte tried to spear Bayley but the winner of the Women’s Money in the Bank briefcase sidestepped and sent The Queen into the ring post. Bayley, realizing the opportunity, cashed in and, one elbow from the top rope later, Bayley has dethroned Charlotte to become the Smackdown Women’s champ. I like the storytelling here but the matches were just okay. I still think it’s stupid to throw away the entire Becky Two Belts angle just one month after Lynch earned the moniker at Wrestlemania.
The Men’s Money in the Bank was another good match that was spoiled by a incredibly lousy finish. Adding both Riccochet and Ali to the proceedings gave the entire thing a lot of energy and devastating looking spots, which is one of the selling points of Money in the Bank. But everyone got their time to shine. Randy Orton just smashing people into the announcer’s table. Baron Corbin backstabbing Drew McIntyre. Finn Balor absolutely getting trashed multiple times, including the moment when Andrade performed a sunset flip powerbomb through a ladder!
The action was good. It was great even. It was on the way to be the match of the night. Then the finish happened.
As Ali was about to grab the Money in the Bank briefcase after tossing Baron Corbin to the outside, out comes Brock Lesnar. Apparently, he was the guy to took out Sami Zayn (who was scheduled to be the 8th man in the Money in the Bank match) and he just took his place! Lesnar shoved the ladder Ali was on, climbed up and got the briefcase to get the contract.
This irks me for so many reasons. This means we gotta content with Brock Lesnar for the near foreseeable future after being relieved that he was gone. He also has the Money in the Bank briefcase, which means he can cash in at any time the WWE sees fit to give him another lengthy reign that no one in the WWE Universe wants. Also, is what he did even legal? Can he just enter himself into the match after everyone already took a beating? This is just dumb!
Another disappointment was the Kofi Kingston vs Kevin Owens match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The match was okay for the most part and the action was generally good. The only issue is that the spots just lacked the energy and intensity it deserved to make it seem like a high stakes match. Things never escalated to the point that it felt like it was for the World Heavyweight Championship. It was a good match but a standard one that you might see on either RAW or Smackdown.
Another disappointing match for me was the Rey Mysterio vs Samoa Joe match for the United States Championship but I understand why it felt really short. Apparently, Mysterio flubbed a move and broke Samoa Joe’s nose. The WWE either felt that Joe might’ve been seriously hurt or they were afraid to show a bloody Joe (probably the latter case knowing the WWE). Whatever the case, it was strange that they still had Joe beat down Mysterio after the latter’s abrupt win via rollup.
The last two matches I’m going to talk about are lumped together because they just sucked. The entire Roman Reigns vs Elias had a really bad buildup and their “match” here just solidified it as a colossal waste of time since Reigns just speared Elias after Elias smashed him in the back with a guitar. Thank God it was short! But the absolutely worst match of this year’s Money in the Bank is the Cage match with The Miz and Shane McMahon. The match itself wasn’t spectacular and that entire thing where Shane broke up the pinfall by reaching the bottom rope didn’t make sense due to the No Disqualification stipulation of every WWE Cage match in existence! I will give credit to the finish as it was creative. Shane slipped out of his shirt so he could get away from The Miz’s clutches. But this feud has to end already as no one cares for it.
Overall, this year’s Money in the Bank was just okay. The only real stellar match, ie. the one I had no issues with, was the one for the WWE Universal Championship. But most of the other ones were generally good and even the stinkers were something I could sit through with hardly any issue. The only issue is that I’m left with a bad aftertaste in my mouth because of the whole Brock Lesnar thing. Looks like we’ll have to deal with his part-time ass again.
What did you think of this year’s Money in the Bank show? Let me know in the comments section below!