Sorry I’m late for this review. Despite supposedly being stuck at home with nothing to do due to the current situation in the Philippines, it’s been a rather crazy week for me. Numerous personal chores as well as technical problems with my computer and Internet service has prevented me to really be more consistent with my writing as well as my ability to watch the WWE as of late. I somehow managed to sneak around to a friend’s house where I’ll be staying while my technical issues at home finally resolve.
This is the reason why I was only able to watch the entire WWE’s Money in the Bank show despite it already being aired on Sunday. Thankfully, it was surprisingly short show, running in at around 2 hours and 30 minutes. The question is: was this year’s Money in the Bank actually entertaining? Well, the WWE had a few changes to the actual event as they hosted it in WWE Headquarters and the participants now had to start on the ground floor and work their way up to the roof to actually climb the ladder to get the Money in the Bank briefcase. There are other stuff to talk about so I’ll leave the main event for last.
The first match was a Fatal Four Way match for the Smackdown Tag Team belts featuring Lucha House Party, Miz and Morrison, The Forgotten Sons and The New Day. It’s still eerie to watch any professional wrestling show without a live audience but it’s still nice to see that all the WWE Superstars are still pretending as if the “arena” is still packed. This match did have each member of each team get into the ring and perform but the stars I would say would be the Lucha House Party with Gran Metalik seemingly clock in the most minutes. I think there was a stretch where all 3 teams took turns beating on him!
The finish came shortly after the referee ordered the 3rd member of The Forgotten Sons to the back due to interference. I don’t really get this because all Fatal Four Ways are supposed to be no DQ bouts. Anyway, the Lucha House Party perform dual springboard splashes to the outside to The Forgotten Sons and Miz and Morrison, taking them out. Gran Metalik attempts a springboard crossbody on Big E but the powerhouse of The New Day rolls through the move. Kofi Kingston takes out Dorado with Trouble in Paradise while Big E connects with the Big Ending on Metalik to get the pinfall victory and retain their Smackdown Tag Team Championships.
This was a good way to start the Money in the Bank show. I was kind of disappointed that Miz and Morrison really didn’t get to do much but this was a good way to feature the Lucha House Party and the Forgotten Sons as they don’t really get the necessary time to strut their stuff.
The next match, if you can call it that, was supposed to be R-Truth going against MVP. For some unexplained reason, Bobby Lashley interjects himself and replaces MVP. R-Truth accidentally slaps The All Mighty across the face, which angers Lashley and he then proceeds to whoop R-Truth to kingdom come.
R-Truth does tries to mount some offense but Lashley is just too powerful. R-Truth does wiggle his way out of a delayed suplex and tries to nail his opponent with his scissor kick finisher. Lashley does get out of the way and then spears R-Truth to get the pinfall victory. There’s nothing I can really say about this match as it was just there. I guess it could have been better if the motivations behind Lashley taking MVP’s place was made more clear. For what it is, however, yawn.
The 3rd match was Bayley vs Tamina for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Before I do talk about the match proper, I have to give special mention to Sasha Banks’ outfit. Yowzers! I don’t even understand how she could get into that red skin tight leather thing!
Anyway, the match was kind of typical sneaky heel champion duo vs powerhouse face who has no chance of winning the championship. Bayley basically would get some licks in and then she along with Sasha Banks would taunt Tamina. After a while, Tamina would get the upper hand and Bayley would then switch to begging for her life. It’s a tale as old as time. Still, I can appreciate what Bayley and Sasha Banks are doing and I love how they’re hamming it up.
The finish had Tamina landing a Samoan Drop on Bayley but The Boss slides underneath the ring to distract the challenger. Tamina chases Banks around the ring and The Role Model tries to grab the powerhouse. Tamina reverses it and tries for another Samoan Drop but Bayley counters into a crucifix for the pinfall victory and retain her Smackdown Women’s Championship. Tamina tries to get some level of revenge but Banks chop blocks her legs before taking her out with running knee.
This match could’ve been so much better. Bayley and Sasha Banks’ antic were kind of entertaining. The issue here was Tamina as you can clearly see her mobility isn’t what it used to be as she struggled with a lot of the moves. She should seriously consider just being a brute powerhouse and lay off the superkicks and splashes to make her move set more in line with what she can do. As it stands now, she could hurt herself if she continues with what she’s doing.
The 4th match had Braun Strowman defending his WWE Universal Championship against Bray Wyatt. Not The Fiend. Plain ol’ Bray Wyatt. I’m sorry but the instant I knew Bray wasn’t going to bust out The Fiend in this match, it was obvious Strowman was going to retain. However, this did lead to a few antics, such as the puppets from the Firefly Fun House popping around the ring. You may be okay what those stunts but I just find them distracting to the flow of the match, especially when they do close up of the puppets.
They did try to be someone creative with ending. Braun Strowman donned the black sheep mask he used to wear while he was with the Wyatt Family. Wyatt and the rest of the Firefly Fun House start celebrating but Strowman takes off the mask and stomps on it. A running powerslam later and The Monster Among Men retains his WWE Universal Championship for Smackdown.
This match really needed a live crowd to make the entire black sheep mask trick work. Without the audience either cheering or booing for a return of the “old” Braun Strowman, the effect just didn’t take for me. The match itself was okay but I really want to see The Fiend take on The Monster Among Men next time.
The next match was the only match for a RAW championship as it was for the WWE World Championship. This pitted Drew McIntyre defending his belt against Seth Rollins. Even if this was for the most glorious prize of the RAW brand, I didn’t really care all that much for the match itself. It was just lacking the necessary heat necessary to make it seem grander than it should be. Adding Seth Rollins into the mix, who has the habit of trying to make matches much longer than they should, you get a disastrous mixed bag like this.
The match itself was fine but I just couldn’t get into the spirit of things. It just felt like something you would see on a RAW of Smackdown show and not a pay-per-view. Granted, you can tell both Rollins and McIntyre did put on a decent show and their overall in-ring performance was actually good, it just lacked the necessary oomph.
The finish came after The Scottish Psychopath performed a German suplex to The Monday Night Messiah while tied up in a tree of woe. Seth recovers and counters a Claymore kick with a superkick and then a Curb Stomp for a 2 count. Rollins attempt a second Curb Stomp but McIntyre counters with a Glassgow Kiss headbutt. Seth rebounds off the ropes and nails his opponent with another superkick but, after he bounces off the ropes, Drew connects with a Claymore kick to retain his WWE World Championship. After the match, Drew goes back into the ring to shake Rollins’ hand. As predicted, this match was okay but it was just too long. If they trimmed a few minutes off the middle, the entire thing could have been much tighter.
We then come to the main event of the night. Rather, main events of the night as this year, the Money in the Bank for both the men’s and the women’s briefcase will be conducted at the same time! Also, it’ll be held in WWE Headquarters and the competitors will have to start from the ground floor and work their way up to the roof.
You can tell the WWE really tried to do something special with this, even borrowing from their knowledge of their other taped “special” matches they had in Wrestlemania like the Boneyard match and the Firefly Fun House match. Was this any good? Well, there are definitely some highlights and lowlights. However, the overall execution could have been much better and definitely more creative.
The first thing I have to mention are the cameos. There are several cameos that pop up throughout both Money in the Bank matches. However, practically all of them fell flat as they weren’t organic nor did they make sense in the context of what was happening. You have a Doink the Clown wannabe pop his head up behind a chair. You see Brother Love in the men’s comfort room saying “I love you” to Rey Mysterio before zipping up his pants and John Laurinitis roll up in the WWE cafeteria in a rascal scooter, say “people power” before getting a pie shoved in his face.
The worst had to be Stephanie McMahon’s cameo as Dana Brooke got the fake Money in the Bank briefcase as it’s plain as day she was just edited in! The best ones were Paul Heyman about to enjoy a large meal (in some hallway in WWE headquarters for some reason) before both the men’s and women’s Money in the Bank participants getting into a food fight. Also, we have AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan accidentally busting into Vince McMahon’s office before the sheepishly get out. These were the best because they felt the most organic, as if they would really happen.
This match wasn’t also all that serious as it was comedy bit after comedy bit as they all ran around the building. A lot of them didn’t work, such as the before mentioned cameos, Dana Brooke slipping on a freshly mopped floor and AJ Styles flashbacks of the Boneyard match. Some did work, like the Vince McMahon cameo, Corbin tossing people off the roof without a care in the world and the entire food fight.
In the end, Asuka manages to climb the ladder and retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase for the women’s side of things. I don’t get why Corbin tried to stop her since there were separate ones for the men’s and women’s. Anyway, for the men, Corbin and Styles had their hands on the briefcase but Elias, still wanting revenge on Corbin, smashing the King of the Ring with a guitar. Styles seemingly has it but fumbles the Money in the Bank briefcase right into Otis’ waiting hands.
It’s kind of hard to really say what I think about this year’s Money in the Bank match as it is so different from the others that have come before it. Ultimately, I will say it was entertaining enough to warrant a second watch. I do think it could have been better if they had better cameos, like having them interrupt Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Broken Skull podcast and some of them eating stunners or something along those lines.
In the end, this year’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view event was a minor letdown. That’s only because I think all of the matches could have been tweaked in a way so that everything gelled a little bit better.
What did you think of this year’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view event? Let me know in the comments section below!