I will admit my love for WWE’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view event has died down a little. The initial luster of the concept where the winner getting a title shot at any time of his or her choosing is really good. Adding a Women’s version of the Money in the Bank was also good. I’m also glad they removed the RAW and Smackdown specific versions as it just diluted the entire spectacle. I just think the WWE has squandered a lot of the magic with a lot of quick cash ins as of late. That doesn’t mean the Money in the Bank matches aren’t any good. I just wish the payoffs were much better executed.
Like I said, however, I’m still super entertained by the actual scramble for the briefcase hanging above the ring. So, let’s go check out what went right and what went wrong during this year’s Money in the Bank show.
The first match of the night started with the Women’s Money in the Bank with Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Becky Lynch, Lacey Evans, Liv Morgan, Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi attempting to get the briefcase. There were a lot of attempts to perform some really unique spots, like Liv Morgan doing a sunset flip bomb over Raquel Rodriguez to hit Lacey Evans. Unfortunately, I can only really remember the botched moments. Oddly enough, a lot of them seemed to involve Shotzi, such as the botched ladder run and inadvertently slamming Alexa Bliss into a ladder because she couldn’t keep her footing. On the other hand, Raquel Rodriguez really looked good. She wasn’t flawless but at least she looked powerful, which in on brand for her.
I will say I didn’t really like the finish because I don’t think the right person won. The finish had Becky Lynch taking out Rodriguez, Shotzi, Alexa Bliss and Lacey Evans out by tipping over their ladders, which were set to the side of the one big ladder. Big Time Becks then climbed the center ladder but Liv Morgan raced up the side of another ladder. Lynch tried to tip over the ladder Liv was on but Liv used her foot to springboard her ladder upright and then took out Lynch. Liv Morgan then climbed up and unhooked the briefcase to become this year’s Women’s Money in the Bank winner.
Not to hate on Liv Morgan but I don’t see her as ready to be a champion. More on that later. There are shades of letting Nikki ASH win the Money in the Bank last year and we all remember how well that turned out, don’t we? It feels like a swerve because the WWE didn’t want someone more predictable like Becky Lynch or Alexa Bliss hold the briefcase. The match itself had more hits than misses with most of the misses coming courtesy of Shotzi’s botches. However, this was still overall a really good way to start out the night.
The next match had Austin Theory defending his United States Championship against Bobby Lashley. This did seem like a feud which came out of nowhere but the build up to the match was good, with Lashley having to overcome numerous odds to get the shot. Theory did a good job playing the heel by rolling out of the ring several times and even getting into a fetal position to defend against Lashley’s offence. His used of facial expressions is just on point as well. There was a single botched move when Lashley couldn’t catch Theory properly but they recovered from it nicely. In fact, the two showed a lot of good chemistry with Lashley getting to show off his power and Theory his agility.
The finish had Lashley kicking out of a beautiful springboard roll into a dropkick from Theory. Theory then went for his A-Town Down finisher but The All Mighty blocks it and cinches in the Hurt Lock. Theory can’t escape and taps out, giving the win to Lashley and him becoming the NEW United States Champion.
This was far better than I expected. The live crowd was really hot for this match which did add to the experience. The finish was a little bit abrupt with Theory tapping out almost immediately but it does fit his more cowardly heel persona. Giving the belt to Lashley is a good choice in the long run as it allows an actual title to be defended during RAW. The match itself lacks some oomph but it was entertaining while it lasted.
The next match had Bianca Belair defending her RAW Women’s Championship against Carmella. This was basically a match thrown together because Rhea Ripley is going to be out of commission for the foreseeable future. I guess they used Carmella because it wouldn’t be fun to have her compete in another Money in the Bank because of her history. Anyway, this was almost a squash match with The EST of the WWE outperforming Carmella on practically every category, be it strength, agility or speed. Carmella got some cheap shots as well as some heel beatdown offense in but nothing which would prove to be a threat to Belair.
The finish came after Belair kicked out of a superkick from Carmella. The Staten Island Princess taunted Belair which didn’t go well as Belair recovered enough to hit Carmella with her KOD finisher to get the pinfall victory and regain her RAW Women’s Championship. As Belair celebrated, Carmella assaulted RAW Women’s Champion because they have to continue this feud for some reason.
There’s not much I can really say about this match. This was basically a filler match and both Belair and Carmella just did the bare minimum to put together a barely watchable match. I don’t know why they just wouldn’t just leave Belair to get the clean win and get Carmella to spoil the celebration as if this feud has legs. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t.
The next match had The Usos defending the Unified Tag Team Championships against the Street Profits. I didn’t know what to expect from this match but I knew there was no way The Usos would be dropping the belts to the Street Profits at this time. Although I knew the outcome from the outset, that didn’t prepare me from what happened as the action was on another level here. The pacing was just excellent as things really hit a fevered pitch by the end. Montez Ford got to show off his athleticism once again and I loved how fluid that weird bump into an elevated back suplex from the Street Profits looked. I’m usually not a fan of multiple pinfall attempts but the team made it look like anything could honestly finish the match.
The finish, albeit made to look controversial, was also earned. The Usos and the Street Profits started slugging in out in the middle of the ring, with the Street Profits getting the upper hand. However, Angelo Dawkins was taken out with a superkick while on the outside by Jimmy Uso. A minor botch while Montez Ford stunned Jey with a kick to the gut but, because of this, Jey was able to blind tag in his brother. A double superkick to Ford and a 1D later, The Usos get their hands raised in victory, retaining their Unified Tag Team Championships. However, the instant replay shows Ford actually had his shoulders up during the winning pinfall, leading to a possible continuation to this feud.
The second to the last match of the night saw Ronda Rousey defending the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Natalya. I didn’t have any reason to keep my hopes up for this match as there was no way Natalya would be dethroning Rousey at this point in time. The only thing I could hope for was this to be entertaining. It was sort of but only during the final minutes of the match. For some odd reason, what happened was Natalya applying rest holds and then Rousey trying to reverse it. Oh, there was the more than occasional ridiculous judo rolls by Rousey which doesn’t really fit in the world of professional wrestling or sports entertainment. Things only really got good when The Baddest Women on the Planet “tweaked” her knee when she tumbled out of it. By that point, it was already too late for me to care.
The finish had Rousey attempt her Piper’s Pit slam but her injured knee gave out, allowing Natalya to try a sunset flip. Rousey countered and teased an armbar but Natalya rolled into the move and went for her Sharpshooter submission finisher. However, Rousey grabbed the challenger’s leg and reversed it into an anklelock. Rousey then tried to cinch the hold tighter, allowing Natalya to stand and try another Sharpshooter. Rousey then reversed it and applied a modified version of the armbar. Natalya had no choice but to submit, allowing Ronda Rousey to retain her Smackdown Women’s Championship.
However, this was not the end of the segment. Liv Morgan ran out and cashed in her Money in the Bank contract! Initially, it looked like Rousey was going to beat Liv Morgan as she cinched in an anklelock but Liv smartly kicked in the injured knee, allowing her to roll up Rousey for the pinfall victory and become the NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion! Unfortunately, Ronda Rousey had to spoil this feelgood moment as she had to act goody goody and congratulate Liv on her victory. Bleagh!
I really didn’t like the bout between Ronda Rousey and Natalya. It was so slow and poorly paced. The action only really got good during the final minutes and even then it wasn’t exactly stellar. The cash in could’ve been a more memorable moment but it fell flat because of how nice Rousey was after losing the belt. Congrats to Liv Morgan, I guess. I just hope she doesn’t become another cautionary tale like Nikki ASH’s cash in.
The final bout of the night was the Men’s Money in the Bank featuring Riddle, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Sami Zayn, Madcap Moss and Omos… and a surprise entry in Theory. Well, this throws a wrench into the proceedings as well as spoiling the finish for me. I’m getting ahead of myself, though, and there’s still a lot to talk about.
Omos looked really good here, especially at the start as he was throwing everyone off, leading to everyone beating on him to try to take him out several times during the match. Sami Zayn used a lot of sneaky ways to stealthily strike when everyone forgot about him but still taking some really devastating looking bumps. McIntyre and Sheamus taking turns beating on each other only to stop to beat up on the other competitors before going at it again. Madcap Moss showing some really good intensity with his moves. Strangely enough, the man I expected to really be the spot horse of the match, Seth Rollins, didn’t really do much. Weird. In his place, it was Riddle who definitely gets top marks as he did most of the crazy moves and memorable spots during this year’s Men’s Money in the Bank match.
The finish happened after Omos was taken out of commission for a second time. A huge brawl erupted, eventually leading to MyIntyre trapping Sheamus underneath a ladder as he climbed up to get the briefcase. Butch, one of Sheamus’ group, played spoiler as he choked the Scottish Warrior hard enough to climb down and allow Sheamus to get out and nail McIntyre with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus then pinned MyIntyre and started climbing but MyIntyre powered out from under the ladder, tipping it over and sending Sheamus crashing to the mat. Both Sheamus and Drew then started climbing the ladder once again and brawled on the top. This opened the door for Sami Zayn to tip the ladder over and send both Sheamus and McIntyre into a spread out ladder and, in a very funny way, send another ladder crashing into Seth Rollins who was on the outside!
Sami Zayn then climbed the ladder but got knocked off by Madcap Moss. It looked like Madcap Moss was going to retrieve the briefcase but Seth Rollins sent him crashing into the ropes and then hit him with a Curb Stomp. It was not Rollins turn to make the climb but was stopped by Riddle. Riddle erected a super tall ladder to the side and both Riddle and Rollins brawled atop the opposing ladders. Riddle then hit a super RKO from the top of the ladder, sending them both crashing down. The Original Bro recovered and started his climb once again but Theory rushed in. They slugged it out at the top and Theory got the upper hand and shoved Riddle off, allowing him to get the briefcase and become Mr. Money in the Bank.
This was a really good match, even though I sort of knew who was going to win it. Making Theory a surprise entrant after losing his United States Championship did make it sort of predictable but the journey to the finish was still exciting to watch.
Overall, this year’s Money in the Bank had more ups than downs. The only real bad match was the one for the Smackdown Women’s Championship and even getting Liv Morgan to make the surprise cash in couldn’t save it. The Men’s Money in the Bank match made up for it in a big way, even though we could all see who was going to win it the instant Theory was introduced to it. The match of the night, however, belongs to The Usos and the Street Profits as that was a banger of a match. Pretty good show overall. However, I do hope they handle the cash in much better as having Theory hold the Money in the Bank briefcase has a lot of potential… but the WWE will find a way to spoil this, won’t they?
What did you think of this year’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view? Let me know in the comments section below!