Two weeks before the Money in the Bank PPV, and most of the matches have been decided. However, the one which is receiving the most coverage is the Money in the Bank ladder match itself. This week’s show seemed to revolve around the six men involved in the bout.
The show opened with a terrible segment with all six competitors sat above ladders, each staking their claim to the briefcase. Some of the jokes were genuinely cringe worthy and so poorly written that I felt embarrassed by watching it! The saving grace was the surprise entrance of former SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long. However, even Teddy couldn’t save the segment, and seemed to add very little to it despite his appearance. Long says he’d like to be SmackDown GM but I’m sorry Teddy, its not 2004 anymore, its time to move on.
The first bout saw Cesaro take on Chris Jericho in singles action. Personally, I’d rather see these kind of one-on-one matches than the tag team contests we’ve been seeing lately. The two put on a decent match; a solid first bout. It would appear, however, that about 80 percent of Cesaro’s moveset is a variety of Uppercuts. Granted, the other 20 percent seems to be feats of amazing strength! The end was near for Jericho when the Swiss Superman managed to reverse the Walls of Jericho into a Big Swing, transitioning into the Sharpshooter. Very nicely crafted finished.
The first of two promos for the WWE Title match at Money in the Bank showed the rivalry from Seth Rollins‘ point of view. One of the best promos in recent history, Seth seemed emotional yet focused on his goal. Its strange to see him coming in as the heel when he is more loved, and has more respect and sympathy than the champ.
For the second week in a row, we would see Rusev take on Jack Swagger with Titus O’Neal on commentary. There seemed to be two reasons behind this: to make Rusev look strong against Swagger, a former World Champion; and to allow Titus some mic time. However, the Bulgarian Brute looked a little cowardly – something completely unnecessary for his character – whilst also proving that O’Neal had little to no character. For the good of the belt, Rusev needs to be the beast he once was!
If there is one thing I didn’t realise I missed for the past five months, until last week, it is John Cena promos. The man has charisma coming out of his ears! Another thing I didn’t know I was missing was the incredible excitement whenever AJ Styles gets face-to-face with him. The company is right to call this a dream match! With both men looking to make this personal, we have seen more entertainment in the last two weeks than the last two Roman title reigns. Even using insider terms such as AJ being “buried” makes this feel more authentic. However, before all out war could commence, The New Day came to John’s aid against The Club. Forget the title matches, this is the one I’m looking forward to the most!
For the first time since the horrific scenes at Payback, Enzo and Cass faced The Vaudevillans in tag action. The tag team scene has become very interesting since Wrestlemania, and I can see this being a long standing rivalry as long as Enzo and Cass remain together.Seeing Big Cass pull off his moveset against smaller guys is quite refreshing as he makes it look so good! However, in a sinister turn, Aiden English tried to repeat Enzo’s injury from six weeks ago, causing Cass to snap and show a much more aggressive side. This rivalry has legs – maybe even for years to come.
The second of three singles matches containing contenders for the Money in the Bank ladder match saw Alberto Del Rio square off against Sami Zayn. Again, both men showcased what they could do, justifying their time in the spotlight. Of course there could only be one winner, and it was ADR who stomped his way to victory, leaving Zayn staring up at the briefcase with his shoulders on the mat. Its very refreshing to see a match like this, and I would like to see more in the coming months.
Back to the WWE Title match, and it was Roman Reigns‘ turn to cut his promo. In complete contrast to Rollins, Roman acted like he is the underdog and the victim in this match. Its hard to feel sorry for him when he has had so many title opportunities handed to him as well as being a physically imposing guy. Sorry, THE physically imposing guy! A heel turn would be well received by everyone who watches this product.
The two men who I believe are the most likely to walk away with the MitB briefcase, Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose, competed in the third singles bout of the week. Now, I’m not sure if Dean is becoming a mini Roman, but that guy can take a hell of a lot of punishment and still wind up with a win. In this particular match, KO dominated throughout but failed on all three of his Pop-Up Powerbomb attempts, only to succumb to Dirty Deeds. This match could have been so much more and its a shame that it ended so abruptly. Owens will be back, and hopefully he’ll be wearing championship gold again soon.
The solitary piece from the Women’s division this week saw a Charlotte promo, with Dana Brooke at her side. All this did was put emphasis on how poor Charlotte is on the mic. The introduction of Becky Lynch and Natalya did little in the way of story progression, and the seven minute segment felt like nothing more than a way to fill time on the three hour show. Please can we have another revolution soon? Sasha Banks is fit again, can she not have a run with/at the belt?
The bane of my wrestling watching returned yet again this week. This time, we saw singles action between Tyler Breeze and R-Truth. A pre-match backstage segment actually showed that Breezango have some longevity and an entertainment factor which is desperately lacking from the Golden Truth. Of course, neither team will break out of the C-List category they currently reside in, but at least Breeze and Fandango add to the entertainment. Following a 30 second match before Goldust and Fandango got involved, Teddy Long attempted to restart the match as a tag team encounter. Why Teddy? No-one wanted this! Thankfully security escorted Teddy from the building before the match could be made official.
Away from the ring, WWE put on a truly touching tribute to Muhammad Ali shortly before the main event. Once again, the company proved that it’s influence goes far beyond the matches it puts on.
The final bout of the evening saw a six-man tag match between the Tag team Champions The New Day and The Club. Before the bell could ring, all six men engaged in a brawl which resulted in a Styles Clash to Xavier Woods outside the ring. In the aftermath, a 3-on-2 match took place, with the injured Woods absent from ringside. Its not often the New Day have a numbers disadvantage, and it really gave us a chance to see a different side to the champs. Indeed Big E and Kofi Kingston put up a good fight, but the numbers overwhelmed them in the end, with AJ Styles hitting a Phenomenal Forearm to pick up the victory over Kingston. This is a very well put together rivalry, and if it building momentum we could see a dominant Club – holding all the gold – against a team including the New Day as far away as Survivor Series.