Welcome to the review of Money in the Bank here on The Real Mid Card. I hope you saw last night’s show. If not, tune out before you get spoiled. It was a fantastic show in my opinion, from top to bottom. I know WWE content always polarizes opinion, especially among fans of my generation. These are just my opinions, and you are welcome to completely disagree with all of them. Lets take a look at these matches.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match (for the World Heavyweight Championship briefcase): Wade Barrett v Dean Ambrose v Antonio Cesaro v Fandango v Cody Rhodes v Damien Sandow v Jack Swagger
The show started quite strangely with Dean Ambrose and Fandango already in the ring. They didn’t get televised entrances, which isn’t cool, especially at a pay-per-view. Zeb Colter delivered one of his trademark promos on the way to the ring accompanying “The Real Americans” – Antonio Cesaro is a real American, which is hilarious. When the match actually started, it was full of cool spots and lots of innovation. It was a really amazing opening match. Dean Ambrose in particular was insane. He did the awesome Terry Funk swinging ladder thing, and at one point pulled himself up and onto the ladder being held by his opponents. If you don’t get what I mean, think Shawn Michaels and Royal Rumble. Crazy cool.
The Shield came down and tried to interfere, The Usos came down to attack them. Ambrose was on the ladder when he was pushed off taking out all of the other competitors. Cody Rhodes (bleeding face and all) came so close to grabbing the briefcase and making his and my own dreams come true. His best friend Sandow pushed him off at the last minute and won the match. This was a very disappointing end to an excellent match. I don’t think Sandow is anywhere near over enough as a heel to have a run with this. Cody on the other hand has been having excellent matches for years, had paid his dues and is much more capable of getting main event heat in the long run. The crowd were beyond hot when he was at the top of the ladder. He basically turned face during this match. I’m intrigued to see how things shape up with this on Raw tonight, and at least it wasn’t predictable. But yeah, I’d have gone with Cody or Ambrose.
Curtis Axel(c) v The Miz (for the Intercontinental Championship) Good to see the IC title on the PPV again, thanks to the influence of Heyman and Axel. Paul was expelled from ringside after The Miz tricked the referee and pretended that he had slapped him behind his back. It was interesting to see the face doing that. I really liked it. The partisan Philly crowd weren’t happy and were chanting like crazy for Heyman. The match itself was very decent. The two of them locked up in a figure four, which The Miz is slowly getting better at. They both reversed the move several times, turning each other over. After catching a rope break, Axel got the win with his awesome neckbreaker thing. It was good to see the guy win when he was out there alone.
AJ Lee(c) v Kaitlyn (for the Divas Championship) Another great technical match from these ladies. The spear couldn’t keep AJ down, and she got the win with the incredible black widow submission. Man that’s a cool move to watch! This was a very entertaining match. Good stuff!
Ryback v Chris Jericho The smart Philly crowd chanted “Y2J” and “Goldberg” This was a very good match in terms of interesting manoeuvres that we rarely see from both of these guys. Ryback pulled a second rope splash out of his arsenal. Jericho executed an impressive northern lights suplex on the big man. Ryback hit a great belly to belly. There were some great reversals towards the end too. Jericho managed to turn being shellshocked into a fantastic DDT. Then Ryback got the win by ducking away from the lionsault and rolling Jericho up for the pin. This was a really cool way to end a really good match, and a good way to add depth and realism to Ryback’s new character.
Alberto Del Rio(c) v Dolph Ziggler (for the World Heavyweight Championship) The crowd were so, so hot for Ziggler. He looked in the mood for a classic match. It wasn’t that, but it was very athletic and entertaining. One highlight was a top rope X Factor by Dolph. It was multiple near falls and DDTs galore. AJ came out skipping, much to the anger of Ziggler. He kept telling her to go away, but she just acted as a distraction. I was waiting for him to get accidentally distracted and get caught out by Del Rio, but that moment never came. This was another unpredictable ending. The “Lets go Ziggler” chants were at their apex as the match came towards it’s end. Del Rio hit a vicious kick and got a long two. The stage was set for a finishing move. AJ Lee climbed into the ring and hit Del Rio with her title belt, costing Ziggler the match and probably his chances at the title for a while. This should be the final nail in the coffin of their relationship, which will only help Ziggler. He doesn’t need a manager at this point. More unpredictable events!
John Cena(c) v Mark Henry (for the WWE Championship) The vignette before the match was amazing. I was marking out so much for this match, which is insane given the two competitors involved. Come on Henry! Justin did the infamous boxing style in-ring announcements, just to make sure we knew this was a big deal. Henry got lots of love, and Cena was booed. No surprise there. Mark Henry dominated in the early going, with a particular highlight being the gutbuster he delivered to Cena onto the steel steps. Cena tried to lift the big man several times, but fell under the weight every time. Until he finally achieved the AA, which Henry kicked out of. Now that was a surprise! Then he attempted a top rope crossbody, only to be caught in mid-air by the puppet master and hit with a devastating Worlds Strongest Slam. Cena kicked out. Not as surprising, but I actually believed he was gonna stay down for the three.
Henry tried numerous tricks to get the win. He exposed the turnbuckle behind the referees back, but it backfired on him when Cena pushed him into it. The big Texan also hit him with a vicious low blow, after the ref had been knocked down. That still couldn’t get the win. Then he went for another Worlds Strongest Slam, only to have it reversed into an STF and as you probably expected, the rest is history. Cena retained the title. It was a really good match for these two, but a disappointing ending. Another Money in the Bank PPV with zero titles changes. The match (like all the others) was entertaining, unpredictable and technically sound in my opinion. It’s just a shame a few things couldn’t have gone differently, but that’s just the Mark Henry/Cody Rhodes loving mark in me talking.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match (for the WWE Championship briefcase): CM Punk v Daniel Bryan v Sheamus v Randy Orton v Christian v Rob Van Dam
As the men made their entrances, the reactions were exactly as expected. Punk, Bryan and of course RVD were adored by the smart Philly Crowd. They fell silent for Sheamus and Orton. Christian, in between. I was disappointed that they didn’t bring in someone to replace Kane, namely Bray Wyatt. They even showed the whole debut vignette of the family taking out the big red monster on Raw, which kind of hinted that he may be in it, but no such luck.
All five men targeted Rob at the start of the match, when the crowd were chanting his name so loudly. He put up the thumbs and said “Rob…” but was beaten down before he could get to “Dam” – That was pretty funny. 100% of the audience were chanting yes for Bryan, and that is no bit exaggeration. Punk and D-Bry faced off in the early going, with the ring cleared of men. Then RVD began to dominate proceedings, with flurries of his classic offence, and even an impressive Military Press to Christian on the ladder. For a man in his forties, he looked in great shape and put on a hell of a show. Some were questioning his performance beforehand, but I have to say I was very pleased with it myself. I felt like I was thirteen again watching him taking everyone out with high kicks, spins and frantic strikes.
Sheamus took a painful fall off of the ladder straight down onto its legs. Shortly after, all six men scaled two ladders like spiders and all fell down simultaneously. Sheamus hit his “vintage” chest strikes on Bryan at the top of the ladder, which the crowd met with loud, emphatic “No!” chants. Orton delivered a fisherman (almost tazplex) onto Punk through a ladder propped up in the corner. That was awesome. Christian then speared Orton, who was bleeding at this point. Christian and Van Dam then climbed the ladder together. Rob tilted the ladder over, causing Christian to fall to the mat, and himself to land onto the other ladder next to it. That was extremely cool. He climbed to the top and hit an insane Five Star Frog Splash. I was in dreamland!
Daniel Bryan came in started hitting his chest kicks on Sheamus and RVD, who was also bleeding. Then D-Bry took his insane flurries into overdrive, showing Van Dam how it’s done in the modern era. If you’re going to give away that incredibly entertaining, accelerated style for free on TV every week, it takes a lot to one-up yourself at the PPV. This guy had no problem doing just that. However, he was cut down early by Curtis Axel, who came down to the ring and attacked him with a steel chair. CM Punk caught him in the act and hit the GTS on him. Then Heyman came out and gave his unconscious client a good dressing down for interfering in his best friends match. He cheered Punk on from the outside as he scaled the ladder.
Then he did the unthinkable. He climbed into the ring and screwed CM Punk. He smashed him in the back with another ladder. As Punk held on and turned around with a timeless look of confusion and sheer betrayal on his face, Heyman smashed him straight in the kisser with the ladder, accidentally busting him wide open. RVD looked like he was going to capitalise as he climbed to the top, much to the delight of the raucous crowd in the former home of ECW. Punk was literally pissing blood out of his face, as he rolled to the outside. Randy Orton stopped the fan favourite Van Dam in his tracks with a great RKO from the top of the ladder. For the second time in the night, the company swerved us. The Viper grabbed the briefcase and became Mr. Money in the Bank, to my total shock. This was a very surprising, but not necessarily satisfying end for me. The match itself was beyond thrilling. I’d actually say Sheamus and Rob Van Dam were the stand out performers.
Overall I’d have to give this show a thumbs up. Do I wish there were some different outcomes? Yes. Am I gutted that Mark Henry isn’t champion and Cody Rhodes doesn’t have the briefcase? Yes. But I have to say, this PPV had it all. Great matches, excellent wrestling, exciting spots, unpredictability, surprises, unexpected winners and lots of unintentional but awesome blood. Many storylines will come out of these events. Lots of characters have been and will continue to be developed out of all of this. I’m sure lots of people will disagree with me, but in my opinion, Money in the Bank was yet again one of the shows of the year. I hope you enjoyed it too.
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