On June 18th the WWE had it's Money in the Bank PPV (Smackdown roster only). It was an interesting show with lots of key moments that will lead to bigger future moments as well. Let's dive in...
On the pre-show the Hype Bros. were back together again and they took on the Colons. Since this match didn't matter and I was busy at work I stepped away and never even found out who won. Rest assured one of two things happened. 1)The Hype Bros. won, and are back as a serious player on SD. or 2) They lost which will begin the decent in to the Hype Bros. break-up with I guess Zack eventually turning heel? Anyway... it was probably 1, and really I've spent too much time on that...
Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Tamina, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Natalya, and Carmella
The show started out with the first ever Women's Money in the Bank Match. They sold it hard as being a ground-breaking moment and it is a concept that is well overdue for the ladies, I thought they should have done one last year too. Also see Women's Royal Rumble...
My pick from the moment that announced it was Carmella. She needed something to attach to her name, a big moment, she could propel herself with to become a top heel on SD. This best part about Alexa leaving SD was it opened the door for someone else to rise as a top heel and with Charlotte being cheered and working face lately that makes Carmella the best option to hold the briefcase.
And that's what they did, but in a unique way. James Ellsworth climbed the ladder unhooked the briefcase and dropped it down in to the awaiting arms of Carmella for the win. I was giddy! I've wanted this type of ending to a ladder match since back in the days when Lita was helping the Hardy Boyz. Why has it taken this long to see? And Ellsworth and Carmella were perfect for this because it adds to their heat. It was considered controversial and Daniel Bryan (who returns this Tuesday to SD) said this will have to be addressed which is horsecrap. Rules is rules... and no rule was broken. The first lady to obtain the briefcase in her grasp won. End of tale.
To break character for a minute: Although it's a sad ending for the ladies. After this was billed as ground-breaking it still took a man to go get the case in the end. I loved the ending don't get me wrong, but maybe WWE should have let a woman get one first before starting the swerves... either way this works for the story-line, so political correctness & women's movement be damned!
The match itself wasn't that awesome. Some girls bumped with the ladders well while others didn't. I think the lack of weight when they hit it hurts the match because you don't get the crack sound the fellas make each time. Either way the match was overdue and I think it was a fun start to the show.
Tag Team Championship The Usos vs. The New Day
The Tag Titles were up next and Kofi and Big E (AKA The A-Team) were in ring for The New Day. Two teams that have dominated the tag scene in the past few years. Going in I loved the booking but I don't see this title changing hands in one outing. This feud could go awhile.
The Usos (who's new gimmick I don't like but I appreciate the change from happy face painted guys who said nothing) were up to the task in-ring as always and the match was fantastic. Tons of near falls, and this could have been match of the night if it didn't have an ending where the Usos tucked tail and ran off getting disqualified. As I thought the feud will continue.
Smackdown Women's Championship Naomi vs. Lana
I felt like going in there is no way they could have Naomi lose right? I mean right? So my prediction is Naomi but after the MITB match was booked first and Carmella is facing a possible issue with her win could she cash it in tonight to avoid the controversy?
So this match sucked. Lana's timing is so far off and working with a talent like Naomi did her no favors. They both came off looking kind of bad. The highlight was actually when Lana had the upper-hand as she worked the leg of Naomi and Carmella and Ellsworth strutted to the ring with the briefcase and a ref. It was all a tease but a good sign of things to come for the duo as their heat built. Naomi eventually got back the upperhand and finished Lana. Bottom line I get the booking, sort of, but Lana wasn't ready to work with Naomi and it showed.
We are treated to a special Fashion Vice with Breezango dressed up like Miami Vice. These segments have become classic and I love all the inside jokes not only said but that simply appear. The nod to Paul E's old-school phone, the mention of Colisieum Video and even the Michael Jackson verses to end the segment. Basically telling us that the team that trashed their office will meet them in the ring tonight. Ooooh intriguing who could it be? This will be a fun added match later.
Then back ringside and music we've never heard but a woman WWE fans are all too familiar with. Maria Kanellis is back with her husband Mike (Formerly known as Mike Bennett) He is now billed as Mike Kanellis and they appear to be an overly loving couple who intend to annoy us with their love. JBL summed up the segment best with 4 words, "He took her name." That's really all we know for now... excited to see how this evolves. I'd heard they were coming and I've seen them a little but I'm ready to see if Mike is for real or simply the side-piece for the "First Lady of Wrestling"
WWE World Championship Match Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton
Before the match they introduced all the St. Louis legends sitting ringside. Most notably Gene Gagne, Sargent Slaughter, Cowboy Bob Orton, and Ric Flair? I guess we are so used to the Carolinas being Flair country that I never considered he was from the midwest.
I can't help feeling that I'm watching a mid-card match on Smackdown from like 3 months ago. I mean if this match isn't last, or next to last, it shows your title reign isn't considered important enough. I can see the MITB going last for sure, but this should be before it. Again, as usual, they often put matches in a certain order to not have too many heels go over in a row. Therefore it seemed like even more of a slam dunk that Mahal would find a way to keep the title. So Jinder is my pick. It's too soon to take the title off him. Often when the WWE makes a bad choice they just lean in to it and force us to accept it. Expect that til Summerslam.
The guys work a decent match and then the ref throws out the 2 tiny barely-men that come to the ring with Jinder. Then as they leave they spark up conversation with the legends ringside and threaten Cowboy Bob Orton. Well it's Father's Day so Randy ain't having it and he goes over and houses the barely-men. Bouncing them off tables and RKOing them both. Pretty fun to watch him house them both but this whole sequence took what felt like 10 minutes. Surely long enough for Jinder to recover. Sure enough Randy goes back in the ring. Jinder kicks the knee he's worked on all match and hits his stupid cobra clutch slam thing and gets the pinfall.
Honestly the fact that this move, and this move alone, got the pin on Randy Orton in a title match at a PPV for 2 shows in a row is an OUTRAGE! It's not that devastating. And it bigger caliber matches I've watched Randy kick out of Attitude Adjustments, Pedigrees, Batista Bombs... you trying to tell me that is not only more but as devastating as those moves? On par with the RKO (It only takes one). Not buying it.
Breezango vs. Team who trashed their office for weeks
And the Fashion Police await... The Ascension. The Ascension? Really? Why build up this spot so a team they've already beaten and aren't interesting can come back for a PPV filler match? I was hoping a new team would debut, or maybe someone with a new gimmick or look. Nope. Same old Ascension. And therefore same old jobbing.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, and Sami Zayn
I was excited for this one. I could see almost any of them winning with a few favorites in mind... I had a hard time picking one but decided Sami Zayn was my pick.
Before the match started Corbin attacked Shinsuke on the way down the aisle and the match started with 5 men... but you had a good feeling Shin would return...
This match was pretty damn good. Lots of fun spots: Zayn hit Ziggler with a sunset flip powerbomb off the ladder. Corbin chokeslammed AJ on a ladder bridge. Then later that same ladder bridge saw AJ crash Owens on to it. Later AJ was left hanging on the hook to the briefcase when Ziggler moved the ladder. AJ hung awhile trying to free the case but then just falling to the mat below.
Eventually when Corbin was heading for the case out comes Shinsuke and then a whole new level of fun began. Shin laid out anything moving delivering several great kicks, suplexes, and Kinsashas. Eventually as he turned to climb the ladder he saw AJ through the rungs on the other side. The men grabbed the ladder and moved it to the side and the crowd was eating it up. It was time for AJ vs. Shinsuke for the first time in WWE.
The men battled for awhile and then were both on top of the ladder reaching for the case when Baron Corbin came in and shoved over the ladder. Both men hit the top rope and Baron straightened the ladder and then gingerly got the briefcase for the win. It looked like he didn't know how a carabiner worked and also that he was afraid of heights because he needed one more step up to easily grab it... regardless it was kind of shocking and for the WWE universe it was disappointing, but Baron was heading for "the heel that works near the top of the card that you don't take seriously ever" status. Now he has the Andre Battle Royal and the MITB briefcase... should be interesting to see how long he keeps it... I say Summerslam. An angry John Cena after getting screwed out of the title, much like Orton, houses Jinder and Baron walks by him flashing a smug smile and cashes in.
All in all I would have rather seen Sami, Kevin, AJ, or Shin win it but I get why they did this. Corbin has great upside and he just has a great scumbag look that could make him a top heel for awhile. Especially when the show has allowed a guy like Jinder to be the Champion.
It was a pretty solid show. Maybe I think that because they booked it much like I thought but overall I was pleased with it and as usual the SD crew brought their A-Game. Just leave Lana, and the Ascension off the card next time.
If I had the MITB I'd cash in after having my goons, and I'd have legit ones unlike Jinder's half-man squad... probably like The Revival because #TopGuys Recognize #TopGuys, anyway, they'd work the champ over after a big title fight. Hopefully I'd win in record time and then declare myself the most dominating champion of all the times. Hit my music!