WWE: Money in the Bank
June 29, 2014
The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Vacant (6/9/2014)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Bad News Barrett (5/4/2014)
WWE U.S. Champion: Sheamus (5/5/2014)
WWE Divas Champion: Paige (4/7/2014)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos (3/3/2014)
Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler.
- WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
I have to say: not a fan of the new Harper and Rowan music. It sounds it should have been a Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater theme song from 1995. It doesn’t really fit them. I could see them having a Halloween-type theme song with a southern rock twist. I don’t know how that would sound, but the Jim Johnston guys can figure that out. Jimmy gets double-teamed to start, but escapes a pumphandle powerslam by Rowan and falls back into a tag to Jey. They dropkick him around and head to the floor where Jey runs down the barricade and clotheslines Rowan down. They really are like the next generation Hardy Boyz. Back inside, Rowan shoves Jey off the top turnbuckle to land face-first on the barricade. Harper tags in and brings Jey back in the ring for a hilo for two. Tag to Rowan, he uses the claw hold and heaves Jey across the ring. Jey nearly breaks away from Rowan only for Harper to tag in and cut off Jey’s tag to Jimmy. Back to Rowan, he can’t seem to get his hands on Jey leading to a hot tag to Jimmy! He’s all superkicks, clotheslines, and Samoan drops. Buttalanche to Rowan, corkscrew moonsault to Harper for 1-2-NO! Pair of superkicks still only score a nearfall. Meanwhile, Jey gets caught in mid-air by Rowan. Jimmy has to come help and takes them both out with a huge plancha. Back inside, Jimmy is nearly double-teamed. Jey helps out with a superkick of his own to Rowan, allowing Jimmy to surprise Harper with a schoolboy for 1-2-NO! Brodie Bomb gets 1-2-NO! Seeing his partner brawling with Jey out on the floor, Harper gets up and suicide dives into Jey! Jimmy tries to do the same onto Rowan, but he’s caught and drilled by Harper as he lands another suicide dive! Double crucifix bomb to Jimmy gets 1-2-NO! Jey makes the save, but gets avalanched by Rowan. He looks to go up top, but gets crotched and brought down with a DOUBLE-TEAM SUPERPLEX from the Usos! Couple of Samoan Splashes later and the Usos retain. (13:14) Good opener, but I think people might be overrating it a bit due to the super-hot crowd. I think this might have been the night to give the Wyatt family the tag belts though since Bray has losing quite a bit lately and a run with the tag belts might be what the unit needs. ***¼
- WWE Divas Champion Paige vs. Naomi (w/Cameron)
So the Funkadactyls have been having their problems lately, but will that prevent Naomi from winning the Divas title? We will soon find out – IN THIS VERY RING. Pretty cool tie-up to start is so tight and strong, it takes them both to the floor. Back inside, Paige hits that tilt-a-whirl move and Naomi bails. It seems Naomi is the smarter of the two as she sees Paige coming after her and heaves her off the apron to the floor. Not to be outdone by the Usos, Naomi delivers a plancha to Paige! Back in the ring, Paige rolls through a flying bodypress, but then Naomi surprises her with an O’Connor roll for two, which leads to a fairly creative nearfall sequence. You can’t fault them for trying something different and it didn’t look too bad. Naomi gets Paige caught in a surfboard hold and then rolls her over for a pinfall attempt, which is PRETTY SMART. Over to the corner, the two crash and burn down on the floor trying a superplex. As we pan over to Cameron, she looks a little bored. Back inside the ring, Paige stops Naomi’s attempts at the nearfalls with a superkick and grabs a stump puller, which Lawler calls an “old submission hold”. Naomi escapes and comes back with a headscissors followed up with a dropkick and a kip-up. REAR VIEW connects! Naomi covers for 1-2-NO! She continues on though and tries a split-legged moonsault only to hit knees. Naomi has the Scorpion Crosslock well scouted, so Paige has to put her away with the Cradle DDT for the win. (7:03) The standout Divas match we’ve seen so far this year on WWE PPV. It didn’t just feel like a bunch of nonsensical sequences created for a wrestler to work through, it felt like there was some real psychology there. When something didn’t work or get the result they wanted, they changed strategies. I enjoyed it. At the end of the match, Cameron is clapping her pom-poms together before she goes over and consoles her friend Naomi. Women be crazy. **½
- Adam Rose vs. Damien Sandow
This week, Damien Sandow comes out as Paul Revere. When he mentions that Boston will always live in the shadow of New York City, Adam Rose comes out to save the day along with his gaggle of philosophy majors. People dig his music and like to sing along to the tune, but I think Adam Rose is too one-dimensional to ever work long-term. He’s like the bearded lady at the circus that you sort of notice passing by you, but it’s not like you want to bang her. Other than partying, he doesn’t stand for anything and doesn’t really invite the people to come along with him. To me, he’s also less of a manly man than the cartwheeling, poetry-reciting Lanny Poffo, which is not what I want to see in wrestling. Sandow trips up Rose and hits his Elbow of Disdain. He cuts off the Rose comeback with a clothesline and the crowd CHEERS. Either Boston has terrible short-term memory, or people still want to see Sandow beat up Rose despite him just having made fun of their town five minutes ago. All the same, Rose kicks out of the Full Nelson Slam and comes back to deliver the PARTY FOUL to win the match. (4:17) And the crowd boos. From my understanding, this was Adam Rose’s “sink or swim” match. If they are booing you afterwards and you’re supposed to be a babyface, something needs tweaking. Oh and by the way, the regular WWE audience is not comprised of the wrestling hipster crowd that seems to permeate NXT. Just because something gets over in Orlando, doesn’t mean it will appeal on a grand scale. ¾*
- Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Seth Rollins
Anybody find it odd that Seth Rollins is now wearing similar Hunter Hearst Helmsley gear? While Rollins and Ambrose go right after each other, in come the ladders into the ring allowing Kingston to bust out some moves. Kind of a goofy spot as he sets up the ladder and climbs to the top even though it’s clearly not within reach of the briefcase just so Ambrose can tip over the ladder and Kingston can springboard onto the leftovers down on the floor. Ambrose and Rollins take center stage as Ambrose wins a suplex battle onto a ladder. Now everyone gets a shot at making a beeline for the briefcase. It comes down to Kingston and Ziggler until Rollins wipes them out with a ladder shot. Van Dam has his moment by delivering his signature stuff to Rollins – including the monkey flip and Rolling Thunder on the ladder. Van Dam continues to rule the ring culminating in a FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH to Swagger! Kingston stops RVD from retrieving the briefcase, but Swagger knocks Kingston out of the ring. With Van Dam hurting up on the top turnbuckle, Swagger sets up a ladder for a SUPERPLEX OFF THE LADDER. Van Dam refuses and knocks him down. He signals for another FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH, but Rollins cuts him off to kill the moment for the crowd. While Rollins is beating on RVD, Swagger climbs up the ladder and powerbombs RVD to the mat. Still up on the ladder, Ambrose seizes the day and brings Rollins down for our SUPERPLEX OFF THE LADDER. Everybody’s down! Swagger begins to dominate for a few moments smashing a ladder into Kingston courtesy for a pump splash.
Ambrose and Rollins then stop Swagger and Van Dam from climbing towards the briefcase. Then those two reach the briefcase. Ambrose punches Rollins down, but then Swagger brings down Ambrose only to be given a DDT. As Rollins climbs the ladder again, Ambrose runs the ladder over using his shoulder, which causes what appears to be an injury to Ambrose. Much to the dismay of the crowd, medics and refs escort Ambrose backstage. Van Dam slows down Rollins climb toward the briefcase, but Kingston sets up a ladder scaffold and takes Rollins out of the equation for now with a BACKDROP ONTO THE LADDER SCAFFOLD. Holy crap. It looks like the dark horse Kofi Kingston might finally retrieve the briefcase, but Ziggler yanks him down at the last second to kickstart his time to shine. He takes out everybody who comes his way. Swagger tries to pull him off the ladder with the PATRIOT LOCK. Despite having all the leverage in the world, he can’t pull Ziggler down. Ziggler kicks him away and just as it seems nothing can stop him, Rollins cracks him in the ankle with a chair. That brings down Ziggler for an onslaught of chairshots. Once he’s gone, Rollins starts the slow climb up the ladder as HERE COMES DEAN AMBROSE. He starts beating the holy heck out of Rollins with the chair as the crowd explodes. Still selling the shoulder injury, Rollins rolls out to the floor to get away from Ambrose, allowing Ambrose to climb the ladder unopposed. Just as it seems Ambrose as won this match, the four corners catch fire and here comes Kane. He pulls Ambrose off the ladder and gives him a hearty Chokeslam and TOMBSTONE. With everybody down but Rollins, he’s got no trouble retrieving the Money in the Bank briefcase for the win. (23:15) Some very minor contrived moments, but overall a very good MITB ladder match. You had to know it would come down to Ambrose and Rollins since that’s the hottest thing going and everyone else was mere cannon fodder, but I dug the Kingston opportunity. There’s got to be a story somewhere there for Kofi being in so many of these matches and never winning at least one. ****
Byron Saxton meets with Randy Orton backstage. Since we just saw Seth Rollins get the MITB contract handed to him, what are Orton’s chances at winning the WWE world heavyweight title? With confidence, he feels his chances are better than anyone else’s chances. Take that for what it’s worth. Whether we like it or not, it’s going to happen. Saxton brings up Roman Reigns and gets a stern look from Randy.
- Stardust & Goldust vs. Rybaxel
Clearly Cody has been waiting to do this character for a while now. He is awesome doing it. Although it seems Goldust has become more like Dustin Rhodes lately and Stardust is more like how Goldust used to be. I love that Cody has switched up his offense as well. I think that really separates the characters and almost makes you forget who he is. Goldust plays face in peril here to Rybaxel. The hot tag comes and Stardust is a house of fire. Ryback tries to grab a quick Shell Shock, but Stardust slips out and hits CROSS RHODES for 1-2-NO! Axel makes the save. Heel miscommunication ensues, and Stardust rolls up Ryback for the win. (7:35) Afterwards, the Rhodes brothers clean house on Rybaxel to show how in sync they are now. We’ll call that period pre-Stardust. Pretty much a Raw match to add some filler to the PPV. *½
Cole explains the tweetdown of the breakup between Fandango and Summer Rae. What follows is action from the C-show confrontations with Layla and Summer Rae. Apparently, Summer Rae put Fandango in a lip lock this past Tuesday on Main Event, which will certainly play into this match. While I would love to spend a weekend with Layla, neither one of them can seem to pronounce Fandango’s name right. Then again, I doubt I would be discussing Fandango with Layla if we ever had that sweaty weekend together. Yeah, I’m probably on a list somewhere by now.
Over to Byron Saxton who is standing by with special ref Fandango. He informs us that he looooves triangles. Layla and Summer Rae stop by to plead their case. Long legs or fake boobs? Your pick, Fandango.
- Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Big E
Vladimir Putin is the man, Russia is better than America, and so on and so forth. We get it, Lana. All of a sudden, Big E channels his inner Jesse Jackson in a pre-match split-screen promo. Get this man an afro and large sideburns, STAT. This is a rematch from Payback. Big E wins a slugfest to start, but Rusev sees the spear off the apron coming and knees Big E in the face. They trade suplexes and Big E hits the STO for 1-2-NO! He goes for the Running Splash, but Rusev stands up and goes for the superkick. Big E puts on the brakes and drills Rusev with a belly to belly suplex! As Rusev rolls to the apron, Big E gets the SPEAR OFF THE APRON after all! Freaking awesome. Rusev looks legitimately hurt here. Back in, Big E scores a nearfall. Looks like Rusev is bleeding from his mouth. Rusev creates some separation and lands a few kicks to take down Big E for the ACCOLADE. When Big E tries to break loose, Rusev bends him back even further to get the submission victory. (7:20) Enjoyable power match as we saw lessons learned from previous matches and they were both up to the challenge. This had a great finish too as Big E nearly escaped with the crowd behind him cheering U-S-A, but he just couldn’t do anything but tap when Rusev bent him back. Call me crazy, but I really liked this. Rusev is ready to go to the next level with the right worker, too. ***
They replay Daniel Bryan’s confrontation with Bo Dallas during the MITB kick off show. In the back, Stephanie McMahon Helmsley gets catty with the Bella twins. At least that’s what it seems like to me whenever a woman in charge exercises her authority. ME-OW! Anyways, the Bellas end up being escorted out of the building.
- Special Referee: Fandango – Layla vs. Summer Rae
Boobies. That is all. In between Summer Rae and Layla beating up on each other, they try to make out with Fandango. Apparently the crowd could give two poops about this one, because they break out into a “CM Punk” chant. I approve. Speaking of CM Punk, Layla lands a Muay Thai Kick to Summer Rae’s face and gets the cowgirl-style three-count. (3:08) Pat O’Connor, she ain’t. Afterwards, Fandango and Layla embrace right in front of a defeated Summer Rae. ½*
- Ladder Match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Title: Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Cesaro (w/Paul Heyman) vs. John Cena vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
COOHHH and Stephanie McMahon Helmsley watch from ringside to witness history. Everybody splits up to trade punches for their respective feuds. Once a ladder gets involved, Kane gets taken out. Del Rio and Cesaro both grab an end and wipe out Orton. Bray runs over and crossbody blocks the ladder to end their reign of terror. Cena shoots in with an AA attempt to Wyatt, but Bray elbows him away and delivers that overly complicated faceslam onto the ladder. Reigns saves the day with a Samoan Drop to Wyatt and then sets the ladder, but Sheamus ensures us that Reigns will not win just yet. Orton and Kane join the fray, but Reigns takes out Orton and then he and Sheamus sandwich Kane with ladders. Nevertheless, that just seems to fire up Kane (no pun intended) as he wipes out everyone in the ring except for Orton. In fact, he grabs Orton and puts him on the ladder so he can retrieve the WWE world titles. Reigns saves the day and goes for the titles, but Bray Wyatt prevents him from doing so. Next thing we know, Cena appears and hits the Protobomb. The Five Knuckle Shuffle is stopped by Cesaro which elicits quite a positive reaction as he launches Cena into the air for the Very European Uppercut. Sheamus meets Cesaro at the top of the ladder, but then Bray wakes up and does the crabwalk stance. I know that’s his thing, but I wish he wouldn’t do that so much. He turns the ladder over, causing Cesaro and Sheamus to hang from the titles until they both fall. Del Rio, Orton, and Sheamus brawl on the floor as a ladder gets set up like a scaffold in between the SAT and the apron. Sheamus receives the draping DDT off the scaffold onto the floor by Orton. Inside the ring, Orton sets up the 20-footer as everybody scrambles for a chance to climb the ladder. Kane clears the ring and then tries to bring in Sheamus, but that creates a big Sheamus offensive flurry. He BROGUE KICKS Cena out to the floor and dumps out Orton so he can climb the ladder in peace. While all that is happening, Cesaro creates a scaffold of his own and meets Sheamus at the top of the ladder. The scaffold gets adjusted allowing Reigns to tip the ladder over so that neither Cesaro nor Sheamus can grab the belts. Instead, Sheamus is up too high to go anywhere and Cesaro is dangling from the top rung. CRAZY.
Cena turns the ladder back on its legs, but then gets a suplex onto the scaffold part via Wyatt. Meanwhile, Del Rio and Reigns try their hardest to bring down Cesaro and Sheamus. Of course, Kane changes the game and gets rid of everybody. As he sets up the ladder for Orton, Reigns runs under the ladder and SPEARS Kane down. Orton blasts Reigns with the ladder and calls for the RKO, but Reigns counters and hits the Superman Punch. Now it’s Roman Reigns’ turn to rule the ring. It comes down to a Cena/Reigns “boo-yay” punching showdown in the middle of the ring. Reigns avoids the AA and hits the SPEAR. Reigns looks to go for the belts, but Orton takes care of him with the inverted backbreaker off the ladder. Apparently, Bray feels differently about Orton’s chances of winning the straps, because he pulls Orton down and gives him SISTER ABIGAIL. Del Rio shuts down Bray, but his chances of winning the belts are slimmer than anyone’s in this match. Sheamus tips the ladder over and BROGUE KICKS him down. Cesaro stops Sheamus and brings him down into a European Uppercut and then the NEUTRALIZER. Orton puts a stop to Cesaro by yanking him down off the ladder into an RKO. Looks like Cesaro just got BANGED. HHH and Steph are marking out. Reigns grabs Orton and they are definitely jocking for position on that ladder. There’s a cut on the top of Orton’s head that is opening up here. Kane helps out Orton by delivering a Chokeslam to Reigns. Just as it looks dire, Cena reappears and AA’s both Kane and Orton before climbing up the ladder and retrieving both belts to win WWE world championship number fifteen. (26:31) I liked it better the second time I watched it for some reason I can’t quite put on my finger on. When I watched it the first time, it seemed pretty boring and underwhelming. What I do think this lacks though is a hot and strong feud as all the feuds in this match are fairly played out (Cena/Wyatt), mid-card (Sheamus/Cesaro), or not all that compelling (Reigns/Authority), which is the reason for some moments that felt a bit directionless. Some fun-to-watch risks involved, but they have pulled back on the total car crash-style these ladder matches used to be, and that’s a good thing. If you pull back the insanity long enough, you have reeducated the fans and you don’t have to do quite as much to get the same reaction, which I think they have accomplished. Anywho, Cena is a fine choice to hold the championship until you can get it onto the guy you really want holding it. He’s a good placeholder, if you will. ***¼
Final Thoughts: These are generally fun PPVs and this was certainly one of them. Much improved over Extreme Rules and Payback with WWE now going in a different direction. There’s plenty to like here with a hot crowd and if you at least can’t get into the MITB ladder match, I don’t know what to say to you. Thumbs up for Money in the Bank 2014.