This past Sunday we witnessed the annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view and there were some great showings on the night.
No titles changed hands however we saw two superstars seal their destiny as they captured the Money in the Bank briefcases to guarantee themselves a shot at the WWE and the World Heavyweight Championships.
The winners were definitely unexpected.
YouTube Pre-Show: The SHIELD vs. The Usos
The kick off match between The SHIELD and The Usos was a funny one, the match did not deserve to be a pre-show as all four men proved; although it was a slow start they did pick up the intensity and managed to put on a great match.
The result was never in doubt as The SHIELD are just too over to lose at this moment in time, even though they are the heels in this feud they received a better reaction from the energetic Philadelphia crowd than The Usos received.
In the video you can watch the full pre-show match and just how good it became, witnessing the incredible quadruple suplex powerbomb from Roman Reigns on his real-life cousins was awesome and was executed perfectly, and the innovative finish made that match even better.
A great match, truly deserving to be on the main card; however it is refreshing to see The Usos being given a push as the tag team division looks to be rejuvenated.
The SHIELD defeat The Usos – Still Tag Team Champions – 3.5/5
SmackDown Money in the Bank: Antonio Cesaro vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Fandango vs. Jack Swagger vs. Wade Barrett
Another interesting match-up on paper, especially when you consider that all seven men are heels and many would have guessed that somebody was bound to turn face and that is exactly what happened. Logically, Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger could be ruled out from the beginning, there was no way they would hand the briefcase to one of the two, and seemingly split up the newly formed team.
This left five and the winner was still surprising. Cody Rhodes managed to turn face and I don’t think they could have scripted out a better reaction than what he received from the crowd.
The actual story telling of the match was brilliant, we saw Rhodes as the one superstar that was designed to look like the hardest worker and did deserve to win the match the most; his offense and determined effort to win was enough to get him over and make him a favourite amongst the crowd.
Team Rhodes Scholars officially broke up once Damien Sandow tossed him off the ladder and captured the briefcase; many were not pleased but with Sandow being my favourite wrestler in the WWE; this could not have come at a better time, he added a lot more sleaze to his heel persona and was terrific booking and a great build up to a Cody Rhodes – Damien Sandow rivalry.
Everyone had a realistic shot of winning, which is why I was looking forward to this match a lot more than any others on the night, the match kept constantly moving and predictions kept on changing and it was simply a great match with plenty of false-finishes and many inventive spots from Rhodes, The Real Americans and Dean Ambrose.
Mr. Money in the Bank – Damien Sandow – 4.5/5
Curtis Axel vs. The Miz – Intercontinental Championship
As much as I hate to admit it this belonged in the pre-show and The SHIELD deserved a main show spot, certainly in my eyes.
Simply because The Miz cannot get over as a face, he just cannot make it work and it came as no surprise as to why the fans in the Wells Fargo Center were chanting “you’re not over” and “pre-show” aimed towards The Miz.
The match was fine, nothing special with a very predictable result, the ejection of Paul Heyman was a bit different but the outcome was predictable nevertheless; it lacked intensity, passion, charisma and just felt too rehearsed in general.
Curtis Axel defeats The Miz – Still Intercontinental Champion – 2/5
AJ vs. Kaitlyn – Divas Championship
One of the better Divas matches I have watched in a very long time but it did not top their previous match at Payback, it all comes down to AJ; she plays her character so extremely well and remains entertaining.
I think the result was pretty obvious but you cannot take anything away from AJ or Kaitlyn, both were working hard and put on a great match which flowed well; and did not look as rehearsed as the Axel – Miz match prior to this, and AJ still continues to impress especially with her Black Widow finisher which does look brilliant as she executes it perfectly, looking so painful every time she applies the hold.
AJ defeats Kaitlyn – Still Divas Champion – 3/5
Chris Jericho vs. Ryback
With news that Jericho was taking time off again to your with Fozzy, the result was predictable but as per usual Chris Jericho made the match better than it looked on paper, that doesn’t mean the match was incredibly flawless; there were a number of botched moves here and there but Jericho did well to recover and make sure they were not as blatantly obvious.
Ryback did look a lot better in-ring but managed to botch here and there a couple of times, his new complaining gimmick is just ridiculous and the ending itself was not a great way to put over a man of his size and strength. Who knows what the plan for Ryback is now but at least he finally won a pay-per-view match after such a long wait.
Again, the ending was not the best, a simple roll-up for a man of Ryback who scares the living daylights out of people? Not the brightest of moves and it certainly ruined the ending, for me anyway.
Ryback defeats Chris Jericho – 2.5/5
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler – World Heavyweight Championship
This was one match which I was on the fence on, rumours had it that Dolph was to recapture his championship, whilst it was also suggested that Dolph would lose to set up a feud with Big E Langston at SummerSlam; and the latter looks to have taken place. Both men worked hard to put on a great match, and it was exactly what you expect from Ziggler; hard worker and sold every move perfectly.
Great back and forth action with a couple of near-falls to keep the crowd interested and it remained intense throughout however the ending was a major let down; seems like a reoccurrence in this pay-per-view.
A climax was the only thing missing to make this match near-perfect, AJ got Dolph Ziggler disqualified, that was it, finished just like that. The detrimental finish resulted in the match going from brilliant to average and it felt as if this feud just came to a massive halt the next night on Raw; it was on the peak of being great but a very stupid move from creative to have Del Rio win that way.
Understandably it was done to get Ziggler over as a face which isn’t really working anyway. A little let down by the ending.
Alberto Del Rio defeats Dolph Ziggler – Still World Heavyweight Champion – 4/5
John Cena vs. Mark Henry – WWE Championship
The only match I was dreading the entire night, due to the blatant predictability of the outcome, and yes; you guessed it, the ending was ridiculous.
Mark Henry is probably the top heel in the WWE right now, producing a fantastic ‘retirement’ speech which fooled everyone and that alone made this one of the most anticipated matches of the year; but as news broke out that Cena was going to defend his title at SummerSlam; all the excitement ended as it became predictable once more, Super Cena would rise again.
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL did a good enough job to continue focusing on the build up and what it meant for Henry, Cena unable to lift him for the Attitude Adjustment etc. Really? Of course he can lift up Henry, he has done it before, what has changed in a matter of months? However, once Cena did hit it, Henry kicked out of it which proved to be effective resulting in a great reaction.
The match was not bad, although you could tell the two were working together closely as Cena was seen on numerous occasions telling Henry what do to. Making Henry tap-out was the incorrect thing to do as it just played him out to be weak.
John Cena defeats Mark Henry – Still WWE Champion 3.5/5
Raw All-Stars Money in the Bank: Christian vs. CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Sheamus
The Wyatt Family ruled Kane out of the match and everyone was anticipating the seventh participant who would replace him, eventually it remained at six which was not so bad and the match was a good way to finish off the night, but did not steal the show.
The start was fantastic, everyone hesitating to attack, so they all opted to attack the returning Rob Van Dam who received a decent reception. It was repetitive though, especially compared to the SmackDown Money in the Bank match, this one had two people in the ring, one would climb and the other would pull him off.
RVD and Daniel Bryan were excellent, Bryan was the hot favourite heading into the match but the result was unpredictable as Orton picked up the victory, noting his impressive RKO to RVD off the ladder which was a stand-out point.
Including the interference of Curtis Axel, and Paul Heyman turning on CM Punk, which was inevitable but played out perfectly, topped off by Randy Orton scouting his opponents off the top of the ladder, taking his time to unhook the briefcase, a great match but not the best out of the two.
Mr. Money in the Bank – Randy Orton – 4/5
Match of the night: Smackdown Money in the Bank
Superstar of the night: Damien Sandow
Overall rating: 4/5
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