It’s the final pay per view before the highly anticipated brand extension in July and WWE have been hyping this show as the “Greatest Money in the Bank Ever” with WrestleMania-worthy main events! Because they have been promoting it as such, I think it’s fair to say that there were major expectations going into the show. We’ve paid our $9.99 for the WWE Network, we’ve tuned in and now it’s WWE’s turn to hold up their end of the bargain. Did they do it?
Like Extreme Rules, I’m not covering the kick off show. Just quickly though, Breezango were sunburned and lost to the incredibly annoying ‘Golden Truth’. The Lucha Dragons are apparently still a thing, besting the Dudleyz who probably would be better off anywhere else but WWE and Lita replaced the recently suspended Jerry Lawler on the kick off panel because sometimes we actually can have nice things, plus Corey Graves appears to be hungover. If you really want to watch the whole pre-show, here you go.
Starting off the show is The New Day defending the tag titles against Enzo & Cass, The Vaudevillians and Gallows & Anderson. Before the match, Enzo & Cass cut a promo about gambling because they’re in Las Vegas tonight. While The New Day dress down all three teams, calling The Vaudevillians “Monopoly men” and taunt Gallows & Anderson by calling themselves the *ELITE team today.
If you’re unaware, The Elite are a trio in Japan and ROH. The three members are all part of The Bullet Club, in which Gallows & Anderson were members of… How much detail do I have to go into here? You should know this already.
These four teams were all involved with the eight-man tag match on Raw, but this is even harder to execute because there’s so many more moving parts. While everyone involved did a great job, it was clunky at times. The referee hesitated before going to count for Enzo because Gallows (who was supposed to break it up) was out of position and had to stall. And then for the finish, Cass was out of position and Gallows just stood there and watched his partner on Big E’s shoulders, not doing anything. It was a bit of a mess, but it was exciting. New Day retain.
Next up is a rivalry that may out live us all, Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler. This rivalry stemmed from something and then it all broke down to kicking each other in the balls. Sadly though, this is not the first ever ‘Kick My Balls’ match. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t paying attention here. I went and made breakfast during this match. I think I heard the crowd chant ‘BORING!’ but I can’t be sure as I was in the other room, not watching. Anyway, Corbin wins and please let this feud be done now.
Speaking of feuds that need to end, Charlotte and Natalya. It was always a strange choice to position Natalya as the top babyface of the women’s division post-WrestleMania considering Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks were left to do practically nothing. Since then, the women’s division has been stalled by a lack of time or interest being put into them on TV. So we go to this, a tag match with Charlotte and Dana facing Becky Lynch and Natalya.
This match wasn’t bad, just nothing stood out to make it good. Dana threw Becky into Natalya and Charlotte took advantage to score the win. Post-match, Natalya turns on Becky and attacks her from behind. It looks like we have a secondary women’s rivalry on our hands which hopefully means Sasha is about to be brought back into the fold. One can hope anyway.
And just when you thought that we were getting any momentum behind this show, Sheamus is here to put a stop to it. He’s facing Apollo Crews in his pay per view debut. Now I’ve been very critical of Apollo Crews in my weekly Raw commentaries. He’s shown very little personality and purpose and he’s just been given the smiling babyface role. I can’t say much has changed here with this match, but at least we knew why Apollo wanted to beat Sheamus.
You can’t deny the in-ring ability of Crews, there were a number of very impressive spots in the match such as the moonsault off the apron. But it’s Apollo who scores the upset victory over Sheamus with an inside cradle. Sheamus was WWE champion at the end of last year. Do you remember that?
Finally, after an hour and a half (2 and a half if you started with the pre-show) we’re at our first of three main events. John Cena vs. AJ Styles for the first time ever, one of the few realistic dream matches left that can be made. Las Vegas was firmly in the corner of AJ Styles, but the crowd is electric. As the bell rings the crowd was at a fever pitch, yelling and cheering and nothing had even happened yet.
The match was very good, but it had a very different feel to it. The story told in the match was that Cena couldn’t quite get any sustained momentum against Styles. At every turn, whenever Cena would go for one of his patented sequences, AJ would be able to cut him off. False finishes galore here as you would expect with a match of this magnitude. It all came to a stop when the referee was kicked in the face, knocking him out of the ring. Gallows & Anderson snuck in and hit the ‘Magic Killer’ on Cena which allowed AJ to cover him to get the cheap win.
We all knew this wasn’t going to be a one-off match, so it gives perfect reason for a rematch. People will complain “Why couldn’t AJ beat Cena clean? AJ looks weak!” and other cringe worthy IWC common complaints. But AJ’s a heel and that’s what heels do. It’s amazing that people manage to forget simple basics like that. Anyway, the match was great, and the story is leading to another encounter so it all gets a thumbs up.
We move on to the match this show was named after, the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Del Rio, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro and Chris Jericho all vying for the contract that gives them a WWE Title match whenever they want for up to one year. The match as you would expect was an absolute car crash, but not in the bad Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal way, in the this is so dangerous and exciting I can’t look away sort of way.
There’s so many incredible spots in this match that you should just go watch it again now. Dean Ambrose was lucky enough to be the one that grabbed the briefcase and can now have a championship match whenever he pleases. He teased it on Raw that he might do it straight away. It’s hard to tell how this match will stack up against the rest when we aren’t even twenty-four hours removed, but it was absolute quality.
Because you have to break up the main events, it’s time for the United States Championship match which I’m sure a lot of people (including me) forgot was even on the card. Anyway, it’s Father’s Day in America and the guy whose gimmick is “he’s a great Dad’ is getting a title match and it all makes sense now. Titus comes out to a reception from the crowd that can only resemble a surprise party where all the invitees forgot to turn up.
It’s a pretty standard match and thankfully Rusev manages to retain his title. After the match Rusev goes over to Titus’ kids (who are at ringside) to say their father is a loser and happy father’s day, I hope Rusev is champ for a long time to come.
The third and final main event of the evening as everyone’s favourite champion Roman Reigns defends against the man who never lost the title, Seth Rollins. The video package that played beforehand once again painted Rollins in a much better light than Reigns. It also made Reigns’ championship win a WrestleMania seem like the biggest celebration ever and I can tell you from firsthand experience, it was the furthest thing from that.
Las Vegas is fully behind Seth Rollins tonight and giving Roman a real hard time once again. This match was very surprising as Roman took on a very heel style of wrestling. He took control of the match, toyed with Seth and told him to quit constantly. Which lead me to thinking we were getting a double turn tonight? That didn’t quite go down but what did was pretty damn good.
After a nicely timed referee bump, Reigns goes for a spear but Rollins counters into a Pedigree in midair! He follows it up with yet another Pedigree and covers him
1… 2… 3!?!?!?!?!?
Seth Rollins has just won the WWE Championship! After being out with injury for seven months, Seth Rollins is back on top of the mountain and he did it fair and square!
Goodnight everybody from Las Vegas… Wait a minute!
Dean Ambrose’s music hits and blindsided Seth from behind with the Money in the Bank briefcase. He’s cashing in! Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds and just like that, Dean Ambrose is finally the WWE Champion! Here’s what I said in the most recent Raw commentaries.
“But Ambrose says if he wins the Money in the Bank, he might cash in and he’ll leave Las Vegas with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Well, they’ve telegraphed that shocker so it’s definitely not happening.”
Okay WWE I get it. I’m a smart-arse who has been proven wrong again. Leave me alone.
As I said at the top of the article, WWE advertised it as the “Greatest Money in the Bank ever!” and did they live up to that promise? Ultimately, no. That’s not to say the show was bad, it was fine, in fact it was pretty damn good for the last half. It had a good start, a so-so middle and a great end. That so-so middle is what keeps it from being called the best ever.
It will be interesting to see what happens on Raw as we’re only four weeks away from the brand extension and WWE haven’t given us a whole lot of information about it yet and they’ve unseated their hand-picked top guy. All that’s certain is we’re getting that Shield Triple Threat soon and I’m salivating at the thought. The three main events delivered and the opener was exciting despite its sloppy execution.
Final Rating: 7.5/10