Originally published on Trevor Trove on June 21, 2017
This week’s Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View had the potential to be one of the all-time greats but a whole bunch of shady finishes and bad booking left it one of the weakest. Even the couple of highlights like the Tag Championship and Men’s Money in the Bank match were dampened by a shoddy ending and the wrong person winning, respectively.
Kick-off Match: The Hype Bros. vs. The Colons
It was pretty clear that the win was gonna go to the guy coming back from time off. Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley got to do their part for the Pay-Per-View by getting the St. Louis crowd…well…hyped.
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Tamina vs. Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella vs. Becky Lynch
Thinking back, the match was more or less standard fair. I don’t even remember too many crazy ladder spots outside of Ellsworth tipping off Becky Lynch. The only other big spot I remember was Charlotte’s corkscrew off the turnbuckle. It definitely wasn’t bad. But also not as iconic as I think it could have been.
But then we got that dumbass finish and two days later they’ve taken the briefcase away from Carmella and announced that there’s going to be another Ladder Match set for next Tuesday. So is the plan gonna be that the REAL match with all of the crazy big spots was being saved for next Tuesday to try and bolster the sagging TV ratings? Well it still won’t undo the fact that the WWE’s first even Women’s Money in the Bank match was won by a man. “Because fuck you,” says Vince McMahon from high atop his ivory tower.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions: The Usos vs. The New Day
This was actually a pretty solid bout. There were a lot of false finishes that made the third act of the fight a ton of fun (except for that moment that one of the Usos was clearly late in breaking up the pin and so the ref pretty much counted three even though he knew he wasn’t supposed to).
The countout is a clever finish in a vacuum. But following the bullshit finish of the Women’s Money in the Bank match, it should have ended another way. And with Jimmy Uso’s attempted countout last night, it has the Usos coming across as cowards who can’t back up their big talk.
SmackDown Women’s Champion: Naomi vs. Lana
Yet another match with a tarnished finish as Carmella teased cashing in her newly acquired briefcase. But considering Daniel Bryan was already tweeting out that he’d address the controversial Women’s Money in the Bank ending on Tuesday’s show, it was pretty clear they wouldn’t actually be cashing it in that night.
Debut/Return of Mike (Bennett) and Maria Kanellis
I don’t really know either of these two. Their apparent gimmick as married motivational speakers (with Mike having taken Maria’s name) seemed like it needed something other than the PPV live debut it got (maybe some pre-taped segments or something or even a tie-in to the Miz/Maryse Raw storyline maybe).
WWE Championship: Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton
So this match pretty much played out exactly like the one at Backlash did. Orton had Jinder beat, then the Singh Brothers interfered, Orton beat the crap out of them, and Jinder used the distraction to land his finisher and get the win.
And the fact that this match happened before the Men’s Money in the Bank match guaranteed that we wouldn’t be seeing that one cashed in here.
Breezango vs. The Ascension
An impromptu match between the very over Breezango and the mystery opponents who attacked Tyler Breeze last week. Apparently it was the Ascension. Breezango took a quick win to give the audience a palette cleanser between the Championship match and the Money in the Bank one that would round out the show.
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, US Champ Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Baron Corbin
There was a lot of great stuff here. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Corbin taking out Nakamura before the match. It was pretty telegraphed that he’d come back by the match’s end so it just served as a way to have one less body running around for most of the proceedings.
Sami Zayn had a couple of great moments like the sunset flip powerbomb from the top of the ladder on Ziggler. So it was pretty clear he wasn’t gonna walk away with the briefcase.
Styles slammed Owens on the ladder in a great spot. And Styles had the moment where he was hanging from the briefcase for a long while before ultimately crashing down after Ziggler pulled the ladder away.
With everyone down, Corbin had the ladder ready to go but stopped like a goddamn idiot when Nakamura’s music hit and he slowly came back down. If he was going to win anyway, the fact that he didn’t just climb the damn ladder there had me annoyed.
But Nakamura came in and wrecked shop. Again, this basically meant the booking figured out a way to comfortably give five of them something to do and then one of them something to do for a few minutes.
There was a great brief showdown between Styles and Nakamura. I’ve got to imagine that was setting up a feud between the two down the line because the brief moment here was great.
Then finally, Corbin tipped a ladder to get them off and climb it himself. A pretty anticlimactic and boring finish, fitting of a boring winner. I’ve been watching since about Wrestlemania and he’s yet to do anything of consequence so I’m left wondering “why him?” but then I remember they’ve been pulling the same shit with Jinder so it’s just the year of unearned pushes I guess.