Turnbuckle Radio hosts Brian and Trevor break down the action from Sunday’s WWE Money in the Bank PPV live from the Wells Fargo Centre in Philadelphia, PA.
WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. The Usos (Kickoff Match): WINNER – The Shield
T: I’m a big fan of the Shield but I admittedly wanted to see the Usos take this one. The powerbomb/superplex spot late in the match was superb! I honestly thought the Usos had it there for a second but nobody gets up from a spear from Roman Reigns, which solidified their win over the Usos.
B:WWE continues their trend of delivering great matches on the PPV kick-off show. At the beginning, the Philly fans were chanting “RVD”, and by the end they were chanting “this is awesome”. That says it all.
In addition to the actual wrestling, the dramatic build in this match was fantastic — I also thought the Usos had the win, and I rarely get suckered by a “two” count any more.
As for the outcome, the WWE desperately needs star teams in the tag-team division, and they had a chance to make the Usos just that tonight by putting the straps on them. On the flip side, the win keeps momentum going for the Shield, which has been in a bit of a holding pattern lately. If WWE wants to keep these guys at the top of the mountain, time to advance their storyline.
World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match: WINNER – Damien Sandow
T: To kick off the PPV, seven heels squared off for a chance to win a contract for the World Heavyweight Championship. This match had some great spots. The Barrett Bullhammer from atop the ladder to Swagger was great; as was the teamwork between Cesaro and Swagger . I was pretty damn excited when Swagger hoisted Cesaro on his shoulders, basically acting as a ladder for Cesaro — I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Having The Shield and the Usos come in and interfere was a good twist but seemed to take away from the actual competitors in the match.
But it was in the latter stages where the match got real interesting. Cody Rhodes was climbing the ladder, seemingly all alone, and ready to grab the briefcase. But then his “partner” Damien Sandow pushes Rhodes off the ladder and climbs the steps to claim the Money in the Bank Contract! You’re Welcome!
B: Sandow won? Holy crap! I never, ever, eee-veeeerrrr saw that coming! As a Sandow fan, I’m ecstatic. As a, ahem, wrestling journalist, I am stunned. Sandow is the quintessential midcard heel — and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible, so it will be interesting to see where WWE goes with this. I fear it may spell the end of Team Rhodes Scholars, especially given the match ending.
As for the action itself, this was one of the weaker ladder matches I’ve seen (keeping in mind, the bar has been set pretty high), and I was not a big fan of all the outside interference.
EXTRA: New RAW General Manager Brad Maddox came out to say a few words. Maddox attempted to get a ‘Thank You Vicky’ chant going and later showed an embarrassing clip show of his former boss. I love his sarcastic sense of entitlement. It makes me laugh. But in this case, the clip show was probably the best part. Hopefully he does better on RAW…
The Miz vs. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel: WINNER – Curtis Axel
T: The Miz came out to eventually end the Maddox segment. Miz came out dawning his ridiculous jacket/cape – can we all agree that thing needs to go?? But the Miz actually did something clever. After getting knocked out of the ring, The Miz preceded to slap himself and pretend to be hurt while blaming Axel’s manager Paul Heyman for the assault. The stunt proved believable, as the referee in charge kicked Heyman back to the locker room and away from ringside. Nice touch.
The rest of the match proved to be kind of a bore, although I do love watching Axel execute the PerfectPlex. In the end, Axel lands his patented swinging face buster move (does it have a name?) to land the 1-2-3.
B: Bor-ing! Both these guys have lost steam (actually, Miz lost his a long long time ago), so a status quo outcome was fine, even if the match was just meh.
It was good to see Axel get a win without Heyman’s shenanigans. Axel has had very few clean wins to this point, and if WWE is serious about making him a star, he’ll need more results like this.
Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn: WINNER AJ Lee
T: Despite the WWE best efforts to hype this re-match, I personally cannot stand the cat fight they’ve turned this feud into. But in the ring, both women are great technical competitors and this match proved to be their best altercation. filled with great submissions, and high impact moves, the match was quite good. AJ was able to lock in her Black Widow submission, which is totally awesome, and force Kaitlyn to tap out to keep her Divas Championship. Good match.
B: AJ is emerging as a brilliant wrestler. If she’s not on par in terms of aerial ability or flat-out athleticism with the likes of Trish or Lita (the standard-bearers for women’s wrestling in the WWE), she might actually be better technically. As she’s been getting pretty good matches out of Kaitlyn. That was the case here again tonight, and AJ’s Black Widow finisher was spectacular. One of the best feuds in the Divas division in a long time, in no small part because of the strong in-ring action, so I don’t be quite happy if they keep it going for another PPV. Not like they’ve got any better alternatives until Paige gets promoted from NXT.
Chris Jericho vs. Ryback: WINNER – Ryback
T: Of all the matches on the card, this one proved to be the easiest to predict. Jericho is at a point in his career where he isn’t necessarily expected to win the big matches, rather he serves as a launching pad for other superstars. A win by Ryback over Jericho helps to cement his character as a main player in the WWE. And it was good to see Ryback finally get a legitimate PPV match and the win. Hopefully he can square off a more legitimate face and establish a real rivalry, perhaps a Sheamus?
I love Jericho, but again he’s not necessarily a full-time superstar…who knows how long he lasts. Nonetheless, he is a great performer and it’s because of that this match turned out to be pretty entertaining despite the lame schoolboy pin finish. But good to see Ryback go over.
B: Decent match for what it was. Ryberg gets by on size and strength, Jericho on skill and ability, so it’s also hard to tell how guys of this ilk will match up, and they did ok. I thought Jericho was going to win, and I’m on board with partner in crime here, Ryberg needed a legit win. A loss would have meant an extended, perhaps permanent, spot in mid-card indifference.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler: WINNER – Alberto Del Rio
T: This match was simply fantastic for 10 minutes and then absolutely brutal for 10 seconds. What was shaping up to be a classic back and forth battle between two great competitors was ruined by a random interference by AJ Lee, who came into the ring and popped Del Rio in the face with her Divas title, costing Ziggler the match and the World Heavyweight title.
Ziggler and AJ begin to argue after the match which will trigger the break-up rumours between the couple. I will be sure to file that one under the ‘who gives a shit’ category. A great match with great spots was ruined by typical wrestling drama. Lame. Simply lame.
B: Pretty good outing from a couple of guys who are excellent workers, and held up that part of the bargain tonight. The conclusion pushes us closer towards an AJ/Dolph split, which has to happen to solidify Mr. Ziggler as a face. The fans clearly love Ziggler – particularly in a ‘what’s bad is good’ town like Philly – but I hate him as a face. He’s still waayyy too much of a jackass to get behind. So I guess the rivalry carries on to SummerSlam?
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Mark Henry: WINNER -John Cena
T: The buildup for this match has been great, beginning with Mark Henry turning on Cena at his ‘retirement’ speech on RAW several weeks ago. However, everybody knew heading into this match that Cena would win – which is a shame because Henry ultimately deserves the strap. But Cena is WWE’s poster boy and there was no way they were going to let him lose.
To start, I loved the crowd during this match. Cena getting booed and Henry getting cheered was fantastic, and representative of how the majority of the WWE Universe feels about a guy like Henry – you have no choice but to respect the man, and not just because he’s frightening. His body of work and his history with the WWE is nothing short of impressive.
But that doesn’t mean anything in today’s WWE. Cena is the poster boy, and he won’t lose the title to anyone that’s not a ‘big name’ or an emerging superstar, like Daniel Bryan.
The match went as predictable as you think it would. Henry dominates early, manhandling Cena and getting some close falls. Cena eventually comes back with a series of lame shoulder blocks, his low-impact back drop, and his child-friendly 5 knuckle shuffle. Lame. I’ll have to give credit where credit is due, after Cena collapses under the weight of Henry while going for the AA, Cena is finally able to lift Henry and land his signature move. However, Henry somehow kicks out (something I didn’t see coming for a change) and in frustration Cena goes to the top rope and jumps, but is caught by Henry who lands the World’s Strongest Slam. But Cena too kicks out. Henry rips off the turnbuckle but Cena is able to bounce Henry off it and lock him into his submission that doesn’t hurt, a.k.a the STF. And somehow Henry TAPS OUT, proving reality and wrestling are further apart now more than ever. In nature, Henry would eat Cena. In the WWE, Cena is the champ. C’est la vie.
B: Loved that they brought up how Henry made his debut in Phlly 17 years ago at In Your House: Mind Games (side note: if you’ve never seen it, stop everything you’re doing right now and watch the HBK/Mankind match from that PPV). Unfortunately, that was not foreshadowing Henry’s career coming full-circle with a victory tonight.
We all knew Cena would win, but still, what a horrible ending. Henry taps out, and then gets helped off by the ref? Are you freakin’ kidding me? WWE always does a fantastic job building Henry up as an unstoppable monster prior to the match, and then makes him look ordinary when it comes to the PPV. Garbage. On a positive note I haven’t mentioned the crowd much yet, but they have been ON FIRE tonight, which has greatly benefited several matches, this one included. Did I actually hear portions of the audience rapping along to Henry’s theme during his entrance? Awesome.
Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder Match: WINNER: Randy Orton
T: Easily the best match of the night, as it should be. To my surprise, RVD came out to the ring first, much to the delight of the WWE Universe. Many R-V-D chants were had, and there was much rejoicing. But you could argue Daniel Bryan got the best pop by the crowd – they just love this guy.
To start, RVD is swarmed by the other five competitors and taken care of swiftly and thrown out of the ring. Same thing happens to Sheamus. With so much happening I`ll just give you the cliff notes: RVD gets in a lot of his big moves early but also gets thrown from the ring onto a pile of ladders. Ouch. At one point all six competitors climb atop of two ladders and simultaneously reach for the swinging briefcase. Sheamus gets pulled from atop a ladder by CM Punk and has his trunks pulled down – now that’s a pasty white ass! RVD climbs to the very top rung of the ladder and lands a splash on Christian! AMAZING! Daniel Bryan goes crazy and kicks everyones ass, hits Sheamus from atop the turnbuckle with a ladder and sends him flying through a ladder. Bryan climbs the ladder and looks to win but Curtis Axel comes out with a chair and hits Bryan! Axel then gets the Go to Sleep by CM Punk and Heyman comes out to chew Axel a new one. Punk climbs the ladder all alone, but Heyman hits Punk with a ladder THREE times and leaves him bloody. RVD begins to climb the ladder but Orton comes out of nowhere and RKOs him, and climbs the ladder to grab the briefcase and win the Money in the Bank contract match. Great match. It will be interesting to see how Orton deals with the briefcase – will he cash it in soon like Cena did last year, or take his time like Ziggler? Should be fun. All in all a decent PPV with a few shocking moments and lot’s to carry over to RAW and the weeks leading up to Summerslam!
B: I have mixed feelings on this one, although the ending will leave a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths. The live crowd certainly didn’t dig it, and I’m guessing that feeling was universal. I’m a huge Orton fan, but having him win MITB doesn’t make a ton of sense. Heyman turning on Punk doesn’t make any sense.There’d better be a damn good explanation for this one, otherwise it’s just a Russo-esque swerve. Fans are far too apathetic towards Axel for him to be injected into the main event like this.
Like the first ladder match, I didn’t like the interference. However, unlike that match, this one held up to my ridiculously high ladder match standards as far as the action was concerned. Great work by everyone involved, as was to be expected. RVD looked good in his return, and the splash from the top of the ladder onto Christian was incredible. Daniel Bryan again stole the show with one of his now-trademark surges of annihilating everyone and everything in his path.
That spot included the “holy shit” moment of the night, as he knocked Sheamus off the top rope with a ladder, sending the Celtic warrior to the floor and through another ladder that broke in half. And the RKO to RVD that effectively ended the match was a thing of beauty.