The SmarK Rant for WWE Money in the Bank 2017
Live from St. Louis, MO
Your hosts are Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton & JBL
Women’s Money in the Bank: Charlotte v. Becky Lynch v. Tamina v. Carmella v. Natalya
Everyone runs for ladders to start, leaving Tamina alone, and she fights everyone else off and beats on Becky in the corner. Charlotte saves and Becky gets into a tug of war with Nattie over the ladder, which results in her getting slammed on it. Nattie makes the first climb, but Charlotte brings her down with the electric chair. Carmella climbs around Charlotte in a clever spot, but they slug it out on top of the ladder until Tamina pushes them over. Natalya tries next and fights off Tamina, but stops to put Becky in the Sharpshooter for some dumb reason and gets laid out. Becky clears the ring and climbs, but Carmella saves and slams her off a ladder. Charlotte cleans house and climbs, but Tamina follows her up and they tumble off, where Charlotte puts her on the floor with a spear. That was a really sloppy spot. And then Charlotte does another botched spear on the floor and hits both Tamina and Natalya with a twisting moonsault off the top. Back in, Becky powerbombs Carmella off the ladder and climbs it, but James Ellsworth saves his meal ticket and dumps the ladder over. And with Carmella out, he decides to be the hero and climbs himself, giving Carmella the briefcase at 13:22. The referees argue amongst themselves, but the decision appears to stand. And really, there’s no rules, so huzzah. Really weak finish and an abrupt end to the match. They seemed to be setting up to continue the match or some other twist, but nope. Obviously they couldn’t live up to the standard of the men’s matches, but it was going well before that. Unfortunately it was like the first half of a great match. **3/4 Really though, to spend a ten minute video package telling us about the WOMEN’S REVOLUTION and then have the match won by a man is a bit much.
Meanwhile, Lana is ready for her first ever match as her Russian accent fades even faster.
Smackdown tag titles: The Usos v. The New Day
Big E and Kofi dominate Jey to start, but Jimmy pulls down the top rope and Kofi takes an impressive bump to the floor. It was pretty much a Fosbury Flop. They add a suplex into the post, and Jimmy goes to the chinlock in the ring. They double-team Kofi in the corner for the heat and the crowd isn’t particularly into it. Kofi fights back with a double stomp and it’s hot tag Big E. Uranage out of the corner gets two on Jimmy. Jimmy escapes the finisher and bails to the apron, but Big E spears him to the floor. Back in, Kofi misses Trouble in Paradise, and the Usos go to work on his leg and Jey puts him in Konnan’s Tequila Sunrise. Big E manages to save and Kofi gets a wacky guillotine submission and the SOS for two. Jey superkicks Kofi and goes up with the big splash, but Big E catches him with the Big Ending for two, although they badly mistimed it. Would have been awesome had it happened. Xavier tries to rally the team with the trombone and Big E dumps both Usos (Usae?) allowing Kofi to hit them with a dive. Back in, Midnight Hour on Jey gets two as Jimmy saves. And then the Usos walk out on the match at 12:13. I HATE that finish. They were having a lot of communication problems and blown spots, but the crowd got into it by the end. **1/2
Meanwhile, Bob Orton and Sgt. Slaughter are hanging out backstage pretending to have a conversation.
Smackdown Women’s title: Naomi v. Lana
Lana quickly takes over with some stuff, and Naomi misses a charge and hurts her leg. Lana works it over a bit on the floor and we head back in for a chinlock and a pair of suplexes. She works the leg again with some boring stuff while the announcers fall over each other talking about how Naomi is in “dire straits” and Shane is a genius for allowing this to happen. Naomi hits She Calls It The Rear View for two, but Lana boots her down and gets a spinebuster for two. This brings out Carmella, who teases a cash-in but then changes her mind, and Naomi uses the insanely long distraction and puts Lana in a submission hold to retain at 7:30. Well, we’re 3/3 for shit finishes tonight. ½* Like, we were legitimately supposed to be impressed with Lana’s performance?
The Fashion Files see Breezango getting closer to the truth, via a mysterious challenge delivered by VHS tape. Not Coliseum.
Mike & Maria Kanellis finally make their debut and they’re going to teach us the power of love. This pretty much landed with a thud.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are both outraged at how the fans got screwed in the MITB match. Coming up with a shitty finish and then trying to pretend that it’s “part of the storyline” doesn’t exactly make it any better.
WWE title: Jinder Mahal v. Randy Orton
The pre-match video takes FOREVER and doesn’t really make me care about seeing this again. There’s legends at ringside for some reason, because I guess in addition to the sin of being foreign, Jinder also disrespects legends. So now the LEGEND KILLER is the one standing up for them. Or something, I dunno. Orton attacks and goes for the RKO early, but Jinder escapes and regroups. Back in, Orton with a Thesz Press and a Garvin Stomp, as we cover the full gambit of NWA World champions from best to worst. To the floor and Orton beats him out there and drags him back in, but Jinder backdrops him out. Jinder goes to work on the knee and chokes Orton out in the ring. To the floor, where Orton takes over again and suplexes Jinder onto the laps of the legends, but Jinder drops him on the table to go after the knee again. Back in, Jinder goes back to the knee and grabs a hold. Orton bails and Jinder drops the knee on the railing. Back in, big boot gets two. Mahal draws a lot of heat for being himself, but he just doesn’t look or wrestle like a top guy and it’s very jarring. And indeed, he grabs another hold on the mat and then goes to a figure-four. Orton reverses it and Jinder makes the ropes and stomps him down to take over again. Next up, a spinning toehold, which Orton reverses into a cradle for two. They fight for a superplex in the corner and Orton gets that one for two. They slug it out and Orton makes his usual comeback and hits the RKO, but the Singhs put Jinder’s foot on the ropes. So the ref throws them out of the match and they yell at the legends instead of leaving, so Orton beats them up. They get dropped on the table AGAIN and apparently the referee just isn’t going to count anyone out of the ring ever here. So after destroying them, Orton walks into the cobra slam and gets pinned at 21:11. Jesus, what is WITH these finishes tonight? We’ve already had multiple distraction finishes. Just an average, boring, TV match. **1/2
Meanwhile, the commercials for Great Balls of Fire are somehow getting WORSE.
Breezango v. The Ascension
So this apparently means that the Ascension is the payoff for the mystery angle. This immediately kills the crowd and the Ascension beats on Breeze while the announcers start their “witty” banter to fill time. Conor with an elbow for two and he hits the chinlock, but Breeze makes the hot tag to Fandango, I guess? He cleans house, but walks into a spinebuster from Conor for two. They set up for a finish on Fandango, but he cradles Conor for the pin at 3:50. Well at least we had one clean finish tonight. *
Money in the Bank: AJ Styles v. Dolph Ziggler v. Shinsuke Nakamura v. Kevin Owens v. Sami Zayn v. Baron Corbin
We are most definitely into “save the show” territory here. Corbin attacks Nakamura to cut off his entrance and he’s apparently out of the match. Everyone brawls on the floor, with Zayn and Owens of course pairing off. Ziggler and Corbin team up on Styles and clothesline him with a ladder, and then Corbin turns on Dolph. Zayn gets taken out by Owens on the floor, and Corbin hits Ziggler with Deep Six on the floor. Zayn hits Corbin with a moonsault to the floor. Into the ring, Owens beats on Styles with a ladder and backdrops him to the floor, but he goes up for a big move and Zayn slams him onto a ladder in a painful looking bump. This wrecks the ladder, so Sami has to grab a replacement before he can climb. Ziggler saves and climbs, but Zayn hits him with the powerbomb and climbs. Corbin and Styles go next, but Ziggler takes Baron down with a Zig Zag. I like the “Borin’ Corbin” sign in the front row. Concise and yet true. Zayn, Ziggler and Styles all fight on the ladder, which ends with Sami taking Ziggler down with a sunset powerbomb from the top of the ladder. Owens hauls Zayn to the floor and tries the apron powerbomb, but Zayn hits him with an exploder on the apron instead in a sick bump. Zayn climbs and Styles comes from nowhere with the flying forearm to knock him off. That one really needed a more dramatic camera angle. Corbin hauls Styles out and beats on him outside, then chokeslams him onto a ladder bridge to get rid of him. Sami hits him with the kick in the corner and climbs, but Ziggler and Owens both save and Owens kicks him in the nuts for good measure. KO has a clear path to the top, but AJ miraculously revives now and saves, then puts Owens through the ladder bridge with a death valley driver. So that leaves AJ alone and he climbs, but Ziggler steals the ladder and AJ is hanging from the case before splatting on the mat. One of these days they’re gonna have to let someone win that way. Corbin looks like the winner, but Nakamura finally returns after pulling a Roman Reigns and missing the whole match. The fans sing his whole song while he kicks Corbin’s ass and knocks him out of the ring. Kinshasa for Ziggler, Kinshasa for Zayn, and Nakamura retrieves a ladder while a lady at ringside advises Nakamura to “kick Owens in the face of America”. So he does. Solid advice, random lady! Nakamura finally gets the chance to climb, but he declines the chance in exchange for a throwdown with AJ. So they have an awesome slugfest and AJ counters the Kinshasa with a flying forearm. So now AJ and Nakamura both climb and slug it out on top, and of course Borin’ Corbin pushes them over and wins the case at 29:50. Because given 5 viable choices for someone interesting and exciting to hold it, they go with HIM. Match was great, but COME ON. ****
The World title match was almost literally the exact same match as last month, down to the Singh brothers going through the tables again, and their idea of a big payoff for the Breezango angle was the goddamn Ascension. And the Women’s MITB was a complete waste, obviously setting up a redo on Smackdown instead of actually delivering a finish. And now we get Baron Corbin carrying around the damn briefcase for months to really freshen up the World title scene.
Thumbs down. They’ve been inoffensively dull and repetitive since Wrestlemania, but this was actively insulting at times.