The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2015

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2015 (06.14.15) We get a very classy ten-bell salute to Dusty Rhodes with the entire roster on the ramp to start. Live from Columbus, OH Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler Money In The Bank: Randy Orton vs. Neville vs. Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns Dolph immediately loses cred for his 80s hair metal jean jacket by spelling “Megadeth” wrong on it. COME ON, DOLPH. Rather mixed reaction for Roman, which has actually been a change from shows as of late. Everyone sprints for the briefcase right away in a nice bit of business, but Kane manages to clean house. Sheamus gets rid of him in turn and fights off the field with a ladder, but Kofi climbs while Sheamus is busy. Sheamus breaks that up and beats on Kofi, but Neville comes back in with a missile dropkick. Kofi takes out Sheamus with the Trouble in Paradise and we get a nice sequence with Kofi and Neville before Reigns breaks it up to a chorus of boos. Tough crowd. Reigns powerbombs Kofi onto a ladder, and then powerbombs Neville onto HIM, and that finally earns him some respect. Kane takes Reigns out with a chokeslam, but Orton returns from the ether and hits the RKO OUTTA NOWHERE on both Kane and Kofi. Neville climbs and Orton gives him more of the same. Next up, Sheamus and Orton continue their insomnia cure feud and slug it out until Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick to end Orton’s run. Sheamus and Ziggler fight on top of the ladder for some near-finishes, and Dolph takes him down with a Zig Zag off the ladder, kind of. Neville adds the Red Arrow onto Sheamus, which has the crowd chanting for NXT. That’s a dangerous thing to do. So now Neville and Ziggler fight on the ladder, but Kane breaks that up and disposes of them like a couple of jobbers. Back to Roman, the real star, who gets rid of Kane with the Superman punch and then takes everyone out with a dive. Hey, the man’s doing his best, no one ever accused him of being lazy. The New Day heads out to assist Kofi and Roman beats them up as well, then tosses Kofi onto everyone, spears Orton, and looks to claim the briefcase…but Bray Wyatt appears out of the dark and takes him out. And with everyone else done, that leaves Sheamus, who wins the briefcase at 20:30. Jesus, they had Roman blow ANOTHER one? They’re gonna Luger this poor guy if they don’t let him get a big win soon. I’d call this a huge waste of the briefcase considering how directionless Sheamus has been and the groan that his win got. Like really, does any human being on earth believe that they’ll actually have SHEAMUS cash in and win against someone? Usual good MITB match, built more around the drama of the climb rather than the crazy ladder spots this time, but nothing special. ***1/2 Also, what’s the point of having Lana come out as Ziggler’s new manager and then having him do nothing and lose? Meanwhile, Paige vows to end the Bella Twins’ reign of terror. Wait, are they heels again? She also dedicates the match to Dusty, which is probably not a good sign for her chances. Divas title: Nikki Bella vs. Paige Paige gets some boots in the corner and tosses Nikki, then follows with a somersault off the apron. They fight on the floor and Nikki does some pushups while we cut to the other women watching the match in the back. Why punish the rest of the division? And really, the only other person with any kind of cred is Naomi, the rest are just there as managers and TV actors at this point. Paige comes back with a Shining Wizard, but Nikki goes to a lengthy bodyscissors on the mat. Paige fights out and now Nikki goes to the chinlock and hits a spinebuster for two, but a blind charge misses. Paige wraps her up in an STF, but Nikki quickly makes the ropes and gets another spinebuster for two. Paige escapes the Rack Attack and gets the Rampaige for two. She stops to cry about it and the announcers are like “Oh man, she hit her one move and didn’t try anything else and that didn’t work, what is she gonna do now?” Truly a conundrum. The twins switch off and Paige pins Brie, who quickly reveals that she was stuffing her bra, and thus the match continues. Nikki then finishes with the Rack Attack to retain at 11:16. So was that our tribute to Dusty? What kind of an idiot referee would not only mistake Brie for Nikki at this point, but then allow the match to continue after someone else interfered? Boring match, stupid finish. *1/2 Also you have to love that the top babyface is portrayed as friendless and the champion is portrayed as being unworthy and dragging down the entire division. Intercontinental title: Ryback vs. Big Show Glad to see Ryback at least wears the belt instead of carrying it around like a prop. Ryback flies out with a spinebuster, hits the lariat and dumps Show to the floor right away. He stops to beat on color commentator Miz, but walks into a spear in the ring. They slug it out and Ryback actually takes him down with a cross armbreaker, but Show makes the ropes. Ryback with a suplex and a splash for two, but he walks into the chokeslam for two. Ryback tries the Shellshock, but Miz runs in for the DQ at 5:40. That was no good, a crappy RAW match with a crappy RAW finish. DUD The Biggest Rematch In The History Of Our Sport: John Cena vs. Kevin Owens To be fair, Cole downgrades it a bit to “one of the most anticipated rematches in recent memory”. Clearly a pro-NXT crowd tonight. They trade shoulderblocks to start and Owens works a headlock while laying down the trash-talk, but Cena escapes with a clothesline. Owens fires back with a dropkick and senton for two, but Cena gets his own dropkick, so Owens fires back with Cena’s usual sequence of offense, including a five knuckle shuffle. Cena reverses him into the STF and gets an inverted suplex for two. Owens with a codebreaker for two. Cena escapes the powerbomb and hits his own, but Owens counters the FU with a german suplex and cannonball into the corner for two. Sideslam gets two. Owens tries a swanton bomb and lands on Cena’s knees, and that had to hurt. Cena with a faceplant out of an electric chair for two, and the FU gets two. Cena actually argues with the ref over that one, then tries a superplex and gets reversed into a powerbomb for two. We get the “This is awesome” chant, which I always hate. Cheer the babyface or boo the heel to show your support, but don’t break the fourth wall like that. Owens tries a powerbomb, which Cena turns into a rana, but Owens drops him with a kick for two. Cena goes back up with a flying shoulderblock for two. Cena goes up again and misses the guillotine legdrop, and Owens gets two off that with a powerbomb. Owens goes up and misses a moonsault, and Cena gets another FU for two. Cena tries another superplex, but Owens reverses into a fisherman’s buster for two. Yikes. Cena gets the STF, but Owens makes the ropes and Cena is getting angry now. Cena gets a sunset bomb for two after a fight for the move, and Cena is finally showing some real emotion. Owens takes advantage with the Pop Up Powerbomb for two. Owen slugs away, but Cena comes back with the stunner and FU to finish at 19:13. Cena wins, LOL. Like really, they seriously beat Owens ALREADY? Incredible match, but why waste the rub that Owens got from the first one? ****1/2 Cena offers the respect handshake, but Owens thankfully turns on him and puts him down with the apron powerbomb to redeem the loss. And then mocks Cena from the ramp. Just make this guy the champion right now. Doesn’t matter which one, all of them really. Dusty Rhodes tribute video, which is pretty great. WWE tag team titles: The New Day vs. The Prime Time Players This feels like it’s going to be the death slot before the ladder match. Funny bit with the New Day getting mad at the crowd’s lack of positivity, as Xavier almost tells them that they suck before Big E cuts him off with some therapeutic clapping. The champs quickly work Darren Young over in the corner and double splash him for two. Big E with an abdominal stretch and belly to belly for two, and Woods goes to a sleeper on the mat and gets a clothesline for two. Big E with an STO for two to keep Young in the heel corner, but Young sends him into the post and makes the hot tag to Titus. He throws the champs around with his usual grace and precision, but Big E spears Young through the ropes and Woods rolls up Titus for two before Titus comes back with Clash of the Titus to win the titles at 5:47. There are some weird booking decisions tonight. Titus is just awful, but I guess they need some kind of babyface stars with the Usos and Tyson Kidd both out. *1/2 WWE World title, ladder match: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose Rollins pounds away in the corner and tosses Ambrose, and they fight on the floor, where Ambrose gets the first dive. At this point I actually get the first glitch in the Matrix from the Network tonight, as the stream has been impeccable and crystal clear up until now. Must not be anyone watching. Rollins tries his own dive, but Ambrose blocks it with a ladder to the head. We get the first climb as they both go up the ladder, but Dean brings him down and suplexes him onto the ladder. Ambrose drops an elbow off the top of the ladder and makes another climb, but Rollins breaks it up with a chair and goes after the knee. That’s pretty smart. That goes on for a while, actually, and Rollins gets a figure-four before Ambrose reverses out. Finally he goes for a climb, but Ambrose saves and fights back before accidentally walking into the ladder on his rebound clothesline. Rollins goes back to the knee, but goes up and gets crotched and clotheslined off the top. Ambrose makes another comeback and takes him to the floor with a Cactus Clothesline, but Rollins goes to the knee again and heads back in to climb. He changes his mind and tosses the ladder at Dean instead, but gets hit with the rebound lariat. And it’s back to the floor again for a brawl into the crowd. Did they go really short on this show and just decide to stretch this out by having nothing happen for the first 20:00 or something? So Seth wins that brawl and heads back to pull out another ladder, but Ambrose returns from the crowd to stop him again. The ladder gets put between the apron and the table, and Rollins takes a backdrop through it, so Ambrose has to find yet another ladder. Seems unfair that the MITB match has 18 of them strewn around the ringside area but these poor guys have to dig them out from under the ring. Dean does the dramatic slow climb, but Rollins saves and they tumble to the floor again. Their next victim is the spanish announce table, as Dean hits Dirty Deeds on the table and fails to break it. Ambrose tries another climb, but Rollins saves with Ambrose’s mortal enemy: A TV set. Rollins adds a Pedigree and climbs, but Ambrose pulls him down and tosses him again. Rollins has just had enough of this shit and sends him into the ladder and then powerbombs him into the railing in a sick spot…and then does it again. You’d think that would sufficient, but Rollins is nothing if not thorough, so he pulls out a pile of chairs and powerbombs him on THOSE. Cole calls it a “symbolic burial” as Rollins dumps a pile of chairs on him. I think that word does not mean what you think it does, Michael. So Rollins climbs, but Ambrose somehow manages to revive from THREE POWERBOMBS on the floor and comes back to fight on top. That’s a little silly. They fight for the belt and both fall holding the belt, but Seth holds on for the win at 35:45. Weak ending after a setup that should have been a clean win for Rollins. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one, as they took too long to get where they were going, but it was a great effort from both guys and at least Rollins won by himself. ***3/4 The Pulse Everything mostly delivered, although the booking was really weird tonight and there was some epic garbage in between the great matches. Thumbs up, but nothing I’ll want to watch again as a whole.

Brock and Money in the Bank


What about Brock winning MITB? The idea of The Beast Incarnate spending a month or two stalking Rollins seems to good to pass up. Which, of course, means WWE will have Reigns win the briefcase. But seriously–Rollins could sell that kind of paranoia like no one else on the roster, and Brock cashing in could just loom over everything….

You, as always, are a huge slut, and your blog is my first stop every morning. Thank you.

Brock destroying Kofi and taking his place in the ladder match, then letting everyone kill themselves before storming out and F5'ing everyone in the match to claim the briefcase would be GENIUS.  Can you imagine how much the champion would be pissing himself knowing that Brock could literally come down to the ring and kill him any time he wanted?  That being said, two weeks of build for Brock would be silly, so it won't happen.  But that's not to say Brock won't just steal the briefcase from whoever and declare it his own property. 
The scenario floated by Dave and Bryan last night, which I also like, is Roman winning the briefcase (because, duh) and Ambrose winning the World title for realz in the main event, only to have bestest buddy Reigns go heel and beat the shit out of him to cash in.  That would rip the hearts of the crowd in the best way and probably get Roman over once and for all.  

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2014

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2014 Live from Boston, MA Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL WWE tag titles: The Usos v. The Wyatt Family Not a fan of messing with the Wyatt music at this stage of the game. Jey gets a bodypress on Harper to start, but Jimmy comes in and walks into a dropkick. The Wyatts quickly work Jimmy over in the corner, but Rowan ventures too far into the Uso territory and gets double-teamed. To the floor, where Jey gets a dive off the railing and back in with a bodypress for two. Sadly, Rowen tosses him off the top and into the railing, and Jey is YOUR twin-in-peril. Rowan tosses him around the ring for two, and Harper cuts off the tag before putting him down with a big boot for two. Rowan misses a charge and it’s hot tag Jimmy. Samoan drop for both Wyatts and he hits Harper with a corkscrew dive for two. Pair of superkicks gets two. Rowan goes after Jey on the outside and Jimmy hits them with a dive, but Harper clobbers him from behind as a result. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Jimmy rolls up Harper for two, but Harper powerbombs him for two. And now Harper is doing dives, taking out both Usos on the outside. Back in the ring, things look bleak for Jimmy and a double chokeslam gets two. Jey makes the save and dumps Harper, but Rowan goes up and gets crotched. The Usos return with a double superplex and both hit flying splashes to retain at 13:05. Kind of a surprising result, actually. Great opener, too. ***1/2 Meanwhile, Dean Ambrose is unsure whether to win the case or smash Seth’s face in. He settles on both. Divas title: Paige v. Naomi They fight out of the ring on a vicious lockup, but Naomi tosses Paige off the apron by the hair. She follows with a dive that looked like it might have broken a few ribs. Back in, that gets two. Naomi with a flying bodypress that Paige reverses for two. They trade rollups for two and Naomi rolls her into a submission move, but releases and goes up. And they mess up again and both fall to the floor, as they seem to be grasping past their skill level tonight. Back in, Paige gets the dreaded STUMP PULLER, but gets nowhere with it. It’s been well documented that the pain of the hold comes from an erection digging into the neck of the victim, and obviously that wouldn’t apply here. Naomi with the butt-butt for two, and apparently this is her deadly finisher. So, bummer for her, I guess. Paige tries a rollup and gets reversed for two, but comes back with a DDT to retain at 7:05. So yeah, Paige gets beat up the whole match and wins on a fluke, as usual. *1/2 Meanwhile, we go to the panel of “experts” for some talking. The expert picks are Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt, so you can eliminate them from the running. Adam Rose v. Damien Sandow Sandow’s costume of choice tonight is Paul Revere. This poor guy. Sandow attacks in the corner and pounds him on the apron, then goes to the chinlock while the crowd tries to get the theme song going. Sandow with the Elbow of Disdain and a chinlock while the announcers drift off into some other conversation entirely. Rose makes the comeback, but walks into a Sandow clothesline and the full nelson slam for two. Rose finishes with the facelock DDT at 4:17. I think it’s almost time to give up on both guys. Clearly the audiences aren’t getting the Rose deal and shoving him out there to die week after week isn’t gonna suddenly get him over. ½* Money In The Bank: Seth Rollins v. Dean Ambrose v. Jack Swagger v. Kofi Kingston v. Dolph Ziggler v. Rob Van Dam Apparently Dean is going minimalist with his new gear by just using jeans and wifebeater. Seems apt. He immediately brawls out with Rollins because they hate each other and that’s awesome. Kofi immediately starts with the crazy stuff, running up a ladder held by Swagger and then hitting a Boomdrop onto the ladder. Kofi climbs and Ambrose saves, pushing him into a dive on the other guys. He’s earned his pay tonight. The Dean and Seth show continues as they battle over the ladder, which Dean wins via a suplex onto the ladder. Dolph and Kofi slug it out on the ladder, but then team up to get rid of everyone and go right back to punching each other on the ladder. Rollins gets rid of them and then it’s time for a sequence with RVD. Rob with a wacky Rolling Thunder onto the ladder in the corner and he boots Ambrose off the apron and hits the frog splash on Swagger. Swagger comes back with a ladder to get rid of Kofi, and then sets it up in the corner for a crazy superplex attempt on RVD that goes horribly wrong for him. Rob looks to follow with a frog splash off the top of the ladder, but Rollins breaks it up and Swagger powerbombs RVD off the ladder instead. And then Ambrose superplexes Rollins off the ladder because SOMEONE had to. Swagger cleans house on everyone and hits a Swaggerbomb onto Kofi and the ladder, but RVD prevents him from climbing. And it’s back to Dean Hates Seth again as they fight on top of the ladder, but Swagger keeps Ambrose from winning. Rollins climbs and Ambrose stops that as well. Ambrose apparently dislocates his shoulder and the trainers haul him out of the match, drawing the biggest heel reaction of the night. So Rollins goes for the case, but now RVD saves, only for Kofi to construct a bridge out of ladders and climb up himself. Rollins is backdropped onto the horizontal ladder in a terrifying spot, leaving Kofi alone, but Dolph saves out of nowhere and runs wild. Fameasser for RVD and Zig Zag for Kofi, but Swagger uses the anklelock to keep him from climbing. But after Dolph fights him off and gets the big hope spot, Rollins saves to rip the fans’ hearts out again. Rollins climbs, but Ambrose returns and he’s fucking pissed. He beats the blond out of Seth’s hair with a chair and climbs, ONE ARMED mind you, the babyfacest babyface ever, but Kane runs in and saves. Tombstone ends Ambrose’s night, and Rollins gets the academic win at 23:14. Crazy spotfest, but the drama with Rollins and Ambrose at the end was off the charts awesome with the crowd getting played like a fiddle. ****1/2 Rybaxel v. Goldust & Stardust Give it to Cody, he’s all in with whatever crazy shit they throw at him. Also, if you want to hear someone suck the humor and fun out of something most effectively, listen to Michael Cole robotically describing the premise of Slam City here. Imagine Sheamus as a movie usher! I’m gonna say no thanks. The Dusts control Ryback, but Goldust gets clotheslined and Axel pounds away in the corner to take over. Axel chinlocks Goldust and Ryback gets the spinebuster, but the clothesline misses and it’s hot tag Stardust. DDT on Ryback and Axel gets dumped, and the Crossroads gets two. Heels collide and Stardust rolls up Ryback for the pin at 7:40. * Rusev v. Big E Tonight, Big E stands up for MURICA. Why have they not booked Jack Swagger into this feud? It’s RIGHT THERE. Big E pounds away on Rusev and tries the spear through the ropes, but Rusev blocks with a knee and starts throwing suplexes. CLUBBING FOREARMS to the back, but a splash misses and Big E comes back with a belly to belly for two. Rusev misses a blind charge and E slams him for two. Overhead suplex and he spears Rusev off the apron, which does not make Lana happy. Back in, that gets two. Rusev finally puts him down with a pair of kicks and RUSEV CRUSH at 7:15. Rusev should not be selling that much until he gets to the house show run against Hulk Hogan. ** Meanwhile, Brie Bella returns to support her husband, which draws the wrath of Stephanie. Summer Rae v. Layla So apparently the storyline is that these chicks are fighting over FANDANGO. That’s slightly below fighting over shampoo contracts in my book. I’d call this the death slot, but everything after the first ladder match has pretty much been death. Summer Rae with the Nash choke in the corner, but Layla takes her down for two. So out of curiosity, who am I supposed to be cheering for here? Because Summer is clearly a heel and so is the Layla/Fandango pairing. Layla works an indian deathlock, but Summer throws her around as this dies a thousand deaths before our eyes. Layla finishes with a high kick at 3:00. So her prize is that she gets to be with Fandango. Lucky her. DUD WWE World title: Sheamus v. Bray Wyatt v. Alberto Del Rio v. Cesaro v. Randy Orton v. John Cena v. Kane v. Roman Reigns Big slugfest to start and Reigns is the first one to clear the ring and climb, with Sheamus making the save. They have a ladder fight and both climb, which sets up Kane to dump everyone off. This allows Orton to climb with the help of Kane, but Reigns saves. Cesaro puts Cena out with the uppercut, and slugs it out with Sheamus on the ladder, but Wyatt steals the ladder and they’re left hanging onto the belts. Neither can capitalize and Orton is bleeding all over the ring from a ladder to the head. Orton and Sheamus fight on the floor and we get the draping DDT off a ladder as this thing kind of grinds to a halt. Everyone fights over the ladder and tries to climb, but Kane clears the ring. Sheamus goes on a tear next with his sixteen finishers and the crowd isn’t buying any of it. Honestly this has felt like 15 minutes of filler thus far while we wait and wait and wait for Roman Reigns to get his big spots. Sheamus and Cesaro fight on top again, giving us a weird and dangerous spot where Reigns pushes the ladder over and then Cena pushes it back again. So again Orton and Kane clear the ring, but Reigns hits Orton with the Superman punch and goes on his run. So we’re left with Reigns and Cena slugging it out until Reigns gets the spear. Orton takes him out and climbs, but Bray Wyatt finally makes an appearance in the match and saves. Del Rio gets his hope spot, saved by Sheamus, and Cesaro takes HIM out, only for Orton to RKO him off the ladder. Reigns slugs Orton off the ladder, but Kane saves and Orton is a bloody mess again. Cena hits them both with FUs and wins the WWE title at 26:30. Say it with me: Cena wins, LOL. This was a huge disappointment, with all the new faces basically treated like a complete afterthought. *** And really, one FU on Orton and he wins the belt and gets anointed as GREATEST WWE CHAMPION EVER by Michael Cole? Come on now. The Pulse Considering how hard they were pushing the Network for people who ordered the show tonight, you should probably subscribe now before PPV drops them completely, as is inevitable. As a $10/month free show, this was an easy thumbs up for the briefcase match alone, but man what a letdown from the past three years. The Daniel Bryan injury has really sucked all the life out of the promotion, sadly. I take solace in pointing out that I predicted both wins in my Sporting News columns, though. More analysis of this show coming on the Sporting News site tomorrow!

Matt’s Recap: Money in the Bank 2014

Welcome to the Money in the Bank show review!

So, I think I’m gonna cover this from top to bottom — including the pre-show.

TD Garden is packed with ladders everywhere and an armored car.

Renee Young has taken over for Josh Matthews, who was fired from WWE earlier this week. Danielle will be so happy about that.

Booker T, Alex Riley (w/ Boston accent) and Christian who apparently crawled out from where ever he’s been hiding.

Daniel Bryan will be on the show a little later.

And why are we being asked to “order” MITB on the WWE Network?!

gonna be a Vickie special on the WWE Network called “EXCUSE ME: THE
COUGAR COUNTDOWN” because Vickie was fired for realz.

the Daniel Bryan spot is here. Cole asks when he’s gonna be back.
Apparently, he might need surgery again because his strength isn’t

@BelieveInTheAdo asks who he thinks will win
tonight. The crowd shits all over his first two picks: Cena and Orton.
So, he goes for the cheap pop with Roman Reigns RIGHT HERE! IN BOSTON!

Bo Dallas interrupts to add insult to injury. He says he’s sorry Bryan
can’t compete tonight. It’s a “pain in the neck”, in fact. He can still
climb the ladder of LIFE. All he has to do is BOLIEVE.

grins and says he appreciates Bo’s concern and that he should
BO-LIEVE…but Dallas is really being a BO-NER. Segment ends.


Wyatt Time out of nowhere.

Usos time is up. Tick tock, tick tock. Run. Sheep mask.

Anyhow, time for the show…

We get a montage about THE CLIMB TO THE TOP. Who will endure THE CLIMB? WHO???

We are LIVE(!!!) from the TD Garden Center in Boston, Massachusetts!

Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL are the guys on the mic, as usual.

Marcelo Rodriguez, Carlos Cabrera, and Ricardo Rodriguez are the guys in the Spanish booth.

#1: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (champions) vs. The Wyatts (Luke Harper
& Erick Rowan) (challengers) for the WWE Tag Team Championship

Wyatts have new music. It’s even worse than the fucking
calliope/accordion death music we had. It’s this generic, unmemorable
rock bullshit. Jey and Luke start. Jey tackles Harper on a whip and tags
in Jimmy. Jimmy ends up getting drop-kicked and Rowan is tagged. He
knocks Jimmy down and it’s a two count. Tag to Harper and he hits a mean
uppercut and tags Rowan back in. Rowan goes for a Pump Handle Slam but
Jimmy breaks free and tags Jey who hits a Superkick and tackle off the
top rope. Jey goes for a tackle and ends up in a Fallaway Slam. Jey
breaks free and Harper ends up outside. Back in the ring, Jey hits a
crossbody for two. 

Jey gets dumped
outside and Harper is tagged. He attacks Jey outside and steps on his
head, rolling him back inside for two. He slings Jey’s neck into the
ring rope and gets two. Tag to Rowan and he hits an elbow RIGHT TO THE
HEART, according to Cole. He puts the Claw on Jey and then just tosses
him across the ring. Rowan whips Jey into the ropes and Jey hits a
Sunset Flip which is countered by Rowan. Tag to Harper who hits a Big
Boot on Jey for two. Tag to Rowan and a HUGE body slam to Jey. He misses
a splash and charges Jey in the corner but Jey escapes. Tags in both

Jimmy is all over Harper with uppercuts and
then gets whipped into Rowan. He hits a Samoan Drop on both men, then
hits a Butt Splash on Rowan. He hits a Corkscrew on Harper and nearly
gets a pin. He sends Rowan out and kicks Harper in the jaw twice, NEARLY
getting a pin. Outside, Rowan has Jey in his arms, so Jimmy leaps at
Harper, splashing Jey into him. Harper nails Jimmy from behind and the
two set up for a double suplex but Jey makes the save, taking Rowan out
of the ring. Jimmy rolls up Harper and NEARLY gets the fall.

hits the Falling Powerbomb and NEARLY gets a pin. Damn. Dives outside
takes out both Usos. Jey is out. Jimmy gets double powerbombed. It’s
over — NO. Jey comes in to make the save. Jey nails Harper with a kick
to the jaw and Rowan takes him out as well. Rowan goes up top but Jimmy
gets up and rattles the top rope. Jimmy hits a slap to Rowan and goes
for a Superplex but Rowan fights him off. Finally, Jey makes his way in
and both boys go for a Double Superplex! HOLY SHIT. Tag to Jimmy for the
Superfly Splash! He tags Jey in and ANOTHER Superfly Splash! Usos
retain! Time was at 13:07.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: The Usos via Superfly Splash
GRADE: B+. Much better than all the lousy matches on TV. 

Cole explains the break-up of The Shield. And we get clips of it.

is backstage. He wants to rip Rollins apart. That briefcase means
EVERYTHING. But Ambrose can’t decide whether he wants to get case or
smash Rollins’ face. Case or face?

MATCH #2: Naomi (challenger) (w/ Cameron) vs. Paige (champion) for the WWE Divas Championship
thinks Paige is gonna lose the belt. I think she’s gonna keep it. This
feud is thick between the two of us. Last night, I slept alone. That’s
right. It’s big. Granted, she was overnight, visiting a friend…but,
STILL…the first lock-up between the two ends up outside. The ref
finally breaks them. Both go for a dropkick and then Paige, with a
Spinning DDT. Naomi tosses her outside after Paige grabs her hair. She
hits a huge Suicide Dive, knocking Paige flat. Paige gets back in the
ring by a count of seven. Naomi immediately knocks her down and gets
two. Naomi hits a crossbody but Paige flips it over for two. Naomi gets
her pin fro two. Paige comes back with a kick and there’s a series of
counters and roll-ups for two.

Naomi hits a modified Crab
Stretch on Paige, but then lets go and goes for a flipping pin for two.
Naomi runs for the top rope but Paige kicks her and tries for the
Superplex. Naomi fights out and both women spill out on the floor. The
ref starts counting and gets to nine. Both women get back in. Naomi hits
a backslide but Paige counters and mini-superkicks Naomi before hitting
a Stump Puller while Cameron looks happy. After a bit, Paige just rolls
Naomi up for a pin. Naomi hits a clothesline and dropkick. She hits an
uppercut and hits the Rear View but Paige kicks out at two. Naomi hits
the top rope and goes for the Spinning Moonsault but Paige gets her
knees up. She tries the PTO but Naomi counters it and goes for the move
that beat her on RAW. Paige counters into the a DDT and retains at 7:01.
C+. Eh. No heat or intensity, really. The match was just quick back and
forth. I wish the WWE would spend more time on these matches with
better competitors. Naomi is decent but nothing special.

Renee Young is with Booker T, Alex Riley and Christian. Booker T slurs everything and uses 47 buzzwords.

get a statistical recap of Money in the Bank. And it’s back to the
action in ri–fuck, it’s Sandow dressed like Paul Revere. He insults
Adam Rose. Adam Rose appears. He does his usual bullshit. Oh. It’s also a

MATCH #3: Damien Sandow vs. Adam Rose
is all over Rose to start, then Sandow runs at Rose who uses his legs
to pull Sandow’s face into his ass. Sandow pulls Rose outside and beats
on him, then pushes him back in as Rose’s band of morons dances on
stage. Headlock by Sandow is countered and then Rose runs into a back
elbow. He yells THE ELBOW IS COMING before dropping The Elbow of
Disdain, getting two. Another headlock is countered by Rose. Rose knees
Sandow in the face on a charge and then starts punching at Sandow and
kicking him in the corner. He runs at Sandow and Sandow takes his head
off and gets a HUGE pop from the crowd who is behind Sandow at this
point. Sandow hits a HUGE slam to the mat but only gets two. Rose comes
back after Sandow misses a flipping moonsault and hits the Party Foul
for the win at 4:17.
WINNER: Adam Rose via Party Foul
GRADE: C-. Better match than what I was expecting but Rose is not winning anyone over.

Post-match, the crowd BOOS Rose. Wow.

Jon Stewart is at ringside which is better than what I just saw.

RVD, Kofi, Ziggler, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger all do pre-taped
promos, saying they’re gonna win tonight. Zeb Colter says that, years
ago, Sam Adams came here and had some immortal words. (DANIELLE:  “Let’s Drink?”)

#4: Seth Rollins, Rob Van Dam, Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter), Dolph
Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, and Dean Ambrose in a Money in the Bank Ladder
Match for the WWE Heavyweight Championship Contract

goes right after Rollins, clotheslining him out of the ring and into the
timekeepers pit. After that, it’s the Kofi Show as he takes out Swagger
with a Moondrop on top of the ladder. Kofi sets up a ladder which is
way off-center. Ambrose pushes the ladder over. Kofi leaps off the
ladder, bounces OFF the top rope and dives at everyone except Rollins.
Ambrose and Rollins both try to climb the ladder but it’s clear that
isn’t happening. Ambrose sets up a ladder in the corner and tries for a
suplex. Rollins counters and tries for it. Ambrose finally hits an Arm
Hook Suplex and Rollins hits the ladder. Ambrose goes up the ladder but
Swagger pulls him off. Another spot where they trade people on the
ladder. Ziggler and RVD and Kofi get in and it ends up being Ziggler and
Kofi climbing. Swagger and Ambrose interfere. Ambrose takes Swagger
out. Kofi takes Ambrose out. Kofi and Ziggler climb and bralw on the

Rollins gets a ladder and nails both
guys. RVD comes into the ring to make the save on the climb. He
slingshots Rollins into the ladder as the crowd chants “ECW”. RVD sets a
ladder up in the corner and hits Rolling Thunder on Rollins. Ambrose
charges but RVD kicks him in the head. Ziggler and Swagger get the same
treatment. RVD climbs the top rope and hits the 5SFS. My feed freezes on
the WWE Network and then dies entirely. When I rejoin, RVD is set up in
the corner. Swagger pulls him up and hits a MASSIVE SUPERPLEX…but
it’s not to be. RVD knocks him off. RVD goes for a splash but Rollins
interferes…RVD manages to go for the Superplex but Swagger jumps up
and hits a HUGE powerbomb instead. Suddenly, Ambrose hits the ladder
AND, FINALLY, the Superplex gets its spotlight, lighting up this crowd.
Everyone is down.

We see the replay about four more
times, including from “Wile E. Coyote Cam” as Lawler calls it. Swagger
starts taking out Superstars and tosses Kofi clear across the ring.
Swagger gets a ladder and then just drops it on top of Kofi, then hits a
Swagger Bomb. Swagger sets up a ladder but RVD makes the save and the
two start exchanging blows. Rollins and Ambrose work together to take
them out and then exchange shots, fighting with one another at the top.
Finally, Ambrose knocks Rollins off. Ambrose climbs but Swagger pulls
him off and then HITS A SPINEBUSTER off the ladder which Ambrose
counters into a DDT. Rollins climbs but Ambrose gets to his feet and
knocks Rollins over.  However, it looks like he hurt something and the
refs and trainers send him to the back…oh boy. Rollins climbs but RVD
makes the save.

Crowd is dead now. Kofi sets up a
ladder bridge which isn’t used for anything at all. Kofi brawls with him
and knocks him off and Rollins falls right on top of the ladder! Kofi’s
got the ca–NO. Ziggler pulls him off. Kofi goes for the SOS…but
Ziggler counters with the Falling DDT! Swagger comes in and he gets
punch-tackled by Ziggler. RVD is back in but Ziggler his him with the
Fame-Asser. Swagger gets whacked with a ladder by Ziggler. Kofi comes to
life and misses a kick and Ziggler hits a ZIGG ZAGG INTO A LADDER. Holy
shit. Ziggler climbs but Swagger hits the Patriot Lock on him. Dolph
STILL climbs with Swagger on him. He kicks Swagger off! Crowd is hot
right now. Ziggler climbs…he has the case…but Rollins comes in and
nails him with a chair.

Rollins hits him again as the
crowd chants “WE WANT AMBROSE”. Rollins pushes him out of the ring and
climbs…here comes Ambrose! HE HAS A CHAIR. He whacks Rollins again and
again and again! He climbs…and BOOM, here comes Kane because
screwjob. Kane pulls him off and Chokeslams him. And there it is. Kane
pulls him up and hits a Tombstone and the crowd is PISSED. Kane waits
for Rollins and here comes Rollins who grabs the case.
WINNER: Seth Rollins
GRADE: B+. Not the best I’ve seen plus a shit finish. MITB better have a face win the belts or else TD Gardens is gonna erupt.

Post-match, Triple H appears with Steph. They hold Rollins’ hand up in victory.

get a promo for the Vickie documentary on WWE Network which has frozen
on me several times today. Danielle tried bravely to get us better
service, but after 13 minutes of nonstop being on hold and endless
wrestler theme songs gave up hope she would get to talk to a person.
Well, at least she got to hear full theme songs instead of snippets.

MATCH #5: RybAxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) vs. Goldust & Stardust
will start with Axel and hits some nice a nice dropkick after a hip
toss. Ryback gets in and tries to taunt Star but Star tackles him after a
slap and tags in Gold who hits a reverse Atomic Drop, sending Gold into
the corner. Ryback throws him off and tags Axel who beats on Gold and
dropkicks him. Two count. Ryback is in and he beats on Gold and hits a
splash and clothesline. Axel follows that with a double axehandle off
the ropes. Long headlock by Axel and a tag to Ryback for a delayed
Suplex. A couple of pin reversals and a HUGE Spinebuster by Ryback. He
calls for the Meathook which takes FOREVER but Goldie moves and tags
Star who hits some flying moves and a sitting dropkick. Ryback tries a
press salm but Star counters. Ryback goes for the Shell Shock but Star
counters into Cross Rhodes. Axel comes in and makes the save but gets
dumped and Star rolls up Ryback for the win at 7:35.
WINNERS: The Dusts
GRADE: D+. Crap RAW match…and, again, what’s so special about Stardust? Nobody cares about him or Goldust.

We get the build-up for Summer, Layla and Fandango.

is backstage with Byron Saxton. Saxton wants to know how Fandango will
call this match. Layla sucks up to Fandango and says he can’t. Summer
interferes and they start exchanging insults.

MATCH #6: Rusev (w/ Lana) vs. Big E
and Rusev do their thing. Big E has suddenly adopted some sort of MLK
Black Reverend voice. This show needs something quick. Big E hits a huge
forearm to start, then another huge running forearm, knocking Rusev out
of the ring. Big E tries that Spearr he did during Payback but Rusev
knees him in the head. He gets in the ring and hits a belly to back
suplex and a series of forearms. He puts E in a chinlock, then
stomps on E. Rusev misses a splash. E hits a belly to belly suplex and
gets two. Rusev knees E in the corner and charges but E hits a HUGE
clothesline into Spinebuster for two. E spears Rusev in the corner and a
huge clothesline. He goes into a Warrior Splash. Rusev goes for the big
kick but E holds the rope and spears Rusev out of the ring. E gets to
his feet and dumps Rusev back in, getting a two count. E calls for the
Big Ending but Rusev jams out of there. E reaches for him but Rusev
kicks E in face, then gets back in the ring and hits the Superkick. Lana
calls for the Accolade, so Rusev locks it in…and E gets to his
knees…so Rusev just pulls back harder and E finally taps at about 6
WINNER: Rusev via Accolade
GRADE: C+. Better…but now is the time to find Rusev an angle. The squashes hit overkill weeks ago.

are backstage. Steph is pissed that Brie is here. She wants Brie to go
away. Now. Brie says that she was just showing Nikki the video of Steph
being shoved into the mud pit from RAW. Brie gets in Steph’s face and
grins. Steph summons “security” to get her out of the building. Nikki
tells Steph she’s sorry. Steph tells Nikki to make sure Brie stays gone.

Mountain Dew Commercial because it has electrolytes. And things plants love.

MATCH #7: Summer Rae vs. Layla with Fandango as the special guest referee
says, “Layla has a unique mask…” then goes silent. That’s about how
awesome this is. Layla tosses Summer outside, then flirts with Fandango.
Summer pulls Layla down and attacks her in the corner. Summer shows off
her legs. Layla kicks Summer into Fandango and they nearly kiss. Layla
attacks and tries to pin Summer. After Summer kicks out, she puts Summer
into a Indian Deathlock as JBL and Cole argue over the PC term for the
move. The crowd, fed up, yells for CM Punk, I think. Summer breaks out
and throws Layla to the mat. JBL: “This is like Eva Gabor and Nancy
Sinatra fighting over Frank.” Summer tackles Layla in the corner and
beats her outside the ropes. Layla retaliates and tackles Summer,
pinning her. at 3:07. Anybody care?
GRADE: F. There was no reason this match should have even been on the card. 

Post-match, the audio team plays Layla’s old music for some reason. Then Fandango kisses her. So…I guess that angle’s over.

We get the build-up for the big Championship Ladder Match.

The big match is gonna start…but first, Triple H and Steph are out. They will be at ringside. Oh man…this has the makings of something awesome.

MATCH #8: WWE United States Champion Sheamus, Bray Wyatt, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro (w/ Paul Heyman), John Cena, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, & Kane in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
to start out – Orton dumps Del Rio because he doesn’t matter anyhow.
Cena and Wyatt brawl in the corner. Reigns, Sheamus, Cesaro and Wyatt
all get dumped. Orton beats on Cena in the corner as Kane slips a ladder
up on the mat. Cesaro and Del Rio dropkick the ladder at Kane and then
clothesline Orton with it. Wyatt knocks them down. Cena tries the AA but
Wyatt kicks out and hits a Facebuster on Cena. Reigns tries a Spear and
misses. Wyatt rushes and Reigns drops him with the Samoan Drop. Sheamus
gets back into the ring and stops Reigns. Orton and Kane join in.
Sheamus and Reigns grab ladders and sandwich Kane. Sheamus and Reigns
set up their ladders. Sheamus’s ladder isn’t as big (ha) and four men
climb the ladders. Del Rio and Sheamus brawl on one and the ladder
falls. Sheamus gets taken out of the ring. Kane gets into the match and
knocks the other one down, then takes everyone out including Cena, much
to the delight of the crowd.

Kane takes the bigger
ladder and tosses it, then the smaller ladder and sets it up because
Kane is suddenly a fucking moron. He grabs Orton and puts Orton on it.
Orton tries to climb but Reigns interferes and knocks them off. Wyatt
gets in the ring and pulls Reigns off the ladder and hits a Spinebuster.
Cena slams Wyatt and goes for the 5KS but Cesaro takes him out with the
Uppercut. Cesaro and Sheamus climb the ladder. Wyatt, for some reason,
crawls around like a spider. Wyatt finally gets up and knocks the ladder
down. Sheamus and Cesaro hang from the belts and then fall. The ring is
eventually cleared as the brawl ends up outside. Orton tosses Del Rio
into the ring steps and Sheamus brawls with Orton. Sheamus sets up a
bridge from the Spanish table to the ring to the mat but Orton trips
Sheamus and DDT’s him off the ladder. Orton is cut open.

gets in the ring and sets up the high ladder after kicking Cena in the
chest. Orton climbs but Cena’s on his feet. A handful of stars climb
with him. Reigns climbs up after Orton is knocked off. Every single guy
keeps pulling the other off. Cesaro gets more than halfway up so Kane
knocks him off and puts him out of the ring. Del Rio tries to Enzuguri
Kane but whiffs big time. Kane closes up the ladder and puts it aside.
He grabs Sheamus and punches at him but Sheamus drops his neck on the
ropes, then hits Ten Beats. Reigns is in and Sheamus hits a Battering
Ram. Irish Curse to Del Rio. White Noise to Cesaro. Sheamus calls for
the Brogue and, instead of hitting Orton, nails poor Cena who has taken
every finisher so far. Sheamus finally grabs a ladder as Triple H and
Steph don’t look happy about it.

Sheamus climbs but
Kane drags him down by the foot out of the ring. Sheamus is pissed and
tosses Kane into the steps outside. Sheamus starts climbing as Cesaro
builds a ladder bridge for some reason instead of just running to the
ladder and stopping Sheamus. He climbs and both get to the top. Reigns
comes in and LIFTS THE LADDER WITH BOTH GUYS ON IT. Both stay on. For
some reason, Cena props the ladder back up as Sheamus has his arms on
the belt hook. Chaos as all eight guys brawl and stop Sheamus. Orton
kicks Sheamus and it’s a brawl. Ring is cleared. Kane sets up the ladder
again but Reigns comes in with a Spear and Kane is out of the ring.
Orton kicks at Reigns and plays to the crowd, setting up for the RKO.
Reigns shoves him away and hits the Superman Punch. Sheamus gets in the
ring and gets the same. Del Rio and Reigns destroys him. Wyatt charges
and he gets his head planted into the table. Missile Dropkick to Del Rio
and to Wyatt and a Spear to Cesaro! Holy shit.

gets into the ring, turns, and see John Cena. Cena looks up and it’s a
brawl. It’s BOO-YAY punches and Cena goes for the AA but Reigns counters
into the Spear. Triple H is on his feet, watching, as Reigns sets up
the ladder. Reigns climbs but Orton is in and pulling at Reigns, then
hits the reverse chopblock backbreakers off the ladder. Reigns is out
and Orton climbs the ladder. Wyatt comes in and hits Sister Abigail! He
climbs but Del Rio interferes and hits the Enzuguri and the Mini
Superkick of Doom. Del Rio climbs and gets his hands on the hook…but
Sheamus is in and knocks over the ladder, then hits the Brogue! Sheamus
sets up and climbs but Cesaro stops him, pulls him down, his the
Uppercut and the Neutralizer! Cesaro climbs but Orton pulls Cesaro down
and hits the RKO! He climbs…

But here comes Reigns!
He pulls at Orton, headbutting him and punching. They trade headshots
and Orton pulls at Reigns’ hair. They both hit the mat and Orton starts
climbing again. Orton is cut WIDE open with blood dripping down his
face. Reigns start hitting headbutts and Orton falls. But Kane comes in
and hits the Chokeslam. Kane holds up the ladder and Orton climbs. Cena
comes in and hits the AA on Kane, then pulls Orton down and hits the AA
on top of Kane. He climbs and he’s got the belts.
GRADE: B-. Typical spot-fest near the end but, wow, needed a better finish. 

Post-match, Triple H and Steph are beside themselves. Cena kinda looks at them and grins as we go off the air.

B-. There was a giant lull in the middle and two ladder matches that
needed more drama. The first ladder match’s finish should have set up
for Ambrose taking out Kane and Orton with Cena grabbing the belt.

Er, that’s it.

Andy PG will start your week off right with the PG Era Raw Rant on
Monday, I will be back Tuesday with the Main Event Recap, Scott has your NXT Report and Tommy’s got your weekend covered with Smackdown.

you to all the BoD’ers and, hey, if you wanna read more of our stuff,
please check me out at The Daily DDT (, visit WE HATE YOUR GIMMICK at and, of course, visit us on
Facebook at

Money in the Bank Thread

Quick Predictions:

Ladder Match for the Vacant Title: The favorites here are Cena, Reigns, and Orton. Cena is a safe bet but the fans do not want to see him win here. Orton is also a favorite and even though he flamed out this past Fall as the champ, you could have him win and feud with Sheamus, Cena, Bryan, Reigns or whoever wins the MiTB match. Reigns has been built up well but I think it is too soon to pull the trigger and I believe that he will win the 2015 Royal Rumble then the belt at XXXI. Sheamus and Del Rio are warm bodies to fill out the card. Kane could win, I highly doubt it will happen though, to feud with a returning Bryan and that way he could get the belt after his return from injury but I would not bet on that happening. I dont see Wyatt winning this and his character does not need the belt anyway. He could be a challenger for the belt down the line though. Cesaro is not ready for the belt as his stock has dropped since the alignment with Heyman.

Briefcase Match: I only see Rollins or Ambrose winning this. I’d bet on Rollins, personally. Kofi is there to pull out a crazy stunt or two and Ziggler is there to bump like a psycho. I have no idea if Barrett will be able to compete due to injury and I cannot see any surprise replacement winning the briefcase either. No way on the planet is Swagger winning this and RVD is not championship material in 2014.

Usos vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper for the Tag Team Titles: I see a title change here, as the division needs a shakeup. Maybe if the Stardust character takes off they can feud with the Wyatt’s down the road.

Paige vs. Naomi for the Diva’s Championship: Either Cameron costs Naomi the tile or helps her win via interference. A title might do the division good as Paige has been a flop as the champ. She has not been booked the best but at the same time, she does not appear to be ready for prime time. Her ring work is fine but that is about it as her anxiety levels appear sky high and she is horrid on the stick.

Rusev vs. Big E: Rusev is winning this as Big E as looked like a chump during every encounter they have had.

Goldust & Stardust vs. Rybaxel: I cannot see the Rhodes boys losing this and I strongly believe they are going to be over in this match.

Summer vs. Layla with Fandango as the Special Guest Referee: Fandango helps Summer win then gets slapped by her afterwards. That is the prediction that I go with anyway. The least over match on the card will be this one.

QOTD #9: Money in the Bank

WWE’s fourth hottest show of the year drops tonight, with
Money in the Bank. We’ll be looking ahead to see who’s the likely interim
champion until Daniel Bryan or Brock Lesnar are ready to take the strap, and
get a glimpse into who the company is rolling the dice down the road.
Today’s Question:
What are you expecting from
tonight’s pay-per-view?
I’ll post the most creative, or factually correct responses
tomorrow. If you want to jump into the discussion, please click the comments
button or scroll to the end.

Yesterday I asked you about tropes. A lot of people asked,
what is a trope? A trope is a nuance in the genre, something that is pretty
much guaranteed to happen every time. For example, whipping your opponent
towards the ropes is going to result in them bouncing off them like a pinball,
and hurtling back in your direction. And it can apply to just about any TV
show. Even this blog has its share of tropes; you can bet every thread will
feature at bare minimum 40 posts from the Red Power Ranger.
Let’s get to some of your favorites.
parallax1978: QOTD writers that ignore feedback.
Aaannnnnd we’re off …
Devin Harris: My favorite trope is the oversell of the
Undertaker’s chokeslam. Specifically, the spot when he takes his arm all the
way back to grab someone’s neck. Then they just start jumping up and down
instead of trying to get out of the hold.
 jobber123: I like to laugh at the racial stereotype gimmicks. Can’t get enough
Samoan savages, black theifs and servants, African wild men, prissy English and
French guys, Mexicans driving lawn mowers, Italian guys playing Indians,
fightin’ Irishman, black pimps, etc etc
I’ve long been convinced that Vince McMahon has absolutely
no idea what goes on in black culture; and even if one of the writers came up
with something compelling and real, it would be nixed because it didn’t have an
afro and steal wallets.
PrimeTimeTen: The “Trophy/Cake” rule.
I thoroughly enjoy watching my non-wrestling watching wife
see this stuff play out for the first time. We were watching the post-Mania
festivities this year, and during the Andre The Giant celebration, I warned her
that the trophy wouldn’t make it out of the segment in one piece. Her logic was
the trophy was nice, and there was no way the company would make such a nice
trophy to be destroyed. Her face turned to horror when Swagger and Zeb took to
it, asking me “why would they do that?” Anyway, PrimeTimeTen was kind enough to
give us his favorite cake smashing display, and he picked a classic:

MC Hesher: Nothing like a well-executed “Cocky
heel issues open challenge and regrets it immediately” trope. Examples:
Honky Tonk
Man/Ultimate Warrior
Jericho/Rey Mysterio Bash at the Beach 1998
H/Undertaker to set up their Wrestlemania X-7 match (Not quite the same thing,
but I really liked that feud.)
thebraziliankid: Trying to make Cena submit,every heel/face
with a submission finisher should just give up before the match.It’s clear he’s
not gonna tap.
I think it’s an ego thing. Nobody could powerbomb Kidman,
but that didn’t stop every Cruiserweight from suddenly adding the powerbomb to
their arsenal. My belief is that JBL walks around goading Cena’s opponents
ahead of time, telling them they’re not good enough to make him tap out; and
once they’re fired up he offered them 10-1 it won’t happen. The stock market is
just a cover up.
 David: The
phrase “Tonight in this very ring.” I wish one would say “dang I
wanted it to be tomorrow across the street.”
Garth Holmbert, C.C.:
The referee refusing a blind tag to a
babyface making a comeback, but falls for it every time the heels clap their
hands and fake making tags. I love me a good face (or Ricky Morton style)
beatdown in tag matches, and the heels doing as much as possible to work the
crowd is always a good thing.
This is a seriously lost art that the Shield had perfected
(which is part of the reason their pointless breakup is so disheartening).
Stelio Kontos: The spanish announce table always being the
one that gets destroyed.
ONITA100: The Wargames 2nd face entrance. Absolutely
electric everytime. Especially when you get a Roadwarrior or Sting in. They hit
that first punch, crowd goes BOOOM. Great stuff
It’s a little disturbing that in dozens of Wargames (if we
include the 80’s circuit runs), the faces have yet to win a single coin flip.
It would be in Sting’s best interests to avoid craps tables at all costs.
MrJustinB: Jerry Lawler’s power is dampened by his
shoulder strap.
BeardMoney: I like the cheap pinfall tropes that we’ve
been conditioned to buy as finishes. For example, the heel’s manager distracts
the face, the face turns around, and the heel rolls him up and pulls the
tights; or the heel pins the face with his feet on the ropes; or the heel nails
the face with an “international object” behind the refs back. We’ve
seen these finishes work so many times that when the face kicks out now, we’re
actually surprised. It’s similar to kicking out of finishing moves, except that
probably happens more frequently in the modern era.
Paul Meekin: The underdog stealing one or causing real
doubt about possibly winning one he wasn’t supposed too, specifically the
wonderful Hurricane v. The Rock dynamic from a buncha years ago. Naturally
Daniel Bryan even though he was already a world champion, and then Santino in
the Elimination Chamber.
I don’t think we can have this discussion without mentioning
TAKA Michinoku’s awesome title match against Triple H. The timing was perfect,
we had just seen Vince McMahon as World Champion as recently as 6 months
earlier, and because title changes were all the rage, it wasn’t outside the
realm of possibility that maybe … just maybe. Santino’s another excellent
example, the crowd was READY for him.
SodiePop: Letting the arm drop twice and then reviving
yourself before three when in the sleeper hold. Predictable, beaten into the
ground and solely used for a wrestler to get a rest, but damned if it doesn’t
rile up the crowd.
kbjone: Here’s one nobody has mentioned yet: The
Hulk Up (created in some form WELL before Hogan, for the record), but
specifically the Hogan variation. Also called the “I’s stood all I’s
willing to stand” approach, at least in Popeye’s dialect. Heel is beating
on Hogan, or working him over with a rest hold. Hogan starts to power out,
shaking and convulsing as he walks around the ring. Eventually, he turns around
after one too many heel shots, finger pointed right at the soon-to-be hurting
evildoer. (Bonus points when the crowd yells YOU! in unison with the point.)
Cue beating, Big Boot, Legdrop, 1-2-3. As I mention above, it was used before
Hogan, but he made an art form out of the comeback.
I remember after a fight in the 4th grade, I was
licking my wounds before the end of recess, when a good friend of mine just
looked me dead in the eye, and without a hint of sarcasm told me, “you should
have hulked up”.
Jason Clark: An oldy but goody is veteran turns on
protege or vice versa. My favorite was Magnum TA & Mr. Wrestling II from
Mid-South. It doesn’t happen as much because those relationships are not a
standard story line anymore, but it had the ability to create nuclear heat for
guys. You could argue this is simply an overall example of tag-team wrestler
turning on partner, but the teacher-student dynamic was always effective in my
Stuart_Chartock: Seriously though, my favorite trope is
either that pretty much any ridiculous weapon or item (like a canoe) you could
imagine could be under the ring and nobody questions it.
I loved when this started finding its way into video games.
In trouble? It’s cool, just go to the crowd and grab a stop sign!
My personal favorite trope is directly tied in to tonight’s
pay-per-view. Ever since Edge re-invented the game in 2005/06 with the Money in
the Bank briefcase, babyface champions have never been at more of a
disadvantage. TV Tropes calls this effect the “Your Princess is in Another
Castle” syndrome, and rightfully so. Starting with John Cena defending his
title against 5 men inside the Elimination Chamber, only to immediately have a
fresh Edge staring him in the face, this has become a yearly tradition of
wondering after which gruelling match the heel with the briefcase is going to
rear his ugly head. Even babyfaces have got into the act, as Punk did in 2008
against the originator – Edge. It leads to months of tension and excitement,
every single time the champion is down.
Enjoy the pay-per-view tonight, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Money in the Bank 2013 Review

I was going to review ROH’s Best in the World PPV, but I just could not make it all the way through the show. I expected it to deliver, but it ended up being (from what I saw) a rather mediocre show. I decided to watch Money in the Bank 2013 on the WWE network instead.

Money in the Bank 2013 Review

Date: July 14, 2013

Arena: Wells Fargo Center

World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs.  Damien Sandow vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Fandango vs. Jack Swagger vs. Antonio Cesaro

When this was announced, I was befuddled that they would try to pull off a MITB match with all heels. I thought it would never work because the crowd wouldn’t know who to cheer for. Needless to say, I ended up being wrong. This starts off with a funny moment: Fandango tries to dance in the center of the ring, but all of the wrestlers attack him for being foolish. The ladders are quickly introduced, as Swagger and Cesaro use them to destroy the Rhodes Scholars. Ambrose is abruptly left alone in the ring. He tries to climb the ladder, but Barrett stops him. Barrett picks up a rung that broke off a ladder and uses it as a weapon. He tries to climb the ladder, but Ambrose pulls him off. Elsewhere in the ring, Rhodes delivers a devastating Muscle Buster on Cesaro, who goes back first into a ladder.

About 10 minutes in, Ambrose climbs a ladder, but Cesaro closes it up on him. The Real Americans pick up the ladder, although Ambrose manages to climb onto it. He gets near the briefcase, but Cesaro and Swagger decide to toss the ladder, with him on it, over the top rope. Without a ladder in the ring, Swagger allows Cesaro to get on his shoulders. Cesaro comes close to retrieving the briefcase, but Rhodes springboard dropkicks Swagger, which makes him drop Cesaro.
Feeding off adrenaline, Rhodes delivers Cross Roads to everyone that tries to get in his way. Rhodes climbs the ladder while Ambrose climbs the other side . The camera zooms on Rhodes’ cut near his eye. “See ya, bye”, he mutters out while he throws Ambrose off the ladder. The Shield run in to help their partner win. Both Reigns and Rollins clear the ring, allowing Ambrose to be the last one in it. The Usos, however, come out to stop the Shield from playing unfairly.
In the ring, Ambrose sneaks up the ladder, but Rhodes shoves him off it and he lands on a bunch of wrestlers that are the floor. “It’s Cody’s time!, Cole screams. The crowd is going crazy as he inches closer to the ladder, but Sandow shoves him off the ladder and retrieves the briefcase @ 16:30. Wow, that was a helluva performance by Cody Rhodes. His diligence and body language, bursting with desire, perseverance and emotion, truly enforced the crowd to rally behind him. Just an excellent job of portraying a rambunctious babyface. Unlike a lot of multi-man ladder matches, there weren’t any, if any, lapses in logic in this one. Every wrestler laid out outside the ring was there for a purpose, whether it been a big spot or finishing move that made them unable to get up. Moreover, the high spots were not only crazy, but more importantly they were realistic and malleable. And, this made Rhodes look like a star and Sandow look like a boastful coward in the process. It was truly a ladder match that every type of fan could enjoy. **** for the match, an extra 1/2* for the emergence of babyface Cody Rhodes. **** 1/2
(My two cents: The fans empathized with Rhodes because he fought hard and was screwed by someone that played incognito in the entire match. It was not because Sandow ”turned on him”. Because of his poor sportsmanship, he ended up becoming an insufferably smug bully that hazed and tormented Sandow; and consequently, the fans became reluctant to cheer for him. He did regain back his sympathy in the “Authority mistreating him and his family” angle, though.)
Intercontinental Championship: Curtis Axel © vs. The Miz
Axel knocks Miz to the floor early on. Miz does an Eddie Guerrero tactic by pretending Heyman slapped him. The ref turns around, sees him on the floor, and thinks that Heyman knocked him down. Heyman’s protests, but the ref boots him from ringside. He freaks out and shouts, “I’m Paul Heyman!” before walking to the back. Amusingly, the crowd chants, “We Want Heyman”. I am glad that stupid spot backfired on them. One guy in the crowd then tries to start a “you’re not over” chant as Miz is on offense. Miz yanks down on Axel’s knee to set up for the figure-four leglock center-ring. The crowd starts heavily booing him. Axel ponders on tapping out, but he manages to reverse the figure-four. On their feet, Axel punches Miz in the mouth near the ropes and then delivers the Axehole, good enough to pick up the victory @ 9:20. As a babyface, Miz lacked a lot of crowd popping moves. His offense mainly consisted of mediocre looking punches/kicks. This was of one of those matches that flows sufficiently because of its back-and-forth nature, but everything comes across as meaningless because the moves are not telling a real story. Both really struggled to work the crowd as well.* ½
Divas Title Match: Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee © 
Kaitlyn attacks AJ and then hits her with a gutbuster. Outside, AJ runs Kaitlyn into the ring-post and then goes to town on her injured arm. Back in, AJ sinks in a hammerlock, and then turns it into a sleeper. Kaitlyn reverses it with a backbreaker. She mounts a little comeback with an inverted DDT for two. AJ cuts her off by attacking her arm. A small package from AJ gets a two. On the rebound, Kaitlyn gets the spear. She hurts her elbow again, and it allows AJ to lock in Black Widow, which forces her to tap. As most probably expected, this had soft hitting spots and the pace was tedious. Oh, and AJ locked in Black Widow on the wrong arm. Not bad overall from a divas standpoint, but far from good. * 3/4
Ryback vs. Chris Jericho
Ryback throws Jericho around, but Jericho responds with chest chops. This makes Ryback roll to the outside. He recuperates, pretends to re-enter the ring, but drops back to the ring floor. Back in, Ryback gains the advantage as a “Goldberg” chant breaks out. Jericho goes for a maneuver off the top rope, but Ryback neck-snaps Jericho across the top rope.
Ryback controls the tempo with his methodical offense, but Jericho fights back with some chops. Ryback pops back to his feet and clotheslines Jericho to the mat. Ryback tosses Jericho off the ring apron onto the edge of the announce table. Around 10 minutes in, Jericho hits an enziguiri that gets a nearfall. Ryback rolls out to the ring apron, which allows Jericho to hit a codebreaker. Ryback stumbles to the outside, but he makes it back into the ring before the count of 10. Jericho hits a big splash and gets a nearfall. Jericho runs into Ryback. He lifts up Jericho and attempts to hit a power move, but Jericho counters it with a DDT for a two count.
Jericho slugs Ryback with some right hand and then knocks him down with a shoulder tackle. He goes for a Lionsault, but he avoids it by moving away. Jericho lands on his feet, but Ryback rolls him up with a sloppy small package for the win @ 12:20. Jericho worked hard, but this was a weird match because of Ryback’s undefined role. First, he is throwing Jericho around like a rag doll, then he is running away from him, then Jericho is knocking him down with ease, then he’s back to being a monster, and then he defeats Jericho due to being opportunistic. They should have just stuck with the portion where Ryback was a beast, but Jericho used his veteran intelligence by capitalizing on Ryback’s mistakes, as it would have made the story less incoherent. ** ¼
WHW Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio ©
The crowd is popping hard for Ziggler.  The action quickly goes to the floor, where Del Rio throws Ziggler into the guardrail and takes control of the tempo. Back in, Ziggler goes for a corner attack, but Del Rio moves, sending Ziggler headfirst into the corner turnbuckle. Del Rio takes advantage by attacking Ziggler’s injured head. The crowd rallies behind Ziggler with a “Let’s Go Ziggler” chant. Del Rio mocks the crowd. Rio then tries to damage Ziggler’s head, but Zigs moves and he goes stumbling to the outside. Rio tries to get back into the ring, but Ziggler hits him with a facebuster. Both fight back and forth with some strikes. Del Rio goes shoulder-first into the ringpost, but fights right back with a German Suplex and a bridged pin for a nearfall.
Del Rio tries to follow with a step-up kick in the corner, but Ziggler ducks and then delivers the Fameasser for a close two count. A “Let’s Go Ziggler” chant breaks out. Ziggler runs into a backbreaker from Del Rio for a close two count. Del Rio climbs up to the top rope, but Ziggler kicks him in the face on the way down.

Ziggler’s girlfriend, A.J. Lee, comes out. Ziggler tells her that he does not need her help. Ziggler escapes a Del Rio sneak-attack him, but Del Rio crotches him on the top rope and hits a flip-over facebuster for a nearfall. Del Rio throws Ziggler into midair and then hits him with a standing kick. Del Rio goes for a cover, but only gets a two. Del Rio lowers his kneepad, exposing his kneebrace. He goes for a running knee, but Ziggler moves out of the way. A.J. jumps into the ring and hits Del Rio in the face with her Divas Title belt, giving Del Rio a DQ win @ 12:30. Even though Dolph Ziggler was inconsistently selling his injured head, both were working hard to come up with creative ways to counter to get in their signature and finishing moves. This was building and leading to something great until the anti-climactic finish. An epic finishing sequence could have bumped this into **** territory. As is, it was about ***.

WWE Championship: Mark Henry vs. John Cena ©

This was one of my favorite feuds of the past decade. It started because of a superbly booked segment where Mark Henry announced his retirement, but his retirement ended up being an evil ploy in order to have a shot at Cena’s WWE title. Hell, he even cried and got choked up a few times during his promo. It was truly a brilliantly acted out performance by Henry. He deserved an Oscar. Anyways, Henry comes to a lot of male friendly pops. Seriously, this man just knows how to walk slowly to his music perfectly. He knows how to look so badass walking.  Details matter, people. The bell rings as Henry smashes Cena into him to the mat and then taunts him. Henry corner-smashes Cena and decelerates the pace. Henry headbutts Cena and the impact sends him out of the ring. Henry does not want to wait, so he attacks Cena on the outside. He suplexes Cena stomach-first onto the ring steps. Back in, Henry covers Cena, but only gets a two. Henry hits a big body smash, but its only good enough for a nearfall. Henry tries a right hand, but Cena blocks it. Cena runs right into a Henry forearm smash, though. Henry follows up with a Giant Swing, which sends Cena rolling to the outside.
Outside, Henry delivers another Big Swing that sends Cena into the barricade. Back in, Henry shouts to the crowd, “That’s what I do!” *Beat ‘em up, beat em’ up, break his neck, break his neck*. Henry goes for a corner attack, but Cena avoids him. Cena tries to follow up with a Feat of Strength move. But Henry don’t got time for that, so he jumps on Cena and squishes him into the mat. That gets a two. Cena fights back, as he finally gets Henry off his feet with two shoulder tackles. (See, even when you build the simplest things up, they mean something when they’re paid off).
Cena follows with a side-suplex and sells his back pain. He connects with the Five Knuckle Shuffle and then tries to go for the Attitude Adjustment. Henry, however, falls onto his back. Henry covers him, but it only gets a two. Henry screams, “Get yo ass up .” He goes for some power move, but Cena counters it with a somewhat sloppy looking DDT. Cena picks up him up and delivers an Attitude Adjustment. JBL screams, “Cena’s gonna retain the title”, but Henry kicks out just in time. Cena, in shock, asks the ref if he was sure that was only two. He climbs to the top turnbuckle, jumps off, but Henry catches him in midair. He nails the World Strongest Slam. One, two, thre-no! Cena kicks out. The crowd cannot believe it. 
A now hungry and desperate Henry removes the turnbuckle pad. He leaves the ring to grab a chair. The referee commands him to put it down. Cena, however, throws Henry stomach-first into the exposed turnbuckle and then locks in STF. More than half of the crowd beg Henry to reach the ropes, and he does. On his feet, Henry pushes Cena into the referee. Henry kicks Cena where the sun does not shine. Henry goes for a cover, but only gets a two, due to the referee being groggy. Henry has pure rage in his eye. He wants to end Cena with another World’s Strongest Slam. He goes for one, but Cena jumps over him and locks in on the STF. Cena drags him back to center-ring. Henry has nowhere to go, so he taps out @ 16:20. Henry will never considered an athletic or a technically sound wrestler. He has a limited moveset and moves around slower than molasses. However, he reinvented his in-ring work by wrestling smartly. Everything he did in this was serviceable to the story and to his character. Every one of his threats, rejoinders, or angry facial expressions towards the ref, John Cena, or the crowd adds a heavy dose of realism into this and makes the crowd feel involved. Moreover, his demeanor and facial expressions are spot-on in regards to his menacing character. Kudos to Cena as well. He made Henry look like a monster by selling convincingly and bumping hard. Henry tapping out was a questionable decision, but everyone forgot about it when Daniel Bryan was announced to be the number one contender for Summerslam. *** ½
WWE Title MITB All-Stars match: CM Punk vs. RVD vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Christian vs. Sheamus
RVD tries to do his thumbs-to-shoulder chant, but the other five wrestlers toss him to the floor.  A stare down with Bryan and Punk happens, and the Philly faithful go wild. RVD re-enters and cleans house. Both Bryan and RVD lock up. RVD drops Bryan on a ladder and hits Rolling Thunder. Christian is the only one standing in the ring. He comes close to pulling the briefcase down, but Sheamus attacks him from behind. Sheamus starts to climb the ladder, but RVD pulls him off. Sheamus awkwardly lands on the ladder coming down. Sheamus is all right, though, and proceeds to smash RVD into a ladder. Sheamus tries to powerbomb Bryan onto a ladder, but he escapes and delivers a running knee to his face. In the ring, Christian tries to climb the ladder, but Bryan stops him from doing so.
Sheamus goes crazy. He hits everyone with Irish Curse backbreakers, Polish Hammers, and a White Noise. Sheamus is left alone in the ring, so he tries to climb the ladder. RVD climbs up as well, but Sheamus throws him off. He goes for the case, but D-Bryan runs up and hits with him some forearms. Sheamus fights back with forearms to the chest. He is close to bringing down the case, but Punk pulls him down to the mat. Down the stretch, RVD sets up a ladder center-ring, but Sheamus cuts him off. RVD knocks Sheamus down, but he shoves RVD off the ladder into the top rope. D-Bryan hits  the ring and keeps kicking Sheamus and RVD in the upper-chest area. Bryan hits a flying suicide dive onto Punk, and they crash into a stack of ladders on the outside. “Vintage Bryan,” Cole mutters. Bryan hits Sheamus off the top turnbuckle. Sheamus goes lands on a ladder and breaks it in half. Outside the ring, Curtis Axel, out of nowhere, attacks Daniel Bryan. Punk, however, hits Axel with a GTS. A funny moment happens when Heyman yells and screams at a knocked out Curtis Axel.
Punk rolls into the ring with nobody in sight. Heyman rallies him on with “C-M-Punk” chants. He climbs the ladder, but he is too injured to make it all the way up. Heyman goes into the ring and encourages him to climb the ladder. Punk is almost there, but Heyman grabs another ladder and smashes him with it. Heyman looks at him with evil inventions and then smashes his head in-between two ladders. Punk, covered in blood, watches Heyman smugly walk to the exit.
RVD comes out of nowhere and climbs the ladder, but Orton rips him off and delivers an awesome looking RKO off the ladder. Orton climbs up and pulls down the briefcase @ 27:10. In terms of action, this was hollower and emptier than the first ladder match. More idle time, spots that took longer to set up, and less of an “anything can happen at any moment” vibe. However, the star power did make this feel very important, and there was a lot to like about this. Daniel Bryan, at an accelerating pace, was hovering and bouncing all around the ring. RVD was bumping around like a pinball machine. Paul Heyman, with sadistic intentions, screwed over CM Punk, who came across immensely sympathetic due to his awesomely stunned “Why, Paul!?” look on his face. And, WWE threw a curve ball by having Randy Orton win because everyone thought Bryan winning was a foregone conclusion. *** ¾
Overall Thoughts: This was a great show that built a full head of steam heading towards Summerslam (especially the Paul Heyman and CM Punk’s feud that led to some of the most razor-sharp promo exchanges in WWE’s history and to an epic Lesnar and Punk match). We also found out that Randy Orton winning was not just a surprise for the sake of it. They instead had long-term storyline planned for him winning. Granted, the angle certainly had its ups and downs, but it ended perfectly at the Grand Daddy of them All, and that’s all that truly matters.  This was seriously a really fun time to be a WWE fan. It, unfortunately, didn’t last too long, as the product cooled down after Summerslam and didn’t start improving until Wrestlemania grew closer.

Thumbs Way Up.

WWE: Handicapping the Money In The Bank briefcase match

Scott Keith lays it all the line with a look at who has a shot to win the prestigious Money In The Bank briefcase on Sunday's WWE show, and more importantly who does not.  Which is pretty much everyone.

Figured I'd try for something closer to my normal "voice" with this one.  Please continue to share and enjoy.

The SmarK Rant for Money In The Bank 2013

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2013 Eh, I wasn’t terribly feeling this one, but then had one of my famous changes of heart and decided to order the replay after avoiding all internet contact tonight. Live from Philly, home of cheesesteaks. Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL Money In The Bank No-Stars: Fandango v. Dean Ambrose v. Jack Swagger v. Antonio Cesaro v. Wade Barrett v. Cody Rhodes v. Damien Sandow Team Zeb is now “The Real Americans”, complete with mixtape version of their video. For some reason Fandango and Ambrose are lacking in ring entrance tonight, even though Zeb gets yet another long dull pre-match promo. Ambrose gets the big babyface reaction, and the entrances build to Wade Barrett, who gets no reaction. This might get ugly. The Americans and Rhodes Scholar have a ladder duel and poor Cody gets suplexed onto a ladder by Cesaro. Swagger cleans house with the ladder and climbs, but Ambrose saves and tosses him. Barrett ties up Ambrose in the ladder and throws knees, but walks into a Fandango high kick. Fandango climbs and gets stopped by Sandow, who suplexes him onto a ladder. This doesn’t seem like a smart career move for someone recovering from a concussion. Barrett grabs a piece of broken ladder and uses it like a lead pipe, which is certainly a unique spot, but can’t make the climb. Ambrose climbs and runs afoul of the Americans, leading to Cesaro choking him down on top of the ladder. Cody suplexes Cesaro onto a ladder to save, but Barrett beats him up, and we get the Barrett-Swagger series. Swagger climbs and Barrett puts him down with the elbow, but Fandango takes Barrett down with a powerbomb off the ladder. Ambrose takes Fandango out with the bulldog driver, but again it’s the Americans foiling his plans. So Ambrose pays tribute to Terry Funk with the swinging ladder spot, leading to an incredible spot where he skins the cat onto a horizontal ladder that’s on the Americans’ shoulders. That would have been an awesome finish, but instead he gets dumped. Cesaro tries standing on Swagger’s shoulders, but Cody breaks that up with a dropkick. They’re burning through some wicked finishes here. The finishers start coming fast as Cody takes two guys out with the Crossroads and he climbs, but Ambrose recovers and slugs it out on top. Cody is a bloody mess and wins that battle, but the Shield swarms him and takes out the other scrubs in the match. And then we get the Usos making the save for a big brawl at ringside with everyone, leading to Cody dumping Ambrose onto the pile. Cody makes the climb on his own…but here’s Sandow, who wins Money In The Bank at 16:23. I suspect their friendship is in jeopardy after that. Cody turned himself babyface in a big way there. The match was less cohesive than it was a bunch of unrelated spots, but the storyline was great and there was tons of innovative stuff on display. **** Seemed like kind of a waste of Ambrose, who didn’t participate in the buildup at all and is just kind of fading into the midcard at this point. Brad Maddox joins us for some reason. I think it would kind of funny if they had start aping Eric Bischoff’s mannerisms as GM. Maddox spotlights Vickie on the pre-show panel to make sure we know she’s in the building before the Ryback match. Brad wants a “Thank you Vickie” chant, which dies faster than this brutal segment. And then we get a video package of Vickie, which I guess is the payoff for this. $55 for HD, ladies and gentlemen. Intercontinental title: Curtis Axel v. The Miz As expected, the crowd throws its support behind ECW and doesn’t give a shit about either guy. Miz gets tossed and Miz fakes a cheapshot from Heyman, so the ref ejects him. The crowd is NOT happy about that. As they should be, that was some atrocious refereeing. Back in the ring, Axel gets a suplex for two and now the crowd is SILENT. Axel continues on as the heel, hitting the Hennig necksnap into a dropkick for two. Like, they basically on went this past Monday and all but admitted that Miz was gonna get booed out of the building, and yet they’re wasting everyone’s time trying to babyface him here. Miz makes his comeback, and sure enough people hate him. Double axehandle gets two. Axel and Miz trade finisher attempts, leading to a Perfectplex for two. Jesus, how many times do I have to say “You need to yell out the name of the move first” before he takes the hint? Miz takes out the leg and gets the figure-four, but Axel reverses it and they have a dramatic battle over that with Miz getting booed out of the building until Axel makes the ropes. It’s like they’re having an entirely different match than the crowd thinks they’re watching. They do a chase and Axel catches him with the McGuillicutter to retain at 9:30. As my toddler would say, I no love this. *1/2 Divas title: AJ Lee v. Kaitlyn Kaitlyn attacks and hits the gutbuster, then tosses her, but AJ runs Kaitlyn into the ringpost and goes to work on the injured arm. The arm, which according to Cole, was injured when she was performing her own finisher. Vintage Cole! Back in, AJ goes to work on the arm with a hammerlock, and turns it into a sleeper until Kaitlyn escapes with a backbreaker. She makes the comeback with an inverted DDT for two as Cole goes on a weird rant about how AJ should have gone after the title “the right way”. Didn’t she win the belt by clean submission? AJ goes back to the arm to cut off the comeback and goes up, but Kaitlyn dumps her onto Big E. Back in, AJ gets a small package for two. She’s no Daniel Bryan. Kaitlyn gets the spear, but hurts her elbow again, and the BLACK WIDOW finishes at 7:00. This is quite the booking Kaitlyn has been getting. So she hurts herself doing her own finish…TWICE…and then taps out cleanly and people wonder why she’s not getting over as a babyface? Way too long, but it was fine otherwise. **1/4 Chris Jericho v. Ryback Ryback clubs him down, but Jericho fights back with chops and Ryback bails. Jericho attacks with a baseball slide and does something approximating a bulldog off the top, and that goes pretty badly for both guys. Ryback comes back with a clothesline out of the corner and now the crowd gets all over Ryback. He gets a necksnap and big splash for two, and we hit the chinlock. Remember when Ryback was getting over in short matches with interesting explosive offense? Now he’s a guy. That CM Punk match ended up destroying his career. Ryback goes up to the middle with another splash and gets two. He tosses Jericho and beats on him outside, and back in for more dull abuse. Jericho comes back with a northern lights suplex for two, but can’t get the Walls. Ryback cuts him off with an overhead suplex and puts him down with the clothesline, but Jericho fights out of the Shellshock. Ryback counters the Codebreaker with a spinebuster, and a powerbomb gets two. Jericho keeps fighting with an enzuigiri for two. Codebreaker puts Ryback on the floor, but he beats the count. Jericho with a flying bodypress for two. Ryback tries another Shellshock, but Jericho turns that one into a DDT for two. Lionsault misses and Ryback gets the cheap rollup to finish at 11:30. That rollup looked TERRIBLE on replay, like Ryback was barely able to roll him over on his own. Well, Jericho tried, literally wrestling himself for large portions of the match to try and get it over. Didn’t work, but it wasn’t terrible or anything. **1/2 World title: Alberto Del Rio v. Dolph Ziggler Ziggler gets a quick rollup for two. Criss-cross and Ziggler gets the dropkick for two, and a corner splash for two. Ziggler drops the 10 elbows for some good crowd participation, and dumps ADR. Back in, Del Rio with the enzuigiri and Ziggler goes all ragdoll physics on the floor. Back in, that gets two. Del Rio goes to the chinlock, but Dolph gets a sunset flip for two before missing a charge and knocking himself out on the top turnbuckle. I hope he keeps the concussion specialists on retainer wrestling this way. Del Rio misses his own charge, but comes back with a necksnap and goes up, allowing Dolph to pop up with the X-Factor, for two. They slug it out and Ziggler sends him into the post, and a neckbreaker gets two. Del Rio counters the Fameasser with a german suplex and gets two. Ziggler with the Fameasser for two. Del Rio blocks the Zig Zag and gets a backbreaker for two. ADR goes up and lands on a dropkick, and that gets two. And then as expected, AJ skips out to set up the screwjob, as Dolph sends her back and then gets a DDT for two. Dolph goes up and gets caught, and Del Rio brings him down with an inverted superplex for two. Faceplant sets up the superkick for two. Del Rio tries to cheat to win, so AJ comes in and draws the DQ at 14:43. These are some EPIC terrible finishes tonight. Match didn’t really get to where they wanted because there wasn’t a finish. *** And yeah, Ziggler loses yet again. This would have worked way better if AJ had just turned on him instead of doing the “try to help but screw it up” deal. Like really, in one match she’s the confident and conniving champion, but in another she’s the clingy girlfriend who costs her boyfriend the match? WWE title: John Cena v. Mark Henry We’ve had all heels going over so far, so of course Cena gets to triumph here I’d bet. Henry pounds away in the corner and follows with a corner splash for two. Cena bails and Henry suplexes him onto the stairs, because that’s what he does. Back in, that gets two. Cena slugs back, but Henry SPLITS HIS WIG. We get a GIANT SWING and Cena rolls out again, apparently needing a new gameplan. Henry gives him the giant swing into the barricade. Back in, Henry misses a charge and Cena tries a slam, but Henry falls on top for two. We get the neck vice, but Cena keeps fighting and finally puts him down with a shoulderblock. Backdrop suplex and five knuckle shuffle set up the FU, but Henry falls on top again and gets two. Henry gives him quality demotivational trash talk, but Cena counters out of a slam with a DDT and this time he hits the FU and only gets two. Cena goes up…and lands in the World Strongest Slam for two. That would have been a great finish and the crowd was READY for it. Henry gets mad and grabs a chair, but ends up hitting his own exposed turnbuckle as a result, setting up the STF. Henry quickly makes the ropes, however. Ref gets bumped and Henry goes low for two. Mark is good and mad, but Cena reverses the slam into the STF again and Henry taps at 14:42. Because of course he does. Cena worked his ass off here to make Henry look like a monster (before beating him cleanly by submission in their first match, of course) and this was Henry’s best match in forever. ***1/2 Money In The Bank All Stars: Rob Van Dam v. Christian v. Daniel Bryan v. CM Punk v. Randy Orton v. Sheamus No seventh guy to replace Kane, apparently. The reactions for RVD and Bryan are something to behold. Everyone gangs up on RVD in a funny bit to start, and then the mob picks off Sheamus next. Everyone gets tossed and we’re left with Punk and Bryan, and they slug it out with kicks. They trade finisher attempts and Sheamus hits people with a ladder before Orton takes him out and steals it. RVD comes back in and throws kicks to everyone, finally getting to finish his taunt. Good for him. Christian attacks and gets slammed onto the ladder, but Orton tosses RVD, who ends up splatting on a pile of ladders. Christian grabs a stepladder for some damage before making the first climb, but Sheamus saves. He threatens to bring back the Razor’s Edge, but Christian escapes, so Sheamus basically punches him in the face to get rid of him. Sheamus climbs and RVD saves and Sheamus takes a FUGLY bump on the ladder on the way down. Poor guy. He’s apparently fine and slams RVD on the ladder. Sheamus heads out and brawls with Daniel Bryan, which ends with Bryan getting the running knee off the apron as they disappear into the ether again. In the ring, Punk fights with Orton and soon everyone is climbing ladders for the big trainwreck and the briefcase is swinging all over the place. Sheamus is the first one up and he destroys everyone and climbs, taking out RVD to turn himself heel with the crowd. Bryan saves and they REALLY do not care for Sheamus. Sheamus ALMOST gets it, but Punk thankfully saves. I can’t live in a world where Sheamus has that thing. Punk puts him into a ladder with the running knee and then rides the ladder down, but stops to take a bow and gets attacked by Orton. Orton suplexes him into the ladder to set up the draping DDT, but Christian gets the spear. RVD cuts him off, and now the crowd wants TABLES. They’re not really getting what they want tonight otherwise, so I wouldn’t hold your breath. Christian puts Rob down and climbs, but Van Dam cuts him off and jumps onto another ladder, setting up the five star frog splash from there. Now the crowd can go home happy. Rob climbs and Sheamus cuts him off, but Bryan takes out both guys with the kicks. He hits Orton with a crazy dropkick into the ladder and then takes out Punk with the suicide dive, then flies back in with a double missile dropkick on RVD and Sheamus! Sheamus goes up and Bryan puts him THROUGH a ladder outside, and he’s all alone to climb…but Curtis Axel runs in and stops him. Really? Bryan gets saddled with this guy now? Punk puts Axel out with the GTS, which brings Heyman out to bitch out Axel about how Punk is his best friend and not to be messed with. So now Punk is alone to climb with Heyman cheering him on…until he turns on him. So no Punk tonight. Rob climbs and falls into an RKO in a cool spot, leaving Orton the lone guy now, and as the betting line predicted he’s the Money in the Bank winner at 26:38. This of course makes no sense based on anything leading up to the show except for people inside the company fucking with everyone to win money on the betting lines, but it was the hell of a match and that’s what I wanted out of the show. ****1/2 The Pulse: I’d call this one a resounding thumbs up despite itself. The booking was weird and nonsensical a lot of the way, but two ****+ matches and two ***+ matches? I’ll take that every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I have no faith in them rehabbing Sandow into a contender or Bryan v. Axel leading to anything I want to watch, but with all good matches and no bad, this was a home run show in the ring, which is what I pay the money to see.

Money Is The New Bank

Not much interest in the show tonight, but we can play the prediction game for fun even though the results seem to be pretty obvious.  I'm sure with two ladder matches and a motivated Henry in Philly it'll be a pretty good, but I'm pretty meh on this one.
Cena retains over Henry, no cash-in.
Del Rio retains over Ziggler when Big E turns on him for good.
Daniel Bryan wins WWE title briefcase, teases cash-in on Cena but challenges him to Summerslam instead.  I should note that betting lines are going WAY up on Orton apparently, so they could also swerve it and have him win too because usually that stuff indicates something hinky going on.  
Ambrose wins the other briefcase.  Although apparently Vince is pissed off at Seth Rollins for not shaking his hand properly or some stupid fucking thing, so who knows.  
AJ retains the tramp stamp belt.
Axel retains the IC title over whoever he's facing.  The Miz?  I honestly don't remember.
Ryback beats Jericho with help of new manager Vickie.
I think that's all.  

Money in the Bank

Curious what interesting choices you and everyone thinks would've been for Money in the Bank winners before the concept existed?

I think George Hackenschmidt having the briefcase and coming out to challenge Frank Gotch after a grueling 90 minute title defense would be tremendous.  He could dispatch Gotch in a quickie 30 minute battle by using his devastating finish, the armdrag takedown.  
Anyway, other choices:
– Jake Roberts in the 80s would have been awesome.  Hulk Hogan survives a beating from King Kong Bundy in MSG and does a stretcher job, Jake comes out, wham DDT, new champion.  Tailor made for the gimmick.  
– DDP similarly could pull off the "out of nowhere" finish with the Diamond Cutter, especially during his war with the NWO.  
– Sting with the briefcase in the rafters in 1997, threatening to rappel down and kick Hogan's ass at any time?  Awesome.
– Also, Vince Russo would have done interesting things with the gimmick during the Attitude era, I think.  

King of the Ring vs. Money in the Bank

Hey Scott,
With the discussion of Jack Swagger, it got me to thinking that the Money in the Bank winner today is like the King of the Ring winner except much worse. In both cases, WWE wants to push a midcard guy to the main event level with the easy way out. Sometimes they are successful like with Owen, Brock, and Kurt (KotR); and Edge, RVD, Bryan (MitB). However, in many cases, he is just not there yet. With the KotR winner, if he flops at the next level, no big deal. Examples of this would be Mabel and Billy Gunn. Sometimes the KotR winner is just not ready to be a main eventer but would be in a year to a few years like HHH, Edge and Steve Austin. Imagine if Edge, Austin, Mabel or Gunn won the world title through a KotR win, it would hurt their careers because they are not good enough to be a world champ and be seen as a joke (like Swagger) or just too soon to be world champ (Punk's first reign or Miz). If Austin had won the title in the fall of 1996, his rise to main eventer and eventual title win at Wrestlemania XIV would not have been as special. If HHH won his first world title through KotR, his reign would be just way too soon. Alberto del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, early CM Punk, Miz, Daniel Bryan, and even Jack Swagger would have made great King winners because it pushes them to the next level without forcing WWE to make them world champ. Thoughts?

Very true.  I was always a big fan of the King of the Ring idea, because TOURNAMENTS ARE AWESOME and also because it's a fairly low-risk and potentially high reward scenario.  The trouble came at the end, when they were trying to make it into a bigger deal than it needed to be and it started being obvious that, say, Brock Lesnar had to win the thing because he was the biggest star getting the biggest push.  Their most recent attempt, where they put Sheamus over, was fine even if the followup was somewhat misguided.  
But yeah, absolutely, bring it back and make it an annual event again.  It's not like it could do any worse on PPV than Bragging Rights or Capital Punishment or whatever. 

Money In The Bank 2012

in the Bank 2012

July 15, 2012

US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Booker T

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

amazing how a year can change things. A year ago this was the
hottest show in the world but now this is just another show. There’s
nothing going on with this show that is going to overshadow what
happens on the 1000th Raw. The main events tonight are the two
ladder matches and the two world title matches. That’s the extent of
the card so all four matches are main events. Let’s get to it.

that I’ll be watching this a few hours after it aired so I already
know the endings. I had some issues avoiding spoilers, but the final
three matches were all reviewed live.

Kingston/R-Truth vs. Hunico/Camacho

match. This is non-title for no reason whatsoever that I can tell.
I get that Hunico and Camacho aren’t the number one contenders, but
with Hunico running off Little Jimmy. Hunico’s music starts playing
for a few seconds after the bell for some reason. Truth does his
dance and works on the arm before bringing in Kofi. Kofi snaps off a
rana for two and brings back Truth for a backbreaker for two.

to Camacho who hits a butterfly suplex for two. Hunico comes back in
with a slingshot hilo for two. Truth hits the spinning forearm to
put both guys down and there’s the hot tag to Kofi. He flies around
well enough to clean a few rooms but Hunico ducks the kick and takes
out Kingston’s knee. Kofi goes for a springboard but Camacho kicks
the ropes out to break it up and take over.

back in now and he pounds down the speedy one (Kofi) on the middle
rope. Some headbutts from Camacho (he’s Tongan/Samoan so that has to
be expected) puts Kofi into the corner and it’s back to Hunico. He
hooks a chinlock followed by a lifting powerbomb for two. Kofi gets
sent into the corner but he comes out with a gorgeous rana to send
Hunico down. There’s the tag to Truth and he goes nuts. A DDT gets
two on Camacho and everything breaks down. Little Jimmy (move, not
person) hits Camacho for the pin at 8:22.

C-. This was a tag match and
that’s about all I’ve got for it. That being said, it was a good
choice for a pre-show match as it was good enough to get the crowd
going thanks to Kofi’s jumping, but it wasn’t good enough that it
took away from later matches. Again though, why in the world wasn’t
this the tag title match? The belts don’t mean anything so why not
put them here?

for the real show now.

video for some reason.

World Title Money In The Bank: Christian vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Dolph
Ziggler vs. Tensai vs. Santino Marella vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Damien
Sandow vs. Sin Cara

ring nearly clears out to start and it’s Tensai in control. He
cleans house and heads out to get the first ladder. Kidd is down in
the corner so Tensai slingshots him into a ladder draped over the
middle rope. Tensai goes after Christian so Christian and Kidd team
up to squash him with some ladders. Christian decks Kidd and goes up
but here’s Santino for the save. Kidd goes up as well but Sandow
shoves all three over.

and Ziggler come in now and Ziggler gets rammed into the ladder face
first. Ziggler will have none of that and sends Cody into the ladder
as well. If this was a year ago that would have gotten a much better
reaction. It’s Cara’s turn to go crazy now and he snaps off a bunch
of ranas. After the one to Cody, Rhodes is holding his knee. Cara
goes up after Ziggler and they badly botch something with both guys
falling to the mat.

vs. Cara now and Kidd gets sunset flipped down for a cover because
Cara is confused. Cara slams him onto a ladder but Christian takes
him down. Captain Charisma tries a frog splash but it only hits
ladder. Cody pops up but gets taken down by a springboard dropkick
from Kidd. With everyone down, Santino goes up but Tensai grabs him
for a powerbomb. That doesn’t actually happen as Tensai falls
backwards and Santino almost lands on the ladder. The botches are
mounting up quickly.

sends Tensai to the floor and hits a dive to take out the Big Bald.
Sandow goes up but Cara makes a save. That gets him nowhere as Cara
is knocked down again and it’s Sandow going up again. Christian
makes the save and gets his hand on the case, but Sandow takes him
down again. Christian counters being rammed into the ladder in the
corner and hits the reverse DDT to take Sandow down. He charges into
a knee from Sandow, but hits the spear a few seconds later, sending
Sandow into the ladder.

goes up but Ziggler and Cody slams him into the ladder to make the
save. They both go up and Ziggler gets rammed face first into the
ladder. Tensai pulls Cody down and locks him in the Tree of Woe,
only to have Kidd make the save. The Canadian is sent down and it’s
Cara/Santino for the save. They get knocked down too so here’s
Christian with some ladder shots to put Tensai back on the mat.

sends Christian to the floor and it’s time for Santino to go insane.
He hits his usual stuff on Ziggler and loads up the Cobra to take out
Ziggler. Santino goes up but gets scared of heights. The Cobra
makes him climb and takes out Sandow, but Cody dropkicks Santino,
sending both him and the ladder down. Cody (whose leg appears to be
fine now) throws a ladder at Santino and sets up another one in the
middle of the ring.

goes up and Vickie climbs the ladder to stop him. Ziggler makes a
fast climb and hits the Zig Zag off the ladder to pull Cody down.
Christian makes the last minute save and Sandow climbs another
ladder. All three are up there so Kidd springboards in and takes
Ziggler down in an awesome spot. Christian slams a ladder into
Sandow’s face and they both go to the floor.

comes back and goes insane, setting up a ladder between the announce
table and the ring. Cara gets powerbombed onto it ala last year,
followed by Ziggler getting launched over the announce table in a
cool looking power display by Tensai. Cody pops up from the middle
of nowhere and hits a pair of Disaster Kicks to put Tensai down.

and Rhodes go up the ladder but Christian climbs another ladder.
Cody drops Kidd but Christian spears Cody off the ladder. Christian
and Santino go up but Marella is knocked down. Ziggler runs up from
out of nowhere, sends Christian into another ladder and pulls down
the case for the win at 18:23.

B-. There was only so much they
could do here with eight people and that’s what really brought things
down here. With eight people, there aren’t enough spots to go around
and it catches up to them every year. Sandow wasn’t needed here and
I don’t think Cara was either. Neither guy really did much in the
match but they didn’t bring it down either. The botches hurt it too,
making this a pretty good match but more of a mess than anything

talks about how Alberto slammed a car hood on his back. Sheamus’ dad
taught him that you can tell a lot about a man by the car he drives.
He isn’t much to look at, but he has it under the hood. Oh and
Ricardo is a spare tire.

Miz is back. He has very slicked back hair and talks about being
gone due to filming a movie. He’s tired of being overlooked, so
tonight he’s adding himself into the Raw World title MITB match.

Foley winning the world title on January 4, 1999 is a Raw moment.

recap Del Rio vs. Sheamus. The idea here is that Del Rio is finally
getting his one on one shot and it’s his destiny. Sheamus has a bad
shoulder and some other injuries after being attacked by Del Rio over
the last few months.

World Title: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

some big match intros (complete with an old school weapons check)
we’re ready to go. Sheamus knocks him to the floor and it’s time to
stall. Back in and Del Rio gets knocked to the corner but he grabs
the arm to take over. Scratch the taking over part as Sheamus hits
an elbow to the face for two. Del Rio charges into another boot and
a knee to the head gets two. Sheamus lowers his head and gets kicked
in the face followed by a dropkick.

champ still won’t have anything like that as he rams Del Rio into the
buckle and suplexes him into the ring. Top rope shoulder gets two.
Ricardo earns his paycheck with a distraction, allowing Del Rio to
hit an enziguri to put Sheamus on the floor. There’s a shot to the
shoulder and Del Rio takes over. A top rope dropkick gets two on
Sheamus and it’s off to an armbar. Alberto hits a DDT on the arm for
two and he slaps Sheamus in the back of the head a bit.

Rio cranks on the arm some more and hits a high kick for two. After
a little more time in the armbar, Sheamus hits a neckbreaker to give
himself a breather. It’s followed up by some ax handles to the face
but Sheamus charges into the post. After a headbutt it’s time for
the cross armbreaker, but Sheamus escapes. The slingshot shoulder is
countered into a Codebreaker to the arm for two. The champ comes
back with a knee lift and powerslam for two out of nowhere.

hits the ten forearms to the chest but Del Rio drapes the arm over
the top. Alberto charges right into the Irish Curse for two. Regal
Roll is broken up and Sheamus charges into a boot. Brogue Kick
misses and Del Rio hits a Backstabber for two. The enziguri in the
corner misses and there’s White Noise. Brogue Kick retains the title
clean at 14:24.

C+. It’s no wonder this title
is treated like a midcard title: there’s nothing here at all. There
was almost no heat on this match and while it was ok, this felt like
a TV main event instead of a PPV world title match. The feud feels
thrown together and that’s not what you want for a match like this.
Or maybe it’s that no one cares about Del Rio at all.

match Ricardo and Del Rio jump Sheamus, so here’s Ziggler with his
case. After Del Rio is sent away, Sheamus kicks Dolph’s head off
before the bell so there’s no match.

get a promo from the pre-show from Bryan, who says he and AJ are soul

and Kofi come out to watch the next match.

Time Players vs. Epico/Primo

and Primo now have massive bibs with their names on them. AW is
mic’d up again and it’s Primo vs. Titus to start. Titus takes over
as Kofi calls Titus a horse. Off to Young as the crowd is DEAD.
Primo hits a sweet headscissors out of the corner and it’s off to
Epico. Primo launches himself at Young on the floor and Titus is sent
out after him. Epico hits a huge dive to take out all of them.

in and Epico hits a slingshot hilo for two on Young. Back to Titus
as AW continues to not have much to say. Oh scratch that as he wants
a round of applause for his guys. Titus rams Epico into the post and
works on the back in the ring. Young comes in again and dances a
bit. He gets Epico on the apron and AW stops things to work on
Young’s hair. Back to Titus for some backbreakers and a fallaway
slam for two.

stops to dance which causes Rosa to dance and get the crowd to make
the first noise of this match. It also allows for the ice cold tag
to Primo. He cleans house and hits a springboard chop and a
springboard flip dive for two on Young. The hip attack to Young
while Young is in 619 position sets up another springboard crossbody,
but Primo dives into a gutbuster from Darren. Not that it matters as
Primo rolls up Young for the pin at 9:30.

D+. I get that this is filler,
but what in the world are they going for with these matches? The
Players are the #1 contenders but now they’re losing to the former
champions. I mean, it’s not like they’re getting their title shot
anytime soon, but why would we want to see that anyway? There’s been
almost no interaction between the teams and we barely ever see the
champs anymore.

match the losers and the champs have a staredown and Truth throws
water on AW. No physical contact is made. Again, why would you have
the Players lose here, unless you want to make a three way feud?

recap Punk vs. Bryan. This is all about AJ, as she’s gone nuts and
is guest referee here. She seemingly loves both guys and there’s no
real way to know who she’s going to side with tonight. Unless you’re
on the writing/booking team for WWE but that’s a small group of
people indeed.

says both guys have hurt her.

World Title: Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk

is now No DQ, Punk is defending and AJ is guest referee. Punk takes
him to the mat and fires off some quick kicks. They head outside and
Bryan gets rammed into the apron, only for Punk to get rammed into
the barricade and kicked in the chest. Back in and Bryan fires off
the YES kicks but gets rolled up for two. Bryan pounds away in the
corner and they chop it out. That evolves into a strike off and the
champion takes over.

backbreaker looks to set up a middle rope legdrop but Bryan moves,
followed by more YES kicks. They head to the floor again and Punk
takes over, sending Bryan into the barricade again. Punk
accidentally elbows AJ in the face, sending her out to the floor.
The champ goes to check on her and Bryan uses the distraction to hit
the running knee off the apron to take Punk down.

gets draped over the steps on the floor and Bryan fires off more
kicks. Punk comes back and sends Bryan into the timekeeper’s table.
This is a back and forth match the entire time so far. The fans want
tables because they’re greedy people. Punk pulls one out from under
the ring but Bryan slams him down on the outside. Bryan finds a
kendo stick and pounds away on the ribs of the champion. Punk rolls
away and gets back inside while Bryan is still on the floor.

in and Punk gets the stick for a second, only for Bryan to go back to
the ribs. Punk loads up a springboard but Bryan hits Punk in the
ribs with the stick to take him down. Bryan fires away with stick
shots to the ribs, complete with YES shouts. Those shots get two
with the regular referee having taken over inside. Daniel goes up
but the swan dive misses, putting both guys down.

trade kicks and then forearms but it’s a leg lariat from Punk that
takes Bryan down. Punk comes back with a running knee to the head
and the snap powerslam for two. GTS and YES Lock are both countered
and another GTS attempt is countered into a rana for two. Bryan
kicks the champ’s head off and both guys are down. Bryan pops him in
the back with a kendo stick and puts on a surfboard.

manages to get to the kendo stick and beats the fire out of Bryan
with it but can only get two. Punk goes up top but Bryan drills him
with forearms to the head. Bryan pops up top and hits a superplex to
put both guys down again. AJ is back and she sends the regular
referee out to the floor. It’s time to skip! AJ pulls out a chair
and Bryan crawls to her for it. Instead AJ throws the chair in the
middle of the ring and it’s a scramble for it. Isn’t that how the
XFL started its games?

gets in a kick to the ribs and pounds away on Punk with the chair for
a close two. Bryan tries to talk to AJ calmly but it gets him rolled
up for two by the champ. Daniel fires off more kicks to the chest of
Punk and Punk can barely sit up in the corner. Bryan gets a running
start but Punk comes out with a clothesline. Now Punk has the chair
and blasts Bryan with it before wedging it between the top and middle

goes to get Bryan to ram him into the chair, but AJ is standing in
front of the chair. As Punk yells at her, Bryan comes up from behind
and dropkicks Punk into the corner but not necessarily into the
chair. Bryan goes to get the kendo stick but AJ is standing on it.
She gives him a psycho stare and Bryan gives up. He walks into the
high kick though and Punk slams Bryan onto the chair. The top rope
elbow misses and the elbow hits the chair. Bryan throws on the YES
Lock and grabs the stick at the same time to choke away.

somehow bends back and blasts Bryan in the knee with the stick,
followed by a GTS, but the champion can’t follow up. The GTS
eventually gets two so Punk brings in a table. Punk loads up the
elbow through the table but Bryan crotches Punk and hammers away.
Punk slips down off the ropes and crotches Bryan at the same time.
He pounds away with elbows and a belly to back superplex through the
table FINALLY pins Bryan to retain the title.

A. This was GREAT at the end as
I was hanging on every count of every near fall. That was a great
match all the way through, but were you expecting anything else with
these two having nearly half an hour? The major problem here though
is the lack of AJ involvement. She basically did nothing other than
blocking a weapon shot either way, and the ending was about the
wrestling instead of her. That’s fine on paper, but we’ve spent two
months building her up as the key to this whole thing. Still though,
the match was more than enough to make up for that.

vs. Curt Hawkins/Tyler Reks

was a pretty obvious pick. The “stars” have to tag here.
Hawkins starts and pain follows. He gets sent to the floor and tags
in Reks, who manages to take Ryback down for no count. Hawkins back
in now and Ryback is actually in trouble. A double team actually
gets one as Ryback is being beaten down. A gordbuster by Hawkins
gets two. Reks comes in again and Ryback wakes up. The annoying
fans chant Goldberg because Goldberg is the only wrestler to ever be
pushed as a monster. The clothesline puts Hawkins down and Reks is
Shell Shocked for the pin at 4:21.

D+. Nothing much here but they
had to give Ryback more of a challenge eventually and that’s what
happened here. Hawkins and Reks aren’t much, but they’re better than
random jobbers. WWE has a huge roster, so there’s no reason to not
use some of them against Ryback. At least it’s better than squash
after squash.

debuting on Raw is a moment. That’s a good one for a change.

vs. Natalya/Beth Phoenix/Eve Torres

you have a seven match card and three are added the day of the show,
you may be having some issues. Natayla and Tamina start us off as I
guess Natalya is a heel again. Kaitlyn comes in with a cross body
for two and it’s off to Beth. They trade slaps so here’s Eve,
getting a slap of her own from Kaitlyn. Eve goes to the corner but
comes out with a kick to the head for two. Beth comes in and chokes
but it’s off to Layla. A sunset flip gets two for the champ (Layla)
and everything breaks down. Tamina superkicks Beth into the Layout
for the pin at 3:20.

D. Why do the Divas wrestle?
Honestly, I’d like an answer to that question. There are so many
people you could send out there that would have something better to
offer in the future, but we have to sit through this stuff instead.
The girls are hot but they can’t wrestle. Cut down the roster to a
few good looking ones and stop having them wrestle. Make two
divisions if nothing else: models and wrestlers. It can’t be that

World Title Money In The Bank: John Cena vs. Kane vs. The Miz vs. Big
Show vs. Chris Jericho

event time. So the ideas here are that Cena has never been in one of
these before, Show is “unstoppable”, Jericho is the originator of
these matches, and that’s about it. Jericho, Miz and Kane go to the
floor quickly and Cena clotheslines Show to the outside. Show sends
Jericho into the ladder and Miz goes for the case, only to be stopped
by Cena. Show clears the ring but here’s Kane to slow him down.
That gets him nowhere and Miz goes down too.

comes in and grabs a quick Codebreaker to put Show down and Miz hits
a DDT on him too. Kane boots Show to the floor and Cena is waiting.
He hits a HUGE AA through the table and all four guys bury Show with
ladders. All this has happened in the first four minutes of the
match or so. Jericho is like screw this teamwork stuff and hits
everyone with a ladder before going for a climb. Miz makes the save
but gets put in the Walls for his efforts.

breaks that up for some reason and Jericho has to fight him off. Miz
goes up but Jericho makes the save after knocking Cena off the apron
with a ladder shot. Jericho is going up but Cena makes the save.
Now Miz goes up but Kane throws a ladder at his back to put him down.
Jericho stops Kane but Miz and Jericho combine to suplex Kane onto a
ladder. Cena lays both of them out with shoulders and it’s a double

comes back in and tries a chokeslam, but Cena escapes and hits the AA
onto Miz onto a ladder. Chris takes Cena down and lays out everyone
else, but here comes Big Show again. Show literally snaps the braces
off the middle of the ladder with his bare hands and crushes Jericho
between the legs of the ladder. Kane gets a ladder thrown on him and
Miz gets chopped in the chest through the ropes. Cena gets crushed
behind a ladder and Show throws a second ladder over the top rope and
down onto Miz. There’s a pile of about eight ladders at ringside.

goes to the floor and pulls out the jumbo ladder from last year.
After taking forever to set it up, Show makes the slow climb up, but
Kane goes up the other side. Apparently he uses his powers of
mesmerizing because Show stops dead when Kane is looking at him.
Kane gets chokeslammed down but here comes Cena. John gets sent down
as well so here’s Jericho with a chair.

trio of shots finally takes Show off the ladder and it’s Jericho vs.
Cena on the ladder. They bat the case back and forth until Cena
loads up an AA on top of the ladder. Jericho escapes and hooks a
sleeper, causing Cena to climb down instead. Actually scratch that
as Cena climbs back up with Jericho on his back, but he finally goes
out. Miz tries to sneak up but Jericho knocks him back down. Cena
gets a hand on the case but he goes down again. The hold is broken
and Jericho goes up, but Miz runs up the ladder and they’re fighting
for the case.

is higher up so Miz knocks him back and Jericho is dangling. Miz
pulls him back to the ladder and loads up a superplex, but here’s
Show again. Jericho looks terrified so Show drills him in the head.
Miz takes a punch as well but Cena runs the ladder and blocks the
punch with the case. He blasts Show in the head with it enough times
to knock Show down and Cena wins at 20:07.

B. This was as good as you
would expect with the talent in there. The ending with everyone not
named Kane fighting on the ladder was very cool, with someone being
on the ladder for the better part of five minutes. Blocking the
punch with the case was a good idea too, and Cena is really the right
choice for this as no one else would have made sense. Good stuff
here and a good way to end the show.

face when he wins is hilarious as he looks so happy.

B+. The matches that
needed to hit did so very well, but there were some dull parts here.
When you have a seven match card and three of the matches are added
the day of the show, you can tell that there’s something going wrong.
That being said, the show was very entertaining and that’s what a
show like this is supposed to be. It’s nowhere near what last year’s
show was, but given the lower level Raw and Smackdown are at at the
moment, I can’t complain here at all.


Ziggler b. Sin Cara, Santino Marella, Christian, Damien Sandow,
Tensai, Cody Rhodes and Tyson Kidd – Ziggler pulled down the

b. Alberto Del Rio – Brogue Kick

b. Prime Time Players – Rollup to Young

Punk b. Daniel Bryan – Belly to Back Superplex through a table

b. Tyler Reks/Curt Hawkins – Shell Shocked

vs. Beth Phoenix/Natalya/Eve Torres – Layout to Phoenix

Cena b. The Miz, Chris Jericho, Big Show and Kane – Cena pulled
down the briefcase

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2011

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2011 Live from Chicago, IL Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Booker T. This showcase of taking a stand against corporate yes-men and selling out is brought to you by SKITTLES. Smackdown Money In The Bank: Sin Cara v. Wade Barrett v. Justin Gabriel v. Heath Slater v. Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus v. Cody Rhodes v. Kane That’s some impressive star power. Interesting that just a year ago, Sheamus had not yet begun his path of rage towards the World title and he was basically just a guy. Plus Daniel Bryan was a quiet, nerdy babyface. Sheamus and Barrett team up on Kane and get nowhere with that. We get a series of guys trying to get a ladder into the ring, ending with Gabriel making the first climb. Bryan dropkicks him off and Cody climbs, but Sheamus brings him down. Barrett pounds on Kane in the corner, but gets sent into a ladder, and Kane chucks it at people outside as well. The dives start flying as everyone does theirs. Back in, Sin Cara fights off Slater and Gabriel and hits Bryan with a Spanish Fly, but goes for a ladder and eats a boot from Wade Barrett. Back in, he also eats a Brogue Kick. Sheamus follows with a powerbomb off the apron and through the ladder, and that one puts Sin Cara on the shelf for a good few months. Who could have predicted that powerbombing someone onto a ladder would result in a serious injury? Kane and Sheamus slug it out in the ring while Cara gets loaded on a stretcher, but Cody and Bryan double-team Kane until he puts them down with a ladder. Everyone teams up on Kane for a beatdown, then on Barrett, but Bryan tries to climb in the chaos. The former Nexus/Corre guys organize themselves and Wade climbs for the case, but Slater & Gabriel turn on him as well and then race to the top themselves. Cody puts them down himself and fights with Barrett, winning that battle as well. Next up, Sheamus and Bryan, as Cole notes they’re both former US champions. I don’t remember Sheamus having that belt at all, but then I wasn’t really paying attention at that point anyway. Sheamus and Kane team up with a Doomsday Device on Bryan to get rid of him, and Kane chokeslams everything that moves. Bryan sneaks up the ladder again, but Kane brings him down while Bryan tries a triangle choke from the ladder. Bryan and Slater race for it and both go down, and now Barrett and Sheamus team up to bully people. Sheamus gets his turn by laying everyone out with Brogue Kicks and setting up a complex ladder contraption. It’s so weird watching Sheamus play heel, considering how naturally he fell into the smiling babyface role shortly after this. Sheamus takes out Gabriel and climbs, but Kane stops him and chokeslams him onto another ladder. That’s a sick spot, because there’s no give or protection on that. Everyone hits their finishers on Kane to slow him down, and then Barrett get his turn to hit everyone with his finisher. Cody gets rid of him and Bryan tries to sneak up the ladder yet again, and we get a three-way battle on top. Bryan hooks Cody with a guillotine choke on top to put him down, then elbows Barrett off the ladder, and grabs the briefcase at 24:21 to send the smarky crowd into a nerdgasm. No one saw that one coming. And no one saw the transformation that came over the next year coming, either. It was more than 30 minutes with entrances, and completely flew by, not feeling the least bit long. I really liked all the mini-stories with guys getting their solo time and Bryan’s constant sneaking up behind everyone on the ladder. Great opener, especially with the wide open field that made it impossible to guess who would win. ****1/4 Divas Title: Kelly Kelly v. Brie Bella Kelly takes out both twins to start, but does her (illegal) handstand choke on the apron and gets tossed to the floor. Back in, Brie takes over with a bodyscissors and gets two. She goes to a silly looking abdominal stretch on the mat, but Kelly escapes and she’s suddenly fired up. Like, literally one second she was laying on the mat looking bored and then the next she was MAD AS HELL and making her comeback. Kelly is not a good wrestler. Kelly with a neckbreaker for two. Bella does something to Kelly’s leg and gets two, but Kelly finishes with a fameasser at 4:49 to retain. And then they did this match 8 million more times over the course of the year. ½* Mark Henry v. Big Show Again, funny to think that Henry was seemingly just getting another monster push at this point, with people having little hope for it actually leading to anything. But this was basically where he caught fire, strangely enough. Show puts him down with a shoulderblock and Henry bails, so Show follows him out and clobbers him with a clothesline. Henry actually does a dropkick into the stairs, which hits Show’s knee, and Henry takes over in the ring. He boots Show down for two and goes to work on the knee with a half-crab, but Show makes the ropes. And in fact he goes up to the middle rope and hits a flying shoulderblock, but Henry escapes the chokeslam and hits the World’s Strongest Slam for two. Booker advises doing it again. That’s some insightful commentary there. And so Henry DOES IT and then splashes him into jello at 5:54. Wait, wait, wait…you mean that if you book this big monster to BEAT PEOPLE, in convincing fashion, he might actually get over? What strange hoodoo is this? Totally watchable big man match. **1/2 Henry Pillmanizes the ankle afterwards, because he’s AWESOME. Meanwhile, Vince McMahon admits that he didn’t actually re-sign CM Punk yet. Big Johnny silently waits in the background. RAW Money In The Bank match: Alberto Del Rio v. Kofi Kingston v. Jack Swagger v. Evan Bourne v. R-Truth v. Rey Mysterio v. Alex Riley v. The Miz Everyone grabs a ladder to defend themselves with, giving a funny payoff gag of R-Truth with a stepladder due to his fear of heights. Del Rio gets buried in ladders, and the future Awesome Truth has a stepladder duel in another cute spot. The future Air Boom teams up with a ladder for some damage, and the guys fight over a ladder that won’t even reach the briefcase! Finally Swagger smartens up and gets rid of the smaller one, and it’s dive time! Evan tops things off with a shooting star press off the big ladder on the floor for the final big trainwreck spot. Finally the big ladder gets into the ring and Bourne climbs first, but Miz cuts him off and they both go down via ADR. Miz blows out his knee on the landing and disappears. That didn’t look pleasant. Bourne and Rey climb over the bigger guys to race for the ladder, but Swagger gets rid of everyone. Riley tries to sneak up, but Truth puts them down and works on Rey in the corner with some silly ladder spots. This sets up Kofi coming off the horizontal ladder with a boomdrop, but Rey gets a 619 with the open ladder in a unique twist. They’re running about 50% with the spots in this one. We get a three-way battle on the ladder, as multiple ladders get set up and everyone is climbing their own. They all bat the briefcase around in a another cool visual, and then they start taking crazy bumps to the earth again. Kofi looks to be the lucky winner, but Swagger reappears and they both go down. This brings Miz out for his big return, with a big babyface reaction from the Chicagoans, but Rey cockblocks them and turns himself heel. Man, why do smark-heavy crowds hate Rey so much? He’s an awesome worker, what’s not to love? Rey tries for the case, but Del Rio follows and throws him onto another ladder after unmasking him. Rey of course loses his mojo and can’t recover, and Alberto easily claims the case at 15:49. This was a pretty obvious choice, because we were getting all the Del Rio we could handle whether we wanted it or not. This one felt a little flat compared to the Smackdown one because the winner wasn’t in doubt and a lot of the spots were pretty suspect, but it was still a pretty great match. ***3/4 Smackdown World title: Randy Orton v. Christian This was set up by Orton winning the belt from Christian, and then beating him over and over and over and over and over, but Christian gets ONE MORE MATCH because they need to stretch things out for a few more months. And the DQ rule is waived here. Christian tempts him with a chair to start, but Orton slugs him down and drops a knee. Christian fires back and tosses him, but misses a dive and gets sent into the stairs as a result. Back in, Christian escapes the draping DDT and hits an elbow off the middle for two to take over. They slug it out and Christian chokes away on the ropes and gets a Bossman punch from the floor for two. Orton comes back with a rollup for two, but Christian gets a spinebuster for two. Orton blocks the Killswitch and they tumble to the floor, but Christian recovers first and blocks a blind charge. Orton blocks a dropkick with a rollup for two, and hits his own dropkick for two. They fight on top and Christian puts him down for a flying headbutt, which gets two. Orton makes the comeback and they do a weird sequence where Orton whiffs on the RKO, and they try it again so that Christian can reverse to the Killswitch for two. Christian’s spear misses and Orton hits a body vice into a neckbreaker for two as the crowd starts to turn on him and get really into the near-falls. Orton gets the powerslam and draping DDT for two…but Christian backs off and spits on him. Orton gets pissed and pounds away, then punts Christian in the nuts for the DQ at 12:06, giving Christian the World title. This whole deal made Christian look like a punk and did nothing for him, because they wanted to keep stretching this “feud” over another PPV, but didn’t want to actually BEAT Orton, so you got this. Really, they’d have been better off just keeping the damn belt on Orton to make the eventual loss to Mark Henry mean something. Orton gives Christian an RKO on the table afterwards to get his heat back, and then on the way back to the dressing room Vince was screaming “SEND HIM BACK OUT THERE AND BREAK THE FUCKING TABLE!” into the ref’s earpieces, so Orton goes back and tries it again, and that table doggedly refuses to break. It was future endeavored the next day and recently showed up on Impact after the no-compete expired. ***1/2 WWE title: John Cena v. CM Punk Time to crank the volume, baby! The crowd atmosphere for this is unlike anything seen for years before or indeed since then. The intrigue was so off the charts here that it literally crashed my blog and many other wrestling websites, although as it turned out, it didn’t really translate into a record buyrate for the show. I was losing my mind while watching this live because literally anything could happen with the angle and it was the one time where someone was going to become a new star no matter what. And to his credit, Cena stoically ignores the boos, and doesn’t try to act like the goofy babyface. They work off a headlock to start and Cena dodges a high kick while the crowd chants “You can’t wrestle”. Punk stops to clarify who they’re talking about, and luckily it’s Cena. They trade armbars and Cena goes back to the headlock, but Punk comes back with a hiptoss before going to his own. They criss-cross and trade finisher attempts, and both guys back off, as the ultra-confident Cena is playing it a bit shaken here. Punk stomps him in the corner, but Cena fires back with a bulldog for two and goes to a facelock, again visibly showing nerves. Fake ones, not real ones. Clothesline gets two. Cena goes back to the headlock, but Punk escapes with the suplex for two. Cena slugs away in the corner and gets the fisherman’s suplex for two, but Punk reverses the FU into a DDT for two. Punk with a headscissors on the mat as the tension starts ramping up, and Punk dumps him and stops for a high five from former jobber Scotty Goldman. Kneedrop on the apron gets two. Punk misses a charge and Cena makes his first try for the STF, but Punk fights him off and gets a clothesline for two. Punk botches a bodypress and gets two as the female portion of the crowd starts chanting for Cena, and Cena bails to the apron and then suplexes Punk to the floor from there. Back in, that gets two. Cena starts to get more confident, dropping an elbow for two, and he uses a Dreamer Driver for two. Booker notes that Cena is winning the crowd over “like Rocky in Russia”, which is a pretty obscure reference these days. Like, how many of the Twitter crowd would have even SEEN the Rocky movies? Cena goes to an abdominal stretch, but Punk escapes and we get the double clothesline and you know shit is going to go down now. Cena makes the official comeback, but Punk rolls him up off the powerbomb for two. The running knee misses and Cena completes his FIVE MOVES OF DOOM leadup, but Punk kicks him in the face to show that indeed he can see him. Cena bails and Punk hits him with a suicide dive. Back in, Punk misses a crossbody and Cena is really determined to hit that five knuckle shuffle. Punk escapes the FU (not quite sticking the landing, which is something people harp on for some reason) and puts Cena down with a series of kicks for two. Cena counters out of the GTS with a gutwrench for two. Punk escapes the FU and hits a pair of knees into the bulldog, but he goes up for the flying clothesline instead of covering and only gets two. Punk throws kicks, but Cena takes him down into the STF and now the crowd is getting worried. Punk makes the ropes for a giant sigh of relief from 14,000 people. Punk clobbers him with a high kick for two, and goes up for the crossbody again, but Cena catches him and tries the FU, which Punk reverses to the GTS, which Cena reverses into the STF. Punk can’t make the ropes and I was freaking out at this point. Punk, however, fights out and into the Anaconda Vice and the crowd is losing it. Cena powers out and into the FU , for two. Punk reverses another FU attempt and tries the GTS, but Cena makes the ropes and puts him down. Cena to the top with the flying legdrop, for two. Nice touch as Cena stops to psych himself up and regroup, showing vulnerability you never see otherwise. Another FU gets two. They fight on the top as Cena wants an FU, but Punk reverses to a rana and follows with the running knee into the GTS. Cena was too close to the ropes, however, and falls out of the ring, and that seems to be the “out” for them to book a screwjob finish. However, Punk puts him back in as Vince and BIG JOHNNY head down to watch, and Punk walks into an STF as a result. Vince wants the bell rung, but Cena breaks the hold because he doesn’t want to win that way. Back in, GTS, and Punk is the champion at 32:53. The crowd loses their fucking minds as the Summer of Punk begins. ADR tries to cash in at Vince’s behest (which is what everyone thought would happen), but Punk fights him off and leaves with the title. I still love this match because it was a BIG FIGHT with actual stakes, and much like the Aries-Roode match it was a match where both guys went in with momentum and neither guy could conceivably lose. Cena acted like an actual human being for once and Punk showed fire that he lost sometime around Royal Rumble of this year and never really got back again yet. Any match where I’m compelled to crank the volume on the TV because I’m still so pumped to watch it can’t be anything but *****. The Pulse I don’t know if this is a contender for “greatest of all-time” status because the Punk stuff ended up being such a crashing failure afterwards, plus really the Del Rio win was of little consequence in the grand scheme of things and the MITB matches themselves were pretty forgettable, but this is easily, EASILY, the best PPV of 2011 and absolutely one of the best of the entire decade. And hey, it kickstarted the pushes of Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan, plus elevated Punk to the main event for good, so it’s got some major cred on the historical side of things. Plus there’s a shitload of awesome matches and nothing bad. Highest recommendation.

Not As Much Money In The Bank As Previously Thought

As per last night’s Observer radio show, initial numbers for Money In The Bank are coming in, and it looks like about 135,000 domestic buys.  Predictions based on the show’s response had originally put it at 150,000 or more, which would have been phenomenal.  This doesn’t cover international buys and numbers will probably change a lot when the finals come in next quarter, but as it stands it’s a bit of a boost over 2010’s show, but not a game-changing performance or anything.  It’s basically a B-show that did better than it would have.   Hopefully this won’t mean Punk will immediately lose his version of the title and then job to Fake Sin Cara every night, but given the impatience WWE has displayed with the angle thus far, you never know.  Really, what it goes to show is that PPV is a dying market for WWE and there’s very little that’s going to boost it again short of Rock and Steve Austin returning fulltime.