It’s that time of the year again for wrestling fans. The Wrestlemania storylines and feuds have ended and now WWE sets it stage for the next few months with its Money In the Bank pay per view.
In the eyes of many fans, this event has risen to the ranks of the big four PPVs for WWE. Due to its title implications and multiple exciting ladder matches, Money in the Bank has become the company’s summer spectacle.
Money in the Bank usually guarantees fireworks much like the Fourth of July celebration that follows a few days after. However this year’s event proved to be the unwanted dud, the one you thought was going to make a big explosion.
The Authority storyline that felt like it was trying to turn Daniel Bryan into a third rate Stone Cold Steve Austin feels even more labored. Now any superstar who opposes Randy Orton, Triple H, or Stephanie McMahon immediately becomes the flavor of the month enemy.
This story has become tired and Money in the Bank is exhibit A in the people’s case to put an end to the “McMahon-Helmsley era 2.” Money in the Bank’s failure as a pay-per-view can be attributed to the Authority storyline interfering in the two ladder matches.
With its annoying and repetitive main storyline, and several disappointing undercard matches, Money in The Bank failed to live up to its potential and the expectations set by this event in years past. The PPV itself receives a C-, but let’s examine each match one-by-one.
Money In The Bank Kick-Off Show: Daniel Bryan Speaks:
It’s no secret that I think that Daniel Bryan is the most overrated wrestler in WWE history. I have never been that impressed with him in the ring or on the mic. While that puts me in the obvious minority, I don’t see why the crowd goes bananas every time Daniel Bryan dishes out one of his repetitive kicks, or his one word chant.
Nevertheless, the crowd in Boston greets Bryan with a hero’s welcome. After announcing that his surgery was not successful and that he may need another (YES!!!), Bryan is interrupted by Bo Dallas.
Dallas cuts his lame Bo-lieve speech in an attempt to inspire Bryan, but his character is perhaps the worst gimmick since the WWE named a tag team the Dicks.
Bryan responds by belittling Bo and asks him to just “leave.” Rather than further his career as a heel, Dallas awkwardly stands around for a few seconds then takes Bryan’s advice.
Winner: All of us cynics who are excited that Bryan won’t be back for sometime.
Loser: Bo Dallas. The upstart had a chance to rile up the crowd by attacking Bryan and earn a better heel push. While, Bryan’s not 100%, Dallas still could have made an impression by kicking the Goat in the groin. Instead he just left and cemented his status as a future jobber.
Tag Title Match: The Uso’s vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan Match Grade: A
WWE makes a great decision to open the show with this match between four steadily improving competitors. I am disappointed that Rowan and Harper have switched their music to more rock-like theme, instead of the creepy Bray Wyatt theme. However, Rowan and Harper’s music marks my lone complaint about this match.
Both teams engaged in a back and forth battle that let all four competitors showcase their skills. Harper hit his surprising outside dives. The Usos flew all over the place and energized the crowd. Rowan displayed feats of strength by catching the Usos during outside dives.
In the end, the Usos isolated Rowan and hit a double superplex followed by two big splashes to claim victory.
Winner: The Usos keep the belts, The Wyatts have nothing to be ashamed of and the show starts great so everybody wins.
Losers: Nobody lost in this one. Both teams put in a great match and set the tone for what could have been a great night.
Divas Championship Match: Naomi vs. Paige (C) Match Grade: C+
Naomi vs. Paige had a chance to be a great divas match, but it will be remembered as an average effort.
Naomi hit a few flying moves that divas haven’t delivered since Lita left. Paige put forth a few good submissions and fought resiliently. However, the most memorable part of this match was the botched superplex that forced both divas fall to the floor as well as several awkward pin reversals.
The aerial assault from Naomi impressed me. It’s clear that she has learned a thing or two from her husband. I am honestly surprised Naomi did not get the victory in this one, although it appears that a Funkadactyls feud will soon follow.
Winners: Naomi put forth an eye-catching performance and Paige kept the belt.
Loser: The divas division that currently lacks a deep contender pool for Paige.
Adam Rose vs. Paul Revere (Damien Sandow) Match Grade: B +
Damien Sandow emerges in yet another goofy costume. Hard to believe that just one year ago he won a Money in the Bank ladder match. This year he cuts a great promo insulting the Boston crowd dressed as Paul Revere.
Adam Rose parties his way to the ring and calls this Paul Revere, (you guessed it), “ A Lemon”. Despite the sour note that is this point in Sandow’s career, the match actually lasts longer than anticipated.
Sandow continues to play up the gimmick by shouting “The elbow is coming! The Elbow is coming!” before hitting his signature move. (That’s right. Damien Sandow actually got to perform offensive moves). Obviously Rose fights back, hits the Party Foul for the victory.
Winner: Rose got the win on paper, but Sandow continues to entertain every week. He cut a great promo, controlled the crowd throughout, and somehow did a Moonsault in Revolutionary War boots. It’s amazing what he can do when he actually gets more than three minutes of screen time.
Loser: JBL who has to put up with that bunny for another week.
Money In the Bank Contract Ladder Match Grade: B-
Shamefully, this match will be remembered for a terrible ending rather than the amazing talents of the performers in the match. Each superstar had a chance to shine and most lived up to their potential.
Rob Van Dam hit a Rolling Thunder on Seth Rollins who was perched on an elevated ladder. Dolph Ziggler hit a Zig-Zag on Kofi Kingston on a ladder. Jack Swagger Power Bombed two men off a ladder. Kingston, after being tipped from the ladder, springboarded off the ropes and landed on four other competitors ringside.
However, the ending ruined the phenomenal feats of its participants. As Dean Ambrose seemed poised to grab the briefcase, Kane slowly made his way to the ring, Choke slammed Ambrose. This interference secured victory for Rollins.
Rollins winning the match was the obvious ending, but some matches just don’t need outside interference and this was one of those contests. Also, watching Ambrose bat the briefcase like a cat, while waiting for Kane ruined the illusion of the match.
Winners: Rollins had a great match and now has contract for a championship match. Ziggler, Kingston, Swagger and RVD all had impressive efforts in the loss.
Losers: Bad News Barrett who was unfortunately injured and did not compete in the match. He would have added to this contest. Ambrose missed half of the match with a fake shoulder injury and really didn’t deliver a memorable performance. All of us who hoped for a clean win also lost.
Stardust & Goldust vs. Rybaxel Match Grade: D
Obviously a filler match that seemed more fit for Raw. Stardust has yet to capture his brother’s essence and the character is currently lacking charisma.
Six months ago, I thought Cody Rhodes could win the Money in the Bank ladder match, instead the fans were treated to yet another contest between these same four competitors who have been fighting since Wrestlemania.
The dust settled and Stardust and Goldust picked up the win. It was a boring match that should have stayed on Raw.
Winners: Ryback had the crowd chanting “Feed Me More” for the 1st time in a while.
Losers: Everyone who watched virtually the same match for the past few months.
Rusev vs. Big E, Match Grade : A
This was arguably the best match of the night. Though it was a rematch from Payback, it managed to reinvent itself and add to the feud. The match lasted longer than the previous fight between these two and they made the most of it.
Big E was particularly impressive and I’m surprised that his fan reaction is not more significant. The former Iowa Hawkeye football player dented Rusev’s aura of invicibility. Rusev took an impressive beating and still won. The ending also delivered drama as it appeared that Big E would be able to power out of the Accolade, but could not.
Winners; Both men pushed the envelope of what big men should be able to do in the ring and put forth the best match of their careers.
Losers: Anyone who believes that Lana is actually Russian.
Summer Rae vs. Layla W/Fandango as referee Match Grade: F
If the Rybaxel match belonged on Raw, then this contest belonged on Main Event. I am completely baffled how Layla has lasted in WWE this long without any sort of in ring ability.
While the feud between these two divas over jobber Fandango has had entertaining moments, mostly due to Summer Rae, there is no reason that this match should appear on any pay-per-view, let alone a major event. WWE should have filled this spot with a Paul Heyman promo.
Winners: Nobody who watched it won. The crowd never reacted aside from Summer’s entrance. Although I guess Layla won Fandango, whatever that’s worth.
Losers: The fans in Boston that did not go to the concession stand for one last beer.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match: C+
Another big match. Another John Cena victory. Just when you think there’s a chance WWE might let someone else rise up, Cena takes the championship back and it’s back to life as usual in WWE. Fans will still chant for or against Cena, who will continue to come out in his bright green shirt, and take the boos in stride.
This match had some exciting moments, none of them really provided by Cena. Sheamus was impressive as always. Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, and Cesaro continue to be potential champions in waiting.
Randy Orton fought through a real life injury, a cut to the head that began seriously gushing late in the match. He also hit an impressive RKO on Cesaro by pulling him off the ladder into position for the finisher to prove why he is one of the best.
The major flaw is that Roman Reigns is the more popular superstar right now and based on the crowd reaction it’s time to give him the belt.
Another drawback to this finish is that it leaves some great competitors without any way to move upward. Wyatt has feuded with a lot of the top names in the company now and it will be interesting to see which big name he will battle next.
Despite having more star power, this match did not live up to the standard set by the first match of the night. It also failed to bring out the best in each of its competitors.
Sheamus’ career also sits in limbo. He’s one of WWE’s top talents but continues to sit just above the midcard, but below the main event. Cesaro sits in a similar position, having already battled Sheamus and a lot of other top face talents.
Where WWE goes from here with storylines is anyone’s guess, but a feud between Cena and the Authority will likely carry into the next pay-per-view, Battleground. Rollins has a chance to become champion, but when or if he will remains to be seen.
One thing is for certain, with disappointing finishes to both ladder matches, and an overall weak undercard, Money in the Bank definitely did not inspire any more WWE Network buys.