It’s time for WWE Money in the Bank presented by the Smackdown brand. The show is headlined two Money in the Bank ladder matches plus Jinder Mahal defending the WWE Title against Randy Orton.

WWE Money in the Bank
Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2017

The Kickoff Show started with a panel that included Renee Young, Booker T and radio personality Sam Roberts. I don’t feel like watching the whole Kickoff Show because it’s just a bunch of recaps and hype for it without anything interesting happening. There’s only one match announced for the Kickoff Show and it’s Zack Ryder& Mojo Rawley vs. The Colons. I’ll review that match when it takes place.

It was confirmed by Renee on the Kickoff Show that the women’s MITB match will start PPV broadcast at 8pmET.

The announce team of Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton were at ringside to call the Kickoff Show match about 40 minutes into the pre-show broadcast.

Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley) vs. The Colons (Primo & Epico)

Good to see Ryder back in action for his first match in six months after suffering a serious knee injury. Rawley did his hype yelling leading to a suplex on Primo. Ryder tagged in with a corner forearm, but Epico pulled his cousin Primo out of the ring to save him. Ryder hit a dropkick that knocked both Colons down. When Ryder went into the ring, Epico grabbed the foot and Primo hit a dropkick to send Ryder out of the ring as the heels took control.

Commercial aired for WWE Network.

Ryder was on the middle turnbuckle and Epico pulled him off the apron with Ryder selling the left knee. The heels did some quick tags as they worked over the left knee of Ryder. Neckbreaker by Ryder created some space and Mojo got the hot tag against Primo. Mojo with two shoulder tackles, a clothesline, corner splash and he hit a move where he slammed Primo off his shoulders for a two count as Epico made the save. Ryder hit the Broski Boot on Epico. Rawley hit the running forearm on Primo and the double team Hype Ryder (Ryder with leg lariat off the top) won it for the Hype Bros. It went about eight minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Hype Bros

Analysis: ** Decent match that followed the usual tag formula with the heels working on Ryder, which made sense since Ryder had the knee injury. Mojo is at his best coming in off the hot tag. I liked that Ryder got the pin for his team since it’s his first match back and the crowd was excited to see it. I mentioned this during the last Smackdown that I thought Ryder needs a heel turn in the next month or two to give him something different to do. I don’t know if that’s the plan. Just saying I would like to see it.

The Kickoff Show panel hyped up the rest of the card for the next seven minutes before the top of the hour.

WWE Money in the Bank Main Card

The opening video started with Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship win at Backlash last month. They transitioned to the Money in the Bank ladder matches while mentioning the “land of opportunity” phrase they love to say about Smackdown.

If you’re doing a drinking game for how many times people say “making history” on this show you’ll be pretty drunk within the first hour. Just saying.

There was no pyro to start the show. Have to save that money to pay Brock Lesnar, I guess.

Charlotte Flair made her entrance for the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Really good ovation for her. The announce team of Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield and Bryon Saxton welcomed us to the show.

Becky Lynch made her entrance as well and got a nice reaction from the crowd. Tamina entered to no reaction. The German and Spanish announcers were shown at ringside. I think they told you to read TJRWrestling.net every day. Thanks guys.

Carmella entered along with her buddy James Ellsworth. Natalya was up last. The last two women were booed.

A video package aired to set up the match.

Analysis: That’s pretty rare to see them do full entrances of everybody in the match and then do a video package where the competitors are standing in the ring for three minutes while this is going on. I hope it’s not a regular thing. There are only five advertised matches, so WWE knows they have a lot of time to kill.

Women’s Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Tamina vs. Carmella (w/James Ellsworth) vs. Natalya

Four women went to grab ladders while Tamina was alone in the ring and she knocked the four women down on the floor. Charlotte knocked down Tamina with a forearm to the back followed by a boot to the face of Tamina and a boot to Carmella. Natalya with a clothesline on Lynch. Charlotte took down Natalya with an overhead suplex. Tamina with a superkick on Charlotte. Tamina knocked down Lynch in the corner and a Samoan Drop on Carmella sent her out of the ring. Tamina did a slingshot into a ladder that was against the turnbuckle. Tamina tossed a ladder onto Lynch. Charlotte ran into Tamina from behind and sent her into a ladder. Natalya sent Charlotte out of the ring while Lynch shoved a ladder onto Tamina. Natalya and Lynch held up a ladder at the same time, argued over it, knocked down Tamina and Lynch shoved down Natalya. Carmella went on the apron, Lynch knocked her down and Natalya hit a body slam on Lynch on a ladder. Natalya set up the ladder under the briefcase and was the first to climb up. Natalya got her hands on the briefcase, but Charlotte went up to stop her. Charlotte put Natalya on her shoulders and did the Electric Chair Drop on Natalya, which led to Natalya rolling to the floor. Charlotte climbed up, but Carmella stopped her. Charlotte had her right leg stuck and Carmella went over to the other side. They exchanged punches on top of the ladder, Charlotte reached and Carmella stopped her. Tamina shoved the ladder to knock Charlotte and Carmella down. Natalya and Becky battled in the ring with Natalya applying a Sharpshooter on Becky. Carmella hit a kick on Natalya. Charlotte knocked down Carmella and Natalya hit a double underhook suplex on Charlotte. Becky whipped Natalya back first into a ladder that was against the turnbuckle followed by a kick that sent Natalya out of the ring.

Lynch climbed up the ladder, but Carmella stopped that. Carmella hit a headscissors on Lynch while using a ladder for support. Carmella positioned the ladder under the briefcase. Carmella climbed up, Charlotte knocked her down with a boot and Charlotte hit a boot on Lynch. Tamina knocked down Natalya with a clothesline on the floor. Charlotte climbed up again, Tamina went up after her and a headbutt knocked down Charlotte. They did a spot where Charlotte tackled Tamina to knock her out of the ring, but it wasn’t a smooth landing. Charlotte hit a Spear on Tamina that sent Tamina back first into the stairs. Charlotte went up top and hit a move where she jumped off the top and did a twist onto Natalya and Tamina on the floor (similar to Alexa Bliss’ Sparkle Splash). That was great. Carmella climbed up the ladder, Lynch stopped her and hit a Powerbomb. Lynch climbed up and Ellsworth tipped the ladder over to knock her down. Ellsworth checked on Carmella, but she was out after the Powerbomb. Ellsworth looked up, then Ellsworth climbed up the ladder and grabbed the briefcase. Ellsworth dropped it to Carmella. The bell rang to end the match after 13 minutes. The crowd booed.

Winner: Carmella

Analysis: ***1/4 They worked hard and had a really competitive match. That was the kind of finish you think they might do, but not actually pull it off because it’s too cheesy. I thought the spots were laid out really well. There weren’t any moments in the match where it looked like the women were doing anything too risky aside from maybe Charlotte’s dive onto the floor. The ladder spots were smart and the crowd reacted to everything well. I didn’t like the finish, but also realize that’s the point of why they did that finish. It’s a cheap win for a heel with a friend at ringside. There’s nothing in the rules that says Ellsworth can’t do that and there are no disqualifications. A controversial ending will piss people off, but I hope that in the long run the decision makes sense. It would have been better if Ellsworth helped Carmella up and had her actually grab it because then people may have hated it less. I feel bad for the wrestlers because they put in a lot of effort and people are just going to remember this for the awful finish. Way to “make history” there, creative team.

The referees talked about what happened. Ellsworth announced Carmella as the winner. The announcers also bickered about it.

Carmella left with the briefcase and Ellsworth as her music played, so apparently she is still the winner. The other women were angry at ringside.

Analysis: I thought they might have Shane McMahon show up to say that no woman grabbed the briefcase, so the match must continue. Instead, they just went with the cheap ending because they must feel like it’s a better story. I’m not sure about that.

The Smackdown GM Daniel Bryan and Commissioner Shane McMahon tweeted about what happened.

Analysis: It’s fine to tweet stuff like that to continue the story on Twitter, but they should address it at the PPV. Are we building to PPVs or TVs? It should be PPVs. Neither guy is at the show and if they were so upset about what happened they should make a ruling right away. Lazy booking.

Lana was interviewed by Dasha Fuentes backstage. It was a basic promo where Lana just said she would be the next Smackdown Women’s Champion.

The New Day made their entrance for the Smackdown Tag Team Title match. They did a promo in the ring before the match.

The Usos made their entrance. The other announce teams were shown on camera: Portuguese, Japanese (hi Funaki), Mandarin, Hindi and Russian.

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. The New Day’s Kofi Kingston & Big E (w/Xavier Woods)

Kingston started with Jimmy. Big E tagged in and hit his splash on Jimmy on the apron. Kingston was sent into the ropes, Jey pulled the rope down and Kingston took a nasty bump over the top onto the floor. Jey hit a running clothesline on Kingston on the floor with Kingston taking a flip bump. The Usos gave Kingston a double suplex that sent Kingston back first into the ring post. The Usos worked on Kingston in the ring for a few minutes. Kingston did a leaping double stomp to knock down Jey. Big E tagged in against Jimmy with his usual three belly to belly suplexes after a hot tag. Jimmy slowed down Big E with a punch, but Big E came back with a one armed uranage slam for two. Big E tagged Kingston and Big E hit a running Spear that knocked Jimmy and himself off the apron. That’s such a great spot. Kingston knocked down Jey on the apron. Jimmy avoided Trouble in Paradise, blind tag by Jey and a running stomp by Jey on the left leg on Kingston. Jey applied a single leg crab submission. Jimmy knocked Big E off the apron, but Big E hit a suplex on the floor. Big E back in the ring and Jey hit him with a superkick. Kingston avoided a kick by Jey and applied a Dragon Sleeper like submission. Kingston hit the SOS flip into a slam for a two count.

Big E got a blind tag, Jey kicked Kingston and Big E jumped into the ring to try to catch Jey. E didn’t catch him, but E was able to hit a Big Ending for two as Jimmy made the save. Good nearfall. Woods on the apron to distract with the trombone. Usos double knee on Big E, but Big E came back with a back body drop to send them to the floor. Kingston hit a cross body block back first (a trust fall) onto both Usos on the floor. Big E and Kingston did a double team Midnight Hour with Kingston pinning Jey for two as Jimmy pulled his brother out of the ring. The Usos left the ring and walked away with their titles.  It went about 13 minutes.

Winners by countout The New Day (The Usos retain Tag Team Titles)

Analysis: *** That was good and on the way to being great with the crowd into the whole match, but I hated that finish. I understand not wanting to book a finish to end the feud after one match. That’s fine with me. I just don’t like the “heels walk out of the countout” finish. It’s not creative at all. At least have them get disqualified because that’s better than just walking out. Use a weapon and get caught for it. Don’t do the lame countout ending. All four guys busted their ass and the timing was very good. I look forward to their next match because they were building to something interesting here. Two awful finishes in a row.

Post match, the New Day guys were upset in the ring about the loss.

It was noted that Smackdown GM Daniel Bryan will return to TV on Tuesday’s Smackdown. That was announced on social media a few days ago. They showed his tweet that I posted earlier.

There was a shot of legends Bob Orton Jr. and Sgt. Slaughter talking backstage.

Naomi made her entrance for the SD Women’s Title match. Lana was up next and she’s entered in a dress, but she’s wrestling in an outfit with some knee-high boots.

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Naomi vs. Lana

Naomi tackled Lana in the corner. Lana came back by shoving her down. Naomi jumped back up and slapped her in the face. Naomi missed a cross body block leading to Lana covering for two. Lana took control when she grabbed Naomi’s leg while Naomi was against the top rope. Lana applied a weak looking headlock and slammed Naomi down by the head. Lana hit a suplex that sent Naomi’s legs into the bottom rope and she did the spot again. JBL talked about how impressive Lana was looking. Lana worked on the left leg of Naomi even though it was the right before. Naomi hit a kick across the face for two. Naomi applied a cross armbreaker submission, but couldn’t do much with it. Naomi with a kick out of the corner followed by a roundhouse kick. Naomi hit two more kicks to the head. Lana did a kick to the knee. Naomi came back with the Rear View ass attack for two. Lana hit a weak looking kick to the face. Lana picked up Naomi and hit a sitout spinebuster for two.

Carmella’s music hit and the new Miss Money in the Bank walked down to ringside with James Ellsworth. Carmella decided not to cash in yet.

Lana hit some weak looking punches on Naomi. When Lana went for her spinebuster again, Naomi flipped out of it and applied a head/arm submission for the win after eight minutes.

Winner by submission: Naomi

Analysis: *1/2 Below average match that wasn’t as bad as some people might have thought going into it. They did okay. Some of Lana’s punches and kicks look very weak, but she did well enough in terms of executing moves. There was also a bit of a struggle in terms of doing little things right to make it more interesting. There were a few awkward moments in terms of selling for both of them. The interruption with Carmella was timed well right before the finish because it made the crowd more interested.

Naomi celebrated with the SD Women’s Title. Carmella walked up the ramp with Ellsworth rather than cashing in the briefcase. JBL put over Lana’s “incredible performance” in defeat as Naomi left with her title.

Analysis: Welcome to teasing MITB cash-in season.

A commercial aired for WWE Network.

The Fashion Files

There was a Fashion Files video called “Fashion Vice” with Fandango and Tyler Breeze wearing white jackets. There was a shot of Breeezango in their “office.” They had a VHS tape that said “Watch Me” on it. Breeze put the tape in and there were two guys with distorted voices that said they attacked Breezango. The guys in the video told Breezango to meet them in the ring later.

There was an unfamiliar song playing with hearts on the ramp and in the aisle. It was Maria Kanellis and Mike Bennett. They had microphone headsets. Maria said her name is Maria Kanellis and he aid his name is Mike Kanellis, so I guess he’s taking her name in WWE. Maria added that she’s the “First Lady of Wrestling.” Maria said she’s taken seven years to find love and Mike said she found him. They talked about the power of love. They kissed briefly and left. When they left, JBL noted that Mike took her name as a way to mock him.

Analysis: There were rumors of them debuting for a few weeks. There was also a shot of them at the airport yesterday. Mike is a pretty good wrestler and Maria is great as a valet – not so much as a wrestler. If he wrestles with her as a heel manager it could work out very well for them. They met in the indies, then worked in places in Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Impact Wrestling in the last few years. I assume Mike taking her last name will suggest that he is whipped, but that’s just a guess.

A replay aired of Carmella’s controversial Money in the Bank ladder match win. They showed a tweet from Shane McMahon talking about it that I posted earlier. JBL said there was nothing wrong with what Carmella did because you can’t break a rule that didn’t exist.

The video package aired for Mahal vs. Orton for the WWE Title.

There was a shot of “St. Louis legends” at ringside. It was Greg Gagne, Larry “The Axe” Hennig, Baron Von Raschke, Sgt. Slaughter, Bob Orton Jr. (Randy’s dad) and Ric Flair was the last man they showed at ringside. Good ovation for all of them with Flair getting the loudest pop. JBL said Harley Race was going to be there, but has broken legs and wished him the best in getting well soon.

Analysis: Good to see the legends there. It’s an angle alert any time they do something like that.

The Singh Brothers were on the ramp to introduce the WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. There was a carpet in the ring for Mahal for his entrance.

Randy Orton made his entrance. He got one of the loudest crowd reactions he’s received in a long time because he’s in his hometown. Orton pointed at the legends at ringside as he did his customary pose on the turnbuckle. When ring announcer Greg Hamilton said St. Louis the crowd went crazy for that too.

Analysis: The hometown pop for Orton was strong as expected in St. Louis.

WWE Championship: Jinder Mahal (w/Samir & Sunil Singh) vs. Randy Orton

Orton went for the RKO early, but Mahal slipped out of the ring to avoid it. Orton continued the aggressiveness as they battled on the floor. Orton wanted the DDT off the ropes, but the Singh Bros jumped on the apron and Mahal hit a back body drop over the top to the floor. Mahal attacked the knee with a kick and sent Orton shoulder first into the steel steps at ringside. Back in the ring, Mahal worked on the knee of Orton by stretching it against the middle ropes. Orton came back with a back suplex that sent Mahal’s back onto the barricade with Mahal landing on the legends at ringside. JBL had a funny line about Bob Orton having a bad left arm for a decade since he wore the cast. Mahal came back with a move where he sent Orton knee first crashing onto the top of the announce table. Mahal grounded Orton with a knee bar. Orton came back with a fallaway slam leading to Orton rolling to the floor. Mahal with a kneebreaker sending Orton’s knee onto the top of the barricade. Back in the ring, Orton tried a RKO, Mahal avoided it and Mahal hit a kick to the head for two. Mahal slapped on the Figure Four Leglock as they showed Ric Flair looking on. Orton rolled over to counter it, but Mahal remained in control as they went past the ten-minute mark.

Mahal continued to work on the knee by driving Orton’s left knee into the mat. Orton managed to sneak in an inside cradle for two and Mahal popped back up with a clothesline. Mahal pointed out Bob Orton for a superplex, but Orton fought out of it with a headbutt. Orton set up Mahal for a superplex and connected with it with Orton standing on the middle turnbuckle. Normally Orton goes up to the top, but he didn’t do it that time. Orton covered for two. They exchanged forearm strikes with the crowd reacting to all of them as Orton hit two clotheslines and a powerslam. Orton hit a draping DDT off the middle rope for two. Orton hit a RKO on Mahal and one of the Singh Brothers put Mahal’s foot on the bottom rope. Orton pleaded with the ref not to do the disqualification. Referee Mike Chioda ejected the Singh Brothers from ringside. The Singh Brothers stared at the legends at ringside. The Singh Bros went over to the legends. They grabbed Bob Orton by the collar. Orton went over to saved his dad by sending one of them into the ring post and Orton hit the other brother with a forearm. Orton sent Samir over the barricade and sent Sunil back first onto the barricade. Orton sent Sunil onto one of the announce tables. Orton cleared off an announce table and punched Samir. Orton jumped off one announce table and hit a RKO on Sunil on the floor. Samir was on the table and Orton hit a RKO on him through the table. Orton went back in the ring, Mahal kicked him in the knee and hit the Cobra Clutch Slam aka The Khallas for the pinfall win after 21 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jinder Mahal

Analysis: *** Good match that was given a lot of time with a finish similar to what they did at Backlash. Orton was really motivated and busting his ass all match long. Orton was selling the knee well in the first half of the match and attacking the Singh Bros really popped the crowd. If you’re looking at it from a logic point of view, Orton should have been counted out because he was out of the ring for about three minutes with the ref not counting at all. The RKO spot through the table was really well done. Biggest reaction of the match. It was one of the better Mahal matches, which isn’t saying that much since he’s never had a televised match go this long before. I’m not surprised by the result at all. I picked Mahal and so did most people. Orton lost the rematch, so Mahal will move onto another wrestler like AJ Styles or maybe John Cena.

A commercial aired for Great Balls of Fire in three weeks featuring Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe vs. Universal Title.

Breezango made their entrance. The Ascension’s music hit and the announcers were shocked that it was them that attacked Breezango. It’s not like Smackdown has a lot of teams.

Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)

Knee to the face by Viktor on Breeze leading to The Ascension taking control. The heels were on offense for about a minute. Fandango got the hot tag and hit a spin kick on Konnor. Viktor distracted on the apron, so Konnor hit a spinebuster on Fandango for two. Breeze took out Konnor on the apron. Fandango got an inside cradle on Viktor for the pinfall win after about four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Breezango

Analysis: * A boring match to give Breezango a win over a team that never wins. There was time for a filler match, so that’s what this was between the two main matches.

A commercial aired for WWEShop.

A commercial aired for Great Balls of Fire on July 9.

The announcers plugged Talking Smack with Renee Young and Booker T hosting Jinder Mahal, Naomi and whatever man wins the Money in the Bank ladder match.

A video package aired for the men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

AJ Styles was the first man that entered for the match. Big ovation for him. Dolph Ziggler entered the match and was booed like the heel that he is. Sami Zayn was next to a nice ovation. Kevin Owens, the United States Champion, made his entrance. He’s got some red and blue wrist tape as well as colors on his boots. Shinsuke Nakamura was the next man up and the crowd cheered, but Corbin attacked him from behind. Corbin hit Nakamura in the back with a ladder. Corbin also hit Nakamura in the back with a camera. Referees and doctors checked on Nakamura on the ramp.

The three referees talked about it at ringside and the match began with Nakamura out on the ramp.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match: AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens vs. Baron Corbin vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

The five guys brawled around ringside. There was a shot of Nakamura getting helped to the back. Zayn hit a somersault dive over the top onto Owens on the floor. Corbin and Ziggler did a double team attack on Styles with a ladder. Corbin punched Ziggler in the face to show he’s not working with anybody. Ziggler came back with a superkick on Corbin. Zayn tried to set up a ladder, Owens took it away and Zayn hit a clothesline on Owens on the floor. Styles dumped Zayn out of the ring. Ziggler prevented a forearm from Styles by knocking him off the top. Corbin hit Ziggler with the Deep Six slam on the floor. Zayn hit a springboard moonsault off the ropes onto Corbin on the floor. Owens used the ladder as a weapon to knock down Styles, Zayn, Corbin and Ziggler. Styles with a drop toe hold on Owens to trip him up while KO had the ladder. Owens gave Styles a back body drop over the top to the floor. Owens knocked Zayn down. Owens went up top to dive on guys on the floor, but Zayn slammed Owens off the top and sent him crashing onto the ladder that was in the ring. The ladder was broken, so Zayn brought in a bigger ladder in the ring. The crowd reacted to something on the floor, but it wasn’t shown. Ziggler went back into the ring to hit Zayn in the back with a forearm. Ziggler whipped Zayn onto a ladder that was against the turnbuckle. A ladder was set up in the ring, Ziggler knocked down Zayn with a dropkick and Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on Ziggler.

Zayn tried to climb up a ladder, but Corbin knocked him down and sent Zayn face first into the ladder. Styles went into the ring to drop Corbin with a flying forearm to the face. Styles went up the ladder, Corbin went up to stop him and Ziggler climbed over Corbin to get up top. Ziggler punched Styles down. Corbin tried to climb up, but Ziggler dropped him with a Zig Zag. Zayn, Ziggler and Styles battled while on a big ladder in the ring. Zayn was close to the top, but instead he hit a sunset flip Powerbomb on Ziggler off the top of the ladder. That led to a “Holy Shit” chant. Owens battled Zayn on the apron, Zayn kick to the face and Zayn hit a one-armed Dragon Suplex onto Owens on the back of his head on the apron. Zayn climbed up the ladder and Styles made his presence known with a Phenomenal Forearm smash off the top on Zayn. Corbin pulled Styles out of the ring and tossed him over the announce table. Corbin bridged the ladder from the steel steps to one of the announce tables. Styles went for a leaping attack on Corbin, but Corbin caught him and gave him a Chokeslam onto the ladder bridge. Ouch. Corbin into the ring and Zayn hit a Helluva Kick on Corbin. Zayn was all alone in the ring for a climb, but Ziggler tried to stop him. Zayn kicked Ziggler away. Owens got back in the ring and kicked Zayn in the groin. No DQ in a match like this. Owens went up for the briefcase, but Styles went back in to break it up. Owens battled Styles on the apron and teased a move onto the ladder bridge. Styles picked up Owens and sent him back first onto ladder bridge in a move that was similar to John Cena’s Attitude Adjustment. Ouch! That was nasty. The match was at 20 minutes.

Styles climbed up the ladder. Ziggler pulled the ladder away. Styles was all alone above the ring with his hands on the briefcase, but he couldn’t pull it down and Styles went crashing into the mat. Corbin pulled Ziggler out of the ring. Corbin tried to climb, but Nakamura’s music hit and he made his way down to the ring. Nakamura unleashed on Corbin with a series of kicks, a knee to the gut and a running knee that sent Corbin to the floor. Nakamura went to the middle turnbuckle and hit a knee strike on Ziggler. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa on Ziggler. Zayn went after Nakamura, but Nakamura kicked him, hit an exploder suplex and Kinshasa knee strike by Nakamura on Zayn. Nakamura left the ring to bring a ladder inside. Nakamura hit Owens with a Kinshasa knee strike. Nakamura set up a ladder in the ring. Styles was on the other side of the ladder. They had a long staredown as the crowd cheered “yes” for it. They pushed the ladder away. Nakamura and Styles exchanged strikes until Nakamura applied a sleeper like move. Nakamura hit a reverse exploder suplex. When Nakamura went for Kinshasa, Styles hit him with a leaping forearm to knock him down. Styles did a slow climb and Nakamura went up the other side of the ladder. The crowd did a “AJ Styles/Nakamura” chant to show support for both guys. They exchanged strikes on top of the ladder. Corbin was in the ring and he shoved the ladder to knock both guys down into the ropes. Corbin climbed up and Corbin grabbed the briefcase. Corbin unhooked the briefcase and won the match at 30 minutes.

Winner: Baron Corbin

Corbin celebrated with the briefcase and JBL said he was the future of WWE.

Analysis: ****1/2 That was a great match as I expected it to be. Zayn was the standout performer with a lot of cool moves on everybody and some big bumps too. Styles’ fall while he was holding the briefcase was from about 15 feet high and he looked fine taking the bump, but it was scary. Owens took some nasty falls. The face off between Styles and Nakamura was the biggest highlight of the match. The fans saw it as a big deal and reacted to it huge. Hopefully WWE is smart enough to save that match until WrestleMania next year and not before that. I’m not surprised by the outcome because Corbin was my pick for the last month and six months before that. It’s obvious that WWE wants to push him to the top and this is a way to do it with him as a heel. It was one of the longest Ladder matches I’ve seen in WWE and I think the longest MITB match although I would have to check on that. It would have been nice if Nakamura was there for the entire 30 minutes, but it was just 10 minutes with him making the comeback.  I understand why they did that because WWE didn’t want to make Nakamura look weak at all. He didn’t sell that much. He lost and was protected as much as anyone in defeat. One of the best WWE matches this year similar to the Extreme Rules five way a few weeks ago. I think Cena vs. Styles and Dunne vs. Bate remain WWE’s top two matches this year. This might be the best MITB match ever although I’d have to re-watch it again to be sure.

There were replays of the key spots in the match.

Corbin celebrated with the briefcase to end the show.

The PPV had a run time of two hours, 47 minutes.

 

Five Stars of the Show

1. Sami Zayn – He stood out the most in the ladder match.

2. AJ Styles

3. Baron Corbin

4. Kevin Owens

5. (tie) Shinsuke Nakamura

5. (tie) Dolph Ziggler

 

Final Thoughts

It gets a 6 out of 10 from me.

The in-ring work was good all night long, but it’s hard to say this was a great show with some of those match finishes. My expectations were higher going into it. Instead of something I want to watch again, I’m sitting here wondering why they decided to do some of those finishes. The match ratings suggest a great show with three of them hitting three stars and an outstanding main event. However, the booking was poor most of the night and that’s why it’s a 6 instead of an 8 out of 10 type show.

They spent all month hyping up the first women’s Money in the Bank match being a “history making” event and they made history by having a guy that wasn’t in the match grabbing the briefcase? Bizarre booking choice. If they wanted Ellsworth to interfere that’s fine, but let Carmella be the one to grab it.

Orton vs. Mahal was a bit better than their last match although it was essentially the same finish. Where’s the creativity? It could have ended better.

That main event was excellent. One of the better MITB matches ever. The outcome didn’t surprise me at all.

The story of WWE PPVs this year continues with good work in the ring, but questionable booking choices end up hurting the quality of the show in the end.

 

WWE PPV Rankings 2017 (Scores on the 1-10 scale)

Royal Rumble – 8

Elimination Chamber – 8

Backlash – 6.5

WrestleMania 33 – 6.5

Money in the Bank – 6

Extreme Rules – 6

Payback – 6

Fastlane – 5

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Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below.

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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