Money in the Bank was another fantastic PLE by WWE in 2023. I can’t remember the last time WWE had a stretch of PLE’s or PPVs that were as good as the stretch they’re on now.
I haven’t been “disappointed” in a PLE since Royal Rumble 2022. There wasn’t one match that I thought was a 5-star classic, but there were several I thought were fantastic storytelling matches. Check out the John Canton review here in case you missed it.
#7: DAMIAN PRIEST IS MR. MONEY IN THE BANK
I thought they’d probably give it to LA Knight here but I knew Priest was a possibility based on the way he’s been positioned over the last several months. I was fine with anybody winning that wasn’t Logan Paul.
The match was outstanding. The crowd was firmly behind LA Knight but Santos Escobar, Shinsuke, Ricochet, Priest, and hometown guy Butch all got favorable reactions as well. Ricochet and Logan Paul did the damndest spot I think I’ve ever seen in a Ladder match where Ricochet did a Spanish Fly on Paul from the middle rope to the outside through a table. It looked like their feet got caught up in the ropes and Paul was banged up afterward. Thankfully, it wasn’t worse but I have to give Logan his respect for doing things he doesn’t really have to do.
I thought LA Knight was the right pick but I’m not mad at Damian Priest. He’s worked hard and deserves it and this will likely be a storytelling device between Him and Finn Balor over the next few months. Great match.
#6: LIV MORGAN AND RAQUEL RODRIGUEZ WIN THE WOMEN’S TAG TITLES
I think this was the shocker of the night besides John Cena’s cameo because nobody saw it coming. Sure, they’ve dropped little hints here and there that a split could be coming but I don’t think anybody thought it would happen a month after they won the Tag Titles and two weeks after they unified them with the NXT Women’s Tag Titles.
Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey were in control and Shayna tagged Ronda in and it looked like she was about to end it when Shayna ATTACKED Ronda! Liv’s face was priceless as she sold the fact that she couldn’t believe what was happening. Shayna choked out Ronda as the London crowd was loving every minute. Eventually, it led to Liv hitting Ronda with the Oblivion and Ronda selling her ass off for the move for the victory.
I prefer Liv and Raquel as the champions anyway. Ronda seems like she wants to work with Shayna before her contract is up which is good. She can put over her best friend on the way out. Liv Morgan has now beaten Ronda Rousey three times including back-to-back Money in the Bank PLE’s. Nobody else can say that so good for her.
#5: GUNTHER RETAINS HIS INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE
The match wasn’t the story. The match was what it was. It was a good match. The story was about the return of DREW MCINTYRE to WWE. GUNTHER was celebrating his win over Riddle when Drew Mcintyre made a surprising return to confront the Champion. Drew eventually laid GUNTHER out with a Claymore before celebrating with the Intercontinental Title.
I think Drew and GUNTHER is the plan for SummerSlam. Hopefully, McIntyre has re-signed or is going to re-sign with WWE. He’s a great guy to have around so we will see what happens but it was great to see Drew back for the first time since WrestleMania.
#4: CODY RHODES DEFEATS DOMINIK MYSTERIO
I thought the match would go longer but it didn’t. I thought Brock might return to screw Cody, but he didn’t. Cody Rhodes beat Dominik clean as a whistle with the Cross Rhodes. Rhea Ripley got involved on more than one occasion. I thought they should’ve brought Brandi out but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
The match was okay but nothing special. I’m assuming Cody gets Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam for a third and final time so it was good to get him an easy win here.
#3: IYO SKY IS MS. MONEY IN THE BANK
I liked this match more than I did the Men’s Money in the Bank match. All six women had time to shine here. Zoey Stark and Trish Stratus did their best to keep Becky Lynch from winning the briefcase. All respect to Trish Stratus. She’s been retired for seventeen years. She’s had like 2 singles matches during that time period and had never competed in a ladder match. She could’ve run interference for Zoey in the match. She didn’t have to be in it herself and here she was, taking Manhandle Slams spine first on ladders. She has gone above and beyond to get this feud with Becky over.
They tried handcuffing Becky to the ropes but Becky fought out of it. Bayley and Iyo had a miscommunication where Bayley pushed the ladder over that had Iyo on it so she wouldn’t grab the briefcase. You could tell Bayley was conflicted about whether she could do it but did what she thought she had to do. Zelina Vega did a code red off the top of the ladder onto another ladder on Zoey and effectively eliminated both of them from the match. It came down to Becky and Bayley trying to get the briefcase. They both had their arms in the middle of the ladder so Iyo grabbed Becky’s arm, which still had the handcuff on it, and handcuffed her arm to Bayley’s which disabled them both. It was a brilliant finish and one that I don’t think I’ve ever seen. Iyo eventually grabbed the briefcase.
I think a babyface run is coming for Iyo Sky. Damage CTRL doesn’t seem like it is going to last much longer. Iyo is a natural babyface so this should be a welcomed change for her.
#2: SETH ROLLINS RETAINS THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
This was another solid match but one I think should’ve gone a little longer. I think this match was affected by John Cena going a little long in his promo right before this. Damian Priest came out with his briefcase to tease a cash in which effectively cost Finn Balor the match. I think Judgment Day could very well turn on either Balor or Priest soon. I could see Priest turning babyface and feuding with Judgment Day. I could also see him getting the Judgment Day to kick Finn Balor out much like they did Edge. Then Priest could take over as the leader. So many options and I like not knowing.
Seth Rollins doesn’t have a clear direction for SummerSlam yet but I assume he will get one. It was way too early for him to drop the World Title.
#1: THE USOS DEFEAT ROMAN REIGNS AND SOLO SIKOA
What. A. Match. This is what storytelling is all about. Enjoy it while you can because I don’t think you will see anything else like it any time soon. There were several callbacks to previous matches and angles. Roman trying to stack the Usos up for the pin similar to Edge and Bryan. Then they both kicked out. An underrated seller with his facial expressions was Solo here. You could see how conflicted he was. The more The Usos kept going, the more you could see him start to doubt himself and Roman Reigns. After the Usos kicked out of that double-stacked pin, you could see Solo questioning himself before snapping out of it. Jey kicking out of a Spear by hitting a low blow to Reigns, much like Reigns did 3 years ago. Having Michael Cole scream “Do You believe in Miracles?” when Jey hit the Uso Splash, just like he did three years ago. Only this time, Roman didn’t kick out.
This was Jey’s moment. For three years, they’ve told you that Roman has mistreated Jey. This was his comeuppance. Same thing as Sami and KO beating Roman and Solo was them getting their moment without winning the title. Roman isn’t losing that title right now so this was Jey’s moment to show that his cousin can be beaten. So even when Jey loses the title match, he will still have effectively ended the aura of invincibility around Roman Reigns which is valuable to him because Roman needs you to think he’s on another level. He needs you to think nobody can touch him. Jey proved that isn’t true.
This was masterful in every way. It validated The Usos’ decision to leave The Bloodline. There’s no way they could’ve done this after three years just to have Jey lose two straight matches to Roman. Jey had to win here. The Usos are the tag team. They absolutely should’ve won the tag match. The interesting part will be what happens with Solo? We know Roman is beating Jey at SummerSlam but what about Solo? He has now lost two straight tag matches to four of the biggest rivals he and Roman had. Could he be questioning his allegiance to the Bloodline? I think there might be one domino left to fall before Roman officially hits rock bottom. I’m looking forward to seeing it play out.
There you have it. Money in the Bank was a very good show and now it is off to SummerSlam. We had two excellent Money in the Bank ladder matches, two surprise returns in John Cena and Drew McIntyre, and an epic moment with The Usos, Roman Reigns, and Solo Sikoa. I’m excited for the next few months.
Thanks for reading. Check out my TJRWrestling writing archive here. I’m on Twitter @GiftedMoney talking about wrestling among other things, so feel free to message me on there with any thoughts or comments. Until next time.