Welcome to the Money in the Bank Reaction, where I offer my take on this year’s Money in the Bank event live from the O2 Arena in London, England.
You can find John Canton’s full in-depth review here.
We kick the show off with a James Bond 007-style opening video promoting the key matches. I loved it.
We kick things off with the Men’s Money in the Bank ladder match featuring LA Knight, Logan Paul, Santos Escobar, Ricochet, Butch, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Damian Priest. Smart move by everyone attacking Paul and tossing him out of the ring right at the start of the match. The match was just action-packed controlled chaos. There were several crazy spots in the match, including Paul frog splashing Priest on the ladder bridge (the ladder did not break) and Ricochet hitting a Spanish Fly on Paul as they were falling off a ladder Knight knocked over to bounce off the ropes and through two tables (one broke). You have to see the spots to believe it. After disposing of Ricochet and Paul, Knight climbed the ladder and got caught by Priest. Priest hits a Broken Arrow off the ladder on Knight before climbing back up the ladder to retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase. What an incredible match. The fans and I were all pulling for Knight to win but I felt Priest had a chance as well. Great choice for the opener.
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship was up for grabs next as Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler defended the titles against the previous champs Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez. The match was solid and about what you would expect from Rousey. The champs smartly worked on Morgan’s previously injured shoulder throughout the match. Just when it looked like the champs were going to retain, Baszler attacked Rousey from behind and choked Rousey out with the Kirifuda Clutch before walking out. Morgan and Rodriguez quickly capitalized and recaptured their titles. I did not see the Baszler turn coming. I figured that that would be the direction they would take them but it felt rushed and out of the blue. We’ll have to see how Baszler explains herself in the coming week.
The Intercontinental Championship is on the line next as GUNTHER defended the title against Matt Riddle. Imperium was out to introduce GUNTHER but did not stay at ringside for the match. The match was good and went how I expected it to go. Riddle tried to mount a challenge but GUNTHER shut him down to retain his title. After the match, Drew McIntyre returned and laid out GUNTHER with a Claymore Kick to declare he’s back. That should be a really good feud, although I do not see McIntyre taking the title off of GUNTHER.
Dominik Mysterio makes his way to the ring with WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea “Mami” Ripley for his match with Cody Rhodes next. It was a dominant win for Rhodes even with Ripley trying to help Mysterio at various points of the match. I just don’t get why the babyface doesn’t bring out an equalizer for Ripley, since she always interferes in Judgment Day matches. No sign of Brock Lesnar tonight, so they’ll wait until Raw to get their SummerSlam program started. I thought Lesnar might attack Rhodes here and cost him the match.
Promo Time with John Cena was shockingly next. The London crowd erupted when his music hit. It was a nice surprise to see him. Cena gave great thanks to the crowd and asked the question everyone had on their mind, “So, why am I here?” Cena put the United Kingdom fans over before saying he was there to advocate on their behalf to bring WrestleMania to London. The O2 Arena erupted again at the thought of that and here’s Grayson Waller to interrupt. Waller praised Cena and then suggested that the first overseas WrestleMania should be in Australia, where he’s from. Waller even extended an invite to Cena to be his guest on the Grayson Waller Experience talk show. Cena passed on the invite so Waller attacked him. Cena came back and dropped Waller with an Attitude Adjustment to end the segment standing tall. I’m going to pencil in John Cena vs. Grayson Waller at SummerSlam. We all know that 40 is going to be in Philly. Nashville is rumored for 43 and I’ve heard that Minneapolis was trying to land 42. I guess 41 can go to London. That sounds good to me.
The Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match is up next featuring Bayley, IYO SKY, Zelina Vega, Trish Stratus, Zoey Stark, and Becky Lynch. Unlike the men’s match, there were a couple of stories coming into this match. The first was the tension in Damage CTRL between Bayley and IYO SKY. The second was the Stratus/Stark/Lynch feud. Both stories were well represented in the match. Like the men’s match, there were a couple of crazy spots in this match. Trish Stratus hit Bayley with a Stratusfaction onto a ladder bridge, Becky Lynch hit a Manhandle Slam on Stratus onto another ladder bridge, and Zelina Vega wiped out herself and Zoey Stark with a Code Red off the top of a ladder onto a ladder bridge. Earlier in the match, Lynch had gotten a handcuff placed on her hand. While she was fighting Bayley to climb up a ladder, SKY placed the loose handcuff on Bayley and climbed the ladder to capture the Money in the Bank briefcase, to the crowd’s delight. There had been a rumor that Charlotte Flair might replace Vega in the match, but I’m glad that did not happen. Flair did not need to be in the match and Vega really shined in the spots she was in.
Up next, Seth “Freakin” Rollins defends his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor. The match was good but seemed to lack kicking into that next gear. Balor focused on the ribs of Rollins that he had been attacking over the previous couple of weeks. I think focusing in on that injury, while smart, just weighed the match down. Damian Priest showed up with his Money in the Bank briefcase to maybe support his Judgment Day teammate. Priest teased cashing in during the match but Rollins finished Balor off shortly after his appearance. Rollins left while Balor argued with Priest about him costing him the match. It’ll be interesting to see where the tension between these two goes.
Kayla Braxton was up in a skybox with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to talk about the upcoming main event and the event in London.
The Bloodline history video package that played on Smackdown played to lead us into The Bloodline Civil War match with The Usos taking on Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa. The match started off on a very slow note. Once it got into the second half of the match, things started picking up. The Usos put up a good fight until the ref bump, because of course. The Usos planted Reigns with the 1D but the ref was down so the crowd counted Reigns down for a 10 count. Reigns and Sikoa took both Usos out so Reigns could double pin them as the ref came back around but both Usos kicked out at 2. Great spot. Sikoa would eventually eat the announce table trying to take Jimmy out. That left Reigns alone against both Usos. Jey got flattened by a spear and did the low blow kickout at 2. The Usos throw several superkicks at Reigns to get him down. Sikoa takes a double superkick for good measure so Jey can hit an Uso Splash on Reigns to pick up the win! This is Reigns first pinfall loss in three and a half years. The Usos celebrate in the ring as Reigns looks angry on the floor. Jey pinning Roman was the right call here. It gives a reason for a SummerSlam match while not totally taking away from the moment when Roman finally loses the title.
A recap video closes the show out.
John rated the show at an 8, which was also my excitement level in our preview. I think that was a very fair rating and will also go with an 8 for the show rating.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The London crowd was amazing. They were hot practically the entire night. The Backlash crowd was better, but this was a decent second. It’s hard to believe that this was the first PLE in London in over 20 years. Let’s hope the Cena speech about WrestleMania London happens real soon.
Both Money in the Bank ladder matches has some crazy spots that were simply amazing to see. I think the craziest spot would have been Ricochet’s Spanish Fly to Logan Paul through the two tables. Paul had a big gash on his shoulder from it.
Shayna Baszler turning on Ronda Rousey seemingly from out of nowhere was a great shock moment. I hoped for a better build to it.
I wish the Women’s Money in the Bank match went before the Rhodes/Mysterio match to have someone wander down to maybe keep Ripley’s interference to a bare minimum. It’s quite tiring watching her constantly interfere in every Judgment Day match since the guys can’t fight back.
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time.