The WWE Money in the Bank 2011 pay-per-view is considered by many to be one of the best PPVs in WWE history. It was largely thanks to the memorable main event between CM Punk and John Cena, but there were also some other great matches on the card.
I wrote a live review when this place took place in 2011. I added new thoughts to it in 2017 in blue font just to see how well things fared six years later.
This is the synopsis on WWE Network:
“With his WWE contract set to expire it’s CM Punk’s last night in WWE, as he faces John Cena for the WWE Championship in his hometown of Chicago. Christian and Randy Orton battle for the World Heavyweight Championship. Eight Raw and eight SmackDown Superstars compete in Money in the Bank Ladder matches for future Championship opportunities.”
Here is the actual PPV poster featuring Big Show and Hornswoggle. I’m not joking. That was the poster.
WWE Money in the Bank
Allstate Arena in Chicago (Rosemont), Illinois
July 17, 2011
The opening video package focused on the Punk/Cena/McMahon storyline with Punk doing the infamous promo in Vegas in late June and the story that Punk may leave with the WWE Title without a contract. Vince told Cena that if he loses then he is fired.
(I forgot about the part where Vince threatened to fire Punk, but that was part of the story too.)
The pyro welcomes us to the show. Hot crowd. Ladders are everywhere.
Announce team is the trio of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Booker T. Smackdown Money in the Bank match opens the show. The participants in the match: Sin Cara, Wade Barrett, Sheamus, Justin Gabriel, Cody Rhodes, Heath Slater, Daniel Bryan & Kane. They also announced the Spanish announce team. That table should be in the Hall of Fame.
Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Sin Cara, Wade Barrett, Sheamus, Justin Gabriel, Cody Rhodes, Heath Slater, Daniel Bryan & Kane
I like this as the opener because it’s an exciting match and will keep the crowd hot. It’s hard to do play by play for it, but I’ll try to hit on the key spots. Nice double team ladder move by Slater & Gabriel as they crushed it into Sin Cara’s face. Missile dropkick by Bryan onto Gabriel while he was on the ladder. Cole mentioned that six of the eight guys haven’t appeared in a MITB match. The only ones that have are Kane and Rhodes. Hard bump by Barrett into a ladder. Awesome sequence with Bryan, Gabriel, Slater and Cara hitting successive spots to the floor. Sin Cara hits a picture perfect Spanish Fly off the top rope on Daniel Bryan. Crowd loved it. Booker keeps talking about his “Fave Five” that you hear about Smackdown. Cole had to explain it because Lawler obviously never watches Smackdown.
Barrett set up the ladder in between the ring and the announce table. I wonder if that will come into play later huh? Sheamus gets the Brogue Kick on Sin Cara. Powerbomb off the apron through the ladder that was bridged between the ring and the announce table! Holy shit what a spot! Crowd went nuts for it. Refs checking on him. Announcers go to SERIOUS VOICES~! mode. Found out later that it’s not a legit injury. It was just an injury angle to put over the physicality of the match. To this point, ten minutes in, there weren’t too many ladder climbs. The former Corre guys took down Kane from climbing followed by preventing attempts by Kane, Rhodes & Bryan. The idea was that they had a history, so they worked together here. Rhodes knocks Slater & Gabriel off the ladder. Some of the crowd likes Cody.
Rhodes and Barrett each try to climb, but Cody takes him out with the Cross Rhodes. Sheamus prevents him with his backbreaker. Bryan fights off Sheamus. Awesome spot as Sheamus puts Bryan on his shoulders, Kane hits a top rope clothesline and the crowd chants “LOD” in honor of Chicago’s famed Legion of Doom/Road Warriors team that was just inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. The announcers don’t even mention them or the chant. That was a sweet tribute. Kane hits chokeslams on Barrett & Gabriel at the 15 minute mark.
Bryan prevents Kane from winning, then he leaps off the ladder and drops him with a DDT as a counter. Heath Slater is climbing. He’s going to win…except nobody believes that. Slater takes out Bryan, then Barrett prevents Slater from winning. Barrett & Slater use a ladder to send Slater off the top rope onto Kane on the floor. That was an innovative spot. Sheamus with a Brogue Kick to Barrett & Rhodes. I’m a huge Sheamus fan. He’s very solid as a worker and his timing in the ring is very good. Sheamus and Kane fight atop the ladder. Kane chokeslams Sheamus off the ladder onto a ladder that was bridged from the turnbuckle to the second stop on the ladder. Great spot. Very painful too.
They passed twenty minutes now as Rhodes, Bryan & Barrett keep Kane from climbing. Rhodes hits his Beautiful Disaster kick on Kane, Barrett hits Wasteland and Gabriel hits a 450 Splash off a ladder that was stretched across the top rope. That was risky. He was only about five inches than he would be on the top rope. Barrett throws Gabriel out of the ring. Then he hits power moves to take Bryan & Rhodes out. Barrett climbs up, Cody brings him down and clotheslines him out. Bryan climbs, he ends up getting stopped by Rhodes. He chokes Rhodes at the top of the ladder. Then he turns around to focus on Barrett. Bryan fights off Wasteland with about ten elbows that draw a massive pop. Kick to the head sends Barrett down. Bryan’s all alone. He unclips the briefcase to win at 24:27. The crowd cheered loudly for this. I do too!
Winner: Daniel Bryan
(It’s a great match that is also one of the longest Money in the Bank ladder matches ever. A lot of them were under 20 minutes, so giving them a bit more time made sense since there were eight guys in the match.)
Analysis: **** This was a well-built ladder match with the first ten minutes focusing on a lot of high impact spots. The second half was about guys climbing up. It allowed them to go nearly 25 minutes in a ladder match that didn’t get dull at any point whatsoever. Whoever put this match together (I’m assuming it was a group thing) deserves a lot of praise because the spots were perfect, the dominant guys like Kane & Sheamus had their moments and the high flyers were given a chance to shine too. The ending was great too with Bryan fighting off Barrett and Rhodes for the win. I’m legitimately happy for Daniel Bryan. He deserves it as much as anybody.
The announcers put it over as an underdog victory. I picked Rhodes, but I’m happy to be wrong. I’m surprised that they would put the briefcase on Bryan, but it’s not a surprise that I’m going to complain about. Awesome moment.
(Bryan was a face at the time and I wanted him to get the win, but I really didn’t have much faith in WWE putting him over the right way. I mentioned that I had picked Cody Rhodes to win. I thought it would be him or maybe Wade Barrett. It was one of those instances where I was happy to be wrong. Bryan cashed in a few months later and also turned heel while he was an egotistical champion.)
They showed WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon and executive VP of talent relations John Laurinaitis (Johnny Ace) and a lawyer arriving to the building earlier in the night. They said that they were negotiating with CM Punk.
(This was the start of Laurinaitis being a regular on TV. People Power was just beginning!)
Divas Title is next. Nikki is with Brie while Eve is with Kelly.
(This was before Nikki’s boob job and before she was dating John Cena too. I think Brie was dating husband Daniel Bryan by this point.)
Divas Title: Kelly Kelly (w/Eve Torres) vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella)
Please end this “feud” if you can call it that. Brie works over Kelly for the majority of it thanks to some heel tactics. Then Brie puts Kelly in a submission move, so Kelly turns into YELLY YELLY to sell the move. The crowd is dead for this move. She yells to wake the crowd up, but they don’t care. Sloppy clothesline. The neckbreaker wasn’t as sloppy. Terrible bulldog because Brie sold it before she should have, basically driving her own head into the mat. Brie goes on offense again, but Kelly won with her K2 Rocker Dropper finisher. COME ON! Match went 4:54.
Winner by pinfall: Kelly Kelly
Analysis: 1/2* Bad match. They messed up some spots. The crowd was dead. This feud needs to end now. Awful.
After the match, Nikki trash-talked Kelly by saying “look at her, she doesn’t even eat.” What a heel.
(I forgot this match even took place. Watching it again was a painful reminder of how bad it was. Nikki’s post match trash talk may have been the worst I’ve ever heard.)
They do the video package for Big Show vs. Mark Henry.
(Henry got a big push as a heel while Show was a face at this point.)
Big Show vs. Mark Henry
The early portion of the match focused mostly on Mark Henry working on the injured left knee of Big Show until Show made his big comeback. Show knocked him down with a shoulderblock as both guys are down for the ten count. Henry came back, hit the World’s Strongest Slam, but Show kicked out. That was very impressive. Henry hit the World’s Strongest Slam again. Henry gave Show two big splashes. Henry pinned Big Show for the pinfall victory at 6:00.
Winner: Mark Henry
Analysis: *1/2 It was fine for what it was. It was given the right amount of time and the angle worked. I think it was obviously going to be a Henry win. Makes sense. It was clean and it makes Henry look very impressive.
Post match, Henry put a steel chair on Big Show’s left leg. Then he squashed it by jumping off the second rope and putting all of his weight right on the knee. He gets carted off. The crowd was chanting “CM Punk” while they were carting off Big Show. Hilarious. The announcers used SERIOUS VOICES~! to describe Show’s pain.
Analysis: This really put over Henry strong with the win and the post match attack. Taking out Big Show was good in terms of making Henry look more credible.
(Henry signed a contract extension in 2011 and got a main event level push out of it. For 15 years he lost likely 80% of his matches if not more. There were a few start/stop pushes for him, but it never really worked. The “Hall of Pain” thing worked for him because he ended up winning the World Title and looked more credible than ever.)
Backstage, Vince McMahon was talking to Johnny Ace. Josh Mathews walked in to ask Vince if he has re-signed CM Punk. Vince says no. Vince said Punk’s the biggest ingrate that he’s ever dealt with in his life. Vince claims to have offered him the most lucrative offer he’s offered anyone. Vince tells the fans not to blame him because he did everything he could to keep Punk on the roster. He said Punk pointed to the door during their meeting and said “get out.” Vince says this is Cena’s fault because he wanted Punk suspended. Vince ended it by saying if Punk leaves with the WWE Title, may God have mercy on John Cena’s soul.
Raw MITB match next.
Order of entrant for the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match: Alberto Del Rio, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, R-Truth, Alex Riley, The Miz and Rey Mysterio. Each guy brought a ladder into the match. My pick is Del Rio. We’ll see how it goes. This won’t be a full play by play because there’s so much action, but I’ll do what I can.
(I don’t even remember having a second choice to win. Del Rio was the obvious pick.)
Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Alberto Del Rio, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, R-Truth, Alex Riley, The Miz & Rey Mysterio
Everybody attacks Del Rio and he gets a bunch of ladders thrown on him. Miz and Truth have a faceoff with two mini ladders. Swagger takes them out. Riley gets close, Cole goes nuts and Miz stops it. Cole’s heel act really needs to go away. Riley takes out Miz and Swagger with a leap over the top. Truth hits a somersault plancha onto everybody on the floor. Then Rey and Kofi leap on the guys. They each take out two guys. There’s a huge ladder. Evan Bourne goes up. Shooting Stair Airborne off the top of the ladder onto the heels! That ladder was huge. Wow. What a spot.
The match came to a stop when Miz took a nasty fall. Trainers are check on him. Not sure if it’s legit or not, but I’d say it’s a planned spot. I hope it’s not a real injury. He didn’t get stretchered out. He walked out with the help of refs and trainers. Mysterio and Bourne did double hurricanrana’s on Del Rio and Truth. Swagger put the Ankle Lock on Kingston while he was trying to climb. Riley climbed up, but Truth shoved the ladder to knock down Swagger & Riley.
Kingston had some strong moments. Then Mysterio hit a 619 around the ladder onto Kingston. That was cool. Truth used a ladder as a slingshot into Swagger’s face. Mysterio gets the 619 on Truth. Cole gives out some Facebook and Twitter facts. Lawler questions how he knows. Maybe because somebody told him, dummy. Four ladders are up. A bunch of them are reaching for it. All seven guys are close as the briefcase floats around due to them touching it. Down goes Del Rio, Swagger, Bourne (from middle of ring to the floor), Riley, Truth and then Kingston knocks Mysterio off. Kingston’s all alone, but Swagger races up to stop him. Good false finish there. They both fall off the ladder. The crowd rises as The Miz limps his way back to climb up. Mysterio stops him. Crowd wanted Miz to do. Rey hits a sunset flip powerbomb off a ladder. Crowd boos Rey’s climb. Del Rio stops him, Rey kicks him down, but ADR comes back up and ripped Mysterio’s mask off. They didn’t show Rey’s face because Rey was covering up. That was likely the finish, but Del Rio went down. Del Rio went back up. Del Rio wins after 15:54 while the crowd cheered even though he was a heel.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Analysis: ***1/2 Very good Money in the Bank ladder match. The finish was likely botched because I think the spot where he takes Rey’s mask off was the finish, but ADR slipped off and had to go back up again. It was a very good match although it didn’t have as many memorable spots as some in the past. The Miz injury thing was obviously a work. Del Rio winning was predictable. I called it. Lots of people called it. It’s the right move.
(I didn’t remember this match as well as the first MITB match, but it was still good. It was nearly ten minutes shorter and they were able to work in some cool spots. The finish was well done even with that minor botch at the end. As I mentioned earlier, Del Rio winning was very obvious since he was pushed so heavily in 2011. We all knew it was coming.)
Randy Orton vs. Christian is next. Long video package showing that it might be Christian’s last chance.
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviews Del Rio. Alberto says he was already #1 contender because he won the triple threat two weeks ago. He says the briefcase isn’t part of his destiny. It’s just a formality. His destiny is to be WWE Champion.
Christian comes out first. Orton gets a huge pop as the face World Champion.
World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs. Christian
The stipulation: “If Randy Orton gets disqualified he will lose the World Heavyweight Championship to Christian.”
There were several nearfall attempts although none that really fooled the fans into thinking that the match was over. The best nearfall came at the eight minute mark as Christian hit a top rope headbutt (vintage Benoit) for two. It looked picture perfect. They’re doing a lot of counters, which makes sense considering this is their third straight PPV where they’re wrestling eachother. Christian gets the Killswitch. One…two…no! The crowd believed that one. Awesome nearfall. Christian goes for a spear, Orton moves and Christian goes into the turnbuckle. Orton hits his Gutwrench into a neckbreaker. King called it a RKO. No King, it’s a neckbreaker. He’s been doing that move for many years. Orton goes for the punt, Christian avoids it and Orton hits the powerslam that Cole calls a scoop slam. Orton hits the DDT off the ropes. He signals for the RKO, but Christian stays on the mat. He spits in Orton’s face. Orton pounds on him until he gets to five seconds. Orton kicks Christian in the groin. The referee Mike Chioda disqualifies Orton, so the new World Heavyweight Champion is Christian! Match went 12:20.
Winner and new World Heavyweight Champion: Christian via DQ
Analysis: ***1/4 That was good, but not as good as their other matches. It moves the belt onto Christian without having Orton take a pinfall loss. The idea of the match was that the spit was so disrespectful that it drove Orton mad enough to kick Christian in the balls and it got Christian the win. In other words, Christian outsmarted him to win their battle of mind games.
(It was a smart finish although I was mad that Christian couldn’t pin Orton. They wrestled singles matches at four PPVs in a row. I thought the match at Over the Limit 2011 was the best of them. SummerSlam 2011 was second best as well as a fitting end to this rivalry.)
Post match, Orton attacks Christian. He smashes him in the head with a TV monitor. The Spanish table comes into play of course. He gives Christian a RKO on the table. It doesn’t break. The announcers act like Orton has never been this angry before. The babyface announcers said that Orton got screwed. Actually he’s a dumbass for getting DQ’d, but that’s what babyface announcers do. Orton came back to the ring. He gave Christian another RKO on the table. It didn’t break again. How many RKOs does it take to break the Spanish table? More than two, apparently. The crowd loved all of Orton’s post match attack. His facial expressions were great. I guess this feud must continue huh?
(The feud continued leading to another match at SummerSlam. I forgot how funny it was when the Spanish announce table didn’t break during two RKO attempts.)
Why does Cole say Orton has gone to a place he’s never gone before? In the past he’s kicked women in the head like Stephanie McMahon. He did many other reprehensible acts as a heel. Why do they treat us like idiots that have to forget these kinds of things? That Orton/HHH/McMahon storyline was a WrestleMania main event after all. Why treat it like it never existed? I hate when they do that.
(Ripping on WWE announcers for being bad at forgetting things isn’t something I do as much anymore because it gets repetitive. This was one of those examples where their announcing felt bad to me.)
The video package to set up Cena/Punk started with 50 minutes left on the PPV.
When the video ended, there was a loud “CM Punk” chant. Really loud. Chicago’s own CM Punk comes out with a new white t-shirt that says “Best in the World” on the back. While his music is playing there’s a loud “CM Punk” chant again as he enters the ring. There’s a “If Cena wins we riot” sign in the first row. No, you won’t. This crowd is going nuts for it. I love it. One of the best reactions you would ever hear. Punk sat cross-legged in the ring to soak in the ovation.
(What an incredible ovation that was. At this point, Punk had been a heel for a few years, but the combination of the epic promo a few weeks earlier and being in his hometown made him a huge face on this night.)
The crowd chanted “CM Punk” for two or three minutes before they played John Cena’s music. When Cena’s music hit, the majority of the crowd booed. No surprise. It’s overwhelming. Cena’s introduction drew another ridiculously loud pop although the difference is the Cena intro drew unanimous boos. Punk was clapping at ringside with friends Colt Cabana and Ace Steele in the front row. Referee Scott Armstrong, in my opinion, the best in the company, is doing the honors for this historic match. It’s 10:12pmET as they start meaning they’ll have lots of time.
(The excitement level for this match was huge. A lot of us legitimately had no idea what was going to happen during the match and after it was over. You don’t get that feeling too often, so I’m glad there was such a hot crowd in Chicago to enhance the experience for us.)
WWE Championship: John Cena vs. CM Punk
There’s an early “You Can’t Wrestle” chant in the direction of Cena. Punk goes for the Anaconda Vince, Cena counters into an armbar to slow it down. Punk gets a hiptoss and dropkick followed by a side headlock. The crowd approves. They each attempt their finisher, but neither guy hits it. Five minutes in. Not a whole lot has happened although the story so far is the awesome crowd reactions.
Cena hits a big clothesline and then grabs a headlock. They’re obviously going to get a lot of time, which is why they’re slowing it down like this. I’m okay with that. Tell me a story. Punk gets a backdrop for two. There’s a dueling “CM Punk – Let’s Go Cena” chant. I guess there are kids in the crowd since some are chanting for Cena. Two count for Cena after the Fisherman Suplex. King says “I don’t know if there’s one John Cena fan in this arena.” They just chanted “Let’s Go Cena” twenty seconds early. These announcers are terrible. I miss Jim Ross calling the action.
At the ten minute mark, Punk drops a knee across Cena’s neck while it was draped over the ring apron. Cool spot. Punk misses a charge into the corner. They’re both hurting. Punk grabs another chinlock. The crowd is quiet for the first time all match. Now the announcers acknowledge the “CM Punk – Let’s Go Cena” chants. Punk hits a crossbody for two. Cena selling a knee injury now. From the apron, Cena suplexes Punk over the top and all the way to the floor. That’s a spot that they tease a lot, but don’t often do. That’s a very physical bump. The announcers point out that Cena’s left knee is hurting him. Cena hits a Fisherman’s Suplex and an elbow for two. Cena hits a modified powerslam for two. Nice move. Just passed 15 minutes.
They do a dueling punch off with the crowd chanting favorably for Punk while booing Cena. Punk breaks out of the abdominal stretch and then they do a double clothesline to do the ten count. Cena gets up with the shoulderblocks, but Punk counters with a rollup for two. Cena hits his slam. Cena goes for Five Knuckle Shuffle, so Punk kicks him in the face, then knees him out of the ring and hits a dive out to the floor as they crash into the barricade around ringside. That was an awesome sequence. How many guys counter Five Knuckle Shuffle? Crowd loves it. I do too. My kind of people. We’re at 20 minutes now.
Punk misses his springboard clothesline. Cena comes back to hit Five Knuckle Shuffle. Punk counters the AA and uses a series of kicks to put Cena down, earning a two count. Cena counters the GTS with a Gutwrench suplex for two. Punk counters the AA. He hits two running knees to the jaw followed by a bulldog. The springboard forearm gets two for Punk. The replay of the knee to the face was awesome. Cena ducks a spin kick and then he puts Punk into the STF. After about thirty seconds, Punk made it to the ropes. Punk recovers, hits a big side kick to the head and that gets two. Another awesome nearfall. We’re at the 25 minute mark. Crowd has been amazing for all of it.
Punk hits a Crossbody, Cena catches him, he goes for the AA, Punk counters, he goes for the GTS, Cena avoids it and puts him in the STF. Punk is close to the ropes. Cena pulls him out, puts the STF on and Punk counters out of it with the Anaconda Vince. Cena fights out with the Attitude Adjustment. One two…no! That’s the best nearfall of the night. Loud “CM Punk” chants erupt. Cena goes to the top for his legdrop, but Punk avoids it and hits a powerbomb on Cena for a nearfall. Punk signals for the Go To Sleep. Cena makes it to the ropes and uses the ropes to choke Punk. Cena to the top. He hits the legdrop on the back of the head. That gets two as Cena has one of his “what can I do?” faces. We’re at 30 minutes now.
Cena hits the AA. Punk lifts his left shoulder up. Cole: “No! Not Again!” He wants Cena to win to keep the belt in WWE. Cena’s frustrated by it, wondering why he can’t win the match. Cena lifts Punk to the top, he goes for a top rope AA, but Punk fights out with elbows. He gets a top rope hurricanrana that sends Cena to the other side of the ring. Punk hits a running knee. Go To Sleep by Punk hits Cena in the ribs instead of the face. Cena rolls out to the floor. Cue Vince McMahon in a suit as well as John Laurinaitis (Johnny Ace), a talent executive. They watch from the aisle. Cena applies the STF and Vince calls for the bell. Laurinaitis runs to the timekeeper area, but Cena punches him in the face. He tells Vince he wants to do it his way. Cena goes back in, Punk hits the GTS and he is the NEW WWE Champion! Crowd goes absolutely nuts! Match went 33:44.
Winner: CM Punk
Analysis: ***** Outstanding wrestling match. An even better moment. I think for every Cena hater out there they should give the guy some props because he worked his ass off in this match. I’ve always sad that Cena’s the kind of guy that isn’t very good in the short TV matches, but if he’s given 15+ minutes to work and it’s not overbooked he can put on a good match. Punk is the better worker of the two, but it wasn’t a carry job by any means as they built to an awesome match here. They worked a slow style early on and then it had an exciting finish especially in the last ten minutes. Punk kicked out of his finisher. He survived the STF. Then he beat Cena clean, relatively, and the crowd absolutely loved it. That was an awesome moment to cap off a really well built match. The moment is what people will remember more, but the match was one of the best in WWE history too. This was the kind of WRESTLING match that a fan like me watches for. It was special. The crowd certainly helped too, but the guys in the match deserve a hell of a lot of praise too.
(I don’t have much more to add except this is one of the greatest matches in WWE history. I loved it live and I enjoyed it just as much today. Also, I hope the fans that chanted “you can’t wrestle” at Cena realize how stupid they sounded as they watched him have one of the best matches ever with CM Punk. Not liking a guy is fine, but the “you can’t wrestle” chant for somebody as good as Cena is ridiculous.)
Punk was handed the WWE Title. The crowd cheered wildly for him. It was a huge ovation as he walked around the ring with the WWE Title in his hands.
McMahon walks over to the announce table and gets on the headset. He says “get Alberto out here. Cash it in. Get him out here.”
Del Rio comes out with the Money in the Bank briefcase and Punk decks him with a kick. The ref never rang the bell. He never cashed it in. Punk leaves with the title through the crowd. He kissed Vince goodbye. He celebrates with the WWE Title to end the show with the crowd going wild. Vince was left looking into the crowd looking distraught while Punk held up the WWE Title with his people. End show.
Analysis: Terrific way to end the night with the crowd in hysterics over the Punk win while also leaving us wondering where things may go from here.
The big question is what’s next? I have no idea, but they certainly created a lot of interest by ending the PPV this way. I love it. Kudos to WWE for doing it. Big thumbs up from me.
(The mystery of what was next was a compelling story that a lot of us didn’t have the answers to right away. I always say the best angles in wrestling are the ones that feel the most real and this angle felt more real than anything because it many ways that’s exactly what it was.)
This event had a runtime of 2:47:48 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk – What a performance.
2. John Cena – He deserves a lot of credit too.
3. Daniel Bryan – Very happy that he was rewarded for all of his amazing work.
It’s hard to omit Christian, Orton, Del Rio and a few others, but this PPV was loaded with stars. That’s what made it great.
Money in the Bank 2011 gets a 9 out of 10 score.
That’s one of the highest scores I’ve ever given a WWE PPV. It was one of the best Pay-Per-Views they’ve ever had. The combination of the hot Chicago crowd and epic wins for some of my favorites like CM Punk, Christian, Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio will make this one of the most memorable PPVs they’ve ever had.
That image of Punk leaving with the WWE Title through the crowd will be everlasting. I have to applaud WWE for taking this angle to the place that allows for unpredictability. It will draw a lot of interest to Raw going forward and it will make us wonder when Punk will be back because obviously there has to be some kind of deal in place. When? Where? How? Why? Those are questions that they need to answer. I hope they draw it out for a while. Fans should be patient. It’s not right for WWE to rush this angle. It’s more important for them to be smart about it than be fast about it. Take your time. Don’t rush it.
(They rushed it, of course. I wish they didn’t, but they probably felt like they had to put him back on TV very soon and do the rematch for SummerSlam, which they did. It would have been better if there was more of a mystery.)
They went a different route with Christian vs. Orton this time. I’m okay with it. I’ve loved every single one of their matches. Both guys played their parts perfectly on this show. Christian is the kind of heel you want to see get his ass kicked. Even though the heel won the match it was an awesome moment for the fans to see Orton “snap” post match and attack him the way he did.
I liked both of the Money in the Bank ladder matches with the Smackdown one being the better of the two. It was longer, but it was also built better with all the impressive spots early leading to the climbs later. The Raw match was different because they did things like use the small ladders as weapons. There were just as many climbing sequences as well as false finishes. The finish got botched a bit because Del Rio wasn’t supposed to fall off his ladder, but it’s hard to plan things like that when you’re 12-15 feet in the air. The injury spots during the match are okay because they put over the physicality of these matches.
The divas match was a stinker. It was only five minutes, though, so it’s not enough for me to bring down the entire three hour show. I liked Henry/Show considering their obvious limitations due to their size. It made Henry look like a scary guy to take out Big Show the way that he did.
Chicago, you are one of my favorite wrestling crowds. I always say my top three are New York, Chicago and Toronto. They proved it again on this show. The support for Punk was overwhelming.
I have a math theory for you. CM Punk WWE Champ + Christian World Champ + Daniel Bryan MITB Winner + ADR MITB Winner = Collective internet joygasm. It’s nice to see hard working, talented people get rewarded for their work despite the fact that they’re not the biggest guys on the card. It gives me hope for WWE’s future.
This year’s Money in the Bank PPV should be remembered for a lot of reasons. Obviously the CM Punk win stands out the most. However, I think ultimately it will be remembered as one of the best PPVs that WWE has ever had. For all the crap they take about the word wrestling (admittedly it’s their own doing), this was a tremendous WRESTLING show from start to finish.
Once again, to everybody involved in this PPV they deserve major praise. The matches delivered. The booking worked. The crowd left happy. We have major reasons to watch WWE TV this week and into the build into SummerSlam. Excitement is in the air. I love it. More please.
(This was one of the best WWE PPVs ever and I think it was probably the best WWE PPV of the 2010 decade as well. The main event was amazing with an even better ending to the show while both Money in the Bank matches were very good. Christian vs. Orton was a pretty good match with another great post match segment. The two negatives would be the Divas Title and Henry/Show, but it didn’t hurt the show that much at all.)
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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