TJR WWE Money in the Bank Match Reviews: 2017 (Carmella Wins Twice and Baron Corbin)

The WWE Money in the Bank match countdown continues with the 18th, 19th and 20th Money in the Bank ladder matches. Check out the Money in the Bank archive here.

There was a different feel to the 2017 Money in the Bank show, which was Smackdown only. That’s because for the first time ever, there was a Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. Same rules applied as with the men. It was about making history with the women of Smackdown.

What I’ll do here is post my review of the two women’s matches and cover the story that took place. After that, I’ll focus on the men’s match.

 

Money in the Bank 2017

Who: Becky Lynch, Carmella, Charlotte Flair, Natalya and Tamina

When: June 18, 2017

Where: Money in the Bank 2017 @ Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri

 

Thoughts Before The Match

Here are some of my thoughts from our Money in the Bank 2017 preview:

“I think the match was set up well and I like the unpredictability that surrounds this match. It really could go five ways although if I had to pick somebody that is least likely to win then I’d go with Tamina. She’s the oldest women’s wrestler in the company and giving her the win just doesn’t do well for the company’s future. The other heels in the match are Carmella and Natalya. Some people may say Carmella is a favorite because she pinned Naomi twice in the last couple of months. I think Carmella’s heel act is interesting with James Ellsworth by her side, but she’s the worst in-ring performer in this group. I would avoid putting the briefcase on her. Natalya would be my pick if this was the only MITB match. However, I’m going with a heel in the men’s MITB match, so picking two heels to win seems off especially when I pick a heel in another big match on the show as well.

Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair are both good choices. Lynch was the first Smackdown Women’s Champion last fall. In the last few months she hasn’t had much to do, though. It feels like she’s fallen behind Charlotte and Naomi on the face said, so putting the briefcase on her would be random.

I’m going with Charlotte Flair winning because I think she is the woman they want to build the division around. She won the first Hell in a Cell match and now she’s going to win the first Money in the Bank match too. When making this prediction, I should note that I have changed my mind on this prediction numerous times in the last few weeks.”

As you can see there, I did think about Carmella winning, but then I convinced myself that a babyface should get the win for the first ever women’s MITB match. Plus, any time Charlotte Flair is in a PPV match I tend to pick her to win since she wins a lot of matches all the time because WWE has pushed her harder than any other woman in the last five years.

 

Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Becky Lynch, Carmella, Charlotte Flair, Natalya and Tamina

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

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 at 13:20. The crowd booed.

Winner: Carmella

Analysis: ***1/4 They worked hard and had a 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.

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.

Immediately after the match was over, Smackdown’s Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan complained about it on Twitter.

Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match: WWE Money in the Bank 2017 (WWE Network Exclusive)

On the Smackdown episode two days later, it was announced that the same five women would do another Money in the Bank Ladder Match and for the first time ever, it will take place on Smackdown on June 27, 2017.

(I wasn’t a huge fan of the booking decision, but I think they wanted to do it to give the women another chance to have a longer and better match with more of a clean finish. Plus, it built up the Carmella character that was a cheap heel that relied on the help of James Ellsworth in order to succeed. Would I have booked it like that? No, but I can see why they did it in order to set up a huge match on Smackdown nine days later.)

 

 

Women’s Money in the Bank on Smackdown

Who: Becky Lynch, Carmella Charlotte Flair, Natalya, and Tamina

When: June 27, 2017

Where: Smackdown @ San Diego, California

 

Thoughts Before The Match

I didn’t write a preview because it was just an episode of Smackdown. I thought that Charlotte Flair was going to win to show that Carmella only won at Money in the Bank due to Ellsworth, so it would end with a happy result with Flair as the victor. Another win for Carmella sounded like a possibility although I didn’t know if they were going to go that route again.

 

Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Becky Lynch, Carmella Charlotte Flair, Natalya, and Tamina

From my June 27, 2017 Smackdown review.

The women made their entrances for the Money in the Bank ladder match in this order: Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Tamina, Becky Lynch and Carmella. It started at 9:34pmET, so they’ll have over twenty minutes if needed.

Four of the women battled outside the ring, so Carmella tried to climb up. The other women went into the ring to prevent Carmella from getting too far up. Lynch cleaned house on everybody with Bexploder suplexes on Natalya and Charlotte. Lynch tried to climb, but Tamina took care of her with a Samoan Drop. Tamina went up top and hit a Superfly Splash on Lynch as the show went to break with all five women down.

Analysis: This isn’t a new take by any means, but that splash by Tamina always looks sloppy. She takes it right on the knees while she does it instead of laying out and making it look better. It just looks awkward.  No big deal, but maybe she shouldn’t do it if that’s how it will look.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Charlotte went for a climb, but Natalya knocked her down. Tamina battled with Carmella on the floor. Carmella went for a kick, Tamina caught her foot and dumped her over the announce table to the floor. Natalya kicked Tamina down. Charlotte battled Natalya and sent her out of the ring, so Lynch hit a Bexploder on Natalya on the floor. Charlotte and Tamina battled over control of a ladder. While the two women held the ladder, Lynch tried to climb, so they shoved the ladder over and it went up against the ropes. Tamina kicked Lynch down. Weird spot that didn’t really work as well as they probably thought. Charlotte kicked the ladder to knock down Tamina. Natalya with a discus clothesline on Charlotte. Natalya shoved a ladder into Charlotte against the ropes. Natalya set up the ladder and made the slow climb. Natalya had her hand on the briefcase, Charlotte used another ladder to climb up the ladder that Natalya was on and Charlotte exchanged punches with Natalya. Carmella shoved the ladder over, which sent Charlotte and Natalya into the ropes. Lynch with a reverse exploder suplex on Carmella to send her out of the ring. Lynch threw a ladder at Natalya on the floor, but Natalya moved. Tamina charged at Lynch and hit a Spear on her as all five women were down again. That led to another commercial with all five women out around the ring.

(Commercial)

As the match returned from break, Natalya brought a ladder into the ring while the other four women were on the floor. Very slow climb by Natalya as she reached for the briefcase, but Charlotte was there to stop her. Lynch stopped Charlotte from getting the briefcase. Tamina battled Lynch on the ladder. The ladder tipped over and all four women went crashing down. Carmella climbed up and got her hand on the briefcase, but the other four women stopped her by pulling the ladder away. Natalya tossed Charlotte out of the ring. Carmella was on the ladder (it was against the ropes rather than under the ring) and hit a cross body block to take down Lynch and Natalya. Charlotte trapped Tamina under the ladder by attacking her with the ladder. Charlotte climbed up, but Carmella stopped her. Tamina regained her strength to shove the ladder, which led to Charlotte and Carmella bumping into the ropes. It’s past 20 minutes at this point. The crowd was really into the match.

Tamina got back to her feet and hit Charlotte with a superkick. Tamina set up a ladder and tried to climb, but Natalya and Lynch were there to stop her. Double powerbomb by Natalya and Lynch on Tamina. Good job by them of dropping her in a safe part of the ring because where they picked her up had a ladder under it. Natalya hit a sitout Powerbomb on Lynch. That looked nasty, but Natalya protected her, so it’s all good. Natalya applied the Sharpshooter on Carmella. Charlotte kicked Natalya and hit the Natural Selection on Carmella. Natalya tackled Charlotte out of the ring. Natalya dumped Charlotte over the barricade as they battled on the floor. There was a James Ellsworth sighting as he made his way to ringside even though he was banned from the building. The crowd was booing. Ellsworth helped Carmella into the ring. Ellsworth went to climb up the ladder again. Lynch kicked Carmella and shoved the ladder over so that Ellsworth was crotched on the top rope. Good bump by him to take him out. Lynch set up the ladder. Lynch climbed up, Carmella pulled her down and Lynch kicked her. Lynch was selling a right knee injury after she landed. Carmella hit Lynch in the back of the leg with a steel chair. Carmella hit Lynch in the back with the chair. Carmella climbed up the ladder and grabbed the briefcase to win after 25 minutes.

Winner of Money in the Bank: Carmella

Analysis: **** That was an excellent match that was given a lot of time and was nearly four stars out of five. All five women took some big bumps without doing any crazy spots off the ladders. It shows that you can do a smart match using the ladders without hurting your body too much. There were some dangerous landings like when they took big bumps on their legs and knees, but everybody looked to be fine by the end of it. The finish put over Carmella’s intelligence (which she bragged about earlier in the night) by having her be the only woman smart enough to use a weapon like a chair to help her win. I thought Charlotte or Becky would win. It can be argued that neither one of them really needed it as former champions and it would benefit Carmella more (since she’s never won a title), which was true. It helps Carmella a lot. She has impressed me a lot in the last few months, so good for Carmella. All five women did a great job.

There were replays showed of the key spots in the match. Carmella sat on top of the ladder with the briefcase in her hand as the show ended right at 10pmET like usual.

(This is the match they should have done at Money in the Bank, but as I said earlier, this was probably WWE’s way of trying to put a big match on Smackdown. I bumped up my rating 1/4* from the original ***3/4 because I really liked it a lot when I watched it again today.)

 

The Cash-In Moment

Carmella held the Money in the Bank contract for 287 days, which is the longest time anybody has ever held onto the Money in the Bank contract before cashing in. She chose her spot two days after WrestleMania 34 on Smackdown. Let’s go to my review.

April 10, 2018 on Smackdown

Charlotte Flair did a promo after he successful Smackdown Women’s Title defense against Asuka at WrestleMania 34. That’s when she was interrupted by The IIconics Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.

Royce and Kay attacked Charlotte, but Charlotte managed to fend them off briefly. Charlotte sent Royce out of the ring. Kay capitalized with a running kick. The duo sent Charlotte out of the ring. They whipped Charlotte over the announce table and that led to a hard landing on the floor. Royce and Kay continued the attack with punches on the floor. Stop shaking the damn camera, WWE. The two women whipped Charlotte face first into the ring post. Fans were chanting “Carmella” for this because of what they wanted to see. They whipped Charlotte left shoulder first into the steel steps and Charlotte was writhing in pain. Nobody was out there to help Charlotte. Royce and Kay picked up Charlotte and hit a double team Powerbomb on the floor. Royce and Kay rolled Charlotte back into the ring. They stood over Charlotte as she laid on her back in the ring. Referees finally went down to ringside to get Royce and Kay out of there.

As Royce and Kay made their way up the ramp, Carmella’s music hit and she ran out with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Phillips noted it was 287 days for her as the MITB contract holder. Carmella brought ref Mike Chioda into the ring. She screamed at the ref to cash in the briefcase and after Chioda asked her repeatedly if she wanted to cash in, he finally did call for the bell, so the announcer Greg Hamilton announced it. Charlotte used the ropes to get back to her feet.

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair

The bell rang. Carmella hit a kick that looked like it didn’t even come close to hitting Charlotte. It was as if she kicked Charlotte’s hair and then Charlotte sold it like she was kicked. Carmella covered for the pinfall and she won the title. It went about seven seconds.

Winner by pinfall and New Smackdown Women’s Champion: Carmella

Analysis: A simple cash in and a big win for Carmella. It was weird how Chioda waited so long to allow the cash in to happen. I think it was a case of Chioda wanting to wait until Charlotte got back to her feet to try to make it fair.

Carmella had a big celebration with the Smackdown Women’s Title. Carmella stood on the announce table. Carmella ran around the ring with the title. Saxton did a good job of pointing out the heartache for Carmella and Graves told Saxton to shut up saying that this is Carmella’s moment. Carmella taunted Charlotte and held the title in the ring. Phillips noted nobody held the MITB contract longer than Carmella. Carmella left.

Analysis: That was well done. It was a memorable moment for Carmella and the crowd reacted to it in a big way. It will be interesting to see what happens in the Superstar Shake-up, but if these four women are all on Smackdown then Charlotte can feud with Royce, Kay and obviously Carmella in getting a rematch. Since Charlotte is pushed so hard and she’s bigger than most women, it’s hard for fans to ever see her as an underdog, However, after what happened to her on this show, fans will want to see Charlotte get payback against the women that cost her the title and the woman that took the title from her.

Carmella cashes in her Money in the Bank contract on Charlotte Flair: SmackDown LIVE, April 10, 2018

(It was a traditional heel cash-in moment that was done when the champion was beaten up by others and the heel MITB holder took advantage to win the title. It wasn’t fresh or new by this time, but it’s a formula that worked many times before. That kick that Carmella did to Flair looked bad, though, so that hurt the moment a bit.)

 

Title Reign Reflections

Carmella held the Smackdown Women’s Championship for just over four months at 131 days. I wasn’t impressed by the title reign.

I remember Carmella beating Charlotte Flair in a PPV match at Backlash that was about as good as a Carmella singles match was going to be, yet it was nothing special at all. From there, Carmella beat Asuka in two PPV matches and both were bad. They were the worst matches that Asuka has had in WWE. I don’t mean to trash Carmella, but she is more of a character than a worker, so I never really got excited for her title matches.

Carmella dropped the Smackdown Women’s Title to Charlotte Flair at SummerSlam 2018 in a triple threat with Becky Lynch. It was originally announced as Carmella vs. Lynch, then Flair was added to it and Flair won the title. After that match, Lynch attacked Flair and it was supposed to be a heel turn for Lynch, but it ended up making Lynch more popular.

 

Final Thoughts on This MITB Booking

It was an effective way to elevate Carmella, who wasn’t used in a featured role before her Money in the Bank win. I like her as a character, I think she delivered good promos as a heel and looking back on it now, I’m okay with her winning Money in the Bank. I just wish the matches with Asuka were better because Asuka is so great, yet Carmella was unable to have a good match with her, which is why one of the PPV matches only went about six minutes.

Did Money in the Bank help Carmella become a bigger star? Yes, I think it did, so in that sense it was worthwhile to put her over like WWE did.

 

Money in the Bank 2017

Who: AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura

When: June 18, 2017

Where: Money in the Bank 2017 @ Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri

 

Thoughts Before The Match

Here’s part of what I wrote in our Money in the Bank preview prior to the show:

“My pick, which appears to be popular one, is Baron Corbin. When people asked me six months ago he was my pick and when they announced this match one month ago he was my pick.

The match is going to be outstanding. I have very high expectations because Styles, Zayn, Nakamura, Owens and Ziggler are all outstanding workers. If you used letter grades to rate them as workers I’d say Styles is an A+, the next three are all As and Ziggler is an A-. Corbin isn’t at the level of the other five guys, but he should do well as the biggest guy in the match that hits big moves on guys who great sellers. I feel like we’ll be talking about one of the best matches of the year after it’s over, so good luck to whoever has to follow this match…unless they go on last.

Corbin is the guy I targeted as Money in the Bank winner for a long time because the idea of the briefcase is to elevate somebody that hasn’t been a main eventer and to help them get to that main event level. He’s a heel that has gone through developmental, had a decent run in NXT and a start/stop push on the main roster. A lot of fans think he wins a lot, but he really doesn’t. I think that was by design. I think WWE knew he was getting the briefcase and figured he didn’t need to be booked strongly in the last few months. It’s not how I would book it, but that’s how WWE operates. They don’t want the average fan to think about Corbin as a threat, so that when he does those fans will act surprised.”

I think Corbin was the most obvious pick because he wasn’t doing much before this and we all know that Vince McMahon likes the taller wrestlers, so it made a lot of sense for him to win. I would have loved a victory for my fellow Canadians Owens or Zayn, but I didn’t see it happening.

 

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

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.

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 29:45.

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. This was one of the best WWE matches this year similar to the Extreme Rules five way a few weeks ago. 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.

(Awesome match. I just watched it again and I think it’s the best Money in the Bank match ever. It’s long at nearly 30 minutes, but it never got boring. I marked out huge for the Styles/Nakamura spot and they really built up to the finish well. I’m not surprised that it was such an excellent due to the talent involved. It was a great group of guys that are among my favorites in WWE…plus Baron Corbin.

This is the longest ever Money in the Bank ladder match. I’m not sure if it will be topped because going over 30 minutes isn’t necessary.)

 

The Cash-In Moment…That Failed

Baron Corbin probably had the worst cash-in attempt in the history of the Money in the Bank match. His reign as Mr. Money in the Bank lasted 58 days on an episode of Smackdown just before SummerSlam. From my review that night.

August 15, 2017 @ Smackdown

The match was WWE Champion Jinder Mahal vs. John Cena. Corbin was scheduled to face Cena at SummerSlam so he got involved. Here’s the conclusion of the match and the Corbin cash-in attempt.

Back from break, Cena got some momentum as he hit the shoulderblocks and a spinning suplex. Cena with the Five Knuckle Shuffle, so the Singh Brothers pulled Mahal out of the ring. Mahal ran away from Cena, the Singhs grabbed Cena’s leg and Mahal got a cheap kick. The ref saw the Singhs interfering and ejected them from ringside. Mahal was mad about it. Cena capitalized with a STF, but Mahal was able to get to the ropes shortly after the hold was applied. Mahal slowed down Cena with a neckbreaker using the ropes for an assist. Running high knee by Mahal got a two count. Mahal wanted The Khallas, but Cena fought out of it and Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment. Cena covered for a two count as Mahal got his left shoulder up. Mahal went to the turnbuckle. Cena followed him up there and Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment off the top rope. Cena covered for the win and Baron Corbin broke up the pin at two leading to the disqualification. It went ten minutes.

Winner by disqualification: John Cena

Analysis: ** The match was very average until the predictable DQ finish. Mahal’s style in the ring continues to be boring and comes across like a midcard talent rather than somebody that wows me with main event talent skills. I thought it was cool that Cena felt like he had to go for the Super AA off the top rope to get the win. Having Mahal kick out of the regular AA makes Mahal looks credible since so many wrestlers have kicked out of that move in the past. To the shock of no one, this did not feel like the “greatest match in Smackdown history” or whatever bullshit WWE said all night long.

Post match, Corbin hit Cena in the head with the Money in the Bank briefcase that knocked Cena out of the ring. Corbin was going to walk away, but he realized Mahal was down in the ring. Corbin went down to the ring and told the ref he was cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase.

Mahal was out in the ring. The referee kept Corbin back and told him to wait until Mahal got back to his feet. Mahal got back to his feet and the bell rang.

WWE Championship: Jinder Mahal vs. Baron Corbin

Corbin was distracted by Cena on the apron, so Corbin punched Cena off the apron. Cena didn’t touch him. Mahal did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Corbin and that won the match for Mahal in about five seconds. The crowd reacted to it in a big way.

Winner by pinfall: Jinder Mahal

Analysis: Wow. That was a huge surprise. The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again in a WWE Title match on a MITB cash-in. Did not see that coming. I’m not sure if it means WWE has soured on Corbin or if he’s going to win it from Nakamura (or even Mahal in a multi-man match) down the road if WWE tries to build him up.

Corbin was furious after the loss. He ripped apart part of the announce table. Cena was laughing about it and this female fan wasn’t happy to see Cena.

Cena went up the ramp. Corbin walked towards him, but Cena left. Cena told Corbin to use his head. There was another replay of what happened as JBL said it was there, but you don’t have to do it if you’re Corbin. There were more replays of what happened.

The show ended with Corbin looking pissed off at ringside.

Analysis: Surprise ending this week. Did I expect any of that on this show? Absolutely not. I don’t think it’s a bad thing and I’m not going to complain about Corbin losing either. It’s okay to wait things out and see how it goes. Just because most people that held MITB usually win a title doesn’t mean every guy has to. It’s an intriguing storyline to have a character getting laughed at by people for being the stupidest MITB cash-in failure ever. I hope it adds depth to the Corbin character and that he becomes better for it. Plus, it was unpredictable and that’s a good thing.

John Cena vs. Jinder Mahal: SmackDown LIVE, Aug. 15, 2017

(Do you see how I think? I thought they would follow up on this by making Corbin look like a stronger, better heel that was pissed off about the Money in the Bank loss. Instead, there really was no character development for him. They could have done so much more with Corbin in failing as Mr. Money in the Bank. Instead, he was made to look like the worst Money in the Bank winner ever.)

 

Title Reign Reflections…Nope

Sorry. No title reign to write about. I think it really hurt Corbin’s momentum by taking that Money in the Bank briefcase on him. They put the US Title on him to try to give him something later that year, but fans didn’t think of him as a big star and I don’t think they see him that way today either.

 

Final Thoughts on This MITB Booking

The Money in the Bank ladder match to crown Corbin was outstanding. It was everything after that moment that sucked and really did a lot of damage to Corbin’s career. I wonder if Vince McMahon or somebody that was in creative regrets the decision because if they could go back to that moment two years ago, maybe they would have wanted Corbin to go over to become the WWE Champion. It’s not like Jinder Mahal was doing a great job as champion anyway. If Corbin beat him, that would have been fine for a few months.

 

Money in the Bank Ladder Match Rankings so far

The best rating a match can get is five stars out of five. Every Money in the Bank ladder match is over three stars, which means very good. What’s the best? Here are my rankings.

  1. Money in the Bank 2017 won by Baron Corbin – ****1/2
  2. WrestleMania 21 (2005) won by Edge – ****1/2
  3. Money in the Bank 2016 won by Dean Ambrose – ****1/2
  4. Money in the Bank 2013 (WWE Title) won by Randy Orton – ****1/4
  5. Money in the Bank 2010 (Smackdown) won by Kane – ****1/4
  6. Money in the Bank 2014 won by Seth Rollins – ****1/4
  7. Money in the Bank 2011 (Smackdown) won by Daniel Bryan – ****
  8. WrestleMania 23 (2007) won Mr. (Ken) Kennedy – ****
  9. Smackdown June 27, 2017 won by Carmella – ****
  10. Money in the Bank 2012 (World Title) won by Dolph Ziggler – ****
  11. Money in the Bank 2010 (Raw) won by The Miz – ****
  12. Money in the Bank 2013 (World Title) won by Damien Sandow – ****
  13. WrestleMania 24 (2008) won by CM Punk – ***3/4
  14. WrestleMania 22 (2006) won by Rob Van Dam – ***3/4
  15. WrestleMania 26 (2010) won by Jack Swagger – ***1/2
  16. WrestleMania 25 (2009) won by CM Punk – ***1/2
  17. Money in the Bank 2011 (Raw) won by Alberto Del Rio – ***1/2
  18. Money in the Bank 2015 won by Sheamus – ***1/2
  19. Money in the Bank 2012 (WWE Title) won by John Cena – ***1/4
  20. Money in the Bank 2017 (MITB 2017) won by Carmella – ***1/4

 

In addition to that, I wrote a ranking of the Money in the Bank cash-in moments over at The Comeback in 2016. I don’t write there anymore. It doesn’t include the last two years, but it’s comprehensive.

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John Canton

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