I can all but promise that at the end of the day, Money in the Bank went pretty much as we expected it to. Strowman with the briefcase with an inevitable destroying of Brock Lesnar. Alexa Bliss cashing in and robbing Ronda Rousey of her potential win. (the “let’s make Ronda look strong” campaign.)
Truly, it was all without it’s hiccups, but also as promised last night, NXT just destroyed it in quality. Due to the constant adjusting of time constraints, I missed the preshow tag defense between The Bludgeon Brothers & The Good Brothers.
Never fear my good people, in the interest of due diligence, I did go back and watch it. If you’re going to give it a ride, may as well take the whole damned thing.
Match 1: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) d. The Good Brothers (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) to retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships
Well, I don’t know what to say about this really. They’ve made Erick Rowan viable by making Luke Harper somehow worse. I love the Bludgeon Brothers. Love the concept, I love the idea, I really love everything about them. I could and have made the argument, that piece by piece, The Wyatt Family is the single most dominant faction in wrestling history outside of the nWo only on sheer numbers, and even then I wonder.
Gallows and Anderson sadly are the absolute perfect example of the main card hell, however. Last night at NXT Takeover, The Undisputed Era put on a wrestling clinic with two guys who not only have goofy names, but have nothing really put together. These guys shined, and anyone in the building knew that The Undisputed Era weren’t going to be denied.
Fast forward to Money in the Bank, and you have a situation where on paper, the Bludgeon Brothers make too much sense. They’re going to win this. But Gallows and Anderson should, on paper, be easily their equal. The Bludgeon Brothers have been brutes, bullies, downright menacing maniacs. You can’t say that Gallows and Anderson don’t match up size and power wise.
Gallows is 6’7, 298, Anderson is 6’0, 215. Harper is 6’5, 275, and Rowan is 6’8, 315. Admittedly Anderson is the glaring exception in this size war, but the way he’s always competed is much like we spoke of Aleister Black last night… a smaller guy who fights like a big. Power and speed.
This match was actually pretty solid, and despite the non-title change, I’m not mad at it, especially if they can go ahead and push on through until they show down with Sanity. Or War Machine, God willing.
Match 2: Daniel Bryan d. Big Cass via Submission
I don’t know what it is about Big Cass, but somehow without Enzo, he just rings drab. Which is sad, because Cass could be somebody. He’s a good man in the ring. He’s intelligent and well spoken. Dude has all the tools. Why is it that I can’t stand his face?
Well, the short version is, Cass is playing a cliche. He is JBL without the money and the Texan accent. I’m sure someone would be quick to point out that by proxy of that comparison both my Texas and New York hatred are coming out. I don’t care. Bite me.
Cass can be great. But he needs a little bit of the fuck you that Enzo had. Just a little bit. He doesn’t have to be what Enzo was on the mic, but just a little bit more of that New York “no, fuck you pal” mentality. I feel like Cass is trying to be a caricature of himself, and it’s just not ringing true. Similar to what WWE did to Roman Reigns.
Daniel Bryan on the other hand. I’m liking this vicious side of him. He is that pissed off, and he’s not going to fuck around any more. I’m guessing something about fatherhood unleashed the savage in him, or just being around Brie for that long. But even with the lower card nothing special routine, D-Bry is actually winning points with me, and as was proven yet again tonight, that heel hook is murder.
Match 3: Bobby Lashley d. Sami Zayn via head rush
I don’t know what the purpose of this match was. I truthfully don’t. Bobby Lashley is a beast, and can be presented as such. He can be a raging bastard in the mold of Batista if they wanted to play him that way. Bobby has the talent to play any range of things, and yet they want to make him into Ezekiel Jackson 2.0, and that is just damn wrong. Then again, welcome to the life of Sami Zayn. The man just got beat by the three really big amigos.
Match 4: Seth Rollins d. Elias via wedgie
This match was actually quite beautiful. Seth Rollins wasn’t at his best, and you got the impression that Elias could have been doing so much more, but the story told was brilliant in the body language. They sold, which was the important part. They legitimized Elias, which is absolutely needed, and they gave an out to where Seth looks like he needed the help. This was arguably the cleanest match of the night, even with the Seth Rollins rollup.
Match 5: Alexa Bliss wins the Women’s Money in the Bank Briefcase
As seems to be the truth for a very long time, the women are always the most unpredictable. You don’t know if they are going to be playing to what should be, what could be, or what you don’t expect. In the end, I can’t say they got this one wrong, and it was arguably the most predictable of all the outcomes. Alexa winning set up things beautifully as we’ll cover later on, but truly, it needs be said that everyone in this match, even Lana, did excellently. Becky Lynch really should have hit the Bexploder suplex on Charlotte onto the ladder. Other than that, and the missed moment where Becky was at the top of the ladder and should have taken it, but had to wait for her spot, everyone showed out, and it was presented without a miss.
Could more have been done? Absolutely, but as it ended up, it was the logical result without being the wrong one.
Match 6: Roman Reigns d. Jinder Mahal via John Cena’s Burial Shovel
Poor Jinder Mahal. The most successful member of 3MB is still looking to pay for the promotional tour success that he found when the WWE wanted to really cinch up that India money. Since then he’s been given the US Title to afford the Superstar Shake-up Transition, and then properly tossed around. Say what you will about Jinder but the man does work, and he’s earned his spot for better than this.
Roman… well what can you say about Roman Reigns that hasn’t already been said about the uncle’s your mom always brought home when you were a kid? He’s gotten around, he’s done some things, and he has learned his lesson that you just shut up and do the work. Credit where it’s due. The upside is that Roman knows that he has the promise that he’s still next in line to the throne of Cena, so long as he just doesn’t fuck it up.
This match played like a match that was suited for Raw in 1999. It was just missing interference by Doink the Clown. But the slapstick of Sunil Singh filled in adequately. Roman wins like his name was Ryback.
Match 7: Carmella d. Asuka via the Scooby Doo transposition trick.
For two competitors that actually have all the talent in the world, this was a classic example of the WWE playing out the idea that the women will never really be on the same playing field. Carmella still has so much to prove in ring, and she could have with Asuka. She held her own, right up until the end, where the floating specter of the human abomination of James Ellsworth, back from the hellhole.
I’m hoping this is a one off. Ellsworth is just too much to handle in an otherwise crowded crowd of annoyances.
Match 8: AJ Styles d. Shinsuke Nakamura via phenomenally scrambled eggs
How many different ways can one take a nut shot? Between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, the two of them have reinvented the art of the cup check to heights never before seen, and never duplicated beyond. They’ve taken it to a true and genuine art form. So for two men whom could tell a story that would be like listening to a symphony orchestra accompanying James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman describing the face of God…
Well, suffice it to say it’s been a rather interesting journey and I’m not exactly sure what it is that the WWE is trying to do. I don’t have anything more on this. I love these two men in the ring, and they can truly turn water into wine, chicken shit into gourmet chicken salad, and sell it for $87.50 a quarter ounce. With that said, I still don’t know what the hell has been settled or sold by AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura on the other half of the WrestleMania feud.
Match 9: Ronda Rousey d. Nia Jax via Twisted Bliss
I told you I’d get back to it. Rousey and Jax were actually doing really well. to Ronda’s credit, she was selling well, she was actually proving herself. Nia was showing that she does the work. It was truly a really solid match.
Oh, wait… didn’t I mention something about predictability?
Alexa Bliss caught Ronda Rousey in the back of the head with the briefcase, made sure to take her out, and did the work that most Money in the Bank winners do, pull out the win for the title. Honestly it couldn’t have been more credibly scripted if it had been written by Vince Russo.
Match 10: Braun Strowman wins Money in the Bank
They did everything they could to make this one seem like it might not go the way that we expected it to. The WWE truly only has so many options to misdirect. To me, the one highlight of the match was the four seconds at the end, where you almost believed for a second that Kofi Kingston might actually steal it from Braun Strowman’s back.
Okay, you would have had to be drunk to believe that, but damn it a man can dream.
All in all it was a ladder match involving Braun Strowman. I mean really, you can’t ask for much more than that.
That was Money in the Bank in a nutshell. If you got a different view, hit us up on the Facebook page, or on Twitter, or if you’re feeling froggy, by all means hit us up at GoFuckYourself@wFoUnderground.com (actual e-mail) and we can debate it until the cows cook themselves.