Money in the Bank thoughts
If you ordered WWE’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view Sunday night primarily for the two MITB matches, you definitely got your money’s worth. The Raw and the Smackdown ladder matches both delivered in a big way.
The world championship match between Rey Mysterio and Jack Swagger also was very good, and the tag team and two women’s title matches were adequate.
As for the main event – the steel cage match between WWE champion Sheamus and John Cena – it wasn’t a bad match, but I have to be honest: I have a really hard time mustering up any enthusiasm for a one-on-one title match that involves Sheamus. Plus, everyone knew that The Nexus was going to get involved in the finish, so until they showed up (which was at about the 20-minute mark), I wasn’t all that invested in the action.
The big news is that Kane not only won the Smackdown MITB ladder match, but the world title as well. After Mysterio successfully defended his title against Swagger, Kane cashed in his contract and pinned Mysterio in less than a minute to capture the championship.
All signs point to Kane being the one who attacked The Undertaker and a match between the two “brothers” taking place next month at the SummerSlam pay-per-view – whether anyone likes it or not. The Undertaker was even shown in a SummerSlam commercial during the broadcast.
The Raw MITB briefcase went to The Miz, who scored the biggest victory of his career and solidified his standing as a guy on the verge of superstardom.
Here is a match-by-match look at the show:
WWE champion Sheamus defeated John Cena in a steel cage match (23:01): The match had a pretty slow pace until the final few minutes. At about the 20-minute mark, Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment, but Sheamus kicked out at two. Then The Nexus made their way to ringside. Michael Tarver was carrying bolt-cutters, but a referee on the outside of the ring took them away from him, so Tarver still can’t do anything right. The Nexus then tried to intimidate another referee on the floor into giving them the keys to the cage, but he tossed the keys into the crowd. Inside the ring, there was a ref bump, followed by Cena applying the STF to Sheamus. The champion was tapping, but there was no referee to see it. Cena then attempted to climb out of the cage. Justin Gabriel cut him off at the top of the cage, but Cena shoved him down to the mat. Cena continued to try to escape the cage, but he was thwarted by The Nexus. Meanwhile, Sheamus recovered and climbed over the opposite side of the cage. Heath Slater tried to stop him but was unsuccessful, as Sheamus dropped to the floor to win the match. I suppose that means that Sheamus is not associated with The Nexus. After the match, a furious Cena clothes-lined Tarver and hit him in the head with the ring steps.
World champion Rey Mysterio defeated Jack Swagger (10:45): Prior to the match, Swagger was backstage on the cell phone with his mother and he cut a hilarious promo on her, telling her at one point to shut up and that his father got what he deserved on Smackdown Friday night because he was trying to steal his spotlight. Swagger and Mysterio put on a well-worked, back-and-forth match that told a good story and kept the crowd engaged. The finish was reminiscent of the Eddie Guerrero-Kurt Angle match at WrestleMania XX. Mysterio, who sold an ankle injury the entire match, had loosened his boot just prior to Swagger attempting the ankle lock. As Swagger pulled on Mysterio’s foot, the boot slipped off and Mysterio hit a huracanrana for the win. After the match, Swagger jumped Mysterio and put him in the ankle lock. Kane made the save, beating on Swagger and chasing him up the ramp and to the back. Seconds later, Kane’s music hit and he re-appeared on the stage, this time carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase that he had won earlier in the night. It was announced that he was cashing in the contract right now.
Kane defeated world champion Rey Mysterio to win the title (0:54): A weakened Mysterio tried to avoid Kane but he couldn’t hold him off. Kane hit a chokeslam followed by a Tombstone piledriver for the victory. Kane is now a two-time world champion (he held the WWE title for one day in June 1998 when he defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for the title at the King of the Ring pay-per-view and lost it back to him the next night on Raw).
The Miz won the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match over Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase Jr., Edge, Mark Henry, Chris Jericho, John Morrison and Randy Orton (20:27): With everyone down about seven minutes in, Maryse – who had accompanied DiBiase to the ring – took off her high heels, entered the ring and began to climb the ladder for some reason. She didn’t get very far before she was pulled down by Morrison. The action intensified at about the 16-minute mark, when Bourne hit the Shooting Star Press on Orton. At that point, Jericho was hanging from the ladder with his leg caught between the rungs, and everyone else was selling. Bourne climbed the ladder and it appeared that he was going to win, but Jericho finally managed to free himself, and he knocked Bourne off the ladder by smashing him in the head with the briefcase. Rivals Jericho and Edge battled on the ladder before Orton took out Jericho with an RKO off the ladder, and then pulled down Edge. Orton was the only man standing at the 19-minute mark, and the crowd was popping in anticipation of his victory as he climbed the ladder. The cheers quickly turned to jeers, however, as The Miz tipped over the ladder. Miz then climbed the ladder and unhooked the briefcase for the win. After the match, Miz cut an intense promo in which he called out all of fans and critics who said that he’d never make it (yes, I was among them at one time). “You are all living in my moment,” he said. “I made it!”
Kane won the Smackdown Money in the Bank ladder match over The Big Show, Christian, Matt Hardy, Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler (26:17): This was the best match of the night, and while it had its share of high spots, it also told good stories. One of the main themes was that six of the competitors at times worked together in an attempt to neutralize the two biggest men in the match – The Big Show and Kane. There also was quite a bit of interaction between the two sentimental favorites and ladder match specialists – Christian and Hardy. The biggest spot of the night occurred about 10 minutes in when Kingston hit the Boom Drop from a ladder outside the ring onto McIntyre, who went crashing through the announce table. It had been established early in the match that a normal ladder would not hold Big Show, as he broke one of the rungs with his foot on an attempted climb. He later brought in the super-sized ladder that he unveiled on last Friday’s Smackdown (he at first tried unsuccessfully to pull it over the top rope into the ring before ultimately bringing it through the ropes).
At the 20-minute mark, Big Show was pushed off the giant ladder and over the top rope by Kane. Once Big Show was down on the floor, the other participants all buried him with ladders to effectively take him out of the match. It appeared at the 25-minute mark that it had come down to Christian and Hardy, as the two battled at the top of the ladder while everyone else was down. They ended up knocking each other off the ladder simultaneously. At that point, McIntyre – who had been incapacitated on the floor for about 15 minutes since taking the Boom Drop – crawled into the ring. The crowd booed loudly as it sensed that McIntyre was going to steal the victory. As McIntyre slowly climbed the ladder, however, Kane recovered, climbed up the other side of the ladder and chokeslammed McIntyre. Kane then grabbed the briefcase for the victory.
WWE unified tag team champions The Hart Dynasty defeated The Usos (5:53): This was a solid but not spectacular match. David Hart Smith got the win for THD when he forced Jimmy Uso to submit to the Sharpshooter. THD came off as the superior team, but the Usos made a decent accounting of themselves in defeat.
WWE Divas champion Alicia Fox defeated Eve Torres (5:52): Fox dominated the match, which made it all the more surprising that she ended up winning. She concentrated her attack on Torres’ back. Torres attempted a somersault off the ropes during her comeback, but Fox got her knees up and nailed Torres in the back. She followed up with a scissors kick for the victory. This was an impressive showing for Fox.
WWE women’s champion Layla defeated Kelly Kelly (3:59): It wasn’t the smoothest match, but the pace was quick and outside interference by Michelle McCool and Tiffany helped make it entertaining. The finish saw Kelly Kelly attempt a sunset flip off the middle rope, but Layla shifted her weight, sat on top of KK and hooked both of her legs for the pin. Rosa Mendes surprisingly did not come out during the match to show off her formidable jump-roping skills.