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Andrew’s Ratings & Review: WWE Money in the Bank

Money in the Bank is the unofficial, fifth largest PPV in the WWE Big 4. We’re guaranteed at least two somewhat entertaining spectacles of matches, so the insurance of having at least two decent matches is nice.

Will this underwhelm like many of the 2018 PPVs have, or will we finally get some good payoffs coupled with solid matches? Let’s find out.

 

Bludgeon Brothers vs Gallows & Anderson

Starts off with Gallows unleashing a flurry of strikes, then Harper gets hung up in the ropes as the action spills outside.Bludgeon brothers slowly get the advantage dropping Gallows onto the ramp and Anderson across the apron, as they roll back in the ring, and head to commercial.

Coming back from the break the Bludgeon Brothers are still in control, working Karl Anderson over. Gallows is still down on the outside and Anderson keeps trying to mount a comeback, but is immediately stopped by either member of the Bludgeons in the ring. An Irish Whip into the corner goes awry for the Bludgeons. Anderson catches Harper with a Spinebuster and finally Gallows gets to the apron for the hot tag. A few nice kicks and a Pumphandle Slam on Harper give the Good Brothers a distinct advantage for the first time all match.

Harper connects with a Big Boot as Rowen distracts them, Gallows and Anderson gofor Magic Killer, Rowen breaks it up, and they hit their assisted Powerbomb finisher. Bludgeon Brothers retain in a fairly, by the numbers and uninspired match.

Winner: Bludgeon Brothers via Tandem Powerbomb

Rating: **

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Big Cass vs Daniel Bryan

D-Bry pushes Cass into the corner and tries to bring him down with strikes, but Cass throws him off. The beginning is very much Bryan trying to chop down the tree.But he gets caught going over the turnbuckle and thrown into the barricade.

Bryan slowly gets back in the ring, but Cass maintains most of the control. Big Boots, hip attacks, splashes in the corner. But Daniel catches him with a Drop Toehold into the middle turnbuckle and keeps trying to chop down Cass with Round Kicks and Dragon Screw Leg Whips. Since Daniel has the control, he’s showing more aggression and repeatedly throws Cass’ injured left leg into the ring post. Bryan sells out for a big dive, driving Cass into the barricade, but on the way back in, Cass starts to put some offense together.

Avalanche Fall Away Slam from Cass for a 2 count. Cass follows up with a Torture Rack, into a big slam for another near fall. Then Cass misses a Big Boot, getting hung up in the ropes. Chop Block from Daniel, and then he goes for his Yes Kicks. Bryan lands the Buzzsaw Kick, goes for a running kick, but gets caught with a Pop-Up Big Boot, for yet another 2 count. Torture Rack number two from Cass, but Bryan lands on his feet, hits that signature Running Knee and gets caught in the Heel Hook. Cass tries to get to the ropes, but taps.

Meh, this match was what you expected it to be. Nothing special, but not totally awful.

Winner: Daniel Bryan via Heel Hook

Rating: ** 1/4

 

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Sami Zayn vs Bobby Lashley

Zayn plays keep away for a while, Lashley chases him but Sami takes a few short cuts to get the early advantage on the outside.

Sami attempted to get a count out victory twice, but Bobby isn’t even close to being beat enough. Sami keeps laying in right hands, until Lashley catches the fist and hits a big Running Lariat. Zayn goes for a Crossbody, but Lashley catches him into a Fallaway Slam. Then we get multiple spots in the corner with Lashley hitting some running shoulder blocks and lariats. Huge Spinebuster off the ropes, into the Stalling Vertical Suplex, but Bobby doesn’t go for a cover.

Lashley goes for a Backbreaker variation, another Vertical Suplex, still no cover. Finally after doing it again, Backbreaker into Suplex, he picks up the pinfall victory.

This match was worthless.

Winner: Bobby Lashley via Stalling Vertical Suplex

Rating: *

 

Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs Elias

Starts off slow with Rollins hitting a Hammerlock Takedown, and they do the whole slow ‘working hold’ way to build the match. Elias gets out of it and lands a few strikes, Rollins eventually catches him with a Dropkick, causing Elias to powder out, but Seth goes for the Plancha to the outside.

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Heading back into the ring, Rollins hits a Springboard Lariat and keeps working Elias over, little by little. Elias catches Rollins with a big Lariat on the apron, then rams his head into the apron and works over the neck. Snap DDT, and a 2 count for Elias. Elias sinks in a Cobra Clutch, slowly wearing down Rollins, and cleverly staying on the neck area. A little more back and forth once Seth breaks out, then hits a Suicide Dive. Second rope Blockbuster from Rollins for the near fall. Rollins’ knee buckles mid leap frog, and Elias hits a kneestrike for only 2. Electric Chair attempt from Elias, as Seth slips out but sells the knee, as Elias rolls him up for 2 again.

Seth hits a combination of strikes, slowly building momentum, Elias tries to counter it, but Seth manages to hit his Thrust Kick as Elias is recovering from a rollup .Frog Splash attempt from Seth, but only hits Elias’ knees and then a counter cradle into a 2 count. Elias goes to the top rope, most likely for his Macho Man Elbow, but Seth cuts him off. Superplex into Falcon Arrow from Seth for a very close 2 count.

Blackout attempt, Elias moves, catches Rollins’ Suicide Dive attempt, rams him into the barricade, post and stairs. Finally hitting the Macho Man Elbow, for a near fall. Seth is basically dead weight, laying him on the top turnbuckle, but Rollins goes for Sunset Power Bomb, Elias goes for Drift Away, an exchange of rollups, Rollins gets the cradle with a handful of tights.

So Elias pushed Rollins to the point of cheating. Should be an interesting story device.

Winner: Seth Rollins via Cradle

Rating: *** 3/4

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Match

Hoo-Hoo-Hulla-Baloo! People get dumped left and right, Becky kicks a ladder into Charlotte’s face, but gets caught by Ember Moon before the ladder gets in the ring. Ember than rams Natty into the steps.

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Sasha stops a Drop Toehold into the ladder, but Ember hits a nice Springboard Crossbody, sending Sasha crashing into the ladder. Ember keeps a lot of early momentum until Lana hits an X Factor on Ember, into the corner of the ladder. Natty comes in, nearly gets the ladder dropped on her, takes out Lana, drops Naomi on the ladder, split first and dropkicks her out of the ring. Charlotte comes in, hits an Exploder Suplex on Natalya and goes for the ladder, but Becky shows up to stop her.

Tug of War with the ladder, Naomi jumps off the ladder onto Natty, then kicks the ladder into both Becky and Charlotte. Bliss tries to pull the ladder out, but Naomi hits a Plancha to get rid of Bliss, and then a Blockbuster from the apron to the floor, as the action pauses.

Naomi dropkicks the ladder into Becky Lynch, as Ember and her then square off. Naomi goes to try and Monkey Flip Ember into the ladder, but Ember flips out, and then Hip Tosses Naomi into the ladder. Sasha enters, stacks Ember and Lana on top of a ladder propped in the corner and hits double knees, on the stacked up opponents. Charlotte cuts off Sasha before she can climb the ladder. After a brief trash talk spot, they both try to run up the same side of the ladder, goofy spot, which turns into them knocking each other off, then Charlotte hits a Neckbreaker on Sasha for the advantage.

Sasha counters a Razor’s Edge by landing on the ladder, Natty pulls off Charlotte, Becky shakes Sasha down as she falls into Natty, Bliss pulls down Becky, Banks pulls off Bliss, as they then both slowly climb. Becky takes Alexa off, and the strikes on the ladder start. Lana sets up a taller ladder as Bliss keeps attacking Lynch. Six women on two ladders, let’s see how this ends. Natty Slingshot Powerbomb on Sasha into the ladder and knock the ladder over. Charlotte Powerbombs Ember into a Ladder leaning in the corner. Charlotte takes out Lana, and then goes after Bliss, but Bliss hits a Code Red on Charlotte.

Bliss and Lana are the only two up right now. Bliss is the best wrestler standing at the moment, go figure. Lana kicks the taste out of Alexa’s mouth and then locks in the Accolade. Naomi springboards onto the ladder, Naomi has the briefcase, but can’t take it down, as Becky Lynch takes Naomi down.

Becky has a shot, but Charlotte sprints up the ladder. Small stare down, and then Bliss topples the ladder. Charlotte takes out Alexa with a spear, Sasha hits a Backstabber on Charlotte, Naomi rams Sasha’s head into the ladder, Lana pulls Naomi off face first. Natty Electric Chair Drops Lana, Ember Superkicks Natty off, Charlotte Spears Ember into the ladder. Becky Becks-sploders Charlotte and readjusts the ladder.

Becky had it, but Alexa tips the ladder and Becky goes crashing. Little Miss Bliss, is Ms. Money in the Bank. The match was a little clunky, but still quite entertaining.

Winner: Alexa Bliss

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Rating: *** 3/4

 

Roman Reigns vs Jinder Mahal

Roman blocks Mahal’s first punch and starts man handling Jinder. A Back Elbow, bouncing his face off each turnbuckle and a big Samoan Drop. Roman misses the Driveby and Sunil Singh gets up out of his wheelchair to slam Roman into the post. Jinder takes control and rolls Roman back into the ring. Knees and forearms, Jinder gets a 2 count. The obnoxious crowd chants started immediately, and they aren’t taking away from the match, just continuing to prove ‘smart’ crowds, as mostly brain dead.

A few more near falls, and then we get Jinder dropping repeated knees and choking Roman with his shin. Front Facelock, as Roman slowly struggles through it, back to his feet, just to get dropped back down. Jinder yells at the crowd and then misses a knee drop. Roman gets his feet up and starts his comeback. Huge Uppercut from Roman, as he goes for his corner lariat spot while the crowd does the Wave. Jinder catches Roman with a Running Knee Lift, for 2.

Jinder goes for the Khallas, Roman counters and tries a Samoan Drop, Jinder slips out but gets caught by a Big Boot for another near fall. Superman Punch, countered by Jinder into his Double Knees Gutbuster, for 2. Khallas number two, snapmare counter from Roman as he hits a desperation Superman Punch. OOOHH AHHH, Spear attempt, and Jinder kicks him straight in the face and throws him into the ring post shoulder first.

Roman on the apron, as they both start throwing hands. Roman catches him with a knee to the chest, then a Guillotine Leg Drop, into a successful Driveby. Sunil Singh tries to interfere again, but Roman braces himself and then Superman Punches Sunil and Jinder. Instead of playing Fling the Singh like Randy Orton does, he Speared Sunil, Jinder almost picks up the win with the Small Package. Reigns ducks under a Lariat and hits a Spear, for the pinfall.

Not a bad match at all, if you mute the audio.

Winner: Roman Reigns via Spear

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Rating: *** 1/4

 

SmackDown women’s Championship: Carmella (c) vs Asuka

Moonwalking and trash talking, as she barely avoids two Spinning Backfists from Asuka, and goes to the ropes for sanctuary. Carmella slaps Asuka, more trash talk and Asuka hits multiple Hip Attacks followed by Draping Headkicks and a Hip Attack that sends Carmella reeling.

Sliding Kick from the apron as Carmella tries to run away with the title. Asuka tries to stay on her, but Carmella grabs Asuka’s arm and pulls her face first into the ring post. Rolls her in for a 2 count, and then rubs her face in the mat. Carmella lays on Asuka with a Double Chicken Wing variation, as Asuka turns it into a pin, Backfist attempt, Carmella dodges, hits two quick Thrust Kicks for a near fall. Then Carmella goes back to a submission attempt, some Front Chancery kind of move, to wear down the Empress. Asuka fights back up to a vertical base, but Mella drives the knee into Asuka stomach.

Asuka misses a dropkick, catches Carmella’s foot and goes for a quick Kneebar, but Mella gets to the ropes. A few slaps from Carmella, pisses off Asuka and she lays in a bunch of strikes, kicks and hip attacks for 2. The anger gets the best of Asuka as Carmella baits her towards the ropes and Asuka flies to the outside. As she tries to get back up, Carmella kicks her and she lands hard on the outside. Mella with the Suicide Dive, rolls Asuka back in for 3 2 counts in a row.

Asuka finally hits a couple Spinning Backfists, a big kick in the face and then someone stands on the apron in Asuka’s mask and outfit. James Ellsworth unmasks himself, and Carmella hits a Superkick for the pinfall.

The surprised, Ellsworth reveal/interference last too long, but it was a fun swerve and a better match in general that most probably expected.

Winner: Carmella via Superkick

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Rating: ***

 

WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Styles takes an early advantage, landing a nice crisp Dropkick for the first attempted 10 count. Nakamura stays on the receiving end of a lot of offense, including a very quick Phenomenal Forearm to the outside. Nakamura has already been down 4 times, triggering the referee to start a count.

Finally, Shinsuke drives Styles into the barricade and snaps off a suplex for his first advantage. Nakamura drapes Styles across the apron and hits a Running Knee and then jumps off the stairs as he lands a Curbstomp style maneuver before rolling AJ back into the ring. Nakamura big brother’s Styles a bit, kicking him in the head, followed by numerous Round Kicks to the chest and abdomen. Keeping Styles in the corner, he chokes him with his foot, than finally goes for the Vibration Kick, but Styles fights through. Nakamura lands a Feint Kick when AJ starts getting something going, but gets up by 5. Shinsuke drapes AJ across the turnbuckle, and Nakamura drives his knee into the mid section. AJ tries to walk away from Shinsuke, as they trade punches and then Nakamura wedges Styles’ face into the steps and gives him the Vibration Kick.

Going from that spot, Nakamura throws AJ into over the barricade and they start brawling in the crowd. AJ finally gets in a few kicks of his own, sends Nakamura back over the barricade. AJ jumps on the barricade, and Shinsuke kicks the legs out from under him, but AJ is back up by 7.

Styles continues to be on the receiving end of the small insulting taps to the head. Reverse Powerslam attempt, countered by an Enzuigiri. Dropkick mid air from AJ, sending both men down, to get up by 7. Phenomenal Blitz catches Nakamura, and then Styles does that Wheelbarrow Faceplant move for a count of 6. Shinsuke goes for the low blow, Styles dodged, Shinsuke caught his foot and then lands the Reverse Powerslam. Knishasa attempt number one, gets met by a forearm from Styles. Both men down, but Nakamura is up by 7, Styles lands an Ushigoroshi. Count gets up to 8, as Styles goes for another Phenomenal Forearm, but an Enzuigiri sends AJ falling to the outside.

We may see our first announce table spot. Nakamura cleans on off, drops Styles onto it and then clears the top off of all of them. Runs across all announce tables and lands the Kinshasa. Styles rolls off the table at 9, so Nakamura drives his face into the ring post. Shinsuke goes to get out a table before the crowd chants for it, for a change. Shinsuke kicks Styles in the knee and Styles goes face first into the table legs before it’s correctly set up. Table is set up, AJ is propped on the top turnbuckle, Styles slips through and tries to Powerbomb him, Nakamura fights out, table gets knocked over and Shinsuke drops AJ on the edge of the table.

He then leans the table in the corner, and throws AJ styles through it. Table breaks clean and Styles lays there, but manages to get up by 9 to Nakamura’s astonishment. Knee lift, Axe Kick, but Nakamura misses the Draping Knee and his knee goes into the exposed turnbuckle.

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Styles works on Shinsuke’s injured knee, and they both slowly get back up. Styles keeps stomping on Nakamura’s knee, but eventually stops so the ref can count. Shinsuke gets up by 6, and goes for the Calf Crusher. Nakamura visibly taps out,but that doesn’t matter in this type of match.

Shinsuke gets back at 8, as AJ keeps methodically kicking at the left leg. So the tables turned, as Shinsuke was the methodical predator early, but now AJ is just trying to cripple Nakamura. Even going to get a chair and ramming it into the knee,then multiple Chairshots. The pleading of Nakamura goes unanswered, but it was all bait for a perfectly placed Low Blow, Styles is up by 9. Shinsuke with a desperation Kinsasha on a damaged knee, but back up at 9 again. Styles refuses to stay down.

Nakamura goes for Landslide on the table, Styles pushes him off and hits a Phenomenal Forearm, followed by a Styles Clash from the stairs to the floor, Nakamura is up at 9. “Come on” from Nakamura, and Styles just kicks him in the balls. Goes back into the ring, and lands a Phenomenal Forearm through the table.

Match had a few hiccups, but told a good story, had callbacks from the entire feud,both men looked very resilient. Styles wanted it, just a little bit more.

Winner: AJ Styles via Phenomenal Forearm

Rating: **** 1/2

 

WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Nia Jax (c) vs Ronda Rousey

Jax immediately drives Ronda into the corner, and then tosses her from corner to corner. Ronda tries to fight back with strikes, but a big headbutt from Jax, slows down Ronda’s offense. Corner Splash, into a Samoan Drop attempt but Rousey counters with a Kimura, into a Triangle Armbar as Nia tries to power out of it. One Armed Sitout Powerbomb breaks the Triangle Armbar. Ronda tries to get up, but falls through the ropes to the outside. Jax throws her into the barricade, rolls her back in, but Ronda kicks out at 2. Rousey tries to fight back, but Jax ignores a few strikes and lands a Gorilla Press, for 2.

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Given a couple seconds, Ronda goes for a desperation Guillotine, then a Sunset Flip, but Jax just ragdolls Ronda into the mat. Bear Hug from Nia, slowly seems to be wearing out Ronda. A few forearm shots break the hold, but a Samoan Drop from off the ropes leads to a near fall.

Nia goes for the Leg Drop, and misses big. Nia misses a move into the corner, and then Ronda sinks in the Armbar over the rope, Ronda breaks by 5. Ronda tries to figure out what to do, so she goes to the top rope for a Crossbody and a 2 count. Combination punches, big knee strike into a Judo Throw for 2. Ronda tries the Armbar, but Nia rolls her up for 2. Rousey hits another big side slam, and slowly pries Nia’s arms apart, but Bliss hits her with the briefcase.

Alexa takes out both women, but seems more focused on beating down Ronda, instead of cashing in on Nia.

Winner: Ronda Rousey via DQ

Rating: ** 3/4

 

WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Nia Jax (c) vs Alexa Bliss

Money in the Bank cash in, Bliss DDT and goes after the injured arm. Hits Twisted Bliss, for the pinfall.

Winner: Alexa Bliss via Twisted Bliss

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Rating: N/A

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Kofi is revealed as the New Day member, but everyone tries to gang up on Braun. He powers through, they all go to the outside, and then each man starts beating him with ladders and burying him.  Miz tries to take advantage of the distraction to sneak the briefcase, but Joe stops him. Joe and Miz play tug of war, Miz loses, Joe gets a Trouble in Paradise from Kofi, as we see Owens and Balor enter and start mixing it up.

Owens hits Balor with a ladder and then leans it in between the ropes. Owens goes to drive Balor into the ladder, Balor counters, they go to the outside, but Owens keeps the advantage and Superkicks Balor onto the announce table. Kevin looks to climb outside, but Rusev goes for the briefcase and distracts Owens. Rusev sends Owens into the ladder via Fall Away Slam. Samoa Joe comes in and takes out Rusev, but Kofi takes out Joe for the time being, and tries to set up the ladder. Miz stops Kofi, Kofi dispatches him and then Stage Dives onto the others. The group catches him, but Balor comes over the top with a Tope con Hilo and then goes to the pile of ladders on Strowman. Now is the time when Braun starts working through people.

Flying Forearm from Joe, Superkick from Owens, Machka Kick from Rusev and Braun falls down momentarily. Rusev stays on Braun, as Owens tries to set up a big spot with putting Braun through a table. Braun fights back, but Joe has him in the Coquina Clutch, Owens Superkicks Braun, and then goes to the big ladder as Rusev
and Joe hold down Braun.

Strowman fight out and Owens is trapped on the ladder. Braun catches him and then tosses him through the table from the top of the ladder. Strowman then makes his way through Joe and Rusev. Trips while taking out Kofi. Braun goes through a ladder that Balor and Roode had, Miz pees his pants and gets tossed out.

Joe uses another ladder to slow down Braun, so now Joe gets a shot to climb the ladder as Balor Shotgun Dropkicks Braun over the barricade. Samoa Joe dispatches of Finn and Bobby Roode, but Rusev gets Joe out of the ring. Rusev then runs over Roode and Kofi, and does a stacked Accolade on Kofi and Bobby Roode. Miz tries to sneak a Skull Crushing Finale, but it gets turned into a three person Accolade. Samoa Joe appears with a Coquina Clutch to stop the Accolade. Miz stops Joe from climbing, but Kofi stops him as he has his hands on the briefcase. Bobby Roode puts an end to Miz and Kofi playing at the top of the ladder. Balor with a Slingbalde on Roode. Balor sends Kofi and Miz to the outside, as he and Roode keep fighting inside.

Balor climbs a ladder from the outside, and hits the Coup de Grace from the outside in, on Bobby Roode. But Braun is back to ruin Finn’s day. Miz keeps trying to sneak up the ladder, but Braun keeps eating everyone. Kofi jumps on Strowman’s back as he climbs up, so Balor, Kofi and Braun fight at the top. Braun knocks down Balor, flips Kofi off of his back and grabs the briefcase. Like many Strowman matches, it was a lot of, everyone gangs up on him, but he still wins anyway. Nothing super surprising, but the match was okay. More just a bunch of spots instead of any real storytelling though.

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Winner: Braun Strowman

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Thoughts:

Fairly solid wrestling from most of the matches. Ronda again proved she’s a natural in her match, as well as, AJ versus Shinsuke finally putting toether a match at the
level people expected. A surprising cash in, sending the fans home happy with the men’s ladder match, at least the perception ends up being a happy one.

Since people will bring it up, Takeover wasn’t hands down better than Money in the Bank, I feel like they were about even. An average Takeover and an average main roster event that ended with a fan favorite going over, will make it hard tocompletely hate on the show.

All in all, good weekend from WWE.

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