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Random Thoughts on WWE Money in the Bank 2019

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WWE Money in the Bank took place last night in Hartford. This is obviously a spoiler heavy review, so please look away now if you’ve yet to see the show.

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Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Bayley def. Natalya, Mandy Rose, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, Naomi, Carmella, and Ember Moon to become Ms. Money in the Bank

That was a very good ladder match that was put together well. There weren’t a lot of those climbing moments that sometimes hurt a ladder match. It was very physical with some big bumps throughout the match. That Eclipse by Moon on Natalya was an incredible move that I didn’t see coming and the crowd reacted to it in a big way. It also seemed like they started a Rose vs. Carmella feud in this match, so that was worthwhile. Bayley was my original pick weeks ago, then I changed it to Rose because I just felt it would be a heel win. I really had no problem with a Bayley win. She’s awesome and one of my favourites, so giving her a push on Smackdown is a smart move because it’s a fresh start for her.

Rating: *** ½

 

WWE United States Championship

Rey Mysterio def. Samoa Joe © via pinfall to become the NEW WWE United States Champion

That was quick. I did not expect that short of a match because of how short their match at ‘Mania was, nor did I expect a title change. The pin was weak because Joe’s shoulders were clearly not down, and the ref was looking directly at him. It was reported by TJR that WWE decided to end the match quicker than expected due to Joe bleeding and potentially suffering a broken nose. It was on the seated senton spot where Joe grabbed his face right after. That’s lame that they ended the match so fast because of blood, but they did go through the post-match angle as planned. I assume the match was likely going to go 10 minutes or more.

As for the post-match angle, it was really good. Rey is awesome at selling and Joe is one of the best in WWE at delivering a believable looking beating. Joe is such a great heel and that bloody nose look made him look like even more of a badass. It was a cheap attack to keep the feud going after the title change. It will probably lead to Dominick taking some bumps because he’s a trained wrestler now.

Rating: *

 

Steel Cage Match

Shane McMahon def. The Miz by escaping the Cage

It was a below average, boring match an outcome I didn’t expect just like at WrestleMania because I thought Miz would get the win in both matches. For whatever reason, the nearly 50-year-old Shane got the win. I guess it’s good to have your dad as the booker.  That likely means the feud is continuing in order to put over Miz. That rope break spot was weird because they said no rope breaks and then shortly after that they had a rope broke, so that’s either a storyline that will come into play or it was an error by the referee. Shane didn’t take too many crazy bumps aside from the slam off the cage and then Shane barely sold it. The finish was creative while making Shane look lucky as the victor in the match.

Rating: **

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship

Tony Nese © def. Ariya Divari via pinfall to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

What’s this? A Cruiserweight title match on the main card of a PPV? Bloody Hell!

The match was solid, but it wasn’t that exciting at all. It also doesn’t represent the Cruiserweight Title that fans want to see where it comes to high-risk moves. Nese did that one impressive dive towards the end. Other than that, it was a basic wrestling match. The crowd was dead for it. Nese is a good all-around performer. I just think he’s bland, so when he’s the face champion, it’s hard to get that excited about these matches.

Rating: ** ½

 

Raw Women’s Championship

Becky Lynch © def. Lacey Evans via submission to retain the Raw Women’s Championship

It was just an average match. The finish wasn’t very good. They should have had Lynch fight more to get the armbar on because Evans gave up so quickly and it made her look weak. It was the biggest match in the career of Evans so far. She did okay, but she’s not at the level of Lynch or the other top women in the ring. Evans has a good gimmick that can work in the long term, she is very athletic and I think she’ll get better in the months ahead. Lynch getting the win was what I expected.

Rating: **

 

Smackdown Women’s Championship

Charlotte Flair def. Becky Lynch © to become the NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion

It was a cheap win to protect Lynch in a situation where she had to wrestle two times in a row. It also got the Smackdown Women’s Title off Lynch, so the “Becky Two Belts” story was over after the first PPV after WrestleMania. This was probably the last Lynch vs. Flair match for a long time although with the Wild Card Rule in place, that may not be true. I’m just saying that now there is less of a reason for them to face each other with Lynch expected to mainly be a Raw superstar.

Rating: **

 

Lacey Evans and Charlotte attacked Becky after the match. Bayley made the save, saw that Charlotte was in a prone position, which lead to her cashing in her MITB contract.

 

Smackdown Women’s Championship

Bayley def. Charlotte Flair © via pinfall to become the NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion

It was so quick that there’s no point in rating it. That was a nice way to give Bayley some new positive momentum on Smackdown by having her win Money in the Bank, plus the briefcase in the same night. It’s also the second year in a row where a woman cashed in Money in the Bank in the same night to win a title because Alexa Bliss did it last year.

Rating: N/A

 

Roman Reigns was shown walking backstage. As he was walking, Elias walked up behind Reigns and hit him in the back with a guitar. Elias walked down a hallway and walked out to ringside to begin the match.

Cheap attack by Elias to give him a big advantage ahead of his match…or so we thought.

Elias walked out to the ring, sat on his stool and he had an electric guitar in the ring. Elias claimed he was not just the biggest acquisition in Smackdown history, but all of WWE history. Elias said that Vince McMahon texted him saying because of Elias, Vince can sleep peacefully at night known the future of WWE is in good hands. Elias said that made him feel good, but he wondered why you would come to a morally, substandard toilet bowl like Hartford. That drew a lot of boos. Elias said that with the Big Dog out of the way, the era of Elias can begin. Elias sang a song about how people there are so boring, he brings energy to the world, no one wants to hear Roman talk and Elias just took Reigns for a walk. Elias said that North Carolina was a beautiful place, now he understands why the Whalers left this city because Hartford is a disgrace. That’s a 22 year NHL reference since Hartford’s hockey team moved to Carolina. Elias thanked the crowd, said he loved none of the fans and that was it. Elias said he was going to get out of Hartford. Elias posed on the stage, which is when the music of Roman Reigns started up.

Reigns hit a Superman Punch to knock down Elias. Reigns looked fine after he was hit with a guitar backstage several minutes earlier. Reigns threw Elias into the ring. The bell rang to start the match.

 

Roman Reigns def. Elias via pinfall

No point rating this one either. It was only 7 seconds long. I don’t mind the short match that much because I doubt it would have been that good anyway. It does suck for Elias because this was a big match for him. Also, the rivalry may continue because there is a rumoured PPV match with Reigns facing Elias and Shane soon.

Rating: N/A

 

WWE Universal Championship

Seth Rollins © def. AJ Styles via pinfall to retain the WWE Universal Championship

It was an outstanding match that lived up to the hype. Rollins and Styles truly are two of the best wrestlers in the world. That spot they did with Rollins going for The Stomp with Styles countering with a Styles Clash was one of the best counters into a finisher that I have ever seen. I expected something around four stars or better, but you never really know if it’s going to reach that level and they were able to go above that. It was one of the best main roster matches of the year. Styles came close to winning numerous times, but Rollins kept on fighting back and was able to get the clean win as it should be. It was good that Styles didn’t kick out of The Stomp. Save that for the rematch and protect Seth’s finisher. I like that it wasn’t controversial because there was already enough of that on this show. There was so much great counter wrestling with Rollins avoiding AJ’s big moves the entire match while Styles did the same to Rollins as a well. This is a feud that will hopefully continue with Styles perhaps turning heel in order to add to the intensity of their matches. I expected Rollins to get the win since he just won the Universal Title at WrestleMania, so it made sense for him to retain the title.

Rating: **** ½

 

WWE Championship

Kofi Kingston © def. Kevin Owens via pinfall to retain the WWE Championship

It was a good match that was a bit below my expectations for it, but it wasn’t due to the lack of effort. They could have used a few more exciting moments towards the finish. I thought the story was fine and they were intense right from the beginning. The last few minutes were booked well. I think it was also tough for them to follow that Rollins/Styles match. Owens was aggressive as usual, Kingston showed a lot of heart as a face and in the end, Kingston won clean as expected. The feud may continue, but Owens will need some big wins soon to build him back up again.

Rating: *** ½

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Brock Lesnar def. Ali, Andrade, Ricochet, Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, and Baron Corbin

Sadly, Brock is back and is likely to hold onto either the Universal or WWE title again in the future. That just sucks, but it doesn’t hurt my feelings I have for this match. It was a very good Money in the Bank ladder match with some ridiculous bumps throughout the match. Some of the guys had some rough landings on ladders, so it was a bit concerning at times. Lesnar’s appearance was a huge shock that I doubt anybody saw coming. The problem is that a lot of fans are so sick of Lesnar dominating the title scene on Raw for most of the last two years that it’s going to be a turn off for a lot of people. Money in the Bank is something that has been a springboard for somebody to get to that main event level, but in this case they decided to put the briefcase on a guy that has already been a champion many times before. Getting back to the match, I thought Ricochet, Andrade and Ali really stood out while Orton had a very good showing too. Corbin and McIntyre utilized their size advantage to look dominant throughout the match.

Rating: ****

 

Overall show rating (out of 10): 6

It was a mixed bag type of show with some good matches, but also some questionable booking decisions along the way. I thought Rollins/Styles match was one of the best matches of the year, so they lived up to the hype. The Money in the Bank matches were very good like most MITB matches are. While I liked seeing Bayley becoming the Smackdown Women’s Champion to try to give her some positive momentum again, it was frustrating to see them go back to the well with Lesnar.

What really hurt this show is some of the booking decisions like Lesnar winning Money in the Bank in a match he wasn’t even a part of.

Some of the finishes were bad too. Why have so many controversial endings where the referees were made to look inept? I miss the old days when heels would cheat to win. Instead, they barely have heels cheat and they are oftentimes booked to win with fluke finishes. I think WWE’s decision makers are overthinking the match endings way too much. It’s better to keep it simple.

I had higher expectations for Money in the Bank. I thought it would be better. Some of the matches that I wanted to go longer were too short (due to Joe’s blood in one case) while others went too long. Going nearly four hours made it a very long show too although last year’s Money in the Bank was over four hours. Anyway, I would recommend Rollins vs. Styles because it was excellent, big night for Bayley, I enjoyed the work in the two MITB ladder matches, but most of the rest of it was skippable.

 

2019 PPV Rankings

WrestleMania 35 -7.5

Fastlane – 7.5

Royal Rumble – 7.5

Elimination Chamber – 7.5

Money in the Bank – 6

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