WWE Money in the Bank – June 14th 2015
Nationwide Arena: Columbus, OH.
The 2015 edition of Money in the Bank was a bizarre show, however it still managed to be the best WWE PPV/Live Special since WrestleMania, although that isn’t really saying much since Extreme Rules, Payback and Elimination Chamber were all pretty forgettable. The big story was, and I don’t want to shock anyone so brace yourself, John Cena getting his clean win back from Kevin Owens in another fantastic match. As much as I hate the idea of Owens losing, this is the WWE and John Cena so unless you were completely fooling yourself it was obvious how the match was going to end. Dave Meltzer hinted at “business indicators” being a factor in Cena getting his win back; I presume that would be the poor RAW ratings of late and possibly Cena’s merch numbers taking a hit. WWE can’t have it both ways with Cena; either he is the top guy or he is the guy who gets over the new/young talent on their way up. If sacrificing a few thousand dollars of merchandise is what it takes to get some new guys over as serious credible top stars, which should ultimately payoff down the line if they are, in fact, put over correctly, then surely that is a risk worth taking. I for one sure as hell don’t want to see a 40 year old John Cena still on top and shilling his new florescent pink t-shirt to children and adults who should know better. As for the RAW ratings, well that one is easy: START WRITING BETTER TELEVISION SHOWS!!! With all that said, they did the best job possible of protecting Owens, who kicked out of 2 AAs and got his heat back afterwards by powerbombing Cena on the apron.
The rest of the show was an assortment of head-scratching booking, matches that ranged from terrible to very good and a few detestable finishes thrown in for good measure. Sheamus won the Money in the Bank briefcase. SHEAMUS! They made the right choice by not having Roman Reigns win the thing, as it is still not the time for Reigns to make another run for the WWE title, however it was yet another show in which Reigns failed to win the big match. So what do they have planned for Reigns now he is out of the title picture? Well, a feud with the man he beat clean a couple of weeks ago on RAW, Bray Wyatt, who showed up during the MITB match and cost Reigns the match by shoving him off the ladder. Again, moving Reigns away from the WWE title picture is a smart move for the time being but the feud with Wyatt and Sheamus winning the briefcase just exposes how thin the roster is when it comes to exciting new matches.
Seth Rollins retained the WWE world title after a near 36 minute ladder match with Dean Ambrose. Match was good, but the finish wasn’t nearly decisive enough for a man who is facing Brock Lesnar at BattleGround on July 19th. The deal was both men grabbed the belt and fell off the ladder but Rollins ended up holding on to it and was declared the winner.
There were a couple of other things worth mentioning: The Prime Time Players inexplicably beat New Day for the Tag Team titles, probably because Titus O’Neil received that celebrity dad of the year “award.” Nikki Bella retained the Divas title over Paige after Paige dedicated the match to Dusty Rhodes. The finish was a play off the Dusty finish, so I guess that was the booking team’s tribute to the Dream. Ryback and Big Show had an awful match that ended in a DQ when Miz interfered to set up what should be a train wreck of a three-way feud.
Pre-Show Notes: We got the usual drivel from the dunderheads on the panel. R-Truth pinned King Barrett clean in a forgettable encounter. Afterwards, Truth stole Barrett’s crown but ended up giving it back to him and running away like a complete idiot. (**) They aired an awesome tribute package to Dusty Rhodes, after which poor Renee Young completely broke down into tears doing a link to a backstage segment involving Kevin Owens answering some stupid Twitter questions. They cut back to Renee a couple of minutes later and her eyes were completely red but she carried on like a pro.
The main card opened with a ten bell salute to Dusty Rhodes with the entire locker room out in the entrance way, including Daniel Bryan, with Vince, Stephanie & HHH standing centre stage. After the tolling of the bell, the fans chanted “Dusty” and they played the Dream’s “Common Man” WWE music which everyone in the arena clapped along to. Vince seemed particularly upset but went full out during the clapping. There was no sign of Cody or Dustin, but all of the NXT alumni were clearly devastated.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Roman Reigns vs. Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Neville vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler w/Lana vs. Randy Orton. – Sheamus grabbed the briefcase at 20:52 of a fun, but very safe ladder match. Everyone made a mad dash for the briefcase early then they powdered out so guys could take turn in the ring doing spotz. The first big ladder spot came when Reigns powerbomed Kofi onto a ladder bridge in the corner; Reigns then gave Neville a powerbomb onto Kofi who was still on the ladder. Kane gave Reigns an hilariously poor chokeslam off the ladder then at 8:30 Orton hit a bunch of RKOs to Kane, Kofi & Neville. Ziggler gave Sheamus the Zig-zag off the ladder then Neville followed up with the Red Arrow to Sheamo. Reigns found himself alone in the ring, but instead of getting a ladder he dove over the top onto everyone like a big dummie (TM Dixie Carter.) Big E & Xavier Woods ran down and tried to help Kofi up the ladder, however Reigns took them out then powerbombed Kofi onto the pile of bodies on the floor. Reigns hit Orton with a spear and climbed the ladder but Bray Wyatt’s video flashed on screen and the lights went out. Wyatt appeared in the ring and dumped the ladder over to prevent Reigns from winning then gave him Sister Abigail and that was the last we saw of Reigns in the match. Sheamus was the only man left standing and he went for the briefcase; Neville appeared and tried to stop him but Sheamus knocked him off the ladder and pulled down the case to get the win. – They protected certain guys: Orton got his RKO spree and Reigns was given the “out” of the Wyatt interference. I’m not particularly thrilled with a Wyatt/Reigns program but at least Reigns is out of the title picture for now. As for Sheamus, well he simply does not feel like a tippy-top main eventer at this stage, nor is he treated like one by the fans. It’s too early to guess if he will cash in and loose, but I suspect we won’t be seeing Sheamus as the WWE Champion anytime soon. (*** ½ )
WWE Divas Championship: Nikki Bella (C) vs. Paige. – Nikki retained in 11:20. As mentioned, Paige dedicated the match to Dusty and lost. They were given lots of time, but the crowd lost interest during the middle portion. Sasha vs. Becky Lynch this was not. Finish saw Brie come out from under the ring for Twin Magic but Paige reversed a cradle and the ref counted three. The fans popped for the “title change” but Brie quickly pulled a bunch of stuffing out of her bra and pointed to her skank tattoos on her pelvis. Instead of calling for a DQ, the ref just waved it off then Nikki gave Paige the Rack Attack immediately for the win. – The match was actually pretty decent until the horrendous finish. The ref not calling for a DQ made ZERO sense. I guess they wanted to do a Dusty finish as some kind of bizarre tribute, but we just had one during the main event of a show two weeks ago and at least that one had some logic behind it. This was just completely idiotic. (* ¾ )
WWE IC Championship: Ryback (C) vs. Big Show. – Big Show via DQ at 5:30. Miz came out for commentary; Ryback went after him a minute into the match and threw him over the announce table. Show & Ryback plodded through a dire match until Miz attacked both of them for the DQ. – A total RAW match with a RAW finish. Horrible. (– * ½ )
Non-Title, Champion vs. Champion: John Cena (US Champion) vs. Kevin Owens (NXT Champion). – Cena over clean at 19:20 of another amazing match. It was similar to their first encounter, with Owens doing Cena’s stuff and it building to a million moves with a million kick-outs. At 5:05 Owens did the Five Knuckle Shuffle then went for the AA but Cena countered with the STF. Owens came back with release German into the corner and followed up with his cannon ball at 7:00. Cena got his knees up to block the senton bomb and hit the AA at 9:50 but Owens kicked out and Cena uncharacteristically argued with referee, Mike Chioda. Owens countered an AA off the top rope into a sit-out powerbomb for a nice near-fall at 11:35. They hit a bunch more movez! Cena countered the pop-up powerbomb with a hurricanrana, Owens hit a superkick, Cena landed a tornado DDT, Owens delivered the wacky package sideslam for a near-fall then missed his springboard moonsault and Cena got another near-fall with a second AA. Owens countered a superplex and hit a big fisherman buster off the second rope at 16:22 which the crowd went nuts for. Cena got the STF again but Owens reached the ropes then Cena tried a code red(!) at 17:30 which nearly went horribly wrong, however both men regained their balance and they pulled off the move. Owens came back with one final pop-up powerbomb which nearly everyone in the crowd bought as the finish but Cena kicked-out. Finish saw Cena hit the springboard stunner then the AA for the clean fall. I guess Cena listened to Austin about how the springboard stunner didn’t mean anything when it is used as just a spot, because here it led to the finish. Post-match, Cena offered Owens a handshake, which he accepted however Owens kicked Cena to the floor and gave him a powerbomb on the apron. Owens held up both title belts and laughed maniacally. Cena, of course, didn’t do a stretcher job and was instead helped to the back by a bunch of referees. – Like most people, I wouldn’t have had Owens lose to Cena a couple of weeks after such a big win, but hey, we all knew what was coming and they did all they could to protect Owens in the circumstances and did a great job of giving him his heat back. Personally I liked the first match more, but there’s nothing in it really as both were fantastic. (**** ½ )
WWE Tag Team Championship: New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) (C) vs. The Prime Time Players. – PTPs won the straps in 5:48. E & Woods cut a heel promo beforehand about Kofi getting robbed in the MITB match. Darren Young sold for the heat, which the fans weren’t really into. Titus ran wild off the hot tag and threw around the heels. Big E speared Young off the apron then Titus hit Woods with his Clash of the Titus move for the finish. – A completely flat title change. How is anybody supposed to care about the PTPs at the point? And taking the titles off New Day, who have completely turned around their gimmick which seemed like death a couple of months ago? Utterly ridiculous. (**)
Before the main event, Seth Rollins was in the back. Kane told him he couldn’t wait to see Rollins loose then HHH & Stephanie appeared. Steph said Rollins would only have himself to blame if he didn’t win and would suffer the consequences if he lost. Triple H then gave Seth a big “Rah-Rah” speech and told him to show everyone why Trips picked him to be the Authority’s champion.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match: Seth Rollins (C) vs. Dean Ambrose. – Rollins retained at 35:40. This was basically a street fight masquerading as a ladder match. They wrestled for a good 5 minutes before doing any big spots. Ambrose landed a butterfly suplex onto the ladder then climbed up it to drop a “bionic” elbow on Rollins off the ladder. Rollins worked over Ambrose’s knee, slamming chairs and ladders into the injured leg before applying a figure-four around the ring post at 12:15. Then at 14:45 Rollins tied Ambrose up in the tree of woe and smashed his knee with a chair. Ambrose came back with a McGuinness/Danielson diving lariat off the ropes spot then later on landed a fantastically timed Nigel Jawbreaker lariat which popped the crowd. At 23:10 Ambrose built a bridge from the apron to the announce table with a ladder and Rollins took a backdrop onto it, which Cole did a good job of putting over. Rollins went for a Pedigree on the Spanish table at 26:20, but Ambrose countered with his DDT on the table, which didn’t break. Ambrose climbed the ladder, but Rollins hit him in the bad leg with a TV monitor then gave him the Pedigree. They ended up on the floor again and Rollins threw Ambrose into the barricade with a couple of powerbombs at 32:10, the second of which Ambrose landed hard on his tail bone. Rollins then gave Ambrose a running powerbomb onto a ladder on the floor and proceeded to bury Dean under the ladder and a pile of chairs. You would think such a decisive spot would have been the finish, but no, because Ambrose popped up and fought with Rollins at the top of the ladder. Both men grabbed the strap and fell off the ladder, but Rollins held onto the belt and was declared the winner. Triple H came out to celebrate with Rollins then Jo-Jo interviewed Seth on the stage. Rollins declared himself the greatest of all-time and HHH smiled in agreement. – This was a weird deal. You would think winning a 35+ minute war without J&J or Kane helping would give Rollins back some much needed credibility, and I suppose it did to a certain extent, however the finish felt like it was left open for another return match with Ambrose, which isn’t happening since Rollins is facing Lesnar. They could have just made Seth look strong by climbing the ladder after he gave Ambrose 3 powerbombs on the floor and buried him under a bunch of chairs, but they had to get too cute and do the tug-o-war spot for no reason whatsoever. I don’t see how this finish helps Rollins heading into a match with Lesnar, but they’ve got 5 weeks of TV to set something up. Although, that might not necessarily a good thing as it gives the goofballs in Creative more time to come up with goofy angles and stupid scenarios. (*** ½ )