WWE Money in the Bank 2016
Watch: WWE Network
June 19, 2016
T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada
Money in the Bank is here, and it’s the greatest MITB ever with two WrestleMania quality matches and two In Your House Quality matches on the pre-show.
(pre-show recap by
Golden Truth vs. Breezango*1/2
We kick things off with Golden Truth vs. Breezango. Breeze and Fandango come out and are still selling the sunburn. Which means the match begins in negative star territory. Most of the match was based around sunburn offense as expected and this means I’m currently questioning my life. The highlight of the match was Mauro getting his shit in and finding a reason to name drop Kenta Kobashi. There was no redeeming qualities about anything else. Skip this match.
Lucha Dragons vs. The Dudley Boyz**1/4
I don’t know if I’m going to make it past the pre-show. The last thing I want to see is a Dudley match and Kalisto should be a singles talent now, what a waste. There was a commercial midway through the match which did a great job breaking the monotony of The Dudleys wrestling. Lucha Dragons get the somewhat surprising win and of course the highlight was Kalisto. This was perfectly acceptable wrestling but not **¾ level perfectly acceptable more like **¼ acceptable.
(at this point, Vic handed the keys over to
@naturalbornheel. Thanks for helping out with the pre-show, brother)
WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day (c) vs. The Vaudevillains vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson***1/2
This was a full on car crash, but in a good way. So many interactions between all 4 teams before it finally got to Kofi and Enzo to set it off. Things quickly dissolved again with all 8 mean in the ring at the same time until it was down to Kofi and Big E + Enzo and Cass. This lasted for about .2 seconds, with back and forth between members of New Day, The Club, Vaudevillains and Enzo and Cass. Enzo stole the show, making the most of his minute in the ring until Gallows pulled down the ropes and he flipped out backwards. Cass launching Enzo out of the ring and onto the collection of opponents got a huge pop out of me and the crowd.
There were a fine collections of botches in this match, including one of the most awkward Whirling Dirvishes I’ve ever laid eyes on, but there was so much action that it’s hard to complain. The back and forth near falls were frequent, finally ending with New Day getting the pin after Big E hoisted Anderson on his shoulders, Kofi flew off the ropes to plant him, then covered English to keep the belts. A whole lot of fun, even if it was impossible to keep track of.
KO and Jericho argued with Tom, Todd, Tim, or whatever his name was until ADR came out and botched the English language. We got a Spanish language lab, letting us know that “perro” means dog (in case you didn’t already know that). Jeridad said he saw a “perro idiots standing there” and I hope that Vince fired the writer of that alleged joke on the spot.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin**1/2
After a match like we just saw, what is the next logical match to take advantage of the high? Why Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler, of course. What a way to take down the excitement levels 14 notches. While Ziggler is a perfectly acceptable wrestler and Baron Corbin is a perfectly acceptable… large guy(?), nothing about this screamed “must see”. In the end, it was better than t had a right to be, but that isn’t saying a ton either. Baron used his power and Ziggler was there to fly across the ring when Baron threw him around. It didn’t go too long, so it was probably the best use of the two. Just when you thought Baron had things wrapped up, his End of Days was reversed by Ziggler to a pin attempt. Ziggler tried to get to the ropes to fly, but Baron was able to thwart his attempt, causing him to spill to the canvas and into an End Of Days to finish him off. Nothing offensive, but not worth going out of your way to watch either.
Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Becky Lynch & Natalya***
While the rivalry between Charlotte and Dana with Natalya and Becky hasn’t set the world on fire exactly, it has been relatively fun to watch them. Unlike many people, I see the upside in Charlotte as a character, especially with someone like Dana Brooke to be the Arn to her Ric. They make effective heels, Charlotte getting the possibly unintended groans from the audience while Dana is good at barking insults across the ring at her opponents. With someone like Natalya on the other side, they are bound to keep improving and growing as workers and Becky has been known to have really excellent matches when given the chance.
Charlotte and Dana used effective team work to keep Natalya in their corner and when Becky finally go the chance to get into the ring, the crowd popped for her. Natalya got to display her aggressive side, getting a Sharpshooter on Charlotte before Dana cheated and caused Natalya to be distracted before Charlotte hit her with a Natural Selection for the win. Solid mid card match with some good booking that helps the feud continue. Or did it?
Post-match, Natalya ripped into Becky, blind-siding er and beating the ever-lovin’ stuffin’ out of Becky. Guess she doesn’t like losing.
Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus**3/4
Sheamus and Apollo are not here to play around. They immediately laid into each other to let you know they mean business. This was booked to spotlight Apollo’s leaping abilities and Sheamus’ tough guy potato giving skills (he is Irish after all). As usual for a Sheamus match, he spent most of the match stiffing Apollo, while Apollo flipped and flew. What made this work better than usual was this forced Apollo to work stiffer. He hit a Moonsault out of the ring onto the floor (and a prone Sheamus) before they spilled back in. Sheamus and the ref got into it after Sheamus half-assed covered Apollo, so he took that as a chance to roll up Sheamus for the win. One of Apollo’s better showing on the main roster, but still not setting the world on fire.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles****
This is the match I came all the way to my computer to see, the first ever match between perennial WWE poster boy John Cena and beloved indie legend AJ Styles. As sarcastic as that sounds, I am super on board with this match. This is Big Match John’s first big match back and against a guy like AJ, it couldn’t be bigger. The crowd was electric before they even touched. Cena came out with the PBR shirt that I could have sworn WWE took down, but I guess they worked out any issues they had with the crappy tasting hipster beer company.
Every big move these two hit, the crowd went nuts, whether it be a Monkey Flip or Fireman’s Carry from Cena, flips or a Flying Knee from AJ, even a square off. AJ had control of the match early on, fully dominating Cena. John had enough after AJ said “Is this all you’ve got?”, kicking AJ in the knee to ground him. Every time Cena got momentum in his favor, AJ had an answer for him. AJ heeled it up perfectly, talking trash and having an evil grin. Cena hit the shoulder blocks he usually hits before his 5 Knuckle Shuffle and AJ was again able to kill his momentum. Styles launched himself out of the ring onto Cena, but it may have been one too many times as Cena was finally able to get out of the way and change momentum.
Cena tried an AA, AJ barraged him with elbows. Cena was able to lock in an STF, AJ escaped. Cena hit an AA, AJ turned it into a Calf Crusher. Even a massive AA was kicked out of. Nothing John could hit ended up being effective, even launching off the ropes with AJ turning it into a Power Bomb. AJ not only hit a Pele Kick, but also a Styles Clash. AJ attempted a Shooting Star, but John got his knees up at the last moment. In what should have been the finishing spot, Cena went for an AA, which was turned into a Styles Clash attempt followed by a Pele Kick. Cena tried for another AA but Styles reversed, flipping out. Styles jumped off the top rope but John caught him in an AA. As he was going for the move, he hit the ref, who promptly went sailing out of the ring. No ref meant no pin counted and also meant that Gallows and Anderson were able to capitalize, running into the ring and flooring Cena. They rolled AJ on top just in time for the ref to come back in to count the 3. This was the most competitive big match anyone has had with Cena in ages and with a finish like they had, a no-brainer to do this one again at the next PPV. I for one wouldn’t complain about it.
Money in the Bank: Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho**3/4
In a match that no one asked for, we get some of the greatest collection of workers ever, plus Dean Ambrose and Alberto Del Rio. Personally I always loathe these matches, because they fall into worn out tropes. This one had everything: the ridiculously slow ladder setup (safety first); the way-too-short-to-be-useful ladder spot; the ladder across the ropes jump off spot; the I’m too tired to climb this ladder at a reasonable speed spot; the I’m sooooooo close but my widdle teeny arms can’t reach all the way to the tippy top spot; the I’m all the way at the top but someone toppled the ladder and I landed on my balls spot; the I’m almost there but someone pulled my leg spot; the I don’t really like this ladder so I’m going to get a different one spot; and finally, the I’m at the top of the ladder but instead of getting the briefcase I’ll jump off the ladder instead spot. At least the crowd seemed to be into it.
On the plus side, we got Cesaro spinning Jericho and ADR (always fun), Sami hitting a Michinoku Driver on the edge of a ladder to Owens (seriously WTF, holy shit, OMG, all that), and Dean did get splashed on a ladder, so there was that. Somehow all 6 men ended up on 3 ladders simultaneously, which I am doing no justice to because it was actually creative. We also were gifted Owens Powerbombing Sami onto a ladder, but somehow in the end we got possibly the worst finish, which was Dean climbing to the top of the ladder uncontested, capturing the stupid briefcase that he’ll be carrying around everywhere with him for the next 9-12 months teasing that he’s going to cash it in. Fan-fucking-tastic.
(side note: it appears ADR may have been legitimately injured at some point, as the ref threw up the X outside the ring while ADR laid on the ground in pain, so that is unfortunate)
WWE United States Championship: Rusev (c) vs. Titus O'NeilN/R
I actually forgot to watch this match due to ranting about how much ladder matches suck. Rusev got Titus in an Accolade, then he bantered Titus’ kids on Father’s Day about how their dad sucked. “Hi, Not-Lio Rush”!
(unrated due to lack of attention)
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Seth Rollins****1/2
He may not be the man we want, but he’s the man who Vince is putting on top. As much shit as Reigns takes, he can deliver in a big match setting. With an opponent like Seth Rollins (so glad he’s back), he can have a hell of a match, so I wasn’t surprised going on when he did. Feels like it has been way too long since we saw Seth and Roman throw down and this one was all kinds of fun. Roman throwing Seth around, Seth planting Roman into the steps (which I refuse to call “stairs” even if the word does rhyme with “chairs”). The crowd was ready to turn on the boos when Roman went for his goofy Superman Punch, and equally ready to cheer Seth for his high flying when he hit a tope out of the ring and the Sling Blade as well. Seth hitting a MASSIVE Frogsplash but not being able to get a pin due to bouncing so hard off of Roman. Seth being weary of hitting the Buckle Bomb since it caused his knee injury. Such great storytelling. This match worked on many levels, not the least of which being the history they had as a team and the storied break-up. Seth really shined with the suplex off the ropes with a float over to a Falcon’s Arrow, which still wasn’t enough to take out Roman. Roman’s one-armed Powerbomb never fails to impress. The resilience of both men, refusing to go down. Seth went back to the well with the Bucklebomb, resulting in a Superman Punch to knock down Seth. Seth hitting Roman on the outside rail so hard that the doctors came out to check on him. Reigns trying a Spear and Rollins not only intercepting, but turning it into a Pedigree? HOLY SHIT, I love this! Congrats to the new (and rightful) champ, Seth Rollins!!!!
Except… Dean Ambrose runs in to cash in on his Money In The Bank briefcase, hitting a spent Seth Rollins with a Dirty Deeds to take the championship.
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