Many of us are still recovering from the Elimination Chamber just two weeks ago, which was one of the better pay-per-views in quite a while. While I was more than confident that the marquee attraction, the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, would be pure gold, it remained to be seen if the entire card would be as strong.
DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. SHEAMUS vs. NEVILLE vs. KOFI KINGSTON vs. RANDY ORTON vs. KANE vs. ROMAN REIGNS
(Money in the Bank Black Ladder Match): This is a match that I truly look forward to each and every year and this year’s match set the bar even higher. Kofi Kingston surprisingly looked dominant for much of this match, making it to the top of the ladder more times than any of the competitors. Kane was wisely used as a bruiser, there to knock people around, not to climb the ladder. Neville had so many great high spots that I lost count, although one of them was a brilliant counter by Randy Orton into an RKO. Ziggler made all of the other competitors look like gold, proving no one in the business sells like he does. Roman Reigns cleared the ring a few times and once performed a dive bomb out of the ring that was a thing of beauty. But as he prepared a ladder, the lights went out and he was blindsided by Bray Wyatt (which I approve of since creative apparently are confused with what to do with both men). In the end, it was the brutal offense of Sheamus which won him the day and the contract. WINNER: SHEAMUS
PAIGE vs. NIKKI BELLA
(Divas Championship): I give credit to Paige for her perseverance with this entire angle. It is blatantly apparent that a) the Bellas are in protected positions due to whom they are dating and are untouchable at this point and b) TPTB will keep the belt on Nikki in a childish attempt to break AJ Lee’s nearly yearlong run as champion. Paige tried several times to up the ante with the ground game, then with the high risk/top rope game, but sadly, the “experienced veteran” wasn’t able to keep up. The Bellas pulled out “twin magic” again, but Paige was ready. I’m curious as to how, after the ref counted the one-two-three and announced Paige as champion, Nikki comes back out from under the ring, attacks Paige and somehow gets the pinfall. This is just more BS from the Divas division, proving that NXT is where one should go to watch quality women’s wrestling. WINNER: NIKKI BELLA
BIG SHOW vs. RYBACK
(Intercontinental Championship): When this feud first started, I was less than impressed. Ryback still seems like he has a long way to go. But after a few confrontations, my interest piqued, especially with The Miz at ringside, fanning the flames of hate between the two competitors. The match itself started off good enough, with the highlights being a beautiful vertical suplex and a Japanese armbar that Ryback hit on Show. I would have preferred the match to go a few more minutes before The Miz got involved physically, as I detest pay-per-view matches ending that quickly, or on a disqualification. I am curious as to how this storyline will play out, but please, no more DQs at a pay-per-view. WINNER (via disqualification): BIG SHOW
KEVIN OWENS vs. JOHN CENA
I have to give the devil his due, John Cena could have crapped the bed in this feud, but he’s legitimately putting his all into the feud and this, their rematch. There were more counters in this match than in a kitchen section of an appliance store. Owens’ top rope suplex reversal, Cena’s sunset flip power bomb reversal, all were things of beauty. I rarely give Cena props for his ring work against those who aren’t WWE main event players, but his timing here was crisper than it has been in ages. The outcome was predictable though, as WWE wasn’t going to let an “internet wrestling community” darling like Kevin Owens go over on their golden boy two pay-per-views in a row. WINNER: JOHN CENA
PRIME TIME PLAYERS vs. THE NEW DAY
(Tag Team Championship): The New Day have been on a hell of a run as the champions. Last month’s confrontation with the Prime Time Players, where the crowd was all but silent, left me questioning if the crowd would be dead once again for this confrontation. But the crowd was excited and the match was great from beginning to end. Big E and Xavier Woods are as solid heels as they come and the beat down they gave Darren Young (who sold it like a pro) for 75% of the match was vicious, yet entertaining. When Titus O’Neil made the hot tag and came in to clean house, I was sure that Kofi Kingston would come out and save his boys. But PTP got the pinfall and the win. WINNERS: PRIME TIME PLAYERS
DEAN AMBROSE vs. SETH ROLLINS
(WWE World Heavyweight Championship): I am of the belief that these two superstars could fight each other twenty thousand times, and each match would be unique. A ladder match allows these former friends to up the ante. Creative wisely let Ambrose dominate in the early minutes, further making Rollins appear as if his back was to the wall and that he had no support from the Authority. There were some extra brutal bumps (Ambrose’s double underhook suplex to Rollins through the ladder) which made for some moments that were almost hard to watch. Both men successfully did what many wrestlers fail to do, use the match to tell a story of how two people hate each other. Rollins earned this victory and deserves a continued reign as the champion. Though Summerslam is just around the corner and I predict he may be put to the test at that event. WINNER: SETH ROLLINS
I’m pleased to see that WWE is able to knock out two quality pay-per-views back to back. Did you also enjoy Money In The Bank? If so, do you feel that World Wrestling Entertainment will hit the hat trick with their next event, Battleground?