SMARK COUNTRY: Money in the Bank 2014 Was Money Indeed
THIS is more like it, WWE. After several months of barely passable pay-per-view events, World Wrestling Entertainment finally brought its A game. This could be their response to TNA, who put on perhaps the best pay-per-view of 2014 with their Slammiversary event. If this is a game of one-upsmanship, then I’m gleefully along for the ride.
THE WYATTS vs. THE USOS (WWE Tag Team Championship): I wish that WWE hadn’t had these teams face each other so many times over the past several months. There’s building a feud, then there’s showing us nearly everything both teams have to offer so that there’s not much left to see in their title bout. Eric Rowan and Luke Harper did have quite an impressive showing. The Usos, however, haven’t shown anything new in a long time. Harper is no stranger to unbelievable high spots for a man his size, but Rowan and his two top rope spots were surprising and entertaining. Hopefully this feud will continue because there’s not many tag teams that will give the Usos as much mileage, as far as storylines are concerned, as the Wyatts. WINNERS: THE USOS
NAOMI vs. PAIGE (WWE Divas Championship): I still cannot believe that I find myself saying that this was probably one of the best Divas matches of the past two or three years. I do not mince words when I say this match echoed classics such as Taz vs Sabu or Chris Benoit vs Booker T. The ring psychology, the slow paced technical work, the high flying high impact moves, everything came together to illuminate how good the Divas division could be if they stopped hiring failed lingerie models and hire ACTUAL WRESTLERS. WINNER: PAIGE
ADAM ROSE vs. DAMIEN SANDOW: Even though creative clearly doesn’t know what to do with Sandow given that he’s been dressing up as random famous people over the past several weeks (this time as Paul Revere), the fact that he got a pay-per-view match is a good sign. He brought an aggressive ferocity that put Rose on the defensive. But the roll that the Exotic Express has been on as of late doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. In the end, Sandow was hit with the Party Foul and the Exotic Express rolls on. WINNER: ADAM ROSE
SETH ROLLINS vs. DEAN AMBROSE vs. JACK SWAGGER vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. KOFI KINGSTON vs. ROB VAN DAM (Money In The Bank contract ladder match): I’m going to put aside my anger at Swagger being allowed to stay in this match, despite him injuring the seventh competitor in this match, Bad News Barrett, a week ago, putting Barrett on the injured list. This is the second time Swagger has injured someone in the middle of a huge push. But he made up for it as he and all five of his opponents left it all on the mat. RVD seems to have found the fountain of youth and was firing on all cylinders. Ambrose and Rollins stayed on each other the entirety of the match, further selling their heated rivalry. Kingston and Ziggler are constant work horses that always put on a show in these types of matches. The ladder bump that Kingston gave to Rollins was one of the most innovative moves I’ve ever seen in a ladder match. The “Rocky” angle with Ambrose gained him sympathy and got him the loudest pop that he’s had to date. The interference by Kane though ensured that the Authority’s newest asset achieved victory. WINNER: SETH ROLLINS
RYBACK & CURTIS AXEL vs. GOLDUST & STARDUST: A part of me wants to question what made this match pay-per-view worthy. Though the Rhodes brothers always are entertaining in the ring or on the mic, the team of Rybaxel feels like they’re together because creative just has no idea what to do with them. All four athletes gave that little bit extra in this match and Cody is selling the hell out of this Stardust gimmick. His high impact style was tweaked ever so slightly to allow for more unorthodox moves. Axel once again gave a strong performance. Ryback again proved that he might need some time in developmental. WINNERS: GOLDUST & STARDUST
RUSEV vs. BIG E: A rematch from last month’s Payback pay-per-view, these big men’s fast paced high impact style made for another slobber knocker. Rusev nearly knocked Big E out with a massive German suplex. Big E returned the favor with a monstrous Sambo Suplex. While I don’t agree with Rusev winning twice in a row, OR someone of Big E’s strength tapping out to the Accolade yet again, this match was nearly worth the price of admission. WINNER: RUSEV
SUMMER RAE vs. LAYLA (Special Guest Referee FANDANGO): What an amazing match that Summer Rae and Layla had, said no one ever. While Layla isn’t a bad in ring performer, she’s not skilled enough to carry someone like Summer Rae, who really has not shown any sign of improvement. There were a few impressive moves, especially Layla’s super kick that earned her the victory. But in all, this match only existed to further the love triangle between these three. WINNER: LAYLA
SHEAMUS vs. CESARO vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. KANE vs. ROMAN REIGNS vs. RANDY ORTON vs. BRAY WYATT vs. JOHN CENA (WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder match) With this many opponents and none really being true high flyers, this was going to be a methodical ground and pound brawl. Kane showed that he was there as a pawn of the Authority, simply in the match to ensure Randy Orton wins. But there were so many devastating spots that the outcome was always in question. At one point Cesaro and Sheamus were hanging from the title belts suspended in the air and took a hard fall to the mat. Orton got busted open early on, but seeing his own blood seemed to bring out that sadistic side of him. Bray Wyatt was as enigmatic and creepy as he ever was. I was certain that Orton would win, as him being champ and Rollins holding the MitB contract would create dissension in the ranks of the Authority. But in the end, Cena reigned triumphant, much to the chagrin of the Internet Wrestling Community. WINNER: JOHN CENA.
In all, a much more solid pay-per-view outing than WWE has had in a while. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on Money in the Bank 2014.