This year’s WWE Money in the Bank event is being billed as the biggest Money in the Bank ever. This is primarily due to one of the main events, AJ Styles vs. John Cena, being the center of much media attention in the wrestling world. However, did that match live up to the hype? And did the other matches on the card sufficient fixings to the steak that was Styles/Cena?
ENZO AMORE & BIG CASS vs. THE VAUDEVILLAINS vs. KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS vs. THE NEW DAY (Tag Team Championship): After a verbal lambasting to all of the contenders by the champions, Kofi Kingston opened up, aligning with Amore to deliver an aerial blitzkrieg to Gallows & Anderson. Kingston and Amore then put on a mat wrestling clinic. Both fought to tag their partners. Both did and Big E faced off with Big Cass. Cass was tagged by Aiden English and was nearly pinned by Kingston. Eight men then broke out into an all out brawl. English was laid out by Kingston. Anderson tagged himself in and was quickly taken out. Amore sought to lay waste to a weakened English, but was yanked out of the ring by Gallows. Gallows entered the ring and drilled Amore with a big boot. Amore countered with a beautiful Tornado DDT. Big Cass entered the ring and cleaned house, delivering his own big boot to Anderson and nearly knocking him out cold. Gotch made the tag and mixed it up with Amore. Kingston tagged himself in but was hit by the Whirly Dervish. Big E took out Anderson with a suicide dive (that I recommend he stop doing for the sake of his continued health. Gallows and Anderson then cleaned house and delivered the Magic Killer to English. Big Cass big booted Gallows out of the ring. All while Big E and Kingston delivered the double Big Ending to English, retaining the tag team championship. WINNERS: THE NEW DAY
BARON CORBIN vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER: This feud started off interesting enough, but has really been going nowhere fast and has not been the best usage of both of these talented individuals. Ziggler opened up trying to work the leg and take Corbin off his feet. He then nailed Corbin with an amazing dropkick. This only momentarily stunned Corbin, who caught Ziggler with a hard right hook. Ziggler tried to Irish Whip Corbin out of the ring, which worked, but Corbin landed on his feet, darted back in the ring and clotheslined the hell out of Ziggler. Corbin wisely used his power to try to slow the match down. A good sign of the crowd being done with a particular feud is a chant of “BORING” breaking out. This is at least the third time these competitors facing each other has garnered a boring chant. Ziggler then built up heat and mounted a comeback. He attempted the Fameasser, but Corbin countered. He then tried to hit Corbin with a super kick, but Corbin also had that scouted. Ziggler finally nailed a Fameasser, but only got a two count. The fight went outside the ring and a botched leapfrog by Ziggler was countered into the Deep Six by Corbin. That was a veteran level cover up and kudos to Corbin for picking up on it so quickly. Corbin went for End of Days, but Ziggler countered and nailed the super kick. Ziggler looked for a top rope move, but Corbin pushed him off and then followed up with End of Days. This was a decent match that possibly went a few minutes too long. WINNER: BARON CORBIN
BECKY LYNCH & NATALYA vs. DANA BROOKE & CHARLOTTE: Brooke opened up going back and forth with Natalya, and desperately trying to keep up. Natalya and Lynch hit a Hart Attack that was possibly better than the Hart Foundation did two decades ago. Charlotte tagged in, and slowed the pace, isolating Natalya in the corner. Quick tags back and forth between Charlotte and Brooke then occurred for the better part of five minutes, wearing Natalya down further. Natalya made the hot tag to Lynch, nearly pinning Charlotte after an Exploder Suplex. The then connected with a double dropkick to both Charlotte and Brooke. Natalya tagged in and connected with the discus clothesline. Natalya locked in a Sharpshooter to Charlotte, but Brooke pulled her hair. While the referee was distracted, Charlotte nailed Natalya with Natural Selection to pick up the victory. The post match swerve by Natalya was, IMHO, a poor decision. Yet another person turning on Becky Lynch makes her look completely ineffective. She is one of the most talented workers on the roster. Maybe someday, someone in creative will realize this. WINNERS: DANA BROOKE & CHARLOTTE
APOLLO CREWS vs. SHEAMUS: Sheamus started out with a series of headlocks, attempting to establish dominance early in the match. Crews would have none of this and delivered a series of blows right back. Sheamus cut him off with an Irish Curse backbreaker outside the ring. Sheamus slowed the match down again with a series of stiff shots and reverse chin locks. Crews tried several times to gain momentum, but Sheamus had all of his attempts scouted. Crews finally picked up the pace of the match with several flying cross body blocks, then a stiff Enziguri. Crews then delivered a belly to belly suplex over the top rope and out of the ring, then followed up with a moonsault to Sheamus. Sheamus then hit a big power slam, but only got a two count. Crews went to the top rope, but Sheamus cut him off and delivered White Noise off the top rope. A lazy pin by Sheamus and arguing with the referee allowed an opening for Crews, who got the roll up victory. WINNER: APOLLO CREWS
AJ STYLES vs. JOHN CENA: This match was back and forth from the opening seconds. Styles tried to use his speed to run circles around Cena, but Cena immediately came back with a series of deep arm drags and a monkey flip that left Styles reeling. Cena attempted the Attitude Adjustment and several other high impact moves, but Styles dodged all of them like Neo from The Matrix. Cena then seemed to be on the defense for the next several minutes, with Styles hitting him with a picture perfect vertical suplex. Styles then remarked “Is this all he’s got?” Shortly after, Cena, in a desperation move, countered Styles with a high back body drop. Cena tried to build momentum again with his vintage shoulder blocks and then Protoplex, but Styles once again countered into an Enziguri. He then went for a suicide dive, but Cena dodged at the last moment. Cena later locked in the STF, but Styles forced the break by making it to the bottom rope. Cena went for a top rope Attitude Adjustment, but Styles knocked him off. He went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Cena caught him and attempted the Attitude Adjustment. Styles countered and locked in the Calf Crusher. Cena barely got to the bottom rope in time to force the break. Cena finally nailed the Attitude Adjustment, but Styles kicked out. Cena went for his top rope leg drop, but Styles countered into a power bomb. Styles followed up the Pele kick with a Styles Clash, but Cena kicked out. Styles then went for his leaping 450 splash, but Cena got his knees up to counter. Cena nailed another Attitude Adjustment, but inadvertently knocked out the referee. Styles’ buddies, Anderson and Gallows, made their way to the ring and delivered the Magic Killer to Cena. Styles then picked up the pin-fall, a tainted finish to an otherwise fantastic match. WINNER: AJ STYLES
CESARO vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. SAMI ZAYN vs. KEVIN OWENS vs. DEAN AMBROSE vs. CHRIS JERICHO (Money In The Bank ladder match): Ambrose started off by trying to take out a bunch of his competitors all at once. Del Rio then hit Cesaro with his vintage back-breaker. Cesaro then delivered it back to Del Rio two times over. Zayn dive bombed all of the competitors outside the ring. Jericho did a front suplex to Cesaro onto a ladder. Ambrose then delivered a body slam to Jericho onto the ladder. Jericho returned the favor by hitting Ambrose with a snap suplex onto the ladder. He then slammed the ladder onto Ambrose’s head repeatedly. Cesaro then unleashed repeated European uppercuts to Jericho, Ambrose and Del Rio. Owens then super kicked Cesaro, who went face first into a ladder. Owens then hit cannonballs to all three men still in the corner. Then Zayn hit Owens with his corner Exploder suplex. He then hit both Owens and Jericho simultaneously with a Helluva Kick. Zayn tried to climb the ladder, but Del Rio caught him with a Shining Wizard. Del Rio then slammed Zayn into a ladder, then did a step up Enziguri to Owens and finally hit his top rope foot stomp to Cesaro onto a ladder. Jericho cut off his climb for the briefcase, but injured his knee on the way down. Cesaro tried to cut hom off, but Del Rio locked in his Cross Arm Breaker to Cesaro on top of the ladder. Owens then super kicked Del Rio. Cesaro tried to climb, but Ambrose hit him with Dirty Deeds. Jericho and Zayn fought their way up the ladder, but Owens pushed them off. Owens attempted to climb, but Del Rio nailed him with the Back Stabber. Cesaro took Del Rio for a big swing. He then did so to Jericho, but sent Y2J head first into a ladder. Ambrose then hit an elbow drop to Cesaro off the top of the ladder. Owens slammed Ambrose onto a ladder and then followed it up with a frog splash. Zayn then delivered a body slam viciously onto the edge of a ladder. Zayn attempted to climb, but Del Rio cut him off by slamming another ladder into him over and over and over again. All six competitors climbed various ladders simultaneously, fighting up at the top. Owens delivered a pop up power bomb to Zayn onto a ladder. In the end, it was Ambrose pulled down the briefcase to become Mister Money in the Bank 2016. WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE
TITUS O’NEIL vs. RUSEV (United States Championship): Both men try to psyche the other out outside the ring to open the match, but both clothesline each other, nearly knocking each other out in the process. O’Neil then took the fight to the champ with a vicious beat down outside the ring. Rusev wasn’t able to use his brute force to dominate the powerful O’Neil as he usually does. He did have to hit and run for a bit, hitting a devastating knee to the ribs of O’Neil. Rusev wore down O’Neil with several locks and a sleeper, while making O’Neil’s children in the front row watch. O’Neil came back with a huge splash and then a big boot. He followed up with a pump handle slam to Rusev. But the champion wisely rolled out of the ring to avoid the pin fall. O’Neil got him back in the ring, but Rusev caught him with a super kick. He followed up with the Accolade, making O’Neil submit. WINNER: RUSEV
SETH ROLLINS vs. ROMAN REIGNS (WWE World Heavyweight Championship): This could have been a great “baby-face vs. baby-face” match, however it’s rumored that WWE wanted a Rollins heel run as the roster is sorely lacking top heel superstars. However the crowd let the WWE know how they felt with a long chant of “Let’s go Rollins”. This was a slow burn match that wisely let the men’s history and their facial expressions tell the story. Reigns powered Rollins into the corner with some devastating blows. But Rollins countered with several forearms, then a suicide dive to Reigns on the outside of the ring. Reigns countered a splash into a Samoan Drop, then delivered a perfect suplex to Rollins in the middle of the ring. The crowd let Reigns have it all throughout the match with “you can’t wrestle” or “Roman sucks” chants. However, Reigns kept his composure and channeled his anger towards his opponent. He then launched Rollins into the corner and followed up with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Rollins tried to mount a comeback with several strikes to the face. But Reigns catapulted Rollins up to the top rope, then delivered a sharp shot to the jaw, knocking Rollins clean off of the turnbuckle. Rollins got caught by Reigns, who slammed him with a modified sit out Razor’s Edge. Rollins caught Reigns with a faceplant into the middle turnbuckle, then an Enziguri. Rollins went for a top rope maneuver, but Reigns countered. Rollins then tried to deliver the Pedigree. Reigns catapulted him off, but Rollins landed on his feet. Before he could strike, Reigns caught him with a Superman punch. Rollins connected with a knee to the side of the face, then followed up with a top rope frog splash.
Against better judgment, Rollins hit his running turnbuckle power bomb. Rollins made several attempts at a top rope superplex, but third time was the charm. He hit it and chained it with a float-over Falcon Arrow. But Reigns kicked out of the pin fall. Rollins tried several times to hit the Pedigree, but Reigns powered out every time. Rollins hit a second running turnbuckle power bomb, but Reigns immediately came back with a Superman punch. The fight spilled outside of the ring. Reigns attempted to spear Rollins through the security barricade, but Rollins dodged at the last minute. Referees and doctors tried to check in Reigns, but he pushed them aside. Rollins pushed them aside and pulled Reigns in the ring to deliver a Pedigree. Reigns pushed him into the referee and then hit Rollins with the Spear. But somehow Rollins kicked out of the pin. He went for another Spear, but Rollins countered with a Pedigree. However, Reigns kicked out at two. He hit another Pedigree and solidified his victory over Reigns. WINNER: SETH ROLLINS
The night wasn’t over for Rollins as Dean Ambrose immediately cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase. He blindsided Rollins with the case, then called for a referee. The match opened and Ambrose immediately hit Dirty Deeds, pinning Rollins and winning the championship. WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE
This pay-per-view event was built around one or two matches. But several of these sleeper matches became must see television. Did you find Money in the Bank 2016 as surprisingly entertaining as I did?