Written by: Colin Rinehart
WWE Money in the Bank 2012
July 15th, 2012
US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
- I know, I know, I’m weeks late on this review but you’ll have to forgive me as my life has become increasingly busy and occupied with work and a social life. Wrestling shows have started to pile up on my DVR, so I’ve got to knock this one out and get moving because I can’t let you fine readers down, now can I? Hard to believe it was just one year ago we were all in a buzz about Punk’s promos and excited about the product and a year later it feels like we’re back to business as usual with another fucking Cena vs. Big Show feud of all things, because we haven’t seen that thoroughly dead horse beaten to shit before, right? Luckily we have guys like Punk and Bryan to save the shows and tonight’s show being Money in the Bank we have the added benefit of gimmick matches, so this should be pretty fun regardless of the general malaise the WWE product has filled me with as of late.
- Your pre-show hosts are Matt Striker and my main man Scott Stanford
- Kofi Kingston/R-Truth vs. Hunico/Camacho
This…isn’t a tag title match for whatever reason. Truth takes Camacho down with some Austin like fists after he insults Little Jimmy and then slaps him the face. Kofi tags in with a springboard splash and then fires off a big hurricanrana on the big man. Truth tags back in for a leg-drop and Hunico manages to tag in and gain the upper hand. Camacho tags back in for a sleeper but Truth breaks it up with a leg lariat and tags in Kofi, who springboards in with a clothesline. Boom Drop from Kofi on Camacho but he blocks the Trouble in Paradise. The heels work over Kofi with some dirty antics and Camacho plants Kingston with a huge back suplex and a legdrop for a two count. Camacho rolls through an armbar attempt and slams Kofi to the mat. Kofi responds with a leaping hurricanrana off the top rope. and tags Truth in. Powerslam from Truth and a big DDT but Hunico eats the Trouble in Paradise and Camacho gets finished off with another big DDT at 8:22. Decent tag match for the pre-show, they threw in a few nice bits towards the end and for a free match you can’t complain. **1/4
- Your real hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T
- SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Christian vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Santino Marella vs. Sin Cara vs. Tensai vs. Tyson Kidd
Quite the odd bunch of participants here in this match and you can tell they have no idea what they’re doing booking wise with most of these guys. Everyone tries attacking Tensai to start to little affect. He grabs a ladder and sets it up in the corner and quickly introduces Tyson Kidd’s face to it with a catapult in the corner. Kidd and Christian team up to take Tensai out with ladders but Christian quickly turns on Kidd afterwards. Christian, Santino, and Kidd all try to scale the ladder but Sandow tosses them all off. Ziggler knocks Sandow off and then tosses Cody into the ladder. Cody eats a ‘rana from Sin Cara out of nowhere, and Cara then kicks Ziggler in the corner and hits a really awkward DDT you could argue was botched. He tries for a splash on Rhodes on a ladder but Christian tosses him off and goes for the splash himself only for Rhodes to move out of the way at the last second. Rhodes hits Sandow with the Disaster Kick out of nowhere but eats a springboard missile dropkick from Kidd. Tensai returns to the ring and powerbombs Santino before attempting a powerbomb on KIdd that he counters into a ‘rana out of the ring. Sandow tries to climb the ladder but Cara stops him briefly. Sandow succeeds but Christian climbs right over him and almost grabs the briefcase. Sandow sets up a ladder and tries a running powerslam onto it, but Christian counters into a reverse DDT at the last moment. Sandow blocks a spear attempt at first with a knee but Christian eventually spears him into the ladder in the corner. Dolph, Cody, and Christian try climbing the ladder but all get thrown off by Tensai eventually. Tensai nearly climbs to the top despite the efforts of Kidd and Cara, but Christian knocks him off with another ladder and he and Santino slam it over the big man again. Santino tries climbing the ladder but he’s somewhat afraid of heights of course. Sandow climbs to meet him but eats the Cobra and Rhodes dropkicks Santino off the ladder from the top rope. Rhodes tries to climb to the top but Vickie Guerrero decides to come in to distract him long enough for Ziggler to just nail Rhodes with the Zig Zag from off the ladder. Ziggler nearly grabs the case but Christian stops him and then Kidd decides to be a maniac and uses one ladder to leap into mid air and powerbomb Ziggler onto his face off the top of the ladder. A bit sloppy but cool nevertheless. Christian nails Sandow with a ladder and takes him to the floor with the Cactus clothesline. Tensai sets up a ladder in between the ring and announce table and then powerbombs the everloving fuck out of Sin Cara onto the ladder. Tensai tosses Ziggler over the table but eats the disaster kick from Rhodes. Rhodes and Kidd climb the ladder back in the ring and Rhodes gives Kidd a gourdbuster off the top of the ladder! And then Rhodes gets speared by Christian from one ladder off of another! Christian nearly captures the briefcase but Ziggler tosses him off like a madman and grabs the briefcase for the win at 18:23! I’m so happy they actually gave Ziggler the win here and are seemingly going to finally give him that main event push he’s been busting his ass and killing himself for. The match itself was pretty ho-hum to start but picked up towards the finish and they worked some nice spots into it. In the grand scheme of ladder matches this is but a mere blip on the radar, but it had it’s enjoyable moments for sure. ***1/2
- Backstage Sheamus talks a bit about one of Del Rio’s favorite topics, cars, before threatening to leave Del Rio and Ricardo lying with some rusty drive shafts.
- The Miz makes his return (I legitimately did not realize he was gone) and the crowd actually gives him a “Miz is Awesome” chant. Miz is sick of being overlooked, as usual, so he’s inserting himself into the RAW Money in the Bank Ladder match. Well that should add some levity to things. Miz came off great here with the crowd even finishing his catch phrases for him, weird.
- Flashback to Mick Foley winning the WWF title on RAW in 1999. Classic stuff that I’ll never tire of seeing, keep the Attitude Era nostalgia coming WWE, enough of that 80s shit.
- World Heavyweight Title Match
Sheamus © vs. Alberto Del Rio
The match they kept trying to hold off because no one wanted to see it. Sounds promising already. Cole recounts a bit about Del Rio ripping an original Action Comics #1 in half at Comic-Con a few weeks back and as someone whose recently rediscovered their love for all things DC and Marvel related, I take offense to that. Lock up to start followed quickly by a round of brute fisticuffs. Del Rio tries for an early armbar but Sheamus blocks it. Sheamus suplexes Del Rio into the ring and hits a shoulder block off the top. He allows himself to be distracted by Ricardo though and Del Rio knocks him to the floor with a dropkick. Back inside Del Rio goes to work on the Irishman’s arm. Sheamus hits a swinging neckbreaker after a vicious headbutt from Del Rio. Del Rio continues the head butt action and goes for the armbar, but Sheamus avoids it. Sheamus tries for his slingshot shoulder block but Del Rio turns it into an armbreaker in mid-air. Sheamus returns fire with a big knee and powerslam for a two count. Sheamus hits the ten clubbing forearms spot and then follows up with the Irish Curse backbreaker for a close two count. Sheamus misses the Brogue Kick and Del Rio hits a big lung-blower for a two count.; Sheamus avoids an enziguri kick and hits Del Rio with the White Noise. Sheamus finishes Del Rio off with the Brogue Kick to retain at 14:22. Maybe a little bit better than you’d think, but still very bland from two guys who just have totally different styles in the ring. There were some good bits and pieces but nothing was ever able to be strung together particularly well. **1/2
- After the match Del Rio and Ricardo beat down Sheamus and out comes Dolph Ziggler ready to cash in! He gets into an argument with Del Rio first though and eats a Brogue Kick but even though he handed the case to the ref this isn’t a match and Sheamus just walks off. Phew, was scared Ziggler might be the first to lose his shot there for a second.
- Earlier today Josh Matthews asks Daniel Bryan about AJ and he reiterates that they’re soul mates.
- Epico/Primo vs. Darren Young/Titus O’Neill
I appreciate the effort to make the tag division seem more important, but man we need some fresh match ups. Primo and Titus start off and Young quickly tags in but eats a ‘rana from Primo. Epico tags in and ‘ranas him again out of the ring, where Primo wipes him out with a tope. Epico sends Titus outside with Young and wipes them all out with a somersault tope. Titus grabs Epico and sends him back-first into the steel post. Titus stretches him out over the post some more and the crowd is so dead right now. Titus does some dancing but Rosa’s dancing efforts are much more appreciated by the crowd. Primo tags in and hits a springboard…tomahawk chop?” That was weird. He follows with a springboard corkscrew moonsault and tries another springoard but Young blocks with a Codebreaker. Primo rolls him up anyways for the win at 7:27. Not terrible but also not very good, this was exactly what it felt like—filler. *3/4
- WWE Title No DQ Match
CM Punk © vs. Daniel Bryan
With our hottest special guest referee in awhile, AJ. Odds this is anything less than awesome? Slim. Bryan tries to work over Punk’s fingers to start (I love stuff like that) but Punk is primed and ready to go. Both men unload strikes on eachother and the action quickly spills to the floor where Bryan sends Punk into the barricade. Back inside Bryan lays in some kicks and Punk responds with knees. Punk misses a legdrop from the top and eats more kicks. Once again they hit the floor and Punk sends Bryan into the steel barricade near the ramp. On his way back in Bryan sends Punk right into AJ, sending her flying. While Punk checks on her Bryan attacks Punk, tosses him into the steel steps…and then goes to check on AJ. That’s devilishly dickish. Bryan just keeps delivering the kicks and then hits a nasty running knee off the apron before suplexing Punk onto the steel steps. Punk back drops Bryan into the time keeper’s section and then springboards off one guardrails and clotheslines Bryan off of another. Crowd chants for tables, so Punk pulls one out. Bryan slams him though and then grabs a kendo stick. He slams it on Punk a few times and back in the ring they go into a nifty counter sequence in the corner with the end result being Punk springboarding right into a big kendo stick shot from Bryan. Bryan wails away on Punk for what seems like a good minute but only gets a two count from it. Bryan lays in more vicious kicks and hits a snap suplex on the champ. He tries for the diving headbutt from the top but Punk moves at the last moment. Punk fires back with a reverse neckbreaker and then hits the high Muay Thai knee in the corner. Punk follows with a powerslam for two. Both men tease going for their finishers with Bryan countering Punk’s GTS for a hot near fall. Bryan just knocks Punk’s lights out with one sick kick in response. Bryan puts Punk into the Mexican Surfboard but Punk manages to escape and grab the kendo stick and nail the hell out of Bryan with it for two. Both men scale the top rope and Bryan superplexes Punk just in time for AJ to return from the back…and skip…and grab a steel chair from under the ring. She places it in the middle of the ring between Punk and Bryan like a cruel mistress for the first one to grab it. Bryan does and waffles Punk with it several times for a two count. Bryan gets in AJ’s face and gets rolled up himself. Bryan continues to kick the crap out of Punk in the corner but the champ responds by firing off a big clothesline. Punk takes his turn to waffle Bryan with the chair a few times and then sets it up in-between the turnbuckle. AJ blocks Punk from using it though and in the ruckus winds up getting dropkicked into the chair. Punk kicks Bryan and then slams him with the steel chair underneath him before missing the Macho Man elbow drop and slamming his arm into the chair! Bryan takes advantage by applying the Yes! Lock, even using the Kendo stick for leverage. Punk manages to escape the hold and drop Bryan’s head on the turnbuckle before hitting him with the GTS. Punk takes too long to cover him though and only gets a two count. Punk grabs the table he pulled out earlier from outside and sets it up in the ring. Punk lays Bryan over the table and then signals for the elbow drop again, but Bryan gets off the table and nails him with forearms on the turnbuckle. Bryan gets crotched on the top and Punk lays in some vicious elbows before giving him a huge back superplex off the top through the table for the win at 27:45! Well that was one hell of a finish to another damn fine match in this feud, they managed to fit in all of their usual great stuff while embellishing on it all with the No DQ stip by introducing different weapons and gimmicks perfectly into the mix. The whole thing built up and we got the pay-off with the finish, ’tis a thing of beauty. ****
- Ryback vs. Curt Hawkings/Tyler Reks
Seems like they’re throwing a Ryback squash on every PPV now. Ryback launches Hawkins but he runs off and tags Reks in, who manages to clothesline the big man. Hawkins and Reks continue to trade tags in their corner, working over Ryback with double team moves and actually having a bit of success with it. Ryback manages to powerslam Hawkins and then just knocks Reks down with several shoulders. He powerbombs Hawkins twice while a mild “Goldberg” chant starts up. Ryback finishes Reks off with the Shell Shock at 4:20. This seemed like an experiment to see how the crowd would react to Ryback actually selling some moves for a few minutes. He did, and no one gave a shit.*
- Layla/Kaitlyn/Tamina vs. Beth Phoenix/Natalya/Eve Torres
Say it with me kids: F-I-L-L-E-R MATCH! Layla does a nice crossbody on Beth and misses a kick It’s not long before all six women are in the ring, hair-pulling. Seriously. And they wonder why nobody gives half a shit about the divas? Layla finishes Beth off with a neckbreaker amongst the ruckus at 3:23. I hate paying to watch matches like this on PPV. 1/4*
- RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show vs. Kane vs. The Miz
On paper this might be the least interesting looking ladder match in wrestling history. Usual total brawl to start with all five men outside the ring, meanwhile the Miz tries to sneak up the ladder but Cena quickly nixes that plan. Show grabs a ladder and just tosses it at Jericho. Kane and Jericho grab ladders but Show just knocks them into them. Jericho hits the Codebreaker on Show, and Miz follows with the DDT on the big man. Kane boots him out of the ring and Cena finishes off the assembly line of destruction by giving Show the Attitude Adjustment through the Spanish announcer’s table! Everyone piles five or six ladders on top of Show afterwards just for good measure until Jericho comes in to break up the party and indulge in the crowd’s love for him momentarily. Jericho counters a rollup from Miz into the Walls of Jericho. Miz escapes the hold but Jericho gives him a snap suplex. Miz tries climbing the ladder as we have huge dueling Cena chants again but Jericho sends him off into another ladder and makes the climb himself only for John Cena to hop up and knock him off. HUGE DDT from Miz on Cena, and he nearly nabs the case but Kane knocks him down by tossing a ladder casually at him. Kane tries to chokeslam Miz and Jericho but instead gets suplexed by both of them onto another ladder. Cena hits some shoulder tackles and then hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle on both men on a ladder before handing out another AA to Kane. Jericho tries scaling the ladder but Show finally returns and then just rips the ladder apart and sandwiches Jericho in between them. Damn. Show lays in big body shots on Cena and then slams him into a ladder in the corner Show goes underneath the ring and pulls out a special gold ladder that is huge and fortified to hold Show’s massive weight. I always wonder who makes these ladders for the WWE, they have to be custom ordered. The ladder weighs a ton so it takes Show a minute to actually set it up in the ring but when he does he nearly climbs right to the top and grabs the case, but Kane meets him on the other side of the ladder Show knocks Kane off but Cena takes his place and meets the giant at the top, but he too is sent off with a headbutt. Finally Jericho takes him down with a steel chair shot to the spine. Several of them in fact. Jericho and Cena climb the ladder now and battle at the top, where Jericho hops onto Cena’s back and applies a sleeper hold. Jericho won’t let go of that sleeper but Cena powers up and climbs to the top with him. Finally Jericho sends Cena off the ladder with the sleeper but Miz scurries right up the other side and those two begin grappling over the briefcase, with Jericho hanging onto only the case at one point. Show knocks both Miz and Jericho off the ladder but Cena hightails it up the other side and uses the brief case as a weapon to blast Show with before unhoooking it for his first Money in the Bank win at 20:03. These guys really worked hard to make this one good as they must have known some of them weren’t exactly the best candidates for a ladder match. They seemed to really hold back in this one but it actually didn’t hurt the match because it felt like it was bringing the match back to it’s roots—to be about the suspense and build of the climb as opposed to just having several huge spotfests. This worked surprisingly well. ***1/2Final Thoughts: There was no way they were going to live up to last year’s show but they gave a valiant effort with this show I thought, Giving Ziggler the ball to run is a good choice and I can’t wait to see this kid start making real money. While both ladder matches were a bit underwhelming in the grand scope of ladder matches the WWE has had over the years, they were unique and fun. Luckily we have two stalwarts of an era passed in CM Punk and Daniel Bryan to come along and drop their usual awe-inspiring four-star match. Overall the positives outweighed the negatives on this show, but they can only lean on the shoulders of guys like Punk and Bryan for so long. Overall Thumbs Up for MITB 2012