Written by: Samoa Rowe from Dawrestlingsite.com
-From Philadelphia, PA. Our hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and John Bradshaw Layfield.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match (World Heavyweight Championship Contract):
Fandango (with Summer Rae) vs. U.S. Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow vs. Wade Barrett
Sure are a lot of heels in this one. Colter does his anti-immigration shtick before the match, and Sandow cuts Cody off during their promo (oooh, foreshadowing!). Swagger and Cesaro work together early on, as does Rhodes and Sandow. Swagger is the first to climb but Ambrose cuts him off. Barrett puts Ambrose inside a standing ladder and kicks him over. Barrett tries to clear the ring, but Fandango stops him with a leg drop onto the ladder. Sandow prevents a Fandango victory and suplexes him on a leaning ladder. Barrett rips off a ladder leg and pummels Sandow. Swagger and Cesaro resume their team work to knock Barrett and Ambrose down. Ambrose dangles off the ladder, stuck in Cesaro’s chinlock! Rhodes catches Cesaro with a Muscle Buster onto the leaning ladder! Swagger dominates until Barrett knocks him off the top with the Bullhammer elbow! Fandango takes Barrett off the top with a sunset flip power bomb! Ambrose is swinging the ladder around when the Real Americans grab it, allowing Ambrose to skin the cat and nearly reach the briefcase! Dean’s trick doesn’t work, and Cesaro stands on Swagger’s shoulders to nearly get the case, but Cody springboards into the save. Cody hulks up and dishes out a pair of Cross Rhodes. Cody is about to win when the rest of The Shield run in to stop him. The Uso brothers run in to take care of The Shield. Cody pushes Ambrose off the ladder on top of everyone brawling on the floor. Cody is reaching for the case when Sandow sneaks in and knocks him down. Sandow retrieves the case for the win at 16:20! This match played out nicely, with Cody playing de facto baby face, some innovative tricks, and a bunch of heels tearing the house down, ***¾.
Winner: Damien Sandow
-New Raw GM Brad Maddox comes to the ring to waste time. He tries to lead the fans in chanting “Thank you, Vickie” for the recently fired Vickie Guerrero. This segment doesn’t go on forever, it only feels like it. We’re treated to an over the top loving video package of some of Vickie’s finest (embarrassing) moments. Odd segment to include on pay-per-view.
Curtis Axel © (with Paul Heyman) vs. The Miz
The Philly crowd is mostly happy to see Heyman as Miz and Axel go through the motions. Miz builds momentum with a baseball slide drop-kick, and an axe handle off the apron. Miz pretends that Heyman hit him to get the referee to kick him out. Miz just became the biggest heel in the arena as the match continues with the fans chanting “We want Heyman.” Axel turns things around to dish out a standard methodical beating. Miz forges a comeback to mostly boos. They counter each other’s finisher and Axel tosses Miz into the ring post. Miz kicks out of the Perfect-plex. Miz hyper-extends the knee and applies the Figure Four. Axel reverses the Figure Four, but Miz rolls over again. Axel is limping, but still manages to plant Miz for the win at 9:09. Dull match, and Miz is embarrassingly un-over as a baby face, **.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Curtis Axel
AJ Lee © (with Big E Langston) vs. Kaitlyn (with Layla)
Kaitlyn gets a hot start, delivering a gut buster. AJ counters on the floor, shoving Kaitlyn into the ring post. AJ goes to work on Kaitlyn’s recently injured arm. AJ hammerlocks the arm and nuzzles Kaitlyn’s face, which is pretty awesome. Kaitlyn counters with a backbreaker and builds a comeback. Kaitlyn is unable to score the pinfall, despite a reverse DDT and hard clothesline. AJ attacks the arm again but Kaitlyn shoves her off the top ropes and into Big E’s arms. Spear by Kaitlyn, but she hurt her own arm in the process. AJ applies the Black Widow on the bad arm for the submission win at 7:00. Nice win for AJ, who came across as ruthless and smart, **¼.
Winner and still Divas Champion: AJ Lee
Chris Jericho vs. Ryback
Sean Waltman recently said on the PWTorch Livecast that Jericho intentionally dogged Ryback during this match, so I’m pretty curious about this one. The story going into this is Ryback has a hurt leg, but he still manages to dish out a clubbing assault early on. Jericho throws some chops, prompting Ryback to take a break. Jericho catches Ryback with a baseball slide drop-kick and brings him in for a flying bulldog. Ryback nails a hard clothesline, prompting Jericho to go after the hurt leg. Ryback hangs Jericho on the ropes to take control. Jericho comes back with a Fisherman suplex but the Walls are blocked. Ryback nails an overhead belly to belly throw. Meat hook clothesline by Ryback, but Jericho blocks Shell Shock. Ryback counters the Codebreaker and nails a power bomb. Jericho lunges at the injured leg and hits an enziguri. Codebreaker in the ropes sends Ryback to ringside for a near count out. Flying cross body by Jericho, who then counters with a DDT! The Lionsault misses, and Ryback sneaks in a roll-up for the win at 11:18. If Jericho was fucking with Ryback, I couldn’t tell, because Ryback looked good here. Fine match, even if the chemistry wasn’t great, **½.
World Heavyweight Championship:
Alberto Del Rio © vs. Dolph Ziggler
The smark Philly crowd is firmly behind Ziggler, who avoids an early arm breaker attempt by Del Rio. Dolph takes some quick punishment and throws a drop-kick. Dolph delivers the Heart Stopper (10 consecutive elbow drops) and dumps Alberto to ringside. Del Rio catches Ziggler off guard with an enziguri and drives him head-first into the barricade. Del Rio smells blood and works over the head for a bit. Ziggler counters with a face plant off the top rope! Dolph side steps to send Alberto into the turnbuckles and delivers a neck breaker for 2. The Fame-asser misses and Del Rio nails a German suplex. Ziggler bounces back with the Fame-asser for a close near fall. Tirt-a-whirl backbreaker by Del Rio gets 2. Dolph counters with a drop-kick in mid-air when AJ Lee skips to ringside. Dolph isn’t happy to see his girlfriend but still manages to hit Del Rio with a swinging DDT. Del Rio nails a superplex for 2. Del Rio delivers a combination of moves but still can’t get the win. Del Rio exposes his knee brace, but AJ rushes in and hits him with the Divas title to earn a DQ at 14:27. Incredibly lame finish to an otherwise decent match, **¾.
Winner via DQ: Alberto Del Rio
-AJ pleads with Dolph for forgiveness, but he’s not having any of it. He leaves AJ behind to cry while the fans chant “You screwed Ziggler.”
John Cena © vs. Mark Henry
Henry immediately knocks Cena off his feet and begins a methodical beating. It doesn’t take long for Henry to get vicious, dropping Cena on the ring steps. Cena finally lands some attacks, but Henry knocks him back down in short order. Henry delivers a giant swing, something you don’t see from him every day. Henry follows with another giant swing into the barricade! Cena attempts a power slam but his back gives out under Henry’s weight. Cena fights out of a neck vice and trades punches. Cena knocks Henry down for the first time with a shoulder tackle and nails a desperate side suplex. The Five Knuckle Shuffle connects, but Cena is too hurt to deliver the Attitude Adjustment. Cena counters with something resembling a DDT and finally delivers the AA but Henry kicks out! Henry catches Cena in a cross body attempt and nails the World’s Strongest Slam for only 2! Henry exposes a turnbuckle to distract the ref, but Cena catches him in the STF. Henry shoves Cena into the referee, allowing a blind low blow, but Cena kicks out! Cena blocks the World’s Strongest Slam and reapplies the STF. Henry taps at 14:39! Nothing fancy here, just a logically booked match with false finishes that meant something as the crowd was going wild at the end, ***¼.
Winner and still WWE Champion: John Cena
-Video package for the Wyatt Family. It’s just one in a series of vignettes that puts the Wyatts over as a group of creepy backwoods weirdos and highlights the carnage they’ve been inflicting on various superstars over the past weeks.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match (WWE Championship Contract):
Rob Van Dam vs. Christian vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. CM Punk
Sure are a lot of baby faces in this one. RVD shows off and gets jumped by everyone. The pack turns on Sheamus next. Punk and Bryan clear the ring and have a stand off before tearing into each other. Sheamus returns with a ladder and knocks them down. Orton drop-kicks the ladder into Sheamus but gets caught with RVD’s flying kick. RVD goes on a hot streak to massive crowd approval. RVD sets up a frog splash on Orton, but Christian hits him down with a ladder. Sheamus punches Christian through a ladder. Sheamus climbs, but gets awkwardly knocked down by RVD. Sheamus drops RVD on a the ladder with a rolling senton. Sheamus places a ladder on the apron and announce table, but is unable to slam Bryan through it. Two ladders are set up under the case and all six guys climb at once. The case swings out of the way and everyone crashes down. Sheamus is up first and goes on a hot streak. Bryan meets Sheamus on top but gets caught with clubbing chest blows. Sheamus hangs on to the case as Punk moves the ladder and takes a nasty fall. Punk leans Sheamus against the ladder and drives it on top of him. Orton sneaks in and hits Punk with a T-bone suplex onto the ladder. Christian spears Orton and Bryan and goes for the case, but RVD knocks him down. They fight over the case but the ladder tips, but RVD lands on a second ladder for a Five Star Frog Splash! Sheamus shoves the ladder to prevent a Van Dam victory. Bryan returns and goes on a hot streak, hitting a suicide dive on Punk and missile drop-kick on RVD and Sheamus! Bryan clears the ring, knocking Sheamus off the turnbuckles and through the bridged ladder at ringside! Bryan goes for the case, but Curtis Axel runs in and attacks him with a chair! Axel puts Bryan down with his neck breaker, and an ungrateful Punk puts Axel down with Go To Sleep! Paul Heyman storms in and pretends to be mad at Axel. Punk slowly climbs the ladder, but Heyman repeatedly slams a second ladder into him! Punk is down, allowing RVD to make the climb. Orton sneaks in and RKO’s RVD off the ladder! Orton retrieves the briefcase for the win at 26:32! Suitably epic and chaotic war here, with everyone getting a chance to shine. It didn’t reinvent the wheel or anything (kind of followed the formula of two guys fighting while everyone else is down) but this one match set the foundation for multiple storylines that would play out over the rest of the summer, ****.
Winner: Randy Orton
Final Thoughts: The show began and ended with exciting ladder matches and had a surprisingly good Cena vs. Henry match to boot. The rest of the show was the usual filler, complete with a routine BS finish in the midcard World title match. The Orton victory and the Heyman betrayal help make this a significant show that deserves your attention. Thumbs up.