Written by: Scott Keith
The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2016 – 06.19.16
It’s the greatest one of all time! I’m pretty sure announcing that in advance couldn’t bite them in the ass at all.
Live from Las Vegas, NV
Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Byron Saxton
WWE tag titles: The New Day v. Enzo & Cass v. The Vaudevillains v. The Club
Xavier steals the “Enzo & Cass look like Han Solo & Chewbecca” meme that’s been floating around, but it’s still pretty funny. The Club doubles on Kofi to start, but he and Enzo come back with some high flying to clear the ring. And then Kofi cradles him for two. They do a nice little mat sequence and then we get Cass v. Big , but English tags himself in and we get a big four-way brawl. That goes nowhere and Kofi gets worked over by the Vaudevillains in the corner. Kofi fights off the Club and tags Enzo in, but the Club quickly hauls him out of the ring, which also goes nowhere as he immediately makes a hot tag to Big Cass. Cass clears the ring and throws Enzo onto the pile of guys, but the Rocket Launcher only gets two as Anderson saves. Kofi takes out Enzo, but the Whirling Dervish gets two on him in a messed up sequence where Kofi looked legit pissed at Enzo. The camera misses all kinds of stuff at ringside and the Club hits the Magic Killer on English, but the New Day regroups and finishes English themselves at 11:40. This was a huge mess, with nothing going on for the first 8 minutes and then a bunch of sloppy finishing stuff. And poor English looks like a compete dork, having to take the Club’s finish, then lie there dead for a minute while the New Day hit THEIR finisher on Anderson, and then pinned English. *1/2
Meanwhile, all the Money in the Bank heels bicker with each other in a comedy segment.
Baron Corbin v. Dolph Ziggler
Corbin beats Dolph down to counter Ziggler’s attempts at wrestling, which gives us JBL comparing Ziggler to Dusty Wolfe. And then we get a dueling chant of “Let’s go Ziggler / Ziggler sucks”. Yeah, he does kinda suck now. Corbin with a clothesline for two and he cuts off a comeback and pounds away on the mat as the crowd is just DEAD. And then they wake up and start a huge “boring” chant. Well that’s something. So Dolph sells and sells and sells and then miraculously comes back with a million clotheslines, which Byron notes is “why Dolph calls himself the measuring stick.” Not why OTHER people call him that, mind you. And then JBL references Kevin Von Erich. I feel like we need Cards Against Humanity: JBL Edition where all the answers are just retired Texas wrestlers or obscure bowlers. Dolph misses the fameasser, but Corbin charges and hits the post, and the fameasser gets two. Corbin heads outside and catches a charging Dolph with an awkward suplex on the floor and then they have the balls to do the Japan main event countout tease spot in this garbage fire of a match. Back in the ring, Corbin slugs him down, but Ziggler escapes End of Days and gets a superkick for two. “It’s a hell of a match!” notes Cole. No, it’s really not. Dolph in particular flip-flops between selling like he’s dead and then popping up like a superball and bouncing all over the ring. They fight on top and Corbin crotches him down and finishes with End of Days at 12:21. Thank god. And then all the announcers immediately trip all over themselves to declare what a great match it was. That’s why they have no credibility and someone like Jim Ross does. Like really, who gave these guys TWELVE MINUTES?! ½*
Charlotte & Dana Brooke v. Becky Lynch & Natalya
Nattie quickly takes Dana down for the low dropkick and they hit the Hart Attack clothesline on Charlotte. Nattie fights off the heels in the corner, but Charlotte boots her down to take over. So they’re talking about some bullshit that I don’t care about and Cole makes a point and says that JBL was “the longest reigning champion in Smackdown history”. What does that even MEAN? I know they’re obsessed with everything and everyone being some record breaking thing, but come on. Anyway, Nattie gets beat up for a bit and Becky gets the hot tag and gets a missile dropkick on Charlotte for two, but Charlotte cradles Natalya with her feet on the ropes for two. Sharpshooter, but Dana breaks it up, runs the idiot babyfaces together, and Charlotte hits her neckbreaker on Natalya for the pin at 6:55. I have no idea what the point of this match was. And then Natalya suddenly turns on Becky because she’s apparently a sore loser in addition to being an idiot. *1/2 I feel like the whole division has regressed back to all the women being a bunch of bitches who bitch at each other.
Sheamus v. Apollo Crews
Sheamus attacks to start (after everyone has waited for the video package to finish playing, of course) and they trade headlocks, but Sheamus quickly hits the backbreaker on the floor. Back in, Sheamus pounds on him while the announcers trade clichés about how Crews had a fairy tale debut but the CLOCK MIGHT STRIKE MIDNIGHT tonight. Twenty eight writers to come up with this stuff, folks. Sheamus goes to the chinlock and hits the rolling senton for two, and back to the chinlock. Apollo makes the WWE Mandated Comeback with a bunch of clotheslines at the appointed time and an enzuigiri for two. He suplexes Sheamus to the floor and follows with a nice moonsault onto the floor, which gets two back in the ring. Sheamus slams him out of the corner for two and hits White Noise for two, but Crews rolls him over for the pin at 8:40 because Sheamus was being lazy on the cover. Wow, what a huge, dominating win to beat the other midcarder on a fluke like that. Match of the night thus far. *3/4 I’m just not seeing it with Crews.
John Cena v. AJ Styles
Good, we need a cool-down after that last classic. Anyway, finally the crowd wakes up for this and does a huge chant-off after the ring intros. AJ escapes Cena’s attempts at mat-wrestling, but Cena throws a monkey flip at him, so AJ throws forearms until Cena takes him down with a belly to belly for two. They head to the floor and Styles evades him out there and takes over in the ring with a kneedrop for two. Cena fights back, but misses a charge, and AJ works the ribs over. Cena tries another comeback, but Styles cuts him off with a dropkick and goes to the chinlock as this has been really disappointing so far. Cena does make the comeback now for real with an enzuigiri, but AJ counters the Five Knuckle Shuffle with a rana and puts Cena on the floor. Now, Cole calls it “You can’t see me”, so does that mean Five Knuckle Shuffle is now banned? AJ tries a dive and misses, and Cena gets the STF in the ring. AJ quickly gets the ropes and they fight to the top, but that goes nowhere. AJ charges and Cena tries to backdrop him out of the ring or something, but AJ gets hooked on the ropes and that nearly went south in a hurry. AJ tries the springboard forearm, but Cena catches him for the FU, which Styles rolls into the Calf Crusher. Cena makes the ropes off that. AJ works the knee for a bit, but Cena catches him with a clothesline and the FU for two. Cena goes up and Styles catches him with a powerbomb on the way down for two. Pele Kick sets up the Styles Clash, which gets two. Springboard 450 hits knee and they reverse each other’s finish attempts until the ref gets bumped and Cena hits the FU. This brings out Anderson and Gallows for the Magic Killer and Styles gets the pin at 24:12. JBL is outraged at the BS finish, which is kind of an odd way to call attention to the fact that the match was promoted as the Club not being at ringside. Cena seemed really rusty here, but they were getting it together pretty good at the end with all the false finishes. What a lazy finish, though. ***3/4
Money In The Bank: Dean Ambrose v. Cesaro v. Alberto Del Rio v. Kevin Owens v. Sami Zayn v. Chris Jericho
Big brawl to start and Cesaro cannonballs onto Jericho on the floor, then Zayn follows with a dive onto everyone. Cute spot as Owens teases a run up the ladder with Zayn pinned under it, but then just kicks him in the face instead. Into the ring, where Ambrose goes after Jericho and gets suplexed onto the ladder as a result. Cesaro hits everyone with forearms in the corners until Owens cuts him off with a superkick and runs him into the ladder. Owens cannonballs the other guys, but Zayn cuts HIM off and hits the corner kicks onto everyone. Del Rio gets a ladder and hits some people with that, then double stomps Cesaro onto a ladder and makes the first climb attempt. Del Rio and Cesaro slug it out on top of the ladder, which results in Del Rio getting a hanging armbar on top of the ladder. Owens saves, so Cesaro hits him with the forearm off the ladder. Jericho and Ambrose battle on the ladder next and Jericho hits the codebreaker to bring him down. Zayn fights with Jericho on top, but Owens pushes them over, and Del Rio hits Owens with the backstabber to take him out. Cesaro gives Del Rio and Jericho a giant swing each, which is really smart for this match because you can’t climb if your balance is all fucked up. Ambrose comes off the ladder with an elbow on Cesaro, but Owens puts him on a ladder and frog splashes him. Owens and Zayn again slug it out and Zayn gives him a sick Michinoku driver onto a ladder. How do you even take that bump? Zayn climbs, but Del Rio smashes the ladder into his body to bring him down and sets up a wacky ladder scaffold and even the announcers are like “Why is he wasting his time with that shit?” So all six guys end up fighting on the ladder contraption, which is a neat visual but utterly ridiculous in something that’s supposed to be a serious match. Everyone paws at the contract, but Cesaro and Del Rio go flying off (with Del Rio taking a terrifying bump on the top rope). Zayn goes after it, but Owens cuts him off with a powerbomb on the ladder bridge and climbs for it, only to be cut off by Dean Ambrose for the win at 21:36. Nice to see him finally win something. The match was fun for the most part, but really hit a wall once they set up the stupid ladder bridge and never recovered. There was no particular storyline to the match, either, it was just a bunch of spots. ***1/2
So they added the two pre-shows matches into the main show for no real reason, and we’re now 2.5 hours into this show with two matches still to come. Like, WHY? I’m writing this at 1:30 in the morning. Some of us just want to go to sleep, you know! The only people left watching these shows are us 40 year old nostalgia addicts.
US title match: Rusev v. Titus O’Neil
Rusev runs Titus over on the floor and pounds away in the corner, as his first US title reign has now been upgraded to “almost a year”. That’s some fuzzy math. Rusev grabs a chinlock on the mat and holds onto that for a while as he yells at Titus’s kids at ringside, and that inspires Titus to make his comeback. And you know what that means: Clotheslines, and lots of ‘em! Titus gets some kind of shitty slam for two and a spinebuster for two as he’s just totally blown up six minutes in. Pumphandle slam gets two and they fight on the floor as the crowd does not care in the least. Thankfully Rusev kicks him down and finishes with the Accolade at 8:10. What the fuck was the point of this feud? No one bought Titus as a serious challenger and Rusev kicked the shit out of him in a boring match and won clean. *
WWE World title: Roman Reigns v. Seth Rollins
The match starts at the three hour mark of the PPV, and although I have no issue with the show going long if needed, this wasn’t needed. They had a fine six match show and added two shitty matches that added way too much time. Roman overpowers Rollins, but Seth comes back with a dive and walks into a samoan drop. They slug it out and Roman puts him down with a clothesline and more clotheslines in the corner. Tilt a whirl slam gets two. Seth comes back with slaps, so Roman punches him out of the ring and throws him into the announce table. Cole clarifies that this is the NEW Roman Reigns: Battle-hardened, with a chip on his shoulder. JBL makes sure to clarify that the old Reigns was also awesome, though. Well of course. Back in the ring, Roman brings him in with his new crucifix powerbomb, which gets two. Superman punch misses and Seth comes back with a pair of dives and a sling blade for two. Cole: “He’s gotta get him back in the ring! A countout doesn’t help anyone…but the champion.” Michael Cole, ladies and gentlemen. Reigns escapes a Pedigree and hits the superman punch for two. Rollins comes back with the flying knee to the head and goes up with a frog splash for two. Why are multiple guys doing frog splashes on the same show? That’s the kind of thing that agents generally are supposed to prevent. Rollins goes back up and Reigns follows, so Seth brings him down with a turnbuckle powerbomb for two. I feel like he should stop doing that move, what with retiring Sting with it and all. Rollins puts him on top and the crowd is really distracted and bored and not into this at all, and Seth gets the superplex into Falcon Arrow for two. They slug it out and Reigns powerbombs him for two. They slug it out again and Rollins gets another turnbuckle bomb, but Reigns hits a superman punch on the rebound for two. Rollins bails to the floor and Reigns charges after him, but spears the barricade instead. Back in, we get ANOTHER ref bump tonight, and Reigns spears Rollins for two. Another spear is countered into a Pedigree in a slick reversal, and Rollins gets two. Another Pedigree and Rollins wins the title at 26:02 to end our national nightmare. The match was really flat because people just aren’t into Reigns. *** And then Ambrose cashes in.
WWE World title: Seth Rollins v. Dean Ambrose
Dirty Deeds and Ambrose is the new champion in eight seconds. Well, the show ended up being newsworthy, at least. And the reaction that Ambrose gets is what a babyface champion is supposed to get.
The show was just way too long, especially if Rollins and Reigns were getting 30 minutes, and they completely lost the crowd at the end. But Ambrose finally winning the big one was a nice payoff, and hopefully they take the opportunity to make Reigns go away for a while for his own good. I’d call the show a disappointment overall, given that none of the big three matches delivered close to what was promised, but it was still good enough for a slight thumbs up. But a show promoted as “the greatest Money in the Bank of all time” should have had more.