WWE Money in the Bank 2015
June 14, 2015
Columbus, Ohio – Nationwide Arena
Watch: WWENetwork

R-Truth def. King Barrett

Rob McCarron (@ShakeThemRopes): R-Truth won, and that shouldn’t have been surprising. Less than probable, yes, but not surprising. This is King Barrett. This is 2015. Intercontinental Championship or not, Barrett just isn’t ever going to get above a certain level no matter how great he is on promos. If I’m Barrett, I’m buying Vince a new dog already for the one I ran over. **

Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Neville, Randy Orton and Roman Reigns

Rob McCarron (@ShakeThemRopes): Roman Reigns and Randy Orton were the stars of this show, in more ways than one. Orton’s RKO spurt, Reign’s powerbomb spree, and slimey Kofi Kingston were the highlights of what was a pretty well paced MITB ladder match. This one didn’t have many of the all-too-crazy spots that recent multi-man ladder matches have had, and that in itself was pretty refreshing. I believe the feeling of this match would have been much better if it weren’t for the Bray Wyatt run in and the eventual Sheamus victory. What we basically got out of this match was a preview of two eventual Roman Reigns feuds in the near future: Bray Wyatt and Sheamus. Gross. ***1/4

Alex Wendland (@AlexWendland): Well, WWE picked just the third most boring option, but at least it wasn’t the predictable one. A rather formulaic Money in the Bank match was broken up in the middle by a great run-in. Even in the mid-match interference is becoming a bit predictable for Wyatt, the butcher’s apron has me hoping we’re in for a more violent and physical Wyatt in the Reigns feud, even if the outcome of the feud is obvious from the outset.

Now, why have I spent this much time talking about a run-in? Sheamus winning the MITB briefcase is interesting only because it hasn’t happened before. Unfortunately, there’s a reason for it not having happened in the past. Heel Sheamus has been just as boring as face Sheamus. C’est la vie. Roman Reigns’ dive was very impressive, though. ***

Aaron Bentley (@aaron_bentley): I was going to write about how lame the format of these Money in the Bank matches has become but the closing stretch ripped away whatever will I had. Reigns starred and I was ready to see him take a more well-thought out trip to the top. Instead, we’re promised an awful Reigns/Wyatt program and stuck with Sheamus awkwardly inserted into a title picture where he doesn’t have a natural story. It’s almost hilarious that when the crowd seems to be warming to Reigns, WWE now refuses to pull the trigger on him. Oh well, the RKO spot with Neville was fun! ***

Rich Kraetsch (@voiceswrestling): I wasn’t in love with this Money in the Bank match. It had a lot of decent, high-flying spots most notably Roman Reigns flying outside the ring to take out most of the competitors. Otherwise, though, it was a lot of what I hate more than anything about WWE multi-man matches “Your turn, my turn.” At any given moment there wasn’t more than three guys in the ring. Reigns sold a Kane chokeslam for something like nine minutes, it totally takes me out of the match. The end result (Sheamus) was unpredictable but not in a good way, Roman Reigns is going to have to win sometime lest he becomes a Lex Luger type figure. You don’t want that.  ***1/4

WWE Divas Title Match
Nikki Bella (c) def. Paige

Rob McCarron: Twin Magic cannot fail. Ever. That’s the story of this match. In WWE world, even if it fails, it succeeds. Unstoppable Nikki Bella rolls on to 295. **3/4

Alex Wendland: What is it about being on the main roster that sucks the life out of women’s wrestling? Even Paige hasn’t been able to maintain her momentum and she seemed like the most sure thing possible. The wrestling was good, bordering on very good in this match, but decades of poor booking and not taking the women’s division seriously has the main roster crowds overlooking even the hardest working women on the roster.

The screwy finish ruined what was a good match, but this is WWE and that’s how things work. Maybe someday the main roster women can have fully developed characters and story arcs, but not today. The Bella Machine rolls on and I’m going to need a better look at those tattoos to make sure that was Brie. **3/4

Aaron Bentley: This was actually on its way to becoming a good match. Whatever it means, before the silliness, it was the best Paige main roster match. These women were even able to get the crowd into the match against all odds. But Flair and Steamboat would be hard-pressed to overcome that terribly choreographed booking. At this point, how could anyone possibly care about any future match featuring a Bella twin? At least until they turn face again next month. **3/4

Rich Kraetsch: I enjoyed this match a lot, it was off to a really good start and regardless of who won or lost, both people were going to be better for it. Then we got Twin Magic with Brie Bella stuffing her top and showing Paige her pelvic tattoos. Nikki and Brie have different hair, different body shapes and are a different color but WWE referees are slightly smarter than Dragon Gate ones and this is how it goes. Oh well, good match but man did that ending do nothing for anyone. **3/4

Intercontinental Title Match
The Big Show def. Ryback (c) via DQ

Rob McCarron: NXT Columbus rematch! Spoiler alert, the NXT house show match in front of 1000 people was better than this Pay-Per-View match in front of 8000 people. The power display was enjoyable, but this was effectively a Raw segment to continue Miz’ placement in the title program. *1/2

Alex Wendland: I don’t have as much of a problem with Big Show as a lot of others do (this is how I’m contractually obligated to begin all of my reviews regarding Big Show), but this match was tough. Show excels, in so much that he does excel, when he relies on his psychology to carry him through the match. This match had none. A lot of that likely had to do with his opponent. So yeah, I blame Ryback. *3/4

Aaron Bentley: What is Big Show’s role in 2015 if not to put over cleanly guys like Ryback? I guess we’re going to have to watch these guys have another match next month. Woof. *

Rich Kraetsch: Boring, awful and mercifully ended by The Miz’s interference. This whole feud (Big Show, Ryback & Miz) is a dumpster fire and a sad look at the state of the IC Title.  *1/4

John Cena def. Kevin Owens

Rob McCarron: The right man won, but the match shouldn’t have happened, yet. John Cena evening the score allows for a rubber match, and Owens’ post match powerbomb to Cena on the ring apron allows even more heat to the already red hot program. If WWE can hold off on blowing their load until SummerSlam, we could have quite the match to look forward to in Owens vs Cena 3. Is there any way possible these two could top the first two matches, though? Wow, what a classic series so far. ****1/2

Alex Wendland: Cena/Owens II didn’t have the same feeling of “the moment” as the first, and seeing some of the same spots as the last match lost some of the luster, but was inevitable after the war that was their first bout. This one though? Still exceptional. Dusty Rhodes was what wrestling is supposed to be and these two are what wrestling should be inside the ring. For once, however, the whole thing makes sense. It makes sense that Cena would eek out a win in the rematch and it makes sense that Owens would hit the apron powerbomb afterwards. The only thing I’m not crazy about after this one? Cena walking to the back after the apron powerbomb after what we’ve seen that move do in NXT. I’m really picking at the nit there, though. Hopefully Cena finally sells an injury through RAW tomorrow. ****1/4

Aaron Bentley: I’m not sure modern day WWE is set up to maximize three-match feuds, even with a timeline as compressed as this one. Does the crowd care about any program over three matches?  And honestly, while I understand it on some level, seeing Owens take a clean pin this early siphons a lot of heat from the program. This is exactly how it’s always done in this company but a guy like Owens is the perfect guy to change the game, put him over strongly, and make a real star. Instead, they swap wins and we all hold our breath at the next PPV while we wait to see if Owens will win the feud. As for the match, it was worked slowly at the beginning but gained in execution and enjoyment as it continued. Cena clearly enjoys working with Owens, and is pulling out plenty of tricks to keep up with the newcomer. Out of context, I have no complaints about seeing these guys wrestle again. When it’s all over, we’ll see if it makes sense within the context of the future of WWE. ****

Rich Kraetsch: This lacked a lot of the juice from Elimination Chamber because we just saw it two weeks ago but they got it together in the last half and it ended up being fantastic. Cena having indie-riffic main event style matches complete with a FUCKING CODE RED. Yes, John Cena is using Amazing Red moves. Think about that for a second. There were a ton of finishers, kickouts and they probably “did too much” but who cares, I enjoyed the hell out of it. So long as every match up and down the card doesn’t turn into this, it’s not a problem in my mind.

I was a little irked at the end as I think Owens eating a clean pin this early into his WWE run is bad optics, the post-match and what I’m hoping is the defining win at SummerSlam or (in a dream world) WrestleMania will more than likely make up for it. ****1/2

WWE Tag Team Title Match
The Prime Time Players def. The New Day (c)

Rob McCarron: Right off the bat, I felt disappointed that this match was seemingly in the “death spot,” having to follow the wonderful Owens vs Cena rematch. However, this was a lot of fun. Intense Titus is great Titus, and the feel-good ending with Titus getting the pinfall victory excited the crowd, as well as myself. It was fun, we have new champs, and I liked it very, very much! ***

Alex Wendland: Tonight’s rule: if you cut a good promo before the match, you lose. I loved the New Day promo and the (first real?) use of the Freebird Rule by the New Day. I didn’t expect the ending, but I’m happy for the Prime Time Players as they’ve been exceedingly entertaining since their return. Great to see some real contenders being built in the tag division as well. ***1/4

Aaron Bentley: I’m glad new teams are getting worked into the tag team picture. But it’s unfortunate that it comes at the expense of a New Day team that is really over. It’s especially disappointing that they lost the titles in a Raw-length match. Despite that, this was well worked and I enjoyed the Titus Hot Tag. I want to get worked up but, after all, it’s the WWE tag titles. I’m just happy we got a fun match. **3/4

Rich Kraetsch: Woah, I did not see this result coming but I don’t hate it. Some new life in the Tag division isn’t a bad thing and I’m interested to see what this means for both PTP (probably business as usual) and New Day (does this begin their tension and eventual breakup?). The match was really short but despite that these guys were able to tell a great story within those confines. **3/4

WWE World Heavyweight Title Ladder Match
Seth Rollins (c) def. Dean Ambrose

Rob McCarron: Going into Money In The Bank, I had no doubt that Seth Rollins would walk out as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I even bought in and figured there would be no interference, giving Rollins a convincing win. There was no interference, but the win was not so convincing. With Ambrose and Rollins both falling down with the title, only for Rollins to keep his grip on it, we got another in a never ending series of indecisive Rollins-Ambrose finishes. One day, at a WrestleMania within the next decade, we maybe, might, possibly get a Rollins-Ambrose finish that proves that one guy truly is better. The match was fun, the finish is fine in the short term, I suppose, and Rollins did come away with the belt so it’s not like Ambrose was screwed. I feel the finish will be unsatisfying for most, but it wasn’t awful. Just… the usual. ***1/2

Alex Wendland: Seth Rollins held true to his word that he would wrestle this match on his own and without any shenanigans from his Authority lackeys. We all know that Rollins-Ambrose is this generation’s money feud in the vein of Undertaker-Foley or Rock-Austin. Their ladder match tonight could be considered the WWE’s first iron man ladder match. Jerry Lawler warned us early on that they would slow down the pace and “get to work,” well there was a lot of pace slowing down and the match suffered for it. It didn’t feel like these two were wrestling their style of match, but it still went almost 45 minutes, and that’s a lot of wrestling considering the level of bump they were moving to and from.

I appreciated the craft, the art and the effort in this match, but it didn’t click for me. Something tells me they’ll get me next time. ***3/4

Aaron Bentley: Thanks to Seth Rollins’ involvement with The Authority, he hasn’t had an interesting moment since Wrestlemania. And Dean Ambrose… WWE long ago told us they have no serious plans for him. Those two aimless characters meeting here resulted in something that there was very little chance I would care about. Indeed, about the time they started doing the let’s trade climbing up the ladder and pulling each other down, I remembered there was no reason to care about this match. There was plenty of good work to be found; I just never cared about what might happen. At all. A year ago, it seemed like Rollins/Ambrose could be an all-time blood feud. Now, the juice is long gone. So how do they get from here to an intriguing Rollins/Lesnar match at SummerSlam? If there’s a path, I don’t see it. ***1/4

Rich Kraetsch: I anticipated this match every bit as much as I did Owens/Cena, I really thought these two would thrive in the Ladder Match gimmick. Boy was I wrong. This wasn’t overtly bad but it was boring as hell. Both Ambrose and Rollins gave it their all and did everything they could but WWE booking has rendered the Rollins title reign completely meaningless. Even when they were no plans to have Authority interference, it felt like the crowd was still waiting for it. They didn’t want to get too invested in the match until they saw Kane or J&J Security.

Rollins still won by goofy means, though it was far better than any interference. They’ll have to retrain the crowd to care about a Rollins championship match from this point forward. The match itself was solid, don’t get me wrong. These two gave it their all and really put themselves out there with some sick spots both with and without the ladder. ***1/2