WWE Money In The Bank 2018
June 17, 2018
Allstate Arena
Rosemont, Illinois

Watch: WWE Network

Meet our reviewers

Kelly Harrass: While Kelly was initially going to bring back his Pop Tart Rating System for this show, he decided to change things up. To celebrate today’s holiday, Kelly will be rating each match by comparing it to the father that he is most reminded of. Change is scary, but we’ll make it through together. Find Kelly on Twitter at @comicgeekelly.

Sean Sedor: While WWE hasn’t been having a stellar run recently, as far as their PPVs are concerned, Sean is a glass half full kind of guy. He’s going into this show slightly optimistic, but based on recent history, he isn’t expecting that optimism to last very long. You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994, and you can check out his wrestling reviews blog at http://dxvsnwo1994.blogspot.com.

Suit Williams: Suit literally forgot his network subscription ended before this show, and had to rush to re-sub. His anticipation is palpable. Follow him on Twitter @SuitWilliams, read his Progress reviews on PWPonderings and his various things on Voices of Wrestling, and hear him on the Smark Sports podcast.

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Titles
The Bludgeon Brothers (c) def. The Club

Sean Sedor: I watched this match while trying to deal with my eight year old MacBook Pro, which suddenly started to run slower than an Undertaker entrance at WrestleMania. From what I saw, this was an ok tag team affair. Anderson & Gallows had the early edge, and they got a few hope spots in the final few minutes, but eventually, the champions managed to retain their titles. With the benefit of hindsight, this was better than a number of matches that took place on the PPV itself. It’s not really something you need to seek out, but it was a fine bout for what it was. **1/2

Daniel Bryan def. Big Cass

Kelly Harrass: If you enjoy punches, you’ll love the boring control period of Large Colin. Most everything about Cass is boring, but Bryan did what he could with him. Regardless of his opponent, Bryan always manages to have exciting offense and logical matches. This was exactly the match structure that you would expect and it was perfectly fine. We’ve seen Bryan have better matches with big men in the past. This will be a truly forgettable match in the back catalog of both men. Dad rating- John Cena Sr.

Sean Sedor: I wasn’t terribly excited for this one (after their first encounter at Backlash), but it ended up being pretty solid. To nobody’s surprise, Bryan worked his ass off, and the Chicago crowd was very much behind him. As for Big Cass, he was a mixed bag. There were times when he wasn’t interesting, and there were points where he looked….decent. Bryan spent most of the bout working over the previous injured leg of Cass, and it eventually paid off, as he got Cass to submit to the heel hook. With Bryan getting two straight PPV wins over Cass, hopefully this means the feud is over. This was definitely a step up from their match at Backlash. ***1/4

Suit Williams: *GENERIC GUITAR RIFF INTENSIFIES* Big Cass was tall and beat up Bryan. Bryan, despite being smaller than Cass, was still able to overcome the odds and win. I can only hope this is the end of this feud, as Cass didn’t do much to change anyone’s perception of him as a boring stiff. Maybe now Bryan can do the Miz feud they’ve been teasing for 2 years. Or they can put him in the title picture. HAHAHAHAHAHA, no. **1/2

Bobby Lashley def. Sami Zayn

Kelly Harrass: If I was Bobby Lashley, I would put some sort of metal foreign object in my headband because the referee never checks it. Why would anybody think that this is the right place to put this match on the card? It was the same match as the opener, but with the heel/face dynamic flipped. I do give these men credit for ending a match with a vertical suplex. That’s the only notable thing about this boring, boring match. None of us ever needed to see this. Dad rating- Bing Crosby

Sean Sedor: How hard is it to build a singles match these days? Did we really need all of the wacky stuff we’ve seen on RAW between these two to get to this point? There are so many different promotions around the world that put WWE to shame when it comes to building up matches. Anyway, this was basically a squash of Sami Zayn. He did some heel stuff early on in an attempt to gain an advantage, but for the most part, Lashley dominated. The match ended after Lashley nailed three stalling vertical suplexes. Poor Sami Zayn. This guy deserves so much better. *1/2

Suit Williams: This would undoubtedly be better if it were the course from American Gladiators, where Sami Zayn shot tennis balls at Bobby Lashley while he ran an obstacle course. Instead, these two guys had a match where these guys were completely miscast. Lashley has done his best work as a heel, while Sami Zayn is an all-time great babyface despite his talent as a heel. Lashley just beat him clean with a couple of straight vertical suplexes. Because that’ll get him over. **

WWE Intercontinental Title
Seth Rollins (c) def. Elias

Kelly Harrass: This is that picture of the two Spider-Men pointing at each other. As a whole this match was pretty enjoyable. Elias doesn’t really come out of this match any worse for wear. He could have looked weak because he couldn’t put away a champ with neck and knee issues, but Rollins did have to cheat to win by holding the tights. My favorite moment of the match had to be the flurry of offense from Elias when he quickly slammed Rollins into the ring post and the stairs. That moment had such an urgency to it that most matches don’t have. It felt real, organic, and, best of all, brutal. Rollins comes out of this match with the victory, but his title reign feels like it’s coming to an end soon after seeing how much it took out of him to win here. Dad rating- Hank Hill

Sean Sedor: In terms of match quality, this was about what I was expecting. Nowhere near great, but very good as a whole. It wasn’t a star-making performance from Elias, but he was very solid here. His best moment occurred late when he really went after Rollins after avoiding a dive. Aside from a few slow points, there was entertaining back and forth action throughout. Much like his match against The Miz at Backlash, Rollins tweaked his knee in the later stage. However, he was able to (once again) overcome an injury to retain his title. The finish was somewhat noteworthy, as Rollins trapped Elias in a rollup while pulling the tights (or in this case, the pants of Elias). Perhaps this feud continues? We’ll see. ***1/2

Suit Williams: I saw this match main event a house show a couple weeks ago, and it did not inspire confidence in this writer. However, this match here was pretty damn good. It started a bit slow, but once Rollins hurt his knee, Elias went into overdrive with rollups and flash covers. There was a minute where Elias had an awesome sequence that ended in a nearfall off of an elbow drop. Soon after, they got in a pinning predicament which ended with Rollins getting the pin with the tights. That seems to point to this feud continuing, which I wouldn’t mind if the matches continue to be this good. Just another addition to the Wrestler of the Year portfolio for Rollins. 🙂 ***1/2

Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Alexa Bliss def. Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Ember Moon, Lana, Natalya, Naomi, and Sasha Banks

Kelly Harrass: This is the first match I watched tonight without looking at my phone once. The pace here was frantic and nonstop. There wasn’t a chance to breathe as these women killed each other. This match wasn’t about telling stories, it was all about action and it was exactly what I wanted. It wasn’t weighed down by crap storytelling of this company, giving the women’s roster a chance to show off exactly how great they are. This will be the first main roster WWE match to go on my recommended matches Google doc in quite some time. Ember Moon and Sasha Banks stood out as the two most impressive performers in the match to me. Dad rating- Nemo’s Dad from Finding Nemo

Sean Sedor: It wasn’t going to take much to top the two Women’s Money In The Bank matches from last year. When the dust settled, this ended being pretty great. All eight women involved worked hard (as you knew they would), while they each had moments to shine throughout. Even Lana, who a lot of people were concerned about coming into this, looked relatively decent when it came time for her spots. There was plenty of action right from the opening bell, and the crowd was fully invested. Becky Lynch was the sentimental favorite in the eyes of the fans in Chicago, and every time it looked like she might win, the crowd exploded. This culminated with the finish, as Alexa Bliss snatched the win away from Becky, just as it looked like she was going to win. You couldn’t ask for a better match from these women. Awesome from start to finish. ****1/4

Suit Williams: Becky came out wearing a cut up persian rug, and I’m not sure how I feel about Lana’s saxophone cat music. This was awesome, and miles ahead of last year’s match. A ton of great spots, most of them involving Sasha getting beat up. The tension for who would win grew throughout, with it seeming like Becky would get the win after coming so close last year. However, Alexa would knock her off the top of the ladder (about 5 seconds late), and grab the briefcase. For better or worse, you won’t find a better fit for what Money In The Bank is all about than Alexa Bliss. Fantastic stuff. ****1/4

Roman Reigns def. Jinder Mahal

Kelly Harrass: I bought a PS4 recently and I’m really questioning why I’m not playing Yakuza 0 right now. Instead I’m sitting here, typing this out as Jinder has Roman in a headlock. Let’s all take a moment to sit and think about LA Park. If you’re like me, you’re thinking about how the Skeleton Daddy absolutely deserves to be in the wrestler of the year conversation. At this point, it’s absurd to think that he shouldn’t be in there. Imagine thinking that Seth Rollins is wrestler of the year and not even considering LA Park. It’s foolish to think otherwise. If LA Park and Rush were wrestling, the crowd wouldn’t be doing the wave and I wouldn’t be writing about Roman and Jinder. Roman should have hit Jinder with a suitcase.

Sean Sedor: Honestly, the only reason why I was looking forward to this match was to hear the crowd reactions. Well, they didn’t waste any time, as we got a CM Punk chant, a boring chant, and a NXT chant about a two minutes into the match. Other chants we got there included Rusev Day, Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks, and Delete. Then the crowd busted out THE WAVE, just to hammer home the point that they didn’t give a single fuck about this match. I guess the most notable thing was that Sunil faked his injuries in an attempt to fool Reigns, and while it worked the first time, it failed later on. Reigns ultimately got the win after hitting the spear on Mahal. You knew the crowd wasn’t going to care, but Vince was going to go forward with it regardless. This wasn’t the worst match I’ve seen this year (that honor, no pun intended, belongs to Punishment Martinez vs. Soberano Jr. from a ROH live event in NYC back in March), but it was not interesting in any way. Painfully boring. The various chants from the crowd were way more interesting. *1/2

Suit Williams: I went and got some ice cream during this one when Mahal slapped on a headlock. When I came back, Mahal still had Reigns in a headlock. You can’t write this stuff folks. Well you can, but good writers tend not to. I wish I could see Vince McMahon while this match was happening. I want to know what goes through his head as he sees two major projects have a crappy match while the crowd verbally shits on it. Is he smiling about it? Does he get a perverse pleasure watching paying crowds sit through whatever he wants them to see? Or is he in his own little world, thinking that Roman will somehow get the crowd on his side before his eventual rematch with Brock Lesnar, despite three years of evidence to the contrary? It’s interesting to think about, and it’s certainly more interesting to think about than this match. The match wasn’t even bad in a fun way, it was just a tedious slog. *

WWE SmackDown Women’s Title
Carmella (c) def. Asuka

Kelly Harrass: That finish was awful. This company has a huge problem with distraction finishes, but this might be the single worst one that I’ve ever seen. Asuka just stared at Ellsworth like a confused dog until Carmella kicked her in the head. Just terrible. The rest of the match was fine at best. Carmella just isn’t any good and Asuka could only do so much to get anything out of her. Ugh, completely skippable. Dad rating- Vince McMahon

Sean Sedor: We go from seeing the worst wrestler on the male side of the roster (Jinder Mahal) in the last match, to seeing (arguably) the worst wrestler on the female side of the roster in this match. Going in, we were all curious to see if Asuka was going to be able to get something decent out of Carmella. In the end, nothing that happened in the bout (which featured Carmella getting way too much offense in on Asuka) mattered, because the finish was the story. James Ellsworth came out dressed in Asuka’s entrance gear (completely with the mask), and Asuka was completely mystified. Once Ellsworth revealed himself, Carmella took advantage, hit Asuka with the superkick, and picked up the win. As far as finishes go, this has to be the worst ending to a match in the history of the company (and that’s covering A TON of ground). Asuka was once a huge deal, and she had the chance to be one of the biggest stars in the company. Of course, that was never going to happen. We were all foolish for thinking that would ever happen. In less than a year, Asuka has been reduced to being just another face in a massive crowd of wrestlers. Another cog in the machine. Sure, she won the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble back in January, but after tonight, that doesn’t matter anymore. She’s no longer special, and that’s really sad. This finish made her look like a complete fool, and the fact that she was pinned by a weak superkick after getting distracted by JAMES ELLSWORTH is nothing short of a tragedy. I didn’t think that anything was going to come close to the aforementioned Punishment Martinez/Soberano Jr. bout, with regards to the “Worst Match of 2018” award, but this one will probably be up there, just based on the finish alone. ¼*

Suit Williams: The question in this match was not if Asuka could win the title, it was if Asuka could get anything noteworthy out of Carmella. The answer…was no. As a matter of fact, Asuka ended up looking like the biggest goof on the roster. After a nothing match, she basically had the match won when a person got on the apron dressed in her gear, mask and everything. Asuka, who was undefeated for three years in this company, was hypnotized by this person standing on the apron. Asuka, who won the first all-women’s Royal Rumble in company history, was shocked to find that James Ellsworth was under the mask. Asuka, the woman that could’ve many could’ve seen as worthy of the main event of Wrestlemania, then got pinned by Carmella. Not since the days of The Miz has someone plummeted out of credibility as quickly as Asuka has. A waste of time, another star who has faded into the crowd, and a complete waste of Asuka’s talent. DUD

WWE Title – Last Man Standing Match
AJ Styles (c) def. Shinsuke Nakamura

Kelly Harrass: I’ll start off with what I liked in this match. Both guys worked hard and the closing stretch was really good. The final spot with the forearm through the table was an awesome visual. What I didn’t like was pretty much everything else, but that’s not the fault of the performers. I hate Last Man Standing matches so I was predisposed to hate this one. The stipulation lends itself to overly long matches with boring stretches of counting. I feel like this match went on forever, but to the credit of Styles and Nakamura, the crowd was invested throughout. I don’t know, you’ll probably like this one more than I did if you have any affinity at all for Last Man Standing matches. Dad rating- Miz’s dad

Sean Sedor: If you want to know a major difference between WWE and New Japan, just look at this feud. While it took over eighteen months before we saw their first singles encounter in New Japan, we’ve seen FIVE singles bouts between these guys in just a two month span in WWE. Anyway, I went into this Last Man Standing Match hoping that it would be the best bout of the feud thus far. It certainly had the chance, and when the dust settled, it ended up being really good, for the most part. Both guys worked hard, the crowd was into it, and there were some very good spots throughout, particularly in the closing stages. The Styles Clash off the steps and the Phenomenal Forearm through the announcer’s table were the two biggest highlights, for me. This match did have its issues, though. We got the referee starting the count after almost every spot (especially early on), which is something I hate about Last Man Standing matches. Additionally, the match seemed to go on forever, which did work against it to a large degree. It certainly had flaws, but in general, it was probably the best match in this feud (though still far below their Wrestle Kingdom X encounter). The disappointing feud between these two seems to finally be over, with AJ Styles retaining, so it’ll be interesting to see where both guys go from here. ***3/4

Suit Williams: If you like counting, you’re gonna love this one. I don’t know what to say here. This goddamn match just wouldn’t end. The stipulation did everything I worried it would do, grinding the flow of this match to an absolute halt. You could’ve told me this match went 50 minutes and I would’ve believed you. However, the ending sequence was awesome and really got the crowd into it, starting with the Styles Clash off of the stairs and ending with the Phenomenal Forearm through the table. Hopefully, these guys move on from this, but as a feud ending grudge match, it was fine. ***1/2

WWE RAW Women’s Title
Alexa Bliss cashed in MITB to def Nia Jax following a DQ in the Ronda Rousey match

Kelly Harrass: I liked this way more than I expected to. Ronda came off super well in her first WWE singles match. Her selling was really good and her offense looked strong as well. Nia Jax looked the best she’s ever looked in this match. She was tossing Ronda all over the place and came off like a genuine monster. In the later stages of the match, I began to worry that neither woman should lose here, luckily WWE actually listened to me for once and had Alexa Bliss cash in the MITB she had just won to defeat Jax for the title. Some might call this lazy, but I think it keeps both Jax and Rousey looking strong coming out of this. This wasn’t any kind of classic, but it was a very strong title match. Ronda is really good for her experience level and Nia is the best she has ever been. Dad rating- Andy Griffith

Sean Sedor: I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, given that this was Ronda Rousey’s first singles match. The bout itself was a very fascinating from a booking standpoint, as Nia Jax really dominated Ronda. She beat the crap out of Ronda for several minutes, and looked a total monster. However, Nia wasn’t able to finish the job, and Ronda managed to mount a comeback. Just as it looked like Ronda was going to make Nia tap out, Alexa Bliss ran out, attacked both with the briefcase (causing a DQ), and successfully cashed in her Money In The Bank Briefcase to capture the RAW Women’s Title. I’m totally fine with this finish, and the match itself went pretty well. Nia Jax looked great as she dominated Ronda, who also did a very good job with her selling and and her comeback. The cash-in was great, though it’s interesting to note that Alexa Bliss is never without a championship for very long, since coming to the main roster. I guess we’re going to get Bliss vs. Rousey at some point down the road. ***1/2

Suit Williams: My expectations were that if this match went any longer than two minutes, it would become a trainwreck. As it turns out, this was really well done. Ronda was a fiery babyface, fighting from underneath after Jax controlled the most of the match, and she was fantastic at it. She had Nia dead to rights with the armbar, but Alexa Bliss showed up and took both of them out with the briefcase. She battered both of them with the case before cashing in on Nia and winning the title. I have nitpicks about this, mostly about being tired of Bliss with a title, but this was great. Both Ronda and Nia had really good performances, and Bliss gets to sneak away with the belt before Ronda scowls her to death. Shockingly, an effective match and segment. ***3/4

Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Braun Strowman def. Bobby Roode, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, The Miz, Rusev, Samoa Joe, and Kofi Kingston

Kelly Harrass: I like Braun, but he was the most boring choice to win this outside of Bobby Roode. The action in the MITB match was solid, but it all came off a little flat to me. This brought in the stalling and comedy spots that the women’s MITB was thankfully lacking. Everyone got their stuff in, especially Braun and his feats of strength. There was no real flow to the match. Stuff kind of just happened and kept happening until Braun grabbed the case. That worked for the women’s match earlier in the night because the pace matched the action, but that wasn’t the case here. The Braun stuff was shoehorned in and messed with the flow of the match. Ultimately, this was built for moments, but those moments didn’t come together into a solid package. Cool parts in a flawed whole definitely make this the second best ladder match of the night. Dad rating- Darth Vader

Sean Sedor: Kofi Kingston ended up being the representative from The New Day here, which wasn’t much of a surprise, since he always excels whenever he’s part of Money In The Bank. To me, this didn’t have an obvious winner, so I was intrigued to see who would come out with the briefcase. Ultimately, Braun Strowman was victorious, which was probably the most predictable option out of the bunch. As for the match, it went all over the place. The other competitors tried to bury Strowman in ladders on the stage, but of course, he would come back and wreak havoc. Everyone else had opportunities to shine, though this ended up being very similar to how the Elimination Chamber match from back in February played out, with the only difference being being that Strowman actually won. He tossed Kevin Owens off the top a very tall ladder set up on the stage (Owens went through some covered tables), literally ran through a ladder, and climbed up a ladder with Kofi Kingston on his back before he eventually won. Some other memorable moments included Rusev going for The Accolade on three people at one (which got a big reaction from the crowd), and Finn Balor hitting the Coup de Grace into the ring from a ladder on the outside, but make no mistake. This was about getting Braun Strowman over, and I suppose they managed to do that, even though he’s definitely lost some of his luster since WrestleMania. The bad news is that we’ll have to hear that horrible “Monster In The Bank” line for as long as he’s holding the briefcase. The good news is that this likely means he’ll (hopefully) be champion. I find it funny that the announced we going nuts about Brock Lesnar needing to watch his back now. Unless they secretly attached a 24/7 rule to this briefcase (wouldn’t be something if Braun went to Brock’s farm/ranch in Saskatchewan and cashed in on him there?), I don’t think Brock needs to worry about Strowman right now. As for the bout itself, it certainly wasn’t one of the best Money In The Bank matches, but it was a very entertaining car crash. ****

Suit Williams: In the least surprising result of the night, Braun Strowman got the win in a fun Money in the Bank. It’s nice to see a face win the briefcase for once. A lot of stuff happened, the biggest thing being Strowman throwing Owens off the top of a big ladder through a set of tables. Everything was fun, but there wasn’t too much ground being broken. It felt like cool stuff was happening throughout the match, and Braun was kinda just involved. But, at the very least, WWE is seemingly getting behind Strowman as a big time player. Let’s hope we could get an announced cash-in and have something different happen with this dumb briefcase. ***3/4