WWE Money in the Bank 2019
May 19, 2019
Meet our reviewers:
Kelly Harrass: With Detective Pikachu coming out last weekend and his trip to Japan being two weeks away, Kelly is in the middle of a waiting purgatory. What better way to pass the time than with a WWE Streaming Event like Money in the Bank? Follow Kelly on Twitter @comicgeekelly.
Garrett Kidney: *walks in for the first time since Clash of Champions 2017 and sees the whole company burning* What the hell happened while I was gone? Garrett used to regularly review WWE PPVs before he disappeared into the land of being co-opted. The jarring shift from first to third person in this paragraph may be a reflection of his rusty writing. He has now re-emerged to re-experience the cathartic, self-inflicted suffering that is WWE PPVs. Follow Garrett on Twitter @garrettkidney so he can tell you how rad Yoshi’s Crafted World is!
Sean Sedor: It’s been a couple of months since Sean has been on one of these group reviews, but he’s ready to hop back on for another exciting PPV offering from WCW!! Where the big boys play, baby!! You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994, and speaking of WCW, you can check out his Extreme Warfare: Revenge diary (where he takes over WCW in 1998) on the Voices Of Wrestling Forums at this link. My most recent post covered Bash At The Beach 1998, and at the moment, I’m actually up to January 1999 (so more posts are coming!). I can assure you that I handle my booking much better than WWE handles their booking at the moment.
Preshow – The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) def. Daniel Bryan and Rowan
Kelly: It’s really hard to have a good match on the preshow. Not only do you have to work with a cold crowd, but for the viewers at home, they’re interrupting your viewing experience with commercial breaks. That being said, this was about as good as it could be in the spot it was in. These teams couldn’t go all out because this match serves to set up for an eventual tag title challenge from the Usos. As ridiculous as it is that Tag Champion Daniel Bryan is on the preshow, to be honest, I’m glad he’s here rather than taking crazy bumps in the MITB match. This wasn’t the best match, but it was definitely good and had a very hot closing stretch. ***
Garrett: Add another match to The Uso’s case for being one of the best teams in WWE history – an extremely fun high-energy opener that you honestly expect from the Usos at this stage. I’m not too sure about Bryan and Rowan as a team – Rowan is a guy you have to create a lot of movement around but Bryan is more than good enough to carry the load for the team. I would argue that moving Bryan to the tag division could help shine a spotlight on those belts but because all champions always suck in WWE, Bryan and Rowan not only lost – Bryan went from the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania to taking the fall on the pre-show a month later. Having Bryan lose meaningless falls like this undercuts any credibility he can bring to those titles. Still though, very fun match – as you’d expect given Bryan and The Usos are among the most consistent performers in the company. ***1/2
Sean: How crazy is it that Daniel Bryan (of all people) is relegated to the pre-show? Anyway, I watched this match on iPhone because there are some pretty nasty storms about to roll through (as I type this), and I turned off my TV with the expectation that the power might go out. These two teams had a very solid match together, and in the end, The Usos came out on top after pinning Daniel Bryan (yes, you read that correctly). I’m not sure how I feel about The Usos (a RAW team) getting a win over the SmackDown Tag Team Champions after losing to them on TV not that long ago, but I can’t deny that the match itself was entertaining. The Usos are a great tag team, and Daniel Bryan is an awesome wrestler. Even Rowan was pretty good here at various points (his highlight was hitting a double superplex on The Usos). Rowan got taken out by a double suicide dive from The Usos, and then Bryan (as I already mentioned) took the fall after double splashes off opposite corners. In terms of the in-ring wrestling, no major complaints from me. ***1/4
Money in the Bank Ladder match: Bayley def. Natalya, Dana Brooke, Naomi, Mandy Rose, Ember Moon, Carmella, and Nikki Cross
Kelly: Matches like this always have fairly large chance to be a cluster. Whether it’s because of the amount of people in the match or all the ladders everywhere, there are dozens of opportunities for something to go incredibly wrong. This was actually pretty smooth, surprisingly so, outside of a weird Carmella injury, but maybe not actually an injury. It seems like they played it to seem like a shoot with Carmella looking like she was breaking from the script to protect her knee. I appreciate trying to trick the audience, but at the same time you break the immersion when we have to consider if something was real or not. Outside of that, I don’t really have any complaints about this one. It wasn’t an all time great ladder match, but much like pizza, even the okay ones are still pretty good. ***¼
Garrett: What a fun match! Not your traditional stunt filled car crash style Money in the Bank (the only real big spot was a fantastic Eclipse by Ember Moon from a ladder on the floor into the ring) – this was a well paced, smartly executed match that had some very good finish teases and paid off on the drama of a ladder match without any of the women killing themselves. The match was not without flaw – the Terry Funk ladder spinning spot is the dumbest spot in all of wrestling and should never ever happen again plus the WWE “Helped out by doctors only to return later” trope also needs to go away and never come back (it’d have been more of a surprise if Carmella didn’t return). Bayley feels like the right choice for winner given the competitors – she badly needs a momentum boost, but the ball has been dropped with her a half dozen times already. You probably won’t remember this in the pantheon of these matches, but it was tremendously enjoyable nonetheless. ***1/2
Sean: Even though she won it last year, I would’ve originally pegged Alexa Bliss as one of the favorites. After she dropped out, I didn’t really see one clear favorite (though you could definitely eliminate some people who had close to a 0% chance anyway). For the most part, this was a very enjoyable Money In The Bank Ladder Match. I don’t think this topped the Women’s MITB from last year, but it was very good. There weren’t a ton of big car crash spots, but there were plenty of cool spots throughout. Naomi was clearly the standout, as she did a number of really cool things. Ember Moon got to do an Eclipse off a ladder onto Natalya, and (for some reason) Dana Brooke decided to imitate the Jeff Hardy “hanging onto the title/briefcase in mid-air” spot from WrestleMania X7. That was probably only spot in the match that was really dangerous. At one point, Carmella left the match with what appeared to be a real injury, but she ended up coming back, so I guess it was planned (the way she initially reacted made it seem like it was real). Sonya Deville, who was at ringside, got involved late, and carried Mandy Rose up the ladder in an attempt to help her win, but Bayley ran up the ladder, shoved them off, and claimed the MITB briefcase. The crowd popped huge for Bayley winning. It was cool to see her get a huge win like this. Unfortunately (unless she cashes in tonight, which is possible), this probably means she’ll be losing a bunch of matches on TV, since that’s what usually happens with the MITB winner. This was a fun way to kick off the PPV. ***3/4
.@WWEEmberMoon hits the Eclipse!
➡️ https://t.co/E0MswUzX3G pic.twitter.com/XhA7vwwL22
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) May 19, 2019
United States Championship: Rey Mysterio def. Samoa Joe (c)
Kelly: For such a quick match, Joe sure did get fucked up. He got his nose busted and the final spot dumped him on his head when Rey got the flash pin. Joe got his heat back by beating up Rey after the match, but somehow I think this feud ends with Rey’s kid pinning Joe in some kind of handicap match. This is the second show in a row where we’ve gotten an incredibly disappointing and short match out of these two. More than anything else, these matches have served to tease us. Oh what could have been. *½
Garrett: This match bums me out. Can you imagine how good this match would be in 2005? Prime monster Joe vs. all-time underdog babyface Mysterio. It’d have been so great. Rey is not what he used to be but in the right scenario he can still get damn close. Joe is a shadow of his former self. Keeping their 2019 matches short might be for the best – though ideally not as short as they have been. Whether the finish (Rey countered a powerbomb into a rana and pinned Joe even though his shoulder was blatantly up) was deliberate or not I don’t know, but it looked terrible. Joe’s shoulder was so obviously up it made the referee look like an idiot. At least the post-match angle where a bloodied Joe beat the heck out of Rey in front of his son and looked mean was great (other than WWE’s relentless need to make champions look like nerds). *
Sean: The booking of this whole feud has been so backwards. Samoa Joe has beaten Rey Mysterio decisively on the last two PPVs. Joe retained his title in a Four-Way at Fastlane when he beat Mysterio by submission, and then he beat Mysterio by submission again in one minute at WrestleMania! Why is Joe still messing around with a man that he’s beaten like a drum over the last few months? Anyway, this was shocking short. Joe beat up Mysterio’s leg early, then Joe got busted open big time (I guess after something Mysterio did?), and then out of nowhere, Mysterio just….won. On a flash pin. This should’ve been the start of the feud, not the third or fourth match into the feud. Joe then attacked Mysterio afterwards, and dared Dominic to get involved. Dominic did nothing, and that was it. The match felt like something straight off a WCW PPV. Two really good workers having an incredibly short title match? It certainly seems like something that WCW would book. N/R
Steel Cage Match: Shane McMahon def. The Miz
Kelly: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA SHANE WINS! So that means one of two things; either this feud keeps going or Shane is just the winner. Both options are hilarious. The feud has to go on if we’re ever going to get the finish that I know we’re all waiting for. They have to write Shane off TV by having Miz’s dad shoot him and then the father and son duo bury Shane in the woods. We won’t know this for months though because it won’t air on WWE TV, it’ll happen on Miz & Mrs. Trust me, it’ll be great. While this match didn’t reach that level of drama, what we got was fine. I typically think that WWE cage matches are total trash, so the fact that I found this one to be entirely watchable means it must have been good enough. **½
Garrett: Hello! Garrett Kidney – unironic Shane McMahon fan here! He is so absurd – his matches consist of falling off things, jumping off things, faux-MMA, and throwing the worst looking punches of all time (that still somehow bust people open all the time). It’s hilarious. He is the only good meme wrestler – he amuses me. So think of how cheated I feel after we got a Shane McMahon cage match in which Shane did not jump off the cage (and only sort of fell off the cage). It feels like false advertising. How dare they not allow Shane to be his very best self? How will he earn his father’s love if he doesn’t fall off things? Without Shane spectacle this descended into WWE STORIEZ and that’s no fun at all. Idiot “badass” Miz lost because he couldn’t keep hold of Shane. They also buried their referees for the second match in a row by having the ref enforce a rope break in a cage match (and had Cole aggressively call that out on commentary). No good. Miz also hit the worst looking frog splash of all time. Can’t a guy just get Shane jumping off things? *1/2
Sean: So there was a fight between Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman after the NASCAR All-Star Race on Saturday Night, and I can confidently say that Bowyer has much better punches than Shane McMahon. Now I know we all like to give WWE booking a hard time (rightfully so), but I will give them a small nugget of credit. The buildup to this (in some ways) felt like the right way to build up a Steel Cage Match. Shane McMahon has been trying to run away from The Miz, so The Miz challenged Shane to a Steel Cage Match so he couldn’t run away. By WWE standards, that’s decent logic, I suppose, even though WWE has really weakened the aura of the Steel Cage over the last few decades. We got “CM Punk” and “AEW” chants only minutes into this match, so that told you right away what sections of the crowd thought of this one early. Those chants were probably the best thing about this one. I guess it was ok? The bit before the chair got introduced was fine, I guess, but then we got a bunch of wacky stuff. Miz nearly beat Shane with a Skull Crushing Finale, but Shane got his foot on the ropes, and the ref stopped the count. This led to the announcers proclaiming that Rope Breaks aren’t applicable in Steel Cage matches, and they speculated whether the ref stopped the count to keep his job. Shane took a bump off the top of the cage and a horrible frog splash from The Miz….only to kick out (of course). Then, Shane just won the match after he fell out of his shirt when Miz was trying to pull him back in the Cage. So The Miz lost to Shane McMahon via another fluke finish. Unfortunately, this probably means the feud must continue. Where do they possibly go from here? Who cares. **1/4
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Tony Nese © def. Ariya Daivari
Kelly: I couldn’t focus on this match with Kermit the Frog doing commentary. Toby Nese retained the fruit roll up belt. My phone autocorrected his name to Toby and I don’t give a ducking duck. I guarantee that I won’t remember that this match happened by the time this show ends. *½
Garrett: This is the first Cruiserweight Championship match to make the main card of a PPV since Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy at Survivor Series last year. Arya Daivari vs. Tony Nese broke that seven month streak. Yeah, I have no idea why either. This was of course one of the duller PPV Cruiserweight title matches in recent memory. Picked up a little right at the end but painfully dry before that.**1/4
Sean: So we’re finally getting a Cruiserweight Title match on the main card of a non-big four WWE PPV (if it’s not the first time, it’s the first in a long time), and the match they give us is Tony Nese vs. Ariya Daivari?! Seriously?! That’s laughable. Instead of talking about this match, can we talk about how WWE is introducing a new title tomorrow on RAW (with help from Mick Foley) in what is probably a desperate ploy for ratings? Can we talk about how Braun Strowman beat up Sami Zayn and hung him upside down like The Age Of The Fall did to Jay Briscoe in 2007, minus all the blood? What a truly strange company this is. Meanwhile, Ariya Daivari was tripping over himself trying to steal Colt Cabana’s “Cubs Win” submission. To be fair to this match, the closing stretch wasn’t too bad. Daivari somehow kicked out of a 450 Splash, while Daivari got a close nearfall after hitting his finisher. Nese ultimately retaining after hitting a running knee in the corner, which I guess is called the “Running Nese”. Get it? GET IT? This was perfectly ok, but it was an inconsequential match, for an inconsequential title, from an inconsequential brand. **1/2
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch © def. Lacey Evans
Kelly: This match was perfect… until Lacey Evans got in her offense. Then she controlled most of the match. And then they had a shit finish where Lacey got a visible pin on Becky before tapping out. So yeah, it was mostly bad. If you’re trying to push Becky as THE MAN, you don’t have her get dominated like this. If you don’t want to damage Lacey with a loss, then don’t book the damn match. It’s not that hard to book wrestling. *¾
Garrett: I get it’s the house style but does every WWE babyface have to get their ass kicked for the first half of their matches. Lacey dominated Becky for a considerable portion of the match and that feels so painfully counter to who both of these wrestlers are. Becky is The Man but spent the whole match selling for the sassy southern belle. They can’t come up with anything more interesting for a character that’s supposed to be an ass kicker. The match was perfectly fine. There was just nothing particularly interesting about it (there was also another weird referee moment toward the end of the match where the ref didn’t count a Lacey roll-up). **1/4
Sean: Why does Lacey Evans have money guns? Becky got a massive “Becky Two Belts” chant when this got started, and they were very much behind her. I actually had to switch to watching this on my computer, as the TV went out. Another line of thunderstorms coming though. Becky seemed to have the edge early, but then Lacey took control and dominated the champion for a few minutes. Becky eventually made a comeback, and got the win after she countered a rollup. We also got another moment (the third on this show) with the commentators complaining about referee decisions, as Corey Graves tried to explain that Evans had Lynch’s shoulders down for three before Lynch put in the winning submission hold. Are we getting some storyline with the referees? Who knows. Lynch took a shot to one of her knees before the finish, so that seemed to be setting something up for Charlotte title defense. As for this match, it was…..ok. Lacey Evans had some flashy moments, but she’s not very good. **1/2
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair def Becky Lynch (c)
Kelly: I really enjoyed parts of this match in a vacuum. They had a great forearm exchange and some really good brutal looking offense. Then Lacey Evans got involved and the whole thing went to total shit. It really feels like they were out to kill Becky dead here. But that’s okay, because this was all in service of what would come next. **½
Garrett: DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB! If Becky Lynch accepts the immediate Charlotte match, she absolutely has to win. If she wins, she’s a valiant champion that overcame the odds – when she loses she’s an idiot who took on a match she never should have. Especially when the finish was a mess once again. Charlotte quite obviously failed to kick out of Becky’s small package. Not to mention, Becky got beaten down after the match too. WWE have done everything in their power to book Becky Lynch into the ground. It’s a miracle the audience still supports here even to the level they do – it’s been a total mess since the original Ronda Rousey match fell through. DUD
Sean: So these two have faced off, in some form or fashion, on almost every WWE PPV since SummerSlam of last year. I understand that both are really good, but they can’t seem to get away from this combination. This was a lot shorter than I was expecting, and it ended with a screwy finish, as Charlotte stole the title after Lacey Evans came back in and hit the Women’s Right on Becky when the ref wasn’t looking. Nice job making your top babyface in the women’s division look like a geek. Becky then got double teamed by Charlotte and Lacey after the match, which led to Bayley coming out for the save. Charlotte ultimately got taken out by Bayley, and this led to a cash in!! As for the Becky/Charlotte match, there were some decent parts to it, but it was completely overshadowed by the finish and the angle that followed. **1/2
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley def. Charlotte Flair (c)
Kelly: So Bayley ended up with the belt at the end of all this. I really have to wonder if she would have gotten this if WWE wouldn’t want to rub her victory in Sasha Banks’ face. I wish Bayley was able to win on her own merits and come off like a deserving champion, but that just isn’t the case here. No one comes out of this looking good, aside from the Spider-Man’s pointing at each other meme that is the duo of Charlotte and Lacey Evans. Charlotte walks away with another title reign and will probably eclipse her dad’s legendary title stat in three years. Evans on the other hand looked far more credible than she should have given the people she was in the ring with. I really just hated all of this. Becky looks like shit and Bayley gets to have this plastic, artificial moment. *
Garrett: Aaaaaaaaaaaand all that was to set up a cash-in. Let’s take a moment to look at everybody here. Charlotte Flair is a dope who fought off Money in the Bank briefcase holder Bayley and then for some reason chose to hang around. Becky Lynch is an idiot who accepted an immediate title match she didn’t have to and lost. Lacey Evans just lost to Becky and fell right into the role of Charlotte’s lackey. And Bayley is a Women’s Champion that lacks credibility – because they did absolutely nothing to prepare her for the title win. It was a really nice moment. Bayley is tremendously likable – the audience wants to love her. If WWE had actually done something meaningful with her to prepare for this moment it’d have felt earned. Instead it’s another desperate use of Money in the Bank to paper over the cracks in WWE’s inability to create wrestlers and champions that the audience actually cares for. To make these moments legitimately meaningful, not just shocking events designed to misdirect attention from their inability to create these character defining wins organically. A character like Bayley winning the title with Money in the Bank feels wrong to who she is. There is only so long you can hide your lack of real substance before those chickens come home to roost. They’re only smoke and mirrors. *
Sean: For the second year in a row, the Women’s Money In The Bank winner successfully cashed in on the same night. A very cool moment for Bayley, even if the way we got there was very strange (to say the least). The crowd exploded when she cashed in, and exploded when she won. The celebration afterwards was a nice touch. That being said, the booking of this whole thing was very meh. It didn’t make either Becky Lynch or Charlotte Flair look particularly good. I wonder what Sasha Banks thinks about this? Was this move by WWE partly done to spite Sasha? Maybe. It wouldn’t surprise me. Oh, by the way, Charlotte Flair (despite the incredibly short title reign) is now one step closer to equaling her father’s record. We all know that’s coming. N/R
➡️ https://t.co/E0MswUzX3G pic.twitter.com/vPPsa70AWL
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) May 20, 2019
Roman Reigns def. Elias
Kelly: Goddamn WWE, give me some fucking time to write my reviews! Roman spears Elias and it’s over. ¼*
Garrett: The whole match being a Spear – good. A five minute Elias promo – bad. I love how many short matches WWE has on their PPVs these days as they try to cram 11+ matches onto all of them. DUD
Sean: So Elias smashed Roman Reigns with a guitar backstage (by the way, was Roman just getting to the building? It looked as though he was carrying his bags with him). He then went out to the ring and did a song to insult Hartford. Elias went to leave, and Roman Reigns came back and attacked him. The match got going, Reigns hit the spear, and that was it. Another small nugget of credit to the WWE booking here. Elias is shit in the ring, so how do you hide that weakness? Do a very short match! I’m not going to complain about this. N/R
WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins © def. AJ Styles
Kelly: Now that no one is paying any attention to the show because Game of Thrones is on, let’s see if these guys put in any effort. *about twenty minutes passes* Well, I’m happy to say that this was actually pretty great. Honestly, this is the best match that I’ve seen AJ have in quite a while. It’s clear that he’s begun the decline of his career, but he can still bust out a great performance when he needs to. The pacing of this match was fantastic. After the last couple of lame finishes and weird matches we got, it was nice to have a match that had steady action from start until finish. I was never bored and based on the reactions, the crowd wasn’t either. Thank you to any god that will listen for letting this be a clean finish because I was so worried this was going to be marred by whatever they’re doing with the referees. Without a doubt, this was the best match of the show up to this point. ****½
Garrett: The bumbling nerd who nobody really likes but is presented as the best option vs. the force who made their name in other lands looking to rule the kingdom – who will claim the Iron Thro-erm I mean WWE Universal Championship. AJ Styles is my favourite wrestler of all time. However a horrible realisation has slowly been setting in over the last year and a half or so – the AJ Styles I saw wasn’t the AJ Styles I fell in love with. That’s okay. Time catches everybody. Nobody, especially somebody who works a style as high impact as AJ does, can deliver at that level forever. It was just sad to think my very favourite wrestler ever had finally run his race.
And then AJ goes and does this. This match was every bit the AJ Styles I have always adored. Immaculately paced, intense, physical, brilliantly layered, wrestled to the qualities of his opponent rather than a boilerplate routine. Every bump looked amazing, every sequence perfectly executed – the crowd was right there with them all the way. It makes me so happy this AJ Styles still exists. Maybe he just decided to take the period where I wasn’t reviewing WWE PPVs anymore off. Hopefully he’ll be coming out to play more often from now on. I have deeply missed him. Seth Rollins was pretty good too I guess but who cares, AJ was great again. ****1/2
Sean: If I had to guess, a bunch of people probably turned off the PPV to watch the Game Of Thrones finale. I’ve never really watched Games Of Thrones aside from bits of episodes here and there, along with most of this last season (since my brother has watched pretty much all of it). Speaking of Game Of Thrones, Sophie Turner (aka Sansa Stark) recently showed up at a Penn State restaurant/bar that’s a five minute walk from the fraternity house I lived at for about two-and-a-half years. She was pouring body shots while the Jonas Brothers (she’s married to one of them) played a set. Would’ve been nice to have been there for that, but I graduated a few year ago. As for the actual match (getting back on track), I thought these two had a pretty great singles encounter. Easily the best thing on the show, up to this point. There was some very solid action throughout, a couple of cool moments (particularly that Styles Clash towards the end), and the fans in Hartford were loving it. You can’t complain too much when you get a clean finish either, especially with the way WWE booking has been over the last few years. Bonus points for the Code Of Honor being followed afterwards. This will probably get overrated by certain hardcore WWE loyalists (I can already see the “this was a MOTYC!” tweets), but it was still an awesome match from start to finish. I have no complaints about this at all. It’s rare that main roster WWE does something right, but they got this right. ****1/2
STYLES CLASH! Fantastic counter from @AJStylesOrg!
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— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) May 20, 2019
Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado, and Kalisto) vs. Lars Sullivan
Kelly: Nevermind, not a match I guess? Why do we need to have segments on a pay per view? Just put this on RAW. And of course the racist forum poster nailed a guy from the Lucha House Party with a shoot headbutt.
Garrett: WWE not even thinking to answer the question “Who were the Lucha House Party meant to wrestle?” is why their storytelling is the dirt worst. Whatever is convenient in the moment will do.
Sean: So the guy that got fined $100,000 for making racist comments online several years ago comes out and beats up three dudes who are portrayed as Mexican stereotypes? Of course WWE would do something like this. It’s the same company that’s run by the guy who said the N word right in front of Booker T on live TV. I’d be willing to bet money that Vince got a massive chuckle out of this segment. N/R
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston © def. Kevin Owens
Kelly: The first half of this was boring as hell, right? I wouldn’t say that I was near falling asleep, but I was having the hardest time getting into this one. Then about halfway through, a Switch was flipped and it got good. It’s like they remembered that this wasn’t a house show. Kofi and Owens have good chemistry, which we saw for a good chunk of the match, so I’m not sure what happened. The highlight of the match was obviously when Owens stoke Kofi’s shoes. (I’m not serious about that, it was a very strange moment.) Overall, I wish this was better than it was, but I suppose I could say that with a lot of things. This has potential, it just didn’t live up to it. ***¼
Garrett: What a peculiar match. The first half was a pretty rote Owens heat sequence, every time the back half looked like it was ramping up – every time it seemed like it was going to push through to the next level it just slipped back into only good. I think the back half of the match had the components to make it work – Kofi firing up, good nearfalls, some interesting ideas – but there weren’t assembled in a compelling way or order. Take Owens pulling off Kofi’s shoes – instead of setting up a new layer of the match, Kofi just hit the Trouble in Paradise to win immediately after. That was a microcosm of the match – decent ideas simply poorly or inefficiently explored. ***1/4
Sean: So the actual wrestling in this match was very solid, but it seemed to have almost no heat whatsoever, particularly in the first half. These two worked really hard, and were some cool moments scattered throughout. Unfortunately, the crowd just didn’t seem to care. They reacted for some of the bigger spots, and they popped when Kofi Kingston won, and that was it. I won’t knock the effort, because these guys tried, but lack of crowd reactions took this down a couple of notches. ***1/4
Money in the Bank Ladder match: Brock Lesnar def. Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin, Ali, Finn Bálor, Andrade, and Randy Orton
Kelly: This match ruled. It was fast paced and violent and scary and unpredictable. It was basically as good as one of these matches can possibly be. These guys went out there and killed themselves. KILLED THEMSELVES! Bálor took such a beating, I have no idea how he’ll be walking tomorrow. Everyone played their role super well here. Ali and Andrade both got chances to shine, as did Ricochet, but to a lesser extent. Hell, even Orton and Corbin were awesome here. Then out of fucking nowhere Brock Lesnar came out and won the match. Oh wait, I left out the part when he shoved over a ladder and cracked some dude in the head with it. Man, it is wild to see Brock Lesnar on a ladder. I have to feel for the dudes that destroyed their bodies for this, but Lesnar winning was so goddamn ridiculous that I loved it. This whole match was big and dumb and I loved it. ****½
Garrett: What now? Aside from why the hell Brock Lesnar’s music stunned Ali into not grabbing the briefcase – it sure must suck to be all those guys who took some truly painful looking bumps only for a guy to run out, take zero bumps and win the match. In many ways this was the polar opposite of the women’s Money in the Bank – less cohesive, less of a whole, less fluid – but making up for that with just a nutty level of chaos. The good kind of chaos. Pure, raw, unbridled chaos. These seven blitzed from sequence to sequence just killing themselves. It was carnage. The cool dynamic of four flippy dudes and three big men allowed them to weave wonderfully stupid ladder bumps with some crazy power spots. The Manik/Davey Richards-esque sunset flip powerbomb off the ladder onto the ladder will get be in all the highlight reels, but the chokeslam Balor took on the ladder standing on it’s side truly looked like it sucked. The winner is whatever, I’m super over Brock on every level – this was beautiful madness. ****1/4
Sean: So with Sami Zayn taken out earlier in the night, the field was reduced to only seven participants. Randy Orton took out a bunch of guys early when he back suplexed them onto the announcers table. From there, the match was going alone like your typical Money In The Bank Ladder Match (with seemingly little crowd heat). Then Andrade decided that he was going to commit a murder on live PPV by hitting Finn Balor a sunset flip powerbomb off the top of a ladder, onto another ladder. Balor bounced up pretty high in the air after the initial impact. That was easily one of the craziest spots in a WWE match in years (and Shane McMahon has done the dive off the top of Hell In A Cell at least twice in the last few years). Mustafa Ali then hit Andrade with a Spanish Fly off a set of ladders, and we got a bunch of crazy spots in the second half. Some of those guys were absolutely killing themselves with the bumps they were taking in this one. Anyway, none of what you just saw mattered, because Brock Lesnar ran down and grabbed the briefcase, which he will (presumably) cash in for a rematch with Seth Rollins in Saudi Arabia. What infuriated me about the finish was that Ali was RIGHT THERE. He had the briefcase in his hand, and he had time to grab it before Lesnar ran down. Of course, this is WWE, so any time someone else’s music hits during a match, the people in the actual match just stop what they’re doing and become mesmerized by the music. By the way, from a kayfabe standpoint how did Brock Lesnar actually get in this match? So what if he beat up Sami Zayn backstage? That doesn’t mean he takes his spot. This isn’t like the Royal Rumble where you can steal another person’s number (at least that’s happened). The guys who were actually involved in the match did a great job. They worked their asses off, and some of them just tried to outright kill themselves. The finish was what it was, but these guys deserve a ton of credit for their efforts in this one. ****1/4
.@AndradeCienWWE pulling out ALL the stops!!
➡️ https://t.co/E0MswUzX3G pic.twitter.com/SsMbqzgnH2
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) May 20, 2019