WWE
Money In The Bank 2024
July 6th, 2024
Scotiabank Arena
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Watch: Peacock

Meet Our Reviewers

Sean Sedor: After enjoying a super entertaining NASCAR XFINITY Series race on the Chicago Street Course, Sean decided to hop on the Money In The Bank review to give Suit a helping hand (that guy works super hard). You can find Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994 (he refuses to call it X) AND on Bluesky (@sasedor2994.bsky.social). If you’re interested in some of his other escapades, you can watch him play the Formula 1 games on YouTube (just search his name), and you can also go to the Be The Booker forums if you’d like to check out his EWR Diary, where he plays as WCW (started in 1998, just recently finished up 2002).

Suit Williams: You can read Suit’s long-form previews and reviews of wrestling from around the world here at Voices of Wrestling. You can also find his weekly reviews of AEW Collision over at F4WOnline. Check out his brand-new wrestling blog Williams Watches Wrestling, where he’ll engage in watch projects and review requests. Follow Suit on all social media platforms @SuitWilliams.

Warren Hayes: Warren is currently riding the high of finally hitting Infinity rank in Marvel Snap for the first time since he started playing months ago. That said, you can listen to his podcast, The Mr. Warren Hayes Show on YouTube or podcast apps everywhere and read his stuff on Voices of Wrestling. He’s also on BlueSky if you’d like to see screenshots of his Silver Surfer deck kicking ass.

Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Drew McIntyre def. Andrade, Carmelo Hayes, Chad Gable, Jey Uso, & LA Knight

Sean: To this day, I still do not understand how the Jey Uso “Yeet” thing has gotten over with so many grown adults (unlike the LA Knight “Yeah” chant, which I absolutely understand why that got over). I was definitely curious to see how this match was going to do vs. the TNT Title Ladder Match that I saw at the Forbidden Show last weekend.

This kicked off with some generic brawling before the first notable spot that saw Gable lock McIntyre in an armbar while hanging off a ladder. That was broken up by a springboard leg drop by Andrade (a very cool spot), who was involved in another wild spot a few moments later as he gave Hayes a reverse Spanish Fly onto a ladder. The next several minutes saw more generic WWE ladder match brawling before Andrade gave Carmelo a sunset flip powerbomb onto a ladder bridge, which is always super impressive, but he’s done it in almost every single ladder match he’s been in. In the final moments of the bout, LA Knight, Chad Gable (I’m honestly a little shocked that we got no involvement from the Wyatt Sicks here when Gable was close to grabbing the briefcase), and Jey Uso all came close to winning, but it was ultimately Drew McIntyre who scored the victory after taking down the briefcase.

A pretty good opening contest that featured some cool spots here and there (mainly from Andrade), but it was nowhere close to being great. The TNT Title Ladder Match from Forbidden Door EASILY cleared this one. Honestly, if you take out all of the wild spots that Andrade was involved in (which definitely took the match up a notch for me….he was the best part of this bout for sure), there wasn’t a ton to this Money In The Bank Ladder Match. Gable and Knight were both solid, Jey Uso continues to show that he has absolutely nothing as a singles guy once the bell rings, and Carmelo was….there (the only thing I remember him doing was a leg drop off the top that looked like it BARELY made contact with Jey Uso). Drew McIntyre winning didn’t shock me all. They’ve already been teasing him doing something with the briefcase later tonight, so we’ll see what happens there. ***1/2 

Suit: Ten minutes had passed at the start of the show, and the only thing that had happened was Main Event Jey’s entrance. We heard you, It’s Just You Uce.

The three most over people in this match were LA Knight, Jey Uso, & CM Punk – who was not in the match and hasn’t wrestled since January. The WWE Speed Champion Andrade lived up to his billing as he had the most impressive spots in the match, including a sunset flip powerbomb to Hayes onto a ladder. Everyone got their spots to shine, with Gable impressing as well. There was no interference, which felt like a given with the issues McIntyre has with CM Punk and the looming Wyatt Sicks threat over Chad Gable’s head – the head in which he was SHOT by them a couple of weeks ago. Ultimately, this was a good ladder match that got McIntyre another World Title shot. ***1/2

Warren: As a fan of The Boys on Amazon, I smirked seeing the Vought logo on the MITB briefcases. Vought, in the show, is a huge corporation whose main product is larger-than-life figureheads who happen to be professional liars, and whose main corporate concern is controlling the public opinion space. I guess you can afford to be clueless about the irony if the advertising bucks are there, I guess.

Aside from Andrade who can be a great worker when motivated and Drew McIntyre, who is a bonafide star, the other men involved in the opener put the “mid” back in midcard. And had it not been for The Real Latino Man (TM), this match would have been tremendously worse. He was bumping and taking the highspots, while LA Knight and Jey Uso interacted to get the audience to say their neat-o little one-word catchphrases. His sunset bomb off the ladder with Carmelo Hayes got a reaction out of me, because it was objectively impressive. Speaking of him (pun intended, I’m such a wordsmith), for a guy who every WWE fan tells me is going to be the next big star for the company, everything he did got crickets from the audience. This was particularly noticeable in his one fast-paced hope sequence where he’s taking people out, diving and kicking, only to climb up the ladder to dead silence. Maybe nobody bought he’d win? Again, I still don’t see what makes Carmelo the stand-out that most make him out to be.

Truth be told, they got me to believe that YEET was winning because of how he positioned the ladder to the hard cam for his final climb. But Drew launched a ladder at him and made it to the top. A far superior choice. But “Fail Upward” Jey Uso will surely be slotted into another big angle soon. ***1/4

WWE Intercontinental Title
Sami Zayn (c) def. Bron Breakker

Sean: So Michael Cole mentioned on their pre-PPV presser deal last night that they wanted everyone in the crowd to wear white so they could do a “White Out” (done by many sports teams over the years, but probably most famously done by Penn State). While there were definitely a good amount of people in the crowd wearing white tonight, it definitely wasn’t everyone….maybe fifty-fifty at best. Guess that didn’t work out for them.

Bron Breakker used his power to take control early on, but Sami Zayn managed to fire his first big shot of the bout in the form of a moonsault to the floor. Breakker was in control for the next few minutes after connecting with a big clothesline, though that changed after Zayn connected with a Tornado DDT. After some brawling on the floor, the two exchanged some big nearfalls in the ring (with a spot on the announce table mixed in between) before Bron hit the Gorilla Press Slam. He then went for the spear, but Zayn blocked it with a kick, hit the Helluva Kick, and got the pin.

First of all, I did not expect that finish at all. I was fully expecting Breakker to win the title here, but that didn’t happen. Even though the babyface won here, it wouldn’t shock me if this feud continued? I don’t know….just a feeling (though in that case, it’s weird that the babyface won the first match). As for the match itself, it was good, but it was also kinda slow at points. It was far from a bad match. All of the moves were solid, nothing seemed too out of place….though it was definitely missing something that could’ve taken it up another notch. Maybe I was expecting Bron Breakker to be more dominant in this match than he was (and he did control a decent chunk of the match)? I don’t know. Again, it was good while also being….just kinda there. ***1/4 

Suit: Bron Breakker is going to get every chance to be a top guy in this promotion. He’s got the look, he’s got the pedigree, he’s very athletic. He’s a proverbial puppy with big paws, as his potential to be a top-line wrestler is obvious. But the further we get along in his career, the more we have to wonder how much longer it’ll take for him to hit that gear. Breakker has been presented as this hyper-intense athletic freak since he got sent to Raw, but other than his fast rope running, he’s just another guy doing a spear. And he’s not exactly Masato Yoshino running the ropes either – Google it, kids. He reminds me of Wardlow, in that he’s a guy who looks the part but doesn’t have it in him to be a top-level singles star. Luckily for Breakker, he’s in the promotion where that doesn’t matter as much.

Breakker is a perfect wrestler for Twitter highlight videos. He has these bursts of cool offense, but nothing in between. There’s no connective tissue there yet, and while that can be learned, he’s soon going to be in spots where he’ll have to be able to put it all together to reach his full potential. He’s not in that position today, as Zayn retained the title with a Helluva Kick.

As far as Zayn goes, I’m still not sure what we’re accomplishing with him in this spot. I like Sami Zayn, but I still don’t understand why WWE cut the knees off of Chad Gable to slide Zayn into the same spot. Was it to give him a big WrestleMania Moment™? He had one last year with Kevin Owens in the main event. Was it to give him a big spotlight singles win? They had the perfect spot to give him one in Montreal last year against Roman Reigns, but I won’t argue that point again. It just feels like treading ground with Zayn. He’s been on the WWE main roster for eight years, and this feels like it’s a gold watch run that got in the way of someone else’s rise. **1/2

Warren: There was no flow to Zayn versus Breakker. It seemed like any time they were starting to string stuff together, it stopped, they reset, and went into another sequence bound to clog up the flow. At some point, I was shaking my TV remote in my hands like a British nanny, desperately pleading with them to have some fluidity. It’s unquestionably my least favorite match of the show.

Can WWE tell another story with Sami Zayn that isn’t “he’s the underdog.” Sure, the underdog label worked perfectly for his match with Roman because, well, he was never supposed to get as hot as he did, Roman was invincible, so it hit perfectly. And the underdog label also made sense with the way they built Gunther on the way to WM 40. But a champion going into a match as the underdog? That’s just lazy. How can you be an underdog against a guy who is still a recent addition to the main show roster? I want to say “Do better,” but it’s WWE.

Not unlike Carmelo, Breakker is another guy that WWE fans keep telling me is going to be the next big thing. But then again, about 18 months ago these same fans were telling me Austin Theory was going to be the guy, so I’d tread lightly with a fanbase who simply parrots whatever narratives are going around regarding the upward trajectory of talent. That being said, I feel Main Roster Bron feels much more complete and well-rounded than NXT Bron. I can see him being en route for a big spot moreso than others that are being championed to lead the future. **3/4

John Cena Announces His Retirement

Sean: After the first two matches, we got a segment where Trish Stratus introduced John Cena, who announced to the world that he intends to officially retire from wrestling at WrestleMania next year at Las Vegas, while also noting that he’ll be at the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber PPVs next year. Cena was already pretty much retired (only wrestling/making appearances a few times a year over the last several years), but this last run coming up will officially be the end. A pretty massive announcement to say the least. John Cena is one of the biggest wrestling stars in WWE history (easily the biggest star the promotion ever produced post Monday Night Wars), and even though WWE is already doing incredibly well right now, Cena’s retirement will certainly boost ticket sales for those three WWE PPVs in early 2024 (I guess technically four when you consider that WrestleMania is two nights now), along with whatever other shows he appears on between now and then. It also should be very fascinating to see what he does and who he’s booked against (hopefully not against total nothings like Austin Theory).

Suit: Last year, John Cena came to Money in the Bank to try and convince London to rally for a WrestleMania. This year, John Cena announced that 2025 will be his last year competing in the WWE. I’ll save the big-picture thoughts for Cena once the tour wraps up. Cena has been fantastic at points in his career, but his last couple of years have been mostly as a name. This tour will do massive business, as Cena is a Superstar in the truest sense of the word. As far as the in-ring goes, the days of Workrate Cena are past us. Maybe we can get some fun novelty matchups in the meantime. Cena vs. Gunther was a dream match for me for a while, and while it wouldn’t be what it could’ve been in 2016, it would still be cool to see.

Warren: John Cena is the guy that eroded a lot of goodwill I had for WWE because of, well, everything that has to do with John Cena. From the one-note in-ring work to his invincible Hoganesque demeanor, he’s a guy whom I don’t hold any reverence for, so his announcement didn’t have me “shook” or “has me like [crying face emoji].” That being said, I can appreciate the contributions he made, the money he’s drawn, and how he carried the company on his back during some pretty uneven years. A legitimate hall of famer. I also understand how special he is for WWE fans, especially those who grew up with him during his tenure at the top. It’s a great money-making prospect to have him announce a goodbye tour (even if I think the company doesn’t need it to sell out tickets), but it’s mostly a great gesture from WWE to allow fans to celebrate the career of a man who’s meant so much for so many.

I’m calling it now: his final WM match will be against HHH. If you think Paul doesn’t want the spotlight, you must be new to pro wrestling. And if you’re new to pro wrestling, run. Run far away while you still can.

WWE World Heavyweight Title – Triple Threat Match
Damian Priest (c) def. Drew McIntyre & Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Sean: I’m expecting this to be a really good match, though there’s definitely some outside elements that could influence how good it gets (the potential involvement of Judgment Day and possibly Drew McIntyre). After the initial opening exchange, Damian Priest took control after connecting with a Falcon Arrow. Rollins responded with a flurry of offense that included a slingblade, a trio of dives to the floor (Jay Lethal style), and a springboard Swanton/Moonsault combo. The two continued to go back-and-forth with a series of kicks and an assortment of other big moves. We then got to a spot where Rollins hit Priest with a Falcon Arrow, and Priest clearly didn’t kick out, but the referee held up and treated it like a two count. Drew McIntyre then came out and cashed in his Money In The Bank, turning the bout into a Triple Threat Match.

McIntyre and Rollins had a brief interaction before he got into it with Damian Priest. CM Punk then flew in from out of nowhere and attacked McIntyre. He beat McIntyre senseless with a chair before smacking him with the World Title belt. Priest then hit the South Of Heaven Chokeslam to score the victory. I do find it hilarious that Punk got cheered like crazy here, yet he’s the one who’s really acting like the heel here. Not only does the McIntyre/Punk feud continue after Punk screwed McIntyre again (you gotta feel bad for Drew at this point), but now Rollins can’t get another title shot because of Punk, without even getting pinned. As for the match itself, it was easily the match of the night before McIntyre got involved. All-action right from the opening bell. That’s exactly the kind of match I enjoy. I didn’t necessarily mind everything that happened after McIntyre cashed in, but it definitely kept the bout from being notebook material. ***3/4 

Suit: Rollins and Priest worked the start of this match like they were WCW crowd members in 1999, as they were just waiting for the run-in. Drew McIntyre said on Raw that he would cash in the same night that he won the briefcase, and both men constantly looked toward the entryway as they had their fine little match here. It was WWE Subtlety Hammer at its peak, leading me to not care about this match until McIntyre showed up like he was definitely going to.

And after Priest completely forgot to kick out of a Falcon Arrow, maybe assuming that McIntyre was going to interrupt the cover, McIntyre showed up to cash in and make the match a three-way. And almost immediately, CM Punk showed up to beat up McIntyre and screw him out of the title again. Punk wore out McIntyre with a chair and hit him with the World Title, leading to Priest hitting McIntyre with a chokeslam to retain.

I don’t even know how to rate this, as it felt like a gussied-up Raw segment. As a segment, this furthered Punk’s feuds with both McIntyre and Rollins, since Rollins can’t challenge Priest for the title again. The logic is there, and it is sound in building two big-time feuds. That’s the good part.

The bad part is that this was a complete waste of time to watch. The match meant nothing as they told you the cash-in was coming, then it came and burned off the Money in the Bank match I just watched to keep building the Punk/McIntyre match. I don’t know how many more ways Punk can screw McIntyre out of a title, let’s get this guy cleared and do some business.

It also does absolutely nothing for Damian Priest. Priest continues to be a backburner champion, as his title reign continues to play second-fiddle to Dirty Dom’s sexcapades on Raw. He’s not in the league of Punk, Rollins, or McIntyre, and constantly gets bailed out of losing the belt because of other people. At least they’ve made it the story that Priest is tired of the interference. This hopefully ends at SummerSlam with Gunther winning the title. *1/2

Warren: Rollins and Priest were rocking and rolling until the nonsense kicked in. Legitimately, I was into this match, excited at the possibility of sitting down to write this review and write that Damian Priest had the best match of his WWE main roster run. Instead, I’m reminded I gotta stop standing on rugs while watching WWE shows, that way they won’t have any to pull out from under me.

Outside of the stupid staring up at the ramp stuff, both guys had their working boots on, especially Seth. I don’t know if he was told to go out there and make Priest look like a champion, because it sure looked like that. At one point, Seth buckle bombs Priest, who immediately bounces back to clobber Seth. I’m sure WWE fans will condemn the lack of selling here, demanding that Priest go watch a Randy Orton match! Right? 

This match wasn’t perfect, mind you. Priest omits to kick out of a falcon arrow, which then makes the ref do the 2.9 call, despite Priest not even twitching. Was McIntyre supposed to run-in and break it up? Should the ref have called it like a shoot? Sloppy shop? In any event, this kicked off the nonsense parade of McIntyre cashing in during the match to “make this a triple threat” and then CM Punk running in to take out Drew, which then allows Priest to land the South of Heaven and win. Drew comes across like such a dork now in this CM Punk feud, despite starting off as immensely cooler than ol’ Phil when it began. Coincidence? ***1/2

Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Tiffany Stratton def. Chelsea Green, Iyo Sky, Lyra Valkyria, Naomi, & Zoey Stark

Sean: I’m still trying to process the fact that Marko Stunt showed up on AEW Collision to wrestle Jack Perry for the TNT Title. Totally unexpected, but a fun surprise that was a nice callback to the days of Jurassic Express (the match was pretty fun too!).

Anyway, the match kicks off with your generic WWE ladder match brawling on the floor while everyone got to see Chelsea Green’s fear of heights. The first real highlights of the bout saw Lyra Valkyria hit a pair of out-of-control slams on Iyo Sky onto some ladders. Zoey Stark then tried for some springboard move with Valkyria on a ladder, but she completely missed and smacked the back of her head on the ladder. The next minute or two was pretty messy until Tiffany Stratton nailed a swanton from the top rope to the floor onto everyone else. Valkyria nailed Iyo with a spider german while hanging upside down from a ladder, while Naomi did a split between two ladders before nailing a DDT.

Some more sloppy spots followed, but then we got two of the biggest spots saved for the very end. First, Iyo Sky gave Zoey Stark a Michinoku Driver off the top of a ladder onto a ladder bridge, which was absolutely insane. Then we got a spot where Chelsea Green came VERY close to winning, before she went crashing through two tables on the floor after getting shoved off a ladder by Tiffany Stratton. This left things wide open for Stratton, who unhooked the briefcase to score the victory. Definitely a popular win, as Stratton has been getting huge reactions for months on these big WWE shows (including tonight). As for the match itself, Michael Cole and Corey Graves called in a trainwreck multiple times, and that’s a pretty accurate description. There were times where this match was incredibly sloppy (in all the wrong ways), but then at other points, those women were absolutely killing themselves out there. I’m someone who always appreciates effort, and they definitely put forth the effort. This was nowhere close to being great (although I suspect this will get some over-the-top praise), but I would say it was pretty good, all things considered. ***1/2 

Suit: This match started off as an absolute trainwreck that eventually got on the rails. There was a sequence that started with Valkyria screwing up a tornado DDT so badly that Graves had to earnestly claim that Iyo Sky was sandbagging her, followed by them immediately doing the DDT. That was followed by Stark dropping Valkyria arm-first onto a ladder with a Samoan Drop before doing some springboard flippy-doo that almost caused her to concuss herself.

At this point, I’m worried that I’m going to end up seeing a Dante Martin situation at some point in this match. But they got everything back on track and hit everything they were going for. The biggest spot was Sky dropping Stark with a Michinoku Driver-ish move from the top of a ladder to a ladder bridge. Chelsea Green, who was one of the two most over people in the match, had been doing a comedy gimmick where she was afraid of heights the whole match. She was left alone in the end but got shoved through a pair of tables by eventual winner Stratton. The announcers were talking about this like it was some classic match and gave it a standing ovation after another set of ads, but it didn’t hit me in that way at all. It was just another solid ladder match. ***1/2

Warren: As someone who doesn’t partake in week-to-week WWE programming, I was screaming at my television as Chelsea Green was climbing down from ladders instead without trying to grab the briefcase. I was then informed that her gimmick was that she was afraid of heights. But instead of making me nod in approval, uttering a warm “well played” to myself as I sipped from my cold beverage, I instead bellowed: “Then why is she in the match?” But, as Papa Paul recently said, WWE is not a sport, it’s a movie about a sport, so maybe I should instead review it as such? Instead of focusing on match logic, I should break down the quality of the acting, the performances, the scriptwriting, the cinematography… uh, ho boy, that’s not really to their advantage either.

As previously recounted by my fellow reviewers, this match started off sloppy and on the verge of disaster, but everyone pulled it together and delivered a delightful spotfest. I, like many, am suffering from ladder match fatigue, but this one managed to entertain me if only because of the amount of spots and damage these women put themselves through. I thought Lyra Valkyria was a particular standout in that spot, and so was Zoey Stark, who was on the receiving end of a tremendous Iyo Sky driver off the ladder.

Stratton, who got the biggest reactions of the match, finally won a “big one” in WWE as she pushed the ladder atop which acrophobe Chelsea Green was standing, who then tumbled off through tables on the floor. Great spot. The right woman won.

Michael Cole and Corey Graves, who were subtly burying the match because of its uneven start, ended up giving this match a standing ovation, calling it one of the greatest matches they’ve ever called. Let’s pump the brakes, here. If you thought this was great and all, that’s cool, but calling this match “great” is like saying EMF is a great Madchester band when Happy Mondays is right there. ***1/2

The Bloodline (Solo Sikoa, Jacob Fatu, & Tama Tonga) (w/ Tonga Loa) def. WWE Champion Cody Rhodes, Kevin Owens, & Randy Orton

Sean: Solo Sikoa, Jacob Fatu, and Tama Tonga make up The Bloodline team here as Adam Page is getting WAAAY up there on the Muta Scale on Collision. “We Want Roman” and “Fuck You Solo” chants rang out through the Scotiabank Arena as this one got started. The first few minutes of this main event saw Tama Tonga getting beat up by the babyface side before Jacob Fatu tagged in for the first time. He no-sold Randy Orton’s rope-drape DDT before taking control of the match for his side. Kevin Owens would tag in and get a spurt of offense in, but he also got cut off by The Bloodline. Eventually, Cody made the hot tag and ran wild on everyone until the referee got knocked down.

The three babyfaces all took turns hitting moves on Solo, and were going to put him through the announce desk until Jacob Fatu attacked them. He then intentionally ran into the referee, and got into a spat with Kevin Owens that led to Owens putting Fatu through a table. Owens went for the Package Piledriver on (I think) Tama before he was stopped by Tonga Loa, who somehow botched a low blow so much that he had to hit it again. Cody then tried for the Cross Rhodes, but Fatu returned to hit Whisper In The Wind. That led to Solo pinning Cody after the Samoan Spike, presumably setting up Cody vs. Solo for SummerSlam.

In terms of the match itself, it felt very similar to the Sami Zayn/Bron Breakker match from earlier in the night. A perfectly solid match that never seemed to get into that next gear. The wrestling was totally competent, but it was just not super engaging in any way. With regards to Jacob Fatu, while he did do a few impressive things here and there, this felt like a watered-down version of the guy. I totally understand that he’s a heel, but it seemed as though they actively went out of their way to tell him to do less. Are they afraid of him outshining Solo, because he absolutely would if he got to showcase what he could really do. The finish made total sense from a booking standpoint, as Cody takes a rare pinfall loss to set up a big title bout for SummerSlam. Can’t really knock the match in that regard, as it accomplished what it set out to do. This was a good match that capped off a show that felt like a very good episode of RAW.

I was going to end it there, but I have to talk about Tonga Loa again. How the fuck do you botch a low blow? A LOW BLOW?! This guy fucking stinks. ***1/4 

Suit: It seems like they’re going all the way with Solo Sikoa, as his Suge Knight-esque takeover of the Bloodline looks to have gotten him into the SummerSlam main event against Cody Rhodes with the win here.

In my preview for this show, I thought this match had a chance to be the WWE Match of the Year. Six professionals, all over with the crowd, in an energetic and frenetic PPV main event. I said that if all six guys had their working shoes on, this could be a genuinely great match. Unfortunately, the working shoes were not on tonight, as this was closer to a house show main event than it was a PPV main event.

This was just a nothing-happening six-man tag. Babyfaces started hot, Bloodline cut them off. Looooooong heat segment on Owens before Cody made a hot tag, and then the ref got bumped. They made sure to put Fatu over like a monster, having him no-sell Orton’s draping DDT. It is funny that Fatu had to do a new finish – an Impaler DDT – because Tiffany Stratton does his old one and she ain’t sharing, uce.

A lot happened while the ref was bumped, including 16-year veteran Tonga Loa finding a way to fuck up giving a low blow. The finish came when Sikoa got hit with two Cross Rhodes before getting saved by Fatu hitting a Whisper in the Wind. Fatu hit his DDT before feeding Cody to Solo for the Spike to get the win. The money match of Sikoa vs. Rhodes is set up for SummerSlam, but I came into this match with genuinely high hopes, and I was thoroughly let down. **1/4

Warren: Between this match main eventing and twitter people saying that sources in the building had gone “hush hush,” I fully expected Roman to show up and start his feud with the Temu Bloodline. But no, instead we got a very capable and fine Friday Night SmackDown match to wrap up the show with as close as a clean finish you’ll find with Solo Sikoa, the most unconvincing mob boss since John Travolta in Gotti, pinning Cody Rhodes. Solo just screams “keeping this warm until Roman comes back.”

Kevin Owens was the MVP of this match, working with fire and passion that is maybe only matched by Tama Tonga, who puts his trademark explosiveness to good use here. But Owens is so good at this, as he struggles to fight off the three Bloodline guys during their long, very long heat segment, even getting the Toronto crowd to chant “Fight Owens Fight.” There is a timeline out there where Kevin Owens is the top guy in WWE.

This match also served to introduce the WWE Universe to Jacob Fatu, who they are placing as a brute. He even no-sold the Randy Orton draping DDT early in the match. I’m sure WWE fans will condemn the lack of selling here, demanding that Fatu go watch a Randy Orton ma– oh.

In any extent, this had your typical Bloodline match structure, right down to the ref bump and fighting on the floor. This, of course, led to the hilarious moment of Tonga Loa punching Kevin Owens in the asshole, botching a low blow. I still chuckle at the thought of it. It takes a special kind of special to mess up a low blow. But hey, we NJPW fans warned you, WWE Universe, that Loa stunk! We warned you, emphatically, out of love and concern! I can’t tell you how happy I am that he’s far, far away from the G1 Climax this year.

As someone who has no vested interest in this angle or feud, I sit here thinking in dismay at the prospect of Cody Rhodes vs Solo Sikoa headlining SummerSlam. ***