Welcome to The Wrestling Kennection's LIVE WWE Money in the Bank PPV coverage!!!
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Smackdown Tag Team Championship Kickoff match The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. The Good Brothers
RESULT: Champions The Bludgeon Brothers win via pinfall; Harper pinned Gallows following a double-team sit-out powerbomb.
THOUGHTS: A solid opener between two hard-hitting teams, and the Chicago crowd popped pretty good for them ol' Too Sweet boys, No surprise on the outcome though, and Harper and Rowan's dominance on what's looking to be a thinned out Smackdown tag team division continues. Any time you want to make your main roster debut, SAnitY...
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 1 pt Ken - 2 pts (LOCK) Alison - 1 pt Julie - 1 pt James - 1 pt Greg/Nick - 1 pt
Singles Match Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass
RESULT: Daniel Bryan wins via submission; Bryan hit the Knee Plus, then cinched in the Heel Hook for the tap out.
THOUGHTS: A far better entry than their initial match at Backlash. Bryan was his usual house of fire, and Cass played up his "7-footer" role better here, absorbing a lot of Bryan's signature offense and powering him down with simple, brutal counters, even busting out a top-rope fallaway slam and a torture rack, showing a little more variety than he did in his 1st PPV match since returning from the disabled list. Like I said in the preview, Cass didn't need the win here; as long as he continues to improve and maintains a consistent, dominant presence in his matches, he'll eventually find himself in a solid spot on the SD roster.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 2 pts Ken - 3 pts Alison - 2 pts Julie - 1 pt James - 2 pts Greg/Nick - 1 pt
Singles Match Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn
RESULT: Bobby Lashley wins via pinfall; Lashley pinned Zayn after a trio of delayed vertical suplexes.
THOUGHTS: This was a middle-of-the-road match capping off what was ultimately one of the worst storylines in recent memory, so expectations were actually exceeded, though that's not saying a whole lot.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 4 pts (LOCK) Ken - 4 pts Alison - 3 pts Julie - 2 pts James - 4 pts (LOCK) Greg/Nick - 1 pt
WWE Intercontinental Championship Singles Match "The Kingslayer" Seth Rollins (c) vs. "The Drifter" Elias
RESULT: Champion Seth Rollins wins via pinfall; Rollins pinned Elias after reversing a roll-up into one of his own with a handful of tights.
THOUGHTS: This was a really good match-up one of WWE's mainstays in Rollins versus a rising star in Elias, who only continues to get better with every big-time performance (I don't just mean his concerts, either). Usually I'd frown on faces using a heel tactic to retain a title, but commentary did a good job for once by playing up the fact that Elias ramped things up by assaulting Rollins from behind, them saying that Rollins was merely returning the favor by dipping into his bag of old heel tricks. With the narrow victory by Rollins and another solid performance under Elias' belt, I wouldn't be surprised to see "The Drifter" keep after the IC Title going into Extreme Rules next month.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 5 pts Ken - 5 pts Alison - 4 pts Julie - 4 pts (LOCK) James - 5 pts Greg/Nick - 2 pts
Women's Money In The Bank Ladder Match Lana vs. Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Ember Moon vs. Becky Lynch vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks
RESULT: Alexa Bliss wins the MITB briefcase; Alexa knocked Becky off one ladder into another ladder before climbing and retrieving the case.
THOUGHTS: I can already say this was better than the first installment from last year, especially with the ending as none of us on the WK Krew had picked Alexa to factor into the ending after the ignominious ending to her title feud with Nia Jax. Kudos to her and WWE, they pulled one over on us there. Aside from that, I was happy to see that they trusted the ladies to cut to the quick here with a plethora of brutal ladder spots (including Naomi's atomic split on the ladder, courtesy of Nattie. Yikes!). Every lady played their role well here, including Lynch, whose "close, but no cigar" storyline continues after coming up a hair short at MITB for the second straight year.
WK KING OF PPV (No one picked Alexa, so scores remain the same)
Dan - 5 pts Ken - 5 pts Alison - 4 pts Julie - 4 pts James - 5 pts Greg/Nick - 2 pts
Singles Match "The Big Dog" Roman Reigns vs. "The Modern-Day Maharaja" Jinder Mahal w/Sunil Singh
RESULT: Roman Reigns wins via pinfall; Reigns countered out of the Khallas and hit a spear for the three count.
THOUGHTS: So there was zero reaction for Jinder, zip fucks given for Reigns, Sunil's wheelchair antics and the Chicago crowd hijacking the match they couldn't have cared less about were the sole highlights of the match...hmmm, couldn't have imagined who would have called that.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 6 pts Ken - 6 pts Alison - 5 pts Julie - 5 pts James - 6 pts Greg/Nick - 2 pts
Smackdown Women's Championship Singles Match "The Princess of Staten Island" Carmella (c) vs. "The Empress of Tomorrow" Asuka
RESULT: Champion Carmella wins via pinfall; Carmella pinned Asuka after the Princess Kick, following a distraction by a returning James Ellsworth(!)
THOUGHTS: So I'm guessing either Ellsworth gave the proverbial middle finger to Middle Kingdom, or more likely it was a simply all a ploy to dissuade many of us from thinking he would show up at MITB to back Carmella. Either way, his return seemed to be the one highlight of this match, as Carmella turned in another middling performance versus a top-tier contender, and the ending only served to make Asuka look incompetent, as her bizarre post-Mania decline continues.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 6 pts Ken - 6 pts Alison - 5 pts Julie - 6 pts James - 6 pts Greg/Nick - 3 pts
WWE World Championship Last Man Standing Match "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles (c) vs. "The Artist" Shinsuke Nakamura
RESULT: Champion AJ Styles was the Last Man Standing; Styles hit Nakamura with a low blow punt and a Phenomenal Forearm through the announcer's table to keep him down for the ten count.
THOUGHTS: It certainly took them long enough, but we finally got the hard-hitting, top-rate spectacle we were hoping from both men, more on Shinuske's end because of his perceived lack of motivation. That was not the case here, as both men worked hard to put together what was a very solid and brutal LMS match, with some great false finishes, one off of Shinsuke's Flair-style "begging" low blow and another off of AJ's Styles Clash into the ringside floor. The latter move would lead into the climactic finish, with AJ returning the favor to Shinuske with a punt kick between the uprights, so to speak, leaving him prone for a top-rope Phenomenal Forearm through the announce table to polish off Nakamura, seemingly for good this time.
My criticisms boil down to two things: 1. Styles officially surpasses Sting as the "stupidest man in pro wrestling" by not wearing a cup after about two dozen low blows by Nakamura, including the one here. 2. Where does Shinsuke go from here? He's basically done; he named the stipulation he felt would most benefit him, played all his mind games to get under Styles' skin, which Styles himself admitted Shinsuke succeeded at, and Nakamura still lost. Guess it's back to the midcard for "Darth Naka-Cocka."
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 6 pts Ken - 6 pts Alison - 5 pts Julie - 6 pts James - 6 pts Greg/Nick - 3 pts
RAW Women's Championship Singles Match "The Irresistible Force" Nia Jax (c) vs. "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey
RESULT: Ronda Rousey wins via DQ; Alexa Bliss attacked Ronda with the MITB briefcase, causing the disqualification.
---CASH-IN BY ALEXA BLISS! ---
RESULT: NEWWW Champion Alexa Bliss wins via pinfall; Bliss pinned Jax after a DDT and a top-rope Twisted Bliss.
THOUGHTS: I appreciated that the two ladies went straight to the action without any feeling-out process, since it's really neither women's style. Rousey looked really good and aggressive here, and she's really been getting all of her in-ring mannerisms down pat, whereas her backstage presence and mic work needs some real fine tuning. The cash-in, in hindsight of Alexa's win, wasn't the biggest swerve, but did the right thing in saving face for Ronda, and gets some heat back for Alexa as she reenters the main event picture. Again, all of the WK Krew thought she was out of the title picture for the foreseeable future, so again kudos for the WWE writers putting one over all of our heads twice in one night. Don't get used to it though.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 7 pts Ken - 6 pts Alison - 6 pts Julie - 6 pts James - 6 pts Greg/Nick - 3 pts
Men's Money In The Bank Ladder Match Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Roode vs. The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Braun Strowman vs. Rusev vs. Samoa Joe vs. Kofi Kingston
RESULT: Braun Strowman wins the MITB Briefcase; Strowman knocked off Balor the ladder and tossed Kofi off of his back before retrieving the case for the win.
THOUGHTS: While I'm glad WWE had the foresight to put this on last rather than Roman-Jinder or Ronda-Nia (the latter probably could've worked with a few more minutes tacked on followed by Alexa's cash-in), the Men's MITB match coming on after Styles-Nakamura pretty much foretold of a RAW star coming out on top here, which meant only one man was really in line to win, that being the "Monster Among Men." While there was a predictable outcome in that regard (well, for Alison anyway lol), the match was nonetheless fun and chaotic, moreso than the women's match, but also a touch more disorganized. Then again, ladder matches have never been known for having a squeaky clean work-rate among their participants, so it's a forgivable drawback. Hopefully, this means that regardless of who comes out on top between Roman and Brock in their likely SummerSlam rematch, Strowman will be waiting in the wings as a ready and refreshed threat following his two big victories here and in the GRR match.
All in all, MITB 2018 was a solidly done show. Certainly not a blow-away like Takeover: Chicago on Saturday, but it put forward a great LMS match with Styles and Nakamura, two solid MITB ladder matches, and a short but sweet and physical encounter between Nia and Ronda, with a cash-in by Alexa to reignite her feud with Nia and possibly get Ronda into the mix, which could be fun.
WK KING OF PPV Dan - 7 pts Ken - 6 pts Alison (WINNER) - 8 pts (1st pick - Braun; 2 pts) Julie - 6 pts James - 6 pts Greg/Nick - 3 pts