There's nothing quite like the feeling of sitting in an arena full of wrestling fans. You truly feel at home with 15,000 people sharing something in common with you. The ring sitting in the center looks like a magical place. The tron is "nice and shiny." You feel like a kid on Christmas morning all over again.
I was able to experience all of this (for the tenth time) last weekend at Money in the Bank in St. Louis. It was my third WWE event in the Lou, and my second pay-per-view (with my first being Survivor Series 2014). There was quite a bit of buzz for this show going in because Randy Orton was returning home for a world title shot, and two big ladder matches were set to leave fans in awe.
The night kicked off with Zack Ryder's in-ring return as he reunited with Mojo Rawley for a basic win over Primo and Epico. That's really all there was to it, and it felt like a match you would see at a house show. I can't complain much, though, as I appreciated WWE putting their talent to use. I've always been a big fan of Ryder, so it was nice to see him in person again. Mojo's hype gimmick really does have a way of convincing you to cheer for him... It's infectious!
We move on to start the main show with the much-anticipated and historical Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match. The excitement surged throughout the entire building, making it hard to boo any of the ladies as they made their way to the ring. The final video package that aired before the bell was the perfect final hype. Right off the bat, Tamina impressed me with her dominance, which was probably a good decision considering she wasn't very likely to win. The beauty of this match was everyone was able to be showcased properly.
The match went 13 minutes, but it really didn't feel like they were able to shift into the next gear like the men's match did. Hopefully that's because of the rematch coming up. I must say that I was all for Carmella winning, and to be completely honest, the way she won didn't bother me like it did most. I totally understand why people hated it, I do. Now that it's all played out, I'm both excited and disappointed. I'm excited to see it properly unfold next week, yet I'm disappointed/worried that Carmella won't regain the case. I see money in her, especially after that promo she cut at the start of SmackDown. Drop Ellsworth and strap her later this summer.
I was worried that Tag Team Championship match would be too much of a cool-down bout, but boy was I wrong. Kofi Kingston was a serious highlight reel here. The New Day and The Usos definitely have great chemistry together. Not even the few botches, insane nearfalls, and count-out finish could take away from me loving how this turned out. While it sucked to have the finish follow the Women's Ladder match, I can accept it as the feud needs to continue.
It still seems unreal that Naomi vs. Lana went 7 minutes. I've re-watched the entire show and it still seems as short as the filler tag match that happened later on. This match was the low light for me unfortunately. I loved experiencing Naomi's glow entrance though! Lana came out to hardly any reaction. She did alright for her singles debut. Still the fans didn't care though, and continued chanting "We want Rusev" and "Let's Go Cena/Cena Sucks." Carmella's appearance and teased cash-in was the highlight of the bout, and I wish she would've. Naomi retaining was smart as Lana needs more time.
As soon as I heard the unfamiliar music hit, I just knew it was Mike and Maria. Being in the crowd where I was and not being able to fully hear the song lyrics or their promos clearly, I didn't realize until after the show what their gimmick is. I'll give it time before judging, but I'm a fan of their work. Maria has a presence on the mic and Mike is a good talent in the ring. They were one of the highlights for me personally in Impact last year. Here's to hoping they are successful on the blue brand.
WWE made the right choice by bumping the WWE Title match into the co-main event spot. While the bout was a big deal for St. Louis, the match sharing the same name as the event rightfully should've gone on last. Everyone involved here told a beautiful story. Orton tried to win back the World Title in his hometown with "Cowboy" Bob in the front row on Father's Day. Unfortunately, the villains managed to prevail. I honestly think this was the best match I've seen from Jinder yet, and that's saying something coming from me. Despite that, I thought the finish came off as weak in person after Orton went on a rampage only to be beat with what looked like a simple slam. Watching it back now, the finisher appears more effective, but at that moment, fans around me were frustrated.
Getting to see Breezango under their new babyface push was an added bonus. However, I had my hopes too high that WWE would actually be creative with who's been attacking the duo. Turning American Alpha heel and having them come out and destroy Breezango would've been welcomed. Instead, The Ascension jobbed out in three minutes. Talk about a let down. Also, has anyone else noticed Konnor's weight gain?
The Men's Ladder match truly was something special to witness. It sucks we couldn't see Shinsuke Nakamura's entrance in full, but singing it at the top of our lungs and the events that followed later on somewhat made up for it. Like the Women's match, everyone played their role successfully, especially AJ Styles. Nakamura's return generated the loudest pop of the evening, with Orton and Ric Flair following behind. Everyone was on their feet by the time Styles and Nakamura's showdown began. That moment nearly ranks as high as witnessing Sting's WWE debut at Survivor Series. These are the moments that are worth the price of admission alone.
Baron Corbin went on to win, which was also a good call by officials. After Corbin's celebration, AJ Styles got up and limped around the ring. Before he went to the back, he stopped at the ramp and had one more stare down with Nakamura before they both walked off. Kevin Owens was helped to the back by Charles Robinson, while Zayn and Ziggler slowly walked on their own.
After the show, I was somewhat surprised to read the negative feedback. I could understand some of the complaints, but overall I thought this show delivered, considering things could've been worse believe it or not. Overall, this was probably one of the best I've been to yet. However the best moment/match I've witnessed still remains as the main event of Survivor Series 2014.
So that's just my perspective of the show from section 107 of the Scottrade Center. I'm looking forward to seeing what SmackDown Live has in store as the road to SummerSlam continues heating up. I also encourage you to go to a WWE event if you ever get the chance. You won't regret it!
I'm hoping to do more of these CJ's Chitchat columns on a weekly basis, so stay tuned! You can follow me on Twitter @CJBlazeWNW.