WWE held their annual Money in the Bank PPV event last night and in my humble opinion it was the best PPV of 2020 so far. I was truly pumped up for the event in the weeks that preceded it, and for the most part (almost the entirety in fact) I wasn't disappointed with the outcome.
Join me as I delve into the match card and give my WWE MITB 2020 - Recap & Review!
Kickoff Show - Jeff Hardy vs Cesaro
Now I'm a life long Jeff Hardy fan, so maybe I'm a little bias. The dude is one of my all time favourites and can do no wrong in my eyes (at least in a wrestling ring...). Some will take umbridge to the fact that Cesaro:
• Wasn't on the main MITB card
• Wasn't in the ladder match
• Lost on the Kickoff Show after years of being one of the most talented guys on the roster.
But I'm afraid that ship sailed a long time ago. Cesaro knows his role now. I would argue there are better people to put over than Jeff Hardy, who is on his 30th last chance, but that is what that is. A solid match where despite his limitations, Cesaro managed to make Jeff look great just like he does with everyone.
SmackDown Tag Team Titles - The New Day (c) vs Lucha House Party vs Miz & Morrison vs The Forgotten Sons
TAG TEAM WRESTLING IS BACK BABY... but for how long? Smackdown over the last few months have absolutely crushed it when it comes to showcasing their tandems and long may it continue. For the longest time, SmackDown Tag Team Championship matches kept falling into the category of “it was great but multi team matches always are”.
It has been The Usos & The New Day spinning their wheels for years, in great matches of course, and now we can add Miz & Morrison into the situation too. The saving grace recently has been adding in Lucha House Party and The Forgotten Sons. They've made things fresh and I would've been happy with any of the four teams winning, which is quite rare these days. This was a very good match, though not as good as their encounter two nights before on Smackdown.
R-Truth vs Bobby Lashley
This was a thing that happened.
There has been much speculation about MVP starting a stable, and Lashley would be a fine addition to his already exciting group. The issue for me is that Lashley has already had two mouthpieces, been in one group, and none of it served to get him any more over. One minute matches like this one don't exactly help either. R-Truth challenged Tom Brady later in the show, so he’s back to doing his usual madness, which is nice.
SmackDown Women’s Championship - Bayley (c) w/Sasha Banks vs Tamina
I liked this more than I thought I would but to be honest it was less about what happened in the ring, which was sloppy at best, and more for what Sasha Banks brought to it.
You need to watch this one to truly understand what I mean, but Sasha was just getting it done last night. Her attitude, personality and tremendous heel work have made this program with Tamina much better than it deserved to be. Bayley to her credit did the best that she could with Tamina. I keep asking my friends and followers for an explanation for the Tamina push and I still haven’t heard one, and I don't think I ever will. At the same time, I never want to see Sasha & Bayley split up because they’re just so beautiful together. It's just a shame that they have to, because Smackdown have once again run out of options and booked themselves into a corner.
WWE Universal Championship - Braun Strowman (c) vs Bray Wyatt
FFFH Bray is an absolute delight to watch. Braun had to face off against the children’s TV show version of Bray because WWE are obviously saving the Fiend for the next big show - likely Summerslam. They even teased it after this match as Bray stared down the champ, which I’m fine with since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and there’s no real need to rush into anything else right now.
Similar to the women before, I enjoyed this match much more than I expected to. I especially enjoyed the part where Bray was outsmarted by Braun after he put on his old Wyatt Family sheep mask on, and all of Brays puppets showed up at ringside to get outsmarted too. What this did was finally give The Fiend motivation. His character goes after people who have hurt and betrayed him, which is exactly what Strowman has now done.
WWE Championship - Seth Rollins vs Drew McIntyre (c)
These guys tore the house down here. This felt more like a genuine World Championship match than anything I’ve seen in quite some time. They brought everything that they possibly could and in front of a live crowd I could see myself giving it an even better rating because the WWE Universe would have been into it and elevated it. The booking of Mcintyre's reign has simply been absolutely perfect so far. Seth worked his typical style, hitting a bunch of impressive, high octane moves because that’s what he does. Drew looked like a million bucks and put on a performance beyond what most big men can do. Solid stuff. We even got a post-match handshake because Drew is just that kind of guy regardless of how Seth has treated him. I’m not sure what it means going forward, but I’m not sure anybody else does either.
I wish Drew had been given a title run when things were normal, because I think he’s the type of charming babyface that could do good business especially if he went for the US Championship first. We won’t know for a while though, nor will we know about Braun on SmackDown, if these guys are good enough to carry the company. I know people are chomping at the bit to declare these title runs failures already, but find me a former WWE champion that could work in this era. Even Shawn Michaels in his prime would have had a tough time with it.
Corporate Ladder Match
Some early reports that I saw had this scheduled for the entire length of the show, which would have been tough to sit through and I’m glad they didn’t do it that way. Cutting away to other matches during what was billed as the main attraction would have been tremendously awkward to watch. Having both matches take place at the same time was awkward enough, though I do understand why they had to go down that route.
It was a light hearted, fun little piece of business. To be honest, I have an absolute tonne of complaints about it but I'll have to cover them another time, though I will go over a few key gripes now. The main one to pick up on though was AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan brawling into Vince McMahon’s office. Vince told them to get out and they obliged but not before they straightened the chairs that they had un-straightened. This is one of those glaring examples of the difference between the Attitude Era wrestlers that didn’t give a damn & the Gratitude Era wrestlers that are just happy to be there.
Can you see Stone Cold Steve Austin straightening out those chairs for his boss? Owen Hart & the British Bulldog brought a bunch of pigs into Vince’s office as a tremendous rib once upon a time. The late 1990s guys felt free to do whatever they wanted, and that’s why they got over so naturally. Now? AJ & Daniel are cowering & begging off to an eighty year old. An 80 year old who AJ laid out with a right hand backstage some time last year and is now scared of. Not great.
Another was when Dana Brooke was also seen begging off to Stephanie McMahon. This one seemed more believable, but that in itself is just silly because why would there be a Money in the Bank conference room? And why would the briefcase they're fighting for be on the second floor? Why would it be behind behind a closed door? Why not on the roof where it was advertised as being? Still, I bought into that bit more than the segment in Vince’s office. Possibly because Dana didn’t actually clean anything up before she left.
Asuka was consistently the smartest person in the Women’s MITB match, making it to the roof before being touched at all, so it made sense that she won in the end. Kicking Corbin off of the ladder is another moment that made no sense at all when they were both going for individual cases. Another issue is how we've been hearing for weeks about how Becky Lynch is going to confront the Women’s MITB winner on RAW… so we already knew it was one of only 3 women rather than the 6 they had built up who would realistically win it.
The men’s match had quite the conclusion. King Corbin tossed Rey Mysterio & Aleister Black onto a crash pad a few feet below, which was quite the let-down after the rumors of people being tossed off of Titan Towers to their apparent deaths. You could hear the collision onto the crash pad as clear as day. It happened a literal second after he threw them. It removed even the slightest element of mystery because of lazy editing.
Then to finish things off we had Corbin & Styles face off on the ladder, which led to Elias seemingly rising from the dead and hitting Corbin with his guitar, which led to Corbin falling off, and the briefcase falling off… INTO THE HANDS OF OTIS!
To summarise everyones MITB performance:
• Otis - OH YEEEEEEAH!
• Corbin - Wanted for murder.
• Styles - Can't hold things or open doors.
• Bryan - OCD
• Black - Dead.
• Rey - Also dead.
• Asuka - Sure. If you insist.
• Shayna - Main roster run is already dead and buried.
• Nia - A botch machine even in a pre-taped match.
• Lacey - She was there.
• Carmella - That outfit!
• Dana - Doesn't watch WWE TV.
My main man Otis has the Money in the Bank briefcase, and that’s all I ever asked for. It made up for how little I enjoyed the match. Especially since the show was the shortest since that ECW December Debacle. I will always cut wrestling promotions a bit of slack if they give me what I want, and WWE gave me Otis with a briefcase. I’m sold. Good show, Vince.
I expect Otis to be carrying briefcases full of sandwiches until the proper time. OH YEAH. I am such a huge fan of this scenario that I will tune out if they try to switch the briefcase onto somebody else. Just let Otis carry that briefcase (full of sandwiches and a contract) and I will be a happy man. I ask very little of WWE, but let me have this until Otis tries to cash in. And maybe he cashes in on the New Day. That would be fine. Maybe he lets Mandy Rose cash in on Bayley. That would be fine, and could lead to all sorts of things.
Overall Show Grade - A
It was a short show. Most of the matches were great, and the end result gave me what I wanted. It was quite the opposite of those seven hour shows that weren’t so great at all and gave me absolutely nothing that I wanted. I feel like WWE is moving in the right direction at the moment, through means which they didn’t expect.
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