Another pay-per-view is in the bag—or in this situation, the case—with Money in the Bank 2018.
I went into this event with some mixed feelings and anxiety about how WWE could pull it off, as there was a lot of potential, but also some matches that I had zero to no interest in, or I felt could be ruined with a poor outcome.
Admittedly, I wasn’t having the highest of hopes when the night started off with a rather uneventful pre-show, going into Big Cass tapping out for the second time in a row and then Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn being so bland and uninspired.
The tag title match was meh, Cass losing like that gives me no reason to believe in his credibility going forward and he’ll need to rehab that loss (which I’m not particularly interested in seeing), and this Lashley/Zayn encounter could have been taken off the card and I would have enjoyed having that extra time to focus on all the work I’ve had to do tonight without feeling like I’ve missed out on anything.
Thankfully, the Intercontinental Championship match followed this and really picked up the pace.
Seth Rollins has been on fire and he had nice chemistry with Elias here, to a point where I’d be completely down for seeing another match between the two either on Monday Night Raw coming up, or at Extreme Rules. No complaints about this segment at all.
The thumbs up continued with the women’s ladder match, which I thought was solid through and through, where all of the women had a chance to shine a bit, and I was happy with the outcome. I’m a big proponent of Alexa Bliss being at the top of the women’s division, since I feel she’s one of a select few who can actually talk and have her character dictate the feuds going on in an entertaining way.
Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal wasn’t a letdown, because I had no faith in it being anything worth paying attention to in the first place. I’m glad this was the match the crowd crapped on, instead of it being something like Carmella vs. Asuka, as there still seems to be an unfortunate tendency for people to think of the women’s matches as bathroom breaks (as evidenced from last night’s NXT Women’s Championship crowd)
Reigns/Mahal was flat and served no purpose. Yawn. Carmella and Asuka was better than I thought it would be, but I’m disappointed Asuka has lost again. This means she’s suffering from the lack of the undefeated streak, which happens to almost everybody in WWE. It’s a shame that once someone becomes vulnerable, the company can’t figure out ways to keep them from turning it around into a bunch of losses. I’m also not sold on James Ellsworth coming back into the fold, but I don’t think it’ll be a regular thing. We’ll see about that.
I’m SO thankful AJ Styles retained the WWE Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura. I’ve been over this feud for a long time and the last thing I wanted to see was Nakamura win, Styles dragging things out with a rematch until Extreme Rules, and then Nakamura either being left with nothing all that interesting to do at SummerSlam (and afterward) or for the title to switch for no reason.
The match itself had some okay points and some boring points. Typical Last Man Standing setup. Too much time spent waiting for something to happen, and then a fun spot to set up more counting. I’ll take it as a win, though, since Styles kept the belt.
Ronda Rousey surprised me with her skills in her match against Nia Jax. I had kept the idea out there that she might not be good enough in a singles capacity, but she proved me wrong well enough that I’m okay with having her hold that title. Of course, that didn’t happen with Alexa Bliss cashing in, which I think was the smart move in various ways that I dive into in more detail on the post-show recap podcast below. For the shorthand version of this, I liked it a lot.
Even more, though, I liked the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match. I thought this was the most fun segment of the whole night, and since I’m a major fan of Braun Strowman, seeing him be treated like the dominant star that he should always be was certainly something for me to be happy about, as was his winning the briefcase.
I’m hoping this doesn’t go down a bad route with him turning heel or kickstarting another feud with Roman Reigns, or falling victim to the “Money in the Bank winner can lose a lot because they have the briefcase” curse WWE tends to have quite a bit, but I’m holding out some optimistic hope that this will just mean Strowman will dethrone Brock Lesnar, get put over as the new guy, and we’ll move on from this muck that has been holding down the Raw main event scene for a year.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews Money in the Bank with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.
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