Liv Morgan def. Raquel Rodriguez, Shotzi, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Lacey Evans and Alexa Bliss
This was a pretty solid ladder match overall, although I thought there were a few spots that didn’t really hit or execute the way the women intended. Whether it was the ladder awkwardly falling somewhere else or the ladder just not breaking altogether, it certainly looked like certain spots looked less impactful than what they were going for.
Also, I thought there were spots that were just there to pad time. For example, you had the entire sequence with Rodriguez and Asuka on the outside where Asuka was awkwardly going for an arm bar. That entire sequence ended with Asuka laid out on the ladder and Lynch kind of just bouncing off of Asuka, with it looking like she overshot it a bit.
In spite of all this, there was a lot to like, with certain spots progressing through match well and building the appropriate drama. Also, I thought the finish was ingenious, with Lynch seemingly having the match won before Morgan interfered at the last moment, continuing Lynch’s streak of bad luck over the past couple of months, driving her insane. She sold the pain of victory being stolen from her again after the match well.
Liv as the winner works for me well. She was really coming into her own as a singles competitor towards the end of last year and has emerged as a crowd favorite. Whenever she cashes in will be a good moment because there was a question as to where her WWE career was going once Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan were released.
Solid start to the show. ***1/2
Bobby Lashley def. Theory (C)
I was into this match heavy, even if I was skeptical about the potential chemistry they’d have with each other. It was physical, as you can see by Lashley bleeding from the mouth towards the end, and there were some good transitions.
I must say that I was shocked at the outcome, however, because with the way they had been booking Theory, I’d think they would have kept it on him longer. It looks like they want to go in with as much star power as possible going into Summerslam. I also liked that they showcased Theory’s youth and cockiness got to him as he tried to defeat Lashley with his own move but couldn’t finish the job.
It was a clean, physical match with a nice finish. Pretty good! ***1/4
Bianca Belair (C) def. Carmella – RAW Women’s Championship
Both on paper and in practicality, this was a mismatch. Bianca’s exponentially superior in athleticism and skill, while Carmella mostly carries a match along with her character and yelling. She’s had some good showings, but the fact that this match only went about 7 minutes really shows that Carmella in extended matches rarely yields good results.
For what this was, it was okay and we thankfully got to the point soon, but having Rhea in Carmella’s place would have made a world of difference in my opinion. **1/2
The Usos (C) def. Street Profits – Undisputed Tag Team Championship
The Usos and Street Profits have forging each other for a while so I know that it’s impossible for these two teams to have a bad match, according to the laws of physics. But they turned it up about 100 notches here. Hot damn was this a beautiful tag team match.
This match gave me vibes of Edge/Mysterio vs. Benoit/Angle from No Mercy 2002 back in the day. Good heat segments, good transitions, fantastic face and heel work, heart stopping near falls and a finish that ensures that we get more of this at Summerslam.
What I love is that the formula was basic, but when you have athletes that can make moves impactful, it carries a match along beautifully, and all four men did a fantastic drop of gradually building up drama until it reached its apex and they had the crowd going along for the ride.
And the finish, like I mentioned, was good because the camera angle made it seem like a clean pin fall, when in actuality, his shoulders were up, so The SP are protected and can lay claim to a rematch, perhaps with different stipulations. And The Usos were geniuses for knowing where the ref was so they couldn’t see it.
In short, this was such good shit. Match of the Year candidate to be sure. ****1/2
So, about the vignette that aired. I’ve seen many different opinions. Some have said Bray Wyatt is returning because of the ominous red lighting. Some have said Gabe Stevenson because of the gold medal. But in my opinion….it’s Edge. Why?
Someone took some still screenshots of the vignette, and what did we see? A license plate that seemed to say LATINOHEAT, a photo of a table with glasses and arm bands and the gold medal. Edge has connection with Eddie Guerrero (Latino Heat), Jeff Hardy (arm bands) and The Dudley Boyz (glasses). Don’t know if he’s forming a new faction or whatever, but that’s just my guess.
Ronda Rousey (C) def. Natalya – SmackDown Women’s Championship
This was a pretty solid technical match filled with clever counters and a solid story of Rousey being able to block the Sharpshooter with her defense and prowess. The match was really more submission based so the crowd really had a tough time getting into it, and the finish was also rather awkward as well, but technically speaking, it was about what I expected. Solid overall, but nothing really to write home about. ***
Liv Morgan def. Ronda Rousey (C) – SmackDown Women’s Championship
Well, that was rather quick, wasn’t it? We probably should have seen this one coming from a mile away. Since the women have had their Money In The Bank ladder matches, women have cashed in on the same night twice (Alexa Bliss – 2018 and Bayley – 2019). So there was a good chance of it happening, but I absolutely did not expect it to be on Ronda this abruptly. But, they pulled the trigger, and all I can say is I’m very happy for Liv. Winning the briefcase, and pinning a WrestleMania main eventer, finally becoming champion must be a moment she’ll never forget.
One problem I had is Ronda holding the title, and giving it to her after and raising her hand. Felt like they made it too much about Ronda. Just have Liv get the title and let her have her moment without having to wait till Ronda allows her to.
Also, I don’t like the repetitive nature of the women cashing in on the same night they win it. I get that it’s a good treat for the live crowd there and it does create a sense of unpredictability for the matches later that night. However, the point of the briefcase is to have the superstar carry it around week after week and slowly build to the drama of them eventually cashing it in, so that when they win, it’s a huge deal and the payoff is there. That’s more or less always been the story of the briefcase. I just felt like that aspect of the briefcase has been lost over the last few years. Morgan cashing in on Ronda tonight was a very good moment for her, and memorable. But I think it would have been more memorable if Morgan had carried it around for a few months or so while Ronda continued to hold the title, and then just on one night, you hear her music and you start questioning when it’s happening. And when it happens, it’s huge. It works when you do it on the same night as well. But when you do it so often on the same night every other year? It kind of loses its luster after a while.
Theory def. Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Madcap Moss, Riddle, Sami Zayn and Omos – Money In The Bank Ladder Match
We knew from the moment Theory was added at the last minute who was winning the match. So that removed the drama aspect of everything in regards to guessing who would win. As for Theory actually winning the match, it’s not all that surprising. It’s clear that WWE has big plans for him and being “Mr. McMahon’s” protege will go a long way in terms of where he goes in his career. A lot of people have seen him as a 2015 version of Seth Rollins. While I’m not there as of yet, he does have certain intaingbles. In-ring capabilities is a big check mark, and he does have the look of a superstar. Does he have that kind of presence of a big time superstar? Not sure we’re there, but we never know until someone actually wins the world title, so I’m willing to at least see it through. Most of the stars in this ladder match were already more or less established anyway. I saw most people pulling for Riddle, though.
Actual match itself was very good as well, although I don’t think it touched last year’s quality. That’s probably because we had more highflyers from last year such as Ricochet and John Morrison flipping all over the place. Tonight, we had more mat-based powerhouses, but a ladder match can still be entertaining depending on how you utilize the ladders. There was some good high spots such as Riddle’s Floating Bro from the top of the ladder, Omos looking like a big walrus being thrust into the sea when he went through the announce table, and Drew bench pressing a ladder with Sheamus on it. The powerbomb Moss hit on Zayn was pretty nasty looking.
I did enjoy myself a very good deal watching this match, though. It was a spot fest, but it was a physical looking spot fest. ****
I don’t know about you guys, but WWE has been on a tear with their PPV live events lately. The lowered number of matches on the card and increase in quality is a breath of fresh air, as we’ve gotten quality showing after quality showing. WrestleMania, WrestleMania Backlash, Hell In a Cell, and now Money In The Bank have all delivered quality shows from top to bottom where every match gets time to tell a story, the main event delivers, and there’s memorable moments sprinkled throughout.
Tonight, we had two very solid ladder matches, two title changes, and a match of the year candidate in the tag team match. Not really sure you could have asked for much more. Hopefully this trend continues going into Summerslam and the momentum can continue. Thumbs up for Money In The Bank 2022.