Live from Boston, Massachusetts is WWE Money in the Bank tonight. Featuring two of the signature Ladder Matches, the event is expected to deliver the spot-heavy fast-paced action of years past. For the first time ever, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will be on the line in the main event Ladder Match, thanks to Daniel Bryan being stripped due to injury. The pre-show will feature Bryan himself, making his first appearance since being stripped.
A traditional Money in the Bank Ladder Match will also take place for the briefcase, plus a big Tag Team Championship match as the Usos defend against The Wyatt Family. For a full preview and predictions, click here.
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The panel gets two very welcome new faces alongside Booker T and Alex Riley – new host Renee Young and a Ladder Match legend in Christian. Very wise choice, shame he couldn’t compete.
Daniel Bryan is in the building, and I’m sure everyone in the state of Boston probably realises because the reaction is as loud as ever! This crowd love him being back, and anyone that worried that his run of bad luck since WrestleMania might derail the Yes Movement can eat their words.
The “Bad News” is that Bryan doesn’t know when he will be back, and may even need a second surgery as he still hasn’t recovered full strength in his left arm. Cole gets boos for mentioning the fact his championship is being contested without him. He points out that his story is constantly filled with being knocked back, but he will return and win the title back again.
Fan questions from social media now. Biggest threat to win the title tonight: “I have three thoughts on this. One, John Cena. Two, Randy Orton.” Both receive boos. “But three, someone who I think is incredible – Roman Reigns.” Solid reaction for him. Cesaro must feel shafted there, as many would expect their previous association to get a shout-out.
Bryan is asked about the manner in which his titles were taken from him, which he gives a stock answer to. He is surprisingly interrupted by Bo Dallas who will no doubt give him an inspirational speech about continuing to BoLieve despite his injuries. Great exposure for Bo here, but they run the risk of Bo coming across as face comedy with Bryan unable to put him in his place.
His joke about a “pain in the neck” and his signature line both get positive reactions, presumably not the intention. Bryan tells him he is acting like a “Bo-ner”, family friendly PG joke there for the children. Instant chant for there though. He then brings up an NXT staple by telling him, “Bo, leave.” WWE will hope that will catch on.
The panel generally pick Orton to win the main event, before they are interrupted by a Wyatt Family cut-in. But, as in recent tradition, it is only a Harper and Rowan video promo. Looks like the Tag Team Championships will be on first.
The pre-show ends awkwardly early with a black screen, but Cole’s headset was awkwardly still on to overhear his response to (presumably) Vince. WWE has accidentally lifted the production curtain quite a bit recently due to lazy efforts.
Money in the Bank
A pretty standard opening video package, although a bit more generic and less exciting than WWE usually puts together. Possibly due to not really having a rivalries to focus on for the main event match. Orton and Reigns issues were surprisingly ignored, as was the long rivalry between Cena and Wyatt.
As expected, the tag match is opening as The Usos begin their signature entrance routine. The fans are well behind them and this should be an exciting way to open the show, smart choice. The Wyatt Family enter to another terrible new entrance music, opening with a track of the choir singing ‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’ before moving into some weird guitar cover of it. Why WWE want the team to be completely separate to their leader still remains unknown, as that group strength is a large part of their, and Bray’s, appeal.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family
The champs begin the control but are soon shut off by a dropkick from Harper, that STILL amazes and confuses the commentators somehow. After a bit of team strategy, the brothers get back in it again and take control with fast offence. As the action spills to the outside, Jey borrows a move from Jeff Hardy (with less grace unfortunately) as he charges along the guardrail to fly off onto Rowan on the floor.
Back in the ring he is sent from the top rope to the rail to begin the true dominance from the big men. After a period of control, the tide swings as Jimmy eventually gets the hot tag in and begins clearing house to both Harper and Rowan! After disposing of Rowan, he hits Harper with two consecutive Super Kicks but only gets a two count.
He then saves, and sacrifices, his brother from a Fall Away Slam on the floor by diving over the top into him to take down Rowan. As expected, it is Jey who is the most hurt from the encounter as Rowan makes his way into the ring to team up on Jimmy. But Jey makes it in for the save to take Rowan back out of the equation. Harper hits Jimmy with a massive Sit Out Powerbomb, only for a two count!
Harper flies out of the ring with a big suicide dive into Jey, before Jimmy flies into Rowan – who catches him! He then holds him in place for a suicide dive from Harper into him as well! The two hit a big double Chokeslam of sorts on Jimmy, but Jey breaks up the pinfall at two!
More multi-person mayhem, leaving Rowan to climb to the top to try and finish off Jimmy! But Jimmy hits the ropes to crotch the big man, who it would have been unbelievable to see fly. Rowan blocks the Superplex attempt, but Jimmy fights back, with Jey tagging in and the pair combine to Superplex him!! Jey is too hurt to cover, so instead tags Jimmy! The two then fly from the top with consecutive Superfly Splashes!!
Winners, and still Tag Team Champions: The Usos
A recap of Seth Rollins betrayal of The Shield, but it is unlikely to lead to anything immediate besides a Rollins interview.
Instead it leads to a backstage promo from Dean Ambrose, which seems strange that it would receive a video package to precursor someone who The Authority hates. Ambrose contemplates whether to go for “case or face” before eventually assessing that he can go for both. Pretty good promo to continue their feud and highlight that it is the backbone of the traditional Ladder Match.
Naomi makes her entrance with fellow Funkadaktyl Cameron, with the show getting both undercard championship matches out of the way from the off. Strange tactic really, you’d think something like Rusev’s match would be in this slot. Paige gets the better reaction for her arrival, but while neither is exactly deafening, Paige is clearly a popular diva. Yet Vince still doesn’t understand her appeal. Because apparently he cannot understand how people would like a pale woman who breaks the mould.
Divas Championship Match: Paige vs. Cameron
The match immediately breaks down as the two roll around and spill to the floor in an aggressive shoving match against the rails and ring apron. This seems like a slight overreaction considering the sportsmanship that the story has centred on. Their only problem came at the hands of Cameron’s trick shove on SmackDown, but that wouldn’t create this level of animosity. Especially if Paige watches the footage back.
Naomi takes early control after Paige’s headscissor slam from a kneel, as Naomi flies over the top rope to the floor to take down the champ. For some reason Naomi waits for her return to the ring, despite it looking questionable at one point – even the commentators question the tactic given count outs not allowing a title change.
Paige makes it back in but continues to be dominated by her challenger, as Naomi ends up locking her into the same submission hold she put her in during her Main Event victory. Just like the first time, she randomly releases it. Naomi dominating this one isn’t being sold as Paige being out of her depth as in previous matches, it is being done to promote Naomi’s desire to win here.
Unfortunately a big botch causes an ugly spill from the top rope to the floor, and Paige looks like she could have hurt her leg. Back in the ring neither looks hurt, so perhaps it wasn’t as botched as it seems, but a move that ugly will always look dodgy and ruin the flow of a match.
It gets the champ back in control as she begins the submission hold offence, but Naomi fights out and uses fast paced offence to get back into it! She tops it off with a Rear View!! But Paige kicks out at two! Cameron didn’t look impressed at her partner’s almost success, and actually looks happier when Paige counters her Split Legged Moonsault attempt.
Paige goes for her Paige Tap Out, but is countered into a roll-up for another near fall! Some back-and-forth counters, ending in Paige hitting the Ram-Paige for the victory!
Winner, and still Divas Champion: Paige
Cameron was celebrating Paige’s win on the outside, before climbing into the ring to console Naomi and pretend she didn’t do anything. Wonder if Naomi will watch the footage back unlike Paige did for SmackDown…
A re-run of the Kick-Off statistics video. Great way to reward viewers who watched it, having to re-watch the same lengthy package… Thanks guys.
Paul Revere is here! Only kidding, it is Damien Sandow‘s latest get-up! Judging by his entrance promo, he is facing Adam Rose. He is talking in his proper character, condemning the audience for their stupidity, and it serves best for a natural feud with Rose. Here come the Tropic Express, it will be interesting to see if Christian comments on Rose’s new(ish) shades, that have a very Edge & Christian vibe to them. Rose has a microphone, telling Sandow to turn his frown upside down because Boston is the place to party!
Adam Rose vs. Damien Sandow
After some shenanigans before the match, the match is eventually under way. Sandow cuts off Rose’s usual games early, and this inevitably short match may be better than expected. Oh, never mind. Rose delivers a weird butt smashing and wiggle move, that looks like a turnbuckled version of Madison Rayne’s signature kneeling face smash.
The crowd are all chanting with the Rosebuds, WWE can thank London for that one. Sandow shouts “The elbow is coming! The elbow is coming!” before delivering his Cubito Aequet. Rose begins a comeback, delivering a unique flurry. It is eventually cut off as Sandow goes for business, hitting a big You’re Welcome to seriously threaten his undefeated streak! But Rose surprisingly kicks out at two!
Sandow goes for a springboard second-rope moonsault but misses, and finds himself hit with the Party Foul for the Rose victory. Pretty good match, certainly better than expected for a squash match.
Winner: Adam Rose
The commentators officially announce that Bad News Barrett is out of the Ladder Match. Massive shame, and one of the favourites has been taken out of the picture. It all leads in to a generic series of video promos seeing each member of the traditional Money in the Bank match hyping themselves. This sadly serves to make Rollins feel like a part of the package, while Ambrose got a bigger than everyone else treatment by getting a separate backstage one earlier. Ziggler predictably gets a huge reaction from the crowd when he appears.
It looks like it is time for the first Money in the Bank of the night! And Lilian announces that it is! Seth Rollins is first to enter, to a surprising cheer – but it seems that the crowd got his and Ambrose’s musics confused… There’s a sign that the two repackaged Shield members received music that was too generic if there ever was one.
Rob Van Dam is next to a strong response, but nothing compared to what it was a year ago. It’s quite amazing how far his stock has slipped in a year, considering he hasn’t even been here for the entirety of it. Jack Swagger is next, getting the usual “We The People” crowd response but unpopular. Clear crowd favourite so far, as many people’s hopes for winner arrives: Dolph Ziggler! He is followed by the man to keep an eye on for a creative moment, Kofi Kingston. And finally, to a reaction probably equal to Ziggler’s, Dean Ambrose!
Traditional Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Ambrose immediately goes after Rollins and tackles him to the floor, then ringside area and straight into the timekeepers area! The ring soon settles down to Kofi and RVD against each other, before Kofi immediately brings a ladder into play! And with it, his first innovation of the night. Swagger holds the ladder up diagonally in front of himself, but Kofi runs up it to fly off into Van Dam! He follows it up with a Boom Drop to Swagger on the ladder, clearing the ring to set up a ladder to begin climbing. Fast moving match already here.
Ambrose pushes the ladder, causing Kofi to springboard off the top rope onto Ziggler, Swagger and RVD at ringside! Kofi clearly has a point to prove here.
Ambrose and Rollins take turns attempting to climb the ladder, but they get stopped by their opposite number every time. The two battle to try and suplex the other onto a propped up ladder, with Ambrose eventually winning out with an underhook suplex.
Rollins is replaced in the battle by Swagger, but the remaining men (minus Rollins) all join the scramble too. Ziggler and Kofi end up the two on the ladder, before Swagger and Ambrose in turn interrupt. They are seen off before another ladder battle between Ziggler and Kofi, they bring themselves down from the ladder with hair pulling before Rollins clocks them with a ladder of his own. Van Dam then takes it to Rollins.
RVD props a ladder across the bottom turnbuckle, placing Rollins on it before performing a Rolling Thunder onto him! Van Dam sees off Ambrose, Ziggler and Swagger in turn, hitting a Five Star Frog Splash on the latter as the exclamation point.
After a brief battle between RVD and Kofi, Swagger sets up a ladder in the corner to attempt a Superplex to Van Dam, who pushes him off and calls for the Frog Splash from the top. He is cut off by Rollins, before RVD counters it to set up a Superplex on him! Rollins fights it off, and Swagger comes in to Powerbomb RVD from the ladder! Ambrose is back in, taking down Swagger, before he actually hits the Superplex from the top of the ladder to Rollins!!!!!!
Ambrose leans up against the ropes behind a ladder, before Ziggler is tossed into it all. Swagger slams a ladder on top of Kofi before hitting a Swagger Bomb onto it! Self-sacrifice by splashing directly to the ladder, but it leaves him alone with a ladder to climb.
RVD, Ambrose and Rollins are back in to stop it, before the two rivals brawl on top of the ladder. Ambrose wins out, left to the briefcase, but Swagger’s attempt to stop him is countered into a falling DDT from the ladder! Rollins begins his climb, before Ambrose knocks the ladder over. Ambrose looks hurt from the DDT he just performed, but whether this is real or kayfabe is currently unknown. They are serious about checking up on him, as he tries to fight them all off but is sent to the back. If it is kayfabe, he’ll soon be back for the big stop of Rollins.
Ziggler has been conspicuously absent this match, as RVD is again the one to stop Rollins. Kofi is propping a ladder across the ropes and a ladder rung, as the three now battle atop the ladder. RVD gets caught in the ladder with an awkward post-kick fall, leaving the two.
Kofi flips Rollins over his head onto the propped up ladder, which springs up and it’s a brutal looking move as Rollins bounces back into the original ladder! Unbelievable!
Kofi is alone atop the ladder, with just the briefcase!! But Ziggler makes the save and then clears house as Swagger and Van Dam get back in the mix!! Zig Zag to Kofi onto a ladder! Dolph is alone in the ring if he can set up a ladder!
Swagger cuts off his climb with a Patriot Lock, as Ziggler continues to climb through while still in the hold! Ziggler is now on his own near the top of the ladder! Fully expect a Rollins stop here to win the match for himself, but it is currently looking good for the fan favourite!
And there’s Rollins! Chair shot to the bad ankle, then a follow-up one to the back. Rollins is now the sole man, but Ambrose charges back to the ring to grab the chair and lay a huge beating into Rollins! Alone in the ring, Ambrose begins his ladder struggle. He is alone atop the ladder, but KANE‘s pyro hits and he charges to the ring to stop him!! An expected screwy finish, but it fits with all the endless Plan B talk from Rollins. Kane ends his attack with a (weak) Tombstone Piledriver on Ambrose before standing guard for Rollins climb (in a mirror image to SmackDown with Orton).
Winner, and Mr. Money in the Bank: Seth Rollins
Great ending to the match and a good way to further hint at Kane’s role for Orton’s win in the main event. It is sadly foreshadowing it too much, so now Orton has been removed from the already short list of legitimate contenders to win.
It’s good storytelling though, and Kane is looking increasingly likely for a face turn soon as he is beginning to look reluctant in his role of lackey. Not sure what good a face turn would do to the show or roster, but it would help freshen up Kane.
The Authority come out to congratulate Rollins as the top of the ramp, beaming from ear-to-ear. If WWE continue to develop Rollins heel persona with such unanimous backing from these two – the type Orton failed to receive – then Rollins could be a very successful individual indeed.
An appropriately timed follow-up interview, as Randy Orton is questioned by Byron Saxton. Orton says his chances are “considerably better than everybody else’s.” Subtle reference to getting help, but he soon dismisses the idea by saying that unlike Rollins, he doesn’t need any help. As Orton begins to leave, Bryan asks him about Roman Reigns to an angry look.
RybAxel are here to take on the bizarre Rhodes Brothers, in what is surely a foregone conclusion for the brother duo. Axel is now rocking a singlet too, reminiscent of his father, Mr Perfect. Goldust and Stardust enter to the latter’s music. Stardust climbs ladders and guardrails and things to pose on during his entrance, he is looking a very energetic weirdo in contract to his slower brother.
Goldust and Stardust vs. RybAxel
Stardust starts out against Curtis Axel, linking a smooth flow of offence both solo and with his brother through tags. RybAxel just don’t seem capable of getting a grasp of Stardust, meaning their only offence is against Goldust. This is a brilliant move because Cody is the future of the team, so he should be the successful one.
Stardust gets a hot tag, and clears the ring before Goldust sends Axel to the floor. Stardust counters the Shell Shock into a Cross Rhodes, but Axel saves the pinfall! Stardust dodges Axel and gets Ryback in a school boy for the win!
Winner: Stardust and Goldust
Axel attacks a celebrating Stardust from behind, but Goldust makes the save. The two finish off Axel with MNM’s old Snapshot finisher before celebrating in a typically unusual fashion.
During WWE’s recap of the history of Fandango’s break-up with Summer Rae and get-together with Layla, something rare happened. Layla’s tweet in reply to Summer actually acknowledged that there was a dancer before Summer, showing why she isn’t his original partner. A fast reel-through of every single encounter of the past month of the triangle is aired.
Fandango is interviewed in his sparkled referee gear, asked about triangles. He simply says “Fandango loves triangles.” Before he can answer about how he will call the match, but he is interrupted by Layla and Summer Rae respecitvely. The two bicker over who is better before Fandango sends them away.
Surprisingly, this isn’t a lead-in to their match – which must be being saved as the most disposable of the card so it can be shortened or cut entirely if time dictates. Instead, Rusev and Lana begin their entrance. No promo from Lana yet, but she could do it in the ring as has been known. Her shtick is getting more cartoony every week, especially her pronunciation of “The U.S.A.” so it would be nice to have a show off from her promos. Tonight is not that show.
Lana is immediately cut off with “USA” chants, which she reacts to with the mentioned cartoon attitude. After a strutty sulk, she screams a bratty “Shut up!” The Russian gimmick would be better served keeping her as she began, a classy no-nonsense foreigner with a superiority complex. Everything is heading further into a territory where she is basically spoofing herself now. After Rusev talks for a line or two, Big E makes his entrance with the American flag. A video-in-video backstage promo sees him once again doing Martin Luther King impressions. In fairness, he’s good at it.
Rusev vs. Big E
Hopefully this match lives up to their contest last month, the two are talented enough to produce a monster war. The Spear through the ropes was looking recycled, but this time he was met with a knee to the head to counter it. Clever, plus it leaves a possibility to still use the impressive spot later in the match. Rusev controls from that point, until Big E counters him in the corner with a corner STO. Big E responds to the earlier counter of a signature move by backstepping from Rusev’s sidekick, before hitting a belly-to-belly release suplex. Then he busts out his big Spear to the floor.
Lana is going crazy on the outside, the crowd were surprisingly quieter than expected, but it is a recycled move so it does lose some impact each time. Rusev kicks out after eventually coming back to the ring, and has been busted open at the mouth. He eventually counters E to make his way back into the match, hitting a big jumping side kick to set up the Accolade.
The hold is locked in but Big E looks to be trying to fight it. He almost manages it, but once locked further in, he has no choice but to tap. Rusev holds it in for an extended amount of time afterwards.
Solid match between the two big men, and Rusev being put through a war will do wonders to make him look like an unbeatable monster.
The Bellas are backstage, before Stephanie comes over and says Brie shouldn’t be here. Somehow Brie shows off her “new favourite video” to viewers at home by pointing her phone screen at Stephanie, so somehow Brie controls the show now?
And now, the match you’ve all been waiting for!!
Summer Rae vs. Layla – Fandango is Special Guest Referee
By far the most entertaining thing is Fandango. Channelling his previous ‘Dirty Curty’ gimmick of his Johnny Curtis days, Fandango spends all his time smirking at the women fighting over him and perving on them. It is providing comedy gold, as did his joining in of announcing his own name during his entrance.
Everything down to his stance while checking on submission moves, including a subtle hip rotating dance, is providing much more entertainment value than the actual match. The bored crowd are chanting for CM Punk, or at least they did briefly, but they’d be better served chanting for someone like Fandango, Dolph Ziggler or Paige.
Layla hits the LayOut for the three count, Fandango called it straight down the middle and Layla still won.
Surprise of the night so far, as WWE seemed to be building summer up to be the face of the division. Are fans supposed to feel sorry for her as she cries post-match? She lost completely fairly…
After the video package, The Authority make their way to ringside. Some shenanigans with Roman Reigns to be expected then. Sheamus is the first competitor to enter, getting the usual apathy from the crowd. In contrast, Bray Wyatt receives a hero’s welcome! Alberto Del Rio receives a slightly warmer reception than Sheamus, but it really is slight. Even Cesaro‘s arrival receives a fairly quiet reaction, something that would’ve been hard to believe a few months back. Have to believe he won’t bust out the swing tonight though. John Cena is next, surprisingly in the middle of the pack, and before Kane. How embarrassing. Randy Orton is next, seems like Kane is somehow last. Roman Reigns is next, leaving only the ‘Big Red Machine’.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The usual brawling in and out of the ring ensues to “break it down” whereas in reality, we all know it isn’t. Kane was alone in the ring, but stopped by Sheamus, before both of them were stopped by other people. Cesaro’s biggest cheers at the moment appear to be from attacking Cena. Orton takes a huge blow from a rogue ladder, that smashes him in the head accidentally.
Orton and Sheamus are carrying the bulk of this portion of the match while the main event superstars just exist around this. Sheamus’s Brogue Kick is cut-off by Cena, but instead he ends up eating the kick instead.
The propped up ladder is recycled in a way for this match, but it feels like it will vary. And it is, as Del Rio is trying to force that ladder to go through. And what a move it has set-up, Reigns tips the ladder up so it is diagonal by using the middle ladder as base, leaving Cesaro to hang on and make his way around the ladder to Sheamus!! Cena tips the ladder back, before Bray slams him onto the propped ladder. Kane clumsily pulls down both Sheamus and Orton, looking like he could have injured the knee of either man during it.
As Kane sorts out the position of the ladder, Reigns hits a Spear to him through the underneath of it. Orton smashes the ladder into the head of Reigns though to take control. It doesn’t last long, as Reigns counters his next attempt with a Superman Punch. Sheamus gets the same fate, before Del Rio and Bray receive his signature running jumping dropkick on the apron and announce table respectively. He completes his rout with a spear to Cesaro, before him and Cena stand face-to-face in the ring.
It is billed as way more important than it is, like two juggernauts locking horns rather than a rookie and a stale former champion. Reigns wins the clash with a spear after the exchanged shots. Reigns is on his own to climb, but Orton gets back in to stop him with his signature backbreaker from the ladder. Orton goes to climb, but Bray cuts him off, and hits a Sister Abigail!
The crowd go crazy believing that Bray might do it here, but are soon left giving Del Rio HUGE heat for thwarting him. Del Rio climbs the ladder while nobody believes he is about to win. Sheamus makes the save, so that he too can climb while no one believes he will win. Cesaro stops him by pulling him from the ladder into a mid-air uppercut, before a Neutraliser. Orton pulls Cesaro from the ladder into a mid-air RKO to create a climbing opportunity for himself!
Reigns is back in to stop him, as the two scrap on the ladder! Orton is a bloody mess from his earlier ladder gash, Reigns using it to his advantage with an unwise raking of the cut. Headbutts to take down Orton, then Kane chokeslams Reigns from the ladder, and holds it in place for Orton to begin another ascension. Cena grabs Kane for an Attitude Adjustment, then delivers the same to Orton on to Kane.
John Cena predictably wins the championship. How bold and daring of WWE…
Winner, and NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena
Cena is now a FIFTEEN time World Champion, and WWE wonder why the fans are tired of him. The Authority sum up how the fans feel by putting their hands on their heads in anguish.