After the success of last month’s TWO-NIGHT WRESTLEMANIA recorded in an empty WWE Performance Center, the company is going back to the well. Only this time, we’ll be getting a tour of WWE Global Headquarters in Stamford, Conn., as WWE superstars battle throughout the building to grab the Money in the Bank briefcase!
With the coronavirus quarantine keeping WWE out of arenas throughout the country, the promotion is trying new things, which paid off last month, but let’s see if they can pull it off a second time with Money in the Bank!
While the ladder matches are taking place in Connecticut, the rest of the card is apparently happening once again in the performance center in Orlando, Fla.
SmackDown! Tag Team Championship Fatal Four Way Match: The New Day (c) vs. Lucha House Party vs. Miz and John Morrison vs. The Forgotten Sons – The latter team in the match are making their WWE Network Special debut after coming up to the main roster from NXT. This is not the usual Texas Tornado rules, so everyone needs to tag in and out of the match, with two men in the ring and the other six on the apron. It is not, unfortunately, elimination rules, which means I will likely be disappointed. Despite the tag requirement, all 8 guys came and went as they pleased, with announcers Michael Cole and Corey Graves needing to keep track of who the two legal men in the ring were. The Forgotten Sons – Steven Cutler and Wesley Blake – were a big part of the match, either controlling the tempo when they were legal or ensuring pins were broken up when they weren’t. So, it’s surprising that neither man were involved in the finish. Big E pins Gran Metalik to retain the titles for New Day. It was a fun match, but the ending didn’t really do anything for anyone, in my opinion, as New Day continues to be the dominant team in WWE.
R-Truth vs. MVP – Truth playing to a non-existent crowd is a great little quirk of his weird character, but it’s hurt by the fact that way too many of the athletes play to the crowd even if they aren’t there. Truth and MVP jaw about basketball and ballin’ until Bobby Lashley’s music hits and Lashley tells MVP to take the night off.
R-Truth vs. Bobby Lashley – Truth tries to take the night off, but Lashley ends up destroying Truth. Squash match that didn’t last long at all.
SmackDown! Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Tamina – I still love the confident and angry Bayley, and the slow-burn story the company is telling of her friendship with Sasha Banks is one of the best things going here. Banks is pivotal to helping Bayley retain the title here, as Tamina looked like she might take Bayley down. But Banks distracted Tamina to give the champ a chance to recover and Bayley ends up winning with a crucifix pin. The match was OK, but the underlying story of the best friends was the important part of this match.
Universal Championship: Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman (c) – This isn’t The Fiend going after the Universal Championship, which may be a mistake considering how much of a monster Strowman is. The man destroyed Goldberg last month, after all. The match played off the existing relationship between the two men, when Strowman was a member of the Wyatt Family. It all lead to a moment when the champ put his old Black Sheep mask on, leading Wyatt to think that Strowman was coming back into the fold. But it was just Strowman playing Wyatt’s game of messing with heads. When Bray least expects it, Strowman turns and hits him with a powerslam to retain. But the Fiend is still waiting in the wings.
WWE Title Match: Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre (c) – It seems like Seth Rollins is now the gatekeeper for the top of the card on Monday Night Raw. I know the Raw roster is a little light at the moment, but I’m a little tired of seeing Rollins in the world title picture. His new “Monday Night Messiah” bit does little to help my malaise whenever he’s involved in a program. The matches are good, don’t get me wrong, but the psychology and the character and the story are always a little lacking. The Raw commentary crew, including Samoa Joe, does a good job of drawing me in to the match, though. This is a great chance for McIntyre to prove himself to be able to go in a longer match, since he destroyed Lesnar in a relatively quick match at WrestleMania. I think Drew carried himself well, and Rollins helped him have a good match here, though it suffers from the usual Rollins issues of going a bit too long. But I loved the ending sequence, trading kicks until the champ hits a Claymore for the win to retain.
Drew extends his hand and thanks Rollins for the match before he goes to the back, leaving the Monday Night Messiah a little confused and at a bit of a loss.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: WWE is running both the men’s and women’s matches at the same time, which should make for a convoluted feature. The women – Carmella, Lacey Evans, Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Dana Brooke and Asuka – start in the lobby of WWE Global Headquarters. The men – Daniel Bryan, King Corbin, Otis, Aleister Black, AJ Styles and Rey Mysterio – start in the weight room. Hopefully, this is better than the Edge-Orton match at WrestleMania, as all 12 competitors have to go to the roof to get the briefcase. Asuka gains an early advantage, taking the elevator. Meanwhile, Corbin destroys a mirror in the weight room and looks concerned about the 7 years of bad gimmicks coming. Speaking of bad gimmicks, we even get a special appearance from Brother Love, coming out of a bathroom stall. And Doink the Clown was hiding behind a chair.
The women battle into a conference room and Dana Brooke climbs on top of a table to grab a briefcase hanging in the room, which brings out Stephanie McMahon to remind her that the actual briefcase is on the roof. The cameos make this whole thing a little bit better. We even get a callback to the classic Boneyard Match at WrestleMania, as Styles enters a smoke-filled room with a casket. And an appearance of Paul Heyman at a catered table leads to a food fight. All that food goes to waste before Nia powerbombs Carmella through the table.
After more cameos from former Raw General Manager John Laurenitis and WWE chairman Vince McMahon, we finally get to the roof, as Nia Jax beats up Asuka and Lacey Evans to set up a ladder to grab one of the two briefcases hanging above the ring, before Asuka breaks it up. They should have done the whole card up there. It would have made for such an awesome visual.
As Asuka climbs the ladder, Corbin comes running into the ring to climb the other side, but Asuka knocks him out with a slap and a kick before she grabs the briefcase. Half the women in the match didn’t even play into the finale on that side.
Once the women have cleared the area, Corbin and Otis go at it on the roof. Otis constantly saying “oh yeah” throughout the match is like bad video game bad guys who can only say one thing. The rest of the guys show up to the roof and Corbin throws Mysterio and Black off the roof, with Styles, Bryan, Corbin and Otis battling for control in the ring.
Styles and Corbin struggle over the briefcase before Elias hits Corbin in the back with a guitar. And then Styles drops the briefcase, with Otis catching it, making him Mr. Money in the Bank. What a weird ending.
This was a fun show, with a main event that wasn’t as good as the Boneyard Match or the Firefly Funhouse Match at WrestleMania. But it was worlds better than the Orton-Edge match. The cameos made it a lot of fun, and WWE is doing a great job coming up with unique ways to present their product without an audience. What can WWE do for Backlash in 5 weeks, though? We’ll have to find out.