Random Network Reviews: WWE Money in the Bank 2011
WWE Money in the Bank 2011
July 17th, 2011 | Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois | Attendance: 14,815
After months of wasting away in pointless matches, CM Punk was ready to leave the WWE. After earning a shot at the WWE Title, he went on to drop the infamous “pipebomb”. A worked shoot that saw Punk air his grievances and shake things up around the company. Entering this show, in his hometown, Punk had yet to sign a contract and everything was on the line in the main event. The expectations and anticipation were both incredibly high for the second ever Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View.
CM Punk, John Cena and Vince McMahon are the focal points of the opening video package. Michael Cole, Booker T and Jerry Lawler are in the booth.
Smackdown Money in the Bank Match: Daniel Bryan def. Cody Rhodes, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Sin Cara, Sheamus and Wade Barrett in 26:24
This is one of those years where the Money in the Bank winner isn’t really obvious. Everybody tries to win early on, causing a lot of interruptions and sending people outside. Bryan hits the first big spot with a missile dropkick knocking Cody off the ladder. Gabriel also takes flight with a big dive, followed by weaker ones from Gabriel and Sin Cara. Original Sin Cara was such a monumental disappointment. He does take out Bryan with a top rope Spanish Fly, which was pretty cool. About two minutes after Booker picks Sin Cara to win, Sheamus kills him with a powerbomb off the apron and through a ladder. He legitimately gets stretchered out. Cody and Bryan go at it for a bit and we get some more close calls. Barrett gets left with Gabriel and Slater and he starts to bark orders like they’re in Nexus or the Corre again. Also, how great is it that the Corre was initially spelled that way as a mistake and just stuck? Slater and Gabriel turn on Wade and go after the briefcase, but neither man is allowed anywhere near a World Title so Cody stops them and starts dishing out Cross Rhodes for everyone! The spots keep coming as Kane and Sheamus do a makeshift Doomsday Device on Bryan. Bryan ends up with his future Team Hell No partner and tries a submission on the ladder but fails. Surprisingly, Slater gets a big spot with a neckbreaker off the ladder. Sheamus looks to be in control shortly after and comes close to winning. Kane stops him and Chokeslams him off a ladder onto another. In order to take out Kane, everyone gets involved and it is capped by Gabriel hitting a 450 off of a ladder laid across the top rope. Everyone goes after each other and it comes down to Bryan and Rhodes. I would have loved a prolonged rivalry between them. They fight up top until Barrett sneaks in over them. Cody gets put in a guillotine until Bryan shoves him off. Bryan then turns and almost takes a super Wasteland but elbows out and kicks Wade down before retrieving the briefcase to a massive pop. A bit too long to be a top tier MITB. The best ones have stayed under 20 minutes. Still, everyone brought it and got some sort of shine throughout the match. It also featured some really big time spots and the Bryan win was not only surprising, but one of the first big steps towards making a megastar. ****
WWE Divas Championship: Kelly Kelly (c) w/ Eve Torres def. Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella in 4:49
The late 2000’s to early 2010’s was a very rough time for the women of the WWE. Kelly does the trademark “I can’t wrestle but I’m athletic” flying headscissors. Brie tries to wear Kelly down but it all looks so bad. It’s incredible to see the Bellas before and after Cena and Bryan. They look so lost here. Kelly suddenly fires up like nothing ever happened and nails an ugly clothesline. She hits a Fameasser to win and nobody, not even commentary, seems to care. Absolute trash. ¼*
Mark Henry def. Big Show in 5:54
Mark Henry is in the midst of his excellent Hall of Pain run. It is literally the only time in his twenty year career that I really enjoyed him. Show tries to start hot and shoulder blocks Henry. They fight outside, where Show shoves Henry into the steel steps, but Henry kicks them back into his leg. Henry worked a half crab on that knee, which I never expected to see in a match between these two. Show still manages to hit a second rope shoulder block but Henry hits him with the World’s Strongest Slam. That’s not enough, so Henry does it again and splashes Show twice for the win. Pretty enjoyable considering the two men involved. Show did a great job putting Mark over. **½
After the match, Henry wraps a chair around Show’s ankle and splashes it. Show has to get carted out while the fans chant “CM Punk.”
We also see Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis backstage. Vince has not been able to re-sign Punk, who turned down the most lucrative contract offer in WWE history.
Raw Money in the Bank Match: Alberto Del Rio def. Alex Riley, Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, R-Truth and Rey Mysterio in 15:49
The best pops are for Riley (yuck) and the Miz, who won it all a year earlier. Each guy takes a ladder with them to defend themselves and enter the ring. Truth, with his AFROPHOBIA, is too scared of heights, so he only gets a stepladder. Everyone goes after Del Rio for attacking them on the previous Raw. The future AirBoom team up for some work and Rey leaps off a ladder they’re holding for a rana on Swagger. Riley, being an idiot, climbs a ladder that’s too small to try and win. The ladder is literally smaller than he is. Truth, Rey and Kofi all hit dives outside before Bourne tops them all with a shooting star press off of a big ladder onto everyone. Miz takes a fall off a ladder and seems to have injured his knee. He gets taken out and helped to the back. Several close calls come next from almost everyone. Eventually, all of the remaining Superstars end up battling over the briefcase on top of several ladders. Kofi ends up alone but Swagger stops him and takes a horrible looking fall, bringing Kofi and the ladder down with him. The Miz returns limping to a huge babyface pop. If his knee wasn’t really hurt, this is an odd decision since he wasn’t turning face off of this. Mysterio stops him with a sunset flip bomb to boos. Del Rio goes up and tries to stop Rey. He fails until he resorts to pulling Rey’s mask off at the last second. Rey falls off, covering his face and knocking the ladder over with him. Del Rio sets it back up and retrieves the briefcase. A really fun Money in the Bank, but not one of the best ever. The obvious outcome hurt things but everyone worked pretty hard to produce a strong outing. ***¾
World Heavyweight Championship: Christian def. Randy Orton (c) via disqualification in 12:06
Christian’s legal team has made it so the title can change hands via DQ. These two are in the middle of a great feud match quality wise, but Orton has come out looking far superior. Christian wisely tempts Orton with a chair but he declines. Orton outsmarts him by avoiding a dive, continuing the trend of looking better than Christian. Christian manages to turn it around a bit and wears down Orton. Booker tries to sell this feud as Orton being the one guy that Christian can’t beat in his career. I actually would have liked them to go down that path and hammer that point home more during the program. Orton counters the Killswitch and Christian ends up getting two on a headbutt. He ends up hitting the Killswitch but only gets two. The crowd completely buys into that as the finish. Orton avoids the spear and brings out the awesome backbreaker he debuted at SummerSlam 2004. He misses the punt, hits the powerslam and rope hung DDT. As Orton sets up for the RKO, Christian spits in his face. A pissed off Orton attacks, breaks before the count of five, but gets up and low blows Christian. The referee calls for the bell and we have a new champion. A smartly worked match. Christian looked smart in getting Randy to make the big mistake. The crowd reaction for Christian winning was really good too. It is also the only time I recall the DQ title change stipulation actually working. Despite all of this, it was the worst of their PPV matches, which speaks to the quality of them. ***¾
Since Christian isn’t allowed to look strong at all in the rivalry, Orton kicks his ass after the match and RKOs him on the announce table. Since it didn’t break, Orton comes back to try again and still can’t break it. Vince most likely future endeavored that table. I would have had Christian escape and save Orton’s revenge for Smackdown.
WWE Championship: CM Punk def. John Cena (c) in 33:44
The video package before this match is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve seen this match so many times but the reaction Punk gets still gives me goosebumps. I absolutely love Cena in matches like this. He knows he was getting booed out of the building so he walks to the ring with no salute or pandering to the crowd. He means business. Cole does a good job talking about history as this was the building where Cena debuted and the one where Punk played a gangster during Cena’s WM22 entrance. As they trade early mat work, the fans chant “you can’t wrestle” causing Punk to clarify that they are indeed talking about Cena. The atmosphere is unbelievable. Everything Punk does gets a massive ovation. They trade a fair amount in the ring until Punk hits a big knee to the back outside, earning a near fall. Cena starts to get a few chants before Punk hits an ugly cross body off the second rope, landing on Cena’s knees. Cena comes back with a suplex from the apron to the outside. Back inside, they trade shots with the crowd going back and forth. Cena goes 1980’s with an abdominal stretch. He goes into the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM but Punk counters and falls on his ass before missing the corner knee. Punk blocks the Five Knuckle Shuffle, sends Cena outside and follows with a suicide dive right in front of his family, Ace Steel and Colt Cabana. Cena still hits the shuffle and tries the AA but Punk lands on his feet and sweeps him up for two. Both men are clearly groggy when Punk hits Cena with two absolutely stiff high knee strikes. The replay shows it connects perfectly on Cena’s jaw. Cena kicks out of the Macho Man elbow before catching Punk in the STF. Punk breaks it with the ropes and gets two on a knockout kick. He goes up top for a cross body that Cena rolls through and hoists him up for the AA. Punk counters into the GTS but Cena catches the knee into the STF in one of the best counters he’s ever done. Punk reverses that into the Anaconda Vice. Cena survives and nails the AA for a huge near fall. Cena goes up for the diving Fameasser but Punk catches it into an ugly powerbomb for two. Cena nails a second AA and Punk still kicks out. Cena talks to the referee in disbelief as the crowd loses their collective minds. Out of desperation, Cena looks for a super AA that Punk fights out of and hits a top rope rana. Punk delivers the GTS but Cena falls outside and again, the crowd’s reaction is perfect. Punk rolls Cena in as Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis come out. He has a word with them before sliding in and Cena slaps on the STF. Vince wants Johnny to pull a Montreal screwjob but Cena lets go and lays out Laurinaitis. He tells Vince that this match isn’t going to end that way. Cena enters the ring and Punk hits the GTS to win the title to a thunderous ovation. This match is incredible. I say Cena was the better performer since Punk had a few slip ups but it didn’t hurt the match for me. Their match on Raw two years later is technically better, but you simply cannot match this atmosphere. The build, story, crowd, match itself, counters, result and drama were all absolutely phenomenal. The best match in either man’s career. *****
Vince gets on commentary and demands for Alberto Del Rio to come out. He runs out with his briefcase to stop Punk’s celebration but is met with a swift kick to the skull. Punk looks over at Vince and exits through the raucous crowd, blowing Vince a kiss on the way out.