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Kevin’s WWE Money in the Bank Review

May 20, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s WWE Money in the Bank Review  

WWE Money in the Bank
May 19th, 2019 | XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut

Remember, you can follow me on Twitter (@The_Kevstaaa) and support my writing over at https://patreon.com/the_kevstaaa, where you can find my exclusive predictions for Money in the Bank, as well as my ranking of the best Money in the Bank matches ever.

Non-Title Match: WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. The Usos
THE ONE NIGHT A YEAR WHEN RAW GOES HEAD TO HEAD WITH SMACKDOWN. Wait. This isn’t Survivor Series? Ah, well. Having this be non-title seems odd at first but it makes sense when you remember The Usos are on Raw. This was basically exactly the match you’d expect for the most part. Daniel Bryan picked apart his opponents while Rowan used his power. Jey played the face in peril, a role he’s gotten quite good at over the years. Jimmy’s hot tag was kind of subdued, probably because it came against Rowan. I liked how it took both Usos to chop Rowan down. It reminded me of tag matches from decades ago when little guys struggled with big men. Surprisingly, the Usos pinned Bryan with the Double Uce in 11:10. Not the result I expected, but certainly a good tag match. Nice start. [***¼]

Money in the Bank: Bayley vs. Carmella vs. Dana Brooke vs. Ember Moon vs. Mandy Rose vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Nikki Cross
The women had the much better MITB last year. Before I get into match specifics, I have to say I popped for Nikki Cross doing the Terry Funk ladder spot. It’s perfect for her character. These women made sure to bring the big spots. Each girl was given the chance to showcase why they were in the match and they all brought something unique to this. I liked the way they took their usual spots and worked them into this environment. I do feel a few felt contrived and just there for the sake of doing something cool rather than because it made sense. The best spot was probably Ember hitting an Eclipse from a ladder outside. It was awesome. Carmella left the match in the first five minutes with a leg injury but came back just in time to stop an alone Mandy from winning it all. However, Carmella got stopped by an interfering Sonya Deville. In a true show of friendship, Sonya carried Mandy to the top of the ladder. Bayley caught up, knocked them off, and pulled down the briefcase at 13:51. A very good ladder match. Lots of cool spots, though some were awkward and contrived. Not as good as last year’s but better than the 2017 matches. [***¾]

WWE United States Championship: Samoa Joe [c] vs. Rey Mysterio
Reminder that Joe squashed Mysterio at WrestleMania in about a minute. On paper, this is an ideal matchup. Joe is a big bully and Rey is the ultimate underdog. Like Mania, they barely got time and Rey won with a surprise pinning combination in 1:39. Joe was badly busted open. Replays showed Joe’s shoulder was up. [NR]

Post-match, Joe attacked Rey. Once he noticed Dominick, who came out to celebrate with his dad, Joe beat on Rey even more.

Steel Cage Match: The Miz vs. Shane McMahon
I loved their Mania match (****¼) but am cautious here due to Shane being at his best in a brawl that goes everywhere and WWE not doing cage matches well in the past. Shane immediately tried running away, but used that to gain a surprising advantage. Still, Shane was constantly trying to escape. It’s the kind of thing that needs to happen more often in cage matches. A chair got brought into play and Miz beat the hell out of Shane, getting his revenge. However, after a Skull Crushing Finale on a chair, Shane got his foot on the ropes to break the pin. Commentary called out that it shouldn’t be a break, signaling some kind of screw job. They teased the big superplex spot again, only for Shane to slip from Miz’s grasp and hit the floor, winning in cheap fashion again at 13:09. It wasn’t too exciting, but I appreciated telling a story that made sense in a cage match. [***]

In the back, Sami Zayn was found backstage hanging upside down. It looks like the banned from the building Braun Strowman found him.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Tony Nese [c] vs. Ariya Daivari
Daivari pulled an Alberto Del Rio and came out in a fancy car. I haven’t been into the Daivari push as his matches and character just don’t click for me. Tony Nese has been very good for a while now. Daivari controlled most of the match, making for something that was kind of uninteresting. I did buy into him winning it all after a series of moves capped by his big lariat. Nese kicked out and went into a flurry capped with the Running Nese in 9:22. This was a fine match. Nothing to write home about. The first time in forever they gave 205 PPV time and didn’t deliver. [**½]

WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch [c] vs. Lacey Evans
Lacey Evans came out with two guns that shot money at the crowd. I am here for the RAINMAKER Lacey Evans. This was a big test for her. I think her character work is great, but she still needed that breakout performance. They started out aggressively, with the fight going outside. It was way fitting of their rivalry so far. They had a more back and forth match than expected instead of just the heel in control and the face makes the comeback. Lacey went after the knee but her rollup saw Becky with a shoulder off the mat. Becky was able to turn it over into the Dis-Arm-Her to retain in 8:37. Not a breakout great match for Evans, but I liked a lot of what she did here. They kept it short and sweet since Becky has another match set. [**¾]

Charlotte immediately walked out, excited to face Becky instantly.

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch [c] vs. Charlotte
They’ve wrestled a lot. The most notable were on a Smackdown in 2016 (***½), at Royal Rumble ’16 (**¾), a Smackdown in ’18 (***¼), Hell in a Cell (***½), Super Show Down (***), and Evolution (****¼). That’s not including Triple Threats like Mania 32, Mania 25, and TLC ’18. Anyway, Charlotte took advantage of what Evans started and went after the leg. Her dominance seemed to come to an end when she missed Natural Selection on the apron and bumped to the outside. While she was out, Evans ran down and hit her. Charlotte tried to steal it but Becky rolled her up to for. Charlotte then hit a big boot to win the title in 6:12. They told the right story. However, it never really got going other than the idea that Becky bit off more than she could chew and Evans’ involvement. [**½]

A frustrated Becky jumped Lacey Evans. Charlotte made the save and they teamed up on Becky until Ms. Money in the Bank made the save. Bayley took out Evans but Charlotte nailed her. In the scuffle, Charlotte got taken out and Bayley stared at her briefcase for way too long before opting to cash in.

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte [c] vs. Bayley
Bayley pulled a downed Charlotte to the corner and hit the big elbow to win the title in about 0:10. [NR]

The big Bayley celebration was fun.

It was here that I turned off the show to watch the Game of Thrones finale. I regret this move.

Elias vs. Roman Reigns
Before this match, Elias attacked Roman Reigns with his guitar backstage. He came out and played some music while talking trash to the crowd. Reigns showed up and beat him to the ring before beating him with a Spear in 0:07. They’re not wasting time tonight, huh? [NR]

WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins [c] vs. AJ Styles
A match I’m weary of. It’s a dream match of mine, but AJ has had some lackluster outings when the hype is real. Remember the Nakamura feud? Or the Joe one? I better see NJPW marks rating this high. This felt like a Kazuchika Okada match. It started slow and really picked up late. The difference is that I felt the early portions here mattered. This was billed as the two wrestlers around and the opening exchanges felt like they were out to see who was better. We got to see how evenly matched they were at almost every turn. This picked up as soon as AJ went for a Styles Clash off the apron. From there, everything had extra intensity and snap to it. It felt like a title fight. The Styles Clash counter near fall was fantastic and the fans ate it up. It was one of the best counters I’ve ever seen from either guy, which is saying something. Seth used the Ripcord Knee, superkick, and Curb Stomp to retain in an awesome 19:51. That lived up to the hype. About what I wanted from that. A fantastic match that build, had a hot crowd, and featured two great wrestlers with no frills or BS. [****½]

Seth and AJ shook hands after the match.

The Lucha House Party came out for no reason and Lars Sullivan beat them up. I didn’t care. About any of them.

WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston [c] vs. Kevin Owens
Can we talk about how great major title matches have been on WWE PPV this year? The Universal Title at the Rumble and tonight. The WWE Title at Chamber, Fastlane, and Mania. Anyway, this was similar to the previous match in how slow it started. Except it didn’t engage me as much and I was pretty bored. Owens can be entertaining in terms of working his heat segment, so it had flashes of fun sprinkled in. It picked up later with some good near falls and Kofi firing up as he has been doing all year. Some stuff they did came off weird. I thought Owens removing Kofi’s shoe, only for it to immediately lead to the finish and nothing related to the shoe, was odd. But yeah, Kofi won with Trouble in Paradise in 14:58. This was a good match that had some weird moments and lacked the intensity I hoped for considering the feud. [***¼]

Money in the Bank: Ali vs. Andrade vs. Baron Corbin vs. Drew McIntyre vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor vs. Randy Orton vs. Ricochet
Due to what happened to Sami Zayn earlier, this was turned into a seven man match. I loved the roles everyone got to play in this. For example, Orton simply chilling outside as everyone did stuff at the start was perfect for his character. The interactions between Balor and Andrade were stellar. As soon as Andrade pretty much murdered Balor with a sunset flip off a ladder and onto another, this turned up to another level. Watching it over and over is insane. Balor still being alive is crazy. This was chaos personified and it’s just what I wanted from this kind of match. Ali and Ricochet brought big spots, Balor took an insane amount of bumps, while Drew and Baron were the brutes. Drew throwing Ricochet through a ladder and Balor getting chokeslammed onto the side of a ladder stood out. Down the stretch, almost everyone came close to winning at some point. The fans booed as Corbin got close, only for Ali to interrupt. Just as Ali had it won, Brock Lesnar’s music hit and he came out as the eighth man in the match. He knocked over the ladder, climbed, and won in 19:01. The finish sucked for a bunch of reasons. Brock could get his title shot without the briefcase and him showing up to win without doing any work after regular roster members killed themselves is fitting given a lot of WWE booking in the past few years. However, the match itself was a ton of fun. Just non-stop chaos with some really wild spots and characters playing their roles perfectly. With a better finish, this could’ve been in the conversation for GOAT Money in the Bank match. [****¼]

The final score: review Good
The 411
While not on the level of most WWE Pay-Per-Views this year, I thought this was a good show. Nothing was flat out bad and whatever matches didn’t deliver, outside of Charlotte/Becky, were kept super short. And even Charlotte/Becky led to the feel good moment with Bayley. Two strong MITB matches, a tremendous WWE Title match, and some solid matches up and down the card.

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Money in the Bank, Kevin Pantoja