Money in the Bank is a pay-per-view that can help change the landscape of WWE for the remainder of the year.
This year's installment featured two Money in the Bank ladder matches, two title matches and a number of additional unannounced matches.
In the end, both champions retained their titles, and new -- yet familiar -- challengers have emerged.
Here's a match-by-match look at the show:
Tag Team Championship
R-Truth and Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Hunico and Camacho
This pre-show match was a pretty standard tag team affair. It was better and more competitive than any likely expected it to be, given the challengers. All four men worked hard to put on a decent match to get the crowd going. Unfortunately, the crowd just doesn't seem to care about Hunico and Camacho. Kingston got some good pops from the crowd, so that was a good sign for the champ. Overall, though, this was just a token title defense filling time until the Prime Time Players get their title shot.
Result: R-Truth and Kofi Kingston retain the Tag Team Championship
Money in the Bank
World Heavyweight Championship Contract
Tyson Kidd vs. Sin Cara vs. Santino Marella vs. Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Tensai vs. Damien Sandow
This match was a typical Money in the Bank spotfest, and not of all them went off without a hitch. In the early goings, there were a few botched spots that were almost a little scary to watch. There were some memorable moments in the match, particularly due to Ziggler's ability to sell like a dead man. The match did have some traces of storytelling, too, as Tensai and Tyson Kidd continued their issues and Tensai proved to be a dominant force all around. The final few minutes became absolute craziness in the best form of the words, and the ending saw Ziggler climb the ladder and grab the briefcase. Ziggler and Cody Rhodes were the popular choices to win, and either would have been a good choice. With Ziggler winning, though, I just hope he holds on to the case for a while rather than rushing into another immediate rematch with Sheamus.
Result: Dolph Ziggler retrieved the contract
World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio
I wasn't sure what to expect from this contest going into it, as Del Rio is usually hit or miss, especially as it pertains to crowd reaction. But he and Sheamus followed up on a good build to this match with a quality bout. It wasn't a match of the year contender by any means, but they clicked well and put together a good back-and-forth match that saw both men shine. Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez assaulted the champion after the match, which seems to indicate their feud may continue. I wouldn't be opposed to that, as I think they're capable of having even better matches. Ziggler also had the first near-cash-in of the Money in the Bank briefcase, but Del Rio stopped him. Before the ref could ring the bell, Sheamus recovered and hit Ziggler with a Brogue Kick. It was a good scare, but seeing Ziggler get Brogue Kicked is about as overplayed as the "What" chants.
Result: Sheamus retained the World Heavyweight Championship
Primo and Epico vs. Titus O'Neil and Darren Young
Why is there a non-title tag team match on pay-per-view when the titles were defended on the pre-show? Shouldn't those spots have been reversed? Perhaps the logic is that the Colons and Prime Time Players have an ongoing feud, but that raises the question of why the tag champs don't have one of their own. The problems continued with the ending of the match, as the Colons won. Why are the No. 1 contenders losing on pay-per-view? Take away all the booking problems with this and it was actually a good match. These teams actually have good chemistry and work well together, but the booking issues brought down the enjoyable factor by a major degree.
Result: Primo and Epico d. Titus
No Disqualification featuring AJ as Special Guest Referee
CM Punk (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
The last-minute addition of the no disqualification stipulation to this match really added to the contest. Punk and Bryan put together a great match with a near-perfect blend of technical wrestling, weapons brawling and just pure brutality. And the drama of AJ being the guest referee at no point greatly overshadowed the actions of the men. At one point, she stopped Punk from using a chair, then turned right around and prevented Bryan from grabbing a kendo stick. She called the finish right down the middle, as Punk retained his title. For all the people who worried that the love-interest drama would take away from this match, WWE proved them wrong. This was a really fun ride, and as much as I wanted to see Bryan win at least one big match in this rivalry, keeping the belt on Punk was the right call. It will be interesting to see where both men, as well as AJ, go from here.
Result: CM Punk retained the WWE Championship
Ryback vs. Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks
Ryback's reign of dominance continued, as he put away two actual roster members in a handicap match. This was by far the longest match he's competed in, and Hawkins and Reks actually landed some offense, wearing the big man down a little. At least we're seeing some form of advancement, but one really has to wonder what's next. At this point, I'm hoping Goldberg shows up as a surprise opponent.
Result: Ryback d. Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks
Layla, Kaitlyn and Tamina vs. Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Eve
Another "surprise" addition to the show saw the babyface team prevail. Many of these divas haven't been seen on television in weeks, if not months, which just illustrates WWE's problems with spotlighting multiple divas at once. The action in this match wasn't bad, but it was nothing special. At least the ladies got a spot on pay-per-view.
Result: Layla, Kaitlyn and Tamina d. Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Eve
Money in the Bank
WWE Championship Contract
John Cena vs. Kane vs. Big Show vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz
The look on Cena's face as the briefcase snapped -- presumably accidentally -- off the hook above the ring said it all. If that wasn't the planned finish, it likely got more people talking than whatever it was meant to be. The people in my viewing party weren't even sure whether Cena was supposed to win, which made the moment unintentionally hilarious. As for the rest of the match, it was a solid ladder match that featured some good drama and spots from all five competitors. This surely wasn't the best Money in the Bank match of all time, but it honestly surpassed my expectations. Cena winning was predictable, and he will likely cash in honorably at the 1,000th Raw or Summerslam to break the monotony of cheap cash-in victories, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
Result: John Cena retrieved the contract
R-Truth and Kofi Kingston d. Hunico and Camacho
Dolph Ziggler d. Tyson Kidd, Sin Cara, Santino Marella, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Tensai and Damien Sandow
Sheamus d. Alberto Del Rio
Primo and Epico d. Titus O'Neil and Darren Young
CM Punk d. Daniel Bryan
Ryback d. Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks
Layla, Kaitlyn and Tamina d. Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Eve
John Cena d. Kane, Big Show, Chris Jericho and The Miz
Money in the Bank was an enjoyable pay-per-view. It wasn't a grand slam, but it was still a strong showing, especially given the weak build to most of the show. The ladder matches were good outings, but neither proved to be anything exceptional; Del Rio and Sheamus put on a good match; and Punk and Bryan worked a different match from any of their previous encounters and managed to look just as good doing it. Again, for a show with an exceptionally weak build up, especially in the final week, Money in the Bank was a success and a strong showing from WWE.
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