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Braun Strowman becomes 'Monster in the Bank'

Aaron Oster
Contact ReporterFor The Baltimore Sun

Despite the other seven competitors ganging up on the “Monster among Men,” Braun Strowman ended “Money in the Bank” by climbing the ladder and grabbing the Money in the Bank briefcase.

The match featured all the spots you would want from a Money in the Bank ladder match. Strowman was buried by ladders at one point. Guys took spills off the top of the ladder, including Kevin Owens going off a double-sized ladder that was set up on the stage, through a table. Finn Balor hit the Coup de Grace off the top of the ladder. And, boy, did Braun use the ladders well, launching people into ladders, and not letting any weapons stand in his way. And at the end, he was left alone to climb the ladder.

The question now becomes how he uses it. He is the first face to actually hold the briefcase for more than a day since John Cena in 2012 (Dean Ambrose won the briefcase in 2016 but cashed it in later that night). How will Braun use the briefcase? With his character, it seems as if he should be cashing it instantly. However, that would involve Brock Lesnar returning shortly, probably before “SummerSlam.” Will that happen? And will he wait for a PPV, or will we get a surprise appearance from Lesnar on Raw?

There are a number of directions the WWE can go with this. In a lot of ways, it would make sense for them to set that match up for “SummerSlam.” However, they'll need to do the work to explain why Braun Strowman, a guy who has never cared about time or place, would want to wait for the bigger stage.

» Alexa Bliss won the women's “Money in the Bank” ladder match in a bit of a surprise. However, her win wasn't her only appearance in the night. At the end of a really strong match between Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax, it seemed as if Rousey would win her first singles match, and win the RAW women's title in the process. She was locking the armbar in when Alexa Bliss struck, attacking Ronda and drawing the DQ. She went on to savagely beat both Rousey and Jax with the briefcase. Finally, after making sure both were completely down, she cashed in the contract, hit a DDT on Jax, and won the title, making her a five-time women's champion.

It has seemed inevitable that Braun Strowman would be a champion in the WWE sooner rather than later. He took the next step forward Sunday night. Now we wait for his crowning.

The Rest of “Money in the Bank”:

» It looks as though the AJ Styles-Shinsuke Nakamura feud is coming to a close, as Styles won the “Last Man Standing” match. This was a slow match for the first half, as neither seemed to thrive in the environment. However, toward the end, the match picked up, and the two were able to put on a show at the end of the night. AJ's win does leave the question: What's next for Nakamura? Between his attempts against AJ and Jinder Mahal, he's now lost six title shots in a row, and it doesn't seem as though he'll get another one anytime soon. So what happens to him now?

» Carmella successfully defended the “SmackDown” women's title against Asuka, but not without some help. As Asuka took advantage in the mask, someone else dressed as Asuka, complete with mask, came up onto the apron. Asuka looked on in confusion, and finally the person unmasked to reveal James Ellsworth in his return to the company. Asuka turned around into a kick from Carmella, who pinned Asuka for the win.

» Seth Rollins also successfully defended the Intercontinental title. As expected, this ended up being a true showcase for Elias, who had probably the best match of his career. The finish wasn't without a little bit of controversy, as Rollins had to grab Elias' belt in a roll-up to get the win, so we'll see where that goes from here.

» Roman Reigns beat Jinder Mahal in a match that was once again rejected by the fans in Chicago.

» Daniel Bryan beat Big Cass for the second straight month, forcing him to tap out once again.

» Bobby Lashley beat Sami Zayn decisively, finally pinning him with one hand after several stalling suplexes.

» The Bludgeon Brothers beat Gallows and Anderson on the preshow.

Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout

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