On Sunday night, Dean Ambrose won not just the Money in the Bank ladder match, he later cashed in and won the WWE World Heavyweight Title for the first time.
It didn't really surprise anyone that Ambrose won the ladder match. If he wasn't the favorite going in, he was a close second behind Kevin Owens. However, the main event was anything but predictable.
Not even starting until close to 11, the show ran way past the typical ending point for a show. This did two things. First, and probably the biggest reason why it happened, was that it allowed folks who were watching Game 7 of the NBA Finals to flip over and see most of the match. Secondly, it kept fans guessing exactly when it would end. And the ending was certainly a surprise.
First, Seth Rollins pinned Roman Reigns, more or less cleanly, to become the champion for the second time. After allowing Rollins a little bit of time to celebrate, Dean Ambrose's music played. He ended up coming out from the crowd, blindsiding Rollins. After standing there for a few seconds, allowing fans to question whether he would cash in right there, he did. One Dirty Deeds later, and Dean Ambrose stood as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
This is a big moment for the obvious reasons. If nothing else, all three members of the Shield were recognized as champion within just a few minutes of each other. However, this is important because of the timing. Hypothetically, if things go as the WWE wants with Brock Lesnar returning to UFC, many more eyes than usual will be turning toward the company for the entire summer, and especially at Summerslam. To have Dean Ambrose be the champion when that is happening is a huge statement from the company that shows how much confidence that they have in him. I think there was some doubt about how exactly the company felt, and this goes a long way to alleviate those doubts.
We have a long summer in front of us. Many people expected it to end with the Shield triple-threat at Summerslam. And while it's still heading this way, the road there certainly has taken an unexpected turn.
The rest of Money In The Bank:
-AJ Styles beat John Cena, but not without a little bit of controversy attached. At the end of a very good match, John Cena hit an AA, but the ref was knocked out in the process. Despite covering Styles for at least a three count, the ref wasn't there to make the count. Gallows and Anderson ran in, hit Cena with the Magic Killer, then pulled Styles on top before running off. The ref came to, and then counted the three. So Styles gets the win, but you can be fairly confident that Cena and Styles will be colliding again next month in D.C.
-Rusev beat Titus O'Neil pretty convincingly to retain his U.S. title. After the match, Rusev went over to O'Neil's kids, who were sitting at ringside, to taunt them. Rusev as a jerk heel, and not simply an anti-American heel, is really a fantastic thing.
-Besides the Dean Ambrose cash-in, the most surprising moment of the night may have come at the end of the women's tag match. Toward the end of the match, Becky and Natalya ended up colliding in the ring. That allowed Charlotte to hit the Natural Selection on Natalya for the win. However, after the match, after Charlotte and Dana walked to the back, Natalya attacked Becky from behind, seemingly blaming her for the loss, and likely turning heel in the process. It's an interesting move for one of the top faces in the divas division right now. However, with Sasha Banks presumably coming back soon, it allows Becky and Natalya to stay relevant and on TV while Sasha goes for the title.
-Apollo Crews beat Sheamus; however, it wasn't exactly a convincing win. Sheamus was on offense for most of the match, even hitting a White Noise from the top rope. Crews would kick out of that, and Sheamus would argue with the ref. As he was arguing, Crews rolled him up for a three count. It feels a little bit weird that Crews is getting a cheap win in his first PPV and feeding into an underdog image, but I guess this is better than having absolutely no direction with him.
-Baron Corbin beat Dolph Ziggler in a match that really has to end their feud. Corbin has now won four of the five times they've met, so if nothing else, at least this should push Corbin forward.
-The New Day successfully defended their titles in the four corners tag match. To nobody's surprise, this match was a fun, fast-paced spotfest, and that's not a bad thing. However, the match might have gotten a little bit too out of control at the end, because I'm not even sure that Aiden English was the legal man when he was pinned.
-The Golden Truth finally got their win in a preshow match against Tyler Breeze and Fandango. WWE has something here with the Golden Truth, as fans are actually behind them, but I have doubts that they'll actually go anywhere with it.
-Lucha Dragons beat the Dudley Boys in the other preshow match.