Sunday night's Money In The Bank ended with a familiar sight: John Cena celebrating as he became the WWE world heavyweight champion.
Cena outlasted seven other men to achieve his goal this time. The match was actually fairly brutal, even for a ladder match. Randy Orton took a shot to the top of his head early in the match which ripped open a cut. By the end of the match, the blood was freely running down his face. While it wasn't a true Crimson Mask, it was as close to one as we've seen in quite a while in the WWE.
There was also a fantastic spot where a ladder was forced through the rungs of another ladder, which led the ladder to be tilted without falling and caused Sheamus and Cesaro to have to climb around to stay up. It was a very cool visual spot that, to my knowledge, had never been done before. If there was one flaw to the match though, I'd say felt somewhat rushed. The WWE could have easily cut one of the filler matches earlier in the card to give the match its proper time. However, it was still a very well-done match that made most of the wrestlers involved look strong.
Cena won the heavyweight champship for the 15th time (just one shy of Ric Flair's record). While there were groans across the Internet wrestling community, this is one time where I think it made perfect sense for Cena to win. If you read my preview column for Money In The Bank, you know where I think they go with the title. Cena holds it until Summerslam, preferably with Cesaro as the challenger at Battleground, before losing it to Brock Lesnar. Based on what happened at the pay-per-view, this is still certainly possible. The one question is how the Authority will factor in, as Triple H and Stephanie looked dismayed at Cena's win.
However, no matter what happens at Battleground, I'm fully confident that this was the first step towards a big Cena/Lesnar encounter at SummerSlam.
The Rest of Money In The Bank
** Seth Rollins won the Money In The Bank briefcase in a spot-filled match. It's amazing that the wrestlers can come up with new spots every year. While there was a lot going on, the match really revolved around the feud between Rollins and Dean Ambrose. At the end of the match, it seemed like Ambrose had the advantage when Kane came out. Kane proved to be the Authority's "Plan B" as he attacked Ambrose, and then steadied the ladder for Rollins to climb it.
I don't expect Rollins to cash in his briefcase any time soon. There's so much going on in the title picture already, that I can't see it clearing up in quite a while. My guess is we'll see something similar to Dolph Ziggler's run with the briefcase, and Rollins will cash in sometime after Wrestlemania. That also gives Rollins plenty of time to rise to that true main-event level.
** Daniel Bryan came out in the pre-show to address the crowd. He said what had been rumored for a few weeks now, that his strength hadn't returned to his arms properly, and that he may have to have a second surgery. Bo Dallas came out, and told Daniel Bryan that what he'd have to do is Bolieve if he wanted to recover. Bryan said he seemed more like a bo-ner (and I hope that chant doesn't follow Bo for years) and to leave. I do think this segment was made to more or less write Daniel Bryan off for a little while, and keep people up to date as to why he wouldn't be around.
** The Usos retained their titles in a hard-fought match against Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. Harper and Rowan had new music for their entrance, more southern rock inspired than what they had been using. I don't expect this feud to be over, and I could see the two teams fight all through the summer.
** Paige beat Naomi in a strong match. For years the joke was that the Divas title matches should be used for bathroom breaks, but that really isn't the case anymore. Both Paige and Naomi were really good Sunday night. The match ended with Paige catching Naomi in a move that I think can best be explained as a package DDT. Dissension between the two Funkadactyls was teased throughout, as Cameron had a sour look on her face the entire match.
** Rusev beat Big E in what was the most competitive match to date for the Bulgarian. They did a good job of building on last month's match, as Rusev countered a few of Big E's moves, including the diving spear, which we hadn't seen countered before by anyone. Rusev eventually got Big E in The Accolade, and Big E was forced to tap out despite fighting it as long as he could.
** Stardust and Goldust beat Rybaxel. I'm not sure if even Cody knows what he's doing with this character, as it seems like at times he's just doing whatever weird thing pops into his head. Right now though, he's incredibly over with the crowd.
** Layla beat Summer Rae in their match. Fandango didn't really factor in as the guest referee at all, so I wonder why he was included. My guess is that now Fandango walked away with Layla, Summer Rae will find a new guy to go against them. Maybe The Miz when he returns soon?
** Adam Rose beat Damien Sandow, who was dressed as Paul Revere.
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