The WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view took place on Sunday night in Chicago. It was a memorable night, with Ronda Rousey looking impressive in her first singles match in a WWE ring, although Alexa Bliss ended up stealing the spotlight from her. Braun Strowman also had the biggest night of his career so far. Strowman and Bliss were known as “Team Little Big” in the Mixed Match Challenge and by the end of the night, they were the ones that got people talking the most at Money in the Bank.
Money in the Bank ran for 4 hours and 15 minutes on WWE Network. I think going past four hours was a little bit too long. It was still a pretty good show, but when you go that long, there’s a concern that the crowd may tire out for some of it.
There were eleven matches in total. Here are the quick results.
- The Bludgeon Brothers defeated Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows by pinfall to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Titles on the Kickoff Show.
- Daniel Bryan defeated Big Cass by submission.
- Bobby Lashley defeated Sami Zayn by pinfall.
- Seth Rollins defeated Elias by pinfall to retain the Intercontinental Title.
- Alexa Bliss won the Women’s Money in the Bank contract Ladder Match.
- Roman Reigns defeated Jinder Mahal by pinfall.
- Carmella defeated Asuka by pinfall to retain the Smackdown Women’s Title due to a distraction from James Ellsworth.
- AJ Styles defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in a Last Man Standing Match to retain the WWE Title.
- Ronda Rousey defeated Nia Jax by disqualification due to Bliss attacking Rousey.
- Alexa Bliss cashed in the Money in the Bank contract on Nia Jax and pinned Jax to win the Raw Women’s Title.
- Braun Strowman won the Men’s Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match.
Here are ten takeaways on the show that took place at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
10. Daniel Bryan beating Big Cass likely means the end of that rivalry
Daniel Bryan beat Big Cass at Backlash last month in a match that was just average. Bryan is way better than average, but Cass really slowed him down. They did the rematch at Money in the Bank with Cass looking a bit better, most likely because they have wrestled a lot at live events in the last two months.
The story of the match was Bryan working on the left leg of Cass. There were a few moments where Cass dominated the match and looked like he might win, but Bryan kept coming back while going after the leg. Bryan managed to slap on the heel hook submission on the left leg of Cass and Cass tapped out to give Bryan the win.
I assume that this is the end of Bryan vs. Cass, which is a good thing for Bryan. I want to see Bryan in a feud with a heel like The Miz, Samoa Joe, or Shinsuke Nakamura. Bryan has wrestled all of them in the past at various points in his career, but all of them would be fresh in today’s WWE environment.
It’s going to be interesting to see what next for Bryan. Keep in mind that Bryan’s contract with WWE is up in September of this year and he apparently hasn’t re-signed yet. He may have, but we don’t know that yet. I think Bryan will stay because he can make the most money in WWE while his wife Brie Bella is associated with the company. Plus, they have two reality shows together (Total Divas and Total Bellas) that pay well, so it would be foolish to get away from that even though companies like New Japan and Ring of Honor would treat Bryan well.
Bryan working the opening match on this show is fine, but I really hope he gets back to the main event scene where he belongs.
9. Bobby Lashley and Sami Zayn had the worst match of the night
— WWE (@WWE) June 17, 2018
Bobby Lashley beat Sami Zayn easily in about seven minutes. It was the worst match of the night by far. The feud sucked going into the night, with Zayn trying to get heat by ripping on Lashley’s sisters and Lashley’s military background. The crowd never really got into it.
What bothered me about the match is that Lashley is one of the most impressive wrestlers in terms of looks, yet his finishing move in WWE appears to be a delayed vertical suplex. Really? That’s it? Lashley hit Zayn with the delayed vertical suplex three times and covered him with one hand on his chest. It made Zayn look like a total loser.
I’m not sure what’s next for either of them, but this is an example of a rivalry helping neither man. Lashley should be booked as more of a serious character that can destroy people. Instead, he’s winning with delayed suplexes? It needs to be better than that. Let him use a Powerbomb variation or something to make him stand out a bit more.
8. Seth Rollins cheating to beat Elias should lead to a rematch
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 18, 2018
Seth Rollins retained the Intercontinental Title against Elias in a match that went 17 minutes. It was the best singles match Elias has had in WWE. Give Elias a lot of credit for that, but it’s an example of how incredible Rollins is, because he’s on a roll and having the best matches of anybody in the company.
The story of the match was Elias working on Rollins’ neck for most of it and then Rollins started selling a left knee injury. Rollins was so good at selling it that even when he would do offensive moves or pin attempts, he would sell the pain in the leg. That’s how every wrestler should do it, but a lot of them forget to sell when they are on offense.
The finish was controversial because each man was going for a rollup, then Rollins rolled him up and sat on top while holding onto Elias’ pants. It’s a cheap win for Rollins. That should lead to a rematch for the IC Title possibly on Raw or at Extreme Rules next month. I’d be fine with Elias as the guy to beat Rollins for the IC Title in a cheap manner somehow. Rollins can move on to going after the Universal Title because he deserves it.
I tweeted during the show that it was nice that Bryan and Rollins wrestled in the opener, but both guys should be main eventing shows like they did in 2014.
7. Alexa Bliss won a very competitive Money in the Bank match
— WWE (@WWE) June 18, 2018
The women’s Money in the Bank match was great. I thought it was even better than the men’s Money in the Bank match because all eight women had a chance to win, while the men’s match was centered around Braun Strowman too much. I don’t mind Strowman, but the MITB match is better when you really have no idea who is going to win.
Several women stood out in terms of doing some cool moves and taking some hard bumps. Ember Moon was impressive, Naomi took a bump where she did the splits on a ladder, Charlotte Flair was dominant while using power moves as the tallest woman in the match, and I thought Becky Lynch was the most likable in terms of the crowd reactions.
In case there was any doubt, it truly is EVERY WOMAN FOR HERSELF in this #MITB #LadderMatch!!! @NaomiWWE @MsCharlotteWWE @AlexaBliss_WWE @LanaWWE @SashaBanksWWE @WWEEmberMoon @BeckyLynchWWE @NatByNature pic.twitter.com/A87jazcSAI
— WWE (@WWE) June 18, 2018
The fans really wanted Lynch to win it. Just when it looked like Lynch was going to win, Bliss knocked her off the ladder and climbed up to win. The timing was off a bit because Lynch was up on the ladder reaching the briefcase for a while. Bliss was late to knock her down, so Lynch was on top of that ladder looking like a fool waiting for Bliss.
Bliss, the winner, barely did anything in the first ten minutes. She sat outside the ring watching for most of it, which fits into her character as a crafty heel that wants to take advantage of a situation. The fact that WWE put Bliss over is proof of how much they like her work because she has been in the Raw Title picture constantly for the last year. It seems like even Bliss is out of things, she manages to work her way back into it.
My pick for the match was Natalya, due to the Rousey factor. It didn’t happen and that’s okay, but I thought there were better choices than Bliss.
6. The fans hated Roman Reigns during his victory over Jinder Mahal
— WWE (@WWE) June 18, 2018
It’s becoming easy to predict crowd reactions during Roman Reigns matches. Here’s what I wrote in my predictions: “Reigns should win this match easily and if he were to lose it, I’d be very surprised. With that said, the interesting part of this match is how the vocal Chicago crowd reacts to it. I fully expect them to boo Reigns from the moment he enters the arena while continuing to boo him during the match. They don’t like him. They don’t want him in a face role. Watching present day WWE is difficult because of how reluctant WWE’s creative team is to turn him into a more proper heel.”
Everything I said there is true. If anything, the crowd was more vicious towards Reigns than I thought. Less than two minutes into the match, fans were chanting “CM Punk” and it didn’t stop there. They were so bored of the match that they chanted for people like John Cena, Chris Jericho, Velveteen Dream (impressive NXT star), and others. The biggest reactions during the match happened when fans brought beach balls out, then they had them taken away and there were “a**hole” chants because of it.
What was funny about the whole thing is while the fans were paying no attention to the match, the announcers completely ignored the fans. During most matches, the announcers will mention what the fans were chanting, but not in this match.
The match was okay but it ran a bit long at about 16 minutes. Jinder Mahal slapping on chinlocks for a few minutes at a time was really boring to watch. I really hope WWE doesn’t go with Reigns vs. Lesnar at SummerSlam because those fans in New York will hate that match more than this Chicago crowd or the WrestleMania crowd. Strowman vs. Lesnar is the match that should happen instead.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) June 18, 2018
As you can see from the tweet above, Reigns doesn’t seem to care about the negative crowd reactions. He’ll just keep moving forward.
5. Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura both came up short…again
It was five months ago when Shinsuke Nakamura won the men’s Royal Rumble match and Asuka won the women’s Royal Rumble match. I thought both Japanese stars would leave with titles at WrestleMania in early April. Instead, Asuka lost her first match in WWE to Charlotte Flair while Nakamura turned heel following a loss to AJ Styles.
If you watched Asuka and Nakamura in NXT, then you saw them as huge stars that helped carry that brand while they were. What’s so different on the main roster? Vince McMahon. In NXT, Vince isn’t running that show and making the creative decisions. On the main roster, it’s up to Vince. If Vince doesn’t see something in them, then they are going to fail to live up to expectations.
Losing the feud to Styles was especially bad for Nakamura because he lost a WWE Title feud to Jinder Mahal last summer as well. I think it’s going to do a lot of damage to Nakamura, who may feud with Jeff Hardy for the US Title or perhaps an old rival like Daniel Bryan.
As for Asuka, she was made to look like a fool during her loss to Carmella. It was a bad match with Carmella’s offense looking poor. The finish was predictable, with James Ellsworth showing up (as expected) in an Asuka like costume complete with a robe and a mask on his face. For some reason, Asuka was almost in a trance when she saw this. It looked so cheesy. Carmella capitalized with a superkick to win in a cheap manner. This means that Carmella retained her title against Charlotte Flair and Asuka, although the Asuka feud may not be over yet.
If you would have told me six months ago that Asuka and Nakamura would be booked so poorly AFTER winning the Royal Rumble I would have said no way. What a shame.
4. The finish of AJ Styles beating Shinsuke Nakamura really was phenomenal
— WWE (@WWE) June 18, 2018
I know the use of the word “phenomenal” is overused when it comes to AJ Styles, but in this case it is worthy. The 30 minute WWE Title match that saw Styles defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to retain his title was a boring match at the start, but it became really good towards the end of it.
The problem with a Last Man Standing match is that instead of nearfalls, you have a ref counting a guy down for five seconds or seven seconds and it just leads to a lot of standing around. It can get boring. Plus, you know nobody is going to lose this match in the first ten minutes, so if you missed part of it you missed nothing. There was some really good stuff at the end, though.
Nakamura came close to winning a few times thanks to a low blow that weakened Styles like Nakamura did several times in the last three months. Nakamura hit Styles with a Kinshasa knee strike two times and Styles kept getting back up. It was time for sweet revenge because when Nakamura said “come on” to him, Styles brought it with a kick to the groin. Styles followed up with a Phenomenal Forearm off the top rope that sent Nakamura through the announce table at ringside. It was the perfect finish for this rivalry. They executed it the right way.
This should be the end of the Styles feud with Nakamura. Who’s next for Styles? There are options in guys like The Miz and Samoa Joe. I think it will be Joe, who may end up as the next WWE Champion, because Miz vs. Daniel Bryan makes a lot of sense.
3. Ronda Rousey looked impressive again, but Alexa Bliss stole the show and the title
— WWE (@WWE) June 18, 2018
There was a lot of speculation about what match might go on last. I thought Jax vs. Rousey might be last, but they ended up second from the top. Jax dominated most of the match using her size advantage to keep Rousey grounded. That led to Rousey making the predictable comeback with moves like this side judo throw that saw her toss Jax halfway across the ring. What was great about the match is that whenever Rousey was going on offense, the crowd kept getting into it more. This was Rousey’s first singles match in WWE and she looked like she had been doing this for years. Rousey is a very impressive “rookie” in the wrestling business.
Rousey tried for an armbar submission, but Jax had her hands locked. Rousey finally broke free, the fans were going crazy for it and that’s when Alexa Bliss showed up with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Bliss hit Rousey and Jax repeatedly leading to the disqualification. Bliss knocked Rousey out of the ring and tossed her over the announce table to take her out.
Bliss cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase after hitting Jax twice in the arm with the briefcase. Bliss dropped a hurting Jax with a DDT. Bliss went up top, hit the Twisted Bliss splash and covered to win this match in under one minute.
Apparently cheaters DO prosper in the @wwe – not surprising tbh, given their leadership @stephaniemcmahon @tripleh 🤨 I don’t know what I was doing expecting a certain degree of honor and fair sport. That was MY mistake. I won’t make it again. @alexa_bliss_wwe_ …. you screwed over the wrong woman. See you tonight on #Raw
It was not the outcome I expected because I thought Rousey was going to win the title heading into her UFC Hall of Fame induction next week. I figured it was WWE’s way of keeping the spotlight on her WWE career even at a UFC event. Instead, Bliss cashed in the briefcase to earn her 5th Women’s Title reign in the last 18 months (first Smackdown and then Raw).
I can understand why WWE wants to push Bliss again because she’s a great talker that is one of the best characters in the women’s division in years. It just feels like the same pattern we have seen before. Jax beat Bliss at WrestleMania and in the rematch, yet WWE feels like Bliss was the way to go again. Do we really need a Bliss vs. Jax match again? I don’t care for it, but that may be what they do at Extreme Rules while Rousey waits for her shot possibly at SummerSlam in August since that’s the bigger show.
As for Rousey, I don’t think people should complain about if she’s deserving of a push or if she belongs. Rousey has clearly put in the work. The fans react to her as a big star. I’m glad she loves the business as much as she does because it shows in her performance.
2. Kevin Owens had the most painful fall of the night
The Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match was the main event of the show. There was one spot in the match that got people talking more than anything else. It involved Kevin Owens.
The story of the match was that Owens wanted to work together with the other wrestlers to take out Braun Strowman since Strowman was the biggest favorite in the match. The strategy worked early as Strowman was buried under some ladders on the stage. Five minutes later, Strowman made a comeback. Shortly after that, Owens worked with Samoa Joe and Rusev to take out Strowman again.
A big spot was set up by the entryway where there were several huge ladders that were part of the set. Strowman was set up on a table, Owens climbed up and teased a big Frog Splash on Strowman through the table. Strowman fought back, though. Strowman went up a ladder, Owens was on the other side and Strowman threw Owens down about 20 feet through a well-placed table underneath them.
That’s the kind of big spot WWE used to do all the time over a decade ago. They’re a lot more conservative now about guys doing huge bumps like that, but Owens must have been okay with it. I hope there was some padding under that table or something to help soften the blow because it looked nasty, as you can see in the video above.
1. Braun Strowman winning Money in the Bank should lead to him becoming the next Universal Champion
— WWE (@WWE) June 18, 2018
Strowman was the focal point of the men’s Money in the Bank match. It was all about the wrestlers trying to slow him down. When they did, it looked like somebody else might win, but when Strowman was on his feet it was all about him. Strowman destroyed ladders, he took down several wrestlers, he hit his Running Powerslam multiple times and as you could see above, he literally threw Kevin Owens twenty feet off a ladder.
Strowman took out nearly everybody in the match. Strowman took out Joe and Miz with Running Powerslams to make them look like losers. Poor Smackdown. Balor climbed one side of the ladder, Strowman was on the other side and Kofi Kingston of The New Day jumped on Strowman’s back. Balor was knocked off the ladder, Strowman pulled Kingston down and Strowman was alone at the top. Strowman grabbed the briefcase to win in an anticlimactic finishing sequence. I thought the finish could have been better.
I like Strowman and the fans like him. He’s a guy that started as a heel on Raw two years ago, they turned him face last summer and the fans want to embrace him as the top guy. Is he going to be the next Universal Champion? He should be.
It’s official. I am Mr. Monster in the Bank. Not much longer until I come looking for you Brock. #MITB
— Braun Strowman (@BraunStrowman) June 18, 2018
I thought Strowman should have beat Lesnar for the Universal Championship back at No Mercy last September. The reason that Lesnar held the title so long is because WWE wanted to have him drop the title to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. That plan changed, Lesnar agreed to stick around, Reigns failed again at the Greatest Royal Rumble in late April, and here we are again, not sure when Lesnar might return. It’s probably SummerSlam, but that’s not a sure thing.
What I think might happen is Strowman is going to challenge Lesnar to a Universal Title match at SummerSlam in August. Reigns will bitch about how he deserves another match, so it will be a triple threat and I think Strowman will win the title there. I wouldn’t put it on Reigns. Strowman is the best choice.
I hope Strowman wins the Universal Title at SummerSlam or even sooner. If he doesn’t, it would be another booking mistake on WWE’s part.
I thought Money in the Bank was a pretty good show thanks to the two excellent ladder matches, and I liked Styles vs. Nakamura a lot as well. Alexa Bliss cashing in Money in the Bank to leave with the Raw Women’s Title was a memorable moment too. The bad parts of the show were kept short, so it’s not like I’m going to rip on the whole show because of a bad Lashley match. Money in the Bank was a lot better than last month’s Backlash show, that’s for sure.
The next WWE PPV is Extreme Rules on July 15. That’s a PPV where there are stipulations in nearly every match, so it’s typically a fun show. SummerSlam in August is a much bigger event as well.