It was a huge night on Sunday in Las Vegas as WWE’s thrilling Money in the Bank pay-per-view ended with Dean Ambrose leaving as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Even though Ambrose wasn’t even in the advertised main event that saw Seth Rollins beat Roman Reigns for the WWE Title, he left with the gold by cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase. It was one of the best moments this year to cap off WWE’s best pay-per-view of 2016 so far.
In a show that was main-evented by Reigns defending the gold against Rollins, it was third former Shield member Dean Ambrose that stole the spotlight. Ambrose, who was the only one of the three that hadn’t been the WWE Champion before, took advantage of a tired Rollins as all three members of The Shield had their hands on the biggest prize in the game on the same show.
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2016
Rollins was in a grueling main event match with Reigns. They went back and forth all match long with Rollins showing that he hadn’t lost a step, despite being out of action since November with a major knee injury. Rollins has worked WWE live events for the last couple of weeks, so he was definitely in ring shape for this one.
They did some big spots during the match, like when Reigns hit a Spear and Rollins was able to kick out. Rollins hit a Pedigree that Reigns kicked out of too. They even worked in a ref bump as a way to add some more drama to the match, although it wasn’t as big as the ref bump in the Cena/Styles match.
For the finish, Rollins was able to hit Reigns with a second Pedigree. He won clean. That was a big surprise to me because I figured Reigns was in line for a six-month title reign. Instead, he only held the title for less than three months. The Rollins win showed that he was as good as ever, but it didn’t last long.
Ambrose’s music hit as the crowd went wild. Earlier in the show, Ambrose won a chaotic Money in the Bank match that afforded him the opportunity to cash in the briefcase at any time for a WWE Title match against the champion. With Rollins looking at the ramp, Ambrose snuck into the ring on the other side, Rollins turned around and Ambrose nailed him with the briefcase. Rollins got back to his feet, Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds and he covered to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time in his career.
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2016
It’s an interesting decision by WWE because not only did Ambrose win the title, but Rollins beat Reigns clean too. I think it’s a sign that WWE has lost some faith in Reigns as “the guy” and no offense to him, but I think that’s the right decision. There are people that are turning off the product because of Reigns. Ratings are down, attendance has been dwindling and there are reports of Roman’s merchandise not selling that well for a top guy. Changing things up is a smart move.
Where does it all lead? That’s tough to figure out, but a Shield triple threat is very possible for a show like SummerSlam in two months. Typically, in WWE storylines, champions get rematches. Since both Reigns and Rollins lost their title in the same night, it makes sense for them to get rematches at the same time. Maybe they’ll do it at Battleground and SummerSlam. We just don’t know yet.
There hasn’t been a televised Ambrose vs. Rollins vs. Reigns match yet, although they wrestled against each other in a four-way match with Randy Orton last year at Payback.
What Ambrose’s win does is give WWE some new life as we head into the summer. For the first time in a long time, I’m genuinely excited to see what’s next on Raw this week.
Before I discuss the matches, the other noteworthy point is that the show ran three hours, 23 minutes starting at 8 p.m. ET. Normally a WWE PPV like this will run three hours. I’m not sure if this is going to be a regular thing or if they decided to do this because the main event took place after the NBA Finals Game 7 ended. Will this be the norm or a one-time thing?
Match Results From WWE Money in the Bank
Here’s a look at the matches that took place at Money in the Bank.
Golden Truth defeated Breezango (Kickoff Match)
This was more of a comedy bit with Tyler Breeze and Fandango selling “injuries” because they were burned while they were tanning. The reason they were burned is because Goldust and Truth turned up the heat. Anyway, it was a clean win for Golden Truth, who finally got their first win.
Lucha Dragons defeated The Dudley Boyz (Kickoff Match)
There wasn’t much of a story or build to this match. It was just a way to give a win for the babyface team the Lucha Dragons. The Dudleys are a veteran team that’s there to make the younger teams look good at this point in their careers. There isn’t much more to it than that.
WWE Tag Team Titles: The New Day defeated The Vaudevillains, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and Enzo Amore & Big Cass
It was a four-way tag team match that was an all right match with a lot of action. They had a few sloppy moments, though. There was a spot where Kingston was supposed to hit a kick, but Amore fell down before he was even hit. Then for the finish, it looked weird as Gallows & Anderson hit their finish on English, tried to pin him and couldn’t because English wasn’t the legal man. Then Kingston covered English for the win.
It was a way to show that New Day are smart champions that find ways to win. Look for them to feud with Gallows and Anderson going forward. I thought G&A would win the titles here. It didn’t happen, so maybe it’ll take place at Battleground or SummerSlam.
Baron Corbin defeated Dolph Ziggler
This was the third straight PPV match for them. It ended with Corbin winning clean, which was no surprise to anybody watching this show. Corbin’s a heel on the rise while Ziggler is a veteran babyface that needs to be booked better. I would love Ziggler to turn heel, but WWE seems more interested in booking him as a good guy that loses far too often.
Charlotte & Dana Brooke defeated Natalya & Becky Lynch
This was a pretty short match for the ladies as the heel team of Charlotte and Brooke worked well together. There was a spot near the end where Natalya and Lynch ran into each other, setting up the finish with Charlotte hitting the Natural Selection on Natalya for the win.
Post-match, Natalya was in tears because she was so mad about the loss. Then she attacked her friend Lynch. Natalya pounded on her with fists to send a message. It was a really good heel turn that could help Natalya a lot because her face character was pretty stale. She could be awesome as a heel.
Apollo Crews defeated Sheamus
Here’s what I wrote in the preview for this match: “I’m going with Crews winning with some sort of counter move that leads to Sheamus kicking out right after the fall or attacking post-match.” I was pretty close because Crews won with a counter move because after Sheamus hit the White Noise off the middle ropes, Crews did a crucifix pin to win the match. There was no attack after the match, but Sheamus was furious. The feud is probably going to continue.
AJ Styles defeated John Cena
The atmosphere for this match was incredible. The fans were so loud even before they locked up, which showed that the hype was warranted for this “dream match,” as WWE called it. They had a lot of time with 25 minutes of action. There were a lot of great near-falls with Styles kicking out of the Attitude Adjustment and Cena kicked out of the Styles Clash. Cena hit another AA on Styles, but Styles’ foot led to a ref bump that sent the ref to the floor. That allowed Gallows & Anderson to run down to the ring, hit Cena with the Magic Killer double team move and Styles covered to win. It was a cheap win especially because Gallows & Anderson were not supposed to be at ringside, per the stipulations in the match contract.
A rematch is likely because it was a cheap win for Styles due to the help of Gallows & Anderson. That’s a great thing for us as fans because they clearly have a great chemistry. One of my only gripes would be that Cena was heard calling spots a few different times in the match. It’s not new for him. It’s just something that a guy at his level shouldn’t be doing.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Dean Ambrose defeated Chris Jericho, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Alberto Del Rio & Kevin Owens
The second of the three big matches was this one, with six of the best WWE in-ring performers competing for the briefcase. It was a very physical match as they used ladders as weapons from start to finish. It was a bit of a surprise that they didn’t use any other weapons in the match. I thought they might bring in a chair or kendo stick at some point, but they kept it all about the ladders as the main choice for weapons.
Some of the big spots in the match included Cesaro tossing Jericho into a ladder after a Swing spot, there was Zayn hitting a Michinoku Driver (sitout slam) on Owens that sent Owens back first onto a ladder that was on the mat. Del Rio took a nasty fall towards the end of the match when he got knocked off a ladder. He landed feet first on the top rope and landed hard on his shoulder. He had to be helped to the back by the referees, which looked to be a legit thing rather than a work. In the end, Ambrose fought off Owens as the final two and Ambrose got the win. It was an awesome match that was one of the best Money in the Bank ladder matches ever.
Going into the match, my pick was Owens while I mentioned that Ambrose was very possible as a winner too. As we saw at the end of the night, Ambrose winning ended up being a very good decision because of the way the crowd reacted to it. No complaints from me.
United States Title: Rusev defeated Titus O’Neil
It was the most predictable match on the show. Rusev is the dominant US Champion, while O’Neil is just a guy that was there for Rusev to beat on Father’s Day in front of O’Neil’s kids at ringside. Rusev won clean with the Accolade submission. It’s a good way to put Rusev over as a bad guy that people want to see get beat.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns
As mentioned earlier, Rollins won clean with a Pedigree. It was a long title match at 26 minutes. Rollins wrestled at such a high level, reminding us how he’s arguably the best performer in the company. He was missed a lot. Rollins clearly carried the match and Reigns did a solid job of hitting his power moves. As usual, I wish Reigns sold some things better, but the fact that he got beat clean shows that WWE may not be as enamored with him as we thought.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins
The night ended with Ambrose holding the gold. Was everybody surprised by this? Yeah, I think so. This was only the second time in Money in the Bank history where somebody won the briefcase and cashed in later in the same night. The first time it happened was Kane in 2010, when he cashed in on Rey Mysterio to win the World Title. This had the same feel as that moment, although the difference is that Ambrose is a babyface champion while Kane was a heel.
It was the best ending to a WWE event this year. No question about that.
This was the best pay-per-view of the year because it was about three huge matches which lived up to their potential. In addition to that, Money in the Bank ended with a happy ending as Ambrose won the WWE Title for the first time in his career. It’s one of those shows that we’re not going to forget any time soon because of the moment with Ambrose winning the gold at the end.
If you missed the show, check out the Styles/Cena, Money in the Bank and Rollins/Reigns matches with the Ambrose ending. Everything else was pretty average.