By Graham "GSM" Matthews
King Barrett def. R-Truth for the King of the Ring Crown (Kickoff Match)
Needless to say, this was their best bout to date, but I'm well aware that isn't saying much considering how forgettable their past encounters have been. While it was better than expected, I couldn't care less who won because that damn crown (much like the Intercontinental Championship) is cursed. I really wish they would simply do away with the gimmick, but that doesn't appear to be in the plans anytime soon. Although Barrett (seemingly) ended this feud as the victor, I still have very little faith that WWE knows what to do with him.
Randy Orton def. Sheamus
As much as I've been enjoying the work of Orton and Sheamus this year, they haven't had compelling chemistry in the ring since 2010, so I wasn't psyched for the recent rekindling of their rivalry. That said, this was easily their most entertaining match in some time. While both competitors put forth a strong effort, it was also due in part to the St. Louis crowd being hot for their hometown boy, Orton. Sheamus needed the win more than Orton did, but I'm not surprised to see him take the loss given how Mr. Money in the Bank tends to be booked each year (always losing so their cash-in comes as more of a "surprise" to the casual viewer).
WWE Tag Team Champions Prime Time Players def. The New Day
The biggest issue that this feud faced going into Money in the Bank was that fans had zero reason to believe Prime Time Players were going to win the twin titles, hence why the crowd was relatively dead for the match they contested that night as well as the subsequent title change. Since the rivalry hasn't progressed much in the last month, I figured this match would suffer the same fate, but similar to the previous two matches, this bout certainly exceeded expectations. No story was told, mind you, but it was very well-wrestled and the finishing sequence was especially well done. Although I predicted a New Day win here, I personally think it's wise to keep the belts on the Players for a while longer because they're gradually getting over. Not only that, but I'd rather not see the straps change hands every other month like a game of hot potato.
Bray Wyatt def. Roman Reigns
The match started out slower than I would have liked, but I guess I should have seen that coming since some of their previous matches didn't exactly light the world on fire. Thankfully, they picked up the pace down the stretch and I appreciated how they switched up the formula a bit by teasing some chair action in addition to all of the counters. I've been petitioning for a Wyatt Family reunion for some time now, and it's looks like we finally got it tonight. Of course, it's not complete without the injured Erick Rowan, but hopefully he joins in on the fun upon his return. More importantly, Wyatt won! About damn time. Let the complaints begin that Reigns got "buried" and should have won here.
Charlotte def. NXT Women's Champion Sasha Banks and Brie Bella in a Triple Threat Match (Non-title)
With no women's match originally scheduled for the show, you had to know some sort of three-way women's match was coming after what was teased on Monday. Charlotte and Banks, despite having less "experience" than Brie, far outshine her in the ring, and that's not meant to be a knock on Brie. She simply doesn't match up to the NXT standouts. That said, she held her own, but when it was only Charlotte and Banks in the ring, it was a very good match. Obviously, it was the best main roster women's match in recent memory and one can only hope WWE doesn't lose interest in featuring the ladies more prominently as quickly as they did with the "Give Divas a Chance" movement earlier this year.
United States Champion John Cena def. Kevin Owens
Was it wrong of me to hope Cena would have a bad match on this show just so I could make a terrible "Trainwreck" pun? Not that he'd have a bad match with Owens, anyway. It's pretty much impossible. In all seriousness, another magical match from Cena and Owens that competed the trifecta of tremendous outings. Once again, I loved how they made the match feel like a sequel to its predecessors instead of just a repeat by not back to the same spots but instead innovating from them. They went out of their way to make Owens look strong in defeat by having him kick out of the Attitude Adjustment from the top rope, but apparently not enough to have him avoid tapping out to the STF. That was a bizarre booking decision, let alone having Cena go over. I really thought this was his time to take the title, and I'm honestly not sure who could be a better option than Owens to take the strap off Cena. Perhaps it becomes clearer on Monday's Raw, but my immediate reaction is that it was a mistake. Still, though, what a match. Let's not overlook that despite the finish.
Big Show Knocked Out The Miz
They had to make due with what they had because of Ryback's impromptu injury, but this felt completely pointless. I'm a well-documented Mizfit and he played his role well while getting under the skin of the audience, but how did this make me want to eventual Triple Threat title match? With one punch, Show already has been speculating that he's turned babyface again, and that's not the kind of reaction WWE must have been aiming for. If nothing else, it served as a buffer between the two big matches and brought the crowd down significantly.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar Ended in a No Contest
The match, for as long as it lasted, was a total squash in Lesnar's favor. And trust me, I'm not complaining because those four minutes were entertaining as hell. Some people may been holding out hope it was going to be more competitive than Lesnar's recent matches, but let's face it, he's no threat to Lesnar in the ring, so it made sense for Lesnar to make short work of him. There have been plenty of rumblings as of late that Undertaker might be on his way back and his return came off extremely well here. It was awesome to see him, and while I can't say I'm enthralled with another Undertaker vs. Lesnar match after their poor showing at WrestleMania 30, they've certainly peaked my interest with the situation. The only downside in all of this is that the finish of this match was never announced. It was shades of the 2013 installment of Battleground which I also hated, but the biggest difference is that this event didn't close out with Big Show; rather, it closed with a newsworthy return that will get plenty of people talking going into Raw. By the way, where does Rollins go from here?
I had high hopes going into this show and they were ultimately met if not exceeded with this being an above average event. The first two hours were filled with excellent wrestling and logical results; I despised the finish of Cena vs. Owens but at least they contested another gem of a match; as for the main event, it was short yet sweet and they went off the air with a major bang. All in all, I'd have to say this was an awesome pay-per-view and probably among the best of the year next to WrestleMania 31. Moreover, there's so much to look forward to when it comes to Monday's Raw as well as SummerSlam (which I'll be in attendance for, and I couldn't be any more excited!).
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