By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Michael Cole Interviewed Daniel Bryan (Kickoff Show)
It feels like it's been forever since we last saw Bryan on WWE TV, yet it's only been four weeks since we saw him at the Payback pay-per-view. He was in good spirits and perhaps that's a good thing, but I would have liked to see him cut a more serious promo considering he was just stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Either way, the live crowd was obviously very happy to see him and he received a great reaction from them. Bo Dallas' interruption gave him a good rub and it was cool to see the two cross paths for the first time. I don't think it'll lead to anything later down the line, but it was fun for what it was. I surely hope Bryan isn't in need of a second surgery, but I'd rather have him back 100% and not anything less.
WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos def. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
One of the two Money in the Bank Ladder matches usually kick off the annual event, but I was happy with this match in the opening slot seeing how there weren't any other world title/major matches on this show aside from the main event. These two teams have always worked well together and this match was no exception. The action was entertaining from start to finish and they quickened the pace down the stretch. I really liked how it took two splashes to take out Rowan instead of the usual one. I was content with the titles remaining with The Usos if only because I hope to see The Ascension called up to the main roster soon to feud with them. The Wyatt Family and The Usos have feuded for so long that I hope this was the blowoff, but I could certainly see more matches between the two tandems in the near future, and that's not a complaint since their matches are always great.
Divas Champion Paige def. Naomi
I was glad that they were given a decent amount of time, but they easily could have gone a few more minutes. That said, they made the most of the time they were allotted in had one of the better Divas matches in recent memory. Naomi is due for a run with the title at some point, but a title win for her stills feels premature, so maybe at some point down the line. I was very happy to see (or hear) Cameron on commentary and that she didn't take up much camera time. While the heel turn didn't occur here, their furthered it nicely with her facial expressions during the match and I'm sure it will happen before long.
Adam Rose def. Paul Revere (Damien Sandow)
It hasn't even been two months yet and WWE has already seemed to lose their way with Rose who has no direction at the moment. However, it is nice to see that he's still over with the audience even though most of his matches as of late are inconsequential. I don't want to sound like a broken record when it comes to the horrendous booking of Rose as of late, so I won't whine about it, but this match felt like complete filler and waste of bother guys' time.
Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Rob Van Dam and Dolph Ziggler in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Is it just me or are the the Money in the Bank matches that happen earlier on in the event usually better than the one later in the show? I know we can't call them the Raw and SmackDown Ladder matches anymore, but the match featuring the up-and-coming talent as opposed to the star power always seems to deliver on a higher level. Everyone involved had their shining moment and each of the combatants did a great job of making fans believe that they had a chance of winning. Take Kingston for example who hasn't meant anything in ages. After Rollins took that crazy back bump on the ladder, I almost thought for a second that he was going to win. Take nothing away from Kington, RVD and Swagger who all played their parts well. Ambrose sold his shoulder injury well and got a big reaction for returning at the end. I, too, groaned at the finish with Kane costing Ambrose the match, but from a fan perspective, it succeeded in making me hate Kane and Rollins. Rollins was the most logical pick to win and it also added intrigue to the main event as to whether Kane would help Orton win his match as well.
Goldust and Stardust def. Rybaxel
I'm still under the impression all these weeks later that Stardust doesn't have as bright of a future that Cody Rhodes does. Go back to Money in the Bank last year and listen the reaction he received from the live crowd. He's best when he's just being himself and I don't understand what the Stardust character is supposed to accomplish, especially if Goldust doesn't stick around past SummerSlam. It was a pretty ho-hum matchup as we've seen it before and the winners were never in doubt.
Rusev def. Big E
These two had a pleasantly surprising matchup at Payback earlier this month and I was hoping they'd surpass that match on this show, but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Big E isn't over enough to the point where fans had any incentive to think he'd beat Rusev here and his new preacher gimmick won't help matters. Big E's spear to Rusev on the apron was a cool spot at Payback, but it just looked reckless in this match. Rusev looked seriously dazed and appeared to be okay following the bout. Here's hoping this is the end of the line for this feud and Rusev can move into a rivalry with a substantial midcarder sometime soon.
Layla def. Summer Rae with Fandango as the Special Guest Referee
Layla and Summer are two of the better workers in the Divas division right now and it's such a shame that they've been involved in this garbage for the last month. I haven't cared less about this love triangle from the moment it started and due to that the result of this match didn't matter to me. It wasn't even well wrestled because of all the shenanigans with Fandango as the referee. As I've said before, it's nice that there's more than one story going on in the Divas division right now, but when said story is absolutely garbage, then I'd rather deal with meaningless matches involving the ladies.
John Cena def. Randy Orton, Kane, United States Champion Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro and Roman Reigns in a Ladder Match to Win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The pace of this bout wasn't nearly as exciting as its predecessor, but that's not to say that this wasn't a very good match. There were several insane spots involving the contestants and everyone held their own. The other match might have been better with less competitors, but everyone involved had their shining moment and the action was enjoyable. Say what you will about his boring persona, but major props to Orton for the bumps he took in this match and continuing on despite being busted open. The only real story of this match was Kane aiding Orton to victory, so they succeeded in telling that story by having Cena take them both out at the end to ascend the ladder and win the title. It was done in typical Cena fashion, but it was what it was. I'm not angered at the match result since it was predictable he'd win it from the moment he qualified for it. Of all the competitors in this contest, he can easily take a loss to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam if that is indeed the plan. If his title reign is only for the interim, then I'm fine with him winning here.
Money in the Bank has always been one of my favorite pay-per-views of the year and while the undercard on this show was weak, it didn't change the fact that I enjoyed this event. The three main matches (the tag team title match and the two Ladder matches) were all excellent and made the show worth watching. The Divas Championship match was good, but everything else was mediocre and/or pointless. At least there was some progression when it came to feuds and storylines going into the next night's Raw. As a whole, it was a good yet not great event that has this viewer looking forward to seeing what WWE has in store for their upcoming summer season.
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