The Usos def. SmackDown Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Rowan (Non-title; Kickoff Match)
To be completely honest with you, the people I was with and I were still getting food by the time this match started and ended (we waited almost an hour and a half...), so I didn't see any of it in person. In fact, we didn't get to our seats until minutes before the pay-per-view went live. However, I have since watched it on YouTube, and similar to their initial encounter two weeks ago, this was good and the final stretch in particular was fun. These two teams work well together, but I don't understand why a Raw tag team would beat the SmackDown Tag Team Champions. I know we have this dumb Wild Card Rule, but I really wish they would focus on their own feuds on their own shows.
Bayley def. Mandy Rose, Carmella, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Naomi, Natalya and Dana Brooke in a Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
For the third straight year, the women put forth a hell of an effort, and this was probably my favorite women's Money in the Bank Ladder match to date. It helped that a lot of these ladies could have realistically won and everyone got their time to shine. Nikki was a nice replacement for the injured Alexa Bliss, Moon hit her finisher off the top of a ladder at one point (which looked awesome), Carmella was "hurt" early on but returned toward the end, and Rose nearly won with help from Sonya Deville. Ultimately, Bayley was able to reign supreme and the crowd exploded. Of course, that wouldn't be the last time we'd see her on the show, but this was a great way to kick off the night.
Rey Mysterio def. Samoa Joe to Win the United States Championship
I was slightly disappointed but not surprised that their WrestleMania encounter was no more than a minute long, so I was hoping that they would go all out in their rematch here. Although this was also on the shorter side, I had no problem with it whatsoever. Not only did Mysterio avenge his loss to Joe, Joe's shoulders were up, so he was protected in defeat. Plus, Joe laid out Mysterio afterward, so the feud will obviously continue and that's the right call. I read a report indicating that this ran so short because Joe was busted open. While I wouldn't usually be in favor of that, it worked out for the best in this case.
Shane McMahon def. The Miz in a Steel Cage Match
I was a big fan of this feud heading into WrestleMania 35 and thought it was one of the stronger stories WWE was telling at the time. What the hell happened? Shane should not have won at WrestleMania, but I understood why they did it. That said, there was no reason for Shane to pick up a second straight victory over Miz here. Miz will beat Shane eventually, of course, but it's embarrassing for him to lose twice to someone who isn't even an active member of the roster. They told a logical story with the steel cage and Shane constantly trying to avoid Miz, but it didn't make for the most exciting match on the whole.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese def. Ariya Daivari
In what shouldn't at all come as a surprise, this was my bathroom break of the show, and I can tell you for a fact that I was far from alone. The hallways were so flooded with people that you'd think the event was over and everyone was leaving. That's the risk you run by putting a Crusierweight Championship match no one cares about on the main card, I suppose. It's a shame the crowd was so quiet because this was a decent match with a top-notch performance from Nese, who pretty much carried Daivari throughout. I'm ready for Nese to move on to more interesting challengers and people he could really rip it up with.
Raw and SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch def. Lacey Evans (SmackDown Women's Championship Wasn't Defneded)
This was the biggest match of Evans' career, and to her credit, she did well and didn't embarrass herself in any way. Unfortunately, this felt like a glorified Raw matchup, as there was no sense of urgency and there wasn't anything special about it in the slightest. Everyone expected that with her championship clash with Charlotte Flair still to come, but Evans did not emerge from this outing looking any better than she did going in.
Charlotte Flair def. Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch to Win the SmackDown Women's Championship (Raw Women's Championship Wasn't Defended); Bayley Cashed in Her Money in the Bank Contract on Flair to Win the SmackDown Women's Championship
Although Lynch vs. Evans was mediocre at best, at least this was going to be a barn burner, right? Wrong. They've produced some classics together dating back to last year, but this was not one of them. This never left first gear and was not on par with their past encounters. It was merely a means to an end with Flair winning with help from Evans, the heels attacking Lynch, Bayley coming to Lynch's aid, and choosing then and there to cash in her Money in the Bank briefcase. My bold prediction coming into this pay-per-view was that Bayley would win the contract, successfully cash in later in the night on Lynch, and turn heel. I was half-right, but I'll take it. The audience ate this up and gave Bayley the biggest reaction she's received since she was called up to the main roster. It was an incredible moment, but now let's see if they can follow it up properly.
Roman Reigns def. Elias
I doubt there was a single person actually looking forward to this match, so it was smart to keep it short and sweet. Elias blasted Reigns with a guitar shot backstage beforehand and proceeded to play a mini concert, only for Reigns to resurface, lay him out with a spear, and pin him for the squash victory. Needless to say, Elias hardly benefited from this feud, but it was apparent all along that Elias was simply a stepping stone for Reigns before he takes on Shane McMahon.
Universal Champion Seth Rollins def. AJ Styles
This was the definition of a dream match. I know Styles' series of matches with Shinsuke Nakamura last year didn't light the world on fire and failed to live up to everyone's lofty expectations, but this was a brilliant bout and easily the best thing on the entire show. The first half was solid and then they felt to a stellar second half, filled with plenty of suspenseful nearfalls, cool counters and an electric atmosphere. Styles losing clean genuinely shocked me, as well as how he didn't turn heel afterward, but fingers crossed this rivalry isn't over and they will have more matchups together sooner rather than later.
Lars Sullivan Attacked The Lucha House Party
I guess The Lucha House Party were supposed to be in tag team action, but you had to know this would turn into an angle or an attack of some sort considering they weren't originally advertised for this event. Before their opponents could come out, Sullivan emerged and brutalized all three members of Lucha House Party. This was a simple segment that effectively put more heat on Sullivan and gave fans a chance to come down from Rollins vs. Styles.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston def. Kevin Owens
Kingston and Owens contested a well-wrestled affair, but it felt fairly average. I like both of these guys, but it's too early in the feud for either of them to lose so decisively. Therefore, I have no clue where Owens goes from here or how he earns himself another shot at the strap (assuming the rivalry isn't over). On the bright side, Kingston delivered in his first defense of the WWE Championship on pay-per-view, so clearly the company views him as a main event talent (at least for now).
Brock Lesnar def. Ali, Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor, Andrade, Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Ricochet in a Men's Money Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Sami Zayn was pulled from this match earlier in the evening after it was revealed he was ambushed backstage and couldn't compete. Triple H figured it was Braun Strowman even though he had no proof and banned him from the building. The match itself was excellent and there were some insane spots. The hell these guys put their bodies through for us is unreal sometimes. And then came the finish, which saw Lesnar spoil the party and win the briefcase for himself. I don't know how to feel about that decision, honestly. If nothing else, it was an unexpected outcome. On the other hand, Lesnar has no business holding the briefcase when someone else could have easily won it. Lesnar vs. Rollins II at Super Show-Down in Saudi Arabia seems to be the most likely scenario, but I'd rather see Lesnar hold onto it until SmackDown Live premieres on FOX and he can cash it in on whoever the WWE Champion is in October. Either way, I hate how Lesnar remains a fixture in the title picture. It's been two years and he largely hasn't helped anyone. He needs to be doing anything else but chasing the Universal or WWE Championships if he's going to stick around.
My experience at Money in the Bank, as always, was a fantastic one. Putting that aside, this was an enjoyable show all things considered. Lesnar winning Money in the Bank definitely left viewers with a sour taste in their mouths and I don't blame them one bit, but I can't overly criticize a pay-per-view that had a handful of above-average matches in Styles vs. Rollins and the two Money in the Bank Ladder matchups. Plus, Bayley cashing in the contract to become champion was a memorable moment and Kingston and Owens had an quality contest. Raw and to an extent SmackDown have been in the doldrums lately, and as badly as I wanted this event to be a turning point for the company, I fear that it won't be based off how things look going into Super Show-Down next month and the mess that show is bound to be.
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