Big Cass Attacked Samoa Joe and Daniel Bryan
Joe is a national treasure whenever he has a microphone in his hand and his latest promo here was excellent in being short, sweet and to the point. Bryan cut one of his more fired-up promos in recent memory as well, but I'll admit that Cass announcing he was medically cleared and joining the main event between Bryan and Joe was slightly disappointing. I suppose that was the plan the whole time, but I was really looking forward to Bryan vs. Joe one-on-one. Hopefully someday.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Tye Dillinger
Dillinger is definitely among the most underutilized athletes on the roster, but it was cool to see him have such a solid showing against Nakamura, even if the outcome of this contest was never in doubt. This was a fun little match where the crowd was behind Dillinger and, obviously, the 10 count/Last Man Standing tie-in with Dillinger was well done. We'll see if Nakamura and AJ Styles can make the most of the stipulation at Money in the Bank.
Naomi and Lana Competed in a Dance-off
Well, this was incredibly stupid and painfully pointless. Yes, both women have backgrounds in dancing, but did this really make anyone more excited for their involvement in the women's Money in the Bank Ladder match? Lana attacking Naomi was beyond predictable and I assume it was designed to set up a six-man tag team matchup pitting Rusev Day and Lana against Naomi and The Usos at a later date. The sole positive of this was that it didn't last longer than it did.
The New Day def. The Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro
New Day has had a string of quality matches with The Bar over the past month, but this might have been their strongest encounter to date. The crowd was super hot from start to finish and all six stars just seemed to click. Say what you will about New Day and their odd obsession with pancakes, but they always deliver in the ring when it matters most. By the way, we still don't know which member of New Day will take part in the men's Money in the Bank Ladder match.
Asuka def. Mandy Rose
This was an opportunity for Rose to show what she's capable of. Although she didn't blow me away with her performance, she didn't embarrass herself, either, so that was a plus. Meanwhile, Asuka doesn't have the same momentum that she had prior to WrestleMania, despite having a shot at the SmackDown Women's Championship at Money in the Bank. I realize she isn't undefeated anymore, but the follow-up to her loss to Charlotte Flair has been lackluster. Decisive victories such as this one will only help her case, though.
Samoa Joe def. Daniel Bryan and Big Cass in a Triple Threat Match to Qualify for the men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
As noted earlier, this would have been better off if it was just Bryan and Joe, but Cass didn't drag it down too much and it ended up being a good match. It was a bit dull at certain points, but on the whole, they kept fans guessing with some of the nearfalls down the stretch. I loved the finish with Bryan nearly pinning Cass only for Joe to come out of nowhere and force Bryan to pass out for the victory, protecting Bryan in defeat. Bryan vs. Cass will continue for whatever reason and I can't say I'm too excited for the remainder of that rivalry judging by how mediocre their matchup at Backlash was.
Raw and SmackDown Live have both featured decent build to Money in the Bank, yet I find the blue brand to be so much more tolerable and entertaining to watch. Yes, the two hours compared to three hours is an advantage, but many things are just better booked. This was far from a perfect show, as I could have done without Cass and the dumb dance-off, but everything serving a purpose in addition to the lively audience made this a nice show.
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