Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Roman Reigns vs Neville vs Sheamus vs Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton vs Kane vs Dolph Ziggler
Color me surprised here. I thought we were getting a straightforward win for the clear favorite here, Roman, or a win by Kane to lead towards the eventual fight between he and Seth Rollins. Instead we got interference from Bray Wyatt just as it looked like Roman was going to win it, allowing Sheamus to climb the ladder and grab the briefcase after a failed by Neville to stop him. We got a run in by Kofi’s New Day teammates to try and help him win, a RKO-fest from Orton and some cool sequences from Roman powerbombing guys onto a ladder and a dive outside the ring onto all six opponents. The false finish sequence between Roman and Randy was pretty well done, too. I was hoping for some more high flying ladder spots from Neville than we got, but that’s my only real complaint with the execution. As for who won…..we’ll see. It’s better for a heel to win the briefcase as cashing in when a guy is already down and out fits more with a heel character, so from that standpoint it makes sense. But Sheamus hasn’t exactly looked like world champion material since he came back. Yes, he has the size and mobility to always make a credible threat but could you honestly picture this current iteration of his character in the same ring with Rollins, Reigns, or Brock Lesnar? I can’t. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.
Diva’s Title Match: Nikki Bella (champ) vs Paige
They got over ten minutes to work here for a change; you can do that when you have the right people in the ring. They put a nice twist on the Twin Magic cheating tactic that the Bellas use to their advantage. Nikki retained the title, which works for me to set up the longer narrative towards someone finally getting the better of she and her sister.
Intercontinental Title Match: Ryback (champ) vs Big Show
The actual running time for this match was shorter than it seemed. It was just ok. Miz’s interference for the DQ finish was an obvious setup for a three way match for the title, maybe at Summerslam. I’m guessing they go with Ryback-Miz next month and have Show break that one up first. I know you’re probably thinking ‘why?’ to all of this but if Ryback makes it through it all as champion he looks stronger and ready for better things. It looks like he’s poised to move up a little now that he’s gotten better in the ring and could even find himself in a World Title match later this year (he won’t win, of course).
John Cena vs Kevin Owens
I didn’t think they could do it again after last month’s outstanding offering, but they sure did. It was the match of the night again and both men brought it. They even pulled out some new stuff and ran through some new sequences. Words can’t do it all justice so I won’t waste them here. Owens is ready for the main roster right now, it’s just the matter of NXT needing some guys to fight for their title and they’re kinda thin right now since Neville moved up. Over the past year Neville, Bo Dallas, and Adam Rose have all moved up. Owens, Sammi Ziayn, and Finn Balor probably aren’t far behind so then what? Going back to this match, we’re obviously getting part three at Summerlsam. I hope they keep it straight up and not make it some kind of specialty match because we don’t need that here. But I’m ready for more.
Tag Team Title Match: New Day (champs) vs The Prime Time Players
I figured New Day would keep the belts here so color me surprised again. I’m really happy for the Prime Time Players here. Those guys have been toiling for three years and to see it pay off is refreshing. Between them and Ryback it’s been a banner last two weeks for guys that have been working since 2012. The match was short and was just ok, but it furthered the New Day can’t win without cheating narrative since they lost in a straight up match. I’m guessing they get the belts back soon because their act has been playing really well.
Main Event – Ladder Match for the WWE World Title: Seth Rollins (champ) vs Dean Ambrose
Everybody loves these two guys, and rightfully so, but they have to do better with the opening part of their matches. Just like their match last month at Elimination Chamber this one dragged in the early going before ramping up into something really good. But once they got it going it was fine. They did some good work with the ladders, and put a really good twist on Ambrose’s bounce off the ropes spots. It was good to see Rollins actually work the match solo after several matches where he played cowardly heel and relied on help from Kane and J&J Security from the outset. Rollins can easily play the Ric Flair role of playing dirty enough for the heel role but not needing outside interference to do the least little thing. Rollins won as I expected but it was in a fashion that made both guys look great.
Good show. The Money in the Bank match was good, while the main event and Owens-Cena II were worth your money, be it the $10 monthly fee for the network or the $50 for pay per view. (Order the network already, folks. It’s worth it for this stuff and all the archives.) The Dusty Rhodes tributes, both the ten bell salute at the beginning of the show and the video montage later……oh boy, talk about emotional. If you were a Rhodes fan like me there’s no way that didn’t get to you. Battleground is up next. We know Reigns and Wyatt are hooking up there, but nothing else yet. The true big day ahead is Summerslam of course. But anyhow….hope you enjoyed it. I did.