This year's Money In The Bank PPV makes its way to our screens from the Land of Opportunity: SmackDown brings us the most anticipated show of the year outside of WWE's Big 4.
MITB is always one to deliver memorable moments and matches - look no further than last year's edition, where John Cena and AJ Styles had their first epic encounter and each member of The Shield held the WWE Title at some point during the night.
This year's MITB promises to be no different, with an epic ladder match featuring 6 amazing performers that will definitely deliver the goods. Jinder Mahal continues his improbable run as WWE World Champion, putting his title on the line against Randy Orton. That's definitely not all, as history will be made with the first ever Money In The Bank Ladder match to feature female competitors, with the winner getting a shot at WWE SmackDown's Women's Title.
So, how did everything unfold? Who holds the case as Mr. and Mrs. Money In The Bank? Read on and find out our top 15 takeaways from WWE Money In The Bank.
15. Zach Ryder Is Back!
WOO WOO WOO! You know who's probably the happiest for Long Island Ice Z's return? His partner Mojo Rawley. We're sure he's a good dude and tries hard, but man, Mojo absolutely sucks at worst and is marginally likeable at best. WWE is going to continue to use him though (just for The Gronk), so he may as well improve alongside Zack Ryder as part of The Hype Bros. Maybe a tag title reign is in the future? Whatever the case, we're happy the broski's back.
14. Epic Video Packages
One thing we can never take away from WWE is the company's ability to create fantastic video packages. Money in the Bank brought us another epic montage, putting the women of WWE, both past and present, front and center. From glimpses of Hall of Famers to the present-day success of women's wrestling, the WWE actually gave the Women's title the respect it deserves. But as you'll see if you keep on reading, we should know better than to include the words "respect", "women" and "WWE" together in the same sentence...
13. 4, Not 3, Of The Women's Money In The Bank Participants Are 2nd Generation
An interesting little tidbit to mention. At some point during the MITB Ladder, one of the announcers brought up how 3 of the 5 women in the match were 2nd generation wrestlers. This statement happens to be false. Sure, we know Charlotte (Ric Flair), Natalya (Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart) and Tamina (Jimmy Snuka) all come from wrestling families, but what you may not know is that Carmella's dad, Paul Van Dale, wrestled in WWE during the 90s as a jobber. Though she may not have a rich wrestling family background, her father still competed in a WWE ring, so she counts.
12. Leave It To WWE To RUIN The First Ever Women's MITB
Remember when we were praising WWE for seemingly showing respect to the Women's division? Yeah, they went ahead and took a giant dump on that. Just when you think they were going to FINALLY turn the corner, they go ahead and give us a horrible ending to one of the most important matches in women's wrestling history: they made a MAN grab the briefcase, and hand it to the woman. Any man would have been bad and absolutely unforgivable, but the fact it was James FREAKIN' Ellsworth makes it all the more vomit-inducing. We're going to stop here, because this rant can go on forever. So f'n disappointing.
11. Carmella Is Your Mrs. Money In The Bank
Absolutely terrible booking aside, we're totally fine with the Moon-Walkin', Trash-Talkin' Princess Of Staten Island as Mrs. Money In The Bank. She needed an extra little something to get to that next level; holding the briefcase suits her character well and will hopefully elevate her. Her teasing the cash-in during the SmackDown's Women's Title match was great, and hopefully she can continue to reap the rewards that come with holding the briefcase.
10. The Usos vs New Day Feud Will Continue... And We're OK With That
Honestly, this was a great, hard-hitting match with non-stop action and fun - Kofi's concert-like jump on The Usos was great! The DQ finish on a PPV is garbage (more on that later) because the champs could have easily stolen one with a Small Package (a spot they actually included in the match) or won by nefarious means to continue the feud. Terrible ending aside, the match was great and we're hoping for some more great matches further down the line.
9. No, Lana Can't Wrestle
God, that was hard to watch. Look, Lana is trying and she's definitely improved (we guess?), but she was not good. At all. The commentary team was trying to sell us on her "impressive" wrestling skills, but sadly, they were non-existent. OK, so she didn't really botch, she just looked incredibly awkward doing anything... yay? That doesn't cut it anymore in today's wresting landscape, so we hope Lana either improves further, or she stays far away from the ring. In it, that is - we still want to see her as a valet.
8. Mike & Maria Kanellis
So these two just made their debut - well, debut and return - and it was... meh. We were excited when we heard that Maria Kanellis and Mike Bennett had signed with the WWE, because they have enough talent on the mic and in the ring to be useful hands on the main roster. A year in NXT might have helped though, because this "power of love" gimmick they're going with - including Bennett taking on the Kanellis name - seems awkward and destined to fail. Time will tell, but this was anything but memorable.
7. Orton vs Mahal = Same Old Crud
Take their Backlash match, put it in St. Louis, add some legends ringside and you get the same old crap. We want to like Jinder, we do, but he's not a good wrestler, and Orton certainly isn't going to help him improve. Boring, lethargic, with the EXACT same spots involving the Singh brothers being ragdolled on the announcer's table, before Orton enters the ring for Jinder to hit his finisher for the win. Wash, rinse, repeat. Garbage. Next!
6. Why Is The Ascension On My Television?
The Fashion Police has rightfully gained some much-needed momentum in the past few weeks, and we're happy they're getting some PPV time. But this? This was hot garbage. Terrible match with a tag team absolutely no one was clamouring to see (except some clueless fan with a "Resurrect The Ascension" sign). The only good thing to come out of this is a Fashion Police win. When that's the best thing to come out of something, it's time to re-evaluate what you're doing.
5. Did They Just Rob Us Of Nakamura's Entrance?
This one might be a little more personal, but bear with me, it's been THAT kind of a PPV. Every week, I watch Raw and SmackDown partially for my own amusement, but mostly for work purposes. The product is terrible, but there are certain things that always draw me back, no matter how crappy it all is. Nakamura's entrance is one such thing that will always make me love and appreciate wrestling. The WWE knows this; it can hear the fans sing along to his theme. So what do they decide to do? On this night of epic disappointments, they rob us of his amazing entrance. They rob the fans of what they want to see. Why am I still watching?
4. Money In The Bank Match Delivers
Well, at least the MITB ladder match itself delivered. From Sami Zayn's Sunset Flip Powerbomb off the ladder to AJ Styles adjusting KO's attitude on the ladder, from Nakamura's KINSHASAAAAA barrage to AJ straight up falling after hanging from the briefcase, this match was BRUTAL. Let's not forget the epic showdown between AJ and Nakamura that was a delicious tease, a match that will hopefully get a proper showcase.
3. Baron Corbin Is Mr. Money In The Bank
Baron Corbin is your not-so-surprising MITB winner. Of course he was, because he lost every single match he was in for the past few weeks. Who needs momentum and wins when you have the briefcase? He's a solid choice and someone who needs the case to elevate him to main event status. We can definitely see him cashing in and actually winning the WWE World title.
2. Kudos To The Crowd
We have to give it to this St. Louis crowd, they were given crap and they still weathered the proverbial s**t storm. It's not easy to stay in it after so many bad and baffling booking decisions, but this crowd stayed energetic and refused to be let down. They got to sing Nakamura's entrance, bless their souls, Vince be damned!
1. Why? Because F*** You, That's Why
This PPV was terrible for so many reasons. I can't believe what I witnessed. I have never ben so insulted as a wrestling fan. You might not care about what I think, and in any other situation, you should't, but if you're reading this, a takeaway article for a WWE PPV, then you should know that this PPV was a giant middle finger to you. So many moments were robbed from the paying, loyal fan.
Did you want to see a woman win the Women's Money In The Bank? Sorry, no can do, a man will grab it. Oh, you like signing along to Nakamura's entrance? Sorry, can't do that either. How about some originality in the WWE main event scene? Nope! Do you maybe want some good women's wrestling for the title? I'm afraid I got some bad news for you! But wait, here's The Ascension to please one and all.
Why? Because f*** you, that's why.