Things are getting interesting as we approach Money in the Bank. The brand split is about a month away and we are waiting for more details. Seth Rollins is hoping to regain his WWE World Championship from Roman Reigns and is already playing mind games to set up the big title match.
A.J. Styles reformed The Club by turning on John Cena last week. Styles vs. Cena is scheduled for the Money in the Bank show in a dream match. Fans have waited years for this match and the story will continue to play out tonight.
The MITB Ladder Match is looking wonderful with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho already announced. One more person is scheduled to join. Will we find out the seventh man tonight?
The show opens with all six men currently in the MITB match standing on ladders talking trash. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens steal the segment with many humorous one-liners. Everyone starts brawling until Teddy Long (YES, TEDDY LONG) comes out. Teddy cuts a ridiculous promo but Stephanie McMahon comes out to stop his incoherent catch phrases.
Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose and Sami Zayn vs. Alberto Del Rio will all take place tonight.
Chris Jericho vs. Cesaro
The match was given a lot of time to make both performers look great. Cesaro picked up a much needed win with the Sharpshooter. A legend like Chris Jericho tapping to your submission is always a huge deal. Cesaro looked like a million bucks and Jericho followed up his great promo with a great in-ring performance. This win helped Cesaro look more credible going into the MITB Ladder Match.
Match Winner: Cesaro
Match Rating: 7.5/10
A tremendous video package is shown setting up the story of Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns. Rollins is discussing why he ended The Shield, his desire to win gold and his return from injury. Rollins comes off a bit sympathetic here. It's very interesting that he's not being portrayed as evil despite being the heel in the feud.
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger
These two have had numerous matches in the past and this was as mediocre as the rest. Jack Swagger had the home advantage in Oklahoma City and wrestled hard but it was still uneventful. The finish saw Rusev throw Swagger into Titus O'Neil on commentary to win by countout.
O'Neil attacked Rusev after the match so set up a future bout between the two.
Match Winner: Rusev by countout
Match Rating: 5/10
John Cena promo time. Cena talks about the dream match with A.J. Styles taking place at Money in the Bank but demands Styles come out. Following some fun crowd interaction, Cena wants to know why Styles attacked him last week.
Styles makes it clear he doesn't like Cena and thinks he's always been better than Cena long before his WWE debut this year. Cena calls out Styles losing all of his big matches and wanting to make a name at Cena's expense. Both men showed great passion and intensity to set up a special match at MITB.
Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows look to attack Cena like last but New Day comes out to make the save.
The Vaudevillains vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass
The very short match was made to further along the storyline between the two teams after Enzo Amore was injured in their prior bout at Payback. The Vaudevillains tried to injure Enzo once again and it causes Big Cass to snap. Cass gets DQ'd for attacking both members of the Vaudevillains and ignoring the referee trying to stop him. Very little action happened here but it's likely culminating in another PPV match.
Match Winners: Vaudevillains by DQ
Match Rating: 3/10
Stephanie McMahon is backstage with Teddy Long. Teddy convinces Stephanie to book a Fatal Four tag title match for Money in the Bank. We are getting New Day vs. The Club vs. The Vaudevillains vs. The Club for the belts.
Sami Zayn vs. Alberto Del Rio
The new era is giving us cool new matchups like this but it doesn't always work out. This was quite lackluster with very little chemistry between Alberto Del Rio and Sami Zayn. Del Rio has been extremely boring since his return and this continued here. The match never got going and Del Rio winning after the corner doublestomp felt abrupt.
Match Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: 5/10
A video package for Roman Reigns aired similar to the Seth Rollins one earlier in the show. Reigns is horrible at coming off sympathetic so it paled in comparison to Rollins. The Rollins video was about a star achieving his childhood dream, suffering a heartbreaking injury and working his tail off for a big comeback. Reigns just kept talking about being "THE GUY." The boos will continue for a reason.
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
The third match involving MITB participants features two of the favorites is up last. Kevin Owens was spectacular as usual with antics like stealing Byron Saxton's commentary headset. The match was entertaining but quite short. Dean Ambrose won out of nowhere with the Dirty Deeds DDT. Owens shined for most of the match so both men benefited.
Ambrose looked to climb the ladder after the match but was attacked by Owens. We're still unaware who the seventh man will be. They aren't talking about it so there may be a change with just the current six names.
Match Winner: Dean Ambrose
Match Rating: 6/10
Charlotte cuts a promo about wanting to still be Ric Flair's best friend after she kicked him to the curb a few weeks ago. Becky Lynch and Natalya try to talk Dana Brooke into ditching Charlotte due to her manipulative ways but Dana attacks them. Charlotte and Dana stand tall after a painfully boring segment. Nothing was accomplished here. Where is Sasha Banks?
Another completely pointless vignette airs with The Shining Stars talking about Puerto Rico. This may be their most successful stint considering they are still technically on television.
R-Truth vs. Tyler Breeze
Another week, another match involving these four to make you regret watching Raw. There's nothing outwardly wrong with any of the guys involved but the dull storyline has been going on for months. The match was very short and ended in a DQ when everyone started brawling.
Match Winners: No contest
Match Rating: 0/10
Teddy Long comes out again to make a tag match but everyone ignores him until security escorts him backstage. Stephanie McMahon berated Teddy and stated she will be the one to run Smackdown before kicking him out of the arena.
The Club vs. The New Day
A huge brawl broke out before the match started. Xavier Woods was sent to the back after getting a Styles Clash on the outside of the ring. Kofi Kingston and Big E are working with a 2 vs. 3 disadvantage. The match wasn't as exciting as expected due to having limited time for some reason. Styles, Gallows and Anderson used the advantage to get the victory with another Styles Clash on Kofi.
Match Winners: The Club
Match Rating: 6/10
The matches set up for Money in the Bank look amazing. This could be the best WWE show of the year. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins only being shown in documentary style segments tonight is a bit surprising but a unique approach to go with. We will see a Shield reunion of sorts next Monday with Reigns and Rollins on The Ambrose Asylum talk show.
John Cena and A.J. Styles feuding is as wonderful as we could have hoped for. Styles turning heel is benefiting Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows big time. This is the attraction match of the summer we need heading into the brand split.
Everyone in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match is talented and the segments involving them deliver. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho are killing it right now with their hilarious heel promos. WWE gave us no insight into a 7th competitor so it's still unknown if anyone else is being added. Bray Wyatt is the most likely person in the scenario of one more guy.
The four teams in the tag title picture are all entertaining but drastically different. That usually creates outstanding results and the fatal four way at MITB should deliver.
There is no direction in the women's division. Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Becky Lynch and Natalya is the female version of R-Truth and Goldust vs. Fandango and Tyler Breeze. Who possibly cares about it?
Rusev is taking a step down by feuding with Titus O'Neil for the United States Championship. The recent momentum may be stopped if he can't have a good match at MITB.
Teddy Long's appearance was silly but entertaining. Stephanie McMahon saying she wants to be the one running Smackdown was the first glimpse into how the brand split will work. The Shane vs. Stephanie storyline is back on.
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