Wrestling Review: WWE Money in the Bank (2017)

An unmissable opportunity is what awaits the winner of the main event when WWE and SmackDown Live present Money in the Bank, live from the Scottrade Center in St Louis, Missouri. It will be a ladder fueled melee between the six participants – the United States Champion Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, AJ Styles, Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura – with the man who climbs the ladder and retreives the briefcase being awarded a WWE Championship match any time, any place of their choosing. Historically, 15 of the 17 MITB cash-ins have resulted in a new champion, a success rate of over 88%. Not to be outdone, following his shocking championship win at Backlash, new WWE Champion Jinder Mahal will defend his title for the first time against the man he won it from, Randy Orton, in Randy Orton’s home town. This show will also feature the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match as Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Carmella, Natalya and Tamina each look to become the first ever Miss Money in the Bank and earn a shot at the SmackDown Live Womens’ Champion – but whether that will be current champion Naomi or tonight’s challenger Lana remains to be seen. It will be a wild night, as the tag titles are also defended, and The Hype Bros make their long awaited return from injury on the kickoff show.

+ Jinder Mahal (c) vs Randy Orton (WWE Championship): this was far and away the best match Jinder Mahal has ever had, thanks in large part to Randy flicking the switch to be ‘motivated Randy’ for the first time in years (his previous Jinder match notwithstanding). Some fantastic high spots built on their previous match from Backlash, but added to them. This was great, from start to finish, and really showed the difference between those with the ability to carry a less-good (but not bad) opponent, and those that can’t
+ AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura (Money in the Bank Ladder Match): some early shenanigans immediately set me off into an expletive fueled rage, but thankfully they were at least somewhere remedied towards the end. Owens gets MVP for taking the most brutal and deadly looking bumps, but Styles and Zayn get a tie as most athletic for this match, with Ziggler not far behind. The match was hectic, from start to finish, but despite the shenanigans from the beginning playing into the finish, I can’t help but feel like this was a missed opportunity. This was good, but it should have been great
+ we got a shocking return and debut, rolled into one. Can’t say I’m a fan of the debut, personally, but the return certainly tickles my fancy (*wink*)

– Naomi (c) vs Lana (SmackDown Women’s Championship): this was not good. Naomi is good in he ring, no doubt, but she’s not good enough to carry a very inexperienced Lana to a ~10 minute match, even with some shenanigans. I am glad Lana is finally wrestling, but she needs more experience
– Becky Lynch vs Carmella vs Charlotte Flair vs Natalya vs Tamina (Money in the Bank Ladder Match): this historic match started the show, but unfortunately it will be the divisive way the match ended which will be the talking point. This should and could have been a showcase for the athleticism of the SmackDown Live women, but unfortunately that was not really the case. This was not what I wanted, and not what i think the audience and the competitors deserved
– The Usos (c) vs The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (w/ Xavier Woods) (SmackDown Tag Team Championships): I admit, I am a little disheartened that the Fashion Police were thrown to the side as soon as The New Day were cleared. This was a really solid tag team match, and I even saw a dragon sleeper, which is one of my all time favourite submission holds. Unfortunately, much like the Women’s MITB match, a non-finish tarnished what could and should have been much, much better
– The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder) vs The Colons (Epico & Primo): this was the pre show match, and it was a standard pre-show tag. I have missed Ryder, but Rawley has been doing well on his own, and sadly it did just make me miss the Fashion Police even more. There was nothing special on show here
– The Fashion Police (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor): holy damn, Konnor is looking absolutely huge, but not necessarily in terms of muscle. This was not advertised, and seeing as it went for all of five minutes that was for the best. This was not good. Ascension will always be two of my boys, and Fashion Police deserve far better than this

> it was exactly one year ago today, June 19 2016, that all three former members of the Shield were WWE World Heavyweight Champion on the same night, as Seth Rollins defeated Champion Roman Reigns only for Dean Ambrose to cash in immediately after the match to steal the championship.

Should you watch this event: On paper, this seemed like a relatively weak, “one match” card, with all of the singles stars, male and female, in the two ladder matches, and a handful of talent all still M.I.A. (Luke Harper, Tye Dillinger and American Alpha to name just a few). Unfortunately, that proved to be the case. Back to back non-finishes to start the show sucked the life from the crowd, and two more “nothing matches” throughout the show was just a waste for everybody. The WWE Championship match was great, and the MITB match was good enough, but overall this was another show which should have been better.

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