World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) was back on pay-per-view (PPV) last night (July 15, 2012) with the Money in the Bank event that took place at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
And, as expected, John Cena won the Raw/WWE championship MITB Ladder match to earn a contract for a guaranteed title shot whenever he wants it over the next year.
Don't expect to wait long for him to cash it in.
Speaking of which, Dolph Ziggler bumped his way to the briefcase in the Smackdown/World heavyweight championship MITB Ladder match in the show opener. He later attempted to cash it in and failed, though it wasn't official.
He was attempting to do so against Sheamus, who successfully defended his title against Alberto Del Rio. In other action, AJ counted a clean pinfall for CM Punk, who once again fended off Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE championship.
Enough with the results, though. If you want them in full, click here for the running live blog. You can also listen to Sergio Hernandez and myself on the Cageside Live podcast gabbing after the show right here. Time to get to reactions, posted after the jump.
- There's no sense in getting all riled up about John Cena winning and how much we hate it. Sure, we could needlessly expend energy on why it's the wrong decision and focus on all the reasons we didn't want to see it happen. But think of the alternatives. Is there a bigger match to be made for the WWE title at SummerSlam than John Cena vs. CM Punk? They've managed to all but avoid crossing paths for almost an entire year and chances are, that was on purpose. It makes sense to have Cena chasing the gold when he's so far above it. Let him grab it, elevate it again, and put another guy over and make another star. That's what guys at Cena's level should be doing and he can't do it without the belt. It's how the business works and we should stop fighting it.
- Plus, it means Punk loses the title which, hopefully, can reinvigorate him in some form or another. Something's just been missing. He's better when he's got an edge to him, something to get him good and pissed and give him purpose. I've been told by a few Cageside Live listeners that they typically only pop in with the hopes that Geno Time will pop off at some point. That's when I'm interesting to them and I feel similarly to Punk. He needs to be going against the tide, not with it.
- Daniel Bryan went from being a guy WWE fans couldn't care less about to one of the most over guys on the entire roster in less than one year. I sincerely hope they don't lose sight of that fact and find something to do with him that involves plenty of TV time on either Raw or Smackdown, preferably both. With Punk likely moving on to a program with Cena, that leaves Bryan with nothing to do. Is there anyone out there who isn't feeling a very real fear that his time in the sun has come and gone and he'll get dropped back down the card? After all, he's not what Vince McMahon typically looks at and thinks of as a top level WWE superstar.
- AJ's involvement was a disappointment and as much as I've become a fan of hers, she didn't need to be there last night. I think that probably speaks to Punk and Bryan being so damn talented more than anything else. They had a good story going but even after so many matches between the two over the past several months, they tore the house down in the ring without overbooking it. Where does she go from here? Who knows? The more important question is do we still care?
- The Miz did nothing last night other than prove the rule that no matter who you are in WWE, if you leave for a few months, when you come back you'll be cheered as a returning hero. At least he didn't look as ridiculous in times past. I guess.
- Dolph Ziggler bumped his ass off in that MITB Ladder match, once again doing everything he absolutely could to steal the show. But this is one of those times where every single guy in that match, all eight of them, deserve to be applauded. If the WWE employees backstage didn't give them a standing applause when they came back behind the curtain, shame on them. Everyone came out of the match looking better than they did going in. It's too easy to take for granted how difficult it is to pull off something like that. Bravo, everyone.
- That said, why did Ziggler have to end up looking so terribly inept with his failed cash in? Is the object of the game really just to get Sheamus to look unbeatable at the expense of everyone else around him? I'm certainly not the head of a multi-million dollar corporation and the decision makers at WWE are probably far more qualified than I am, but I just don't understand what's to be gained by Ziggler winning the briefcase and looking so good doing it before getting killed by Sheamus and looking so bad so shortly after. One step forward, one back. Every time.
- Abraham Washington is awesome and there isn't much more to say about that. The booking of the tag team division is still weird, though. They have the champions, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, win a meaningless match on the pre-show given away for free and then have fans pay to see the number one contenders, the Primetime Players, lose a meaningless match to Epico and Primo before teasing confrontation at a later date? How ass backwards is this? It's like they're just ribbing everyone because who cares either way, right?
- Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio are like TNA. They aren't so horrible as to make you want to avoid them at all costs but they aren't good enough to get you to continue tuning in each week. And sometimes they do things that just make you shake your head and wonder what's the point of it all?
- Speaking of wondering what the thought process behind something was, can anyone tell me why it was a good idea to have Ryback finally do some selling and get beat on by Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks? So he can crush local athletic legends like Stan Stansky and Benny Camer but when it comes to guys like Hawkins and Reks, he struggles? What happens when he has a match against Brodus Clay, he explodes?
Knowing what we know, that WWE is focusing most of its energy on the 1,000th episode of Raw and the upcoming SummerSlam event, this show wasn't designed to be a big money winner.
But it was a solid night with no less than two amazing matches.
That's enough from me, though, Cagesiders. What did you think of last night's event?