WWE went rolling right on through the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio last night (Sun., June 15, 2015) with Money in the Bank, a pay-per-view (PPV) that almost always delivers a ton of fun. This time, it had some issues with finishes falling flat but the storytelling within the matches was on point.
Let's not waste time with pleasantries and get right to reactions to the show (click here for the live blog with full match coverage).
It's mine, I'm gonna take it back
I loved the story they told in the main event.
Dean Ambrose should have won the WWE world heavyweight championship at Elimination Chamber but was screwed out of it because, well, that's what you do to babyfaces like Dean Ambrose. But he's CRAZY (Maggle) so he just decided to take the belt with him and run off like he's the champion anyway.
That made the story about Seth Rollins and his quest to get it back.
For weeks, Ambrose toyed with the champion by teasing him with the title that rightfully belongs to him -- even if on a bullshit technicality -- and Rollins grew increasingly frustrated, to the point he lost all the support of those around him and went into the match on an island.
The stipulation, in this instance, was perfect. The belt hanging above the ring for two wrestlers who both feel they are the rightful owners of it to fight over.
That's why the finish, though it seemed to fall flat as it was executed, was so perfect for the story they've been telling. Rollins ripping the title away from Ambrose after he couldn't seem to keep his hands on it for weeks is a great idea. The crowd didn't help when it had no idea how to react to it and, admittedly enough, you should never come out of a finish wondering about the rules of the match itself.
But write this story out, read it, and tell me that's not exactly what they should have done.
This is without mentioning how outstanding Ambrose was as the fighting babyface who would not stay down, no matter how much punishment he was subjected to. Rollins was also perfect as the ruthless heel champion willing to dish out as much destruction necessary to get his belt back.
Fantastic match, great story, awesome finish that just fell flat in execution.
I'm still of the opinion that WWE should have held off on doing another Kevin Owens vs. John Cena match, at least for a while. I'm also still of the opinion that Kevin Owens should have defeated John Cena for the second time in as many matches.
But I'll be damned if they didn't do just about everything right despite the fact that they decided to do another match this early and put Cena over in said match.
Cena won, sure. Owens lost, yes. But Cena basically had to pull out a bazooka and blast the NXT champion at point blank range with it before he could finally score that elusive pinfall. It got to the point that Cena was yelling in the referee's face to count to three, damn it, he can't hold up forever.
Then, they actually went through with the post-match angle they should have done for Brock Lesnar back at Extreme Rules in 2012. Instead of Owens allowing Cena to be the "bigger man" and put him over with a raise of his hand, the dastardly heel kicked him in the gut, apron powerbombed his ass, and laughed in his face.
Don't you ever pin Kevin Owens, John Cena. And don't you ever try to raise his hand after.
Yes, Owens should have won the match. But as far as the story goes and how it was told, they served every master here. And hey, when two heavy hitters get together and they're on equal footing there ain't a damn thing wrong with having them split a series of matches.
Now if they head to SummerSlam and Cena wins again...
Let's not think about that for now. Let's just enjoy that not only did they match the instant classic they put on at Elimination Chamber, they actually improved on it despite booking Cena to win.
The rest of the card
Money in the Bank ladder match: It's a big step in the right direction for WWE to tone these matches down because the audience needs to be conditioned to understand the days of falling off 20 foot ladders through four tables on the outside are over. It was laid out well and the big spots connected as they were delivered. That said, I was worked into a frenzy by the finish, namely the fact that Roman Reigns winning felt like the right call and Bray Wyatt's interference was most unwelcome. I didn't like Sheamus winning and I'm not looking forward to what they'll do with it, but at least they're working me the right way.
Nikki Bella vs. Paige: I loved everything about this. Paige actually bothered to work babyface while Nikki was full blown heel, they put together an entertaining match after being given enough time to do so, and the finish was creative. It was also brilliant because it got a ton of heat on Nikki. That crowd hated that finish, as did everyone I saw on social media or otherwise. And while I'm not normally this guy, sometimes it's worth pointing out that you're supposed to hate some things. It's actually really difficult to successfully pull that off in 2015, and the Bella twins are out here making it happen with ease. This was great.
Prime Time Players vs. The New Day: The match was fine for what it was, which was basically just a coronation for Titus O'Neil and Darren Young, but I couldn't help but be distracted by my own fantasy booking of these two squads joining together to form a stable and completely overrunning WWE.
Ryback vs. Big Show: The less said about this the better. Remember when I talked about why it was a bad idea to give away the Shell Shock on Raw and how it telegraphed the finish here with Miz interfering? Yeah. We may now get Miz vs. Ryback vs. Show in a triple threat at Battleground and that's terrifying.
King Barrett vs. R-Truth: I'm an R-Truth fan, so I quite liked this little comedy bit they did with him here but I can't help but wonder if Vince McMahon brought back King of the Ring, a tournament he's rumored to hate, just so he could bury the winner. It has to be something dumb like that, right? Otherwise, what the hell did Barrett do?
I can understand disliking some of the finishes in this show, and a lot of what was offered wasn't worth the time of day, but the stories told were on point and the top two matches were outstanding.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?
(Photos via WWE.com)