SmackDown made history when they announced the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. They couldn’t wait to follow through and give either Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Becky Lynch, Tamina or Carmella the chance to be the first to claim the case containing a guaranteed title shot tonight (June 18) in St. Louis - so they opened the pay-per-view (PPV) with the ladies climbing ladders.
The way they did decided who’d leave with the case would upset a lot of people excited about the history-making night, though...
There was a fair amount of speculation about a surprise sixth entrant, but when the bell rang following five entrances and a great video package, only the five originally announced women (and a very important non-competitor, Carm’s friend-who-is-a-boy, James Ellsworth) remained. And once things started, it became clear everyone’s strategy was to get ladders into play as soon as possible.
Charlotte and Tamina took turns clearing the way, which eventually set up a tug of war between Becky and Natty. The Queen of Harts slammed Lynch down on a ladder to become the first one to climb, but Flair cut her off (after several attempts). Carmella climbed in their stead, but a battle at the case was ended when Tamina toppled the ladder, shoving them both into the ropes.
TIMBERRRRRRRRR! @TaminaSnuka VICIOUSLY denies any chance of victory for @MsCharlotteWWE and @CarmellaWWE! #MITB pic.twitter.com/Cp4HHGsnpr— WWE (@WWE) June 19, 2017
Without a ladder raised, a more traditional wrestling match broke out, and Natalya ruled the ring for a time. Carm eventually got another ladder set, but we were far from done - and we weren’t staying in the ring. A brawl between Natty, Tamina and Charlotte on the floor led where big matches with the Nature Girl often do... to a moonsault off the top rope.
Three second-generation Superstars, and they are ALL DOWN after @MsCharlotteWWE throws caution to the wind! #MITB @TaminaSnuka @NatbyNature pic.twitter.com/EdhlDr3jyy— WWE (@WWE) June 19, 2017
With those three taken out, Carmella had another opportunity, but Becky cut her off.
Then things got CONTROVERSIAL!
Ellsworth pushed the ladder over and sent Lynch into the ropes. He tried to rouse Carm, but couldn’t... so he climbed himself and dropped the case to her.
The referees debated, and while they did, Jimmy Dream grabbed a mic and announced his girl as the winner.
The celebration is ON for @CarmellaWWE and @realellsworth on @WWENetwork as the #PrincessOfStatenIsland becomes Ms. #MITB! pic.twitter.com/oO5pvB7GwM— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) June 19, 2017
We certainly haven’t heard the last of this, and fans are heated that the historic first women’s ladder match was essentially won by a man, but is that bull**** or good heat?
That will certainly be debated for a long time to come.
Get complete Money in the Banks results and coverage of every match on the card by clicking here.
UPDATE: SmackDown’s management team has announced they will address this first thing on Tuesday night.