Roman Reigns put Jimmy Uso in the Guillotine, echoing their battle from so many moons ago. Solo hit the Samoan Spike on his big brothers, usually an end sign because always. And yes, there was a low blow that broke up a pin attempt. The Bloodline Civil War, as they call it, echoed a lot of moments from the group’s past while building to something completely brand new. And like most Bloodline affairs, everything shifted to another level once the ref took a dive.
Everything started a little slow. Both teams let the crowd get into everything and they rightly played off their reactions. I won’t type all their reactions here because some of them aren’t anywhere close to PG or PG-13. BUT my favorite was “Tribal Wanker.” The teams built up tension as Jimmy & Jey really didn’t want to battle Solo.
Who wants to fight their brother? Roman showed no issue fighting anyone and even demanded Solo tag him in when Solo hesitated. And for the most part, Solo & Roman dominated because Jimmy & Jey seemingly never shook the bad feelings from fighting blood.
I don’t know the exact moment everything changed for Jimmy & Jey, but I think it came when Jey got a fresh tag and went to work on Solo. If anything foreshadowed the outcome here, it’s right there. It eventually became Jey and Roman, which led to the ref bump I anticipated since we all knew it was only a matter of time.
Jimmy & Jey hit Roman with the 1D and the crowd counted to 10. But, as Wade Barrett reminded us—great job on the mic this whole event btw—the crowd doesn’t matter; the ref matters. This was the first time during the match where Roman not only got his shoulders on the mat but showed no signs of life.
The second came when the ref recovered and the Usos hit Roman with a double spear of their own. The ref got close to three but Solo made the save. Once again, it looked like the devil might escape his penance.
But the turning point came when Roman & Solo unloaded everything they had on the former tag champs. Samoan spikes. Spears. A combination of both. With the crowd deflated, Roman stacked both Usos on top of each other and went for the pin.
Kick out at 2.99 seconds from both brothers.
No one plays insecurity, shock, and disbelief better than Roman in the sense that he plays all three at once. He didn’t know what to do. In fact, if not for Solo snapping him out of it with violence, there’s a chance he never figured it out. But that was it right there. The Tribal Chief and his young apprentice dished out everything and it didn’t get the job done. Roman knew that was it, even if Solo didn’t. But they kept fighting.
Solo took his fight with Jimmy outside the ring while Roman stayed inside with Jey. Solo lined Jimmy up on the table and went for broke. The funny thing about going for broke is sometimes, things break. In this case, the table smashed in two when Jimmy moved and Solo ate all of it.
That put us back to where this whole thing started: Jey and Roman. Roman unloaded everything on his cousin, including a spear, but Jey didn’t go down. That low blow I mentioned earlier? That came from Jey as he did to his cousin what Roman did to so many cats for three years. That’s how Jey survived the Spear, and that’s what put he and Jimmy in prime position to finish this thing and do what no one else did in three years.
Jimmy propped his brother up and Jey hit an Uso splash from the top rope.
For the first time since December 2019, Roman Reigns’ shoulders stayed on the mat for three seconds. Jey Uso, his right hand man, pinned Roman and showed an entire locker room that he’s not invincible.
One of my favorite moments in 300 is when the Spartans set out on the war against Xerxes to show the world it’s possible. They believe he’s a man, not a god as advertised, and all men bleed. The Usos, specifically Jey Uso, did that at Money in the Bank.
They proved for the first time in three years that a god king can bleed. And it’s only a matter of time before there’s a bunch of Roman’s red stuff all over the mat as a new king takes the throne.
Incredible stuff from start to finish.
First off, before we go anywhere else, let me give props to the O2 Arena crowd. The cousins across the pond never settled down for one moment and I love them wholeheartedly for it. Their nonstop enthusiasm added a lot to the opening MitB match.
Secondly? Good Lord is LA Knight over. Knight got more adulation than Butch! And he’s a native! They loved everyone minus Logan Paul for obvious reasons, but nothing compared to Knight’s pop. And the continued pop he received for doing anything but especially when climbing the ladder.
And they booed anyone who dare impede Knight’s knighting ceremony. They cheered Santos Escobar after he laid a finger on Knight but to be fair, it was part of an incredible Hurracanrana spot off the ladder. So yeah, even the partisans gotta give him that.
Now...as for the match itself. It was chaos, plain and simple, complete with at least one very dangerous looking spot involving Ricochet, Logan, and two tables. Seriously, I don’t know if they missed their footing on the ropes but the fall into the two tables clearly didn’t work as intended. The fact Logan seemingly walked away with just a cut on his arm or shoulder is a bloody miracle.
That aside, everyone got their moment to shine as the match led to a Damian win. The final moments featured Damian and LA battling it out on the top of the ladder. In fact, it looked academic for LA for a bit there and the crowd ate it up. He fended off Shinsuke Nakamura and almost did the same with Damian. But Damian proved too much for the planet’s choice.
I get the Damian win. It rewards him for incredible work over several months, and sows some bad seeds within Judgment Day with a potentially jealous Finn. But that doesn’t make his win any less deflating.
I loved the storytelling during the Women’s MitB match. Absolutely loved it. Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus battled. Trish and Zoey Stark teamed up against Becky. Bayley and Becky went toe-to-toe. Zelina didn’t have much of a story since everyone else had a thing to do, but she definitely made her mark with a Code Red from the top of the ladder on top of another ladder.
Notice I didn’t mention IYO SKY. That’s because IYO made her mark in two of my favorite storytelling moments. First, IYO found herself all alone in the ring and climbed the ladder. Everything looked great until Bayley pushed the ladder and knocked IYO to the floor.
Secondly, once Bayley gathered herself after betraying her friend, she climbed the ladder herself. Becky met her halfway and the two battled up the ladder until Becky dragged Bayley off the ladder using a pair of handcuffs. Becky dug a handcuff in Bayley’s mouth and dragged her down the ladder. Nasty.
With both women focusing on each other, IYO resurrected and handcuffed Becky and Bayley together. IYO then climbed on top of Bayley—poetic—and reached the top of the ladder for the briefcase.
Fun match with beautiful storytelling and a very poetic ending that said so much.
This is the end of Damage CTRL right? Right?! I mean I keep calling for it so at this point I have no clue. But this seems like it.
Unanimous response in the Cageside offices to the Women’s Tag Team Championship match between Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez and Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler: Huh?
They spent most of the match beating on Liv and testing that old injury. Makes sense. Shayna’s great at that sort of thing because she’s a legit fighter and makes it look believable. Ronda got her licks in as well but as I said before, Ronda reached her ceiling for me.
But I digress. When it looked like Ronda found an opening for the W, Shayna turned on her! Shayna pounded her in the back of the head, slapped her in the Kirifuda Clutch, and then left the match. Liv & Raquel looked just as shocked as the rest of the audience, but they didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. They both took turns putting their finishing touches on Ronda and now we have new Women’s tag champs.
I don’t know what else to say! Seriously, I got nothing.
Welcome back, Drew McIntyre!
That’s the headline from GUNTHER vs. Matt Riddle. That takes nothing away from their solid match, which told the story of a man competing in an ass kicking contest with only one good ankle. Young Matthew fought valiantly but eventually tapped. The crowd rolled with him every single step of the way and hoped against hope he might pull off the impossible.
But GUNTHER is too GUNTHER.
The Intercontinental champ smashed, bashed, and tortured that ankle until Matt had no other choice.
This was a bit academic since they set this up weeks ago. Matt will fight another day while GUNTHER moves on to a returned Drew, who blew the roof off the O2. Not LA Knight big but big.
John Cena showed up with one goal in mind: WrestleMania in London. After the way the crowd reacted during this whole event, I say yes. In fact, I say bring every event to London. London is poppin.’
Oh but then Grayson Waller showed up and tenor changed completely. A good spot for Grayson who verbally sparred with John, put himself over a bit as a backstabbing, jerk heel, and insulted the London crowd because they’re not Australia.
Of course Cena walked out on top because he’s Cena. But I think the moment helped the Aussie in a big way, while also priming the pump for Mania in London.
Dom did what Dom does: ran.
Dom ran away from Cody early, which I’m sure everyone expected. Rhea got involved too, which also proved a bad move for young Mysterio.
Look, there’s not much analysis here. Dom is one of, if not the most hated man in WWE. Cody is beloved. The crowd came to see Cody beat up on Dom and watch Rhea scream for mercy. And that’s exactly what they got.
Dom is a great heel and Cody is a great face. Plain and simple, it worked.
I gotta be honest: I found myself underwhelmed with Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. Maybe all the stuff before gave me impossible expectations, but the match never clicked for me. The intrigue popped when Damian walked to the ring with briefcase in hand. Was he there for Seth? Was he there for his partner?
Both Seth and Finn noticed the distraction at ringside, and they both reacted differently. Seth got caught up for a moment and Finn got the upper-hand. And in fact, that upper-hand worked. Finn almost got it done. He put Seth in prime position for a Coup de Grace in the middle of the ring but Damian stepped up and distracted Finn. Finn, so caught up in whether his friend might pounce on him if he wins the championship, gave Seth too much recovery time. Finn went for his finisher, Seth moved, Finn missed, and Seth finished it with a curb stomp.
Finn exchanged several heated words with his partner afterward, asking why he showed up. And he’s 1000 percent right. Finn has every right to question Damian’s moves and motives, although blaming Damian for the L feels like a bridge too far for me.
The Judgment Day storyline just got juicy and I can’t wait for the next phase. I just wish we got something better from two cats we know usually deliver beyond expectations.
I wasn’t high on this show for most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I think it delivered, but it lacked the consistency of WWE’s recent big events. But then the last match happened and it raised it a notch thanks to the story, the emotion, and the euphoria of just being a fan seeing this incredible thing happen.
Wes Craven believed that the two most important parts of a flick are the opening scene and the ending. He said if the first scene hits the audience hard, then the only other moment that needs to hit as hard is the ending. Money in the Bank delivered on Craven’s ethos.