WWE presented Money in the Bank from St. Louis, Missouri last night and it was the first time the event had been SmackDown exclusive.
While six men battled it out to crown the 2017 Mr. Money in the Bank, five women fought to make history in the first ever female’s version of the ladder match. The SmackDown Tag Team Championships, WWE Championship, and The SmackDown Women’s Championship were all on the line last night on a night that had so much potential but failed to deliver in many different ways.
Extreme Rules for Raw was a show that the WWE Universe thought SmackDown could easily top with their writers and roster over the past few months but it seems that, despite all of their build up and all of the potential, the company failed to follow through on a lot of the hype of the matches. There was also a debut that was rumoured last night and a return of the former NXT Tag Team Champions, but it seems as though the entire night was all on one level, despite how much WWE tried to push it.
The following are ten things that WWE did wrong at Money in the Bank and five things they did right.
15. Wrong: Where Were American Alpha?
There were six tag teams on the card last night as The Hype Bros took on The Colons on the kickoff show as Zack Ryder made his return to action after being on the shelf for a number of months following surgery on his knee. The Usos defended their Tag Team Championships against The New Day on the main show. Later in the night, The Ascension made their return to WWE after a number of months when they took on Fandango and Tyler Breeze after it was revealed that they were the ones who attacked Breeze a few weeks ago.
The only team that was apparently missing from the show was American Alpha. Even though it was mostly about the two face teams and The Ascension and The Colons were basically just being used as talent enhancers last night, it would have been nice to see American Alpha back too.
14. Wrong: Lana Was Made To Look Strong Against The Champion
Lana made her singles debut last night at MITB, it was a match that the WWE Universe expected to be very one sided. Instead, Lana came out strong and even managed to hit her new finisher on Naomi, but only managed to get the three count.
The match was a back and forth affair but it showed that Lana wasn’t up to the same level as Naomi when it came to wrestling ability. Luckily, WWE made the decision to keep the title on Naomi despite Carmella teasing that she could easily cash that case in whenever she wanted. The match didn’t do Naomi any favours since the WWE Universe have always looked at her as a weak champion with someone like Charlotte looking over her shoulder for that title.
13. Right: Incredible Ladder Spots
The first ever women’s Money in the Bank ladder match will be remembered in WWE history forever so the five women knew that they had to step it up and they weren’t shy about getting hit with ladders. Tamina, Becky Lynch, and even Natalya were all taken out with a ladder in their match.
The men’s match also pulled no punches as Kevin Owens took most of the abuse as he was thrown into a ladder by Sami Zayn then AA’s off the apron and through another ladder by AJ Styles. There were bodies everywhere by the end of the match as the carnage tally was added up following one of the most brutal events of the year. The SmackDown roster ensured that they put their bodies on the line for the cause.
12. Wrong: Mike And Maria’s Debut
It’s great that one of the hottest couples in professional wrestling has finally found their way back to WWE, but the way they made their debut could have been much more effective. WWE accidentally tweeted earlier in the week that six women would be included in the ladder match and this then opened the door to Maria making a huge impact on her debut.
Instead, Mike said two words on the mic and Maria spoke to the WWE Universe and the couple then left. It is assumed that the WWE Universe will learn more about The IT Couple on Tuesday night, but all of the opportunities were there and WWE didn’t take them, which is sad.
11. Wrong: The Fashion Police Are The New Divas
The women were obviously in some of the biggest matches of the night last night, which meant that the killer spot between the WWE Championship match and the main event instead had to be relegated to another poor fellow and it seems that The Fashion Police have become that person.
Fandango and Tyler Breeze took on The Ascension and while they managed to win, it didn’t really give them anything to work with. Breezango has already challenged The Usos and failed, so what are they actually working towards now? They’ve beaten The Ascension before, it was just a case of going through the motions for them last night.
10. Right: The Women’s Ladder Match
The women’s ladder match was one of the highlights of the entire night. Those five women knew what it was like to be in that spot and even though it opened the show, it set the tone. Charlotte did a fantastic top rope dive to take out Tamina and Natalya and Becky Lynch took some incredible bumps on the ladder throughout the match.
Carmella was perhaps the weakest female in that match, and it was made a little worse when she was the only one left in the ring after Becky was knocked out of the ring by James Ellsworth and he then climbed the ladder and took the case for her. The ending didn’t take away from the fantastic match that these women created between them though.
9. Wrong: Bob Orton’s Involvement
Cowboy Bob Orton was at ringside along with Sgt Slaughter, Ric Flair, and a number of other WWE legends to watch Randy Orton take on Jinder Mahal in the hopes of reclaiming his WWE Championship. It was obvious that Bob would become involved in the match at some point, but not as a victim.
Bob has been included in a number of his son’s feuds over the past few years but he has never been used in a way where he was the person in distress and so Orton had to then save him rather than concentrate on the match. The Singh Brothers were supposed to be heading to the back, but surely the fact that they didn’t would have been a disqualification anyway?
8. Wrong: Robbed Of Nakamura’s Entrance
Shinsuke Nakamura made his way to the ring to compete in the Money in the Bank ladder match but he was taken out on the way to the ring by Baron Corbin. Nakamura was then hit with ladders and a camera before he was taken to the back by WWE’s officials and the match went ahead with just five men instead.
Later in the match, Corbin was about to win the case when Nakamura’s music hit again and this time he came out and took the fight to Corbin. It was a simple way of showing that Nakamura was weakened before and that’s why he didn’t win, and it allowed Corbin to then gain some real heat before his big win, but the WWE Universe were deprived of Nakamura’s entrance and that’s not OK.
7. Right: Carmella Teased A Cash-in
Lana and Naomi were only added to the show because WWE needed someone to face the Women’s Champion so that the Money in the Bank winner could tease a cash-in. The men’s Championship match was obviously put before the main event ladder match so there was no chance of a male cash in because of the structure of the show.
Carmella and James Ellsworth made the decision to come out and tease a cash-in part way through what was a dull match anyway. It seemed as though Carmella and James Ellsworth had made the decision to cash-in before Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon could reverse the decision on Tuesday night when they make their return to SmackDown Live.
6. Wrong: Sick AJ Styles Bump
AJ Styles has always known how to step it up when it comes to Pay-per-view matches and last night he had one of the biggest bumps of the night and one of the standout moments when he made the decision to climb the ladder, reach for the case, and then Dolph Ziggler took the ladder away from him leaving him hanging, much like Jeff Hardy‘s famous WrestleMania 17 spot.
AJ wasn’t speared out of the air like Jeff Hardy. Instead, he was left hanging there until he dropped and landed mostly on his arm. It was a sick bump that didn’t look like it was warranted, it was just a horrible one to watch, although it did explain why AJ didn’t end up winning the match.
5. Wrong: Referees Can Change The Rules?
Referees have been known to always play around with the usual standard wrestling rules in WWE. It seems that recently after The Miz and Dean Ambrose‘s match where the referee took Ambrose’s thoughts into consideration and didn’t disqualify him after Maryse was involved.
This happened again last night when The Singh Brothers helped Jinder by putting his foot on the bottom rope, which should have been a DQ, and then ignored the fact that the two brothers then decided to go after Randy’s father rather than following his instructions and going to the back. A DQ wouldn’t have helped Orton, but that was how that match should have actually ended.
4. Right: The Usos Retained Their Tag Team Championships
The Usos took on The New Day at Money in the Bank and they knew that the odds were stacked against them since there were three of them and only two Usos. It didn’t seem likely that The New Day would be able to take the titles in their first pay-per-view match on the SmackDown roster.
The Usos did manage to hold on to their titles when they walked away from the match but it seemed like a cheap finish after The New Day had thrown everything at the current Champions and had almost won the match but they then threw in the towel and retained their titles to live and fight another day.
3. Wrong: WWE Once Again Screwed Over The Women’s Division
WWE had the opportunity to give the women one of the biggest history making moments they have ever had last night. Instead of allowing someone like Natalya or Charlotte who were more deserving of the briefcase to make history, they decided to have James Ellsworth run in and ruin the match.
The ending was given the heat that WWE expected it to make, and in the storyline, it probably does make sense, but when WWE fans look back on this match in the coming years they will only see the fact that WWE decided to take away from the moment to once again play their stupid games.
2. Wrong: Jinder Mahal Retained In The Cheapest Of Ways
Jinder Mahal retained his WWE Championship in Randy Orton’s hometown of St. Louis last night, but it didn’t make Jinder any stronger as a champion since he once again used the destruction caused by The Singh Brothers to hit his finisher and retain his Championship.
It was much like the finish to Backlash, as the men formerly known as The Bollywood Boys distracted Orton and allowed The Modern Day Maharaja to take advantage. It was the cheapest possible way for Jinder to win the match and then retain the title, and it could lead to another showdown between them in the future.
1. Right: Baron Corbin Is Mr. Money In The Bank 2017
The six man ladder match was always going to be the highlight of the show. It is the one that the event is named after and it is the one that names a Mr. Money in the Bank for the next year. Out of the six men that were part of the match, all of them could easily have lifted that case and been seen as the next World Champion, but Baron was the best choice.
Every man in the match is a future champion but Baron is perhaps the one who has been wrestling for the least amount of time and would be able to pull off a heel with the case quite well. Hopefully, this now leads to a lengthy run with the briefcase and a usual spectacular WWE cash in down the road.