WWE – Money In The Bank 2016 (Cert 15)
1 Disc Blu-ray / DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 198 minutes approx.
It’s time to once again break out the ladders and the golden briefcase to determine who will be the next guaranteed challenger to the WWE Title – and possibly even get to win the strap! It happened last year for Sheamus – although that was designed to get the fans to cheer Roman Reigns and look how well THAT turned out. Maybe this year will be different…
Heading into this show the WWE built it up as the greatest MITB PPV of all time (shouldn’t they say that afterwards?), since it features the aborted title match from the 2015 Survivor Series between Roman Reigns and the recently returned Seth Rollins, and the first ever “Dream Match” encounter between AJ Styles and John Cena!
Money In The Bank took place on June 19th 2016 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada before 12,000 fans. Your commentators once again are Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and JBL.
Onto the matches and as always no results spoilers but plenty of opinion.
WWE Tag Title Fatal Four Way Match – The New Day (c) vs. The Vaudevillians vs. Enzo & Cass vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
Big E. and Kofi are representing the tag champs in this predictable multi-team cluster of a match. Actually the work isn’t too bad when it focuses on two people at a time, Kofi and Enzo have a nice exchange but it eventually breaks down into the inevitable flying bodies chaos. Note to Big E – please stop trying to paralyse yourself with those big middle rope dives.
The story of the match was keeping Big Cass out of the ring which proved their undoing when the ending fell apart – not that you’d notice as the WWE home video team used some clever editing to disguise the awkwardness that really occurred when Cass was late for his cue and Luke Gallows had to stand around like a lemon waiting for him while the wrong man was eventually pinned!
Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
After two consecutive encounters on PPV pre-shows this interminable feud finally makes it to the main card – not that anyone was interested. Ziggler was Corbin’s first victim after her joined the main roster on the post-Wrestlemania RAW and so far was 2 for 2 in their feud. Not only has this done nothing for Ziggler it has done nothing for Corbin either who incurred “Boring” chants a minute into this match.
In NXT Corbin’s gimmick was he destroyed people in less than 20 seconds and the crowd would count the time of the match. Once his matches went over 20 seconds they got bored, Corbin’s limitation were exposed and the fans turned on him, while everyone else knew this meant he is not a long match worker. At just over 12 minutes this uninspired bout reinforces that notion.
Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Natalya & Becky Lynch
Dana Brooke is a former female body builder who can neither wrestle nor apply her make-up properly. She formed a heel duo in NXT with Emma until an injury spared us from having to watch her but instead of returning Brooke to NXT after her recovery, she was inexplicably brought up to the main roster to resume her pairing with Emma. However Emma injured her back, so Charlotte got lumbered with Brooke instead.
Since the WWE have given up on the women again, despite the much-vaunted “Divas Revolution”, this was kept short when it needed the time to work. The ladies worked as hard but even Becky and Natalya struggled to carry Dana Botch, who has no sense of timing as seen during the awkward hot tag spot which also was edited here. The post match scenario is the only real thing of major interest here.
Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus
Completing our triumvirate of NXT talents brought up to the main roster too soon, the agile muscle man Apollo Crews finally make his PPV debut. The problem is that he was brought up rather quickly because of his physique (of course) but no-one knew what to do with him, so his main roster run has thus far been unremarkable. So they pair him off with Sheamus.
As a result the crowd weren’t interested and didn’t warm to Crews until he hit a standing moonsault off the apron onto Sheamus who was on the floor. Thus this match didn’t do anything to elevate him nor did it help rejuvenate Sheamus’s moribund stock either.
AJ Styles vs. John Cena
Cena made his triumphant return to RAW after being out with an injury and was confronted by Styles who turned heel on Cena to beat him down with The Club. Of course, heel turns against Cena don’t work and Styles was cheered and Cena was booed – not as bad as usual since that is Roman Reigns’ gimmick now.
Great match as you’d expect which was down to Styles as Cena showed a lot of ring rust in his first big match back (a 2 min TV match doesn’t count), which fit into the story of the match in which AJ would outclass Cena at every turn and foil his big moves. But this is Cena who needs to be protected so some McBooking was employed for the finish but everything prior to this was head and shoulders above the rest of the card thus far.
Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens vs. Alberto Del Rio
Similar to the IC Title Four Way Match at Extreme Rules, the build up for this match on TV saw all the competitors face off in numerous permutations of this line-up, from singles matches, to tag matches to six man tags, with everyone trading wins over each other.
In this case the ladder concept makes all the difference in terms of repeating the move sets and signature spots, relying on new moves and innovations involving the hardware to wow the crowd. In this case it was Owens and Zayn who went above and beyond, including what must have been a coccyx shattering bump for Owens when Zayn hit a Michinoku Driver on the edge on the ladder! Crazy, car crash stuff as always!
WWE US Title Match – Rusev (c) vs. Titus O’Neil
Rusev is no back to defending his US title against proud American challengers and that includes Titus O’Neil who recently returned from a 60 day suspension for committing the unpardonable sin of grabbing Vince McSenile’s arm on TV. Just think, if he trashed a hotel room or took a dump in someone’s bag he’d be a multi-time World champ by now!
Suffering the fate the women’s matches usually are forced to endure in this traditional “death spot”, no-one cared about this nor did they see Titus as a viable challenger so this was essentially a waste of everyone’s time.
WWE World Heavyweight Title Match – Roman Reigns (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins returned from his knee injury at the end of Extreme Rules and was granted this title match by virtue of the fact he never lost the belt in the first place. Well, we knew it was coming. Anyway, despite heeling the crowd on the mic each week on TV, Seth was received as a babyface by the fans, more so here against Reigns (again the boos were doctored by the WWE sound engineers).
Match was okay, a bit long with the crowd firmly behind Rollins, but a bit slow and with the show running long the fan interest was waning. There were some great near fall exchanges towards the end, including a superbly timed Pedigree counter the Spear by Rollins.
As I state at the start of every review I don’t spoil the results but the WWE have done that themselves on the cover of this release. Tch!
Well, they certainly changed things up at the top of the card with this show which made for an interesting development for those who indulge in the insider news and were aware of the resurrected Brand Split idea (which originally took place in 2002 before petering out in 2011) going into this PPV. It is also a sign that Vince has perhaps recognised that the Roman Reigns experiment is a disaster and is taking steps to rectify it.
Another change was the extended run time of this event, exceeding the usual 3 hour time limit. This was done partially to tease the audience by going long and raising their expectations of the main event starting so late, although the real reason was because a high profile basketball match was on at the same time and WWE wanted fans to be able to tune in to the main after if finished.
Otherwise this was a business as usual with the undercard full of the usual hard workers giving their all for little reward while others are being thrust into the limelight far too quickly for the wrong reasons.
Best match – AJ Styles vs. John Cena
Monday Night RAW – 23rd May 2016 – Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns is “Money In The Bank”
Monday Night RAW – 30th May 2016 – John Cena returns to Monday Night RAW
Smackdown – 9th June 2016 – Enzo & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Monday Night RAW – 13th June 2016 – Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
Rating – ***
Man In Black