WWE – Money In The Bank 2022 (Cert 15)
1 Disc DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 180 minutes approx.
Release Date: August 15th
We’ve reached the point in the WWE calendar when a bunch of foolhardy but hungry men and women throw themselves off a ladder for the sake of a bespoke briefcase and its title match contract – or the laziest booking crutch in WWE if you are the cynical type like me.
As is the case with many WWE PLE’s this year, the big news is not what happened on the show but in events behind the scenes leading up to it. First, there was the venue – WWE had initially booked the Allegiant Stadium, with the hope of drawing 40,000 plus to the show but the fans weren’t biting, not to mention they were running head-to-head with a UFC PPV, who had booked their first choice of the T-Mobile arena, so they moved to the much smaller MGM Grand Garden.
Then injuries saw the card changed. Rea Ripley was originally due to face Bianca Belair but she was injured during the qualifying match, thus Carmella became her replacement following a five-way match. Kevin Owens was also due to be in the Men’s MITB match, but a health issue took him out of the running, and his spot went to Matt Riddle – who initially was due to challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Title to set up Reigns vs. Randy Orton at Summerslam.
However, Orton was injured, so they gave Riddle the match on TV then gave Roman the night off for this show as part of his reduced schedule. But as we know, Brock Lesnar is back meaning it is Brock vs. Roman for the title AGAIN at Summerslam instead. Finally, some unpleasant stories about Vince McMahon began to surface regarding improper behaviour towards female staff members…
Held on July 2nd 2022, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada before 12,076 fans. Commentary is provided by Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Michael Cole, and Pat MacAfee.
Onto the matches and as always no results spoilers since the DVD cover does that for me in grand style, but plenty of opinion.
Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Becky Lynch vs. Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Liv Morgan vs. Lacey Evans vs. Shotzi vs. Raquel Rodriguez
The story leading into this year’s match was Becky Lynch not being able to qualify until she finally won a last chance match to do so. Liv Morgan has slowly crept up the ranks in the eyes of the fans of late and is essentially the freshest face in terms of viable options to win. Shotzi and Rodriguez are too new, with the former only in the match because she is a risk taker known for her crazy bumps.
Erstwhile NXT Women’s champ Raquel so far has done nothing but smile and be tall, and it is telling she and Shotzi were at the centre of some of the memorable botches in this match. The fans however were really forgiving, and willed the ladies on in spite of the odd slip ups, partially because the mistakes felt natural against the regimented set ups and flawless execution. Becky and Asuka were the glue to holding this together whilst letting the others shine, and even with the goofs, this was a strong opener.
WWE US Title Match – Austin Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley
Theory is being billed as the “Youngest US Champ in WWE History”, which is just as well, as David Flair was 20 when he held it in 1999 in WCW (Theory was 24 at the time). The build for this match was based around pose downs and other homoerotic stuff that gets Vince off, now Lashley is a smiley babyface and has big muscles.
A RAW match at best, the crowd was really into it – or more accurately Lashley – which helped made it a bit more bearable. I don’t know what it is about Theory but I’m not seeing what Vince is seeing in him, although I’ll give him his due he plays the cocky heel well, especially against a hoss like Lashley.
RAW Women’s Title Match – Bianca Belair (c) vs. Carmella
Some of you may recall this time last year, Bianca and Carmella were feuding over the SD women’s title – the more things change, eh? With Rhea injured, a replacement was needed and given the poor booking, Carmella was the only viable option at the time since Bianca had already beaten the likes of Duodrop and Nikki ASH (yes that gimmick still lives) on TV many times prior to this.
On the plus side, Carmella has ditched the silly protective mask, on the other this match was average at best but again the crowd helped by being into Bianca. The problem I nobody thought Carmella stood a chance and with just two weeks to reheat her, this isn’t much of a surprise.
WWE Undisputed Tag Title Match – The Usos (c) vs. The Street Profits
Considering how many times these two teams have faced off over the weeks leading to this show, in singles and multi-man tag matches, it is hard to get excited about this title match, which isn’t helped by the fact The Usos have been the champs for an eternity now. The other problem is there are no other real teams to dethrone them, so the divisions is stuck in its current stasis until some new teams can be put together or given a boost.
Despite this, they had a good match which, for me, went a bit too long at almost 25 minutes, taking in the usual dives and superkick fests both teams are known for. The final stretch was hot as you might expect, concluding with a Dusty finish which feels cheap after such a long match. But with no other teams fit to challenge the champs, you know that this means.
SD Women’s Title Match – Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Natalya
Nattie won a six-way match to become Ronda’s opponent, exposing the lack of creativity in the WWE’s creative team (read: Vince and Bruce Prichard) by using the same ideas over and over on both shows at the same time! This is only the second time these two have faced off – the first was on RAW in December 2018. Both are friends in real life and Nattie actually helped train Ronda for her transition to wrestling so the chemistry is there.
Unlike other women’s feuds, this one is largely based around wrestling and who has the most lethal submission hold. I say largely they did exchange barbs about Ronda being a mum and Nattie’s YouTube show in which she and her top-heavy sister try on bikinis. The match was good technically and very well worked, built around the applying of the submission holds, but the crowd took a while to get into this after the fast-paced action of the prior matches. Then again, it is what happened after the match that everyone will remember most…
Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Drew McIntyre vs. Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins vs. Omos vs. Madcap Moss vs. Sami Zayn vs. Sheamus vs. Austin Theory
Since the back cover of this DVD already shows it, I have no choice but to add Theory’s name to the heading, telegraphing the result of his earlier match against Lashley. With no warning Adam Pearce came out and added Theory to the match for no reason other than the storyline favouritism Theory is shown by Vince, completely deflating the crowd. It does sort of give away the result of this match too, if we’re being frank.
Having said that, the next PLE after Summerslam is being held in the UK, Cardiff to be exact, and there is only one British born babyface in WWE credible enough to challenge the champ, so there is that obvious choice. Then there is Riddle, the original opponent for Roman for this show, who deserves as a second shot. Rollins is a wild card whilst in kayfabe terms, one would think Omos had the advantage here being over 7ft tall but that is the only about him with is over.
Usual car crash stunt show as you might expect with surprisingly fewer high-risk spots than the women’s match, in favour of cute spots, such as Omos being buried under a pile of ladders. As for the winner, well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Vince is gonna Vince.
Well, there were certainly some choices made in the booking of this show, some made sense other less so. But, I suppose we are used to that by now with Vince’s outdated vision and empty well of ideas. It’s a bore to keep on mentioning it yet at the same time, what else can we do when this is the primary problem of the current product?
Of course, there are many fans who are less cynical (or “smart” if you will indulge this term for the sake of this discussion), and it is their reactions that Vince is validated by, so as long as they pop for what he puts out, he’ll keep doing it. However, if you watch closely during the end of the main event you can see huge chunks of the crowd are visibly nonplussed by the winner, and not in a “boo this guy” way, but in a “what – him?” way.
Summerslam is up next and WWE has a stadium to fill – which they have a better chance of doing this time – so what happens next in the fall out of this show is crucial. Will they get it right? Only time will tell…
Best match – Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match (by default because I’m an Asuka mark. So sue me!)
Rating – ***
Man In Black