Wrestling Review: WWE Money in the Bank (2018)

It’s a night when a life could change in the blink of an eye. By climbing a ladder and retrieving the briefcase, and the contract contained within, one of eight men, and one of eight women will be able to cash in the contract for a championship match whenever they desire: the WWE takes over the Allstate Arena in Chicago for the second night in a row for WWE Money in the Bank. On the men’s side of things, the eight men who all battle for the championship contract are: Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens, Rusev, Finn Balor, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, The Miz and one member of The New Day (either Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods or Big E). On the women’s side, the eight competitors with a chance for the briefcase are: Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Naomi, Sasha Banks, Ember Moon, Natalya, Alexa Bliss and Lana. The WWE Championship, Intercontinental Championship, botht he Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championships and the Smackdown Tag Team Championships are all on the line, as well as three huge grudge matches as WWE presents Money in the Bank.

+ Braun Strowman vs Finn Balor vs The Miz vs Kevin Owens vs Rusev vs Samoa Joe vs Bobby Roode vs Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods/Big E (Money in the Bank Ladder Match): to be honest, this was really underwhelming. It felt like half the field was filler, and although there were a few high spots, it felt like this went far too short. Either way, as far as ladder matches go it was fine, just don’t go in expecting anything groundbreaking
+ Nia Jax (c) vs Ronda Rousey (Raw Women’s Championship): Rousey was something special before the bell rang, but her inexperience was not as bad as it could have been, but it was still very apparent. Jax looked like a monster in this match, and in the end, much to my surprise, both women looked good coming out, and the ending was certainly not what I saw coming
+ AJ Styles (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura (Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship): this was good, and easily the best match these two have had: at least in the WWE, perhaps better than their Wrestle Kingdom match
+ Carmella (c) vs Asuka (Smackdown Women’s Championship): this was exactly what you’d expect. Carmella ia ridiculously hot, but not great in the ring, and Asuka is also hot, but really good in the ring, so of course there was some bullshit going on rather than just letting these two work to their advantages. Still, I kinda liked it
+ Ember Moon vs Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss vs Natalya vs Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch vs Naomi vs Lana (Money in the Bank Ladder Match): believe it or not, this was really good, and better than the mens’ match later. Ember Moon and Becky Lynch were easily the standouts, and it was clear that Bliss did not want to fall off, or onto, any ladders. Most surprisingly, Lana was not horrible. Overall, this exceeded all of my expectations and was most definitely the best women’s ladder match yet
+ Seth Rollins (c) vs Elias (Intercontinental Championship): this was really good. The crowd was loud for both guys, and I think either winner would have satiated the majority of the crowd. The action was good, and both men had their time to shine, making for a really enjoyable match

Roman Reigns vs Jinder Mahal: the crowd paid no attention to this match, cheering for Rusev, CM Punk and beach balls throughout, before doing the wave and looking off at something else. Eventually they begun to give attention to the men in the ring – by booing vociferously until the final bell. This was horrible, and the WWE deserved every part of this reaction
Bobby Lashley vs Sami Zayn: this was fine, for what it was, but I know that these two could have made it great if they were given the ball to run with. But they weren’t, and this was a waste of both men
Daniel Bryan vs Big Cass: please don’t have these two fight anymore. I don’t necessarily hate Cass, but Daniel Bryan is one of the best wrestlers they have, and they are intentionally wasting him. This was one of Cass’ best matches, but easily one of Bryan’s worst
The Bludgeon Brothers (Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) (c) vs The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson): this was the kickoff match, and it was certainly fine, but Harper and Anderson deserve so much more. THey are too good to be relegated to a tag match that half the crowd isn’t paying attention to

> on the Kickoff panel, Booker T laid in hard on CM Punk. Poor Punk, I still feel bad for him

Should you watch this event: It is not fair to necessarily say that all three of the regular one-on-one matches deserved the hate they received… but this was a show built around the two (admittedly fantastic) ladder matches and the handful of titles on the line. If the WWE was not so hell bent on increasing the length of these PPVS, and so tone deaf with how they are using Roman, Bryan, Lashley and Zayn then it might have been salvageable. As it stands, watch the ladder matches and the title fights, but do yourself a favour and skip the rest.

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