WWE Money in the Bank Review: A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Show: WWE Money in the Bank PPV
Location: Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois
Date: Sunday June 17th, 2018
Review by: Amin Ajani
WWE Money in the Bank PPV Review
Daniel Bryan def. Big Cass via Submission
- Rating: **2/4
Bryan got an enormous reaction as the crowd loudly chanted “YES” Cass delivered a Black Hole Slam for a near fall. Bryan delivered a dragon screw and followed up smashing his leg around the ring post. Bryan delivered his running dropkicks into the turnbuckle. Bryan applied a YES Lock but Cass grabbed the ropes. Cass delivered a Fallaway slam from the middle turnbuckle. Cass avoided a flying knee, delivered a Big Boot but Bryan still kicked out. Cass went for a torture rack but Bryan landed on his feet and delivered a flying knee. Bryan applied a heel hook as Cass tapped out.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was better then the WWE Backlash match. Bryan was great as usual but was limited as he was working with Big Cass who was fine in the match.)
–There was a backstage comedy segment involving Kevin Owens, The New Day and pancakes.
Bobby Lashley def. Sami Zayn
- Rating: *1/4
Zayn delivered a Helluva Kick as Lashley fell through the ropes. Lashely delivered a spine buster and followed up with a shoulder breaker. Lashley delivered a delayed vertical suplex. Lashley delivered another shoulder breaker and followed up with another delayed vertical suplex. Lashely delivered a delayed vertical suplex for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: A totally nothing match. This feud has been been terrible and has done nothing for either Lashley or Zayn)
Seth Rollins def. Elias to retain the WWE Intercontinental Title
- Rating: ***1/4
Rollins got a big reaction. Elias applied a Cobra Clutch but Rollins broke free by delivering a big knee. Rollins delivered a sling blade and followed up with a tope. Rollins delivered a blockbuster from the middle turnbuckle for a near fall. Rollins tweaked his knee while attempting a springboard. Rollins sold his knee but still climbed the turnbuckle and delivered a frog splash but Elias got his knees up. Elias rolled up Rollins for a near fall. Rollins delivered a superpex and followed up with a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Rollins attempted a tope but Elias moved as Rollins went into the barricade. Elias smashed Rollins into the ring post, then tossed him into steel steps and followed up by delivering a top rope elbow drop for a close near fall. (This was a great spot.) Finish came when exchanged a series of rollups. Rollins won after he grabbed the tights.
(Amin’s Analysis: It started slow but turned into a really good match. Elias delivered his best performance since getting called up to RAW. Rollins was tremendous as usual.)
Alexa Bliss def. Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Ember Moon, Lana, Naomi, Natalya & Sasha Banks to win the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
- Rating: ****
Highlights included Moon delivering a somersault flip dive from the timekeeper’s area to Lynch. Moon delivered a reverse crossbody to Bank on a ladder. Becky and Charlotte battled on the ladder. Naomi delivered a running blockbuster to Banks from the ring apron. Banks stacked Lana and Moon on a ladder and delivered a double knees. Becky tipped the ladder as Banks delivered a double knees to Charlotte and Natalya. Charlotte power bombed Moon onto a ladder. Lana placed Bliss in an Accolade. Lana went to climb the ladder but Naomi delivered a springboard and stopped her. (Naomi tried to unhook the briefcase but couldn’t. This wasn’t good as someone likely missed a spot.) Becky and Charlotte climbed the ladder but Bliss tipped it over. Charlotte landed on her feet and speared Bliss. Natalya delivered an electric chair to Lana. Charlotte speared Moon into a ladder in the corner. Lynch delivered an Exploder to Charlotte. Lynch climbed the ladder (went to grab the briefcase but she couldn’t unhook it as well. Someone must have missed a spot.) Bliss tipped the ladder as Becky fell off. Bliss then climbed the ladder, perfectly unhooked the briefcase and won the match.
(Amin’s Analysis: Apart from a couple of minor hiccups, this was a really good match as everyone worked really hard. There was some nice creative spots and the crowd was super hot.)
-GM Paige made fun of Baron Corbin for failing to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase as GM of RAW Kurt Angle laughed.
Roman Reigns def. Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh)
- Rating: *3/4
Sunil Singh came out in a wheelchair, he had neck brace and his arm was in a sling. Reigns came out and he was loudly booed. The crowd completely rejected both Mahal and Reigns as they were the story of the match. The crowd began with a big “CM Punk” chant. From there they moved to a “boring” chant and an NXT chant. Reigns went for a Drive By, but Sunil stood from his wheelchair and have Reigns into the ring post. The crowd chanted “Rusev Day” chant, “this is awful, and “Johnny Wrestling”. The match rolled on as Mahal applied plenty of chin locks. The crowd responded by chanted “Let’s Go, Cena, Cena sucks”. There was also a beachball in the crowd and then the crowd started the wave. (A great spot in the match as Reigns delivered multiple clothesline to Mahal in the corner. The camera kept zooming in and out so you couldn’t see the crowd to do the wave.) Reigns delivered a Superman Punch but Mahal kicked out. Reigns went for a spear but was kicked and rammed shoulder first into the ring post. Mahal was bleeding from the cheek. Reigns made a comeback as he delivered a Drive By to Mahal. Sunil tried to attack Reigns but Roman gave him a Superman Punch and a spear. Reigns then delivered a spear to Mahal for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: Felt bad for Mahal and Reigns as they worked hard and tried to have a good match. But this was a really dull and boring match.)
Carmella def. Asuka to retain the SmackDown Women’s Title
- Rating: *2/4
Asuka delivered hip attacks. Carmella got the advantage as she yanked Asuka’s arm into the ring post from the apron. Carmella kicked Asuka off the ring apron as she took a big bump on the floor. Carmella delivered a tope. Asuka made a comeback by delivering back-to-back spinning back fist when an Asuka impersonator appeared on the apron. Asuka was completely stunned. Of the distraction, Carmella rolled her up but Asuka kicked out. (WHY!) Asuka gave Carmella a kick. The Asuka impersonator removed the mask and it was James Ellsworth! Carmella delivered a superkick and won the match.
(Amin’s Analysis: A below average match as Asuka was working with Carmella who’s limited in the ring. Didn’t mind the Ellsworth appearance as it was done well. But this completely sucked as the booking has ruined Asuka’s momentum.)
A.J. Styles def. Shinsuke Nakamura in a Last Man Standing Match to retain the WWE Title
- Rating: ****1/4
This was my favourite match of the night but it started off really slow. There was a loud “A.J. Styles/Nakamura” dueling chant. The match picked up when Styles attempted a springboard from the barricade but Nakamura kicked him. Styles battled back by delivering the Phenomenal Blitz and followed up with a face buster. Styles went for the Styles Clash but Nakamura moved. Nakmaura attempted a low blow but Styles moved. Styles delivered a Pele Kick. Nakamura delivered a reverse Exploder and then went for Kinshasa but Styles countered by delivering a running forearm. Styles delivered an ushigorishi. Nakamura suplex Styles onto the announcers table. Nakamura delivered a running Kinshasa from the announcers table. (Styles got up at 9.) Nakamura tossed Styles threw a table. (Styles got up at 9.) Styles moved as Nakamura ran ring first into the exposed turnbuckle. Styles applied a Calf Crusher. (Nakamura got up at 8.) Styles attacked Nakamura’s knee with a steel chair. Nakamura suckered A.J. in and gave him a low blow. (Styles got up at 9.) Nakamura delivered a Kinshasa to Styles on the floor.(Styles got up at 9.) Styles delivered a Phenomenal Forearm to Nakamura off the announcers table. A.J. then gave Nakamura as Styles Clash off the steel steps on the floor. (Nakamura got up at 9.) Nakamura taunted Styles so A.J. responded by kicking him in the nuts. Styles then delivered a springboard Phenomenal Forearm to Nakamura who went crashing through the announcers table and won the match.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was the best match that Nakamura and Styles had in WWE. They worked really hard and had an excellent match. (But, I want to say this.) A.J. Styles is my favourite wrestler and the best in WWE. Nakamura should have won this match. Why did WWE turn Nakamura heel at WrestleMania if he wasn’t going to win the WWE title?)
RAW Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey def. Nia Jax via Disqualification
- Rating: ***1/4
Rousey got a big reaction. Jax delivered shoulder tackles and gave Rousey a big splash in the corner. Rousey delivered strikes but Jax delivered a head butt. Jax went for a Samoan drop but Rousey applied an arm bar. Jax broke free by delivering a sit-out powerbomb. Rousey went for head scissors on the floor but Jax swung her across the barricade. Jax delivered a military press slam for a near fall. Jax applied a bug hug but Rousey broke free. Jax delivered a Samoan Drop for a near fall. Rousey applied an armbar into the ropes. Rousey delivered a crossbody which got a big pop but Jax powered out. Rousey delivered more strikes and followed up with a jumping knee. Rousey delivered a judo throw for a near fall. Rousey delivered a uranage and then went for an armbar but Bliss appeared and attacked Rousey with the briefcase. The referee called for the DQ.
- Post match: Bliss attacked Rousey with the briefcase and rammed her into the ring post. Bliss attacked Nia’s injured arm with the briefcase. Bliss tossed Rousey over the announcers table. Bliss then cashed in her briefcase.
(Amin’s Analysis: This exceeded expectations and turned into a really good match. Jax was solid and worked hard. Ronda Rousey was the star of this match as she bumped and sold like crazy for Jax. Her facial reactions were awesome and has a great intense look. She’s so comfortable in the ring and is really special.)
Alexa Bliss def. Nia Jax to win the RAW Women’s Title
Bliss gave Jax a DDT. Alexa then climbed the top turnbuckle and delivered the Twisted Bliss and won the RAW Women’s Title. This got a big reaction.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was really well done as the finish protected Rousey who didn’t lose to Jax or have to win the RAW Women’s Title on her first shot. The finish of this match also keeps Nia as a babyface. This will freshen things up as both Jax and Rousey can chase Alexa to become champion.)
Braun Strowman def. Bobby Roode, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Rusev, Samoa Joe & The Miz to win the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
- Rating: ****
Aiden English came out as there were loud chants of “Rusev Day.” The New Day came out as they picked Kofi to represent them in the match. Everyone attacked Strowman and dropped a bunch of ladders on him. Kingston delivered a Trouble in Paradise to Joe. A ladder was placed on Miz as Kingston gave him a Boom drop. Rusev delivered a Fallaway slam to Owens on a ladder. Kingston attempted a Nestea plunge but everyone caught him. Balor then delivered a flip dive to everyone. Joe delivered an elbow suicida, Owens delivered a superkick and Rusev followed up with a Machka Kick to Strowman. Joe applied a Coquina Clutch as Owens gave Strowman a superkick. Owens climbed the ladder. Strowman fought off both Joe and Rusev. Strowman climbed the ladder and tossed Owens off who went crashing through a table. (This was wild.) Strowman gave Kingston a choke slam on a ladder. Balor and Roode held a ladder but Strowman plowed through them. Joe attacked Strowman with a ladder and Balor followed up with a Woo dropkick. Rusev applied a double Accolade to Kingston and Roode. Rusev gave Miz a superkick. Rusev went for a triple Accolade but Joe appeared and applied the Coquina Clutch. Balor delivered a sling blade to Roode. Balor then delivered a Coup de Grace from the top of the ladder on the floor to Roode inside the ring. (This was awesome.) Strowman returned and gave both Joe and Miz a running powerslam. Strowman climbed the ladder but Kingston delivered a springboard and leaped on Braun’s back. Strowman shoved Kingston off, grabbed the briefcase and won the match.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a really good match as everyone worked really hard and there some creative spots. Strowman was the right person to win the match as he can now challenge Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam and win the Universal Title.)
-Overall: WWE Money in the Bank was a thumbs in the middle show. The show dragged and went really long. Nakamura and Styles had the best match of the night. I also enjoyed both the ladder and the Jax/Rousey match. Everything else was skippable. Didn’t like the booking of the Asuka and Nakamura match as it completely slowed down their momentum.