Bella Twins, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Dusty Rhodes, John Cena, Kane, Kevin Owens, King Barrett, Kofi Kingston, Miz, Money in the Bank, Neville, Paige, Prime Time Players, R-Truth, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Roman Reigns, Ryback, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, The Big Show, The New Day, WWE
I’m a fan of WWE. I have been a wrestling fan since I was 9 or 10 (yes that was 34 years ago). I did take a short break in the early 90s (only about 8 months or so) but when I got back into it, I really got back into it. I’ve been to Wrestlemania, even took The BCPF and 3B to it when it was in Atlanta.
Last night, WWE had their annual Money in the Bank PPV. I’ve only missed one or two PPVs since 1994 (and watched many before then when a friend taped them for me) which means that I’ve been more than my fair share of them and I must say that this one was fantastic! I’ll give a little bit of recap and just know that there will be some spoilers so if you’re planning on watching a replay or seeing it on WWE Network, don’t read past this point.
Ok, so it starts off with the “Kickoff” show where Renee Young, Booker T, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton pontificate (in character) about how they think things will go. Then they show the Dusty Rhodes video tribute and Renee Young lost it. She wasn’t even intelligible afterward when she was supposed to send it another correspondent for a ridiculous “Ask the Superstar” segment, which always has some heel who makes fun of the interviewer as he’s asking the stupidest questions from “the fans'” Twitter accounts. It was Kevin Owens this time, who, whilst I think is great in-ring, his mic skills are some of the worst I’ve ever heard. It’s like he totally skipped any training the NXT people (which included Dusty Rhodes) gave on cutting promos and developing character. In-ring ability is one thing but I think you need mic skills to be the total package. He’s atrocious on-mic.
Anywhat! Back to the Dusty thing. I sat and bawled like a baby. Dusty was big when I first started watching and the rivalry with his (behind the scenes protege and and great friend) greatest foe, Ric Flair was the thing to watch. Dusty was never a great wrestler but he was the master of the promo. Without Dusty (and Ric) wrestling wouldn’t be where it is today. They built the foundation for the empire they have now. When the camera cut back to Renee, she had gained composure but you could tell he was red and puffy. I felt bad for her. All four of the Kickoff panel had close ties to Dusty. Renee, Corey and Byron dealt with him at NXT and Booker T wrestled with him when he first got into the biz.
Next they went into the actual Kickoff match which was R-Truth vs King Barrett. I’m not a huge fan of R-Truth overall. I think his in-ring is good and he does well on the mic, but he’s a bit over the top. Barrett is great in-ring and pretty good on the mic. The match was good, which Truth won. He thought he won the crown and started bequeathing titles upon Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler. That was funny, especially when he was wearing the crown backward. Then the actual PPV started and they did the 10-bell salute for Dusty with the entire roster standing at the landing area. Even some of the toughest characters were clapping in rhythm with Dusty’s “Common Man” theme. Konnor from the Ascention, Kane, good guys, bad guys. The man touched a lot of people.
The Money in the Bank match started off with Randy Orton, Neville, Sheamus, Roman Reigns, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler and Kane. It was a very entertaining match and after a lot of hard bumps it looked like Roman Reigns was going to take it (he was the favorite from Vegas) until Bray Wyatt showed up and gave him the Sister Abigail. Sheamus and Neville fought at the ladders peak until Sheamus finally took the briefcase. That means we’re going to get a shload of Sheamus for the next year or so.
Nikki Bella kept the title vs Paige. When Brie and she pulled “Twin Magic,” it failed because Paige pinned Brie. It was funny to watch her pull the stuffing out of her bra and show off her hip tattoos to reveal it wasn’t her that just lost the match. So although we never heard the ref restart the match, Nikki attacked Paige, gave her the Rack Attack and won. It was an entertaining match but not my favorite. I will be interested in seeing if Brie lost a tooth. Once she got kicked in the face by Paige, she never stopped covering her mouth. She tried smiling but did so with her hand in front of her mouth. It may have just been a busted lip but I’m thinking it may have been more.
The Big Show vs. Ryback was next and while the match never really took off it was won by The Big Show when The Miz interfered, attacking first TBS and then Ryback. It was the slowest match of the night and it really could have been left off the card. I like Ryback and I like The Big Show, I just don’t care much about seeing him wrestle. Ryback, I like watching wrestle.
Next came the match of the year. If it doesn’t win when the Slammys come around, I’ll be very surprised. This was John Cena, the US Champion vs. Kevin Owens, the NXT Champion. Again, KO is a beast in the ring but just, please, don’t let him talk. This match from beginning to end was non-stop action and every minute of the match was wall-to-wall awesome. The back-and-forth was great with KO doing some of Cena’s moves and Cena trying some new moves. It was great. The crowd was chanting “this is awesome” the whole time. Then at the end, after he won, Cena raised KO’s hand as a sign of respect and he turned on him. Powerbombing him on the ring apron. Cena looked to be really hurt, but it could have been a work.
The Prime Time Players, Darren Young and Titus O’Neil defeated The New Day’s Big E and Xavier Woods in a match that saw TND run all over Darren Young and Titus come in and win in no time. The match seemed weird, like it was hurried, and somewhat anticlimactic.
Then came the main event, Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins. It was a ladder match for the WWE belt. There were lots of rough bump spots and it was back and forth, back and forth. It was a great, brawling style, no DQ showcase. These two solidified their spots in the top echelon of the biz. They really picked up the mantle and ran with it. The ending was great: the both had the belt in their hands and fell to the mat, where Rollins wrestled (pun) it from Ambrose’s hands. It was the second best match of the night but still fantastic.
All-in-all, this was one of the best PPVs that I’ve seen in a long, long time. I could have done without the Ryback/TBS, Tag Match and really, the Divas match. The rest were fantastic. If you’ve not seen it, yet, then you must get on it. It’s great. I give it an A-, if I were rating it, that is. The last few have been B- at best, this was a great change. So watch it and enjoy it.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Ric Flair, the stratosphere is reserved for you and me.” – Dusty Rhodes