Written By: Traves Bezenar
WWE MONEY IN THE BANK 2016
Tag Team Match
Golden Truth (W) Vs Breezango
The opening match for the pre show was a bit of a letdown for me. Over the years WWE has really stepped up their game when it comes to pre-show matches in what I assume would be a last ditch effort to convince people to buy the PPV. This match didn’t live up to those expectations. It was by no means a terrible wrestling match it just wasn’t great. I did enjoy Tyler Breeze and Fandango’s sunburn cosmetics (whoever did them did a good job) but comedy wrestling just isn’t my cup of tea.
Tag Team Match
Lucha Dragons (W) vs The Dudley Boyz
I’m a big fan of The Dudley Boyz and was ecstatic to see them return to WWE last year but they deserve better. Again this match wasn’t bad, it was actually pretty good, it just should have been better. Kalisto is great in ring and really seems to be coming into his own as a character. Unfortunately for Kalisto, his partner Sin Cara is a blackhole of enthusiasm and I hate it. Cut the ties already and make Kalisto a singles star, push the Dudleyz like crazy, and repackage Sin Cara cause it just ain’t working.
MONEY IN THE BANK 2016
Tag Team Championship Match
Fatal 4 Way Tag Team Match
Enzo & Cass vs The Vaudevillains vs The Club vs (C)The New Day(W)
This match had a lot of problems but I ended up enjoying it nonetheless. The most important thing to point out here is how strong Collin Cassidy was booked. At one point it was basically Big Cass versus the entire tag-team division. While a match like that's great for Cass’ career it really showed how limited his moveset and ring ability is which worries me. I’m also worried about how Big Cass’ push is going to effect Enzo Amore, who can clearly talk but has trouble in the ring. The match itself had more than its share of botches especially at the ending.
Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggelr and Baron Corbin are one of the longest running feuds in the current WWE landscape and that’s an issue. The two have faced off at every PPV for months but have been given very little screen time on Monday night Raw only adding to the monotony. While this match was probably the best one the two combatants have had I still hope it’s the last one for a while. Because of the boring feud I can’t give this match a higher score even if it was the best they’ve had to date.
Women’s Tag Team Match
Dana Brooke & (C)Charlotte(W) vs Natalya & Becky Lynch
Yet another disappointing match following the fabled “Diva’s Revolution”. Nothing in the match worked for me and saying it was a train wreck is an insult to trains. Natalya and Becky Lynch looked awful in the ring and I blame that on Dana Brooke. Brooke was only recently called up to the main roster and her greenish really showed her. She was only able to take a few basic moves (hip toss, arm drag, and drop kick) and she even managed to botch most of those. The only saving grace (and reason this match doesn’t get a big fat goose egg) is because of the finish. Natty turning heel is completely unexpected and a breath of fresh air for her character. I can’t wait to see what happens with her tonight on Raw.
Sheamus vs Apollo Crews (W)
Sheamus is criminally underrated by smarks and members of the IWC. If he was wrestling in NJPW or NOAH with his current moveset and style the IWC would be lining up to stroke his e-penis. Sadly that’s not the case and people are going to shit on the Irish born superstar no matter what. This match was good but too short. Apollo Crews got to show off some of his impressive arsenal of moves but he won't be successful until he adds some personality. I’m sorry but it’s 2016 and smiling black man isn’t a character trope worth investing in anymore.
Singles Dream Match
John Cena vs AJ Styles(W)
This was the turning point in an otherwise average PPV. John Cena vs AJ Styles has be heralded as a match that's 15 years in the making. While that moniker isn’t exactly true, there is a subset of dedicated fans, myself included, that have been clamoring for this to happen. In true from both AJ and Cena lived up to their legend and put on an instant classic. The match was simply perfect and played off all the things smarks and IWC fans say about Cena. What was really surprising was the end of the match which saw AJ get a pinfall win of the franchise player. Now I’ll concede the way the ending was booked was predictable (no way WWE was putting AJ over Cena clean) but the fact that AJ won at all is amazing.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Kevin Owens vs Cesaro vs Sami Zayn vs Dean Ambrose(W) vs Alberto Del Rio vs Chris Jericho
I’m still not sure if the outcome of this match was predictable or not. In current WWE the brass loves to swerve the audience, building up one outcome while secretly planning on having another. With the recent focus on Dean Ambrose and the other members of The Shield I fully expected WWE to pull the rug out from under us at the last minute and have someone likes ADR win. However WWE stuck with their actually story for once and gave Dean Ambrose the win. The match was a thing of beauty. It had tons of awesome ladder spots, innovative and cliche spots, and told a great story that drew from previous feuds. This might be the best MITB match we’ve seen since the original at Wrestlemania all those years ago.
(C)Rusev(W) vs Titus Oneil
This match was way better than it had any right to be. The build up to it was cold, the wrestlers involved have been kind of meh, and it was stuck in between two huge matches to cool the crowd down. Yet somehow despite everything the match had working against it, it still managed to be great. Rusev and Tutus used Titus’ family as the perfect prop to make the match matter. In the end Rusev retained, which I like, and standing in front of Titus’ crying children while he calls their dad a loser on Father’s Day is just icing on the cake.
WWE Championship Match
(W)Seth Rollins vs (C)Roman Reigns
I thought I had finally made peace with the fact that people are going to shit on Roman Reigns no matter what he does but this match throws that all out the window again. Reigns and Rollins pulled out all the stops and put on one of the best matches of either of their careers. It was slow at the star, intense in the middle, and a fury at the end. To put it as simply as possible I loved this match. The two biggest surprises of the night came in quick succession the first of which was Seth Rollins pinning Roman Reigns for a three count clean as a whistle. No one thought it would happen but it did and it ought to shut up the Roman haters for at least a week.
MITB Cash In
WWE Championship Match
Dean Ambrose(W) vs Seth Rollins (C)
I’m not going to give this match a grade because 200/5 would really ruin the scale for future events. All joking aside I’m not going to give it a rating because it just can’t be rated, it was too short. However, the second big surprise of the night was Dean cashing in his contract the same night he won it to become the new WWE Champion. Hardly anyone cashes in the same night and it was a nice treat to see Dean finally get to hold the belt after a year of being so close. While I’m not entirely sold on Dean as a number one guy I am excited to see where this goes tonight on RAW. The manner in which Dean cashed in and the way Rollins and Reigns wrestled the previous match have me guessing that Dean is turning hell.
Money In The Bank 2016
Overall Grade 3.5/5
The bottom third of the MITB show was unquestionably fantastic. We got to see three amazing matches plus one great match to close the show. Sadly that alone isn’t enough for me to say it was a great PPV. Both the pre-show and majority of the main card was filled with boring matches that left a lot to be desired. Maybe WWE was lowering our expectations so the end of the night would look better in comparison but it’s probably just lazy booking. I would recommend watching the show on the WWE Network if you haven’t seen it yet but fast-forward to the 2/3rds point the rest just isn’t worth your time.