WWE MITB onsite report: Additional notes on the live perspective for the carnage in the Money in the Bank All-Stars match, Daniel Bryan's popularity, Rob Van Dam, and more
Dot Net reader Andrew Jackloski attended WWE Money in the Bank in Philadelphia, Pa. and sent the following report.
Shortly before we got to our seats, I decided to pick up a shirt (hey, we were late anyway). Two different kiosks were sold out of the new Daniel Bryan shirt, so I went for my other choice of Y2J. Plenty of RVD chants, Yes chants, and RVD shirts to be seen throughout the crowd. I can't tell you how many DB shirts I saw people wearing. He is definitely way over!
Our seats were okay for what we paid. We could see all the action and it was a nice atmosphere. Plenty of chants breaking out before the show and all throughout. One guy a few sections down from me brought in a mannequin head, and there were plenty of HEAD! chants and call and response chants ("What does everybody want?!"... etc.)
The Usos vs. The Shield: I missed a large portion of this match due to getting to seats and traffic - many people were still filtering in at this point. However, I caught the last third of the match or so, and Philly was very receptive to the match. Philly seemed of two minds last night - there were quite a few smarks in the crowd, but there were a ton of women and children, as well, so there were cheers for both sides. There was a large portion of the crowd cheering for the Shield win. Ambrose hung out in the ring right after their match and kind of hammed up his "jokerish" persona while waiting for the PPV to start. Color me and a lot of others impressed with the work ethic of all involved in this match.
Smackdown MITB match: This was a great match overall. Really enjoyable, though as you had said, it seemed a bit too choreographed at first. It seemed like many people weren't sure how to react to the entrants because they were all "heelish" in nature. When Zeb was running his mouth about the state of the U.S., and Barrett's music hit, there were massive cheers for him. Initially, I'd say he was the crowd favorite. As the match progressed, and Cody showed hope of winning, the crowd really rallied behind him, as there were many "Let's go Cody!" and "Cody" chants. Hell, he popped out a muscle buster onto a ladder - how awesome is that? My section alone (many kids) were so upset at the victory. It was great storytelling, as it established Sandow as a heel (hardly anyone NOT booing him in my area) and made Cody the sympathetic babyface. I hope they do well with his switch, as I think he could be a great underdog.
Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox segment: It was pretty pointless, but after that match we had just had, it was a little bit of a wind down. Wasn't a bad thing to sit through, but the crowd seemed to think it odd that it was there at all. They definitely were not supportive of her "many months of great Raw shows", though. My section had absolutely no idea where the hell she was in the arena, so it was an "I spy" game for us.
Curtis Axel vs. The Miz: This was an okay match. I think Miz is a good worker, and I think he has potential as a babyface, but he's gotta switch up the persona he portrays. He also has the weakest looking figure four I've seen in recent years. When Heyman was ejected, there were massive boos. Philly is definitely a Heyman town.
AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn: This was a surprising little addition to the show. Some of the moves and offensive flurries were really impressive, and I was pleased to see that it was a Divas match that was fairly entertaining. I think it's sad that they have built the entire division around one storyline, but then again, they don't have much source material to work with nowadays (what, they have like...7 divas now?). Some of the stuff that both ladies pulled off were massively cheered, and I saw a lot of butts still in the seats, so I guess the matches are getting better to watch.
Chris Jericho vs. (C)Ryback: Jericho is my favorite wrestler, so I was extremely excited to see him do what he does best. Massive cheers for him. Ryback's entrance seemed sort of just...there. I didn't hear too many responses. It's a shame to see him fall from the monster he once was when he was in the main events. The only thing that upset me is the lack of a Walls of Jericho and the finish. I felt they could have figured out a different "cheap win" to have Ryback go over. The roll-up just seemed... odd. Regardless, it was nice to see one of my favorites and a wrestling legend in the ring. A small "boring" chant broke out in a section next to mine, and some baritone voice shouted "How dare you!" in response. Funny.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio: I really thought Ziggler was wearing a Mr. Perfect singlet at first, which I was totally down with. Many, many Let's go Ziggler chants broke out. Ziggler has consistently been one of my favorite performers for many months now - my friend who hasn't watched wrestling too much lately was tremendously impressed with this match. Great work ethic. Del Rio was massively booed, which was surprising. I tend to feel he's a lukewarm personality, so to hear the crowd so down on him was interesting. People in my area were pissed with AJ coming out at all. The stupidity that was involved with her interference was staggering. Smack an opponent with the belt while the ref is still up? GOOD IDEA! Philly rained hate on her after the match with "You screwed Ziggler!" chants throughout.
John Cena vs. Mark Henry: I wish this would have gone on last to build the intrigue that his title could have been in jeopardy after the match they had. John Cena received MASSIVE boos - definitely the most of anyone else. Henry got huge cheers for his entrance. It was a little clunky at first, but when they settled in, this match was great. I like John Cena and Mark Henry both, so I was torn, but I felt myself more and more hoping that Henry won simply because I think he deserves it. The tap-out looked impressive, but felt kinda "meh" in terms of actual finish. Oh well. Tons of kiddies and ladies were happy with the win. Funny side note: When he threw his hat into the crowd, a fight broke out and had to be broken up by security. When he threw his shirt out, one person reached out, caught it, and that was it. No scuffle, no fight... just one catch.
All-Stars MITB: Two of my other favorite wrestlers (RVD & DB) were in this match, so I was super pumped. When RVD came out, the place exploded. Dam, it's good to be back! RVD chants CONSTANTLY. We kept wanting him to do the thumb point, but he kept teasing it initially. Christian got a polite and decent pop - gotta respect a good worker such as him. DB got a HUGE reaction coming out, but quickly settled to Yes chants - a vast majority of the crowd was into his chant. Nice reaction for RKO. Sheamus got a lot of boos like Cena did, but it was more balanced. Not sure if that came across on TV. CM Punk got massively cheered, especially with those opening notes of CoP. This amped up the crowd, and as the match wore on, people bought more and more into the potential wins and spots.
The match looked brutal at times. I know a lot of injuries came out of this one, but some of the shots just didn't look like they had tremendous impact. Crowd responded huge when Sheamus went through that ladder, though. His leg looked swollen and raw afterwards, he was limping, and I legit though he was super hurt. Despite that, he turned on the gas in the match, and when he was plowing through people in the ring, I really remembered how good of a worker he can be when he pushes that little extra in the ring. When RVD finally got his thumb points, we went nuts, as well as his Five Star Frog Splash was awesome to see live!
The Axel/Heyman/Punk/DB mixture seemed interesting. I hope they don't make DB feud with Axel, but Imagine a match of Punk/DB v. Axel/Lesnar - ooh, spine tingles! The shots that Heyman took against Punk looked brutal, and Punk sold the betrayal so well. When RKO was in the ring and was close to winning it, RVD's hope spot was nice. The RKO off the ladder looked sick. I actually thought RVD might have had the chance to win the contract! Silly me. I felt RKO looked a little goofy waiting for a good 15 seconds looking at all the other downed wrestlers before taking the briefcase down. There was an initial huge cheer for his win, but it quickly died away. Many people in my section were more like "well.. that's that, I suppose." I think RKO is made, and I understand that this is a way to reinvigorate his character, but it seemed there could have been another way to do that. Regardless, nice win.
RVD showed his frustration a bit after the match, but then went around slapping hands and soaking up the crowd's cheers in the end. He looked really motivated and happy to be there, and I'm glad to see him back in WWE. I think Philly would have gone insane if he had won it.
Overall, this was a great show live. The crowd really bought into Ziggler v. Del Rio, Cena v. Henry, and the All-Stars MitB. This was the first PPV event I've ever attended, and the atmosphere was great. I would 100% come back for another PPV event if they held one in Philly.
1. DB/RVD - hard to choose. DB had the loudest cheer, but RVD had a monstrous sustained pop.
1. Del Rio
2. Sandow after his betrayal
3. AJ after her interference
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