Aired live on pay-per-view
Phoenix, Arizona at U.S. Airways Center
Scott Stanford and Matt Striker checked in from ringside and hyped the tag match for the pre-show. They also pointed out a countdown clock on the screen and then ran through the pay-per-view card...
Backstage, Santino Marella and Zack Ryder were talking when Damien Sandow entered the picture. Sandow reminded Ryder that he beat him in their qualifying match and spoke of capturing the Money in the Bank contract...
1. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston vs. Hunico and Camacho in a non-title match. Hunico cut a promo as he walked to the ring while Camacho rode the stupid bicycle. Hunico said they are the future of WWE. Stanford said he had no idea what Hunico just said even though Hunico spoke English. Striker explained it to him.
There were ladders set up around the ring even though it was a standard match. Truth sold and eventually made a hot tag to Kingston, who got the better of Hunico. The heels came back and Hunico picked up Kofi from the mat and slammed him down again for a near fall.
Both wrestlers tagged their partners into the match. Truth worked over Camacho. In the end, Kingston whipped Camacho toward Truth, who hit him with his finisher and scored the clean pin...
R-Truth and Kofi Kingston defeated Hunico and Camacho in 8:25.
Powell's POV: A good, high energy opener. The crowd was receptive to the babyface high spots.
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed Chris Jericho, who spoke about Money in the Bank. He said everyone will refer to him as the greatest of all time at the end of the night...
Powell's POV: Jericho continued to drop some of his old lines, including a mention of being the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla. I still sense a babyface turn coming soon, though you never know for sure with Jericho.
A video recapped the Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio feud... The announcers noted the switch to a No DQ stipulation in the WWE Championship match...
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed Daniel Bryan, who said A.J. is his soulmate. Mathews noted that she slapped him. Bryan said that's something about desire that Mathews can't understand. Bryan said A.J. will make the tough decision, be fair, and he'll end the show with the WWE Championship and A.J.'s heart...
A video recapped the "love triangle" story involving C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan, and AJ...
WWE Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View
A video package opened the show and focussed on the Money in the Bank ladder matches. It concluded by asking, "Who will be the next champion?"...
Powell's POV: We're not wasting time tonight. We're giving away a pair of three-month Dot Net Memberships. Both winners will be selected randomly and the winners will be announced during our pay-per-view coverage tonight. To enter, cut and paste the following on your Twitter page right now: Read @Prowrestlingnet's live coverage of WWE Money in the Bank at prowrestling.net #wwe #MITB
Michael Cole introduced the show and was joined by Jerry Lawler and Booker T on commentary...
1. Cody Rhodes vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Tensai (w/Sakamoto) vs. Damien Sandow vs. Christian vs. Santino Marella vs. Sin Cara vs. Tyson Kidd in the Smackdown Money in the Bank match. Santino made a comedic jump for the briefcase when the bell rang. It's a good thing this isn't the Royal Rumble because most of the wrestlers were tossed to ringside right away.
Tensai was given the early offensive spotlight. He slingshotted Kidd into a ladder that was draped between the ropes. Christian, Santino, and Kidd battled on top of a ladder. Kidd fell off prematurely as Sandow emerged to push the ladder over, and Christian and Santino took throwaway bumps. Sandow received good heat as he made a failed attempt to grab the briefcase.
There was a sloppy spot with Sin Cara and Dolph performing a move off the top rope. They action was fast paced. Kidd got the better of Rhodes and knocked him to ringside. Kidd made a play for the briefcase, but Tensai broke it up. Santino made a play for the briefcase and the fans cheered. Tensai went to powerbomb Santino off the ladder and they both tumbled to the ground awkwardly.
Sandow once again drew strong heat as he made a play for the briefcase. Christian stopped him. Sandow went for a move on Christian, who responded with the Killswitch, which Booker T called "a beautiful move." Christian followed up by spearing Sandow onto a ladder that was leaning against one corner of the ring.
Dolph and Cody both raced to the top of the ladder and exchanged blows at 9:45, but Tensai pulled them both down. Kidd did a springboard onto the ladder to prevent Tensai from grabbing the briefcase. Santino and Ziggler ended up in the ring together while everyone else was at ringside. Santino hit The Cobra on Ziggler.
Santino was afraid of heights, but The Cobra pulled him up. Yes, this was really the story. Sandow climbed up to stop Santino, only to eat a Cobra. Cody dropkicked the ladder and Santino took a slow bump that appeared painful for him. Cody set up the ladder and made a play, but Vickie Guerrero climbed up the other side and yelled at him. Dolph entered the ring and hit Zig Zag off the ladder.
Dolph got his hand on the briefcase, but Christian stopped him. There was a wild tower of ladder spots with Ziggler, Kidd, Christian, and Sandow. Kidd performed a wild powerbomb, but Ziggler took a front bump instead of landing on his back. The crowd responded with a "holy shit" chant. Christian slammed a ladder into Sandow's face, dove at him, and they tumbled to ringside.
Tensai set up a ladder on the apron and announcers' table. Tensai powerbombed Sin Cara onto the ladder. Sin Cara bounced on the ladder while taking the big bump. Tensai and then threw Ziggler, who took a wild bump onto the announcers' table. Cody hit Tensai with a Beautiful Disaster kick. Cody headed for the ladder and managed to knock Kidd down, but Christian speared him off the ladder at 17:15.
Christian went for the briefcase and fumbled with it for a bit while waiting for someone to stop him. That someone was Dolph Ziggler, who knocked Christian off the ladder. Christian took a nasty looking bump off the other ladder that was set up in the corner. Ziggler unhooked the briefcase to win the match. Vickie screamed and clapped as Dolph mugged on top of the ladder...
Dolph Ziggler won the Smackdown Money in the Bank match in 18:15.
Powell's POV: The Dolph win should please a lot of online fans (including yours truly). The match had plenty of botched spots, but the pacing was insane with nonstop spots. The good news is that the fans never got a chance to think too long about a botched spot, but they didn't get a chance to digest the bigger spots either.
A No Holds Barred DVD commercial aired...
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed Sheamus. He tried to ask him about Dolph winning MITB, but Sheamus said he's worrying about tonight rather than the future. Sheamus said the old saying is that you can learn a lot about a man based on the car he drives, but the only ornament he needs is the World Hvt. Championship belt...
In the ring, Justin Roberts introduced The Miz as returning from a two month absence. Miz walked out wearing a suit and some facial hair stubble. He didn't get much of a reaction initially. He paused while standing on the stage and didn't saying anything, which led to a "Miz is awesome" chant from some in the crowd.
Miz noted that he was off making a movie. He said he's tired of being overlooked. He said he's going to make a sudden impact. He said the Raw MITB match won't just feature four former WWE Champions, it will also feature him. He said he will overcome the four other participants and become WWE Champion again. "Why? Because I'm The Miz, and I'm a movie star, and I'm...awesome"...
Powell's POV: The "awesome" part of the line was delivered in a monotone voice. It looks like Miz is going to shake things up, which is long overdue. I'm still curious to know who let Miz in the match? Was it the Board of Directors? Is there a guest general manager that we don't know about?
A Raw 1000 video featured Mick Foley winning the WWE Championship, and Eric Bischoff mocking it on Nitro, which led to over 600,000 viewers changing from Nitro to Raw. It noted that Raw never lost the ratings battle again...
The announcers spoke at ringside... A video set up Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio...
2. Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) for the World Hvt. Championship. Del Rio wore gold and black. Cole said he was wearing the colors of "the great Conquistadors."
Powell's POV: The colors may also be in honor of his uncle Mil Mascaras, who is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Mil wore plenty of colors, but gold and black were certainly among the more prominent colors I recall him wearing.
Del Rio targeted Sheamus's left arm and worked it over consistently. The legendary Sign Guy made it on camera when Del Rio was working over Sheamus's arm by wrapping it around the ring post. Sheamus made a brief comeback. He dove over the ropes while going for a clothesline, only to have Del Rio hit him with a Codebreaker-like move on his arm. Del Rio got a good near fall and Ricardo flipped at ringside.
Sheamus came back with his forearm shots to Del Rio's chest at 11:40. Later, Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Del Rio and scored the clean pin.
Sheamus pinned Alberto Del Rio to retain the World Hvt. Championship in 14:25.
After the match, Ricardo jumped on the back of Sheamus, which distracted him long enough for Del Rio to attack Sheamus. The heels put the boots to Sheamus, while a pocket of fans chanted for Ziggler. Sure enough, Ziggler's music played. He came out with the briefcase and talked to the referee.
Del Rio bickered with Ziggler, who hit him with the briefcase. Suddenly, Sheamus blasted Dolph with a Brogue Kick and left him lying. The announcers pointed out that the bell never rang, so it was not a case of Dolph officially cashing in his MITB contract...
Powell's POV: The crowd was a little restless early on as Del Rio dominated, but I enjoyed the way he continued to target the arm. The fans came to life when Sheamus made his comeback and popped big for the Brogue Kick, even though Del Rio put his hands up and it looked bad. Meanwhile, the Brogue Kick that Sheamus hit on Ziggler looked awesome. A nice tease. I'm happy they didn't have Dolph cash in tonight because I want to see his briefcase be in play for a while.
A commercial hyped Raw expanding to three hours and Raw 1000... The announcers spoke about Raw 1000. Lawler said it's going to be like a great reunion because of all the returning wrestlers. Cole set up a replay of the pre-show Josh Mathews interview with Daniel Bryan...
3. The Primetime Players (w/A.W.) vs. Primo and Epico (w/Rosa Mendes). Kofi Kingston and R-Truth came out wearing suits to join the commentators for the match. A.W. talked over the headpiece by asking the fans to give it up for All World Promotions and his tag team. In the end, Primo rolled up Darren Young and pinned him clean.
After the match, Rosa jiggled. A.W. said it didn't matter that they lost because they're still the No. 1 contenders. A.W. led his team over to the tag champs, but then held them back. Truth threw water all over A.W., so the team held him back instead. Truth acted like he was holding back Little Jimmy on a leash...
Primo and Epico defeated The Primetime Players in 7:30.
Powell's POV: All four wrestlers worked hard, but the crowd sat on their hands and didn't seem to care. It's a shame because Primo and Epico are a fun team and the addition of Rosa to the act gives them a little spark. I could still see this program working if the Players get heat by capturing the tag straps and are then chased by Primo and Epico. I'm not sure why they had the No. 1 contenders lose. That's not going to help the team get heat. Are they setting up a Triple Threat tag match? For fans who were bored by the match, my buddy Dave wants to remind them that it could have been a Ryback squash. That said, the night is young.
A video set up the WWE Championship match...
Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed A.J., who was wearing an awesome bikini top referee shirt. She said that even though Punk broke her heart, it doesn't mean she doesn't think he's an amazing human being. She said Bryan was her first love. Then she said she doesn't know whether she wants to hug them, kiss them, "or rip out their..." She said the match was next...
Powell's POV: The usual great display of various emotions from A.J. It's a damn shame that Shawn Michaels didn't buy A.J. a pair of his biker shorts for this match.
4. C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan in a No DQ match for the WWE Championship with A.J. as special referee. Bryan wore a green army-style jacket with blood-like splotches on the front and back. Justin Roberts handled the in-ring introductions for the WWE Championship match. Bryan did the "Yes!" bit and the crowd chanted "No!" Bryan also had army green kick pads and trunks with the the red blood-like splotches.
There was a cool moment early with both wrestlers trading kicks to the thigh, which got a rise out of the live crowd. Punk ended it up with an uppercut. A.J. showed no favoritism early on via her actions or facial expressions. Around 6:00, Bryan shoved Punk into A.J., who was standing on the ring apron. Punk caught her with an elbow and she fell to the ground. A trainer came out and helped her to the back and another referee replaced her.
Powell's POV: For those not watching, it was a planned spot. One can only assume we haven't seen the last of A.J. tonight.
The match continued with the wrestlers fighting at ringside. Punk dove off the announcers' table and connected with a clothesline. With Punk seated on the floor, the crowd chanted for tables out of nowhere. Punk obliged by pulling a table out from underneath the ring, but it didn't come into play immediately. Rather, Bryan grabbed a kendo stick and used it as a weapon.
They fought their way back inside the ring. Punk jumped off the ropes and Bryan hit him with the kendo stick again. Bryan covered Punk for a two count as Cole and Booker geeked out as if there was going to be a new champion. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers with Punk having a slight edge. Bryan followed up with repeated kendo stick shots to Punk's back.
The Punk chants started as he got to his feet. The wrestlers traded kicks to the chest and forearms to the head while the crowd tried to keep up with chants. Punk got the better of the exchange and used a neckbreaker to get a two count. Punk signalled for the GTS, but Bryan avoided it. Punk went for it again and Bryan countered it into a rollup for a good near fall at 15:15. Bryan then dropped Punk with a kick to the head.
At 16:00, Bryan rocked Punk into the surfboard. Punk slipped out and picked up the kendo stick. He beat Bryan with it repeatedly while the crowd cheered him on. Punk covered Bryan for two. Bryan came back with a superplex at 17:25.
A.J. ran back to ringside and told the referee to get lost. The referee complied. A.J. smiled and skipped around the ring while Punk and Bryan sold exhaustion on the mat. A.J. went to ringside and pulled a chair out from underneath the ring. "You're a referee!" one fan exclaimed. Funny.
A.J. put the chair in between the wrestlers. She leaned against the ropes and smiled. Bryan got the chair and hit Punk with it a few times. Bryan covered Punk and got a two count. Bryan held up three fingers. He told her to do the right thing and count 1-2-3. Punk rolled up Bryan for a two count. Bryan stood up and talked to A.J. again. He kicked Punk repeatedly and looked to A.J. after each kick.
Punk came back with a big clothesline out of the corner. He picked up a chair and slammed it over Bryan's back. A.J. grimaced a bit as Punk delivered the blows. Punk set up a chair in between the ropes. He went to whip Bryan into the chair, but A.J. stood in the way. Bryan dropkicked Punk. Bryan crawled over to grab the kendo stick, but A.J. put her foot on it and smiled as Bryan looked up at her.
Bryan turned and walked into a big kick from Punk, who put a chair around Bryan's back and bodyslammed him. Punk followed up with a top rope elbow, but Bryan moved out of the way. Punk sold an arm injury and then Bryan went for the Yes! Lock. Punk avoided it, but Bryan grabbed the kendo stick to apply the hold.
Punk appeared to escape the hold by biting Bryan's finger. He whipped him into the corner and then dropped him with a GTS. A.J. looked a little concerned. Punk covered Bryan and A.J. made the two count. Punk turned and looked at A.J., who looked back at him. Punk went to ringside and picked up the table from earlier, which got some cheers from the fans at 25:35.
Punk set up the table in the ring and put Bryan on top of it. Punk went to the top rope and set up for an elbow drop, but Bryan recovered and cut him off. Bryan hit Punk with kicks and punches as Punk was seated on the top rope. Bryan went to the top rope and threw punches down on the seated Punk. The camera cut to A.J. and when they went back to Bryan, he was crotched on the turnbuckle.
Punk performed a German supelx off the top rope and through the table. Punk covered Bryan and A.J. counted 1-2-3. After the match, an expressionless A.J. handed the title belt back to Punk, who took it from her and went to the ropes to pose. A.J. looked sad as she watched Punk. Lawler said it looks like she wanted to be more involved. A.J. continued to watch Punk and also pouted...
C.M. Punk defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Championship in 27:55.
Powell's POV: A very entertaining mix of brawling and wrestling. A.J.'s role was a bit disappointing in that she didn't really factor into the finish and it doesn't seem like anything was really resolved with her. Her post-match staring at Punk and pouting was interesting. I'm not sure where they go with her from here, but it doesn't appear that Punk is finished with her yet. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Punk and Bryan worked their asses off. The length of the match was a pleasant surprise.
A "Don't try this at home" video aired... A new Tout commercial featuring WWE talent aired...
5. Ryback vs. Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks in a handicap match. The crowd was flat for the Ryback introduction. Cole ran through a bunch of over the top training Ryback techniques that sounded like something inspired by former NFL player turned MMA fighter Herschel Walker's old training regimen.
Mark it down, Ryback actually sold for the heels for the first few minutes of the match. He came back with a big slam on Hawkins, which still didn't get a reaction from the crowd. Eventually, the Goldberg chants started as Ryback continued to work over Hawkins and Reks. "Finish it!" Ryback yelled. He picked up Reks and dropped him with his Shell Shock finishing move...
Ryback defeated Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks in 4:20.
Powell's POV: After sitting on their hands for the entire match, some of the fans joined Ryback in his "Feed me more" chant. I can't be the only person who would rather see Hawkins and Reks getting the tag push ahead of the Primetime Players.
Chris Jericho looked back on his Raw debut for the Raw 1000 flashback video...
6. Layla, Kaitlyn, and Tamina vs. Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and Eve in a six-Diva tag match. The crowd was just as flat as they were for the Ryback match. Layla pinned Beth after a kick to win the match...
Layla, Kaitlyn, and Tamina defeated Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and Eve in 3:30.
Powell's POV: Is it just me or does the so-called dominant Diva do more jobs than anyone in the Divas division? I'm already getting plenty of complaints about the filler matches on the show this month. It seems like we get Ryback, the Divas, and/or a Brodus Clay match thrown in every month. I can't say I'm as surprised as some of the readers seem to be because it's become par for the course, which is a shame.
A SummerSlam commercial aired... Crew members were shown setting up ladders around the ring for the main event...
Powell's POV: Thanks to the Dot Net readers who sent in a shot of the Money in the Bank t-shirt that shows Miz as one of the participants. Yes, this was being sold in the building before Miz announced his entry in the match.
7. John Cena vs. Big Show vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. The Miz in the Raw Money in the Bank match. Cena and Show got the spotlight early on as the other wrestlers ended up fighting at ringside. Cena clothesline Show over the ropes for a big pop. Show got the better of Cena on the floor, though. Miz made a play for the briefcase, but Cena recovered and cut him off. Show returned to the ring and shoulder blocked both men. Show gently tossed a ladder at Jericho on the floor.
At 3:20, Cena performed an Attitude Adjustment on Big Show through the Spanish announce table. The other wrestlers threw a pile of ladders on top of Show. Jericho ran in and slammed a ladder onto Miz and Kane, and then tossed it onto the pile that Show was under. Jericho returned to the ring and made a slow climb for the belt. Miz cut him off. Jericho put him in the Liontamer. Miz tapped to sell the hold.
At 8:00, Kane grabbed Miz and Jericho for a double chokeslam, but they fought him off and teamed up for a double suplex onto a ladder that was lying in the ring. Cena slammed Jericho and Miz on opposite ends of the ladder and then performed a groan inducing (in my house) Ten Knuckle Shuffle.
Show emerged from the pile of ladders after the ten-minute mark. He put Jericho in between two sides of the ladder and slammed one end on him until it broke. Show and Cena ended up in the ring together while the others sold Show's offense. Show worked over Cena while dueling pro and con Cena chants started.
At 13:00, Show pulled a giant black and gold colored ladder out from underneath the ring. Hater Dave says the ladder must be a tribute to The Conquistadors! Show lumbered and eventually set up the giant ladder in the middle of the ring. Show climbed the ladder and got a hand on the briefcase, but Kane climbed up the other side to stop him. They applied simultaneous chokes. Show punched Kane and knocked him off the ladder.
Cena raced up the other side of the ladder and fought with Show, who eventually knocked Cena down. Jericho entered the ring and slammed a chair over Show's back a few times to knock him off the ladder at 15:45. Jericho and Cena climbed opposite sides of the ladder. Cena got Jericho up in Attitude Adjustment position near the top of the ladder, but Jericho slipped out and applied a sleeper hold.
Cena fought through the sleeper hold and climbed up the ladder again, but then acted as if he was out. Jericho released the hold to fight off Miz at the top of the ladder. Cena reached up and got a hand on the briefcase while Jericho reapplied the hold. Jericho shoved Cena off the ladder and he fell to the mat, which drew cheers from the adult males.
Jericho and Miz both made a play for the briefcase. Jericho wrapped his arms around the briefcase. Miz punched Jericho, who swung from the case. They continued to exchange punches at the top of the ladder. Big Show climbed up the Miz side of the ladder and punched out Jericho. Show shoved Miz off the ladder.
Cena raced up the other side and took shots at Show. Cena slammed the briefcase on Show's head repeatedly and it appeared the briefcase came off prematurely. Cena celebrated for a second and then slammed the briefcase onto Show's head to knock him off the ladder. Cena held up the briefcase (which had a dent in it from Show's head) and received a favorable reaction from the crowd. He went to ringside and celebrated with a soldier and other fans...
John Cena won the Raw Money in the Bank match in 20:05.
Powell's POV: Knock me over with a feather, John Cena won a pay-per-view main event match. The question now is whether he will cash in his contract at Raw 1000, SummerSlam, or later. They kept the match entertaining despite the lack of insane spots that fans expect from MITB matches. Of course, fans had to know going into this match that they weren't going to see that type of action, so it likely lived up to expectations for most viewers.
Overall, this felt like an average show. The wrestlers in the MITB matches worked really hard, and the WWE Championship match was strong, but the filler matches leading up to the main event were a bit much. Again, I'm not surprised they were there and I know they want to bring the crowd down a bit between the big matches, but did we really need two of those matches before the Raw Money in the Bank match?
I was curious to see how they would book the WWE Championship match and the Raw MITB match, and it felt like they took the most predictable path. Predictable isn't always a bad thing and perhaps it will ultimately lead to something better, but for tonight's show it felt like more of the same at a time when I'm ready to see them shake things up a little. I'll have more to say in the WWE Money in the Bank audio review with Chris Shore later tonight, and in my WWE Money in the Bank Hitlist on Monday. Thanks for watching along with me tonight, and congrats to our contest winners @drewscott012 and @frankierapp.