WWE Money in the Bank Hitlist: C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan with A.J. as special referee, John Cena and Dolph Ziggler win Money in the Bank contracts, too much unadvertised filler
By Jason Powell
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WWE MITB Hits
C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan with A.J. as special referee: The show stealing match was once again not placed in the main event slot. I don't think it's worth complaining about at this point simply because it appears that it's playing into Punk's storyline. Keep in mind that Eve recently pointed out to Punk that he's been overshadowed by John Cena and other top wrestlers. Therefore, I assume the lack of main events could become topic for a Punk pipe bomb one of these weeks. Punk and Bryan work so well together, yet I'm hopeful that this is the end of the line for these two for the time being. I'd rather see them move on to different things with the idea of coming back to this program again next year. Meanwhile, I'm not sure where things go with A.J. from here. She didn't look happy at the end of the match and Jerry Lawler did a nice job (one of the few positive things I can say about the lousy commentary last night) of explaining that she didn't get enough attention.
Smackdown MITB match: This was the high spot fest that it appeared it would be on paper. There were some blown spots, but they kept the match incredibly fast paced and delivered rapid fire big moments. I definitely could have lived without the ridiculous Santino being pulled up the ladder by The Cobra spot, but fortunately the Santino comedy was kept to a minimum. Tyson Kidd stood out and I really hope his recent push continues and wasn't just to set him up to take the big bumps in this match. I couldn't help but notice how much heat Damien Sandow had whenever he started to climb the ladder. He has great upside, though I really wish they'd change up those colors he wears because it scream cheap indy heel heat more than the elite talent I believe he could be. Finally, it was great to see Dolph Ziggler get a big win and get some indication that WWE officials recognize what they have in this guy.
Raw MITB match: They didn't have the abundance of crazy spots that the Smackdown match had, but everyone in this match worked hard and it exceeded my expectations. The veterans told a good story, particularly with trying to keep Big Show down, and the addition of The Miz to the match was a nice surprise. It's good to see he changed his look and it will be fun to see what the future holds for him. John Cena winning was the most predictable aspect of the show, but that's nothing new. Sure, I'm as bored of the Cena predictability as many fans, yet I'm optimistic that his MITB win will lead to some fun television and an eventual showdown match with Punk. It was obvious that Cena ended up with the briefcase in his hands sooner than he wanted to and thus the finish was a little clunky, but it wasn't enough to really take away from it.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio: A good title match. I enjoyed the way Del Rio consistently targeted Sheamus's arm and the announcers also did a nice job of driving that home to the viewers at home. The fans were really into Sheamus's finishing sequence even though I'm not a fan of the "Brogue" cheerleading that sets up the kick. Unfortunately, it resulted in a rough looking Brogue Kick with Del Rio putting up his hands and shying away. It didn't seem to bother the live crowd. Even if it did, they didn't have to wait long for Sheamus to drill Dolph Ziggler with a great version of the kick in the post-match angle.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Hunico and Camacho: The free preview matches seem like the same matches WWE would be holding as pre-show dark matches. They're not giving much away, yet they do a nice job of getting the live crowds fired up heading into the show. This was just a nice, solid tag match that featured some good action, particularly when Kingston and Huncio were in the ring.
Overall show: In terms of work rate, this was a big Hit. In terms of my overall entertainment, it was a minor Hit. The advertised matches delivered, but the unadvertised matches dragged the overall show down. Obviously, they were used as buffers and time fillers, but there were just too many of them this time around and the live crowd was understandably unresponsive. A popular complaint from emailers has been that they feel like they are paying $50 to watch matches that belong on WWE Superstars. I can live with one and tolerate two, but three of these matches were just too much.
WWE MITB Misses
Layla, Kaitlyn, and Tamina vs. Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and Eve: I don't even know what WWE is trying to accomplish with the Divas division. I assumed that the heel team would go over to help set up Layla's next challenger. Instead, they had Layla beat Phoenix again, which sets up nothing. I would be more understanding if I sensed they were serious about trying to establish Layla, but her character hasn't been developed and having her beat other women who lack character development isn't going to accomplish anything. This entire division feels like an absolute waste right now and that's a shame because there were plenty of talented females in this match alone.
Ryback vs. Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins: I was surprised to see Ryback sell for a change, but he was not over with this crowd. Meanwhile, I'd rather see Reks and Hawkins pushed as the top heel tag team rather than the Primetime Players. They're talented performers and Hawkins is especially deserving of better more than an enhancement talent.
Primo and Epico vs. The Primetime Players: I like the Primo, Epico, and Rosa act as babyfaces, but they need to get more face time and actual characters to get over with the fans. I was very intrigued by A.W. when he returned as an agent type. I liked the serious tone of his character, yet it seems like he's heading back into the over the top territory he was in during his Abraham Washington days. Meanwhile, the Players just aren't doing it for me as a team.
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