Powell's WWE Money in the Bank Hit List: Randy Orton and Damien Sandow in MITB contracts, Rob Van Dam returns, John Cena vs. Mark Henry, Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. The Uso Brothers
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to the 84-minute WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view review that Chris Shore and I recorded late last night. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
WWE MITB Hits
WWE All-Stars MITB match: I'm giving the match a Hit based on the work ethic of everyone involved. I was tempted to give it a Miss because this was downright reckless. I'm surprised by the lack of attention that all those unprotected ladder shots to the head have received. WWE has a policy against chair shots the head and fines wrestlers an undisclosed amount of money, but apparently ladders to the head are fair game, which is just plain wrong considering everything we know about head trauma. I didn't care for Curtis Axel interfering or the Paul Heyman and C.M. Punk breakup taking center stage here. It's cool to see storyline development on a pay-per-view, but it took away from the match for this viewer. The other negative is that WWE teased viewers with the possibility of someone replacing Kane and left it open heading into the show. It struck me as a little sleazy to build up the hopes of viewers when they easily could have come out and said beforehand that Kane would not be replaced.
On the positive side, everyone involved the match worked their asses off. Sheamus is an absolute badass. He does so much lighthearted comedy that it's easy to forget just how physical his work can be when he really turns it on. I can't say enough good things about the way Rob Van Dam was presented coming into the match. He lived up to the hype with his crowd pleasing performance. The Daniel Bryan flurry of offense was phenomenal. No one viewed Christian as a threat to win the match, but he was involved in some cool spots and enhanced the match. I was hoping for a Bryan win, but Randy Orton going over is a great consolation prize. The MITB cash-in option fits nicely with his Viper persona, and it's good to see him regain the company's trust despite playing with two Wellness Policy strikes against him.
World Hvt. Championship MITB match: The early portion of the match looked a little too choreographed with a couple wrestlers doing their thing inside the ring while the other guys were at ringside. As the match went on we saw some bigger spots that made it plausible for so many wrestlers to be selling at ringside. Once they got to that point, I really enjoyed the match. It was the safer of the two matches and I applaud that. Michael Cole did a really nice job of making it seem like Cody Rhodes was on the verge of winning before Damien Sandow stole the win. I was hoping Wade Barrett would get the win and the big push, but Sandow is an excellent choice to win the briefcase. I just hope they don't make the intelligent character look like a dope by putting his briefcase on the line against Rhodes. Cody did come across like a babyface in this match and I'm sure we'll see them feud, but I absolutely despise it when WWE has wrestlers put the contracts they've earned on the line because it cheapens the overall concept of the match.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler: A strong match with some excellent near falls. The finish may have been disappointing and even deflating, yet I feel like it was the right move to make. Del Rio is doing a good job as the heel champion and they need to establish Ziggler as a babyface before putting the strap on him again. The A.J. Lee interference gives them a chance to have Dolph be the one who dumps her. I just hope they don't make him look like a fool by having him accept her apology only to have the same thing happen again next month.
John Cena vs. Mark Henry: Strong work and very good drama. Henry seemed like a real threat to take the title from Cena and therefore the fans bought into the near falls from both men. I was surprised to see Henry tap out in the middle of the ring and it leaves me wondering where they go with him from here. It also leaves Cena without a dance partner heading into SummerSlam. Will Randy Orton cash in his Money in the Bank contract? Will Daniel Bryan somehow earn his rumored title match?
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. The Uso Brothers: First off, major props to WWE for finally making the pre-show accessible on the actual pay-per-view channel. I won't miss scrambling from one platform to another in hopes that one of them wouldn't be experiencing technical issues. This match started slow and I was worried that the Uso Brothers weren't doing enough to take advantage of this opportunity to shine. Fortunately, everyone involved took it to another level after the second commercial break and delivered in a big way down the stretch. Here's hoping this isn't the last we see of The Uso Brothers in the title picture.
Ryback vs. Chris Jericho: A minor Hit for match quality. WWE didn't do these guys any favors by failing to deliver real hype for their match on television. They had Jericho facing Curtis Axel, and Ryback was facing Miz and hugging Vickie Guerrero. The fans liked Jericho, but they didn't have much incentive to care about the actual match. Jericho was clearly motivated to have a good match with Ryback, who finally got a pay-per-view win.
WWE MITB Misses
Brad Maddox: This segment was just plain painful. I realize he's doing intentionally bad jokes at times and I really do think he has potential, but this felt out of place on the pay-per-view. Does anyone else find it odd that his character's established issues are all with heels? He cost Ryback the WWE Championship. Paul Heyman turned on him. The Shield beat the hell out of Maddox per Heyman's lead. He also mocked Vickie Guerrero in this segment.
Curtis Axel vs. The Miz: A minor Miss. I felt like I was watching a match that belonged on the pre-show or on one of the weekly television shows. I really want Axel to click, but he just hasn't shown any sign of having the It factor. He's a wrestler's wrestler, but I'm still waiting for him to show charisma and real mic skills. The one spot I really enjoyed in this match was Axel rolling over the Figure Four. It became very common in Ric Flair matches, but we don't see that as much these days.
A.J. Lee vs. Kaitlyn: I like the extra attention the Divas Championship is getting, but they really lost their way with Kaitlyn's character, and I still have no clue what role Layla is supposed to be playing. The in-ring effort is there from the women, but creative hasn't held up their end of the bargain.
Commercials during pre-show matches: I'm not just venting because it's disruptive to the viewer experience. That much is obvious. The 30-minute pre-show is an informercial for the pay-per-view. Everyone watching the show is well aware of the pay-per-view and there's no chance in hell that an annoying ad during a match is going to be the thing that makes them order the show. Rather, it makes WWE look obnoxious for shoving these ads down the throats of viewers.
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