Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
MAY 28, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, The Coach
-The show opened with a video montage of veterans honoring one another and their missions to commemorate and celebrate Memorial Day.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Incredibly touching video. Well done by WWE as usual.
-After the montage, Braun Strowman’s music hit and the crowd roared in approval. As he made his way to the ring, Michael Cole highlighted other matches on tonight’s show including Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal and the the women’s last chance gauntlet match.
As the crowd chanted “get these hands” Strowman said that when he looks up and sees the briefcase, he gets motivated. He said he’s motivated because the briefcase contains a contract that guarantees a title shot anywhere in the world. He said that at Money In The Bank, he’ll destroy seven other men and take the contract. He then said he’ll be known as Mr. Money In The Bank and Mr. Monster In The Bank. From there, he asked who would stop him and said that Brock Lesnar would get these hands.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Loved this promo from Strowman. He looked confident, said his words believably, and had the crowd with him the entire time. His words resonated because the reaction he received matched the story he was telling. This promo surpassed Strowman just being a monster. He talked like a real person, but was able to convey his monster gimmick as well too. At one point, it appeared he forgot his lines, but he was able to work the crowd to buy some time to get back on track.
When he finished, Finn Balor’s music hit and Balor walked out to the entrance ramp. Balor said that Strowman was getting ahead of himself. He said he was the very first Universal Champion and he never lost the title. He said the fact that he never lost it eats away at him every day and he will do whatever it takes to take back what’s his. Balor said that last week he gave Strowman everything he had. Strowman said that he put up a very good fight for a little guy and Balor slapped him right in the face. This prompted Strowman to toss Balor across the ring before Kurt Angle’s music hit.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That’s exactly what Balor is supposed to do. He may be smaller than Strowman, but he still needs to portray himself as the alpha. He needs to show he isn’t scared. The slap was perfect for his character as was Strowman’s reaction to it.
Angle said that he sees intensity out in the ring. He said the MITB match would feature four stars from each brand. He then asked Richmond if they wanted to see Strowman vs. Balor again right now. The crowd cheered and Angle sent a referee out to the ring. The announce team then showed highlight videos of Balor’s slap as they went to a commercial. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Hot start to the show. Amazing what happens when characters fit inside the stories they’re trying to tell.
(1) BRAUN STROWMAN vs. FINN BALOR
When the show returned from the break, Kevin Owens was planted at the commentary table and the bell for the match rang soon after. Out of the gate, Strowman was immediatley on the offensive by headbutting Balor in the head and punching him hard in the gut. From there, he launched Balor into the ring post and looked up at the Money In The Bank briefcase hanging above the ring. On commentary, Kevin Owens sold how he was the favorite to win the MITB match and ripped on Michael Cole who tried to undermine how he qualified for the match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Owens is so good on commentary. He has this way about him that just makes you want to jump through the TV and slap him in the face. He’s able to justify absolutely everything and it works so well to get heat. Well done.
Back in the ring, Balor was still being decimated by Strowman. He had a few glimpses of hope, but Strowman squashed them each time with right hand strikes to the face. As Strowman continued to beat on Balor, Owens got on the microphone and told Strowman he could do better than that. This prompted Strowman to stomp on Balor before the show went to commercial once again. (c)
When the show returned, Strowman was still on the offensive after catching Balor’s kick and slamming him onto the ring apron. This caused Balor to roll out of the ring. From there, Strowman rolled out and shoulder tackled Balor over the ring barrier and into the crowd.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great spot. Those shoulder tackles are pillars of Strowman’s act now.
With Balor down, Strowman picked him and walked him back into the ring. Balor was able to slide off his shoulder and kick him through the ropes. At this point, Owens got back on the microphone and riled Balor up. Balor responded by connecting with a suicide flip over the top rope onto Strowman. Out of that, Balor connected with a Sling Blade which he followed by a Coup De Gras. From there, Balor went for a second Coup De Gras, but Kevin Owens pushed Balor off the top rope. This caused a DQ finish.
WINNER: No contest due to DQ because of Owens involvement
-After the match, Owens tried to attack Balor with a ladder but was stopped by Strowman who launched the ladder up the ramp at Owens. From there, Owens ran away and Strowman followed.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This match served its purpose. Balor looked really good and was in position to possibly beat Strowman. Strowman looked strong, was protected, and had a massive spot at the end with his ladder toss. Owens got the heat for ruining a good match. Check, check, and check. Effective all across the board.
-Elias was shown playing the guitar backstage as Michael Cole promoted his upcoming appearance after the commercial. (c)
-Out of the commercial, Kevin Owens was shown frantically leaving the building. He yelled at a few backstage attendants before Angle found him and told him he’d be in a match later.
-Sasha Banks cut a selfie promo and said that the MITB contract has her name written all over it. She said she doesn’t need luck because she’s the boss.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ugh. Just a nothing promo from Banks here. It wasn’t designed to be much, but even the words she did say were said with nothing behind them.
-Elias was introduced and got a loud, mixed reaction from the audience. He then strummed the guitar before taking the crowd through his usual “who wants to walk with Elias” gimmick. He promoted his song and said that it would require total concentration. He asked that his southern crowd try to keep up. After hitting his first few notes, he asked for the lights to be brought in further so he wouldn’t have to see the “disgusting” audience. He then asked for the vocals to be brought up so he could hear more of himself. This caused the crowd to boo loudly. From there, Elias asked for complete silence or he’d leave the ring. The crowd cheered and the show cut to commercial. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Elias was infinitely further into the heel camp here than the last couple weeks. He did less trolling and actually seemed to want legit heat. He got it too. The crowd was all over him for focusing so much on himself and genuinely seemed to dislike him ripping on the south. Further, he took out the “WWE stands for” crowd participation line that he’s used in the past. Smart move as that elicited a babyface reaction that countered his heel character.
-After the commercial, Elias was still in the ring fighting with the fans to get them to be quiet. This prompted Seth Rollins to hit the ring and the crowd erupted in cheers. In the ring, Rollins confronted Elias and tossed his stool out of the ring. He then pointed at Elias and told him to leave the ring. From there, Elias left the ring and Jinder Mahal’s music hit. Mahal walked out to a nice reaction of boos.
(2) SETH ROLLINS vs. JINDER MAHAL – Intercontinental Championship
After the official introductions, the match began Rollins immediatley kicking Mahal in the face. This caused Mahal to roll out of the ring and Rollins responded with a slingshot over the top rope. After, he rolled Mahal back into the ring. Rollins was distracted on his way back into the ring by Samil Singh which gave Mahal an opening to knock Rollins into the guardrail. (c)
Back in the ring, Mahal was in complete control of the match and had a bear hug firmly locked in on Rollins. As Rollins attempted to escape, Mahal responded by connecting with a back suplex which he followed with a pin attempt. Rollins kicked out at two, but right out of the kick out, Mahal locked Rollins in the abdominal stretch. On commentary, Graves put the IC title over as the “blue collar” championship in the WWE.
Heydorn’s Analysis: They are trying very hard to get the IC title over as this working man championship. It works with Rollins as the champion, but it also begs the question of, what’s the Universal title then? The non-working man title? I get what they’re trying to do and it paints Rollins really well. It’s a strange concept though with a bigger title regularly featured on the show.
Eventually, Rollins planted Mahal face first into the turnbuckle, which gave him some breathing room in the match. Out of that, he connected with Sling Blade which caused Mahal to fall out of the ring. Rollins capitalized by hitting Mahal with a suicide dive. After, Rollins rolled Mahal back into the ring and hit the blockbuster before covering for a two count. Cole put Rollins over as the fighting champion as Seth continued to dominate the match.
With Mahal in the corner, Rollins ran at him and was lifted over the top rope. Rollins responded by attempting a springboard clothesline, but Mahal countered by tossing Rollins into the air and driving his knees into Seth’s abdomen.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the psychology of Mahal working to hurt the abdomen of Rollins to keep him grounded. Graves sold this from the beginning and many points of the match were designed to further that story. Well done.
After, the two exchanged roll-ups and pin attempts which resulted in two counts. Out of the last one, Rollins connected with a super kick and then followed that with a Falcon Arrow. After, Rollins went for the pin, but Mahal kicked out at two. From there, Rollins kipped up and stomped his feet as the crowd chanted “burn it down.” Rollins then hit the ropes, but Singh grabbed his foot. This prompted the ref to kick him out. Because he was distracted, Mahal nailed Rollins in the stomach with a steel chair and covered, but Rollins kicked out at two. After the kick out, the crowd chanted “let’s go Rollins.” After, Singh ran back to the ring and Rollins power bombed him into Mahal who was laying inside the turnbuckle. Then, Rollins eyed the steel chair and ringside and rolled to the outside to grab it. From there, he nailed Mahal with the steel chair which caused him to be disqualified.
WINNER: Mahal via DQ – Rollins still IC champion
-After the match, Rollins continued to hit Mahal with the chair and chased him away up the ramp. He nailed Samil Singh for good measure and then stood on the announce table in celebration. Then out of nowhere, Elias smashed a guitar on the back of Rollins which sent him falling off the table and down to the ground. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: This match was really good. The crowd was firmly on the side of Rollins and Mahal fed that nicely. The finish made sense given what happened last week, but was a little out of the blue in that Rollins just didn’t display any sense of “losing it” throughout the match. That said, it did work. I expected Elias to get involved after her was unceremoniously dismissed from the ring before he got to sing his song. The guitar spot felt big and made Elias look like a big heel. Cue an IC title match between these two at Money In The Bank.
-Out of the commercial, Cole and the announce team recapped the incident between Elias and Rollins. They then showed Rollins getting strapped to a medical board. The medics tried to convince Rollins to listen to them, but Rollins ignored them and stood up to walk out of the arena on his own power. Cole called him a fighting champion and Graves said his performance was very gutsy.
-Nia Jax’s music hit and as Jax walked to the ring, Ronda Rousey’s music hit to interrupt the entrance. Huge pop for Rousey as she walked to the announce table for commentary. Jax looked visibly upset by being interuppted.
(3) NIA JAX vs. MICHELLE WEBB
On the mic, Jax said she would show Ronda what would happen to her at Money In The Bank. Jax then called her jobber opponent over and made her put her in the arm bar. Jax then got in it and the lifted her opponent up and slammed her to the mat. With her opponent flattened, Jax said the arm bar didn’t mean anything to her. From there, Jax beat Webb up with one arm and connected with a Samoan Drop. Jax then crushed Webb with a leg drop and continued to talk to Rousey on the microphone. Jax said that Ronda hasn’t faced anyone like her in the UFC. She said that her leg could crush a woman’s chest. She said something else could as well and then hit Webb with a rolling senton. Throughout all of this, Rousey remained silent and just looked on with a small grin on her face. Jax then called for Ronda to come and help Webb out to which Ronda responded to by saying “she can’t be serious.” Rousey then took her headset off and walked down to the ring. The audience chanted “Ronda Rousey” and Nia responded with “she knows her name, you can shut up now.” In the ring, Jax said she wasn’t intimidated by Rousey and laughed her off. Jax then turned her back on Rousey and left the ring as Rousey looked on in disbelief.
WINNER: Jax via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Wow. We got a bit of heel Nia Jax tonight. The in-ring portion of this segment with Jax talking during her match was a bit over the top, but in the end it worked. Even though it was over the top, the crowd bought in. Rousey got a really good reaction and much of it was spurred on by what Jax said and how she acted. Nia really looked the part of a star and showcased herself as comparable to Rousey. The feeling in the air was palpable in that the audience wanted to see these two go at it. With three more weeks to go, the build to this match could peak at the right time. If it continues to get a response like it did tonight, these two will be the main event in Chicago.
-A selfie promo from Dana Brooke aired in which she crunched numbers to find a winning formula.
-From there, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt hit the ring. The announce team yucked it up and joked about Hardy as they did their entrance before heading to commercial. (c)
(4) MATT HARDY & BRAY WYATT vs. THE ASCENSION
Hardy and Wyatt were on the offensive early in the match, but The Ascension took over soon after by beating Hardy down. Connor crushed Hardy with a vicious back elbow strike and then went for a cover, but Hardy kicked out at two. From there, he locked in a sleeper hold. Hardy worked to escape and finally did once Connor gave up the hold on his own. Finally, Hardy made the tag to Wyatt and Bray stormed the ring and destroyed everything in his path. Soon after the tag, Hardy hit the Twist Of Fate on Connor which sent him rolling to the outside. Then, Wyatt and Hardy hit the Kiss Of Deletion on Victor for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Hardy and Wyatt via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Standard A to B match. Hardy and Wyatt continue to gel as a team and Michael Cole continues to not understand them.
-After the match, The B Team were in Angle’s office and they asked for a tag team championship match. Angle said they were doing well, but Angle said that beating the same team twice in a row doesn’t merit a title shot. They then said they would host their own Memorial Day invitational BBQ. (c)
-Out of the commercial, The Riott Squad cut a selfie promo saying that they would win the last chance gauntlet match later in the night.
(5) BOBBY ROODE vs. KEVIN OWENS
Roode came out first and the crowd popped for his glorious entrance. Owens was out next and looked over his shoulder for Braun Strowman as he walked down the ramp. The match started with Roode and Owens locking up in the middle of the ring. Owens quickly elbowed Roode in the face and then locked in a side head lock which took Roode down to one knee. Roode escaped and tossed Owens against the ropes, but he responded with a shoulder tackle to Roode’s chest. Soon after, the same thing happened, but this time Roode took Owens down with his own shoulder tackle. The action spilled to the outside where Owens was able to trip up Roode on the ring apron which sent him crashing down hard on it. From there, Owens propped Roode up on the barrier and crushed him with a cannon ball. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: I still need more from Roode. I find myself just not caring about him when he’s in the ring. He’s so bland that he’s almost bathroom break material at this point.
After the commercial, Owens had control of the match and was pummeling Roode with axe smashes in the middle of the ring. He then ran at Roode who was in the corner and Roode countered with a big boot to the face. Roode then went for a cover, but Owens kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Roode connected with a neck breaker and covered again for a two count. Out of that pin, Roode climbed to the top rope, but Owens bumped the ropes which caused Roode to fall. Owens then climbed to the top rope to meet Roode. The two battled and Roode knocked Owens off. He then jumped off at him and connected with a flying forearm. From there, Roode called for the Glorious DDT, but Owens rolled out of the ring and tried to walk away. As he did, Roode ran after him, grabbed him, and tossed him back into the ring. From there, Owens mustered up the strength to hit a super kick and then covered Roode for a two count. In the end, Owens rolled Roode up cleanly and pinned him 1,2,3 for the victory.
WINNER: Owens via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Meh. Roode matches have a hard time gaining interest because his character lacks depth. The clean win for Owens clearly solidifies Roode in a certain spot on Raw. Unless his character changes, it will be hard for him to break out of that spot.
-As Owens celebrated and walked up the ramp, Braun Strowman’s music hit. This caused Owens to run away and Strowman chased him. Finally, Strowman caught him and nailed him with a power slam. The crowd chanted “one more time” and Braun obliged hit Owens with a second one. Then with Roode cheering Strowman on, Braun grabbed him and power slammed him to the mat as well.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This payoff was set from the moment Owens looked behind him during his entrance. Pretty much a fan friendly moment, but also one that tells the world that Braun Strowman is a main player and focal point of Money In The Bank.
-Michael Cole promoted that Sami Zayn would deliver a public apology after last week’s segment with Bobby Lashley. (c)
-Out of the commercial break, Sami Zayn’s music hit and Zayn annoyingly waltzed down to the ring. He said he needed to get serious and that last week didn’t go as he hoped.
He then said that WWE management gave him a chance to issue a formal apology. Zayn then read a letter to which the crowd yelled “what” during pauses. He detailed his activities of last week. He said last week he did something he said he would never do which was lie. He told the world that last week, the people in the ring were not Lashley’s real sisters. Zayn then spoke to the Lashley family and the WWE Universe and said he was sorry. Zayn then said it should be noted that everything he said last week was true. He said the stories he told were true and that his good art was rooted in reality. Zayn said he didn’t expect the audience to get it, but that history would look at last week’s segment in a favorable light. From there, Zayn was flabbergasted that he was apologizing. He said that the fans should apologize to him because he deserves better and deserves to be in the MITB ladder match or fighting for the IC title. Zayn then called the crowd disgusting which prompted Lashley to walk down to the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Lashley is just way to smiley during his entrance. It looks particularly bad because his reaction is so small. He should be pretty angry at Zayn at this point. His emotions should convey that and would be easier for fans to connect with.
In the ring, Lashley said that Memorial Day was a special day for him. He then saluted all military families which prompted a USA chant. Lashley then turned to Zayn and said that they have an issue. He then challenged Zayn to a match at Money In The Bank. Lashley said that Zayn talked a big game and he needed to back up the trash talk. Zayn agreed and shook Lashley’s hand before telling him that at MITB he would Helluva Kick that grin off his face. Lashley then squeezed Zayn’s hand and said he had an apology of his own. From there, Lashley said that apologized for everything he would do to Zayn at Money In The Bank in three weeks.
Heydorn’s Analysis: There is is. Lashley was really good here. He sounded incredibly genuine in addressing Memorial Day which the crowd clearly felt and reacted to. From there, he was clear and concise in highlighting exactly what he wanted. Once Zayn agreed, Lashley showcased his seriousness which the crowd latched on to as well. This segment should have taught WWE something. Fans want serious Bobby Lashley. Period.
-As Lashley walked away, a Mickie James selfie promo aired. She said she would be walking in Money In The Bank.
-After, Drew McIntyre walked to the ring and was accompanied by Dolph Ziggler. (c)
(6) DREW MCINTYRE vs. CHAD GABLE
Out of the commercial, Chad Gable entered the ring and the match began. To start, Gable attempted to take Drew down with a double leg takedown, but McIntyre brushed him off with a kick. Form there, he chopped Gable in the corner before Gable got a bit of offense in via strikes to the head. That momentum was short lived as McIntyre owned the match from there with strikes, slams, and submissions. From there, Drew tossed Gable around the ring and showcased his physical dominance.
Heydorn’s Analysis: McIntyre has some amazing heel tendencies. The way he admires his destruction is intense and a bit scary. Gives a nice tone to his matches.
Out of the toss, McIntyre lifted Gable on his shoulders and climbed to the top rope. Gable was able to knock Drew off and followed that with a moonsault. This caused McIntyre to roll out of the ring. Gable tried to capitalize with a splash, but Drew caught him and tossed him into the ring post. McIntyre then rolled Gable back into the ring and connected with the Claymore Kick for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: McIntyre via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Pretty much a squash match. McIntyre looked really impressive in it though. The announcers defined Drew as the guy who changed Ziggler’s attitude. That is an important distinction to make. Clearly now, Drew is the alpha of the group. Because of that distinction, I can get on board with the pairing.
-The B Team Memorial Day Invitational BBQ is next. (c)
-Out of the commercial break, The B Team welcomed everyone to their BBQ. Dallas and Axel then touted their menu. Then, they told everyone to dig it. Axel then told everyone that they should be first in line to challenge for the tag team titles. Titus O”Neil spoke up and said that The B Team is not going to cut the line to get a title shot. Heath Slater then stepped up and said the same thing. Axel then responded by saying that they were taking their food back. From there, The B Team got food poured on them and entire thing broke down into a food fight. In the end, The B Team put Rhyno through a table. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Yikes. This was genuinely a bad move and an awful segment for The B Team. These guys were getting over organically. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the gimmick had real steam. This segment killed it all. These food fights were ineffective and juvenile ten years ago and they still are today.
-Out of the commercial break, Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens, Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Roode, and Natalya vs. Nia Jax were announced for next week on Raw. Then, The B Team stormed into Kurt Angle’s office and demanded a title shot again. Angle then announced a battle royal next week that would determine the number one contender for Hardy and Wyatt’s tag team championship.
(7) BAYLEY vs. LIV MORGAN – Gauntlet Match #1
Bayley entered first as was interviewed. She said that regardless of the odds against her as the first entrant, she would win. Bayley went through each competitor and then addressed Sasha Banks. She told Banks that the name on the MITB contract doesn’t read Banks, it reads Bayley.
Right as the bell rang, Bayley nailed Morgan with the Bayley To Belly and covered for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Bayley via pinfall
(8) BAYLEY vs. SARAH LOGAN – Gauntlet Match #2
Logan ran down to the ring and owned the match out of the gate. She hit Bayley with a suplex before kicking her in the face. Then out of nowhere, Bayley rolled Logan up for the 1,2,3 pin.
WINNER: Bayley via pinfall
After the match, Logan and Morgan destroyed Bayley as Ruby Riott entered next. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Not much in terms of match quality thus far, but I like the story they are telling with the Riott Squad and Bayley. Bayley being able to overcome the odds against this trio is an effective way to get her over for the remainder of the match.
(9) BAYLEY vs. RUBY RIOTT – Gauntlet Match #3
Out of the commercial break, Riott was firmly in control of the match. She whipped Bayley into the corner, but Bayley countered with an elbow to Riott’s face. Bayley then suplexed Riott and grabbed her neck in pain. From there, Bayley climbed to the top rope, but Riott grabbed her arm and hung it up on the top rope. From there, Riott nailed Bayley with her finish and covered for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Riott via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Surprised by this outcome. Tough to justify doing this match and not having Bayley and Banks go at it given all the time that has been put into their story.
(10) RUBY RIOTT vs. DANA BROOKE – Gauntlet Match #4
Brooke was on fire out of the gate. She crushed Riott with a clothesline and then covered, but Riott kicked out at two. Right out of the pin attempt, Riott connected with her Riott kick for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Riott via pinfall
(11) RUBY RIOTT vs. MICKIE JAMES – Gauntlet Match #5
James was on fire as she hit the ring and got a tremendous response from the crowd. James connected with a running knee attack and then tossed Riott back into the ring. The time gave Riott a chance to rebound, but James quickly squashed that momentum with a head scissor takedown. From there, the show went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: James is still a heel right? You wouldn’t know it based on the reaction and how James is wrestling this match.
After the commercial break, James was on the offensive in the match. James climbed the top rope and connected with a splash which she followed up with a pin attempt. Riott kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Riott went for the Riott Kick, but James ducked it. From there, Riott rolled James up and grabbed the tights for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Riott via pinfall
(12) RUBY RIOTT vs. SASHA BANKS – Gauntlet Match #6
Banks hit the ring and immediatley rolled Riott up for a pin, but Ruby kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Sasha locked in an arm submission.
Out of the submission, Banks attempted the Banks Statement, but Riott countered. After the counter, Riott pummeled Banks in the corner with stiff kicks. She then slapped Banks across the face and Sasha returned the favor. From there, Riott pinned Sasha, but Sasha kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Riott kept up the pressure in the corner, but Banks retaliated with the Meteora off the top rope. Banks then covered, but Riott kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Banks tried for the Banks Statement again, but Riott countered again with an elbow to the face. Riott then hit a really athletic DDT on Banks which was followed by a pin. Again, Banks kicked out at two. On commentary, the team put over just how much of a workhorse Ruby Riott has been in the match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, with Riott as the heel, why are the announcers positioning her as the valiant workhorse of the match. She’s cheated at least twice to progress this far. That should be the narrative.
After the pin, Riott lifted Banks to the top rope and then followed her up for a suplex. Banks escaped through Riott’s legs and then hit her with a knee to the face. From there, Banks finally locked in the Banks Statement. From there, Liv Morgan interuppted the match which caused Banks to break the hold. Riott then tried to roll banks up for a pin, but Sasha kicked out at two. Immediatley out of the pin, Banks locked the Banks Statement in again and this time Riott tapped out.
WINNER: Banks via submsission
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the Banks win, but believe that the match should have been organized with her as the star to overcome the odds and win the match. Because the way it was executed, the heel Ruby Riott was the one who went through all the ups and downs of the match. When she lost, there was some sympathy there. That said, Banks being in the MITB match is big. I’m already expecting to be covering my eyes at some point as she attempts an insane spot of some kind.
-The show ended with Banks pointing up at the Money In The Bank briefcases
FINAL THOUGHTS: Really solid show overall. The start of the show was hot and the rest of it simmered well throughout the night. The entire thing was refreshing without the Roman Reigns shenanigans slowing it up. Both builds for the MITB matches need some seasoning. The combatants know the stakes of the match, but in the next few weeks, they need to define what winning means to them. Finally, in a segment that flew under the radar, Nia Jax hit a home run with Rousey.