SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
MONEY IN THE BANK KICKOFF
MAY 19, 2019
STREAMED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Kickoff Panel: Jonathan Coachman, Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts, David Otunga
After the panel took turns running down the event’s card, they focused their attention on the men’s MITB Match, and the events surrounding Zayn’s replacement of Strowman. David and Sam discussed the potential alliance among McIntyre, Corbin, and Zayn.
Backstage, Sarah introduced Becky Lynch, who appeared with both of her titles. Lynch described Charlotte and Evans as “a couple of jackals” who needed each other to take her down. She said, “I didn’t come here to make my titles plentiful, like Charlotte Flair. I came here to make them meaningful, like Becky Lynch.” Following the interview, the panel discussed what’s in store for Lynch tonight in her two matches.
We cut to Evans backstage who was in a theatrical-style dressing room instead of a locker room. She indicated that Lynch was “no match for a Queen, or a Lady.”
A video package was shown to chronicle Kevin Owens’s journey among New Day’s ranks and his turn against them, culminating with his match tonight against Kofi for the WWE Championship. Owens was shown backstage and was approached by the Sarah. Owens ran down some methods by which he could end Kofi’s dream. He said he has nothing against Kofi Kingston except that Kofi is the WWE champion, and he wants his title. Owens called Sarah “Renee” throughout the interview – clearly confusing blonde on-air talents.
After the panel discussed Kofi’s trajectory since WrestleMania, they threw to a video recap of Reigns being unveiled as the new top star on Smackdown, and his entanglement with Shane McMahon and Elias. Charly asked if Smackdown would still be Reigns’s yard if he can’t beat Elias tonight. Sam explained that it would not be.
The panel pivoted to the Miz and Shane McMahon, and a recap video package of their long-building feud was shown. Back on the panel, Sam was vehemently against the Miz and his recent change of heart, saying he has no idea what he’s doing with his attempts to appear “familial.”
A selfie video was shown of Nikki Cross, where she calmly explained she felt bad that Alexa Bliss couldn’t compete tonight, but she wanted to win for her because “she has been nothing but lovely to me.”
Beth Phoenix and Sonya Deville joined the panel, replacing David and Sam. When Beth asked about Mandy Rose’s inexperience in ladder matches, Deville advocated strongly for her partner. Zelina Vega appeared behind the panel, and interrupted the discussion, referring to Charly as “Charles.” She rudely asked why anyone cares what Deville thinks, as she isn’t even in tonight’s match. Deville said she gave up her spot to Rose because she cares more about other people than herself. The women had a nice back and forth, talking over each other in a way that people might actually argue in real life. Coach did his best to broker peace, but did not succeed.
(1) DANIEL BRYAN & ROWAN (c) vs. THE USOS
Announcers: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton
Corey explained why the tag team champions entered first: “To maximize the time spent in front of the WWE Universe, to spread the message to better the planet. That is what honorable champions do.” The Usos made their entrance and referred to the champions as SpongeBob and Patrick.
Jimmy started off against Bryan. The wrestlers let the crowd stir and cheer on the Usos. Jey tagged in after a brief exchange and covered Bryan for a one-count. Rowan tagged in and began some big man moves against Jey. The broadcast went to split screen, showing a commercial for Money in the Bank, the show whose Kickoff we were currently watching.
Bryan tagged back in and maintained control over Jey in the ring. Plenty of chops were thrown against Jey in multiple corners. Rowan re-entered and applied his fist vice to Jey’s skull. Jey got to his feet but Rowan blocked his efforts to get to his own corner, then knocked Jimmy to the floor from the apron.
Bryan tagged in and did some submission work against Jey before landing more chops and two running drop kicks. On his attempt at a third, Jey intercepted and landed a Samoan drop against Bryan. Bryan immediately tagged out and Rowan charged at Jey, missing a spear in the corner. Jey dove toward his corner and tagged in Jimmy who began a corner beat down on Rowan, who twice swatted him off.
Jimmy executed high flying offense against Rowan, but Rowan eventually caught him in midair and slammed him to the mat with a jackhammer. The show cut to split screen again, showing a preview of Lynch’s two matches scheduled on the main card. Meanwhile, Rowan executed a double noggin knocker to the Usos in their own corner before landing a double superplex to Jimmy and Jey.
Bryan tagged back in and delivered his signature sequential kicks to the chest of Jey, who dodged the final kick. The wrestlers exchanged superkicks, and Jey got the upper hand. He scaled the corner and dove at Bryan, but Bryan dodged and applied the Labelle Lock. Jimmy entered the ring to bust up the submission, and the fight tumbled out to ringside where Rowan thwarted both diving attempts by the Usos, but their numbers were too much – they super kicked Rowan down to the floor before leveling him again with a double dive through the ropes.
Bryan, investigating this action through the ropes, caught more Uso superkicks from the floor. The Usos landed dual simultaneous splashes from the top rope on the prone Bryan, and Jimmy covered him for the three-count. The announce team emphatically declared that defeating the champions puts the Usos in line for a tag team title shot.
WINNERS: The Usos by pinfall.
(Meyers’s Analysis: A decent tag match that, unfortunately, had a mid-card TV show feel thanks to two commercial interruptions and no titles on the line. Shocking that the Cruiserweight Championship was not defended on the Kickoff show – good news for Nese and Daivari who will get a real spotlight on the main card.)
They went back to the panel for the closing analysis leading into the main card, including Sam Roberts saying A.J. Styles had grown stagnant and to be the best in the world, you must win championships.
Now check out PWTorch editor Wade Keller’s report on the main card here at PWTorch.com on the main listing.
Also, check out Jason Powell’s live Money in the Bank coverage and another perspective on the event at ProWrestling.net HERE.
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