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KELLER’S WWE MONEY IN THE BANK PPV REPORT
MAY 19, 2019
HARTFORD, CONN. AT THE XCEL CENTER
STREAMED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
CHECK OUT THE KICKOFF SHOW REPORT HERE: 5/19 WWE Money in the Bank Kickoff Show Report: Bryan & Rowan vs. The Usos, plus panel discussion and final interviews
CHECK OUT OUR FULL CARD PREVIEW HERE: WWE MONEY IN THE BANK PREDICTIONS – Tom Gets it Wrong: Know with great uncertainty result of every match from Kofi vs. KO to Seth vs. Styles to Becky vs. Charlotte to MITB matches and more.
ALSO, CHECK OUT JASON POWELL’S COVERAGE AT PROWRESTLING.NET FOR ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE HERE: WWE Money in the Bank results: Powell’s live review
-A graphic acknowledged the death of former WWE wrestler Ashley Massaro.
-A video package previewed the Money in the Bank matches.
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Renee Young, Byron Saxton
(1) WOMEN’S MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH – Naomi, Bayley, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose, Natalya, Ember Moon, Carmella
The announcers talked about how Nikki Cross is a wildcard in this match and that everyone should throw out their gameplans. Saxton suggested “setting the gameplans on fire.” Saxton said it’s nice to have Renee out there to agree with him about Mandy rather than drooling over her every week.
Nikki went crazy with the ladder early, swinging it around, hitting Rose, Bayley, Natalya, and Naomi. Dana Brooke drop-kicked her to stop her flurry. Natalya entered and catapulted Carmella into the ladder. Naomi charged at Natalya, but Natalya catapulted her. Naomi landed on the ladder feet-first and leaped onto Natalya. Naomi and Mandy battled next. Carmella re-entered the ring and dropped everyone, but when she teased setting up the ladder, Mandy stopped her by kicking the ladder into her knee. Carmella went down and sold a knee injury. Mandy kept going after her, but Carmella pushed her off and dropped to the floor. Referees checked on her. They helped her up the ramp.
Naomi leaped off a ladder that Bayley and Nikki were holding and landed on others. Two pairs of women tried to sandwich Naomi between ladders, but Naomi ducked and the ladders crashed. Natalya dropped Naomi onto a ladder next. Bayley took control in the ring until Broke knocked her down and rammed her into the corner turnbuckle. Naomi went at Brooke with kicks, but Brooke hung Naomi upside down on a ladder leaning in the corner, then hit a handspring elbow. Ember rolled to the floor. Bayley sunset flipped Brooke back-first into the ladder.
Bayley then set up the tall ladder mid-ring. The crowd seemed to have mixed reactions to the prospects of her winning. Rose and Natalya sandwiched Bayley between the ladder three times until she dropped. They set up the ladder. Naomi gave Bayley a split-legged moonsault on the ladder. natalya fought off Rose, but Nikki speared her. Naomi climbed the ladder for the first real tease of a win. Moon yanked her down, then pulled Nikki down seconds later. Dana tipped the ladder onto Cross. She was alone in the ring and set the ladder up after assessing her opportunity. When she climbed, Rose met at the top. Dana swung from the chain as Rose grabbed at her legs. Brooke stepped back onto the ladder to fend off Rose. Bayley yanked Rose down and climbed one side. Naomi yanked Dana down. Cross climbed right past Bayley quickly. She got her hands on the ladder. Natalya tipped all of them over.
Natalya threw Bayley shoulder-first into the corner. Moon then gave Bayley an Eclipse by leaping off the ladder set up at ringside over the top rope in a cool spot. The crowd popped and chanted “Holy sh–!” Rose butterfly suplexed Moon onto a flat ladder. She then set up the ladder while alone in the ring. Carmella limped back out. Rose went after her instead of climbing the ladder. They fought at ringside. Carmella rammed Rose’s head it the ringside ladder and toss her into the ringside barricade a few times. Carmella entered the ring and gingerly climbed the ladder while favoring her knee. As she got to the top, Sonya Deville grabbed at her leg. Saxton said she’s not in the match. Sonya speared Carmella, who rolled to the floor. Sonya set up the ladder and then helped Rose into the ring. Phillips said this is an example of how selfless of a friend Sonya has been to Rose. Sonya lifted Rose onto her shoulders and carried her to the top of the ladder. Renee said it was an amazing feat of strength. Saxton said, “This isn’t right!” Rose stood and saw the briefcase. She clutched it. Bayley ran to the top and stared down Rose, then knocked them both down. Bayley then pulled the briefcase down and won, which got a big pop. Saxton said he can’t think of a Superstar who deserves it more.
WINNER: Bayley in 14:00. (***1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Good ladder match. They didn’t burn out the crowd, but had just enough moments for each of the women involved, and a dramatic ending. Good to see Bayley get a chance to move up and be in the middle of the title picture.)
-Charly Caruso interviewed Bayley. She said Sasha Banks remained on Raw, whereas she’s on Smackdown now. Bayley said, “I came to Smackdown to prove a point.” (So wresters *are* in charge of where they land, huh?) Bayley said she’s not just Bayley anymore, she’s Miss Money in the Bank. She held up the briefcase as her music re-started. Renee said this is a Bayley with an attitude that we’ve all been waiting for. Phillips said they’d see Becky Lynch later defend both of her titles in two separate matches, and maybe Bayley will cash in later tonight.
-They went to the announcers at ringside to discuss Bayley’s victory.
-A video package aired on Sami Zayn replacing Braun Strowman in the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match.
-Backstage Sami Zayn interrupted Triple H on the phone selling the MITB excitement to someone. Sami tapped his on the shoulder and whispered, “Shane? Where is Shane?” Triple H said he’s warming up for his cage match. Sami said something very important concerns all of them. Hunter stood and was upset. Sami said they all have a problem, and it’s Braun Strowman. He said Braun is predictably vengeful and petty. Sami said he can’t get in the right frame of mind to take advantage of his opportunity. Triple H said he can alleviate their concern because Braun’s been banned from the building. Sami asked for some added protection. Triple H suggested he tape up his fists and get out of his office.
-They showed Rey Mysterio chatting with his son Dominic backstage.
-A pizza commercial aired.
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
(2) SAMOA JOE vs. REY MYSTERIO – U.S. Title match
The announcers talked about Rey righting a wrong that happened at WrestleMania. Graves said Rey was humiliated at WM by losing in 60 seconds then. Joe went after Rey early and shoved him off easily when he attempted a comeback. Rey landed an enzuigiri and a seated senton off the ropes. Joe fought back with elbows, but Rey slipped out of it. Joe chopped Rey down hard. Joe was bleeding from his nose. Graves said he thinks Joe’s nose was broken. Joe lifted Joe for a powerbomb, but Rey rolled through and leveraged Joe’s shoulders down for the three count. Joe looked on in shock as his nose continued to bleed. They showed Dominic cheering and applauding backstage. Graves accurately pointed out Joe’s shoulders weren’t pinned down to the mat. He said the ref’s view was blocked, though. Cole agreed the referee missed the call.
WINNER: Rey in 1:15 to capture the U.S. Title.
-Dominic ran out and accompanied his dad up the ramp. Joe ran back out and attacked Rey, charging right past Dominic. Joe gave Rey a urinage. Dominic watched from ringside. Joe taunted him. Joe gave him a one-armed slam. Dominic asked Joe to stop. Joe landed a senton splash, then left. Dominic entered the ring to check on his dad’s condition.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a surprise, but also a somewhat logical follow-up to continue this feud. Dominic was good here as the happy and then scared son watching his dad.)
-Braun was tossing things and people around backstage, yelling for Sami.
-The cage began to lower.
-A video package recapped the Miz-Shane McMahon feud.
(3) THE MIZ vs. SHANE MCMAHON – Cage match
Cole said Shane has brought out a side of Miz they had never seen before. Shane tried to climb the cage and escape to victory as soon as the bell rang. Miz yanked Shane down and punched away at him. Shane broke free and tried leave again. Graves said Shane lives to fight and is a daredevil and a risk-taker. When Cole said that was the cowardly way to win, Graves said that’s the right strategy for this match. After kicks by Miz, Shane caught him and powerbombed him into the side of the cage. Cole said Shane won the World Cup, although acknowledged it was under controversial circumstances. (He didn’t say it was in Saudi Arabia, for those keeping track of the next time WWE avoids saying the name of the controversial country they went into business with.) Shane threw Miz into the cage and then threw a hook kick that came up way short, but Miz sold it anyway. It showed a lot of light.
Shane went for a Coast to Coast, but Miz grabbed his legs mid-air and then applied a figure-four. The ref asked if he was going to give up. Cole said: “Can you imagine the humiliation of Shane taps out here in the cage!” Shane tried to drag himself out of the door. Miz let go and dragged Shane back into the ring. Shane kicked Miz and almost escaped. Miz dragged Shane back in, but Shane brought a chair with him. Shane swung the chair, but Miz kicked it out of his hands. Miz grabbed the chair first, so Shane begged off. Miz bashed Shane on his back with a chair several times. Fans chanted “One more time!” Miz then gave Shane a Skull Crushing Finale onto a chair. Shane put his leg on the bottom rope before the three count. Cole pointed out that shouldn’t matter and it shouldn’t stop the count “because there’s no disqualification inside a cage.” (What does a DQ have to do with this?) Miz grabbed Shane’s head and shoved him into the corner as fans chanted “bullsh–!” Miz then set up a Skull Crushing Finale from the top rope, but Shane fought back and shoved Miz down. Both were down and slow to get up. Shane climbed the side of the cage and sat on top. Miz bashed his legs from below and then met him up there. They sat and exchanged punches. Miz got the better of Shane and then rammed his head into the cage a few times before yanking him to the mat. Miz then landed a sloppy looking splash mid-ring, but Shane kicked out. (Seriously?) Graves said that fall would cripple most men, but Shane absorbed it and kicked out. Shane then surprised Miz with a triangle choke. Miz bridged back and scored a two count, plus forced Shane to let go. Shane then tried to escape out the door, but Miz ran over and pulled him back in. Miz then catapulted Shane into the side of the cage. Shane grabbed the side of the fence and went to the top again. Miz set up a suplex from the top. Graves implored him not to do it. Miz tried, but Shane resisted. Shane slipped out of his t-shirt and dropped to the floor to win.
WINNER: Shane in 13:00. (**1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: If you are wondering if Shane, who stops selling during most of his matches to be sure his shirt is tucked in, protected his belly from showing after falling to the floor, yes he did. He was selling the match and the impact of the fall, but still had the wherewithal to pull his t-shirt onto his abdomen and cover up his navel area. Is there a tattoo he’s ashamed of down there or something? Seriously. As for the match, it was on the higher end of what you’d expect from these two, even if the Super Shane-o-Mac moments are nauseating.)
-Cole announced that tomorrow on Raw, Mick Foley will announce the latest WWE Championship.
-Backstage, Sami Zayn had been hung upside down. Triple H ran over and with several officials helped him down.
-A commercial aired.
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, Aiden English
(4) TONY NESE vs. ARIYA DAIVARI – Cruiserweight Title match
Aiden English sounds eerily like Disco Inferno. Daivari drove to the ring in a sports car. They fought back and forth in the early minutes, then fought to ringside. Nese eventually landed a dive at ringside and then landed a 450 slash for a near fall in the ring. Daivari caught a charging Nese with a superkick, then landed a frog splash. Daivari then landed a frog splash and his lariat finisher for a believable near fall. Nese came back with his running knee for the win.
WINNER: Nese in 9:00 to retain the Cruiseweight Title. (**1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Not a lot of crowd heat, but most fans probably aren’t watching 205 Live regularly. Good action, though.)
-Backstage Triple H said he knows what Braun is trying to do, but he doesn’t get to replace Sami in the MITB match if he take him out of the picture. Braun denied doing it. Hunter asked him as a professional and as his boss to leave the premises. Braun said, “Whatever, man.” He turned and walked away.
-A commercial aired for Super Showdown. “What’s as good or better than WrestleMania? WWE Super Showdown.” (What?!?! Did they just say that?) Then they showed Undertaker and Goldberg footage, hyping this match of big epic names. It airs Friday, June 7 at 2 p.m. ET. They didn’t say the country or even the name of the stadium.
-Back live to the announcers, Cole said it’ll be “in Jeddah.” (No mention of “Saudi Arabia.”) Cole also said Sami was taken to a local medical facility, and that neither Sami nor Braun would be in the MITB match. He wondered who would take the open slot, or if anyone would.
-A video package aired on Lacey Evans.
(5) BECKY LYNCH vs. LACEY EVANS – WWE Raw Women’s Title match
Lacey pulled out guns that shot paper money out of them with her face on them. Renee said Lacey isn’t focused enough on Becky and wondered what she is doing. Cole disagreed. Graves said she’s trying to get in her head. There was a buzz in the building after Lacey’s music stopped and before Becky’s began. Then they popped for her entrance and sang along to her song. She was easily the biggest star o the show so far. After formal ring introductions, fans loudly chanted “Becky Two Belts!” as the bell rang to start the match. Renee said Becky is white hot right now. Cole hyped the Becky Lynch special on WWE Network after MITB tonight.
Becky took it to Lacey early, including aggressively at ringside. Back in the ring, Lacey caught Becky’s foot on a kick, then twisted her arm and sent Becky face-first to the mat. Fans kept singing Becky’s theme song. Lacey concentrated on Becky’s left arm to weaken her Disarmer finisher. Lacey gator-rolled Becky to the corner and yanked her arm around the ringpost. Lacey sling-shot her herself into the ring and landed a turning elbow drop to Becky’s chest for a two count. Lacey then settled into an armbar while bending Becky over her knee. Lacey landed a neckbreaker a minute later and then floated over to score another two count. Lacey pulled white cloth out of the front of her trunks and patted her armpits and then her face. Renee said that’s nasty. Lacey then shoved it over Becky’s mouth. Becky angrily fought back. Becky kicked Lacey in the chest and then leaped off the second rope with a flying shoulder. Both were slow to get up.
Becky came back with a flurry of offense including a top rope dropkick. The camera angle made it look like Becky came up short. Graves said Lacey might have take a step back. Becky leaped off the ring apron and hit Lacey at ringside. Back in the ring Becky covered Lacey for a two count. After catching her breath, Becky climbed to the top rope. Lacey moved and then gave Becky a push-off stunner and then a kick to the chest for a near fall. Nice sequence. Lacey wrapped Becky’s hair round her wrist, but Becky fought back and applied a Disarmer. Lacey grabbed the bottom rope to force a break. Lacey clipped Becky’s knee from behind, then rolled her up. The ref for some reason didn’t count Becky’s shoulders down. He moved to the other side to check the other shoulder. Becky then countered and applied the disarm her and leveraged back for the tapout win.
WINNER: Lynch in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nice match. Lacey put in a good showing there. I was going to praise WWE for giving Becky a solid clean win, but then they showed on replay that it appeared Lacey pinned Becky but the ref inexplicably didn’t count. So Becky won the belts even though it wasn’t a full three count, and now in this defense, it appears her shoulders down? Strange.)
-Charlotte came out immediately. Graves said Charlotte wants to embarrass Becky and she’s doing a good job of it. The announcers switched to the Smackdown team, but noted Becky had a right to wait to wrestle until later. She agreed, though, to defend it right away.
(6) BECKY LYNCH vs. CHARLOTTE – WWE Smackdown Title match
Charlotte laughed like her plan worked and Becky made a big mistake. Charlotte took control early, but Becky fired back with a forearm and spin kick. Charlotte avoided a diving Becky and then punt kicked her in the chest. Charlotte took over again, but Becky ran up to her when she climbed to the top and slammed her to the mat. Becky rolled up Charlotte for a two count. Charlotte stood up and chopped Becky hard in the chest a half dozen times. Becky fired back with an enzuigiri. Charlotte came back with a Boston Crab mid-ring. Becky crawled over to the bottom rope to force a break.
They stood mid-ring and exchanged strikes. Charlotte kicked Becky’s left leg to drop her to her knees. Charlotte slapped Becky, but Becky knocked Charlotte down. Both were slow to get up. Charlotte punched away at Becky. Becky fired back and set up a Disarmer. Charlotte blocked it and hit Becky on the chin. Charlotte stepped on Becky’s head and pushed down with leverage from the ropes. Charlotte then wrapped Becky’s head into the bottom rope and broke just before five. Charlotte went for Natural Selection off the ring apron, but Becky held onto the second rope. Charlotte grabbed her back in pain after landing at ringside. The ref began counting Charlotte out. Lacey ran out and gave Becky a Woman’s Right. Charlotte then re-entered the ring and covered Becky for the three count.
WINNER: Charlotte in 6:00 to capture the Smackdown Women’s Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good action, but not a full-fledged match as it was more of a continuation of the previous match with a new opponent for Becky. It was a good cheap way to have heel Charlotte become champ without Becky looking weak. It also continues the Lacey-Becky feud, despite Becky pinning her.)
-Afterward, Charlotte taunted Becky. Becky dove out of the ring and attacked Lacey. Charlotte jumped Becky from behind. The two heels double-teamed Becky in the ring. Fans chanted “We Want Bayley!” Bayley ran out and made the save, but Charlotte and Lacey knocked her down. Fans chanted, “Bayley!” Charlotte lifted the Smackdown Women’s Title belt, but then dropped it and charged at Bayley. Bayley side-stepped Charlotte, who went head first into the ringpost. Bayley then soaked up the moment as the fans cheered. Bayley looked over at the MITB briefcase. Fans got louder and chanted “Yes! Yes”! She then cashed in.
(7) CHARLOTTE vs. BAYLEY – Smackdown Women’s Title match
The crowd roared as the announcement was made. The bell rang. Bayley dragged Charlotte to mid-ring. She climbed to the top rope and leaped off with her elbow. 1-2-3. Bayley celebrated amongst fans who chanted her name.
WINNER: Bayley in under 1:00 to capture the Smackdown Women’s Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: WWE needed to give a boost to another women wrestler, and this gives Bayley real momentum. The crowd absolutely ate up the way things played out and it created real moment for Bayley’s character after a couple years of bad booking softened her support.)
-A pizza commercial aired.
-An ad aired for the next “Miz & Mrs” episode built around Miz getting named a Top Five Dad Bod. He was offended and began pushing trucks to get his non-dad bod back, or something.
-They showed Roman Reigns backstage. Cheers and boos. Elias showed up behind him and hit him with a guitar. Reigns went down hard. Some fans cheered. Elias said, “Showtime.” He headed to the ring.
-In the ring, Elias strummed an electric guitar. He said it felt so good to hit Reigns. He said normally he’d be playing an acoustic set, but “as you saw, my guitar broke.” Fans laughed. Elias said he’s the biggest acquisition not just in Smackdown history, but all of WWE. He said Vince McMahon told him he can sleep well at night knowing WWE is good hands. He said that all “begs the question” of why he’d come to a substandard toilet bowl like Hartford. He sang that the people are so boring, their lives would suck without him, he brings energy to the world, no one wants to hear Roman talk, and Elias just took him for a walk. He said he visited North Carolina, what a beautiful place, now he understands why the Whalers left this city, “because Hartford is a disgrace.” (Not quite the fresh wound that the Seattle Supersonics are, apparently. Considering the adopted Boston Bruins are on their way to the Stanley Cup finals, maybe it stings even less.) Elias thanked the fans for their applause. “Thank you, good night, I love none of you!” Graves said it was transcendent. He said it took him a while to come around, but that was like Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Elias said he was now going to get the hell out of Hartford. He struck a final pose. Reigns’s music then played and came out and hit Elias with a Superman Punch. That didn’t get the pop it was designed to get, but they did find a fan sign that said “Roman Reigns Supreme.”
(8) ROMAN REIGNS vs. ELIAS
Reigns yelled, then speared Elias, for a sudden pin. Graves said there is no longer any doubt who the big dog is on Smackdown Live.
WINNER: Reigns in under ten seconds.
(Keller’s Analysis: A fine angle, especially since few were probably highly anticipated a full-fledged match between those two.)
-A video package aired on the Seth Rollins-A.J. Styles build.
(9) SETH ROLLINS vs. A.J. STYLES – WWE Universal Title match
The announcers talked about Styles wanting to cement this legacy, and how winning here would be a great way to do that. Fans were fired up for the match and engaged in dueling chants of “A.J. Styles” / “Let’s Go Rollins!” Slow methodical back and forth opening minutes. Styles landed a nice high dropkick. Graves put it over as one of the finest dropkicks you’ll see anywhere. Renee said this math is an example of iron sharpening iron. Styles gave Seth a backbreaker and settled into full-fledged control. Styles set up a Styles Clash on the ring apron, but Seth slipped free. Styles instead kneed him from the ring apron to the side of Seth’s face.
Styles threw Seth back into the ring. Seth surprised Styles with a forearm and then dove through the ropes and tackled Styles into the announce desk. Both were slow to get up. Back and forth action back in the ring. Styles dropped Seth over his knee. Both were slow to stand again. Later Styles lifted Seth into a torture rack and then dropped him with a spinning powerbomb for a near fall. Seth set up a to rope move, but Styles countered, then Seth rolled through and planted Styles for a near fall. They showed fans going bonkers in the crowd. Styles countered Seth into a Calf Crusher a minute later. Seth cried out in agony. Styles leaned into it. Seth rolled out of it and kicked Styles in the head. Both were slow to get up. Styles gave Seth an inverted DDT and leveraged him down for a near fall that popped the crowd. Seth caught a charging Styles with kick. Both were down again and slow to get up. (That looked a trillion times better than Shane’s casual kick that showed light but Miz sold anyway earlier. Leave it to the pros.) A new battle-chant broke out. They went into a rapid-fire back-and-forth. Seth went for a stomp, but Styles turned it into a Styles Clash for a believable near fall that the crowd popped for. Then they chanted “This is awesome!”
Styles leaped off the top rope, but Seth countered with a ripcord knee and then a superkick to the chin. He followed with a running Stomp for the win.
WINNER: Rollins in 20:00 to retain the WWE Universal Title. (****1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Great match. This lived up to expectations, perhaps exceeding them or at least erasing concerns or fears that it would come up short given the magnitude of each of their track records and the possibility that this would be a classic. It’s quite the act to follow, and I’m curious about not closing the show with this match other than not wanting the men’s MITB winner looming over the finish and distracting from this one-on-one epic battle.)
-Afterward, Seth was celebrating to his music. Styles left, but then returned to the ring suddenly. Seth’s music stopped. There was tension. Then they walked into each other’s space. Seth raised the WWE Universal Title belt. He had a few words for Styles. Styles hung his head and soaked up the moment, then offered a handshake. Seth didn’t accept at first. Styles said a few words, then Seth shook his hand. Styles then left and Seth’s music started up again.
-Charly Caruso interviewed Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. She asked about Kevin Owens saying he’s only champion because of New Day. Kofi said if it weren’t for New Day, he’s not embarrassed to say he might not be champion. Xavier told him not to sell himself short. He said tonight he has to go out there and show KO why he should’ve never crossed The New Day. Kofi said he will get the job done. He got fired up. He said he will make a hell of statement tonight and show KO that he can’t use his brothers in New Day to get to his title – not today, not ever. He fist-bumped Xavier and then headed to the ring. Xavier gyrated his hips and said that’s why he is WWE Champion.
-Cole again said that Mick Foley would be introduce a new WWE Title on Raw tomorrow night.
(Keller’s Analysis: They’re calling it a title, not a championship. I can say there’s no need for any kind of actual regular traditional title with two women’s singles titles, four regular men’s singles titles, a cruiserweight title, and two tag team titles. How about a TV Title or a Legends Title or the return of the Hardcore Title, perhaps? I anticipate it being something short of an actual full-fledged regular title that will be defended.)
-Lucha House Party came out. They talked about Money in the Bank only coming once a year, but for them every day is a Lucha House Party. Then Lars Sullivan marched out to the ring. Graves said this was supposed to be a six-man tag match, so what is The Freak doing out there. He caught Gran Metalik and slammed him on the floor. Same to Lince Dorado. Then he entered to go after Kalisto. Lars fought him off and headbutted him, cutting his own skull open against Kalisto’s mask. The blood really flowed quickly. Lars gave Kalisto a running powerbomb. “A slaughterous display!” Cole called it.
(Keller’s Analysis: Will Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers still get paid? I assume they were the opponents. Actually I have no idea.)
-A commercial aired for NXT Takeover.
-A video previewed the WWE Title match up next.
(10) KOFI KINGSTON vs. KEVIN OWENS – WWE Title match
They fought in the ring and took it to ringside early. Kofi got the better of KO at ringside, whipping him hard into the ringside barricade. Back in the ring, KO took over with a superkick and some stomps. KO landed a senton splash for a near fall. KO landed a frog splash at ringside on Kofi a minute later. Kofi backdropped a charging KO into the turnbuckles. KO almost landed on his head. Kofi landed a Boom Drop, but Owens popped up and turned it into a Boston Crab mid-ring. Kofi crawled to the bottom rope. KO set up a powerbomb on the ring apron, but Kofi fought back and eventually took KO down with double knees to the chest. Owens fell to the floor.
Back in the ring, they went back and forth rapid-fire. Owens went for a stunner, but Kofi blocked it and hit an SOS for a near fall. Both were slow to get up. Kofi blocked a kick and then pounded KO from a rear mount. KO came right back and gave Kofi a Pop-Up Powerbomb for a near fall. KO yelled at the fans to stop clapping. KO went for a stunner, but Kofi blocked it and then connected with Trouble in Paradise. Owens spilled to the floor. Owens surprised Kofi with a Stunner a minute later. Kofi grabbed the bottom rope stop the three count. KO climbed to the top rope and leaped off with a cannonball splash, but Kofi raised his knees. Kofi then gave KO a Trouble in Paradise for the clean win. Xavier cheered on Kofi after the match as the New Day music played.
WINNER: Kingston in 14:00 to retain the WWE Title. (***1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. They had a tough act to follow, but did a really good job with a challenging match placement. The crowd was energized for Kofi early, but seemed fatigued understandably as the match got rolling.)
-A commercial aired for WWE Super Showdown focused on Undertaker vs. Goldberg.
-The Smackdown announcers revealed more matches for Super Showdown: Strowman vs. Lashley, The Demon vs. Andrade, and a 50 man battle royal. Graves said there will be more announcements tomorrow night.
(Keller’s Analysis: Why is The Demon coming out for a match against Andrade? Shouldn’t there be a backstory for anytime The Demon appears? Or is Saudi money the explanation here? You’ve got to figure someone in the Saudi royal family wants to get C.M. Punk out of retirement.)
(11) MEN’S MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH – Baron Corbin, Finn Balor, Ricochet, Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, Ali, Andrade
Corbin insisted on a long list of accolades being listed by the ring announcer for his introduction. Then Finn Balor came out as Cole said it is every man for himself in this one. Ricochet, Andrade, Ali, McIntyre, and Orton came out next. The announcers wondered if Sami’s vacated spot would be filled. The bell rang with only seven wrestlers out there.
They brawled at ringside with a lot of athletic spots. Orton entered the ring and set up a ladder alone. Andrade springboard dropkicked the ladder away and then knocked Orton to the floor.
Later Balor rallied against Drew and Corbin in the ring. Andrade took over and bridged a ladder in the ropes and a mid-ring ladder. Ricochet entered, but Andrade knocked him hard to the floor. Graves said, “Ricochet is broken. That was nasty.” Balor and Andrade met at the top of the ladder on opposite sides. They exchanged punches. Balor touched the briefcase briefly. Andrade kept punching him. Andrade then sunset flipped Balor off the ladder and powerbombed him onto another ladder which rebounded and flung Balor in the air several feet and he landed on the ladder back-first again. Cole asked how Balor is still alive. They replayed it three times from different angles. Yowza.
Ali re-entered with a tornado DDT on Corbin. He kicked Drew, and then reverse rana’d Ricochet onto the back of his neck. Ricochet sold being knocked out with stiff limbs. (I hope it was selling, at least.) Andrade hung Ali upside down on a ladder, then climbed another one next to it. Ali sat up and met Andrade up there. Side-by-side, they battled, and Andrade ended up giving Ali a modified Spanish fly off the ladder. “No way!” exclaimed Cole. “What is wrong with these guys!”
Drew set up a ladder at ringside. Ali grabbed his foot, but Drew yanked him up and chopped him hard in the chest. Drew then lifted the ladder so it bridged the ring and the desk. Corbin came out and chokeslammed Ali through the Spanish announce table. Fans chanted, “You still suck!” at Corbin. Corbin then knocked Drew over the ringside barricade. Cole said he stabbed him in the back. Corbin entered the ring and went after Balor, slamming him onto the side of a ladder. Ricochet then hit Corbin with a missile dropkick. When he dove at Corbin at ringside, Corbin gave him a Deep Dix out of mid-air. Drew then hit Corbin with a Claymore Kick.
Drew yanked Balor off of the ladder mid-ring, then shoved it at him. Then he suplexed Balor onto a flat ladder. Drew catapulted Andrade onto Balor who was still flat on the ladder. The crowd chanted “This is awesome!” Ricochet leaped at Drew and knocked him down, then climbed the ladder. Drew grabbed Ricochet and tossed him over the top rope onto the bridged ladder that split in half. Cole wondered how anyone was still walking.
Drew set up a ladder mid-ring and climbed. Orton yanked Drew off and delivered an RKO. Corbin then threw Orton shoulder-first into the ringpost. Corbin climbed the ladder. Ali climbed onto Corbin’s back and right over him. Corbin set up a powerbomb, but Ali head scissored Corbin over the ropes to the floor. Ali then climbed the ladder, although slowly as he sold the brutality of the match. He grabbed the case and appeared ready, at which point Brock Lesnar ran out and knocked over ladders on his way, then knocked Ali over. He then smiled and set up a ladder. He climbed the ladder and pulled the briefcase down. “Brock is the eighth man!” Graves said. The crowd didn’t really love the finish. They were sort of standing in stunned silence. Cole acknowledged they were “dumbfounded.” Lesnar sat atop the ladder and laughed as the show went off the air at 10:39 p.m.
WINNER: Brock Lesnar in 19:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: While shocking, I think the finish might have actually been flat. Fans wanted someone who “earned it” to win it, and this felt like a continuation of some of the heel heat that felt real that they put on Lesnar for being a part time guy who didn’t want to be there in the build to the Roman Reigns loss last summer. Tough to tell, but the way Cole talked about the crowd not reacting by trying to frame it as being “dumbfounded” is telling. Lesnar didn’t just win, he took a win away from seven other guys, many of whom fans really wanted to win.)