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WWE MONEY IN THE BANK PPV REPORT
JULY 18, 2021
FT. WORTH, TEX.
AIRED LIVE ON PEACOCK & WWE NETWORK
Smackdown Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
(1) WOMEN’S MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH: Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Liv Morgan, Nikki A.S.H., Natalya, Tamina, Zelina Vega, Naomi
Bliss came out first. She stood on the second rope in the corner and watched the rest of the entrances. Morgan came out second. Nikki third. She was announced as “Nikki A-S-H,” pronouncing each letter individually rather than saying “Ash.” Natalya and Tamina came out next. Zelina Vega, Naomi, and Asuka were the final three entrants.
A few minutes in, Bliss watched from her perch on the second rope. Morgan climbed the ladder quickly as Tamina was just setting it up and got near the briefcase. Asuka shoved the bottom rung of the ladder over Tamina. It didn’t really hit her as there was space, but she did it four times. She tried to climb the ladder, but Tamina began lifting it. Liv then climbed the ladder, but Natalya tipped her over. Liv and Natalya fought over a ladder, then rammed it into Nikki. Naomi leaped onto the ladder, but Tamina grabbed her and gave her a Samoan Drop. The action spilled to the floor.
Bliss got involved and climbed up a slanted ladder that Morgan was trapped behind in the corner. Natalya attacked Bliss. Bliss laughed at her. Natalya charged. Bliss dropped her face-first into the ladder. Bliss attacked Morgan and then climbed the ladder. Vega met her at the top. Bliss entranced Vega and got her to climb down by making her mirror her. Natalya yanked Bliss down. Vega threw Natalya to the floor. Noami powerbombed Mogan into Vega on a bridged ladder. That got pop from the crowd.
Naomi caught Nikki and powerslammed her onto a ladder, the split-leg legdropped her. Natalya yanked Naomi off the ladder, then tried to climb it. Vega leaped onto Natalya’s back and tried to choke her. Natalya kept climbing and grabbed the briefcase. Vega trabbed it, too. Morgan then yanked Vega and Natalya down. The ladder tipped over. Cross climbed the super-tall ladder at ringside, played to the crowd, and leaped onto a cluster of women waiting below her in the ring. When she pushed off the ladder, it almost fell backward and she almost came up short.
Bliss yanked Nikki down from the ladder and gave her a Sister Abigail. She then climbed the ladder, but Natalya once again yanked her down. Tamina and Natalya rammed Bliss with a ladder at ringside, then piled three ladders on top of her. The other women piled another four or five ladders on top. Natalya said, “She deserved that.” Fans booed. Back in the ring, Morgan climbed the ladder and got close, but Tamina grabbed at her legs. Morgan gave Tamina a huracanrana into the corner.
The rest of the women entered the ring and battled with three ladders in the ring. Morgan face-planted Asuka, then began climbed the ladder again. Fans cheered. Naomi met her on the other side. Natalya and Tamina climbed the ladders on either side. Vega and Asuka also climbed. Six of them were up there reaching for the briefcase. Nikki climbed also, as Bliss was still under the ladder. Nikki pulled the briefcase down, unbeknownst to the other six women, after climbing over them. Cole said over 8o percent of MITB winners have gone on to successfully cash in and become champion.
WINNER: Nikki in 16:00. (***)
(Keller’s Analysis: Some creative spots in the mix and non-stop action. Nikki cleverly sneaking over and behind the other women to grab the briefcase continues her rep for being a bit of a circumstantial winner. The crowd liked Nikki, but responded mostly to Bliss.)
-They aired a clip of the Usos beating the Mysterios in the Kickoff Show.
-Backstage, the Usos celebrated with Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman. Reigns smiled, and told them they can hold onto the belts for now, implying they belong collectively to them and mostly him. Reigns told them not to get confused because that match was the easy part. He said he did all the heavy lifting. He said Jey wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for him. He looked at Jimmy and just shook his head. He said it’s all about representation of the bloodline. He said now that he’s given them what they wanted, it’s time for the Usos to give him what he wants. Jey said he’s his Tribal Chief. “I’m your Day One right-hand man,” he said. Jimmy stepped in front of Jey and said he acknowledges him and is there for him too. Reigns offered a hug. They all hugged. Jey’s soul seemed a little empty during the hug.
(Keller’s Analysis: You could read between the lines a bit and infer that Reigns’s brief disgust with Jimmy had to do with his DUI arrest, but it could also be because he was so slow to acknowledge Reigns in the storyline. In any case, Reigns seemed happy to have the tag titles, but wanted credit.)
Raw Announcers: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
(2) A.J. STYLES & OMOS vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS – Raw Tag Team Title match
Big pop for Styles. Omos tagged in briefly at the start and shoulder-blocked both Erik and Ivar down. A very loud “A.J. Styles!” chant broke out after he tagged back in. Erik slammed Ivar onto Styles at 2:00. Omos tossed Styles over the top rope onto Erik on the floor. Styles took Erik down with a huracanrana. Back in the ring, Erik gave Styles a high backdrop, then tagged Ivar back in. Ivar took it to Styles, then cartwheeled out of his path before hitting a big lariat. Ivar covered Styles for a two count.
Styles covered Omos, who brushed off an Ivar clothesline. He then caught Ivar by the throat as he leaped at him, then slammed him. Styles battled Erik a minute later with a rapid-fire sequence. Erik threw Ivar into Styles in the corner. Erik scored a near fall on Styles. Styles tagged Omos back in a minute later. Omos caught Ivar on the top rope and pressed him over his head and dropped him to the mat. He stood on Ivar’s chest and the crowd counted along before Ivar kicked out. The Vikings double-teamed Omos and got him down to one knee. Ivar clotheslined Omos over the top rope. Erik dove at him and knocked him into the barricade. He didn’t leave his feet, though. Styles rolled up Ivar from behind for a two count.
Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm, but the Vikings landed a Viking Experience for a convincing near fall. Omos shoved Erik into Ivar to break up the cover. Erik and Omos each officially tagged in. Four-way action results. Erik charged at Omos, but Omos lifted him by his head and slammed him down and scored the clean three count.
WINNER: Styles & Omos in 13:00 to retain the Raw Tag Team Titles. (**1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: This was fine. It wasn’t meant to be a four-star classic, but rather a chance for Omos to get in big power spots against the Vikings while Styles carried the bulk of the athleticism. This was solid stuff.)
-Kevin Patrick interviewed Drew McIntyre. When announced, he got a mixed reaction from the crowd. He asked Patrick if something seems different. He said, “Oh yeah, Ft. Worth, can I hear some damn noise, please!” He said it’s not that he wants to win this match, he has to win the match. He said the last time he was in Texas, he won the Royal Rumble and went on to beat Brock Lesnar. He said he was proud to defend the WWE Title at ThunderDome, but he speaks for everyone in saying if they don’t hear “ThunderDome” again, they’ll all be happy. (Is he talking about the “critically-acclaimed, award-winning” ThunderDome?!!) He said, seemingly sarcastically, that everyone loves storytime. Instead of telling a story, he said his story will be winning MITB and becoming champion again.
(Keller’s Analysis: I think a mixed reaction for Drew isn’t a shock, but if you’re Drew it’s a little disappointing. They seemed to anticipate it, as Drew got to shout the name of the city and also throw the once-vaunted ThunderDome under the bus while also skipping actual storytime. I think if he began telling some story about historical figures, the crowd might have turned hard against him. He handled the situation well. I’m curious how the crowd reacts to near victory moments in the MITB match later.)
-A video package aired on the Bobby Lashley-Kofi Kingston saga.
(3) BOBBY LASHLEY (w/MVP) vs. KOFI KINGSTON – WWE Title match
Kofi got a really nice pop coming out and it seemed to feed his enthusiasm. A “New… Day Rocks!” chant started before Lashley’s entrance. Lashley’s entrance theme played. He then walked out on and got mostly booed. Lashley and Kofi had an intense staredown during formal ring introductions. Kofi got nicely cheered when his name was announced. Lashley got almost all boos. (This is going just as Vince McMahon would have wanted.) Lashley charged at Kofi as MVP held his foot. Kofi ducked and double-stomped Lashley for a near fall. Lashley came right back and punched away at Kofi.
Lashley dominated and then applied the Hurt Lock. Graves said he appeared to be prolonging the beating in order to deliver more of a beating to Kingston. Lashley mounted Kofi. Graves said it has to be stopped because Kofi can barely defend himself and is just being mauled. MVP cheered on Lashley. Lashley put Kofi in an inverted body vice and then slammed him face-down onto the mat with the Dominator. He repeated it. Some “One more time!” chants. The ref told Lashley to go for the cover. Instead, Lashley delivered a third Dominator. Lashley then lifted Kofi into another Hurt Lock. Graves told the ref to stop it because Kofi is going to suffer permanent damage. The ref saw Kofi’s arm just dangling and called for the bell. Smith said nobody expected that level of dominance by Lashley, as evidenced by the looks of shock on the faces of fans. Smith asked, “Who can possibly challenge that champion.” Graves didn’t say McIntyre or anyone else on the roster. He said, “Not a damn man walking the earth.”
WINNER: Lashley in 8:00 to retain the WWE Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: So at least Kofi finally got his one-on-one rematch. No wonder he waited so long to ask for it. Lashley continues to be portrayed as an unstoppable beast. It seems to be working as Lashley got a big star reaction there.)
(4) RHEA RIPLEY vs. CHARLOTTE – Raw Women’s Title match
Mixed reactions for both women. It seemed a little muted for Ripley. Graves said Charlotte missed WrestleMania and it had been way too long since she wrestled in front of a live crowd. Charlotte gave the crowd the middle finger after they popped for Ripley slapping her. Graves said it could doom Charlotte if she let Ripley in her head like that. A “We Want Becky!” chant broke out a minute later. Ripley slidekicked Charlotte at ringside, then took a running flip dive off the ring apron, but Charlotte side stepped her and Ripley crashed to the mat. Charlotte scored a one count back in the ring.
Ripley gave Charlotte a nasty snap back suplex that popped the crowd a bit. Charlotte avoided a follow-up kick and then turned Ripley over into a Boston crab attempt. Ripley countered her. Charlotte went for a figure-four. Ripley countered that for a two count. Charlotte landed a big boot for a two count a second later. Ripley caught Charlotte on the top rope and put her onto her shoulders. Charlotte went for a sunset flip, but Ripley coungered into a suplex attempt. He muscled her over, but it was a struggle. The crowd appreciated the effort. Ripley scored a two count.
Charlotte knocked Ripley to ringside, then let out a big yell, and then charged with a big boot to knock Ripley off the ring apron to the floor. Charlotte then landed a moonsault off the top rope onto Ripley. Ripley avoided a Natural Selection and then applied a standing leglock on Charlotte using her arms. Charlotte rolled through and leveraged Ripley down for a two count. Ripley set up a Riptide, but Charlotte landed a DDT as a counter instead for a dramatic near fall. Smith said the entire crowd was on its feet. (That was a big exaggeration.) Charlotte sat up and showed frustration.
A minute later, Charlotte landed a back elbow and put her feet on the middle rope for extra leverage on the cover. The ref caught her. Charlotte showed frustration toward the ref. Ripley upkicked Charlotte and then set up a top rope move. Charlotte blocked it and then landed a top rope Natural Selection for a believable near fall. The crowd popped for that kickout. Charlotte sat up and looked even more shocked. They cut to fans looking shocked. Then a “This is awesome!” chant broke out. Charlotte then set up a figure-four, but Ripley back suplexed her. Her head just missed the bottom turnbuckle, and they might have intended for her to hit it there. She rolled to the floor. When Ripley reached down to grab her, Charlotte yanked her head into the ringpost. Charlotte then trapped Ripley’s leg between the ringpost and the stairs, then charged and kicked the stairs into her leg twice.
Back in the ring, Charlotte applied the Figure-Eight quickly for the tapout win. A lot of fans popped and cheered the title change. Others booed. It seemed a lot of the cheers were for the quality of the battle. Charlotte held up the newly won belt and cheers could be heard.
WINNER: Charlotte in 17:00 to capture the Raw Title. (****1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Excellent match that really won the crowd over not because they had a rooting interest in the winner, but because of the drama and fighting spirit and big spots and near falls. Really well done.)
-They did a backstage skit with Boogs, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Riddle.
(5) MEN’S MONEY IN THE BANK – Drew McIntyre, John Morrison, Ricochet, Riddle, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura, Big E, Seth Rollins
Just before ring entrances for this match, the Peacock feed began to flake out really badly here, like the earliest days of dial-up internet trying to get one photo to load or song to stream. Fortunately (??) it came during the stretch of time with eight ring entrances for the Men’s Money in the Bank. If it’s this bad for the rest of the event, that’s a disaster.
Update: It’s still awful as the match began after all eight ring entrances. Exiting Peacock and relaunching the app cleared up the issue. This caused Peacock to trend on Twitter.
Something happened with Drew and Big E on the floor early. Morrison and Nakamura battled over a ladder mid-ring. Seth and Morrison high-fived, but Owens dragged Seth to the floor. Morrison jumped to the floor where he and Seth stomped away at KO. Seth threw the top layer of the announce desk onto Ricochet at ringside. KO landed a backflip off the top rope into a ladder that Morrison was holding. Morrison and Seth teamed up to suplex Owens onto the edge of the ladder on the mat.
Drew entered the ring and took it to both Seth and Morrison at the same time. Seth and Morrison eventually took him down and put him on a ladder. Morrison leaped off the top rope toward Drew, but it wasn’t clear where he was supposed to land but he mostly missed Drew. Graves said it appeared he hurt his arm more than Drew. Seth then jabbed Morrison with the ladder. Big E re-entered the ring. So did Riddle, Ricochet, and Nakamura. Drew entered and then did a running flip dive onto a crowd of four at ringside. He played to the crowd to a mediocre reaction. He headbutted Seth back in the ring, then yelled “3-2-1” and hit the Claymore. The crowd loudly counted along. Drew then set up the ladder mid-ring. Jinder Mahal’s lackeys attacked Drew, pulling him off of the ladder. Jinder then bashed Drew with a chair at ringside.
Ricochet and Riddle battled in the ring. Ricochet did a crazy running dive onto a crowd at ringside. Smith resisted shouting, “Are you kidding me!?” Instead he said he could not believe what he just saw. (That’s much better, by the way.) Riddle climbed the ladder. Ricochet met him at the top. Seth climbed another ladder. Big E yanked Seth to the mat and threw him to teh floor. Big E then put Riddle onto his shoulders, but Riddle slipped out and gave Big E an RKO. He did the same to Ricochet. Seth gave Riddle a stomp.
Nakamura entered and climbed the ladder. Morrison sprayed Nakamura with the water sprayer. He then knocked him to the mat. KO entered and yanked Morrison down, then delivered a Stunner. Nakamura began to climb, but KO gave him a Stunner. He gave Ricochet a Pop-up Powerbomb next. KO climbed the ladder. He grabbed at the briefcase, but he was a bit off-center. Seth then gave KO a powerbomb off the ladder, over the top rope, and onto a bridged ladder at ringside. The ladder broke in half. A “Holy shit!” chant broke out. Officials quickly checked on KO.
Seth climbed the ladder. Big E met him up there and gave him a Big Ending off the ladder. Big E climbed as the crowd went bonkers. He unclipped it and won. Big E got wide-eyed and smiled. He stayed on top of the ladder and soaked up the moment. Graves called it the biggest Big Ending of all-time. Smith said, “No one is sitting down!” There was a woman to the right of Big E’s elbow in the frame sitting. Most were standing. (Exaggerating just isn’t necessary at all there.)
WINNER: Big E in 18:00. (****)
(Keller’s Analysis: Big E’s facial reaction when he won was classic. Wild, fun match that lived up to MITB match expectations and tradition. This is a big boost to anticipation of Big E getting a serious singles push in the second half of this year. Will he face Reigns or Lashley or even Karrion Kross?)
-Cole said it’s been an “off-the-charts incredible Money in the Bank.” He gave a big shout out to Big E and then wondered if he’d bring the briefcase to the next PPV.
-Patrick interviewed Seth, who was gasping in pain backstage. He yelled that this was his destiny and the effort wasn’t good enough. He said he should have been in the Universal Championship match tonight rather than having to go through the MITB match. He said he needs a change of plans. He yelled that whoever wins the Universal Title match, he’s next line.
(6) ROMAN REIGNS (w/Paul Heyman) vs. EDGE – Universal Title match
Edge got a big pop when his music played. Edge made his high-entry entrance, bursting into the entry zone in front of the big screen and yelling back at fans as they were cheering wildly for him. McAfee said he has chills and Edge has worked his ass off for this moment. Roman tried to ice Edge with nearly a minute before his music started. Edge just meditated in the corner. Then Roman’s music played and fans booed. When Reigns walked out, another surge of boos.
After formal ring introductions, ref Charles Robinson called for the bell. McAfee said “the tension is palpable.” They stared at each other from their respective corners. Then they slowly approached and met mid-ring and exchanged some words. A battle chant broke out of “Let’s Go Roman / Let’s Go Edge!” The wrestlers acknowledged it and fed into it. Edge’s chant was louder. Cole: “Oh, the sweet sounds of the WWE Universe.” Reigns took a cheap shot at Edge in the corner. Boos. Edge did the same thing to Reigns a minute later. Cheers. Reigns looked disgusted when an “Edge!” chant started.
Reigns overpowered Edge to the floor, then gloated. Edge regrouped and re-entered briefly to break the count. A minute later, Edge threw Reigns shoulder-first into the ringpost from inside the ring twice. Reigns dropped to the floor to regroup. Heyman gave him a pep talk. McAfee pointed out that Heyman asked Reigns what his father would do. Reigns took control at ringside and left Edge on his back as the ref counted. Edge got back in at the count of eight. Reigns stomped on him.
Back in the ring, Reigns mounted Edge and pounded away at him, then landed a headbutt. Reigns threw Edge shoulder-first into the ringpost. A “Roman sucks!” chant started, but didn’t gain a ton of traction. McAfee said the Fort Worth fans were lying because “Roman does not suck.” Reigns threw Edge into the opposite post. The pace is really methodical here. When Reigns extended his arms, a surge of boos came from the crowd. He reacted with disdain. Reigns scored a two count and then looked frustrated at the kickout.
Reigns settled into a chinlock. Edge appeared to fade a bit. Fans began clapping. Edge began to stand. He punched away at Reigns’s gut. Reigns popped Edge with an uppercut to send Edge chest-first over the middle rope. Reigns landed a Drive-by at ringside, then rolled Edge onto his back and scored a two count. Reigns taunted the fans before setting up the Superman Punch. He then charged and swung, but Edge ducked and scored a leverage near fall. They both stood and kicked each other down. Both were slow to get up. They went to a wide shot from the upper deck as Cole talked about the sellout crowd and how loud they’ve been all night. Reigns and Edge and began exchanging blows. Edge ducked a Reigns swing and slammed him onto his back out of nowhere and scored a near fall.
Edge stood and showed great fire. They just passed the three hour mark of the event at this point. He knocked Reigns into the corner and then hit a series of moves including an Edge-o-cution DDT for a near fall. Edge rammed Reigns’s face into the ringpost and Reigns ended up hanging upside down in the corner. Edge kicked away at him. The ref backed him away. Reigns fell down. Fans cheered as Edge looked their way. Edge then applied a crossface. Reigns nearly powered out, but Edge locked it back on. Reigns reached the bottom rope to force a break seconds later.
Edge went for a spear, but Reigns caught him a guillotine mid-ring. Edge lunged and both he and Reigns spilled to ringside. Both were slow to get up. Reigns charged at Edge with a spear attempt, but Edge moved, and Reigns knocked over the barricades in the time keeper’s area. Edge re-entered the ring and stopped the ref’s count to avoid the countout. Edge then speared Reigns through another section of the barricade. Edge picked Reigns up onto his shoulders and rolled him into the ring. He made the cover and scored a two count.
Reigns came back with a Superman Punch. (It was awkward looking, for the record, with Reigns’s fist missing by perhaps the forearm caught the side of Edge’s head instead.) That knocked Edge into the ref, who went down. Reigns shot a look to a security guy, who leaped off his chair and ran. Reigns took his chair and broke off a piece of the chair so he could give back to Edge what Edge did to him and the Usos previously. Reigns bent over and yelled down at Edge as the ref was wincing in pain at ringside. Reigns tried to lock the bar into Edge’s mouth but Edge blocked it and elbowed out of it. He threw a barrage of headbutts and then sat-up, bug-eyed. A bunch of officials ran to check on the ref. Edge then put the chair bar in Reigns’s mouth and pulled back. The Usos then walked out determinedly. As they hit the ring, the Mysterios pulled them away. Dominik and Rey took them out at ringside as Edge held on in the ring. The two teams brawled to the back.
Seth entered through the crowd and superkicked the side of Edge’s head. Cole said Seth believes Edge stole the opportunity that belonged to him. Reigns checked his teeth as Edge tried to regain his senses. Reigns waited in the corner for Edge to stand. As Reigns charged, Edge speared him mid-ring. Heyman panicked. A second ref ran out and counted a dramatic near fall. Fans chanted, “This is awesome!” McAfee said, “Yes – it – is!” Edge kicked Seth off the ring apron, and then Reigns speared him for the win.
WINNER: Reigns in about 33:00. (***3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Super methodical early, but it built masterfully and they had the crowd in the palms of their hands with a real efficiency of moves late. Seth’s interference was, unfortunately, predictable because of Seth’s complaints about Edge getting this title shot instead of him right before the match and previously. Despite being a match with a ref bump and interference leading to the finish, it was satsifying. It keeps alive Edge’s case for a future title shot, but it also sets up a Summerslam grudge match between Seth and Edge.)
-After the match, Seth walked up to Reigns and said he wants the match. He said he runs this place. Edge attacked Seth with a flying elbow before Reigns could really respond. Edge yanked Seth by his hair and tossed him over the barricade. Edge and Seth brawled among fans. Heyman handed Reigns the mic. Reigns snarled and said, “Now the whole world can acknowledge me.”
John Cena’s music played. Cena walked out onto the stage and the crowd exploded in cheers and surely some boos. He slid into the ring and ran the ropes as Reigns stared at him. “This – is – awesome,” said McAfee. Cena stepped up to Reigns deliberately and then waved his hand in front of his face. “You can’t see me.” He then played to the crowd that was mostly cheering.The show ended there