LECLAIR’S WWE MONEY IN THE BANK 2024 REPORT: Alt perspective, detailed coverage of Priest vs. Rollins, men’s & women’s ladder matches, more

By Brandon LeClair, PWTorch contributor

WWE Money in the Bank sets records


JULY 6, 2024

Announcers: Michael Cole & Corey Graves

-Michael Cole talked over a drone shot high above Toronto. He said they’re at the Scotiabank Arena, home to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors.

The Bloodline was shown arriving earlier in the day. Cole said that Solo Sikoa has promised he’ll make Cody Rhodes acknowledge him tonight. Cody Rhodes was then shown exiting his bus and heading to greet fans. Kevin Owens and Randy Orton were shown arriving, as well.

A car with a “STRATUS” license plate pulled into the parking lot. Hall of Famer, Trish Stratus emerged, announced as guest host.

Finally, Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage, followed by the Judgment Day. Cole said that careers will change and lives will be altered tonight. The show faded to a narrated cold open.

-Fireworks filled the stage as the camera moved smoothly up the entrance way. A sweeping wide shot of the Scotiabank Arena faded in as Michael Cole welcomed the audience to the show, confirming that the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match will open the show. At ringside, he and Corey Graves talked about the night’s stakes.

Samantha Irvin explained the rules. The camera faded to a group of fans gathered in a lower bowl entrance tunnel. They parted ways to reveal Jey Uso, entering first. Jey bounced down the steps and to ringside, slapping hands with fans on his approach. Cole called Jey the “sentimental favorite.” Andrade was out next. “I believe this man is the dark horse in this match,” Cole told Corey. Graves agreed, adding that his Lucha style aids him in ladder matches. LA Knight’s music hit next to a strong reaction. Knight stepped under a ladder on his way to the ring. Chad Gable followed to a chorus of boos. Cole noted that Gable has never been in a ladder match, let alone a Money in the Bank ladder match. The lights faded for Carmelo Hayes He sauntered to the ring confidently. Drew McIntyre entered last to a star reaction, followed quickly by a loud “CM Punk” chant.Drew walked slowly through the entrance way, looking around at the ground smugly.

(1) JEY USO vs. ANDRADE vs. LA KNIGHT vs. CHAD GABLE vs. CARMELO HAYES vs. DREW McINTYRE – Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder match

Punches were thrown the moment the bell rang. Drew McIntyre gave Andrade a Glasgow Kiss and the two spilled to the outside. Jey Uso dropped Chad Gable with a back drop. LA Knight tossed Carmelo Hayes to the outside. Uso and Knight were left alone in the ring. They circled one another and looked up at the briefcase. Meanwhile, Hayes and Gable slid ladders into the ring. Knight and Uso turned to their opponents and dove through the middle ropes onto them.

McIntyre returned to the ring with a ladder and began dropping competitors. He cleared the field, then set the ladder up in the middle. He reached the top as the match crossed 2:00. Gable was the first to meet him. He and Drew traded punches atop the ladder. Gable locked his legs in between the rings and pulled Drew into an Armbar through the top of the ladder. Andrade emerged on the apron. He landed a springboard leg drop off the ropes, onto the supine Gable atop the ladder. A huge “holy sh-t” chant broke out in response.

Andrade set up a ladder and began to climb. Carmelo pulled him back to the mat. He leapt off the middle rope and took Andrade off the ladder with a springboard clothesline. Hayes slammed Andrade’s head into a ladder as the crowd started up a “we want tables” chant. He tried to leap off the middle rope again, but Andrade jumped to meet him. He gave Hayes a springboard Spanish Fly onto the prone ladder. McIntyre slid in to inspect the carnage. Jey Uso entered as well. He and Drew stared each other down as another “CM Punk” chant built. The two began to exchange punches. Jey dropped Drew with a Samoan Drop, then followed up with a Spear. He gave Gable a kick to the mid-section, then an uppercut. Gable caught his foot, so Jey gave him an Enziguri.

Uso began rearranging ladders, propping on in the corner. Gable gave him a German Suplex, then approached McIntyre in the corner. He gave him a German Suplex, too. Hayes tried to go for another springboard, but Gable picked him out of the air, rolled through and delivered Chaos Theory as the match hit 6:30. Chad dropped a ladder on Andrade. “You still suck!” the crowd told him. Gable set up an extra tall ladder. LA Knight intervened quickly. He downed Gable in the corner and delivered some “Yeah” Stomps. He went for a running knee, but Gable moved. He gave Knight a Dragon Screw against the turnbuckle. Graves called it a brilliant strategy.

Gable tried to slid a ladder into Knight in the corner, but LA moved. The ladder slammed into the ring post, coming to a stop. Knight gave Gable a neckbreaker on the edge of it. Both men grabbed at their necks. Carmelo pulled Knight to the outside. Knight quickly got the better of the exchange, slamming Hayes’ head into the announcers desk repeatedly. He propped a ladder between the table and ring, building a bridge. Knight slid Hayes back in the ring, trying to Powerbomb him onto the ladder bridge. Hayes flipped out of it and get Knight the First 48. He set up a ladder and began to climb. Gable quickly pulled him down as the match approached 10:00.

A second ladder was set up adjacent to the taller one. Gable stood with one leg on both, cutting off Hayes’ attempt to climb. He applied an Ankle Lock. Andrade began climbing the free side of the left ladder. Gable ripped Hayes to the mat and climbed to meet him. Chad knocked Andrade to the floor. Suddenly, McIntyre appeared and ripped Gable off the ladder. He downed the second one and propped it in the corner, then gave Gable a Powerbomb onto it. He turned and delivered a Claymore to Andrade, sending him spilling to the outside. McIntyre began climbing the remaining ladder. Jey Uso quickly made the save.

Jey gave McIntyre a Superkick. LA Knight returned and delivered a BFT to Drew. Knight dragged McIntyre to center, allowing Jey to hit an Uso Splash. Cole and Graves agreed that it was beneficial to work together temporarily. The partnership ended quickly, with both men climbing the ladder. They traded punches. Dueling chants of “Yeet” and “Yeah” ensued. After the exchange, Hayes tipped both men off the ladder, then dove onto Gable on the outside. He rushed back to the top turnbuckle and gave Jey Nothing But Net. Carmelo raced to set the ladder up and climb. He got his fingertips on the briefcase, but Andrade ripped him to the mat. He tossed a ladder haphazardly onto Carmelo’s body.

Andrade bridged another ladder between the ropes and the set-up ladder. Hayes used it to climb opposite him. LA Knight tried to pull Andrade down. Andrade got both hands on the briefcase, but Knight held him back. Andrade, realizing he couldn’t pull the briefcase down, flipped over the ladder and took Hayes down with a Sunset Flip Powerbomb onto the bridge ladder. It broke on impact. “Hayes is dead!’ Graves exclaimed.

LA Knight, left alone now, ascended the ladder quickly. Gable returned and hooked his waist, looking for a German Suplex. Knight blocked it and hurried down the ladder to the mat. Chad held on and gave Knight a German Suplex over the top rope, onto the bridged ladder on the outside. Gable was left alone in the ring as the match passed 15:00. He climbed the ladder and got both hands on the briefcase. Jey Uso returned and positioned himself under the ladder. He lifted it up and knocked it over, leaving Gable dangling on the briefcase. Gable fell, landing face first in the ring. Uso gave him a spear. Jey climbed the ladder. The briefcase was swinging violently. Jey got both hands on it, bringing it to a stop. Drew McIntyre returned, ladder in hand. He tossed like a javelin into the gut of Jey Uso. Jey let go of the briefcase and fell to the mat. McIntyre climbed the ladder and retrieved the briefcase.

WINNER: Drew McIntyre in 16:32

(LeClair’s Analysis: A high energy, hugely entertaining opener. The crowd was hot from the onset, with vested interest in Jey Uso and LA Knight, in particular. I thought the energy from Cole and Graves, backed by the ferociousness of the crowd, helped this feel like a big deal with high stakes right out of the gate. All six men seemed motivated to get in some hard-hitting, innovative spots. I find it’s hard to surprise, or really do anything new in these multi-man car-crashes these days, but I thought they did a solid job, aided by their positioning on the card. McIntyre seemed like a fairly obvious winner given the spot on the card and his promise to cash in tonight. Given how long Priest held onto the contract last year, it seems reasonable to expect them to go for the opposite approach this year. Ultimately, these matches usually more or less blend together, but this was plenty of fun in the moment.)

-Cole tossed to a video package for the Intercontinental title match for Premium Plus subscribers.

Bron Breakker was out first, with brand new music. Sami Zayn followed to a raucous serenade. He pointed to a sign on the ramp saying “Toronto loves Sami Zayn,” then marched to the ring, wearing the anticipation of the challenge across his face.

(2) SAMI ZAYN (c) vs. BRON BREAKKER – WWE Intercontinental Championship match

The crowd began singing to Sami Zayn as soon as the bell rang. The Intercontinental Champion danced back and forth and shook out his shoulders. Bron Breakker just stood ahead, stone-faced. He grabbed Zayn and gave him a release belly-to-belly Suplex. The crowd barked. Breakker wrestled Zayn to the mat and then talked some trash. “They can’t help you,” Bron said of the crowd. He put his hands behind his back and invited Sami to attack. Zayn slapped him across the face. Breakker tackled the champion into the corner and drove his shoulder into Zayn’s ribs repeatedly.

“Shut up!” Bron told the referee as he called for a break. Sami stepped out of the corner and threw a number of right hands. He gave Bron a clothesline over the top to the floor. “Bron got a little over-zealous,” Graves said. Sami leapt to the apron, then hit a springboard Moonsault to the outside, landing awkwardly on Bron’s shoulder. The champion slid Breakker back in the ring and tossed him off the ropes. Bron hit the ropes hard, ducked Sami and delivered a huge clothesline. ‘That was a Steiner-line!” Graves exclaimed. Cole mentioned that Breakker runs the ropes at 23 miles per hour.

Breakker mounted Zayn for a number of punches. Graves said the referee should check on the champion, noting that Sami barely got his hands up. Bron gave him another overhead belly-to-belly as the match crossed 4:30. Breakker downed Sami in the southeast corner and delivered a running knee. He mocked the crowd’s singing. Sami pulled himself to his feet and gave Bron a couple chops. Bron shrugged them off and gave Zayn another belly-to-belly throw. He covered Zayn. Sami kicked out at two. Bron did some push-ups.

“How soul crushing is that?” Graves asked of Bron’s push-ups. Bron looked for another belly throw, but this time Sami blocked him. He drove his elbow into Breakker’s neck and shoulder repeatedly. Zayn hit the ropes and caught his challenger with a rope-walk tornado DDT for a cover and near fall. just after 6:00. Breakker rose slowly. Sami stalked him, delivering right hands. Breakker hit the ropes, looking for a Spear. Sami leapfrogged him. Breakker into into the ropes hard, allowing Zayn to clothesline him back to the outside. The champion followed. Bron tried to whip Sami into the barricade, but Zayn leapt up onto it and dove backward.

Bron picked the champion out of the air and drove him face-first into the ring post. After breaking the count, the action spilled back to the outside. Zayn managed to get the challenger in position for his signature round-the-ring DDT. Bron cut it off with a huge clothesline. He tossed the champion back inside and called for the Spear. Sami caught him with a kick to the face, then hoisted Breakker into a Blue Thunder Bomb for a cover and near fall at 9:00.

Both men were down in the center of the ring. Sami rose to a knee first. The crowd willed him to life. He hooked Breakker for a Suplex. The rookie backed him into the northeast corner and lifted him onto the top turnbuckle. Breakker got a running start, walked right up the ropes and delivered a Franken-Steiner for a cover and near fall. “He walks the ropes like he’s walking up stairs,” Cole said, exasperated. Breakker punched the champion while talking trash. He kicked him to the outside. Breakker slid out of the opposite side, getting a running start. Sami leapfrogged him again. Bron recovered quickly and shoved Zayn into the announcers desk. He leapt to the ring apron and hit a diving clothesline onto Sami, rolling across the desk.

Zayn was laid out atop the announcers desk. Breakker shook out his leg. Graves said he may have tweaked it on the edge of the table. Breakker looked for a gorilla press, but Sami slid down the back. He gave Bron an Exploder into the corner. The crowd rose to their feet as Sami called for the Heluva Kick. He charged, but Breakker exploded from the corner with a huge a leaping knee. Bron gave Sami a gorilla press slam, then retreated to the corner to wind up. Breakker went for the spear, but Zayn caught him with a kick. Breakker stumbled into the corner. Zayn wound up and delivered the Heluva Kick for a cover and three count.

WINNER: Sami Zayn in 13:12 to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship

(LeClair’s Analysis: Really good match, very surprising finish. Zayn is such an incredible underdog. Even with the impressive, babyface-leaning offense of Breakker, the crowd can’t help but get fully invested in rooting for Zayn to overcome the odds. This was an incredibly impressive PLE-debut for Breakker, and another check for the excellent run of Sami Zayn. I thought for sure they’d switch the title here, or, at the very least, go with a non-finish. I know many will likely be adamantly opposed to this finish, but I think Bron will be just fine and will likely get Zayn at a later date. Breakker has been handled with a great deal of care thus far, and I think the company has already shown enough investment in him to warrant the benefit of the doubt with this loss.)

-Cole teased Trish Stratus’ appearance before tossing to a break.

Trish Stratus was introduced by Samantha Irvin. She asked the crowd if they were having fun. She said she’s had many special moments in Toronto. She listed some of her favorites, concluding with the time that she was a special surprise partner for a “certain someone.” She welcomed John Cena. The 16-time champion emerged from the back in a new-red t-shirt. It was a farewell themed design – “John Cena Farewell Tour.” He held up a towel that said “the last time is now.”

Cena hit the ring and grabbed a microphone. He said the crowd seems like they’re in a singing mood. They showered him with a massive “Cena” chant. He announced his official retirement. The crowd gave him a big “no” chant. He said people might be wondering, “why here?” He promised to answer that. He said he wanted to talk about Toronto, about Canada, and about Canadians. He said, in WWE, he’s seen incredible runs of prosperity like right now, and times when no one wants to be your friend, when only the die-hards show up. He said whether WWE is hot or cold, Canadians always show up.

This brought about a huge “Cena” chant. John said this crowd helped build the company into what it is today. Cena said Money in the Bank is the home of opportunity, and this retirement tour will be a chance for many new ones. Cena said he’ll be at Raw on Netflix. He said he’ll enter the Royal Rumble for the last time 2025, and compete at Elimination Chamber for the last time. Then, he confirmed that he’ll conclude his tour at WrestleMania in Las Vegas. John said he’ll kick off the post-show press conference to answer any and all questions about his announcement/

He turned focus back to the crowd, saying he wants to thank the fans. A huge “thank you Cena” chant broke out. Cena got emotional. He thanked the fans for their voice, and their honesty, but most of all for allowing him to simply be there. Cena said they’re planning something beautiful. He said he’d be back in Toronto to kick some ass. “If you’re watching at home, if you’re in the arena here in Toronto, or if you’re a WWE Superstar, if you want some, hurry up and come get some, because the last time is now!” Cena tossed the mic emphatically and made his rounds.

-Backstage, Judgment Day shared fist bumps as they saw Damian Priest off to his World Heavyweight title defense. After he left, the camera zoomed in on Finn Balor. “Whatever you want, boss,” he said coldly.

-Cole tossed to a video package for the World title match.

Seth Rollins entered first to a big star reaction. The announcers laid out for his entrance. Damian Priest followed to boos. Cole talked about Seth’s loss at WrestleMania, Priest’s cash-in, and the looming threat of Drew McIntyre and the Money in the Bank briefcase. Priest held the title up as he climbed the steps. Graves said it’s “coming at all sides for Damian Priest tonight.” Cole noted that Rollins and Priest are the only two people to successfully cash-in the briefcase at WrestleMania. Samantha Irvin delivered championship introductions.

(3) DAMIAN PRIEST (c) vs. SETH ROLLINS – WWE World Heavyweight Championship match

Seth Rollins went after the World Heavyweight Champion right out of the gate. He gave him a kick and pulled him in for a Pedigree. Damian Priest easily countered, looking for South of Heaven. Rollins blocked it. The two traded quick punches. Priest managed to catch Seth with a Falcon Arrow. He popped to his feet and jogged in place cockily. Priest shoved Seth into the corner and gave him some quick jabs. The referee pushed Priest to get Seth out of the corner. Priest dragged Rollins to center and delivered a Flatliner for a cover and two count.

The crowd began to sing to Seth, willing him to life. He flew out of the corner and dropped the champion with a Slingblade. Rollins clotheslined Priest to the floor, then turned toward the entrance. He invited Drew McIntyre to come out. Graves said that Rollins has his priorities out of sorts. The distraction didn’t aid Priest any. Rollins hit the champion with three middle rope dives, sending Priest crashing into and over the announcers desk. Seth retrieved the champion and tossed him back into the ring. He went for a springboard, but Priest ducked under him. Seth landed on his feet and caught Damian with a kick. Rollins went to the apron and delivered a springboard Swanton, then a Lionsault for a cover and two count.

Cole praised Rollins for the innovation. Graves said you have to show your opponents new wrinkles of offense. Rollins gave Priest a pair of rolling elbows, then turned him around for a ripcord. Priest blocked it. He dropped Seth, then called for South of Heaven. Priest kept glancing toward the entrance. He dropped Rollins with a massive clothesline. The crowd started chanting “Undertaker” at Priest. Damian scooped Seth up, but Rollins got his feet on the ropes and spun him into a tornado DDT. Rollins leapt to the top of the northeast turnbuckle and delivered a splash for a cover and near fall just before 5:00.

Rollins hit another rolling elbow. He set up for the ripcord again, but surprised Priest with a kick to the back of the knee. He looked for the Stomp, but Priest dropped him with an uppercut. He seated Rollins in the northwest corner. Graves talked about the furious pace of the match thus far. “These guys aren’t getting paid by the hour,” he said. Rollins managed to slide underneath Priest and pull him into Powerbomb position, delivering a Buckle Bomb into the opposing corner. Priest shrugged it off and quickly lifted Rollins up and into a sit-out Powerbomb for a cover and near fall. Priest looked toward the entrance way again. Cole and Graves continued to talk up the circumstances of the match, and the gentleman’s agreement between the two wrestlers.

Priest gave Rollins a forearm strike, crumpling the challenger against the ropes. He slapped Seth repeatedly, angering him. Rollins fired back punches of his own and the two went back and forth. Priest fired up. Seth slapped him in the face. Damian began kicking Rollins in the lower body. Seth exploded with a step-up kick. Damian stumbled, but came back with a spin kick. He went for South of Heaven, but Seth blocked it went for the Pedigree again. Priest backdropped him. Rollins popped to his feet, kicked Priest and quickly delivered the stomp for a cover and near fall just before 9:00.

“This is awesome!’ the crowd said as the camera pulled back and Cole reset the stage. In the ring, Rollins implored Priest to stand. “You want to be the man around here?” Seth asked. The crowd sang to him. Priest struggled to his knees, using Seth’s tights to steady himself. Rollins backed him into the corner. Priest sprang to life and pulled Seth up and into position, delivering a Razor’s Edge. He covered for a two count. Priest sat in the middle of the ring, exhausted. He shook off the cobwebs and plotted in the corner as Rollins writhed. Priest ascended the northeast turnbuckles. Rollins rose to meet him.

Both men traded punches, teetering atop the turnbuckle. Priest clapped the ears of Seth, causing him to fall to the mat. Rollins popped to his feet, leapt back up to the top and delivered a Superplex. He held on, looking for a second. Priest countered, trying for his own. Rollins slid down his back and delivered a Falcon Arrow to Priest. He covered and very clearly scored a three count, but the referee just stopped counting. The crowd booed in confusion.

Rollins sat around, looking confused. Drew McIntyre’s music hit and he marched to the ring, briefcase in hand. McIntyre cashed in. He went for a Claymore on Rollins, but Seth blocked it. Seth went for a stomp. McIntyre moved. He grabbed Seth and gave him a Future Shock DDT. McIntyre covered, but Priest broke it up. Damian went for South of Heaven on Drew. McIntyre blocked it and hit a Claymore. Suddenly, CM Punk hit the ring. He blindsided Drew and knocked him out of the ring. Punk tossed McIntyre over the ringside barrier and grabbed a chair. He cracked it over Drew’s back repeatedly.

Punk tossed McIntyre back to ringside, then into the ring. He grabbed the World title and hit McIntyre in the head with it.  Punk sad cross-legged on the announcers desk. “What the hell are you doing, Phil?!” Cole exclaimed. “My job!” Punk said. Damian Priest gave McIntyre South of Heaven and covered him for a three count.

WINNER: Damian Priest in 15:46 to retain the World Heavyweight Championship

After the match, Rollins approached Punk, seething. Corey Graves left the desk to hold him back.

(LeClair’s Analysis: Rollins and Priest were given the unenviable task of making a compelling world title match out of a looming cash-in, complete with needed to stare at the entrance way in anticipation of his arrival. They had a really good, hard-hitting match until the final sequence. It appeared in hindsight that Priest might’ve been legitimately rocked or even knocked out by Seth’s knee on the Falcon Arrow cover, leading to an unfortunate mishap.  Rollins pretty clearly scored a three count, and then had to sit around looking like an idiot while he waited for McIntyre’s music to hit. This could’ve been a much bigger deal if not for the big angle coming that followed. I do think the result was just about the worst case scenario. Priest vs. Gunther is an uninteresting, mid-card proposition for the second biggest show of the year. Priest’s run as a complete paper champion, weak and ineffective in booking continues. His performances haven’t been the problem. On the contrary, I thought his in-ring work has exceeded expectations in all three World Title defenses to date. It’s the finishes. Punk vs. McIntyre’s heat continues to grow, but continues to come at the significant expense of the World title.)

-Cole announced Priest vs. Gunther for SummerSlam. He tossed to a video package on Gunther.

-Out of the break, the announcers threw to another video for the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match.

Samantha Irvin introduced the Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. Naomi headed to the ring first to a decent reaction. She was followed by Zoey Stark. Cole and Graves talked about her as a potential dark horse. Lyra Valkyria entered next. The fans “woo’ed” along to her theme. Graves said she “fancies herself as some kind of bird reincarnated.” Cole tried to correct him. Tiffany Stratton was out next to a big reaction. Chelsea Green entered to a good ovation. A “Chelsea” chant broke out. Cole said he learned during a feature with Chelsea and Cathy Kelly that Green is afraid of heights. He wondered how that would impact her ability to win the match. Iyo Sky entered last. Cole said she’s looking to make history by becoming only the second person in history (CM Punk) to win back to back Money in the Bank ladder matches.

(4) NAOMI vs. ZOEY STARK vs. LYRA VALKYRIA vs. TIFFANY STRATTON vs. IYO SKY  – Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match

All six women shared quick glances before before five of them left the ring to retrieve ladders. Chelsea Green was left all alone. She jumped, seeing if she could reach the briefcase without a ladder. The crowd cheered her on. Someone slid a ladder in the ring and Chelsea set it up in the center. She started to climb, then got scared and dropped down. She folded it back up and tried to use it to knock the briefcase and dislodge it from its carabiner. She was quickly thwarted by Iyo Sky.

Last year’s briefcase winner moved the ladder into the corner. She was attacked by Tiffany Stratton. A big “Tiffy time” chant broke out. Iyo and Tiffany traded attempts to whip one another into the propped ladder. Sky won the exchange, then gave Tiffany a dropkick into the steel. Lyra Valkyria entered the fry and gave Sky a backdrop onto the propped ladder. It fell onto both of them. Valkyria set Sky up for a tornado DDT off the middle ropes, but Sky forced her further into the ropes. Lyra’s legs got tied up and Sky pulled her to the mat. Lyra popped up and slammed Iyo on a ladder. The crowd began to chant for Chelsea Green again. Lyra set up a ladder in the center as Zoey Stark climbed into frame. She gave Valkyria a springboard missile dropkick as the match approached 4:00.

Stark delivered a German Suplex on Lyra, then gave her a clothesline. Stark posed for the crowd to a chorus of boos. Green was shown fiddling with a ladder on the outside. In the ring, Stark caught Valkyria off a springboard attempt and gave her a Powerslam onto a ladder. Zoey climbed the northeast turnbuckles and dove onto Lyra and the ladder. Stark hit her own head on the steel, rocking her. Naomi entered the ring and gave Stark a split-leg drop on the ladder. She followed it up with a split-legged Moonsault on the ladder. As Naomi dragged the ladder into position, she was up-ended by Tiffany Stratton. Tiffany gave Naomi an Alabama Slam onto the ladder. “Stratton made it look easy!’ Graves said as another “Tiffy Time” chant broke out en masse.

Stratton sandwiched Iyo Sky between the southwest turnbuckle and the butt of a ladder. She used the propped ladder to climb up to the top turnbuckle, then dove onto a group of wrestlers on the floor below. Naomi was the first of the pile to stir. Meanwhile, Chelsea Green re-entered the ring and set up a tall ladder in the center. She psyched herself up and the crowd cheered her on. Green began to climb. Sky bounced a ladder off her back, knocking her to the floor. The crowd booed loudly. Sky taunted the crowd and then began to climb. Lyra quickly cut her off. She darted up the ladder. Iyo grabbed at her feet from below. She hung Lyra up in tree of woe position on the ladder, then climbed right over her after several boots to the face. Lyra used her core to sit up, grab Iyo’s waist and deliver a tarantula German Suplex off the ladder. Zoey Stark immediately dumped Lyra to the mat, then tossed her to the floor.

Zoey Stark was left alone in the ring as the crowd chanted “this is awesome.” Stark began to climb. Stratton quickly climbed the opposite side. Naomi set up a second tall ladder right next to the other one. She pulled Stratton down and gave her a knee to the face. Tiffany and Stark pulled the ladders apart, leaving Naomi stretched between the two. Naomi pulled Stark in and gave her a DDT off the two ladders. She re-positioned the steel and began to climb. Stratton saved the match, pulling Naomi to the floor.

Tiffany looked up at the briefcase, taking too long to climb. Naomi pulled her to the floor as the match crossed 10:45. Graves said the match has been a car crash since the opening bell. Naomi pulled up the ring apron and retrieved a table, much to the fan’s delight. Green cut her off, tossing her into the steel steps and stomping her. Green instructed Tiffany to help her with the table. They worked together to set it up near the barricade. They retrieved a second table and placed it against the first.

In the ring, Lyra and Zoey traded rights as they tried to climb the ladders. Across the ring, Iyo Sky use the ropes to leap onto the middle rungs. Green and Stratton hit the ring with ladders in tow, taking several women down. They created ladder bridges on either side of the ring. Stark dropped Stratton and gave her a slingshot into the ladder. Valkyria climbed the ladder, getting hands on the briefcase. Stark followed. She ripped Lyra off the ladder, sending her crashing into the ladder bridge below. Lyra bounced to the outside. Cole said he “feels sick that he’s enjoying this.”

Naomi bounced Stark’s head off the ladder, then began to climb. Chelsea Green grabbed her leg and pulled her down. The two bought back and forth as they climbed adjacent ladders. Green worked herself onto the bridge of the ladder and turned Naomi over, delivering an awkward and Unprettier on the ladder bridge. Zoey Stark began climbing the ladder. Iyo scrambled to meet her on the opposite side. The two women locked hands on the briefcase, jockeying for position. Both women lost their grip. Stark hooked Sky for a Superplex. Iyo blocked it. She slammed Zoey’s face against the top of the ladder, then lifted Stark onto her shoulders. She delivered a Powerslam off the ladder, onto the remaining ladder bridge. Stark fell to the floor. Iyo was folded up awkwardly.

Chelsea rushed into the ring, all alone again. She climbed the ladder and got both hands on the hook. She had the clip open, but her momentum was halted from below. It was Tiffany Stratton atop the adjacent ladder. She tipped Chelsea’s ladder over. Green went flying out of the ring and through both tables she and Tiffany set up earlier. Stratton stepped over onto Green’s ladder and retrieved the briefcase to a massive pop.

WINNER: Tiffany Stratton in 16:51

(LeClair’s Analysis: Wild match. The women were certainly out to make a statement, and they succeeded. Great character work and an appropriate amount of ladder match carnage throughout. Like the men’s match earlier in the night, this was aided by a rabid crowd that was super into several acts in the match, particularly Chelsea Green and Tiffany Stratton. The closing sequence was excellent, between Iyo’s crazy Powerslam on Stark, the tease of Green’s victory, and then the huge double table spot leading to the actual finish. Stratton makes a ton of sense, not only as a briefcase holder in general, but someone who could do great work with integrating it into her character long term. High praise for this one all around, even with some clunky spots on a few occasions.)

-After a commercial for SummerSlam, Cole tossed to a video package for the main event for Premium Plus subscribers.

-Jackie Redmond was joined backstage by Trish Stratus. She asked her what she made of tonight’s crowd. Tiffany Stratton quickly interrupted. “The center of the universe just won Tiffy in the Bank.” She admonished Stratus for not praising her immediately. Stratton said social media is already going crazy for her. Trish said she’d offer her some advice instead. She said her attitude will dictate whether she’ll be a hall of famer, like her, or another flash in the pan. She ended with Stratton’s signature “toodles!” Tiffany scoffed.

-Solo Sikoa’s music hit and he emerged from the curtain, flanked by Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Jacob Fatu. Cole said that WWE had to pull strings just to get Jacob Fatu into the country of Canada because of his history. Graves said Fatu has no regard for human well-being. The Bloodline posed in the ring. Kevin Owens hit and the crowd sprang to life. Owens let out a primal scream as Samantha Irvin introduced him. Cole mentioned his emotional week, having his mother in the hospital all week. Owens had to be held back by the official. Graves said he expects Owens to fight with blind rage.

Randy Orton followed to a massive reaction. The crowd sang along with every word of his theme, reaching peak decibels according to WWE’s on-screen meter. Cody Rhodes was last to enter. The crowd sang loudly along with “Kingdom.” Rhodes hyped the crowd as his signature fireworks filled the entrance way. Cody slapped hands with fans, gave the ring steps a pat and climbed to the top rope to soak in the reaction. The crowd continued to sing as the music faded out. Meanwhile, Owens stood against the ropes staring stoically at his opponents. They stared back.

(5) THE BLOODLINE (Solo Sikoa & Tama Tonga & Jacob Fatu w/ Tonga Loa) vs. CODY RHODES & RANDY ORTON & KEVIN OWENS

Cody Rhodes elected the begin the match for his team. From the apron, Solo Sikoa presented the Ula Fala to Tanga Loa for safe-keeping. He entered the ring. The crowd broke into a massive “f–k you Solo” chant. Solo circled Rhodes briefly, then tagged in Tama Tonga. Tonga locked up with Cody. They struggled into the northeast corner, where Tama broke the hold at the referee’s count of three. Out of the corner, Cody dropped to the floor and gave Tama an uppercut. He looked to Sikoa, talking trash. Rhodes gave Tonga a running bulldog, then turned over his arm.

The WWE Champion tagged in Kevin Owens to a massive reaction. Kevin immediately punched Tonga into the corner and stomped him to the mat. Owens unloaded with a series of rapid-fire punches and kicks. The referee had to pull him away. Owens immediately went back, attacking again. He turned to the rest of the Bloodline and gave them a crotch chop. Owens tagged in Cody Rhodes as the crowd chanted “KO!” Cody gave Tonga a stalling front Suplex, then turned to Randy Orton. The veteran held out his hand for a tag. Cody obliged.

With the crowd loudly behind him, Randy Orton entered with a series of right hands to Tonga. He worked Tama into the corner and gave him ten mounted punches, finishing with an uppercut. Tonga used Orton’s tights to pull himself up. He thumbed Orton in the eye and stumbled to his own corner, tagging in Jacob Fatu. Cole and Graves sold his history of violence. Fatu charged at Orton, but Randy side-stepped him and sent him flying to the apron. Orton immediately hooked Fatu and delivered his signature draping DDT. Orton spun around, pounding the mat and readying himself for the RKO. Unbeknownst to him, Fatu had popped up, completely no-selling the DDT. Fatu gave Orton a Samoan Drop, then dragged him to the Bloodline corner. He tagged in Solo Sikoa.

Solo sauntered around the ring as the match crossed 6:30. He tossed Orton into the heel corner and punched him repeatedly. The crowd booed him loudly, eventually transitioning to a “we want Roman” chant. Solo trash talked Randy. He let him writhe on the mat, then stepped on his hand. Solo draped Orton across the middle rope and choke him. He distracted the referee, allowing Fatu to knee Orton in the face. Cole called the Bloodline a “vile group of individuals.” Solo tagged in Tama Tonga. Tama gave Orton a leaping Senton over the top.

From the babyface corner, Orton tried to will the crowd for Orton. It worked. Randy bought himself some time with a big backdrop on Tonga. He reached his corner and tagged in Owens. Tonga missed wildly with a clothesline. KO knocked Solo and Jacob off the apron, then pounced on Tama. He kicked him in the face and dropped him with a clothesline. Fatu got back on the apron, trying to distract Owens. Kevin knocked him to the floor and delivered a cannonball to Tonga. He followed up with a Swanton for a cover and two count, broken up by Fatu. Jacob gave Owens a flurry of violent headbutts. He dragged his faction-mate back to his corner and tagged himself in.

Fatu pounced, delivering more headbutts to a dizzied KO. Orton and Rhodes tried to rally Kevin. Fatu tagged in Sikoa at 10:30. Owens tried to reach for his corner, but Solo held him back. Sikoa whipped Owens violently into the heel corner, quieting the crowd. Solo draped Owens over the bottom rope and pulled at his nostrils. He let Kevin pull himself up. Owens tried to fire up, but Solo downed him in the corner and talked trash. He gave Owens a violent hip check in the corner, then tagged in Jacob Fatu. Cole said Owens is exhausted and physically and emotionally spent. Fatu crushed Owens with a hip check of his own. The ring looked like it moved. Owens looked dazed.

KO fought to his feet, trying to slow Fatu. Jacob hit the ropes and speared Owens, cutting him off. He tagged in Tonga. Tama pounced on Owens like a rabid animal. Graves said Tonga could’ve tried to win the match, but that’s not what this Bloodline is about. They want to destroy their opponents. Tonga smothered Owens into the heel corner. Kevin flailed wildly, trying to hit anything. He was easily overwhelmed. Cole called it a mauling. Solo tagged in. He knocked Cody off the apron, then charged at Owens. Kevin pulled the bottom rope down, sending Solo crashing to the floor. Owens saw his opening. He crawled to Orton. Tonga Loa ripped Randy off the apron.

“We want Roman!” the crowd taunted Sikoa as he continued to beat Owens down. KO took it on the chin. He challenged Solo to hit him. He fired off a few punches of his own, but was quickly overcome by the Bloodline’s new leader. Sikoa tagged Fatu again. Jacob talked trash to Cody on the apron as the match approached 16:30. Cole and Graves said Fatu lacks any morals. The newcomer charged at KO in the corner, leaping. Owens moved. Fatu’s head cracked against the ring post. Fatu managed to tag Sikoa, but not before Owens reached Cody Rhodes.

Rhodes exploded into the ring off the hot tag. He dropped Sikoa once, twice, and then spun him around with a snap Powerslam. Cody leapt to the middle rope and gave Solo a Disaster Kick. Tama Tonga entered the ring. Cody caught him with a Cody Cutter. Fatu tried to get involve, but Rhodes knocked him to the floor. He dove through the middle rope onto Sikoa. Cody re-entered the ring and dove through the opposite side, aiming for Fatu. Tanga Loa took the bullet instead. His head crashed into the table violently. Rhodes launched Fatu over the timekeeper’s barricade and into the ringside doctor.

Back in the ring, Cody turned to eat a Spear from Solo Sikoa. He covered him for a near fall. Sikoa hoisted Rhodes onto his shoulders for a Samoan Drop, but Cody slid down his back. He set up for a Pedigree. Solo broke free. He went for a lariat, but Cody ducked. Sikoa took out the referee. Rhodes gave Sikoa Cross Rhodes, but there was no referee to count. Owens delivered a frog splash on Sikoa. Orton slid in the ring, pounding the mat. He gave Solo an RKO. The babyfaces had Sikoa dead-to-rights, but no one to make the count.

Orton led the charge to floor. He and Owens cleared the announcers desk. Cole and Graves took refuge in the timekeeper’s area. They set Sikoa up for a Shield Bomb. Fatu leapt into frame and broke it up. He charged at Orton, but Randy moved. Fatu crashed into the referee and the steel steps. Owens kicked Fatu in the head repeatedly, laying him out on the desk. He climbed the turnbuckles and gave Fatu a Frog Splash through the desk as the match crossed 22:30. There was feedback and modulation coming through the broadcast. Graves’ headset was cut.

KO slid Tonga in the ring and set him up for a Powerbomb. Tanga Loa gave him a low blow from behind. Orton rushed in and gave Loa an RKO. He hit Tonga with one, too. Solo tossed Orton to the outside. Cody grabbed Sikoa and gave him Cross Rhodes. He held on, looking for a second. Jacob Fatu returned and dropped Cody with a flipping springboard attack. He helped Solo to his feet. Fatu held Cody by the arm. “Acknowledge me,” he said. Sikoa delivered a Samoan Spike and covered Rhodes. Fatu tossed the referee in the ring and he counted the three.

WINNERS: The Bloodline in 24:39

Jacob Fatu retrieved the Ula Fala from ringside and ceremoniously placed it on Solo Sikoa. Cole and Graves noted that Sikoa just pinned the WWE Champion. The Bloodline held up their ones. The Bloodline posed on the ramp as Kevin Owens and Randy Orton joined Cody in the ring. Cole tossed to the post-show panel of Jackie Redmond, Big E, and Wade Barrett in the lobby of the arena.

(LeClair’s Analysis: Really strong, albeit straightforward six man tag team match. This reminded me of the Bloodline six-man tag at Backlash in 2022 in a lot of ways. Despite being relatively formulaic and basic in nature, the overness of the acts coupled with the strong investment in story helped elevate a contest that had few stakes in-ring. The new Bloodline looked vicious, violent, and unpredictable. Kevin Owens, in particular, brought the fire he promise. Jacob Fatu shined in his in-ring WWE debut, and Solo was framed was a credible threat to Cody Rhodes and the WWE title. This accomplished exactly what it set out to do.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: A strong show, aided by a lively and engaged crowd from start to finish. I think this could’ve been elevated further by swapping the World title and the six man. Without a major angle to close the show when it felt like fans were clearly expecting one, the anticipation of Drew McIntyre’s cash in and potential interference from CM Punk and even Finn Balor could’ve not only delivered a higher-stakes main event, but also helped legitimize a World Title that I think has struggled to feel relevant and above the mid-card in the last few months. Both Money in the Bank matches were strong outings, with fitting winners. This was a fairly big improvement over the last few PLEs and put the company on a strong path for SummerSlam. Thumbs up.


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