Liam Hoofe reviews last night’s Money in the Bank PPV…
Money in the Bank 2017 is now in the history books and, well, it has certainly got people talking. The night was one full of controversy and some fans are even proclaiming it as one of the worst pay-per-views of all time. Smackdown did drop the ball somewhat last night, but does it really deserve to be mentioned in the worst of all time conversation? Here is my match by match breakdown of the card…
Carmella wins the Women’s Money in the Bank
The first ever Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match kicked off the night and it’s a match people won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
The in-ring side of things was fine. The women got a reasonable amount of time to do their thing and delivered some nice spots. They kept things safe throughout the match, which is perfectly okay – a ladder match can be great without someone having to kill themselves for a pop.
The vast majority of the match was one on one action, with women almost tagging in and out at times, but it kept stories going well and kept a clear division between the faces and the heels. Tamina actually impressed me quite a bit here – she has a great physical presence and last night showed that her booking has killed any prospect of her reaching the top, not a lack of talent.
And then there was the ending – Carmella picked up the win after James Ellsworth climbed the ladder, grabbed the briefcase and threw it down to her. Was it cheap? Sure, but for the sake of balance, it made some sense. Having Ellsworth playing the cowardly heel manager is a good move, and Carmella winning the briefcase seems logical.
Does the fact that the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank match was effectively won by a man damage the match? Yes. The match was built on what a historical event it was going to be, so having James Ellsworth effectively beat the SmackDown women’s roster kind of makes it look like a bit of a joke. On the other side of things, it has gotten people talking, and no-one is going to forget it anytime soon.
Match Rating: ***
The New Day Defeated The Usos Via Countout
Another match, another controversial finish. The match between The Usos and The New Day was a fairly pedestrian encounter considering the teams involved. The whole thing just never really got going in the way that it should have done but I guess as the first match in a feud that will likely last a few months (SmackDown’s tag division is hardly brimming with number 1 contenders right now) then it served its purpose.
The ending saw The Usos just walk out of the ring and get themselves counted out. It was, like the first match, quite a cheap way to end things but I guess it makes sense. The Usos are heels after all, and using the ‘champion’s advantage’ is a logical thing for them to do. They live to fight another day, and The New Day have a reason to continue chasing the belts through the summer.
Match Rating: ** 1/2
Naomi Defeated Lana to Retain The Women’s Title
WWE’s insistence on pushing Lana into the title picture is a worrying sign that the company wants to revert back to the times when women would win the belt purely based on how attractive they were. She is being booked as the next Sable, and in more progressive times in the WWE, this one just doesn’t sit right.
It’s not that Lana doesn’t have any talent, but she is not in the same league as a lot of the women on the roster and the commentators’ attempts to make her seem like a legitimate threat emphasised this.
To be fair, Naomi did a fairly decent job of making Lana look okay in the ring and I liked Carmella appearing at ringside towards the end of the match – though, once again, I understand that this will divide opinion as it was the third match in a row with a strangely booked ending.
Match Rating: **
Jinder Mahal Defeated Randy Orton to Retain the WWE Title
It’s kind of amazing that on a PPV that features a match with Lana in, that the WWE title match is the least interesting on the whole card.
WWE tried to give the match something a little extra by having the legends at ringside, and they really try to play up the fact that it was Randy’s hometown, and that it was Father’s Day, but nothing struck a chord.
The match was the usual Randy Orton affair and the sooner he is away from the title picture, the better. Jinder is still nowhere near the level he should be, but a feud with someone different may help him show off some of his strengths.
The finish came after The Singh Brothers got into a disagreement with Cowboy Bob, forcing Orton to go on a rampage and beat them down. Jinder then utilised this distraction to hit his finisher on Randy for the pin. This one was lame.
Match Rating: *1/2
Breezango Defeated The Ascension
Well, this was pointless. A blink and you’ll miss it match that had no reason to be on the card other than to allow fans a toilet break.
Match Rating: 1/2
Baron Corbin Becomes Mr. Money in the Bank
So after a night of in-ring action that was average at best, the PPV finally delivered in the main event. As you’d expect from the 6 men involved in this match, the in-ring action here was awesome and the character beats were all perfect too.
Corbyn attacking Nakamura at the start of the match was a nice touch as it provided the match with a big pop halfway through the bout when he made his inevitable return. Owens character work was impressive as always and some of his spots were brutal. Zayn had a great outing, his plucky babyface persona got over really well in this match and his spot with Ziggler when he hit the powerbomb off the ladder was awesome.
Corbyn winning was 100% the right choice, and I like the fact that they gave us a glimpse of how awesome a match between AJ and Shinsuke could be towards the end of the match. The finish was a bit underwhelming, but that’s a minor niggle.
This was a great Money in the Bank match to close a very bland PPV.
Match Rating: ****
This PPV was probably the worst since the brand split. Controversial booking decisions and lackluster matches made the night feel like an endurance test more than anything else. The use of cheap finishes was far too excessive and even if some of them made sense, it was far too much for one night.
The saving grace for the card was that it was bookmarked by two great Money in the Bank matches – especially the main event. While many are claiming this is one of the worst PPV’s of all time, I will try and remain slightly more optimistic about it – this wasn’t terrible but it was terribly mediocre. On the whole, though, the show will be remembered for its controversy before anything else.
What did you think of Money in the Bank? Was it one of the worst PPVs of all time? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter, here- @liamhoofe