Hmm, alright then.
This was definitely the most mixed WWE PPV of the year so far. It had some really good point, but it also had a fair share of it’s weird/bad moments too, so I’d understand if you came away with a negative overall view of the show, but personally, I still thought it was a pretty good overall product. Granted, it didn’t seem like it for the first hour and a half or so, but once the show picked up I think it kept a pretty consistent quality.
Every match has its place, however, so let’s take a look at where those places are, as I rank every match from WWE Money in the Bank 2019.
11 – Roman Reigns def. Elias
I would’ve never criticised WWE ever again if Reigns had just turned around and smacked Elias in the mouth right then.
As was to be expected with a 10 match card, we got a couple of really short matches last night and I generally find it pretty hard to put super short matches any higher than last unless they served a real purpose (like Seth vs Brock from Wrestlemania).
So why did I rank this one lower than the other one? Because it was shorter is pretty much the only reason. Elias’ cartoonish sneak attack on Reigns made it pretty obvious this was going to be a squash too, especially when Elias came down to the ring anyway and busted out his electric guitar. As could be predicted, Reigns’ music hit just as Elias was walking up the ramp, Reigns got some payback, then he rolled Elias in the ring and 7 seconds later Reigns had won. Pretty much right on the hour for when Game of Thrones started, which I’m sure was just a coincidence but I’m going to pretend it wasn’t for comedic purposes.
It’s not entirely clear what Reigns is going to be doing over this summer so it wouldn’t surprise me if this feud kept going for another match at Super Showdown, although they’ve got to fill out the numbers in that 50 man battle royal somehow.
10 – Rey Mysterio def. Samoa Joe(c)
(United States Championship)
Apparently, all the referees were just completely blind tonight.
So, the current story is that this match was cut short once Joe started bleeding quite heavily thanks to a broken nose, which I’m fine with, the wrestlers’ safety should always come first after all, but I’m not a huge fan of the way they did it.
Sometimes, when they have a “botched” finish like this, where the referee doesn’t see something and ends up declaring the wrong winner, it makes sense. The situation of where the competitor was compared to the referee means you can believe that the ref might not have been able to see the ropes or a shoulder off the mat, but there was really no excuse on this one. Not only was the referee looking almost directly at it, but Joe’s shoulder could not have been higher off of the mat by the time the three hit.
Not only that, but it’s been established in recent years that in a situation like this, they will show the replay on the arena screens, or a second referee will run down and correct the mistake of the original referee, which only makes things all the more confusing in situations like this where that doesn’t happen. The commentators can clearly see it right in front of them, and they’re literally 10 feet away, can the referee not just check the video? It seems so non-sensical.
Either way, I liked the post-match beatdown, and I really hope it’s building to Dominick getting involved physically sometime soon because it’s really weird just having him stand there and watch his father get destroyed and not even try to stop Joe.
9 – Becky Lynch(c) def. Lacey Evans
(Raw Women’s Championship)
Well that was exactly what I was expecting it to be.
This is one of those matches, where I don’t really have much bad to say about it, but I also don’t have a great deal of praise to dole out either. If this had taken place on an episode of Raw, it would’ve been classed as really good, but on a PPV? It’s fine, but nothing special.
I understand, of course, Becky had to wrestle two matches, so she didn’t wanna go crazy in this one, and as much as Lacey is better than we give her credit for, she’s still got a ways to go before she cracks that upper tier of brilliant matches. As I’ve said, this match was perfectly serviceable, but there really wasn’t any moment that stuck out to me as being particularly great or awful. I do think it was a bit short though, I know Becky’s got to wrestle two matches, but you couldn’t have let this one go just a little bit longer? The finish felt way too sudden.
Hopefully, Lacey Evans fades to the back of the line for a little bit, partly because I want to see Becky face a variety of opponents on Raw, but also as much as she lost pretty decisively here, her stock has been raised by competing in a high profile feud with Becky like this; a lot more than walking up and down the ramp every week did at least. That raising of stock for Lacey would almost certainly be undone if she had to take another loss from Becky-Not-Actually-2-Belts-Anymore-Hope-You-Didn’t-Buy-That-Shirt.
8 – Bayley wins the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
With the exception of the finish, there really wasn’t much to be excited about in this one.
For one thing, it went really short for a Money in the Bank ladder match going a mere thirteen minutes, which was shorter than both World title matches and the same length as Shane vs Miz, which takes away from a lot of the drama and excitement you can get out of the match. Secondly, there was a real lack of big and impactful spots throughout the match. Naomi’s stuff was fun, and the matrix dodging of ladders was something we haven’t really seen before, but none of the ladder spots we saw here were anything worth shouting about.
Carmella’s “injury” also didn’t really seem like the best touch, partly because it was pretty obvious it wasn’t real and also because they drew almost no attention to it barring a couple of quick cuts when there was a split-second break in the action. I also don’t really feel like anyone outside of the winner got a chance to really shine during the match, Ember Moon’s eclipse from a ladder was awesome but when you take a look at the rest of the match she’s basically a complete non-factor for most of it.
All that said, I really liked the finish. Sonya literally carrying Mandy to the top of the ladder looked great, and it was only made better when Bayley sprinted up the ladder and stared at Mandy will all of hell’s fury behind her eyes. It felt like such a cathartic character moment for Bayley, like after all the crap she’s been through for the past two years she’s finally had enough and won’t let anyone take her opportunity from her. Honestly, that finish alone pulled this match up a whole place.
7 – Tony Nese(c) def. Ariya Daivari
Well, wouldn’t you fancy that? When you give the cruiserweights a chance to shine, they actually shine.
It’s at this point that I realise I actually like this show a lot more than I thought I did, because from here on out I pretty much only have good things to say about the matches. Once again, the cruiserweights got their once in a blue moon to put on a killer match on the main show of a WWE PPV, and while it wasn’t as good as Murphey vs Ali from Survivor Series last year, it was certainly still a great match to watch.
Daivari played a great heel, but not one that looked weak and had to cheat every 5 seconds despite what his character seems like. The action kept up a pretty fast pace throughout and there were almost no wasted motions between the pair. It never quite reached that higher gear of amazing spots and intense back and forth, but it certainly outperformed your average WWE PPV match, and proved that Tony Nese is a legitimate champion.
I’m not entirely sure what’s next for Nese, but there’s no shortage of opponents for him on 205 Live. If Nese carries on having these great one-and-done feuds with the whole 205 roster, he’ll be a very good champion indeed.
6 – Shane McMahon def. The Miz
I know, I’m as surprised as you are this was good.
I honestly don’t understand how this happened, it’s one of the most boring stipulations in WWE, with a non-wrestler and a wrestler who doesn’t do well in hardcore matches, and somehow it was great. My world has been torn asunder.
Shane plays such a good heel in matches like this that it’s a wonder he was ever a face, to begin with. The way he sprints up the cage wall at every available opportunity adds this sense of urgency to the whole match and creates a great dynamic where The Miz is desperately trying to ground Shane and keep him down at every opportunity because Shane won’t hesitate to make a break for it if he has the chance.
There was so much back and forth between these two and the chemistry between them seems to be so tight at this point I honestly don’t think they could put on a bad match. We had plenty of exciting spots, like Miz catching Shane off of the coast-to-coast, Shane falling from almost the top of the cage flat onto his back, the figure 4 where Shane almost escaped, and the Skull Crushing Finale onto the chair where Shane got his foot on the ropes despite the fact that there’s no rope break in a cage match. Well ok, maybe not that last one.
I’m also ok with the finish because it makes Shane seem lucky without making Miz seem stupid, and I imagine we’ll probably see one more match between the two at some point over the next month to wrap things up. I hope so anyway because this feud has been surprisingly good the entire time.
5 – Charlotte Flair def. Becky Lynch(c)
Bayley def. Charlotte Flair(c)
(Smackdown Women’s Championship)
I’ve lumped these two together since there’s not enough to write about them both individually, and they run into each other pretty heavily.
I honestly didn’t think they were going to do the matches back to back like this, but the way everything turned out really made the best of that situation. Charlotte looking super pleased with herself was a great touch as she came out, and it was clear she didn’t want to give Becky a moment to recover after the first match.
So this match was only about five minutes long, but it worked for the story that they were trying to tell, it lasted long enough that you thought Becky was going to be able to pull a fast one on Charlotte, only for Lacey Evans, who we all forgot about, to give Charlotte the advantage and hit a big boot (which completely missed, but let’s ignore that) to win the match.
Charlotte winning the title here made it so that I think we all instantly knew how this was going to end. A quick beatdown on Becky followed by Bayley’s music hitting and the crowd full on exploded at that moment. Considering it feels like only a few months ago she was being booed out of arenas for being scared of a stick, I’m so glad this move to Smackdown has done her well and hopefully, this reign lasts longer than 48 hours and she gets a chance to put on great matches defending the title all summer.
4 – The Usos def. Daniel Bryan & Rowan
The words “kickoff show” have no meaning to Daniel Bryan.
I thought this match would still be awesome despite being on the pre-show, but man, these guys really put their working shoes on. Sure, the match had no steaks and really had no reason to exist in the first place, but that doesn’t stop it from being full of exciting moments and fast-paced action from some of the best wrestlers in the world.
All four men put on some great work here, Bryan & Rowan’s teamwork continues to develop in every match they have, and honestly, it looked at points like Rowan could’ve taken both Usos on his own. Bryan, of course, did the great work he always does, grounding the Usos at every opportunity and continues to make every single opponent he wrestles look like a million bucks.
The Usos were no slouches either, they wouldn’t stop flying all over the place and doling out superkicks like there’s no tomorrow. They aren’t the team I’d have picked to win this match, but given how much fun this match was to watch, I don’t really mind. Not to mention, Daniel Bryan’s post-match promo on WWE.com could lead to a great story, so right now, I’ve got nothing but positives about this one.
3 – Kofi Kingston(c) def. Kevin Owens
More of this, please.
I know the crowd weren’t as into this as they could’ve been thanks to the Universal title match that came before it, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this match rocked.
It was a little slow to start, with Owens mostly playing the heel role of wearing Kofi down for a while, but once this thing got going, it told such a brilliant story. This whole year with Kofi has pretty much been a story of him absolutely refusing to say die, no matter what is thrown his way and no matter how much of a beating he takes he just won’t stay down, and that was all this match needed to run with, and Owens showed the effects of it all over his face.
Once Kofi started to come back and we got into a more back and forth pace, Owens’ performance was absolutely pitch perfect for the story of the match. Every single time Kofi kicked out or got back up he would slowly begin to lose his shit more and more, lashing out at the crowd, at the commentators and at Kofi every single time Kofi got back up. It created this brilliant sense of urgency towards the end of the match where Owens was becoming more and more vicious and trying absolutely everything he could think of to keep Kofi down, and Kofi just bided his time and waited for the opportunity to strike.
I don’t know if this is the end of the feud considering it was a clean finish, but I really hope there’s more of this to come, I think there’s so much great storyline opportunities to be had with Owens getting so unbelievably frustrated at how he can’t put Kofi away that he has to resort to some sort of drastic action, and I have the faith in the Smackdown creative team to pull it off.
2 – Brock Lesnar win the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
We’ll talk about…that in a moment, but before we get bogged down, let’s take a look at the rest of the match because it was awesome.
First off, we need to give the man of the match award, and a giant ice pack to Finn Balor because holy crap he damn near killed himself in this match for our entertainment last night. Not only did he take that incredible sunset flip from the top of a ladder, onto another ladder which bounced making him land on it a second time which might be the greatest ladder spot I’ve ever seen, he also was dropped multiple times onto other ladders around the ring by Drew Mcintyre which were probably even more painful with the force he landed on some of them.
On top of that, we had Ricochet and Ali flipping around each other the whole time which was so much fun to watch, even when Ricochet was just lobbed straight through a ladder by Drew. Drew and Corbin’s partnership was a nice touch, it gave the match a back and forth and proper structure in amongst all of the chaos that was going on around the place, and even better when it inevitably imploded.
Then of course…there was the finish. I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it if I’m honest. For one thing, it made Ali look like an idiot because he could’ve unhooked the briefcase and been out of the ring by the time Brock got to him, but that’s a minor detail, the most important thing is that Brock Lesnar is the Money in the Bank briefcase holder. I’m not pissed off by this decision, and I’m not all that upset that Brock has the briefcase, however, I would’ve prefered anyone else in that match (except Orton) to win instead of Brock.
I think this mostly because it seems really obvious what’s going to happen. I absolutely love the idea of a guy like Brock with Money in the Bank, a dude who can run you through in seconds when you’re at 100% having the opportunity to pounce on you when you’re at the weakest is a brilliant threat, and watching whoever is champion at the time absolutely shit themselves whenever his music hits would be great; but that’s not what’s going to happen.
All that’s going to happen is Heyman will announce the cash-in for an upcoming PPV, be it Super Showdown or Summerslam, that’s all it will be and quite frankly did Brock really need Money in the Bank to do that? All Brock needs to do to get his rematch with Seth is show up, throw a few dudes about and demand it, meanwhile, you could’ve given the briefcase to someone like Drew ready for later in the year.
At the end of the day, I don’t think Brock winning Money in the Bank is a bad thing, but it was certainly the worst of the present options; the match was still awesome though, so second place it stays.
1 – Seth Rollins(c) def. AJ Styles
Oh, thank God it was good, really really good.
You have no idea how paranoid I’ve been this past month that this match was going to underwhelm and disappoint compared to its expectations, AJ Styles matches have a history of that in WWE after all, but my paranoia was baseless because this match was a sight to behold.
It was paced to absolute perfection to start with, the feeling out process lasted just long enough to get your mouth watering for them to pick up the pace and that’s exactly when they did. Watching these two go back and forth was so much fun, and seeing AJ being able to outwrestle Seth for a large part of the first half was an interesting way to tell the story of the match because it meant Rollins had to rely on his killer instinct to make a comeback.
The final 5 minutes were fever pitch and an absolute blast to watch, that Curb Stomp into Styles Clash counter was a thing of beauty, I’ve watched it so many times now and I’m still not entirely sure how they managed it so seamlessly. It was able to suspend the disbelief of the result as well because there was no way Seth was ever going to lose this match, but goddamn if I didn’t doubt that fact during a couple of the near falls.
This is everything I had hoped for both from a Seth vs AJ match and Seth Rollins as Universal Champion, if all his matches are going to be like this, we might need a separate list at the end of the year just for Seth Rollins matches because right now, this is tied with Kofi vs Bryan for my favourite main roster match of the year. Please, sir, I want some more.
So there you have it! That’s what I thought of every match that took place at Money in the Bank 2019! Having written the review now, it was actually a lot better of a show than I gave it credit for at the start, there were some weird moments, but ultimately almost every match was good to great from top to bottom.
Still, what do you think? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @10ryawoo. I’m away next week so there won’t be any posts, but the following Friday you can expect my rankings of Doctor Who Series 2!