Join Rob and Dan for the Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast as they discuss the Smackdown Live exclusive PPV Money In The Bank 2017. Controversy throughout the PPV and the sudden British summer has the guys on edge this week!
Join Rob and Dan for the Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast as they discuss the Smackdown Live exclusive PPV Money In The Bank 2017. Controversy throughout the PPV and the sudden British summer has the guys on edge this week!
Money In The Bank did not disappoint, it was a solid show from start to finish with some excellent wrestling at times and a few surprising moments. Controversy in the first ever Women’s MITB ladder match, a shocking debut and hopefully a few teases of things to come.
It’s vary rare for me to walk away from a WWE main roster PPV with a good overall opinion of it, but I was very happy with what happened. I see potential in all story lines and even though my favourite wrestlers didn’t win. I am content.
Straight in with the controversy! Oh the internet seems to be massively divided on this on. Some people despise the ending other people love it. I personally loved it.
In case you are unaware the finish of the match saw James Ellsworth tip Becky Lynch from the top of the ladder, proceed to climb the ladder, retrieve the briefcase and then drop it into Carmella’s waiting open arms. It was a complete mockery off a finish, showing complete disrespect to all of the women involved. This was their moment to show the world they could do it just as well as the men and it was ruined.
It was the PERFECT heel move. Absolutely brilliant! I mean, what a disgusting thing to do. To ruin the inaugural Women’s MITB ladder match by having a man decide the finish. The heat Carmella should receive from this is unreal. This is where a lot of people seem to be getting confused again. You didn’t like what the heel did? You aren’t meant to. It’s meant to rile you up!
The only problem I had with it was the confusing referee discussion after the bell rang. It made it seem like Shane McMahon or Daniel Bryan were going to come out and restart the match but never did. It clearly confused the crowd to who just stood there waiting for something to happen.
As for the match itself, I thought it was unfortunately a little sloppy. Certainly not the high standards we know the women can reach on their day. I certainly thought the ‘this is awesome’ chant early on was incredibly generous of the St Louis crowd. Not that anyone is going to remember the match itself its all about the finish.
I’m not entirely sure why the WWE made the creative choice of having all 5 women come out to the ring, then show a 3/4 minute video hyping up the match. Surely it would have made more sense to open the show with that promo package? As for the video itself, even more marketing bullshit promoting the women’s revolution. Stop patting yourselves on the back every chance WWE, it makes everything seem so much more forced and false.
Money in the Bank is actually one of my favourite PPVs of the year. Unofficially its the real fourth member of the ‘big four’ (sorry Survivor Series), so I guess we could make it the big five? At least in my opinion anyway.
It’s actually one of my favourite match types as well. Ladder matches are always fun but then you’ve got such an interesting stipulation to play with as well. Will the winner cash in on the night? Will they bide their time and wait for the perfect time to strike? Or will they announce their chosen time to challenge fairly for the title. Potentially you’ve got a years worth of story lines being created in one match. I love it.
This year Money In The Bank is a Smackdown exclusive, which I really dig. You don’t need both shows having a briefcase each. Make it more exclusive, make in more unique and make it more important.
Having said that this year is the first year that the WWE are doing a women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match. So you can go ahead and scrap that more unique and exclusive nonsense I just spouted. Okay, so first of all I really like that they’re doing a women’s match. It will be really cool to see what they can all do and I love the idea that we’ll get to see them play out all of the possible ‘cash in’ story line options for the first time. It would be fantastic if they’d figured out a new, never seen before twist for this, but even if they do something we’ve seen before it will be with new people and a new spin.
However, I said the same thing when Raw and Smackdown had a Money In The Bank ladder match each or when WWE have three Hell In A Cell matches in one night. Less is more. The main problem is far too often they end up spreading themselves too thin, having to share out moments and spot ideas. After all you can’t have the same table spots two matches in a row, the crowd wont keep on popping for them. So potentially instead of having one brilliant match you get a few good ones, or worse average ones. Hopefully we get two excellent matches though.
I do wonder in what order they will lay out the match card though. Will they have the Money In The Bank matches before the Women’s and WWE Championship bouts allowing for cash in opportunities. Will they have one on the night at all? Would they have two?! That would be crazy and I bet few people would see it coming. I think its more likely that the winner of the women’s will cash in than the men’s though as I see Jinder holding the title for a while. Whoops, prediction spoilers…
The first ever women’s Money In The Bank Ladder match. Will it be great or will it be a flop? I mean, hopefully it won’t be a flop…why would anyone hope for that? Weirdos.
I joke but in all seriousness this match, just like the Hell In A Cell match, the tables match and the Iron Man match has to deliver. Not just to shut up that section in the audience who just love to see things fail but to continue to show Vince McMahon that yes, the women in his company can be just as good as the men. I have complete faith that they have all the ability in the world to knock it out of the park, they just have to do it right on the night.
But who is going to win? Well, I think it’s between three ladies. Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Carmella.
Carmella?! I hear you cry. If there was ever a dark horse in this match it would be Carmella and I can just imagine James Ellsowrth following Carmella down to the ring each week carrying her briefcase for her. That image alone would be fantastic! I think I can rule out Natalya and Tamina without any second thought but Carmella (who I know a lot of people will say is the weakest of the group) could be a brilliant heel with that Money in the Bank contract up her sleeve.
Which leaves Charlotte, who is an obvious contender simply for being Charlotte and Becky Lynch. Now with Charlotte you have to think about who she would feud with, if Naomi is still champion I think it will be unlikely for Charlotte to win. That is of course unless WWE a thinking very long-term.
With Becky however, she has fallen from number one babyface on Smackdown AND Women’s Champion, to neither the champion or number one babyface. With Charlotte arguably taking over the role of face and Naomi obviously champion. Becky kind of needs the briefcase to stay relevant in the topper half of the division. Plus, you can go a few ways with her as Ms Money In The Bank, either as a face or perhaps with a heel turn. Which again, Charlotte probably wouldn’t do as she’s only just turned face.
My pick here is Carmella, thanks obviously to a massive assist from James Ellsworth.
The final Smackdown PPV/Network Special of the year. Perhaps in Raw’s hands I wouldn’t have been looking forward to yet another gimmick based show but Smackdown have been doing very well since the brand split. So I went into this with decent hopes.
Overall it was a decent show but there was something missing overall. I can’t really put my finger on it specifically. That matches were okay, but not amazing. The crowd were generally quite quiet. The only reason I can think of is that the build into the show wasn’t good enough to get people hyped up enough for the matches. It makes sense, a lot of time and effort went into the survivor series build and then just two weeks later we’ve got this show. When wrestling rushes story lines it does damage the end product.
We saw two title changes though. One we all saw coming, the other a pleasant surprise. Title changes don’t equal good shows but I think it’s fair to say if the status quo hadn’t changed on this show it would have been received a lot worse.
Why do Smackdown have a four man announce booth? That’s rididculous. I thought three was too many! The problem is Tom Phillips rarely even talks, other than for the direct to camera pieces. I will say that I found Otunga less annoying than usual but when you stop and listen to him too closely he is just spewing total garbage as usual. Personally I would go back to the two man booth idea, with Mauro Ranallo and JBL. Face and heel, play by play and colour commentary. Perfect.
It could have been a thing for a while and I’ve just not noticed, but the flickering through Randy Orton’s old themes into Bray Wyatt song is awesome. It shows more conflict and is more convincing in 5 seconds than I’ve found Orton as a member of the family. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving it. I just want Orton to commit. A change of clothing or something! Otherwise I’m just sitting here waiting for the swerve.
Also what is with Rhyno’s facial hair? He looks hilarious.
Incredibly quick match, nothing really to it. The finish sees Randy saves Bray from a big clothesline in the corner from Rhyno, tagging himself in. Luke Harper then saves Orton from a gore on the outside. A quick RKO later and we have new champions!
The most interesting thing about this was the post match tension between Harper and Orton. Eventually seeming to come to an agreement with Randy passing him his title to carry as Bray had.
I don’t really want to say it, but it really does feel like a big step down in quality when watching Nikki Bella and Carmella as opposed to Sasha and Charlotte etc. I do like how Nikki has her hair up though. I’m hoping its a UFC style reference about being more serious with it being a no DQ match but I’m probably wrong.
The match is alright, but nothing special. The finish is effectively a prolonged fire extinguisher spot before the Rack Attack 2.0. It was a pretty convincing win for Nikki, the exact opposite of what Carmella needed.
After the match Carmella rather blandly declares that is wasn’t her who attack Nikki before Survivor Series, it was Natayla. Why didn’t you say that before then ya big dummy! Later in the show Nattie unconvincingly says that she didn’t do it. I’m hoping for the Eva Marie swerve down the line, otherwise this is the most obvious plot ever.
I loved the promo package hyping the importance of the intercontinental title. I love that WWE are trying to build it up to mean something again. The video showed the history of the belt though it oddly skipped most of 2000 to 2015. It’s almost as if the belt meant absolutely nothing during that era!
I’m not sure why Dolph is wearing his America tights again. Stop trying to get extra fan support you sly dog! I had no idea that Ziggles was 3-0 in ladder matches at TLC, would never have guess that in a million years.
Good match, though not as good as their No Mercy bout. It struggled, like a lot of matches on the show, for some direction for the first chunk. Eventually The Miz starts working Dolph’s leg and we get a proper match, with ladders. Rather than a ladder match. Know what I mean? The gimmick should enhance the show, not drag it down.
Why would The Miz waste time setting up a second ladder, next to an already set up ladder? Miz ya big dummy, that’s not helping you out at all. Gotta say though, Dolph loves headbutts on the top of a ladder. He does it every time!
Did we get a new champion!? No because Dolph Ziggler fannied around at the top of a the ladder when he had approximately 7 years to grab the belt. Ziggler ya big dummy! Miz retains! Good call, he’s doing top work right now.
Kalisto is an idiot. He runs down to the ring and starts looking for chairs underneath it. Apparently oblivious to all the chairs surrounding the ring. You freaking idiot. Also, when did he start wearing shorter trunks? I don’t like it.
Ranallo says that Corbin is not about friends or titles, just money. Little does Baron know that you earn far more money at the top of the card when holding the title. What an idiot!
I’m not really a fan of the bully verses underdog story. I feel like I saw it too many times with Rey Mysterio. So I just don’t really care about any of it. Surely Kalisto would be better of on Raw with the other cruiserweights? Surely.
Corbin keeps falling for the ‘whatever you set up ends up hurting you’ cliche of wrestling matches. This is a pretty decent chairs match, but that’s like saying this is a pretty good turd sandwich. You still don’t want it.
There’s an awesome catch from Corbin turning a dive into a Deep Six on the outside while the finish sees an End of Days onto a pile of chairs (which surely hurt Baron more) to win the match.
It was a good showing from Kalisto as he didn’t get annihilated, much to my disappointment. The commentary team try and put over how dominate Corbin was. Despite the fact he wasn’t that dominate and almost got upset by a midget.
This match was slow and it was quite clumsy. Alexa Bliss threw some of the worst punches I’ve ever seen too. Laughable. Come on Bliss, you’re better than that!
The crowd actually started chanting for JBL at one point The chant gets briefly and mildly booed. At least it wasn’t CM Punk chants I guess? Seriously, don’t chant stuff like that guys, JBL doesn’t deserve that support. Save it for Tom Phillips, he needs encouragement to say his first words.
The table match gimmick was a hindrance here. It stopped the flow of the match and generally removed any good story telling or match psychology. I don’t think it’s Becky or Alexa’s fault though to be honest. How are you meant to build up a match that ends in an instant?
Predictably the match does end out of nowhere. A powerbomb off the apron to the outside and we’ve got a new champion! I did not see that coming! Will the feud continue? I assume so.
Immediately after the match Generic Backstage Interview #4 shoves a microphone in Becky’s face asking “how do you feel?”. How do you think she feels! Get out of here you idiot.
The promo package before this match shows just hoe much James Ellsworth has been involved in this feud. Too much. However, credit to AJ Styles for making those matches entertaining in fairness. Can I just say how great it is to have Styles in the WWE? He should have been here years ago but better later than never I suppose!
2 hours in an we’re at the main event? This one is going to go the distance! promo package shows just how much James Ellsworth has been this feud. credit to aj for making the matches work so well in fairness.
Straight out of the gate Dean Ambrose throws punches even worse than Alexa Bliss in the previous match. Pathetic stuff.
AJ Styles is so good that even when he tears a hole in his tights mid match he can still put on a clinic. He makes everyone look a million bucks. I’m pretty sure I heard Dean laughing about it to Styles moments after being put through a table though and Kevin Dunn seemed obsessed with having it in shot at one point.
I really enjoyed this match, highlight of the show. It was pretty much a spot fest but they kept upping the stakes every time. It was awesome.
Ellsworth comes out to interfere and the crowd boo. I think the honeymoon period is definitely over for everyone’s favourite jobber. Luckily he’s there to turn heel and cost Dean the match by pushing over a ladder causing him to crash through two tables. Ellsworth is a delusional idiot. If WWE do it right, he can still be an interesting character. Or, and far more likely, they’ll continue to overuse him too high on the card and drive everyone nuts.
Ellsworth comes out to interfere. the crowd boo. honeymoon over james? aj wants to do another styles clash off the stairs, but dean saves him and hits the dirty deeds. taking roughly 8 millenia to climb the ladder aj catches him. and then Ellsworth finally turns heel, sending dean crashing through two tables!
AJ wins! The champ that runs the camp retains. Excellent.
It seems like only two weeks ago I was watching Survivor series…wait. It was only two weeks ago! Bloody hell lads these come around a bit quick don’t they?!
TLC, another worthless gimmick event, is the final Smackdown exclusive Network Special/PPV of the year. Don’t worry though Raw’s Roadblock special is literally just around the corner too. Smackdown’s PPVs so far have been the better ones since the brand split, however so much focus went on Survivor Series that they’ve really only had a two shows to build this event.
I’ll save my ‘I hate gimmick’ PPV rants for another time. Long story short having forced gimmick matches for the sake of it takes away from their impact and meaning. It’s the same with Extreme Rules and Hell In A Cell. TLC is particularly daft though as it means we get a ladder match, tables match and a chairs match? A chairs match?! Are you kidding me!?
Before I burst a blood vessel, let us move onto my predictions.
Kalisto verses Baron Corbin? Oh boy, consider me really exci-Zzzzzz.
Oh sorry, fell asleep for a moment there. Not sure why, where was I? Oh yes, Kailsto verses Corb-Zzzzzz.
Snore. I just couldn’t care any less. It’s the worst match on the card and it’s also been given the dumbest stipulation. A chairs match. How many jabs to the stomach and shots to the back can you take? I’m not saying I want head shots back, but it does look rather dumb to have a weapon legal yet rules on how to use it.
I also don’t understand who this feud is supposed to be helping? Baron Corbin attacking cruiserweights doesn’t make him look like a badass to me. And why is Kalisto involved in with the other cruiserweights? What’s that about? The sooner we move on the better.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Tell you what I am looking forward to though. Carmella hitting Nikki so hard in the chest that her ‘bella twins’ (she means her tits! Shhhhh!) will pop out through her back. What a ridiculous threat! I love it.
Carmella still needs a few big wins under her belt to seem like a legitimate threat in the Smackdown women’s division. She can start with one at TLC. It doesn’t have to be super clean, but it’s a no DQ match anyway so that’s fine.
When this feud between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt started, I didn’t like it. I thought it was far too predictable. After all the story goes, Bray talks nonsense and then Bray loses. Instead, Bray won and Orton has joined the Wyatt family. Sure, it’s no doubt a long play on Orton’s behalf but right now this is new territory for a Wyatt feud and I like it! Granted Brya has trying to convince people to follow him for literally years, but I never thought it would actually happen! So I’ll admit it, this is pretty cool. I was wrong.
Heath Slater and Rhyno, the Cinderella champions have done a decent job but it’s time to move onto the next chapter. I honestly believe that Bray and Orton can do great things with the titles. Both for their own story line and the tag team division in general. I just hope it doesn’t end with Wyatt losing to Randy at Wrestlemania.
Winners: The Wyatt Family
I think it is time to end this feud now. I feel like it has run its course. Its been brilliant at times though but we’re in a situation in which Miz can do more with the title than Dolph can. And considering Miz only just won it back a few weeks ago, it would be foolish to have a switch so soon. I wouldn’t put it past WWE to have another unexpected switch, after all it’s all the rage with the Raw Women’s Title.
Problem is, if Dolph doesn’t win. Where does he go from here? Momentum wouldn’t be on his side and he’d kind of be regarded as a bit of a failure again. Which was the whole point in him beating The Miz in the first place.
At the end of the day though, I’m expecting another great match between these two and having it as a ladder match ups the ante just a little bit more. Plus, these two do hate each other so a violent match up makes perfect sense.
Winner: The Miz
Has there ever been a women’s tables match in the WWE before? First Hell in a Cell now this, the worlds gone mad!
I love it.
As much as I would like to see Alexa Bliss win the Women’s Title, she deserves it for her work she’s done since her call up. However I think it would be better in the long run for Becky Lynch to retain at TLC. She needs a nice long title reign for herself and to stabilise the division.
The trick here is to have both women coming out looking strong. Especially Bliss, even if she doesn’t stay in the title picture she needs to prove that she can step it up to the next level as well.
Winner: Becky Lynch
You know it’s a worry when a feud for the WWE World Title revolves around a glorified jobber. Ellsworth hasn’t yet completely soured for me, but I know other people are sick of him already. I’m expecting him to be heavily involved in this match too though. Maybe with a heel turn? He is after all getting more and more cocky about his victories over Styles.
I’m no longer a fan of Dean Ambrose, I just don’t enjoy the work he’s doing anymore. He’s too quirky, wacky and ‘fun’. I want the crazy and unpredictable Dean Ambrose back! Not, silly hot-dog cart Dean.
AJ Styles has to hold onto the title, surely. It’s his destiny to face Cena at Wrestlemania right? Even if that’s not the case, I don’t think putting the title back on Dean is a good idea just yet anyway. His last run was booked rather poorly meanwhile Styles has been brilliant. I think on the night AJ will win, via an Ellsworth heel turn.
Winner: AJ Styles
Well, Survivor Series wasn’t a disaster. It was however a bit of a mess but that’s mainly down to traditional elimination matches, they’ve always been a mess. Over crowded, over booked and under booked at the same time. The Tag Team match was awful.
…and then the main event happened. Good. Lord. What a surprise! Shocking in every sense of the word.
The worst part of Survivor Series, apart from how ultimately pointless most of it was (see Intercontinental and Cruiserweight stipulations for proof of this). Is that because we had so many cross brand promotional matches the commentary teams got mixed up. However, for the most part they chose the worst parts of each team to work together. JBL, Saxton, Otunga and Cole is not a dream team by anyone’s imagination. Why couldn’t we have just had Mauro and Corey Graves do the entire show?!
Also side note: I really enjoy the crowd chanting 10 for every number of a referees count. It’s incredibly stupid, but a lovely reference to Tye Dillinger. Continue reading
No Mercy was Smackdown’s second brand exclusive PPV. Their first Backlash was a pretty decent show. Beating all expectations and sending a lot of people home happy. It’s actually the wrestling event that got me interested in the product once more.
Did No Mercy live up to Backlash? Yes and no really, mostly no. Don’t get me wrong in thinking it was a bad show though. It was enjoyable, with the WWE and Intercontinental title matches were the highlights. I’m starting to worry though that with these specials coming every other week that the fans will get burnt out rather quickly though. No Mercy, much like Clash of Champions before it just felt like a glorified version of Smackdown or Raw.
The PPV kicks off with the World Title match! Normally I’d sh*t all over this, but it’s Presidential debate night so I completely understand the logic. Get those fans tuning in and hope they stay tuned it. It also means, that John Cena (who came out first) is the curtain opener for the first time in…well, a long time!
Mauro Ranallo makes the great point of kicking off the show with the main event and unlike previous world title match openers, it actually feels like it too. After the three competitors come out we get a fantastic promo video package to set the table. WWE have done a great job in making AJ Styles shine. He actually feels like a huge deal in the WWE. When he first joined, I thought they’d keep him hidden in the midcard but no less than a year into his run and he’s the world champ! Love it, even though he’s the heel he’s got a lot of crowd support too. Chants of “Let’s go Cena/AJ Styles” ring out at the start, poor Dean Ambrose…
It’s an incredibly quick paced start. All three men go looking for their finishers, but can’t hit them. It quickly brawls to the outside with Styles eventually getting the better of the opening exchanges with a phenomenal forearm to the outside to John Cena.
It’s a really good match, a fantastic opener. It’s got to be said though that due to Dean’s ‘offence’ he really does look like the weak link here. He’s punches are meh, his wacky line through the ropes clotheslines always looks stupid. His jump onto the second rope of one corner clothesline into the other corner looks daft…AJ Styles and John Cena (that’s right I said it) are in a league above.
Towards the end of the match there’s a huge false finish in which both Cena and Ambrose have Styles in submissions at the same time, AJ tapes out. Despite the fact that the ref initially calls for the bell, he then rules the match must continue as it’s not a clear finish. Why ring the bell in the first place then dummy?
AJ eventually brings in a chair and takes out Cena to pin him for the THIRD time this year. It’s not clean, but that’s incredible! Styles retains, much to my delight.
For some reason just before this women’s match, we got a promo for Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt. Then after both entrances we get another promo video, this time for the actual match. I’m assuming that was a mistake? If it wasn’t, it didn’t make any sense!
The opening few minutes of this match are all Carmella, she flat out dominates. The crowd don’t seem to into anything about this unfortunately. I hate to say it but this really does have shades of old ‘divas’ matches, rather than the new women’s style.
I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe the reason why the crowd weren’t 100% behind this match was because they just saw the main event of the evening moments before?
It’s not a bad match, but it ends very abruptly when Nikki hits her new finisher somewhat out of nowhere to pick up the victory. It’s a shame WWE didn’t have Carmella win, it would have been a chance to make her look really good. Continue reading