Since Lauren and I are the only two suckers stuck watching Money in the Bank and covering it here at Bleeding Cool tonight, and we've both covered an equal number of matches so far, we decided we'd both cover the actual Money in the Bank match, but Lauren will try to pay attention to what the women are doing and I'll pay attention to the men. That's not a sexist, traditional gender role thing. Lord knows the women's division is the only interesting thing about WWE these days, and even that's pushing it. So Lauren called dibs on the women's match and here we are.
This is one of those rare instances where I have no idea what's going to happen in a WWE match beforehand. WWE filmed this match at Titan Towers, their corporate headquarters in Connecticut. The idea is that the ladders and briefcases are set up on the roof of the building and the competitors will battle from the ground floor to the roof and then ultimately to the top of the ladders. Both the men's and women's matches are taking place at the same time, and it will presumably be presented in a similar cinematic style to the Boneyard Match at WrestleMania.
The big question tonight is who's going off the roof. We know it's happening. We just don't know who or how or when. Is the risk really worth the reward when the risk is potential death by falling off a building? Competitors for the men's briefcase are AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio, Aleister Black, Daniel Bryan, Baron Corbin, and Otis.
Before the match, we got a post-match interview with R-Truth from earlier in the night. R-Truth believes he fought MVP, not Bobby Lashley (he didn't), and also that he won the match (he didn't). He notes that MVP lost a lot of weight. Truth is lonely despite his victory because he doesn't have the 24/7 48/7 7/11 I-95 South 1492 Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue championship. He vows to win it back from Tom Brady.
After WWE filled as much time as possible with commercials, Michael Cole and Corey Graves finally announced the start of the Money in the Bank matches. Cole explained the rules, and it looks like we're doing entrances, sort of, in the lobby for the women and in the gym for the men. Remember, read Lauren's articles for the women's action.
So Here's How the Men's Money in the Bank Match Went Down
The men started off with a brawl in the gym. Mysterio and Black battled on some exercise equipment. King Corbin tried to smash Daniel Bryan with a wight but broke a mirror instead. Mr. McMahon is gonna be pissed. Bryan pummeled him. Styles and Otis traded blows while this was going on. Otis masked Styles' head into a sanitation station and then trapped him underneath a heavy barbell. Styles asked Mysterio to help him, but Mysterio declined.
The rest of the men exited the gym and a chase through the hallways past the bathroom began. Mysterio was interrupted by Brother Love, who was leaving a toilet. The other four made their way over to an elevator area and traded punches as they battled into elevators. Mysterio arrived after the elevator left. The elevator opened into a hallway with several of the women and lots of chaotic punching and grunting occurred. Otis cheered on Bryan as he delivered Yes kicks to Corbin, tied up in the ropes of a decorative ring display. Bryan then kicked Otis and ran off. A poor Doink the Clown impersonator stuck his head up from behind a nearby chair after Bryan left.
After some women's action, we caught up with AJ Styles, who finally got out from under the barbell. He punched a hole in a Ray Mysterio painting on the wall and set off in search of Mysterio through the hallways, trying all the locked doors. Styles paused with fear when he saw a painting of the Undertaker. Finally, inside one door that opened was a room lit with blacklight with a coffin inside. Styles had flashbacks to the Boneyard Match. Black snuck up on him, kicked him in the head, and locked him in the room with the coffin.
Paul Heyman was trying to enjoy a nice catering meal when both the men and women charged into the room. Otis called for a good fight and tossed a tray of food into Heyman's face. Chaos broke out as the men and women engaged in an intergender food fight, in which Nia Jax took out Mysterio with a nut punch. Jax and Otis faced off while Otis munched on a sandwich. Jax shook her head and the two went their separate ways. Otis made his way to the cafeteria next and began munching down some more. John Laurenitis pulled up on a scooter and Otis hit him in the face with a pie and scampered off.
Next, we found Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles battling into Vince McMahon's office. Vince appeared in his chair and his theme song played. He kicked them out. They straightened up the room before leaving. Vince used some hand sanitizer after they left. Outside, Bryan and Styles argued over who was more cowardly in there, then resumed punching each other. They fought out into a hallway and Corbin ambushed them both. Then Black attacked Corbin. They battled into a conference room. Corbin came out on top and announced he was headed for the roof.
I'll point out here that the women made it to the roof first, and there appears to be just a single ring with two briefcases suspended above it. I don't know why, but I assumed there would be two rings. This should be interesting. Corbin made his way to the ring as Asuka was reaching for the briefcase. He tried to share the ladder with him, but she slapped him off. The women's Money in the Bank match ended, and I'll again direct you to Lauren's article for the outcome.
Otis made it to the roof next, but the ladder broke when he tried to climb it. Corbin entered the ring and punched him into the corner, then drove the ladder into Otis's gut. Isn't Otis's gut as impervious to pain as a Samoan's skull, kayfabe-speaking of course? It seems so, as Otis shrugged it off and went for the caterpillar on Corbin. Black came in and took him out though. Mysterio arrived next and he and Black climbed opposite sides of a ladder. AJ Styles made it up and pushed the ladder down.
Let's Take a Look at The Finish
Corbin nonchalantly grabbed Rey Mysterio and just tossed him off the roof. He tossed Black off next. Inside the ring, Styles climbed the ladder. Bryan climbed the other side. Corbin and Otis came in and pulled both men off. Corbin tossed Bryan from the ring. Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Otis and headed for the top of the ladder. Corbin was right behind him on the opposite side. Both men traded punches and reached for the briefcase. They both unhooked it together and grappled for control. Elias came out of nowhere and hit Corbin in the back with a guitar. The briefcase fell and Otis caught it, winning the match without ever needing to climb the ladder.
I think I expected a lot more from this match than it actually delivered. The PPV ended at 9:30, which seems really early. The match itself was okay but didn't live up to the potential. Of all the potential cameos, we got Vince McMahon, Brother Love, Stephanie McMahon, John Laurenitis, Paul Heyman, a random janitor, and Not Doink the Clown? That's it? Well, I guess that's actually for the best since most potential cameo appearances are also people in high-risk demographics for the virus which shall not be named on WWE programming.
From a cinematic standpoint, the camera work didn't really give a feel for the layout of the building, as the scenes just transitioned from themed area to hallways to the next themed area. The score and mood were all over the place with lots of comedy spots, but it had neither the gravitas of the Boneyard Match nor the intelligence and humor of the Firefly Funhouse match. Both of those rose above WWE's typical output, but this match was right on par for what one would expect from WWE, which, these days, is not a compliment. As a match, it was just a bunch of punching and shoving in hallways for the most part. Corbin tossing two superstars off the roof and no one making a big deal out of it kind of took away any impact from what was supposed to be the big spot of the night. And does anyone buy Otis as a potential World Champion? As such, I give this match two murder charges against Baron Corbin.