It’s another WWE Pay Per View they’ve reinvented. I like Pay Per Views with an actual theme but jettisoning all your history at once seems a bit much. At least they back-pedalled on cancelling Survivor Series. Normally I praise the opening videos WWE puts together for their Pay Per View openings, but this time out it’s a pedestrian affair.
This is sponsored by Criss Angel? Please don’t let him perform on the show. We’re in the heartland, Kansas City. The Pay Per View announce team is the standard Matt Stryker, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. The Spanish team are here as well. I’m told they are very talented performers. We open with the Smackdown Money in the Bank match and I’m predicting right now the winner cashes the shot in tonight. Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Christian, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, Matt Hardy, Drew McIntyre, Kane and The Big Show enter in that order.
As is typical of these big matches most of the time the majority of the competitors are down while the action focuses on a few people. People also tend to gang up on Kane and The Big Show. Kofi Kingston does a great drop off a ladder into Drew McIntyre on the Spanish announce desk. There’s a lot of big moves in general, more risk than the WWE normally allows, but the match is what we call a spot-fest. There’s just strings of random moves, no real story being told in the match. We get to see Big Show’s giant ladder in the match. The ladder is so big, Show has legit trouble getting it into the ring. It’s the focus of the action for a long time. Drew McIntyre comes back from going through the table and it looks like he’s going to win, but in a surprise, it’s Kane who Chokeslams’s McIntyre from the top of the ladder then unhooks the briefcase and wins the contract. This makes it far less likely my prediction about the Smackdown winner cashing in will come true.
Sheamus interview is next. He’s wised up about Nexus. He doesn’t want them interfering so John Cena has no excuse. He has never received the respect he deserves as a two-time champion and if he has to destroy Cena to get it he’s only too happy.
A Women’s Match is next, or maybe a Diva’s match since it’s for the Diva’s title. Eve gets another rematch against Alicia Fox. I know people who have real faith in Fox so maybe she’s more than she seems. It’s a short match but Fox gets a clean win and a chance to establish herself as a real competitor. More titles up next, the tag titles. The Harts and the Usos have been having a simmering feud for a while now and it’s nice to get a title match out of it. The Harts get the win with a Sharpshooter. That raises the question of what’s next for these teams? There are a couple of new tag teams on Smackdown and maybe Koslov and Santino are forming a team but, overall, tag team wrestling in the WWE is in pretty poor shape.
It seems awfully early for Mysterio/Swagger but that’s what comes next. The fake ankle injury on Mysterio threatens to make this a less exciting match than it could be. The ankle is the story for the whole match, but it doesn’t stop Mysterio from winning. Swagger attacks Mysterio post match, but Kane shows up and chases Swagger off from beating down Mysterio. Then Kane returns and cashes in his contract! I was right in the first place. It’s a non-match beatdown before Kane finally wins his second world title in a long career.
Next comes our second lady’s match of the night as Kelly Kelly takes on Layla. Michelle McCool will certainly have a role to play in the match since she is still claiming to share the Women’s Title. Kelly looks to be in better shape than she’s ever been but this is hardly a wrestling clinic of a match. The ending is particularly weak as it’s just a reversal of a pin attempt that lets Layla (and LayCool as a unit) retain the title.
The ring is once again surrounded by ladders as the RAW Money in the Bank match is next. Randy Orton, The Miz, Mark Henry, Ted Dibiase, John Morrison, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne and Edge are your 8 competitors. Mark Henry acts as a bargain basement Big Show with the early attacks focused on him. This match has been built better than the Smackdown one, with more intersecting storylines among the competitors. The action is also superior since there’s only one big plodding guy. Evan Bourne gets a few chances to win and some support from the crowd, but it’s Orton who the crowd is behind the most. The ending is not what I expected as it’s The Miz who captures the briefcase. Already the United States champion if he can win the WWE Championship as well that will be a first. But my feeling is Miz will wait a while to cash this in and, when he does, he’ll be the first MitB winner to fail in their title match.
The video promo for the main event is the best of the night and ties this match to the Nexus storyline perfectly. The match itself is a decent brawl but it’s hurt by knowing that, until Nexus shows up, it’s all just time filler. You can see John’s underwear. Sheamus is so pale when he sweats he looks like a Twilight vampire in sunlight. Nexus does show up. Tarver has bolt cutters but a very brave ref grabs them and runs. Then they try to intimidate the next ref into giving them the key. He throws it away. The refs are rocking. Back in the ring Sheamus taps out to the STF but there are no refs left to call for the bell. Cena tries to escape but Nexus tangle him up. On the other side Sheamus gets past Heath Slater to escape just as the ref is coming to. So Sheamus retains but it’s entirely because of Nexus. Nexus runs but leave some of their own behind, this time Justin Gabriel and Michael Tarver, for Cena to take his frustrations out on.
The Summerslam ad included a shot of The Undertaker. At this point, and this is not a new theory, it seems more and more likely it was actually Kane who attacked The Undertaker and SummerSlam will feature the brothers mixing it up again with a title on the line. On RAW we need to get Cena out of the title picture and focused on Nexus. Which means we need a new #1 contender. But who? Orton? Bourne? Morrison? It should be somebody willing to lose so now might be time to give someone their first title shot in WWE.