Hot damn! WWE’s Money In The Bank pay-per-view is usually the highlight of my year, as it has been since inception.
The inaugural event in 2010 sparked a fire under Kane (no pun intended) as he bested 7 other superstars to claim the Smackdown briefcase. He then came out to save Rey Mysterio from the villainous if underwhelming Jack Swagger, only to return mere minutes after chasing Swagger to the back, clutching his newly won Money In The Bank contract and cashing it in on the crestfallen “Ultimate Underdog”. Brilliant move.
2011 had CM Punk with the home field advantage defeating the seemingly unconquerable Goliath (as much as they don’t want you to think so) John Cena for the coveted WWE Championship and promptly skipping town with the championship belt, leaving the company with no flagship champion, because let us face facts, the World Champion at the time was a creepy little bastard who won the belt by spitting in Randy Orton’s face. Pathetic.
2012 had a double whammy with CM Punk in the midst of his epic 434 day championship reign, defeating fellow Ring of Honor alumni Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson to those who’ve been livin under a rock since 2010.) in a great match to retain the championship. While earlier in the night, Dolph Ziggler managed to grab his guaranteed shot at the World Championship by outlasting 7 of the rising stars of the company.
This year… Eh… Let me just analyze this match by match for you.
WWE Rising Stars Money In The Bank Match
Winner gets a guaranteed shot at the World Heavyweight Championship
Damien Sandow def. Dean Ambrose, Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro, Fandango, Cody Rhodes & Wade Barrett
Let’s start off with “Wade Barrett has a new theme!”… Again! For what seems like the hundredth time since his debut Wade Barrett has come out to new music. Why? I liked The Corre’s theme. Then they changed it every week for just about five consecutive weeks. I liked “I Don’t Care Anymore” (Well, the second version). I didn’t like his theme before this one. Seemed way too bland. This one though has a bit of British flavour (Yes, that’s with a U, you vowel stealing fools!) with the “God Save The Queen” proceeding it. The music also coinciding with shots of the Bull Hammer in his titantron was cool too. I like this song. Anyway…
Let’s just focus right here on Damien Sandow. I’ve said for weeks that I would mark out for Damien winning. If only so he can ambush the World Heavyweight Champion slowly, biding his time with his witty words proclaiming “SILENCE!! One would like to relinquish one’s Currency In The Building Society contract to relieve this ignoramus of the World Heavyweight Championship!”. I could vividly imagine it in my head. No longer do I have to do that as the Intellectual Saviour (Again, with a U) of the Masses retrieved the briefcase, in a move that I saw coming a million miles away. Let’s set the scene. Damien is knocked to the outside of the ring, we see him retreat into the announce area, probably seeking respite (Look at me being all verbose!) from the match. We don’t see or hear of him for what feels like ten minutes. By this time the ring is cleared and Cody Rhodes is inches away from winning the match. All of a sudden, Damien strikes, using intellect over brawn and throwing his moustachioed colleague off the ladder and claiming the contract for himself. Smart move. Great move. I loved it.
However, Damien wasn’t only shining star in this match. Cody was too. He looked dead set on winning before the betrayal. There was even a point where he issued multiple Cross Rhodes to his foes. I love that move when done right and Cody definitely does it right (Suck it, Nova.) Also a special shout to his Beautiful Disaster kick. It really is quite a beautiful move, and is now light years ahead of the now old and busted Flying Chuck kick.
Oh and there’s Dean Ambrose, the United States Champion. It’s a rule that a mid-card champion has to be in one of these Money In The Bank matches, and it damn sure wasn’t going to be the “All-Stars” match. Dean showed why we love the Shield, innovative offense (to a WWE crowd, that is) and a fresh take on the stable gimmick (Without being buried within 2 months like the Nexus… And yeah, I loved the Nexus. I own a Nexus armband. Don’t judge me.) and damn that moment where Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger are holding a ladder on their shoulders, essentially letting Dean skin the cat to stand on the ladder was inspired. Sure, he ended up being dumped out of the ring, it was still very cool. As was the Headlock Driver from the ladder. I’m going to dub that move something. It was going to be the “Skullfuck”, but that’s not PG. Whoops.
Talking of Cesaro and Jack Swagger, interesting use of a tag team in a Money in the Bank ladder match. From memory, I think this was the first tag team to be involved in MITB, and it was another refreshing sight to see them work together cohesively and not end up falling out over custody of the case. One of the best moments was when there was no ladder in sight, so Antonio climbed onto Jack’s shoulders and they walked to the center of the ring to try and take the contract that way. Wasn’t successful, but was fun regardless.
The less said about Fandango, the better. Natch.
Oh and Wade Barrett’s Bull Hammer onto Swagger on the ladder was fun as hell. A great way to open the pay-per-view, and the spot where The Shield interfered to aid their comrade, only to be thwarted by The Usos was great. I applaud everyone in this match with the exception of Fandango. Fandango sucks.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Curtis Axel (c) def. The Miz
Talking of sucking… Here’s Curtis Axel and The Miz! Oh my GOD… I had no interest in seeing this match whatsoever. Not a single fuck was given. At all. So, I spent most of my time browsing Facebook and Tumblr, checking back once in a while to see if the match was even close to being over. For the most part, no. No it wasn’t.
Most notable part of the match was when the referee wasn’t looking Miz took a dive and pretended Paul Heyman popped him in the mouth. That was a whole lot of bullshit. Does Miz like pretending he has a glass jaw? There’s no way that a manager should ever be accused of punching a wrestle to the floor. AT ALL. Paul Heyman is a 47 year old, rotund, silver tongued shyster. If this were 1991 when he brandished a cell phone (A brick cell phone. My technology has changed) then sure. Maybe he would have knocked a guy down. But this Heyman, who just under a year ago was assaulted by Stephanie McMahon knocking The Miz to the ground? No. Not buying it, and if I were the referee I wouldn’t either. I would have laughed at Miz and continued refereeing the match. It’s laughable!
The match mercifully ended with a modified face buster (To describe it, you twist your opponent in a neckbreaker, but rather than sit out, you spin them back out into a falling facebuster.). Otherwise known as NXT Star Leo Kruger’s Kruger End finish. That’s another finish that a WWE Superstar has nicked from NXT (Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks used the tag team finish of Corey Graves and Jake Carter. Wade Barrett uses a striking elbow which is a less impressive version of Kassius Ohno’s rolling elbow and for a brief moment Fandango used a dance into STO which is Bray Wyatt’s Sister Abigail move. Dammit.)
Unfortunately for us, that wouldn’t be the last we saw of Curtis Axel… Ugh.
WWE Divas Championship
AJ Lee (c) def. Kaitlyn
Another match that I didn’t want that much to do with. Don’t get me wrong, I like AJ Lee and I like Kaitlyn but I lost interest in their feud after AJ won the Divas Championship and proceeded to continue to break Kaitlyn down. Back to Tumblr. Back to Facebook. Back to Twitter.
AJ retained her belt with the Black Widow submission, but my interest had submitted a long time ago.