WWE Money In The Bank 2020 was kind of a trainwreck.
Sometimes, WWE puts on a trainwreck that you just have to see. You’ve gotta see it to believe it. And it takes on that weird, “so bad it’s good” aura.
This was that kind of trainwreck.
WWE Money In The Bank 2020 was the kind of trainwreck that got more interesting the longer it went.
WWE continues to navigate the treacherous waters of a post-coronavirus world. And they continue to do it badly. But between the big ideas and better-than-expected execution, WWE Money In The Bank 2020 offered a glimmer of hope for WWE.
Kickoff Match – Jeff Hardy Vs. Cesaro
When was the last time Cesaro was on a main card for a PPV?
The guy was a made man at WrestleMania XXX, and now he’s opening the curtain for the WWE Money In The Bank 2020 kickoff show. Sigh. Also, Jeff Hardy is here. I’m glad, because there’s no way AEW would possibly know what to do with the Hardys. Amirite? Eh? Anyway.
Apparently Cesaro is joining us from the Matrix.
Lots of trading whips, shoulder tackles, and hip tosses to start, punctuated by an atomic drop from Hardy. Cesaro dumps Hardy across the barricade on the outside. Why are there barric- y’know what? No. No, I’m just gonna roll with it. If they don’t care, why should I?
Hardy tries to do what little high-flying his body will still allow him to do. With mixed results. So Cesaro just hammers Hardy’s shoulder into the ring apron. That looked stiff as hell.
The announcers are talking about “ring rust” in reference to Hardy. As though he hasn’t spent the last 15 years returning from eight or nine suspensions a year. Corey Graves says, “Cesaro could be a megastar.” With literally any other wrestling company? Yeah, I agree, Corey.
Both guys trade backslides (Jeff, why?), and Hardy gets the Twist of Fate, but it only gets two. Cesaro gets a gutwrench suplex off the top, but Hardy kicks out.
They brawl on the outside for a while, and back inside Hardy hits the Swanton Bomb for the pin.
This was fine, and both guys held up their end of the match. I poke fun, but Hardy was showing signs of ring rust, and Cesaro had to work hard to keep him in it. Another reason why the Swiss Superman deserves better than the WWE Money In The Bank 2020 kickoff show.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Match Rating: **
Fatal Four Way, SmackDown Tag Team Championship – New Day (C) Vs. Miz & Morrison Vs. Lucha House Party Vs. Forgotten Sons
All right, let’s do this. I’ve had three beers already, so I should be able to make it through WWE Money In The Bank 2020. Also, I’m gonna take a shot every time they say “The risk is worth the reward.”
So look for me to fall asleep on my keyboard in about eight minutes. Y’know, I was just kidding, but Graves and Cole have said it about forty times during the entrances.
Full disclosure: I thought the Lucha House Party got fired a month ago.
Gran Metalik starts out against Kofi. You kids at home remember Kofi Kingston? WWE Champion for, like, six months before getting jobbed out in eight seconds to Brock Lesnar? Anybody? No? Okay.
Morrison and Metalik go up top and do the obligatory “dive onto the rest of the conveniently-gathered wrestlers” spot. Cutler tags in and gets Metalik in a headlock, and Metalik tries to escape by slapping him on the gut. Um. Okay?
Metalik goes all Juvi 98 and tags in Dorado, who cleans house. Everybody in this match is wearing puke green except the Lucha House Party, so I’m cheering for them. It’s Kofi and Miz now, an Kofi tries to start a “New Day Rocks” chant. Sigh.
Skipping to the end, the referee ejects Jaxson Ryker from ringside. With the Forgotten Sons in disarray, Big E hits the Big Ending on Metalik for the pin.
If you’ve seen one multi-team tag match, you’ve seen them all. This was fine, but what a waste of a great showing by Lucha House Party. They carried this thing.
Winners (And STILL Champions): New Day
Match Rating: ** 3/4
R-Truth Vs. MVP
R-Truth raps for the crowd on his way to the ring for WWE Money In The Bank 2020. See, it makes sense for him. The guy is 73 years old and says John Cena is his childhood hero.
Please pro wrestle forever, Truth.
MVP is out in Black Panther-inspired gear. Both guys have an extended conversation about who is going to teach who (whom?) about ballin’. Truth is amazing. “Man, you ever score six points in one game?”
For some reason, Bobby Lashley makes his way out. He announces he’s there to take MVP’s place in the match. Truth wants to know why he doesn’t get the night off and accidentally slaps Lashley.
The announcers have to rationalize it as “MVP’s plan all along” in the absence of anything else. Storytelling!
Bobby goes all Lesnar on Truth and scores the win with a spear.
Well, that was certainly a match that happened.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Match Rating: DUD
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Bayley (C) Vs. Tamina
Aaaaand the “when will Sasha turn on Bayley” angle enters its 4,232nd day at WWE Money In The Bank 2020.
Bayley starts pushing and slapping Tamina around. Kinda hard to come off as tough with that “May I see your manager?” haircut. Heh. I’m gonna call her Karen now. Karen Bayley. Just for my own amusement.
Tamina bounces the champ around for a little bit, so Bayley goes after Tamina’s leg. Bayley goes for the pin, but the referee informs her that her coupon expired back in February.
The challenger goes for the splash, but Bayley catches her in a knee bar. Tamina makes the rope, and Bayley has to relinquish the hold and her new “Live Laugh Love” sign. Can somebody tell Bayley that shouting doesn’t equal evil?
Bayley gets a drink of water from the announcers (what coronavirus?) and spits it at Tamina. Seriously, do you guys watch the news at all? The water wakes Tamina up, and she goes back to destroying the champion. Tamina throws Bayley over the announce table (Corey: “Why didn’t you catch her, Cole?!”).
Back inside, the challenger goes for the splash, but Bayley gets her legs up. Tamina has it scouted and hits the superkick. Sasha comes in to break up the pin, but Tamina chases her off. Bayley takes advantage of the distraction, and takes Tamina down with a headlock (wait, what?) for the pin to retain.
Tamina tries to beat Bayley down post-match, but Sasha makes the save. The champ managed to get out of WWE Money In The Bank 2020 with her title and in time to get to Hobby Lobby before they close.
Winner (And STILL Champion): Karen Bayley
Match Rating: ***
Universal Championship – Braun Strowman (C) Vs. Bray Wyatt
So apparently we’re getting Bray and not the Fiend at WWE Money In The Bank 2020. Just as well – the Fiend shouldn’t be challenging for titles (or even caring about wins, for that matter).
Braun kills Wyatt for a few minutes, bashing him around the ring and into the ring steps and posts outside. Wyatt laughs through the pain, because he’s crazy and of course he does. Braun does lots of grunting and screaming between spots, something Austin and Big Show both warned against on The Broken Skull Sessions. So Braun doesn’t watch the Network?
The champion screams and charges at Wyatt, but the challenger sidesteps him, and Braun hurts himself. Wyatt’s puppets show up at ringside to cheer him on, and the challenger takes over. He takes Braun down with a tornado DDT followed by Sister Abigail, but it only gets two.
Wyatt starts talking to himself and sets Braun up for another Sister Abigail, but the champion counters with a chokeslam. The fight spills to the outside again with the champ in control. He throws Wyatt back inside, but Wyatt kicks him off the apron.
Braun rises from the outside wearing the old black sheep mask, making Wyatt delirious with happiness. Wyatt promises that the family will be perfect this time. They embrace, but ALAS, IT WAS A TRAP ALL ALONG! To the dismay of the Funhouse puppets, Braun steps on the sheep mask and hits the running powerslam to retain at WWE Money In The Bank 2020.
This was better than it had any right to be. And it finally turned this angle into a more well-rounded story, as evidenced by the Fiend flash cuts at the end.
Winner (And STILL Champion): Braun Strowman
Match Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Championship – Drew McIntyre (C) Vs. Seth Rollins
If Seth Rollins is gonna keep sporting the man bun, can we add a “BUN IT DOWN!” to his theme?
Seth stalls to start, because he’s that kind of lame heel. He tries to take McIntyre down at the legs, but the champ hangs on. The challenger reverses into a hammerlock, which the champ reverses in kind. McIntyre scores with a succession of shoulder tackles before clotheslining Seth over the top.
Another collar-and-elbow tie-up follows. Remember when Seth was the next HBK or AJ Styles or whatever? Well, now he does headlock reversals.
McIntyre whips Seth into the corner, followed by a standing suplex for a one-count. Seth his a dropkick to McIntyre’s knee and goes on the attack. He tosses McIntyre shoulder-first into the ringpost, and the champion tumbles to the outside. Seth hits a TOPE SUICIDA (copyright Excalibur) before throwing McIntyre back inside. The challenger tries to keep up the attack on the knee, but McIntyre dodges only to walk into a sling blade. Seth locks in a half-Boston crab.
Seth transitions into an STF and into a Crippler Crossface, but McIntyre makes the rope. So Seth starts kneeing him in the face a whole bunch.
To the announce table we go. Seth hits a flying knee off the table. With McIntyre reeling, Seth goes for another tope, but McIntyre catches him and launches him onto the table. It doesn’t break, though. Seth just bounces off of it and crashes to the floor.
Back inside, McIntyre hits a bunch of belly-to-belly suplexes before hitting the big boot. The champion goes up top and hits a flying punch. He rushes for the Claymore, but Seth rolls to the outside. The challenger hits a jawbreaker on the top rope and springboards back inside. McIntyre dodges and hits a spinebuster for two. Another long succession of back-and-forth action follows. McIntyre kicks out of everything Seth throws at him. So the challenger gets a chair but decides against using it.
Seth sets up for the stomp, but the champ dodges and goes up top. The challenger crotches him and sets up for a superplex. But McIntyre pushes him off. Seth pops back up out of nowhere and connects with the superplex followed by the Falcon Arrow.
McIntyre kicks out again. The champ hits the Future Shock DDT, but Seth kicks out. McIntyre goes for a superplex of his own, but the knees give out, and the champ ends up in the tree of woe. Seth stands on the knees to put more pressure on. But McIntyre launches him across the ring and goes for the Claymore, but Seth hits the Curb Stomp for two.
He goes for the stomp again, but gets answered with the Glasgow Kiss. McIntyre hits the Claymore for the pin to retain.
That match was yards better than it had any right to be. And it might have saved Seth Rollins from “who cares?” purgatory.
Winner (And STILL Champion): Drew McIntyre
Match Rating: **** 1/2
Money In The Bank (Men’s And Women’s) Ladder Matches – Otis Vs. AJ Styles Vs. King Corbin Vs. Aleister Black Vs. Rey Misterio Vs. Daniel Bryan; Asuka Vs. Shayna Baszler Vs. Dana Brooke Vs. Nia Jax Vs. Lacey Evans Vs. Carmella
The men start in the weight room, and the women start in the lobby. Asuka surprises everybody by diving from the catwalk and taking the elevator.
Back in the weight room, Corbin throws a weight set through a mirror and suddenly has a “crap, I have to pay for that” look on his face.
Otis puts a giant weight set on AJ’s chest. Styles begs Rey to help him, but the weight set is bigger than he is, so that’s a no-go. Meanwhile, Corbin, Black, Bryan, and Rey rush through the shower. For some reason Brother Love is in the bathroom. WWE Money In The Bank 2020 is gonna get weird, isn’t it?
I have no idea how I’m going to recap any of this.
Bryan yes-kicks the crap out of Otis, and for some reason Doink is there. Wait, what?
Meanwhile, the women converge in some random hallway. And Dana demands to know, “Tell me where that briefcase is.” It’s not a scavenger hunt, ya dope! Shayna and Jax come face-to-face in a conference room, and Dana hits Jax with a folding chair. And apparently there is a briefcase in the conference room. It’s decorative. Stephanie shows up to explain the rules in what is not-at-all an after-the-face inset shot.
Carmella is the only person standing in the conference room, and she walks into a Women’s Right.
Meanwhile, AJ comes back from the dead again. He wanders the hallways looking for Rey and winds up face-to-face with an Undertaker poster, which gives him Boneyard Match PTSD. AJ seeks refuge in a random closet, but there’s a casket in it for some reason. Black locks him inside, and we hear AJ screaming from the outside.
Both the men and women converge at a catering table manned solely by Paul Heyman. Otis demands a food fight. Which actually happens. I might hate this. The men and women are fighting each other for reasons passing understanding. Jax and Otis are the only ones left standing. Instead of making for the roof, Otis eats a sandwich. Well, at least they’re keeping with character at WWE Money In The Bank 2020.
Otis walks into the bakery, and John Laurinitis is wandering around on his people mover and takes a pie in the face. So basically, WWE HQ is weirder than the Firefly Funhouse. That tracks.
Meanwhile (again), Asuka takes some janitor’s broom and throws it at three of her opponents. Dana runs through and slips on the wet floor. Wah-wah.
AJ and Bryan brawl into Vince’s office where a corpse stands up and demands they leave. Oh, wait, that’s Vince McMahon.
The match finally makes its way to the roof, and Jax sets up a ladder only for Asuka to pull her down. Asuka scales the ladder and reaches for the women’s briefcase. Corbin rushes up to get the men’s briefcase, but Asuka — clearly unclear on the rules — thinks he’s after it and pushes him off. What?
Anyway, Asuka grabs the briefcase and becomes Ms. Money In The Bank 2020.
Otis makes his way to the roof and sets up a ladder, but Corbin fights him off. But Otis fights back, hitting the Caterpillar on Corbin only to immediately eat a boot from Black. Rey and Black fight over the ladder and scale either side only for AJ to knock it over. Corbin throws Rey and Aleister off the roof. Um. That’s murder. Someone should call the police.
AJ climbs and reaches for the briefcase, but Corbin meets him at the top. Both guys pull it down, but Elias rushes in and knocks the ladder over and the briefcase falls into Otis’ hands.
Winners: Asuka (Women’s); Otis (Men’s)
Match Rating: Are you freakin’ kidding me?
I’ll give WWE Money In The Bank 2020 this. It finally made the MITB match different.
Year after year of car crash after car crash was getting stale. Honestly, with some fine-tuning, I wouldn’t mind this being the format for this match going forward.
The right people won their respective MITB matches. And with the two world title matches either meeting or exceeding expectations, WWE Money In The Bank 2020 was way better than I expected.
It was still a little uneven. And it had way too many head-scratching moments.
But overall, WWE Money In The Bank 2020 was a solid show.
All images courtesy of WWE.
WWE Money In The Bank 2020
- McIntyre vs. Rollins was AWESOME
- R-Truth, please don't ever retire
- A welcome departure from the MITB formula
- Room for Braun vs. Bray to grow
- How long is this Bayley/Sasha thing REALLY going to go on?
- The MITB matches were a little too madcap
- Got enough cameos in that MITB segment there, Vince?