The 11th annual WWE Money In The Bank event from Hartford, Connecticut, was full of surprises. The event saw new champions crowned and potential champions-to-be anointed.
The card featured 11 scheduled matches with six titles on the line, including the heroine of WrestleMania 35 doing double duty, defending both of her women’s championships. WWE Money In The Bank has a history of changing the company’s landscape. Would the 2019 entry follow suit? And how did we do on our predictions?
Come along with us, as we recap the first post-Mania event for Vince McMahon and his band of punch-pulling misfits.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. The Usos
Y’know, if conservation and the elimination of waste is what Bryan is all about, shouldn’t he and Rowan share a single belt? Anyway.
The Usos cut a pre-match promo where they refer to Bryan and Rowan as Spongebob and Patrick. Because this show has 233 writers, all of whom have their finger on the pulse.
Bryan gets trapped in the Usos’ corner early and evades a couple of near-falls. Rowan enters the match and spends a couple minutes murdering Jay Uso before chucking him to the outside. Bryan pushes him back in and re-enters the match and now he and Rowan keep Jay trapped in their corner.
The champs each lay in a Greco-Roman resthold to build some heel heat. Bryan hits two running kicks, but Jay hits a Samoan drop on the third attempt. Rowan tags in, but Jay is able to get a fresh Jimmy into the match, and he goes ninja crazytown on Rowan in the corner.
Jimmy hits a splash and goes for a pin, but it only gets one as Rowan throws him to Saturn. A powerslam from Rowan gets two. The Usos try to double team, but they eat a double superplex for their troubles. Rowan tags in a fresh Daniel Bryan, who knees Jay in the chest about 47 times before Jay recovers. Jay goes up top for a splash but Bryan catches him on the way down and cinches in the Labell Lock.
Jimmy makes the save, but Rowan evens the odds. Jimmy and Jay do some tandem offense on Rowan to take him out of the equation. Bryan tries to rush outside to save Rowan but eats a double superkick. The Usos lay him out and hit the double splash to win the match.
Winners – The Usos
Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Naomi vs. Nikki Cross vs. Natalya vs. Dana Brooke vs. Ember Moon vs. Mandy Rose vs. Bayley vs. Carmella
Well, we’re opening WWE Money In The Bank with one of the MITB matches. Maybe they want to get one of the titular matches out of the way early in case people watch something else. Is there even anything else on tonight?
The action starts, and as all Money In The Bank matches are, it’s tightly choreographed and organized. Just kidding, it’s a cluster. All eight women pair off, including a n at spot where Cross traps Brooke and Carmella between the ring and the apron. Cross grabs a ladder and rushes into the ring and cleans house.
Ember Moon slams Cross into the ladder before getting dumped by Rose. Carmella dispatches Rose and she and Natalya each go to set up ladders. Natalya springboards Carmella into a ladder and tries to do the same to Naomi. Naomi recovers, lands on the rung, and moonsaults Natalya. Mandy sneaks back into the ring and takes out Naomi, only to take a ladder shot to the gut from Bayley.
Moon, Brooke, and Bayley fight over a ladder before Carmella sneaks back in and takes control. Everybody takes turns being the last woman standing until there’s a free-for-all for control over one the 433 ladders in the ring. Two groups try to sandwich Naomi with their ladders, but Naomi hits the splits, and they all take one another out.
Carmella looks to be injured outside, as trainers and referees swarm her and walk her to the back.
Bayley finds herself as the first with the chance to set the ladder up in the middle, but she’s intercepted by Rose and Natalya. They corner Bayley under the ladder and sandwich her three times, taking her out. Rose and Natalya get the ladder set up, but Naomi winds up with the one climbing. Moon pulls her off. Cross tries to go up and gets more of the same.
Chaos reigns and Brooke rushes in. She gets about three quarters up one side, but Rose races up the other side. Brooke gets to the briefcase first and winds up dangling from the chain. She climbs back down and tries to knock Rose off, and they slug it out at the top.
Bayley knocks Rose down, and Cross races past everybody to the top. Unsurprisingly, with five people on one ladder, the ladder topples, leaving Natayla alone until Moon hits an Eclipse from out of nowhere.
Rose sneaks in and slams Moon into another ladder. She’s all alone until Carmella limps back into the frey. Carmella slams Rose into a ringside ladder about seven times before chucking her into the barricade.
Carmella slips back into the ring and slowly heads up the ladder, but Sonya Deville runs in and pulls her down. She sets up the ladder and goes to bring Rose into the ring. Deville carries Rose up the ladder on her back. Rose reaches up, but Bayley races to the top and knocks both women off the ladder and claims the briefcase!
That was a really REALLY solid match with the right winner. I’m genuinely curious as to where they go with this.
Winner and NEW Ms. Money In The Bank – Bayley
Backstage, Triple H assures Sami Zayn that Braun Strowman has been banned from the building, so I’m sure he won’t be present at all tonight. Also, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’m selling on Craigslist if anybody is interested.
United States Championship Match – Samoa Joe (C) vs. Rey Mysterio
Rey proves to be a brilliant strategist, opening with punches. Joe kicks him twice and takes him down. Rey fights back and hits a hurricanrana on Joe.
Joe keeps coming back with his best shots, and Rey dodges all of them. A senton from Rey draws blood from Joe’s nose, but the Samoan monster quickly takes control back. He hoists Rey up for a powerbomb, but Rey counters and gets the pin out of nowhere to become the new United States Champion!
I think this was actually longer than their WrestleMania match. The replay shows that Joe’s shoulder was about a foot off the mat. Rey’s son Dominick comes out to celebrate with him, and Joe handles it with dignity and grace.
Just kidding, he runs out and beats the ever loving crap out of Rey. Joe looks Dominick in the eye as he nails a pair of back-to-back Uranagis on the new champion.
I’m glad to see them booking Joe as an evil badass, but I would’ve liked to have seen him get a longer reign with the title. Also, if anybody’s keeping score, I’m 0-3 on my WWE Money In The Bank predictions.
Winner and NEW United States Champion – Rey Mysterio
Because WWE security is ridiculously tight, Braun roams the backstage area hunting for Sami Zayn.
Steel Cage Match – The Miz vs. Shane McMahon
I wonder if this match will feature a 49-year-old man jumping off of a tall thing.
Shane goes to escape right off the opening bell, but Miz drags him back down and lays in the punches. Another pair of escape attempts are thwarted by Miz.
Miz gets a little overzealous, and Shane takes over, clubbing the back of Miz’s neck.
The fans start chanting “A-E-W,” so clearly folks are invested in this match.
Shane heads to the top and goes for the coast-to-coast, but Miz catches him and locks in the Figure Four. While still locked in the hold, Shane tries to drag himself through the door, breaking the hold in the process. Miz drags him back in, but Shane grabbed a steel chair, because those are just laying around. Because WWE.
Both guys are down, but Miz notices the chair and takes it. Shane begs off, but Miz hits him in the back twice with the chair. He holds the door open for Shane to escape but shuts the door on his head. Back to chairshot city, and Miz just keeps going to town on the junior McMahon.
Miz nails a Skull-Crushing Finale on the chair, but Shane gets a foot on the rope and the ref stops the count, which makes all the sense in the world in a no-DQ match. Miz goes for a SCF off the top, but Shane pushes him off, and both guys are down again.
Shane gets to the top of the cage, but Miz starts whacking him in the leg with the chair. Miz climbs to join Shane at the top, and we get a Greco-Roman top-of-the-cage slugfest. Shane knocks him off and hits a splash from the top rope for a two-count. If we’re being honest, this is better than it has any right to be.
Miz finds himself locked in a triangle submission, but Miz Hulks out of it and bridges into a pin for two. Shane tries to go through the door again, but Miz drags him in. He catapults Shane into the cage, but Shane’s momentum carries him into another escape attempt.
Miz rushes to the top rope, with Shane dangling over the edge of the cage, and tries to hook him for a superplex, but Shane slips out of his shirt and crashes to the ground.
That was actually a pretty interesting finish. And by interesting, I mean stupid.
Winner for some reason – Shane McMahon
There’s a plug for Mick Foley’s appearance on tomorrow’s Monday Night Raw, where apparently a new championship will be introduced, because the company doesn’t have enough of those laying around.
Backstage, Sami Zayn has been hung upside down from some apparatus or other.
Cruiserweight Championship – Tony Nese (C) vs. Ariya Daivari
This is on the main WWE Money In The Bank show? Did somebody slip Vince a mickey?
Both guys trade shots early, with Nese getting the better of it, getting a legdrop onto Daivari’s back for a two-count. Daivari dumps Nese over the top rope, but Nese jumps right back in and misses a springboard moonsault. He lands on his feet, but Daivari rakes the champ’s eyes across the top rope.
Nese swings blindly, and Daivari gets the upper hand. He whips Nese from corner-to-corner, and the champion goes back first HARD into the turnbuckle. Nese tries to get back into it, but takes an inverted backdrop for his troubles. Daivari lays the boots into him and botches an inverted Boston crab. Nese is a pro, so he sells it anyway.
Daivari tries to keep up the pressure, but Nese fights back. Another springboard moonsault gets another two-count for Nese. The crowd starts a “boring” chant, because WWE fans are idiots.
Nese gets rocked by some knees to the gut, but he sets up Daivari for a pumphandle slam. Daivari slips out and nails another kick to Nese’s midsection.
The fight spills out to ringside for a couple seconds before Nese tosses Daivari back into the ring. Daivari hits an armdrag off the top rope and goes for the pin, but Nese kicks out. They trade pinning attempts before Nese tosses Daivari to the outside and follows with a plancha.
Nese tosses Daivari back in and hits a 450, but Daivari kicks out. Daivari superkicks Nese to set up a splash and sets the champ up for a lariat, but Nese kicks out again. He goes for another splash, but Nese nails a hurricanrana followed up by a running knee and gets the pin to retain.
Man, it’s time to either get serious with the cruiserweights or to abandon the experiment. This audience is just not into it. If they can’t condition them to get into it, it might be time to move on.
Winner and still champion – Tony Nese
Backstage, Braun pleads innocent to beating up Sami Zayn. Triple H says he won’t have security escort him out (even though he’s supposed to be banned from the building, but whatever) and simply asks him to leave.
The announcers inform us that Sami will not be competing in the ladder match at WWE Money In The Bank.
Raw Women’s Championship Match – Becky Lynch (C) vs. Lacey Evans
Evans is dressed in all green with money-shooting guns (because those are a thing).
Lynch hits a dropkick right off the bat and goes to work on Evans in the corner. Another dropkick followed up by a takedown slam sends Evans to the outside. Lynch nails a baseball slide on the outside, but Evans tries to mix it up only to get tossed into the barricade.
Evans tries to escape into the crowd, but Lynch slams her face into the ring apron and tosses her back inside. Evans puts Lynch’s face into the turnbuckle, and armdrags The Man to the mat. The Lady goes to work on Lynch’s arm to neutralize the Disarm-Her. She drags Lynch to the corner and hooks an armbar around the ring post.
Corey Graves points out that Evans has the image of herself punching Lynch on her boots. Neat.
Lynch breaks free, but Evans turns a neckbreaker into a pinning attempt for two. Then she tries to shove her sweaty handkerchief into Lynch’s mouth (ew), which wakes up The Man (also ew?). Lynch hits a dive from the second rope, but the damage has been done to her arm, and the champ can’t capitalize.
A pair of clotheslines from Lynch followed by the Beck-splash has Evans in trouble. Lynch goes up top for a missile dropkick, but Evans evades and rolls out of the ring. The Man gives chase and rolls her back inside for a pin for two. The champion goes up top one more time, but Evans dodges and hits an inverted bulldog for a two-count.
Lynch goes for the Disarm-Her, but Evans makes the ropes. Evans hits a chop-block to the back of the champion’s knee, and has The Man’s shoulders on the mat, but WWE referees are stupid, so the ref doesn’t count. Lynch cinches the hold again and gets the submission win.
Winner and still Raw Women’s Champion – Becky Lynch
Lynch thinks she has a few minutes to recuperate, but Charlotte Flair makes her way out, and The Man will have to defend in back-to-back matches at WWE Money In The Bank.
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch (C) vs. Charlotte Flair
Flair takes the early advantage, beating The Man from pillar-to-post.
Adrenaline keeps Lynch alive for a few seconds, but Flair puts her down and goes to the top rope. Lynch intercepts her and nails a top-rope body slam followed up by a pin attempt that gets two.
The champ goes for a drop kick, but Flair catches her and locks in a Boston crab. Lynch makes it to the ropes to break the hold. Both women slug it out before Flair takes out Lynch’s leg.
Lynch knocks Flair down with a running elbow, and the slugfest resumes, and these shots are stiff. The champion goes for the Disarm-Her, but Flair fights her off.
Flair goes for Natural Selection, but misses and winds up crashed out on the floor. Lynch takes the time to rest, but Evans runs back out and hits Lynch with the Women’s Right. Flair goes for the pin and Lynch reverses for two. Another attempt by Flair gets a three-count.
Well, that makes Lacey Evans look like a complete joke. By the way, Double Or Nothing is next week.
Winner and NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion – Charlotte Flair
After the match, Lynch goes to town on Lacey Evans, but Flair breaks it up, and the Angry Blondes double-team The Man and leave her laying. The crowd chants “We want Bayley,” and the Hugger answers the call.
Flair lays out Bayley and goes to take her out, but Bayley dodges and tosses Flair into the turnbuckle. Bayley teases cashing in, and the crowd wants it. And she cashes in. I don’t like where this is going.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match – Charlotte Flair (C) vs. Bayley
Bayley heads up top for the flying elbow. She nails it, gets the three-count, and we have a new champion (again)!
Okay, nevermind. I like where this is going.
Winner and NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion – Bayley
Backstage, Elias nails Roman Reigns with a guitar.
Elias promo, says the city sucks, blah blah blah … Y’know, there’s other stuff I could be watching right now. I’m gonna go grab a Hot Pocket, I’ll be back in a few.
Roman Reigns vs. Elias
I dunno, I didn’t watch it. Hang on … sorry, browser’s a little slow. Um, Roman hit a Superman punch, dragged him in the ring, and pinned him.
Winner – Roman Reigns
Universal Championship – Seth Rollins (C) vs. AJ Styles
A lockup to start, and the crowd goes to it with dueling “Let’s-go-Rollins” and “A-J-Styles” chants. Both guys continue to trade mat techniques, and we stay at a stalemate early.
Rollins gains an advantage, whipping Styles sternum-first into the turnbuckle. The Beastslayer keeps up the attack, trying to keep Styles on the mat. Styles gets a dropkick to take control before nailing a vicious backbreaker on Rollins.
The champion tries to get up a head of steam, but he can’t keep Styles down. A drop toehold sends Styles face-first into the turnbuckle. Styles gets back into it and goes for a piledriver on the edge of the apron, but Rollins evades, so Styles knees him in the face.
A stungun on the top rope stuns Rollins, but the champion dives through the rope at Styles, and both guys are down on the outside. Both guys beat the count at 7, but Rollins dumps Styles again and follows up with another suicide dive. Back in the ring, Styles hits a stiff forearm, but Rollins takes him down with a sling blade. A flying clothesline gets two for the champion.
Styles just about breaks Rollins’s neck to stop the champion’s momentum. A stinger splash into the corner leads to an attempt at the Styles clash, but Rollins reverses. They trade pinning combination reversals, but Rollins lifts Styles and hits the bucklebomb. Rollins goes up top for a frog splash, but it only gets two.
This is great.
Rollins goes for a superplex, but Styles fights him off only for the champion to rush back up top. Styles stays in it and hits a German, but Rollins rolls through for another two-count. Styles puts him in the Torture Rack and nails a slam for a near-fall. Crowd opines that this is awesome, and I’m not inclined to disagree.
Styles goes for the Phenomenal Phorearm, but Rollins intercepts and sends Styles crotch-first onto the ropes. Rollins goes for an inverted superplex and holds on fore a fireman’s carry slam, only for Styles to kick out again! Defying logic and science, both guys are still alive.
Rollins pulls himself up and signals for the curb stomp, but Styles locks in the Calf-Crusher. Rollins breaks and rolls out and kicks Styles on the roll-through. Both guys are down again, but this time it’s Styles to make it up first. He hits a Scorpion Death-Drop for two. Somehow, Rollins musters enough energy for a superkick.
Both wrestlers are exhausted but press on with the obligatory slugfest. An enziguri hits Styles in the face. Styles goes for the Pele kick, but Rollins dodges and goes for the curb stomp. Styles reverses into the Styles Clash, but it only gets two, and I have blood pressure problems now.
The challenger heads to the top rope, but Rollins catches him with a knee to the chest and follows up with a superkick. Curb stomp, and Rollins survives to retain the Universal Championship. We finish up with the standard-issue babyface handshake, as Styles gives Rollins everything that Lesnar didn’t. A meaningful win.
And this match by itself just made WWE Money In The Bank 2019 a future classic. Good luck, Kofi and KO.
Winner and STILL Universal Champion – Seth Rollins
An unscheduled six-man match featuring the Lucha House Party is announced, but Lars Sullivan comes out and dismantles all three of them. Well, that’s certainly a thing that was put on television. Here, Lars, have a Snickers.
WWE Championship Match – Kofi Kingston (C) vs. Kevin Owens
These guys have a mountain to climb if they want to be match of the night for WWE Money In The Bank.
We start off with a slugfest, and things quickly spill to the outside where Kofi lays the beatdown on KO. Angry Kofi is kinda fun to watch.
Kofi rolls the challenger back inside and keeps up the assault, but Owens gets back into things and screams at the crowd as one does. He taunts the crowd with the New Day clap, because he’s the most brilliant heel who ever lived. P.S., I’m a KO mark.
Owens gets vicious with his beatdown on Kofi and slams his head into the turnbuckle, sending the champ crashing to the outside. The challenger hits a frog splash off the apron onto Kofi and pulls him back up for more. The assault continues on the inside. Kofi tries to mount the babyface comeback, reversing a catapult attempt only to get a kick to the gut.
KO goes for a powerbomb, but Kofi reverses with a backdrop to buy himself some time. The champ builds some momentum and goes for the New Day elbow, but Owens gets a knee up and locks Kofi into a Boston crab. I haven’t seen this many Boston crabs since that one year on Spring Break when I went to New Eng- nevermind.
Kofi gets to the ropes to break the hold, but his legs are jelly now. Owens goes for the ring apron powerbomb, but Kofi fights out of it and double stomps Owens onto the apron. OUCH.
The champion goes for a top rope maneuver, but KO catches him with a superkick on the way down. He rolls the champ inside for the pin but only gets two. Owens goes for the Pop-Up Powerbomb, Kofi escapes. Owens goes for the Stunner, Kofi escapes. An SOS gets two for the champion.
Kofi goes for Trouble In Paradise, but Owens reverses into another Boston crab. Kofi makes the ropes again to stay alive. Owens wastes time jawing at the fans, because heel, giving Kofi a chance to fight back.
The champ goes for an inverted DDT, but Owens reverses into the Pop-Up Powerbomb for two. Kofi stumbles to his feet as KO measures him. The challenger goes for the Stunner again, and Kofi hits Trouble In Paradise, sending Owens through the ropes and to the floor.
Owens gets back inside and finally nails the Stunner, but Kofi gets his foot on the ropes and the pin only gets two. KO resorts to yanking Kofi’s shoes off and heads up for a swanton bomb, but Kofi gets the knees up to block. Trouble In Paradise finally gets the three-count, and Kofi-Mania rolls on.
Winner and STILL champion – Kofi Kingston
And in a shocking turn of events (no, seriously), a Money In The Bank ladder match will main-event WWE Money In The Bank.
Zayn was removed from the match earlier in the show, so we are guaranteed to have at least one surprise in this match.
Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Baron Corbin vs. Finn Balor vs. Ricochet vs. Andrade vs. Ali vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton vs. …nobody
Apparently there’s no replacement for Zayn. So, I guess that qualifies as a surprise. Seriously, why do I watch this crap?
Chaos reigns early, as Orton sends anyone and everyone into the announce tables at ringside. Ricochet goes for a baseball slide on the Viper, but he too gets deposited onto a table, which does not break and crap on a cracker, it looks painful.
Orton is by himself and sets up the ladder and makes his way upward, but Andrade kicks the ladder over and nails Orton with a super stiff elbow. Corbin and McIntyre team up with ladders in hand to take down Andrade and Orton. Ricochet rolls back in and hits McIntyre with a Codebreaker, and Ali takes out Corbin with an X-Factor.
Ricochet dumps Andrade over the top and sets the ladder up only to be met by a refreshed Ali. Flippity-floppery ensues and both men race to the top and have a slugfest only to be yanked down by McIntyre and Corbin. Orton sneaks back inside and teases an RKO on Corbin only to eat a Claymore Kick from McIntyre.
Balor climbs back in and cleans house on Corbin and McIntyre. Balor heads to the top but gets taken down by a ladder-wielding Andrade. Ricochet tries to get back in, but Andrade dispatches him. He and Balor race to the top, and Andrade nails a sunset flip through ANOTHER ladder, and Balor is somehow medically still alive.
Ali murders Ricochet’s neck with a reverse rana, and he makes his way up top. Andrade intercepts and brings Ali back down. Ali is hung on the ladder in the tree-of-woe position, so Andrade grabs another ladder from the outside and ascends.
Ali gets free and climbs his ladder and tries to kill both himself and Andrade off the top. McIntyre is the first to regain his senses, and he brings another ladder into play and bridges it between the apron and the announce table. He goes to body slam Ali through the ladder, but Ali escapes. Corbin emerges from nowhere and chokeslams Ali through the Spanish table.
I don’t feel like I’ve used the word “chaos” enough.
Corbin finally turns on McIntyre and tosses him into the crowd. He rushes the ring and pulls a climbing Finn Balor off the ladder and chokeslams his spine onto the edge of a ladder, and I hurt all over from having watching it. Ricochet goes for a suicide dive and eats a Deep Six from Corbin as a reward.
McIntyre recovers and hits Corbin with a Claymore Kick, and, to quote one James Ross, “IT LOOKS LIKE A DAMN CAR WRECK!”
Balor is somehow still alive and drags himself up the ladder only to be pulled down by McIntyre. The Scottish Psychopath suplexes an already-broken Balor onto the ladder, but Andrade tries to get some offense in. McIntyre slams him on top of Balor (who’s still on the ladder) to be the only one standing.
Seriously, Vince, give these guys some freakin’ insurance.
Ricochet comes back from the dead to leap at McIntyre. Ricochet makes a mad dash for the ladder, but McIntyre pulls him down and chucks him onto the bridged ladder. I say this with all seriousness — nothing else this violent is on television tonight.
By the way, Orton is still alive, and he hits an RKO on McIntyre off the ladder. Corbin capitalizes and climbs to the top, but Ali sneaks up behind him and dumps the Lone Wolf over the top. Ali makes his way up and gets the briefcase in hand only for …
Brock Lesnar runs out and pushes the ladder over, and what was great becomes absolutely an unquestionably stupid. He just kind of declares himself the eighth man in the match, climbs the ladder, and retrieves the briefcase.
That sound you just heard was everybody on earth throwing their computers through their windows. Seven guys just damn near killed themselves so this asshole can have a storyline.
Seriously, why do I still watch this stupid crap?
All images courtesy of WWE.