WWE Money in the Bank
XL Center - Hartford, Connecticut
May 19, 2019
Hello everyone and welcome to Planet Kayfabe. I'm glad you could join me again for this edition where I review this year's Money in the Bank PPV. The event took place at the XL Center live from Hartford, Connecticut. Here I will give a match-by-match review and sum up my thoughts at the end. I can tell you right now that this was as mixed bag a WWE show as you're going to get. We had a match of the year candidate and a few boring matches and questionable booking decision. All of which I am going to get into right now.
*** KICKOFF SHOW ***
Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. The Usos (Tag-Team match)
As stated in my preview, this was a non-title match. Knowing how WWE books, they had Jey Uso get pinned by Shane McMahon to get this match on the pre-show, non-title, where they would get their win back on the champions. That's as WWE booking as the day is long. I'm not a fan of it and a Raw team facing a Smackdown team really clutters things up. So, even though this was non-title, what is stopping the Usos as "wildcards" from facing them in a title match? After the win, commentary put over how they should get a title match now, so I guess its happening.
Never-the-less, it was a good tag match in a vacuum. Daniel Bryan is incredible and obviously the Usos as very good as a team. There was no reason for this to be the pre-show match. Daniel Bryan was just WWE Champion a little over a month ago and he is now a tag champion with Rowan. The Usos are the most over team in WWE. Putting them on the pre-show makes it seem like they are insignificant. Leave the pre-show business to the young guys cutting their teeth. All four guys here are above this. To make matters worse, it was Daniel Bryan to had to take the pin. If you wonder why the WWE Superstars are seen more as faceless cogs in a machine instead of actual individual stars here is why. The 50/50 booking and the WWE homogenizer is a real thing.
*** MITB MAIN CARD ***
They aired a graphic in memory of former WWE Diva Ashley Massaro who died this past Thursday to open the show.
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Bayley, Naomi, Dana Brooke, Ember Moon, Mandy Rose, Nikki Cross, Carmella, and Naomi
2 and 3/4 out of 5 Goth babes
Naomi came to the ring first dressed as the lost Killer Bee. There was some brawling to start this match. Nikki Cross was in this match as the replacement of Alexa Bliss and did a spot we have seen a few times where someone uses the ladder as a weapon by standing in the middle and spinning around. It was cool, but the longer it went the more it just looked like the women running into the ladder just to take a bump. One of the stories of the match was a spot where Carmella grabbed the ladder and Mandy Rose kicked her to the knee. Carmella was outside being seen by trainers and a few minutes later she was escorted backstage. They spent a lot of time shooting her being looked at while made me think it was a work, but it was still well done and I think most people bought the injury.
There was a decent showing for Dana Brooke in the body of the match. They are really... REALLY trying to put over that she has some vocal social media following. I'm sure she has her fans, but I don't see this grassroots uproar for a Dana Brooke push. I live tweet every Raw, Smackdown and PPV and interact with many of you on Twitter and Facebook. I have never seen anyone say that Dana Brooke should get some huge push. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I like her, but I have to be honest. She's not really that over or the level of a worker they expect to have big main event level matches now in the women's division. I know being a great worker isn't everything, but it is something and it's probably more important now than ever.
Nikki Cross throughout the match played her role well as the crazy person, but I don't think anyone thought she was really going to win. I would have been fine with it if she did, but WWE hasn't really "let her play" since being called up. Naomi went up top with a split legged moonsault on Bayley on a ladder. Nikki Cross back in the ring with a Spear on Natalya. . Cross hit a spinning neck breaker off the ropes on Ember Moon. Dana Brooke shoved the ladder over and it hit Cross to knock her down. There were a few climb spots here and when it seemed like no one had a clear shot at the briefcase, one of the more memorable moments in the match happened when Natalya whipped Bayley to the corner and when she turned around Ember Moon hit the Lunar Eclipse off the ladder on her which popped a big "holy shit" chant from the crowd. This otherwise standard MITB match needed a cool spot like that.
Moon was seemingly by herself trying to set up a ladder but Mandy Rose came in and hit her with a double-underhook slam face first on the ladder which looked like it hurt, which also means it looked good. Rose was going to go for the case, but here Carmella came back out to mild applause. She was limping but still hit a superkick to Rose with her injured leg and then went back to selling. The fans were somewhat sympathetic, but you could tell that no one really wanted her to win again. Mandy's buddy Sonya, who looked f***ing hot with her hair down, hit a spear on Carmella and then carried Mandy up the ladder only to be met by Bayley who shoved them off and unhooked the briefcase for the win and a loud applause.
Bayley is Ms. Money in the Bank, as I predicted she would be in my preview column. The match was fine but seemed a bit too choreographed, which I expected, but it seemed more obvious in this match. You do a spot, now I do a spot, now this sequence happens, now that happens. The worked injury angle where the babyface comes back out limping is pretty much a cliche now, too. It's like they keep trying to recapture Mick Foley during the Hell in a Cell match with Undertaker in 1998 where he was being carted backstage and rolled off the stretcher to climb the cell and continue the match. Bayley is a good winner and I'm not saying the match was bad. It was just average.
After the match, Bayley was in the ring with Charly Caruso and cut a good babyface promo saying she's not "just Bayley" she's Ms. Money in the Bank and celebrated with the fans. It didn't sound like all of them were fans of her's though.
United States Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio
Winner and new United States Champion: Rey Mysterio
1 goth babe
It was a quick match and one of WWE's questionable booking decisions. It went just over 1 and a half minutes. Rey hit a hurricanrana and pinned Joe for the 3 count. Joe's shoulder wasn't anywhere close to the ring and he kicked out but the pinfall counted anyway. Its weird for the babyface to win a championship title on such a controversial call. It is being reported now that its possible someone in gorilla got into the ref's ear to call the match short since Joe could have possibly broken his nose. That's pretty weak. I could understand if someone was knocked out or had a bad tear or a broken ankle and rushing to a finish, but a broken nose? Dude... Are you f***ing kidding me?
After the match, it was 50/50 time. Rey was celebrating with his son Dominic and Joe attacked Rey while his son looked on. Michael Cole referred to Dominic as Rey's "teenage son". I laughed. Dominic is 22 and has almost two full arm sleeves of tattoos, but sure... He's a "teenager" to Cole. What a dumbass. So, Rey wins as a babyface in controversial fashion and can't even celebrate. Joe gets his heat back. Even if they wanted to end the match early if Joe was just going to do this why not have him win? Because God forbid someone in WWE actually get over. We must do lame finishes on f***ing PPV that do nothing for the wrestlers and screw the fans who paid to see this shit.
After the match, Dominic helped his dad to the back but I thought it was funny how while helping his dad he still slapped hands with some fans at the rampway. Hey... He seems like a good kid but dude... Sell that your father just got his ass beat.
Backstage and angry Braun Strowman was shown looking for Sami Zayn
Steel Cage Match: The Miz vs. Shane McMahon
Winner: Shane McMahon
1 and 3/4 Goth Babes
I thought this match was pretty dull for steel cage standards. I'm probably dating myself here but I remember when the words "steel cage" meant something. It was usually the final match in a feud where no bullshit happened, yet this match was rife with bullshit.
Shane McMahon, who is almost 50 years old, got a clean pinfall victory over the Usos last week on Smackdown and there was no 50/50 booking here for the boss' son. Funny how that works. Shane tried to escape early but Miz chased Shane. There was a lot of cat and mouse type shit. The most memorable part of the match was when Miz hit Shane in the back with a chair a few times before then hitting his finisher on it. It felt like the finish, but when Miz went for the pin, Shane put his foot on the rope to break the count... so the reft broke it... In a f***ing steel cage match. The fans chanted bullshit because it is. Jimmy Korderas, former WWE referee on Twitter said it's not bullshit because he's a f***ing shill. However, Cole pointed out it was the wrong call and commentary stayed on this FACT for a while and much of what commentary says is fed from Vince himself, so suck on that, Jimmy.
This match didn't have much heat to begin with but that spot really killed the crowd. They all knew that Shane was going to win after the babyface got a visual pin but was screwed out of the actual win. Shane went to the top. Miz battled and hit some shitty looking splash. You could call it the Minus Five Star Frogsplash. Another one for the books next time someone tries to convince me that Miz is a great worker. This was a shitty match between two guys that I have people constantly telling me they are both great workers, yet it was shitty and sloppy. Amazing how that works. Shane got the win by going over the cage. Miz had him by the shirt, Shane lost his shirt and fell to the outside looking like he was about to have a heart attack. f*** this match.
It was then announced that WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley will appear on Raw to announce WWE’s newest title. Oh boy! Another belt! How are those women's tag titles working out by the way? I know some of you are excited about the possibility of the Hardcore Championship returning but lower your expectations. Also, can you imagine a hardcore title in today's PG WWE? Unless you have a fetish for kendo sticks and chair shots to the back I suggest we leave the memories alone. A hardcore title in 2019 WWE would suck and you know it.
Cruiserweight Championship: Tony Nese vs. Ariya Daivari
Winner and still Cruiserweight Champion: Tony Nese
2 and 1/4 Goth babes
A rare c'weight match on the main card. You'd think it would be a good opportunity for them to go all-out and give these fans a show, but it was really just a normal match. It didn't do much to make people want to watch 205 Live. Nothing special. It was just a solid match like any match that you've seen many times before. It went for about 10 minutes and the champion retained. Yay. I guess.
Earlier in the show, Sami Zayn was shown having been attacked. Triple H confronted Strowman backstage who said if he thinks attacking Sami will get him in the MITB match, he is wrong and ordered him to leave the arena. Strowman denied having any part in the attack.
WWE plugged "Super Showdown" in Saudi Arabia and went in hard saying it could be as big or bigger than Wrestlemania. That's bullshit. As someone who has watched their shows in Saudi Arabia, they are long(er) episodes of Raw in an outdoor arena with plenty of fireworks to fool you into this being some big deal. They are terrible shows and their first one was heavily laced with government propaganda. For those of you who boycott these shows, it's the easiest thing you'll ever do. You're not going to miss anything.
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans
Winner and still Raw Women's Champion: Becky Lynch
2 goth babes
This is Lacey's big showing in a big match. It was not very good. I love Lacey's character and I hope she improves but in this match I think she was exposed a bit too much as not being capable of working top style matches yet. I don't know what WWE was thinking here by putting her in this high profile of a match so soon. It went about 8 and a half minutes. It was fine when Becky was on offense early on but the match felt like it went a bit too long and if a match under 10 minutes felt long you know it wasn't anything that good. Lacey is clearly athletic, but she still comes off a bit awkward work wise. Becky won with the Disarm-her
After the match Becky celebrated and Charlotte Flair's music hit and she made her way to the ring smiling since the Smackdown women's championship match would be up next giving Becky no time to rest.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
Winner and new Smackdown Women's Champion: Charlotte Flair
2 and 1/2 Goth babes
Charlotte was aggressive early taking advantage of a tired Becky. Charlotte lost advantage when she went to the top rope, like her dad, and was thrown off. Becky got a two-count. Charlotte worked over Becky with some hard chops and then slapped on an elevated Boston Crab that looked like the Walls of Jericho. Becky got to the rope for a break. Flair went for the Natural Selection on the apron but Becky held on to the rope and Charlotte went crashing to the floor. While the referee was counting Charlotte to get back into the ring, Lacey hit Becky with a Woman's Right behind the referee's back. Charlotte entered the ring and hit Becky with a big boot for the victory.
Yeah. A big boot.
Charlotte is officially a 9-time women's champion. She taunted Becky in an over-the-top fashion. This was hardly a great match and these two have done much better. No one really wanted to see another Becky vs Charlotte match and after a very pedestrian showing here I doubt too many people will be calling for another one any time soon. Post-match, Becky went after Lacey Evans but the numbers caught up to her. Bayley's music hit for a big pop since she just won the MITB case. Evening the odds the heels were taken care of. Charlotte was thrown into the corner knocked out. Bayley then told referee Mike Chioda that she would be cashing in her MITB briefcase.
I'm glad she did instead of one of that fake-out cash in's WWE does a lot.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
Winner and new Smackdown Women's Champion: Bayley
One move. Bayley dragged Charlotte out of the corner and hit a flying elbow off the post for the win. It lasted 20 seconds. This is also the second year in a row where a woman cashed in Money in the Bank in the same night to win a title because Alexa Bliss did it last year. The crowd popped loudly for the title change, which they typically do on cash-ins and any title change. We'll see how people react to Bayley on Smackdown, though. These cash-ins are always over. When someone wins and doesn't get a pop I'll be surprised.
Backstage Roman Reigns was seen walking in the hall and Elias attacked him from behind with his guitar.
Elias was in the ring with an electric Fender Stratocaster. On Twitter, I made a joke about how it would have been better if they were in Rhode Island and it would have been like how Bob Dylan fans felt when he first played an electric guitar on stage and turned heel on the folk movement. Shortly after that Corey Graves stole my joke... so f*** him for that. It was standard Elias shtick. Nothing great. He made a reference to the Hartford Whalers moving to North Carolina to become the Hurricanes. In case you are unaware, this was a 22-year-old NHL reference, so if you didn't get it I don't blame you. Pretty weak shit here.
Roman Reigns vs. Elias
Winner: Roman Reigns
Reigns hit a Spear and covered Elias for the pin in just 7 seconds. That's actually exactly how I would have booked this match, so I can't complain here.
Universal Championship: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles
Winner and still Universal Champion: Seth Rollins
5 Goth Babes
Yup a five goth babe match on this show. They went 20 minutes and Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles absolutely lived up to the hype in my opinion. They started out pretty evenly matched going back and forth exchanging moves and counters. AJ teased a Styles Clash on the apron. Rollins hit a springboard clothesline for two. Rollins went for a knee to the face on Styles, but AJ countered into a fireman's carry into a backbreaker. Rollins avoided a Styles Clash by sitting on top of Styles and Rollins hit a Buckle Bomb that sent Styles into the turnbuckle. Rollins went up top and hit a Frog Splash for a two count. It was much better than Miz's splash, I promise you.
There was a memorable spot where Seth went into his usual Superplex into the Falcon Arrow, but this time it was a reverse suplex. Great move for a near fall. Rollins went for the Curb Stomp and AJ had a great counter into the Calf Crusher. Seth went for another Stomp, but AJ somehow countered into a Styles Clash for a near fall. That was an incredible sequence. This truly felt like an even matchup that anyone could have won. AJ went for the last move in his disposal, the Phenomenal Forearm, Rollins dodged and hit the ripcord knee. AJ was down, hit with the superkick and a crub stomp for the finish. Seth Rollins retained in a true championship level match.
In terms of WWE, so far it comes down to this match and Daniel Bryan's match with Kofi Kingston for match of the year. I will have to re-watch both come December when the NoDQ Year End Awards come up. After the match, the two shook hands, but there was some resistance at first since it was such a tough match. I'm usually not a big fan of the handshake spot at the end of a match, but with a match of this quality, I think it's fine. Clearly, the best match on the show and this show needed it.
As a buffer the Lucha Houseparty came out to party, I guess. Lars Sullivan's music hit and he laid all three of them out and got a cut on his head somehow. This is the 2nd time someone bled on this show, the first being Samoa Joe. It was fine but it doesn't feel like Lars is that over, yet. You damn well know WWE's going to do everything they can to try to get him over, though.
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens
Winner and still WWE Champion: Kofi Kingston
3 Goth Babes
It was a good match, but nothing great. They got 14 minutes and worked hard, but it was what it was. Just a solid 3-star level match. There was a spot at the end where Kevin Owens took off Kofi's boots but it didn't really play into anything. Owens went for a Senton Bomb, but Kofi put his knees up and then hit the Trouble in Paradise for the win.
The camera then showed fans sitting with their arms crossed looking bored. Way to go WWE production staff. The fans like Kofi, but they clearly aren't as hot for him as they were around Wrestlemania. Luckily for Kofi he got hot at the perfect time to win the title at the biggest show, but with ratings being historically low, I wouldn't be shocked if they make a change this summer and I'm sure that belt will be back on Roman Reigns in time for the move to Fox, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Randy Orton, Mustafa Ali, Ricochet, Finn Balor, Andrade "Cien" Almas, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin
Winner: Brock Lesnar
3 and 3/4 Goth Babes
Everyone worked hard in this one. Especially poor Finn Balor who took a lot of back bumps on to the ladders. It was a very good MITB match and everyone pretty much had their moments. Randy Orton, as a heel, actually got the fans to chant him early on. That's pretty interesting since during Randy's entire career he has been pretty unpopular with hardcore fans, but he's older and some people see him as a bit of a legend now. He went nuts early on giving everyone backdrops onto the announcer's table, but it never broke. There was a crazy spot in the middle. Andrade grabbed a ladder and hit Balor. Ricochet went up top, but Andrade shoved him to knock him down to the floor. Balor and Andrade climbed up the ladder and Andrade hit a sunset flip over a ladder onto another ladder that was leaning against the ropes. Balor hit the ladder and bounced in the air. This popped a "yowwie wowwie" chant from the fans in Hartford.
Ali got to shine with some quick spots. A jumping DDT to Baron Corbin and some dropkicks around the horn and hit a reverse hurricanrana on Ricochet. Ali took this opportunity to go to the case, but Andrade was there to stop him. However, Ali hit a Spanish Fly off the ladder to Andrade. Cole freaked out. McIntyre got back into the mix laying out Ali and set up a ladder, like a bridge, from the apron to the announcer's table. Corbin in the ring hit a chokeslam on Balor on a ladder that was laying sideways with no give. That looked like it hurt. This was a rough night for Balor. McIntyre hit Balor with the ladder and hit Andrade with an reverse Alabama Slam on a ladder. These guys are working pretty hard.
Randy Orton hit an RKO to McIntyre. Corbin threw Orton to the post. Corbin tried a climb the ladder but, Ali climbed over him and Ali hit a head scissors to send Corbin over the top and to the floor. Ali climbed the ladder, he reached up for the briefcase and got his hands on it and this is where Brock Lesnar's music hit.
What did Ali do? Grab the case? No. He stood there on the ladder and waited for Brock to come down to the ring to knock him off the ladder. Brock did away with Ali and climbed the ladder to grab the case and... win the match? Yes. He won the match.
That is a weird finish since it was never explained that Brock was an official competitor in the match. I guess we are to assume that Brock took out Sami and Triple H, thinking Strowman did it, wouldn't put him in the match as a "reward" of sorts, but Brock got in anyway. They'll probably explain it that Vince McMahon went over Triple H and put Brock in the match last minute or they will not explain it at all. Either way, it was a weird finish that the referee, uninformed if Brock was legally in the match, calling for the bell as if this was a legal finish. So, I guess if I got to this PPV next year and jump the rail while everyone is selling I could be Mr. Money in the Bank, too.
The reports right now is that they kept Brock a secret to everyone in the back, which is something they've done before with Brock in various situations. Even him busting Randy Orton hard way was kept a secret. I doubt these guys would have killed themselves out there this hard if they knew Brock was just going to come in at the last minute to do nothing and just win the match without breaking a sweat. The rumor is that Ali was told he was going to win this week and at various times it changed between him and McIntyre. Ali was basically told that he would climb the ladder, there would be a run in and to get knocked off the ladder.
The fans were pretty furious but I'm not sure how much of this heat will equal TV ratings success especially since Brock is so rarely on TV. They're paying him all this money though, so they have to do something with him. The problem is Brock is going to be 42 years old in July. He is not the future of this business. Since Brock returned to WWE in 2012 they have pretty much done everything with him except winning Money in the Bank. Now he's done that.
I don't think he is going to go after Rollins. I think Brock is going to lay out Kofi Kingston at some point. Possibly very soon, maybe in Saudi Arabia. He will win the WWE Championship and when Smackdown premiers on Fox this fall Roman f***ing Reigns will beat Brock Lesnar live in prime time on national television.
That's it for the 2019 edition of Money in the Bank. Overall, like I said at the top, it was a mixed bag but the Universal Championship match was incredible.
I give this PPV 5.5/10 Goth Babes
There just wasn't enough to make it a truly good show. It was pretty boring at times. Some questionable booking. The Miz is a total geek and I'll be shocked if he has any heat as a babyface when he comes out on Raw tonight. The main event was very good even though the finish felt pretty cheap. When it was over it felt like a mild thumbs up show.
Mick Foley, one of my all-time favorites, will be on Raw to introduce a new title. They say "new" title but a lot of people are speculating that it could be the Hardcore Championship. This may sound great but think about it. PG WWE. There's no way. This isn't the hardcore days of the late 90's when that fad in wrestling was at its peak. It's 2019. The last thing I need to see is matches with guys spamming us with Kendo sticks and weak chair shots to the back. This all feels very random and thrown together. One day of promotion for this title. Vince had an idea, made a graphic, it aired on MITB and tonight on Raw POOF! New title! I really don't care if its the hardcore belt or not. The last thing this company needs is yet another belt to be their new toy for a month or so before WWE gets tired of it and it becomes another tag belt or women's tag belt or 205 belt.
Thanks for reading, everyone. Hit me up on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe Enjoy Raw tonight, or try to anyway. I'll be back this weekend with more news and notes. Take care. For NoDQ, I'm K.C.