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WWE Money in the Bank - July 17, 2011
-From Chicago, IL. Your hosts are Booker T, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler.
Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder match:
Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Heath Slater vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Absolute chaos erupts as the bell rings. Kane is the last man standing as the ring gets cleared out. Bryan drop-kicks a ladder into Kane but Gabriel and Slater do the same. Sin Cara tries to follow the act but ends up eating a ladder shot from the former Corre members. Gabriel tries shifting the ladder into position by hopping by Bryan knocks him off. Sheamus blocks Rhodes (to a face pop) and finds himself in a potential winning situation. Kane cleans the ring again. The high fliers take turns hitting their patented dives to the floor in spectacular fashion. This sort of thing doesn’t happen very often in WWE, so it feels fresh. Sin Cara hits the moonsault slam on Bryan to a huge ovation. Sadly, Sin Cara ends up taking a power bomb off the apron onto a propped ladder, courtesy of Sheamus. Sin Cara sells the attack as if it was death itself and is stretchered out for a wellness policy violation vacation. All three former Corre members triple-team Kane. Rhodes sprints up the ladder but the Corre strikes. Bryan suffers a similar fate. It doesn’t take long before Barrett tries ordering Slater and Gabriel to stand back and the alliance dissolves. Bryan and Sheamus battle on the ladder, with Kane clothes lining Bryan off the shoulders of Sheamus. Kane goes on a chokeslamming spree. Bryan counters the choke slam with an arm submission and counters again with a DDT! Sadly, Daniel suffers a neck breaker off the ladder thanks to Heath Slater. Innovative spot with Sheamus and Barrett using the ladder to awkwardly push Slater off the turnbuckle! Sheamus drops Gabriel on a propped ladder and hits the Brogue kick. Kane choke slams Kane off the ladder onto a second bridged ladder! Kane takes a series of finishers, capped off with Gabriel hitting a 450 splash off a propped ladder! Barrett climbs but Rhodes pulls him down. Bryan and Rhodes fight at the top and Barrett sneaks up and reaches over Bryan for the case. Bryan knocks Rhodes off but Barrett looks for Waste Land. Bryan kicks Barrett in the head and grabs the case for the win at 24:27! I can honestly say, this is the best WWE match I’ve seen in months. Also, this is one of the best MITB matches I’ve ever seen. They worked in some new tricks and everyone had a chance to get over, ****½.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
-Earlier tonight, Mr. McMahon arrived as the building with John Laurinaitis. I believe this is the television debut of Johnny Ace as the fictional version of his real life role as Executive Vice President of Talent Relations.
Kelly Kelly © (with Eve Torres) vs. Brie Bella (with Nikki Bella)
Kelly is all business, for once, as she slaps Brie in the early going and aggressively dumps her to ringside. Kelly leaps off the apron and wipes out both Bellas at ringside. Kelly applies a head scissors over the ropes but Brie counters. Brie applies a body scissors but Kelly powers out. Kelly takes some abuse before countering with an improvised stunner. Kelly mounts a poor excuse for a comeback. Kelly’s weird fame-asser finisher ends it at 4:49. Horrible, simply horrible, DUD.
Winner and still Divas Champion: Kelly Kelly
Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Henry is aggressive in the early going but Show manages to keep up. The fight spills to ringside, with Show calling the shots. They block attempts to slam each other through the announce table. Henry drop-kicks the steps into Show’s knees, but it doesn’t quite work. Show sells it anyway. Henry smells fake blood and continues to target the “injured” knee. Show uses a rope break to escape a single leg Boston crab. Show delivers a flying shoulder block off the second rope! Show looks for a choke slam but Henry blocks by kicking the knee. World’s Strongest Slam but Show kicks out! Henry hit’s a second WSS and caps it off with a pair of splashes. Henry wins at 5:58. Disappointing match, as Henry had been delivering the goods on Smackdown , and the crowd just didn’t care this time, *.
Winner: Mark Henry
-Henry isn’t finished with Big Show and wraps a chair around his injured leg. Henry nails a Vader Bomb onto the chair and Big Show sells it like his ankle was just shattered into pieces. The crowd chants “CM Punk” as Show is wheeled out on an EZGO.
-Josh Matthews interviews Mr. McMahon backstage. Vince calls CM Punk the biggest ingrate he’s ever dealt with, due to turning down a lucrative contract. Vince’s feelings are all hurt because Punk pointed at the door and told him to get out. Vince is also mad at John Cena for making sure the title match against Punk still took place.
Raw Money in the Bank Ladder match:
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne vs. R-Truth vs. Alex Riley vs. The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio
All the participants arm themselves with ladders during their entrances. Truth has a fear of heights so he grabbed the one tiny ladder. Everyone starts swinging their ladders at once, which makes for a novel sight. Del Rio is dumped to ringside and all the faces drop their ladders onto him. Miz and Truth clean the ring and have a sword fight-esque ladder battle. Swagger sets up the tiny ladder and holds it still as Bourne and Kingston have an amusing little fight on it. Rey hops off the ladder and disposes of Jack Swagger. Riley crotches Truth on a ladder and sadly tries to climb a smaller ladder. Miz and Riley square off. Riley wipes out Miz and Swagger on the floor! This sets up another dive sequence involving everyone. Evan Bourne climbs the giant standing ladder at ringside and nails a Shooting Star Press onto the others! Del Rio finally enters the fray to knock Miz and Bourne off the top of a ladder in the ring. Miz appeared to badly hurt his knee after that spill and is taken out. Mysterio and Bourne hit stereo hurricanranas off the ladder. Kingston leaps onto the ladder but Swagger pulls him off with an ankle lock. Truth pushes Riley and Swagger off to the floor. Kingston bounces off a ladder for a boom drop on Truth. Del Rio wipes himself out after missing Kingston . Truth runs up a ladder and kicks it into Swagger’s face (somewhat botched, but they got past it). Rey and Riley battle at the top with everyone else joining them on multiple ladders. One by one, everyone is knocked down, with Kingston alone at the top. Swagger foils Kingston and they both fall down. The Miz limps back in (to a huge pop) but Rey sends him down with a power bomb. Rey climbs (to a chorus of boos) but Del Rio meets him. Rey uses the case as a weapon but Del Rio pulls off Rey’s mask! Rey forgets about winning and covers his face. Del Rio climbs back up and grabs the case for the win at 15:51. This was another great MITB match, as the wrestlers worked hard to differentiate it from the earlier Smackdown match. Once again, I would say that all the participants came out of this looking better than they did going into it, ****.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
-Josh Matthews interviews Alberto Del Rio backstage. Del Rio doesn’t think he should have been in the Money in the Bank match in the first place, as he had previously won a #1 contender triple threat match (which was thrown out due to CM Punk getting reinstated as Cena’s challenger for tonight). Del Rio chalks this all up to destiny.
World Heavyweight Championship:
Randy Orton © vs. Christian
The deal here is if Orton is disqualified or if the referee screws up, Christian automatically wins the title. Christian immediately grabs a chair and tries to tempt Orton into using it. Orton resists, despite Christian turning his back to him. Instead, Orton aggressively pummels Christian using legal means. Orton already seems to be in danger of losing his temper as he slams Christian into the ring steps. Christian drops Orton’s neck onto the ropes and nails a flying elbow. Orton counters with a jackknife cover after taking a lengthy beating. Christian recovers from a drop-kick in mid-air and delivers a diving head butt. Orton is fired up and throws wild shots. Killswitch by Christian only gets 2! Orton jumps over a spear and delivers a gut-wrench RKO! Christian kicks out! Orton delivers the spike DDT and signals the end. Christian spits right into Orton’s face which leads to Orton snapping and kicking Christian right in the groin! The referee calls for the DQ at 12:19, which means Christian is the champion! What a great story match, ***¾.
Winner by DQ and new World Heavyweight Champion: Christian
-Orton isn’t finished by any stretch of the imagination. He clocks Christian in the head with a television monitor. Teddy Long runs out and pleads with Orton to back down. Orton is the point of no return and delivers an RKO right on the Spanish announce table. Orton delivers a second one for good measure. The crowd is eating this up. Christian clutches his newly won title belt as he’s helped to the back.
John Cena © vs. CM Punk
As you might imagine, Punk enters to an impressive ovation, and Cena enters to pure, unadulterated hatred. The bottom line though, is this match has a big-time feel that most WWE main events (including Cena/Miz at Wrestlemania) don’t have. They start off with an even chain wrestling contest. It’s pretty clear they’re pacing themselves for a long match. They quicken the pace as CM Punk connects with a series of offense before going back to a headlock. Cena takes a turn in control and the match restarts. Cena hits his patented bulldog but can’t even get a one count in a cover. Hard clothesline by Cena as the violence is gradually escalating. Punk reverses a headlock with a back suplex. Punk answers a suplex with a DDT. Punk finally manages to take control of the match, driving his knees into the back of Cena’s neck. Punk has a bad landing on a flying cross body, which Cena is selling as a knee injury. Cena suplexes Punk over the ropes to the floor! Cena is now in charge as he unloads moves from his bag of tricks. Punk escapes an abdominal stretch and they knock each other down. Cena goes through his five moves of doom, but Punk counters the Five Knuckle Shuffle with a kick to the head. Suicide dive by Punk! Sadly, Punk misses the springboard clothesline. Punk blocks the Attitude Adjustment and kicks Cena in the head. Cena blocks GTS and nails a gut-wrench power bomb. Punk counters the AA again and hits his own bulldog. Flying elbow drop by Punk only gets 2! Cena locks on the STF but Punk gets a desperate rope break. Kick to the head by Punk but Cena kicks out again. Cena rolls through a cross body for an AA. Punk counters into GTS, which Cena counters into the STF! Punk counters into the Anaconda Vice! Cena counters with the AA but Punk kicks out! Punk counters Cena’s flying leg drop. Cena hangs Punk up and connects with the flying leg drop. Cena delivers the AA and it should be over… but it isn’t! Punk kicks out! Cena looks for a top rope AA but it’s blocked. Punk delivers a top rope head scissors takedown! Punk nails the GTS, but Cena rolls to the floor. Punk struggles to roll Cena back in as Mr. McMahon and John Laurinaitis show up. Punk gives them a hell of a glare and the distraction leads to the STF from Cena. Mr. McMahon tries to “ring the fucking bell” Montreal-style, but Cena breaks the hold and stops him. Punk hits the GTS and it’s over! CM Punk wins the title at 33:44! This is the best WWE singles match I’ve seen in ages. The emotion from the live crowd helped elevate it as well as some truly inspired counter sequences. A few sloppy moments drag this down a tad bit, but I feel a ****¾ is in order.
Winner and new WWE Champion: CM Punk
-CM Punk begins his celebration. Mr. McMahon is furious and gets on the headset and calls for Alberto Del Rio to come out and cash in. Del Rio charges in and Punk nails him in the head with a hard kick. Whew, had I been watching this live I probably would’ve pissed myself at that point. CM Punk escapes through the crowd before any further screwy business can go down.
Final Thoughts: Wow. Just wow. WWE woke up and decided to try again. This was the best pay-per-view I’ve seen in years. Three matches landed in the four stars or higher range (with the main event nearing the five star mark) and Christian/Orton was just hovering below it. Aside from Punk’s big title win, this show was fantastic on multiple levels, as numerous stars got put over. I felt all the Money in the Bank participants got to shine and Mark Henry really got over in his destruction of Big Show (even if the match sucked). Seriously, go buy this one on DVD. Huge thumbs up.
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