All in all, Money in the Bank was a great show last night. I think we can safely say that WWE has woken up from its post-WrestleMania slumber as every match has its set of talking points.
Thanks to spoilers and a touch of logic, the results of the show didn’t have too many surprises. But how WWE got to those results is the real story. Some time ago, WWE decided that it wanted to develop their stories on PPV’s and leave RAW and Smackdown as relative wrestling exhibitions.
The big reason behind this is money. WWE wants you to think you’re missing out on the juicy stuff if you don’t watch the pay-per-views. And that’s exactly what’s happened. It’s all in the name of getting a billion WWE Network subscribers.
All that said, WWE stuck to their philosophical guns and gave us some of the good stuff last night. The who won and who lost is something Google can do for you. But, I’m here to underline some of the more subtle themes of MITB. What was WWE trying to tell us? Which wrestlers will be getting a big push? What the hell was that James Ellsworth stuff? All there answers are here: 5 Things We Learned from Money in the Bank.
Behold! History will be made! For the first time, a woman will climb a ladder and become Ms. Money in the Bank. Viva Women’s Revolution!
Look, I get it. This is WWE trying to create some heat. And to their credit, they achieved just that. But at what cost?
A revolution needs seminal moments. The hightlight reel needs to grow. We need crowing images of women doing cool things. So when you have James Ellsworth steal that moment, it makes me think you guys aren’t that serious about the women’s division.
Oh man, I wish I could have told Randy Orton in 2013 he’d lose to Jinder Mahal in back to back WWE Championship matches. To Randy’s credit, he’s been fantastic in both matches. His destruction of the Singh Brothers should be a DVD set. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess.
But how about this Jinder cat? How far will this go? At this point, we have to assume he’ll still be Champion going into SummerSlam. We’ll know more this Tuesday. And we’ll really know more once John Cena makes his July 4th return.
In today’s WWE, long term planning doesn’t exist. Well, it kind of does, but you need to be Roman Reigns, John Cena or Brock Lesnar to have a long form story attached.
Did Baron Corbin just join that group?
Since his debut, rumors and leaks had Corbin pegged for a win at Money in the Bank. This level of commitment is reserved to only the most impactful of WWE stars. It’s incredible that WWE never changed course. Like him or not Baron Corbin is now a player. And WWE is willing to bet on him.
WWE was having trouble with Shinsuke Nakamura. Do we let him talk? Do we give him full entrances every time? Should he wrestle every Smackdown? Do we call him an artist at every opportunity?
The answer to all of those questions was yes. And they were all misguided. In Nakamura, WWE has a talent that doesn’t really need language to convey his story. So when they were booking him like any other superstar on either roster, there was cause for concern.
Well, there’s no need to worry anymore. Shinsuke needs moments. Last night he got 3: Corbin attacking him, his furious return, his showdown with AJ Styles.
Let’s hope WWE keeps applying the less is more model with Nakamura because there’s something transcendent about the guy.
Since WrestleMania, an alarming trend has taken place. SmackDownm a show that had become a place of expression, creativity, and opportunity slowly started to look like its rigid and cold brother, RAW. It was a sad slip into conformity and our weekly 2-hour love affair with the Blue Brand was morphing into a resentful watch.
The formulas for both shows had completely aligned. 6-man tag matches, clunky group promos, and arbitrary fighting. At first, it seemed like SmackdWOn was jumping because they lost their best talkers in The Miz and Alexa Bliss. But as timed passed, a deeper issue was revealed. The individuality of SmackDown was dying. Week to week, nothing was changing. SmackDown was RAW.
And then last night happened. There was something fresh about every match. It was like talent got the green light to craft their own matches. There was passion. God knows there was