6/18 Powell’s WWE Money in the Bank Live Review: Men’s and Women’s MITB ladder matches, New Arrivals, Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, Naomi vs. Lana for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, The Usos vs. New Day for the Smackdown Tag Titles

By Jason Powell

WWE Money in the Bank 2017
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
St. Louis, Missouri at Scottrade Center

A video package opened the show with a narrator stating “one night can change everything” as footage aired of Jinder Mahal beating Randy Orton to win the WWE Championship. The video also focussed on the two Money in the Bank ladder matches…

The broadcast team of Tom Phillips, JBL, and Byron Saxton checked in from ringside. Greg Hamilton was the ring announcer. They went right to ring entrances for the women’s MITB match. They introduced the Spanish and German broadcast teams, and also aired the women’s MITB video package that aired on the Kickoff Show…

1. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Tamina vs. Natalya vs. Carmella (w/James Ellsworth) in a Money in the Bank ladder match. There were ladders set up on the stage, in the aisle, and at ringside. Tamina was spotlighted as the dominant and powerful woman during the first few minutes of the match.

Natalya made the first play for the briefcase that was hanging above the ring. Natalya got to the briefcase at 4:40, but Charlotte climbed up behind her. Natalya kicked her down a couple times, but Charlotte performed the electric chair drop in the ring. Charlotte made a play for the briefcase, but Carmella stopped her and crotched her on one of the rungs. Carmella reached for the briefcase, but Charlotte stopped her. They traded shots high on the ladder. Tamina pushed over the ladder and they bumped safely to the ring and into the top rope at 6:45.

Lynch made a play for the briefcase at 8:30, but Carmella cut her off. Carmella climbed the ladder in mid-ring, but Charlotte returned to pull her down and catch her with a big boot. Charlotte hit the same big boot on Lynch. Tamina could be seen hitting Natalya in a rare moment of something happening at ringside. Tamina prevented Charlotte from getting the briefcase by headbuttng her off a ladder. Charlotte speared Tamina. They scrambled to roll to the floor where Charlotte drove Tamina into the ring steps. Charlotte went to the top rope and performed a twisting dive onto Tamina and Natalya at ringside around 11:30.

Carmella climbed the ladder. Lynch stopped her and powerbombed her. Lynch climbed the ladder. Ellsworth entered the ring and gently teetered the ladder before Lynch took a bump into the top rope. Ellsworth climbed the ladder and pulled down the briefcase, which he dropped to Carmella, who was lying on the mat. The bell rang and the fans booed.

Three referees huddled up at ringside. Ellsworth took the house mic and announced Carmella as the winner of the match. Saxton complained about Ellsworth not even being in the match. JBL said it’s a no disqualification match…

Carmella won the Money in the Bank ladder match in 13:20.

Powell’s POV: A weak finish to a decent MITB match effort from the women. They took safe bumps, which is I’m certainly not complaining about. This was laid out so that the focus was almost entirely on what happened in the ring with two or three people while the others sold at ringside. The finish was disappointing in that WWE built this up as being historic and then had the match end in forgettable fashion. I was waiting for the referees to restart the match or for Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan to come out and overturn the finish. I don’t mind the heels cheating to win and I’m fine with Carmella winning, but this felt lazy and the finish put more heat on Ellsworth and perhaps even the company than her. It was disappointing in the moment, but hopefully she can put the heat on herself with her next promo.

Backstage, Dasha Fuentes interviewed Lana, who wore a different blue dress. She said the women were lucky she was not in the MITB match or things would have been very different. She spoke about what she did to Naomi on Smackdown becoming the first ever Ravishing Women’s Champion…

New Day made their entrance for the Smackdown Tag Title match and did their pre-match schtick in the ring. The Usos made their entrance…

2. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Big E and Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) for the WWE Smackdown Tag Titles. Kofi took a crazy bump over the top rope when the Uso on the apron held down the top rope. Later, one of the Usos kicked the back of Kingston’s knee and then Jey applied their submission hold. Big E fought off Jimmy on the floor and broke up the submission hold. Kofi rebounded and performed an SOS on Jey for a good near fall at 9:20.

Kofi ran into a superkick from Jey, who then went for a dive off the top rope. Big E had tagged in and tried and failed to catch Jey. E powered him up and performed the Big Ending. It looked like the ref could have counted three, but instead he stopped just as Jimmy broke up the pin. Woods played the trombone on the apron to distract the Usos. E sent both Usos to ringside. Kofi performed a back first dive off the top rope onto both Usos. New Day hit the Midnight Hour on Jey. Kington covered him, but Jimmy pulled Jey to the floor at 11:35. The Usos grabbed their tag belts and left through the crowd while taking an intentional count-out loss…

New Day defeated The Usos by count-out at 12:00.

Powell’s POV: Back to back finishes like this won’t please viewers, but I didn’t mind this one. They made it look like New Day were on the verge of winning so the Usos took the easy way out by leaving, which puts heat on the heel champions and keeps the feud going. This felt like a logical finish for this point in the feud. By the way, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan both tweeted about the finish of the women’s MITB match. Bryan labeled it unacceptable. I wonder if they will let the finish stand or Bryan’s first act upon returning to Smackdown will be to book a women’s MITB rematch for television?

The broadcast team spoke about Bryan returning to Smackdown and listed his tweet. Phillips said Bryan would have a lot to deal with…

Backstage, Bob Orton Jr. (no cast, sigh) and Sgt. Slaughter were shown talking… Ring entrances took place for the Smackdown Women’s Championship match…

3. Naomi vs. Lana for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Phillips noted that this was Lana’s second match in WWE (the other being at WrestleMania). Lana worked in wrestling gear, not the dress she’s been wearing. Lana got an early two count after she avoided Naomi going for a top rope cross body block. Lana showed early frustration when her next pin attempt produced a two count.

Lana suplexed Naomi, who sold leg pain when her legs hit the bottom. Lana did the same spot again and suplexed Naomi’s legs into the middle rope. Lana performed a weird leg hold by wrenching on the leg of Naomi, whose foot was in Lana’s crotch. Naomi countered into a cross arm breaker. Lana hit the bad leg of Lana to break the hold. Naomi caught Lana with a few standing kicks to the head. Naomi performed the Rearview for a two count at 5:25.

Lana performed a sit-out spinebuster for a two count. Camrella’s music played and she skipped out with James Ellsworth. Carmella teased handing the MITB briefcase to the timekeeper, then said “nah.” Carmella and Ellsworth remained at ringside while Lana threw bad punches to the side of Naomi, who came back and applied a submission hold for the win. Afterward, Carmella teased cashing in, but then held up her hand and walked away with Ellsworth…

Naomi defeated Lana in 7:30 to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

Powell’s POV: It was nice of WWE to pay tribute to GLOW just days before the television series that was inspired by the ’80s women’s wrestling television series debuts on Netflix. Lana didn’t look ready for prime time, and the live crowd was pretty flat.

A WWE Network commercial aired…

A Fashion Vice video aired. It was a Miami Vice theme with Fandango and Tyler Breeze both dressed in their best Don Johnson attire. Fandango was on an old phone and wanted the results of the forensics, which were faxed to him. Breeze found a cassette tape and put it inside a VCR (look it up, kids). A mystery team appeared on the screen and took credit for attacking Breeze and said to meet them in the ring later if they wanted to find out who they were…

Hearts appeared on the entrance ramp as new music played. “Mike & Maria Kanellis” walked out hand in hand wearing headset mics. Maria introduced herself and then Mike introduced himself as Mike Kanellis. Maria said the first lady is back in WWE. She said she had been searching for the perfect partner for seven years. “You found me,” Mike said. Maria said they were going to educate everyone on Smackdown Live about the power of love. Their music played and they embraced and then did some dance twirls and then looked lovingly at one another…

Powell’s POV: Mike Bennett is going by his wife’s last name. I hope creative has real plans for these two beyond being beaten by John Cena and Nikki Bella. Maria was arguably the best talker on the roster during her time in Impact Wrestling, and Mike wasn’t far behind. They have been under contract to WWE for a few months now, so it was a matter of when rather than if they showed up.

The broadcast team spoke briefly about the arrival of Mike and Maria. “He took her name,” JBL said. They quickly switched to recapping the women’s MITB match. Byron continued to vent about the finish. They set up a video package that focussed on Jinder Mahal and and his feud with Randy Orton…

Hamilton introduced “St. Louis legends” Greg Gagne, Larry Hennig, Baron Von Raschke, Sgt. Slaughter, Bob Orton Jr., and Ric Flair, who were all seated in the front row. The crowd greeted them warmly. JBL noted that Harley Race wished he could be there, but he was at home recovering from an injury…

Ring entrances for the WWE Championship match took place. The Singh Brothers introduced Jinder Mahal. There was a pause between introductions, which the crowd filled with “Randy” chants. Randy Orton received the big hometown pop for his entrance. Phillips noted that Randy was going for his 14th WWE Championship…

4. Jinder Mahal (w/The Singh Brothers) vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. JBL said Orton had the legends there because he wanted the pressure. He also said Orton wants to prove that Jinder is a flash in the pan. Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Jinder avoided an early RKO attempt and rolled to ringside 40 seconds into the match.

Orton dominated early and roughed up Mahal at ringside by slamming his head into the broadcast table. Orton brought Mahal back to the ring. He had him set up for the hanging DDT, but he was distracted by the Singh Brothers, who climbed onto the apron. Jinder tossed Orton over the top rope. Orton landed on his feet and sold left knee pain. Jinder targeted the bad leg as he went on the offensive.

Orton came back with a fallaway slam, but he sold knee pain after performing the move. Jinder rolled to ringside. Orton followed only to be kicked in the knee. Mahal picked up Orton and dropped him bad knee first on the barricade at 8:00. Back inside the ring, Jinder avoided another RKO attempt and caught Orton with a kick to the head and covered him for a two count.

Mahal applied a figure four (and they cut to a brief shot of Flair in the crowd). Orton rolled it over to put the pressure on Mahal, who reached the ropes to break it. Mahal put Orton on the top rope and pointed at his father. “This is for you, Bob,” Mahal said in reference to a superplex attempt, which Randy fought off. Randy ended up performing a superplex instead.

Orton made his comeback and performed the hanging DDT from the middle rope at 15:30. Orton played to the crowd and then struck the Viper’s Pose. Orton hit the RKO on Mahal and covered him , but one of the Singh Brothers put Jinder’s foot over the bottom rope. Orton barked at the referee. The Singh Brothers asked to be disqualified. Instead, the referee ejected the Singh Brothers from ringside at 17:10.

One of the Singh Brothers whispered into the ear of the other as the crowd sang the goodbye song. The Singh Brothers turned around and started barking at the legends. “You think this is funny, right,” one of them said. They grabbed Bob Orton Jr. by the collar. Randy went to ringside and beat the hell out of both Singhs. Orton tossed one into the timekeepers area and then tossed the other one onto the broadcast table.

Orton grabbed the Singh from the timekeepers area and worked him over again. Orton cleared the Phillips’ broadcast table. Orton RKO’d one Singh on the floor, then RKO’d the other Singh through the broadcast table. Orton returned to the ring where Mahal kicked his bad knee. Mahal hit the Cravate and covered Orton for the 1-2-3. JBL noted that Mahal beat Orton on Father’s Day in front of his dad…

Jinder Mahal defeated Randy Orton in 20:50 to retain the WWE Championship.

Powell’s POV: The body of the match with Mahal working over the bad leg of Orton was a little slow, but I like the way they hometown crowd was able to see Orton hit his moves on the Singh Brothers before he had the rug pulled out from under him by Mahal. By the way, it did seem odd that the referee didn’t count out Orton during the time he was working over the Singhs. I’m still happy they stick with Mahal for another month. I’m not saying he’s the right guy, but I still believe there’s a lot the creative team can do with him and the Singhs in terms of character development.

A Great Balls of Fire commercial aired with the Raw wrestlers singing lines from the song and/or dancing to it. The Smackdown broadcast team hyped the Great Balls of Fire event and the Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe main event…

Tyler Breeze and Fandango made their entrance. The Ascension came out, apparently revealing themselves as the attackers of Breeze…

Powell’s POV: There’s a role for everyone other than American Alpha in the Smackdown tag division. Here’s hoping they will show up on Raw as the mystery Enzo Amore and Big Cass attackers after all.

5. Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. The Ascension. Breeze was isolated early on. Fandango checked, but dove into a spinebuster from Konnor, who got a two count. A short time later, Breeze took out Konnor in the corner, and then Fandango caught Viktor with an inside cradle for the win…

Tyler Breeze and Fandango beat The Ascension in 3:50.

Another Great Balls of Fire ad aired… The broadcast team hyped Jinder Mahal, Naomi, and the winner of the men’s MITB ladder match as the guests on the Talking Smack type show that follows the pay-per-view… A video package set up the main event…

Ring entrances for the men’s MITB match took place. JBL said Ziggler was his favorite to win. Sure. Shinsuke Nakamura was the second to last to make his entrance. Baron Corbin attacked him from behind on the stage and worked him over with a ladder and even a television camera. Corbin headed to the ring as trainers came out and checked on Nakamura. The referees huddled and called for the bell to start the match while Nakamura was still lying on the stage…

6. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin vs. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Money in the Bank ladder match. The five wrestlers brawled at ringside. The trainers took Nakamura to the back. Zayn performed a big dive onto Owens on the floor. Ziggler and Corbin fought Styles on the other side of the ring. Ziggler barked at Corbin to grab a ladder. Corbin complied and they teamed up to run it into Styles. Ziggler patted Corbin on the back. Corbin responded by punching Ziggler. Moments later, Ziggler superkicked Corbin.

At 5:45, Owens worked over Styles inside the ring with a small ladder. Corbin and Ziggler tried to enter the ring, but Owens knocked them off the apron by ramming them with the ladder. At 8:15, Zayn tossed Owens off the top rope and onto a ladder that was set up on its side in the middle of the ring. Zayn tried to set up the mangled ladder and instead opted to toss it to the floor. Zayn slid a different ladder inside the ring. The crowd reacted to something that happened off-camera at ringside. Ziggler ran in and hit Zayn from behind before he could set up the ladder. Ziggler set up the ladder in the corner and then tossed Zayn onto it at 9:45.

Ziggler went for a superkick, but Zayn spun him around and performed a Blue Thunder Bomb. Zayn climbed the ladder, but Corbin returned and cut him off. Styles rolled inside the ring as Corbin ran Zayn into the middle of the ladder. Styles worked over Corbin and then set up a ladder. Styles climbed the ladder only to have Corbin climb up the other side. They fought near the top of the ladder. Styles punched Corbin down. Ziggler climbed over Corbin and ended up knocking Styles off the ladder. Corbin pulled down Ziggler. At 13:00, Ziggler performed a Zigzag on Corbin off the ladder.

Zayn, Ziggler, and Styles all battled on the ladder with Styles standing on the support piece. Ziggler punched Styles off the ladder. Ziggler performed a sunset flip powerbomb that resulted in Ziggler landing near the ropes and then rolling outside the ring. Damn. Ziggler went into the move with a minor cut above one of his eyes.

Owens and Zayn fought on the apron. Zayn blocked a powerbomb attempt, then performed a wicked suplex onto the apron. Zayn climbed the ladder. Styles performed a Phenomenal Forearm that knocked Zayn off the ladder. Corbin pulled Styles to the floor and slammed his head into the broadcast table. Corbin tossed Styles over the table. Corbin set up a ladder over the ring steps and one of the broadcast tables. Styles caught Corbin with a kick. Styles went for a move off the apron, but Corbin caught him and chokeslammed him onto the ladder at 18:30.

Corbin entered the ring. Zayn tagged him with a Helluva Kick. Zayn set up a ladder and climbed it. Ziggler tried to stop him, but Zayn kicked him down. Zayn got his hands on the briefcase before Owens pulled him down and low blowed him. Owens climbed the ladder and got his hand on the briefcase, but Styles pulled him down. Styles and Owens ended up fighting for position on the ring apron. Styles got the better of it and ended up dropping Owens onto the ladder that was still over the ring steps and one of the broadcast tables at 20:45.

Styles climbed the ladder. Ziggler pulled the ladder out from under Styles, who held onto the cable. Styles tried to unhook the briefcase while hanging from the cable, but he ended up crashing and burning. Ziggler flashed a big smile while lying in the corner. Corbin pulled Ziggler out of the ring and set up the ladder.

Nakamura’s entrance theme played at 22:20. Nakamura headed to the ring. Corbin tried to throw a ladder at hime, but Nakamura ducked it. Nakamura entered the ring and worked over Corbin with kicks. Nakamura cleared Corbin for the ring. Nakamura caught Ziggler with a flying knee from the ropes and the a Kinshasa. Zayn ran in but Nakamura got the better of him and put him down with a Kinshasa. Nakamura tried to bring a ladder in from ringside. Owens held onto the ladder. Nakamura took him out with a Kinshasa.

Nakamura set up the ladder in the middle of the ring. Styles entered the ring and they stood on the mat looking at one another through the rungs of the ladder. They both put the ladder aside and squared off. Styles and Nakamura traded punches. Styles started to land his combo, but Nakamura ducked it and applied a sleeper before releasing that and performing a suplex. Nakamura set up for his finisher, but Styles caught him with a leaping punch.

At 28:30, Nakamura and Styles fought on top of the ladder while the fans had a dueling chant. Corbin pushed the ladder over and they both bumped into the ring and face first into the top rope. Corin climbed the ladder and unhooked the belt for the win. JBL said there could not have been a more unpredictable character win MITB than Corbin. Phillips said it would change Corbin’s life…

Baron Corbin won the Money in the Bank ladder match in 29:45.

Powell’s POV: The best match of the night with the first taste of Styles vs. Nakamura in WWE. The finish with Corbin pushing them both over led to the same tame bump by Styles and Nakamura off the ladder that the women kept doing in the opening match. Again, though, no complaints about these guys playing it safe. Corbin. Nakamura’s return was expected, yet led to the crowd firing up in a big way. I was happy they didn’t have Nakamura win the match given that he was out for the first 20 minutes. Nakamura is going to be fine. They clearly see him as the star that he is. Corbin isn’t the most exciting MITB holder, but he’s a logical pick. Overall, the main event was a blast and it was enough to help overcome some of the undercard shortcomings. I will have a lot more to say in the member exclusive audio review later tonight.

Check out Prowrestling.net Live with Jason Powell and Will Pruett taking your calls on Monday at 3CT/4ET at PWAudio.net.

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6/18 Powell’s WWE Money in the Bank Live Review: Men’s and Women’s MITB ladder matches, New Arrivals, Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, Naomi vs. Lana for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, The Usos vs. New Day for the Smackdown Tag Titles

By Jason Powell

WWE Money in the Bank 2017
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
St. Louis, Missouri at Scottrade Center

A video package opened the show with a narrator stating “one night can change everything” as footage aired of Jinder Mahal beating Randy Orton to win the WWE Championship. The video also focussed on the two Money in the Bank ladder matches…

The broadcast team of Tom Phillips, JBL, and Byron Saxton checked in from ringside. Greg Hamilton was the ring announcer. They went right to ring entrances for the women’s MITB match. They introduced the Spanish and German broadcast teams, and also aired the women’s MITB video package that aired on the Kickoff Show…

1. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Tamina vs. Natalya vs. Carmella (w/James Ellsworth) in a Money in the Bank ladder match. There were ladders set up on the stage, in the aisle, and at ringside. Tamina was spotlighted as the dominant and powerful woman during the first few minutes of the match.

Natalya made the first play for the briefcase that was hanging above the ring. Natalya got to the briefcase at 4:40, but Charlotte climbed up behind her. Natalya kicked her down a couple times, but Charlotte performed the electric chair drop in the ring. Charlotte made a play for the briefcase, but Carmella stopped her and crotched her on one of the rungs. Carmella reached for the briefcase, but Charlotte stopped her. They traded shots high on the ladder. Tamina pushed over the ladder and they bumped safely to the ring and into the top rope at 6:45.

Lynch made a play for the briefcase at 8:30, but Carmella cut her off. Carmella climbed the ladder in mid-ring, but Charlotte returned to pull her down and catch her with a big boot. Charlotte hit the same big boot on Lynch. Tamina could be seen hitting Natalya in a rare moment of something happening at ringside. Tamina prevented Charlotte from getting the briefcase by headbuttng her off a ladder. Charlotte speared Tamina. They scrambled to roll to the floor where Charlotte drove Tamina into the ring steps. Charlotte went to the top rope and performed a twisting dive onto Tamina and Natalya at ringside around 11:30.

Carmella climbed the ladder. Lynch stopped her and powerbombed her. Lynch climbed the ladder. Ellsworth entered the ring and gently teetered the ladder before Lynch took a bump into the top rope. Ellsworth climbed the ladder and pulled down the briefcase, which he dropped to Carmella, who was lying on the mat. The bell rang and the fans booed.

Three referees huddled up at ringside. Ellsworth took the house mic and announced Carmella as the winner of the match. Saxton complained about Ellsworth not even being in the match. JBL said it’s a no disqualification match…

Carmella won the Money in the Bank ladder match in 13:20.

Powell’s POV: A weak finish to a decent MITB match effort from the women. They took safe bumps, which is I’m certainly not complaining about. This was laid out so that the focus was almost entirely on what happened in the ring with two or three people while the others sold at ringside. The finish was disappointing in that WWE built this up as being historic and then had the match end in forgettable fashion. I was waiting for the referees to restart the match or for Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan to come out and overturn the finish. I don’t mind the heels cheating to win and I’m fine with Carmella winning, but this felt lazy and the finish put more heat on Ellsworth and perhaps even the company than her. It was disappointing in the moment, but hopefully she can put the heat on herself with her next promo.

Backstage, Dasha Fuentes interviewed Lana, who wore a different blue dress. She said the women were lucky she was not in the MITB match or things would have been very different. She spoke about what she did to Naomi on Smackdown becoming the first ever Ravishing Women’s Champion…

New Day made their entrance for the Smackdown Tag Title match and did their pre-match schtick in the ring. The Usos made their entrance…

2. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Big E and Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) for the WWE Smackdown Tag Titles. Kofi took a crazy bump over the top rope when the Uso on the apron held down the top rope. Later, one of the Usos kicked the back of Kingston’s knee and then Jey applied their submission hold. Big E fought off Jimmy on the floor and broke up the submission hold. Kofi rebounded and performed an SOS on Jey for a good near fall at 9:20.

Kofi ran into a superkick from Jey, who then went for a dive off the top rope. Big E had tagged in and tried and failed to catch Jey. E powered him up and performed the Big Ending. It looked like the ref could have counted three, but instead he stopped just as Jimmy broke up the pin. Woods played the trombone on the apron to distract the Usos. E sent both Usos to ringside. Kofi performed a back first dive off the top rope onto both Usos. New Day hit the Midnight Hour on Jey. Kington covered him, but Jimmy pulled Jey to the floor at 11:35. The Usos grabbed their tag belts and left through the crowd while taking an intentional count-out loss…

New Day defeated The Usos by count-out at 12:00.

Powell’s POV: Back to back finishes like this won’t please viewers, but I didn’t mind this one. They made it look like New Day were on the verge of winning so the Usos took the easy way out by leaving, which puts heat on the heel champions and keeps the feud going. This felt like a logical finish for this point in the feud. By the way, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan both tweeted about the finish of the women’s MITB match. Bryan labeled it unacceptable. I wonder if they will let the finish stand or Bryan’s first act upon returning to Smackdown will be to book a women’s MITB rematch for television?

The broadcast team spoke about Bryan returning to Smackdown and listed his tweet. Phillips said Bryan would have a lot to deal with…

Backstage, Bob Orton Jr. (no cast, sigh) and Sgt. Slaughter were shown talking… Ring entrances took place for the Smackdown Women’s Championship match…

3. Naomi vs. Lana for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Phillips noted that this was Lana’s second match in WWE (the other being at WrestleMania). Lana worked in wrestling gear, not the dress she’s been wearing. Lana got an early two count after she avoided Naomi going for a top rope cross body block. Lana showed early frustration when her next pin attempt produced a two count.

Lana suplexed Naomi, who sold leg pain when her legs hit the bottom. Lana did the same spot again and suplexed Naomi’s legs into the middle rope. Lana performed a weird leg hold by wrenching on the leg of Naomi, whose foot was in Lana’s crotch. Naomi countered into a cross arm breaker. Lana hit the bad leg of Lana to break the hold. Naomi caught Lana with a few standing kicks to the head. Naomi performed the Rearview for a two count at 5:25.

Lana performed a sit-out spinebuster for a two count. Camrella’s music played and she skipped out with James Ellsworth. Carmella teased handing the MITB briefcase to the timekeeper, then said “nah.” Carmella and Ellsworth remained at ringside while Lana threw bad punches to the side of Naomi, who came back and applied a submission hold for the win. Afterward, Carmella teased cashing in, but then held up her hand and walked away with Ellsworth…

Naomi defeated Lana in 7:30 to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

Powell’s POV: It was nice of WWE to pay tribute to GLOW just days before the television series that was inspired by the ’80s women’s wrestling television series debuts on Netflix. Lana didn’t look ready for prime time, and the live crowd was pretty flat.

A WWE Network commercial aired…

A Fashion Vice video aired. It was a Miami Vice theme with Fandango and Tyler Breeze both dressed in their best Don Johnson attire. Fandango was on an old phone and wanted the results of the forensics, which were faxed to him. Breeze found a cassette tape and put it inside a VCR (look it up, kids). A mystery team appeared on the screen and took credit for attacking Breeze and said to meet them in the ring later if they wanted to find out who they were…

Hearts appeared on the entrance ramp as new music played. “Mike & Maria Kanellis” walked out hand in hand wearing headset mics. Maria introduced herself and then Mike introduced himself as Mike Kanellis. Maria said the first lady is back in WWE. She said she had been searching for the perfect partner for seven years. “You found me,” Mike said. Maria said they were going to educate everyone on Smackdown Live about the power of love. Their music played and they embraced and then did some dance twirls and then looked lovingly at one another…

Powell’s POV: Mike Bennett is going by his wife’s last name. I hope creative has real plans for these two beyond being beaten by John Cena and Nikki Bella. Maria was arguably the best talker on the roster during her time in Impact Wrestling, and Mike wasn’t far behind. They have been under contract to WWE for a few months now, so it was a matter of when rather than if they showed up.

The broadcast team spoke briefly about the arrival of Mike and Maria. “He took her name,” JBL said. They quickly switched to recapping the women’s MITB match. Byron continued to vent about the finish. They set up a video package that focussed on Jinder Mahal and and his feud with Randy Orton…

Hamilton introduced “St. Louis legends” Greg Gagne, Larry Hennig, Baron Von Raschke, Sgt. Slaughter, Bob Orton Jr., and Ric Flair, who were all seated in the front row. The crowd greeted them warmly. JBL noted that Harley Race wished he could be there, but he was at home recovering from an injury…

Ring entrances for the WWE Championship match took place. The Singh Brothers introduced Jinder Mahal. There was a pause between introductions, which the crowd filled with “Randy” chants. Randy Orton received the big hometown pop for his entrance. Phillips noted that Randy was going for his 14th WWE Championship…

4. Jinder Mahal (w/The Singh Brothers) vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. JBL said Orton had the legends there because he wanted the pressure. He also said Orton wants to prove that Jinder is a flash in the pan. Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Jinder avoided an early RKO attempt and rolled to ringside 40 seconds into the match.

Orton dominated early and roughed up Mahal at ringside by slamming his head into the broadcast table. Orton brought Mahal back to the ring. He had him set up for the hanging DDT, but he was distracted by the Singh Brothers, who climbed onto the apron. Jinder tossed Orton over the top rope. Orton landed on his feet and sold left knee pain. Jinder targeted the bad leg as he went on the offensive.

Orton came back with a fallaway slam, but he sold knee pain after performing the move. Jinder rolled to ringside. Orton followed only to be kicked in the knee. Mahal picked up Orton and dropped him bad knee first on the barricade at 8:00. Back inside the ring, Jinder avoided another RKO attempt and caught Orton with a kick to the head and covered him for a two count.

Mahal applied a figure four (and they cut to a brief shot of Flair in the crowd). Orton rolled it over to put the pressure on Mahal, who reached the ropes to break it. Mahal put Orton on the top rope and pointed at his father. “This is for you, Bob,” Mahal said in reference to a superplex attempt, which Randy fought off. Randy ended up performing a superplex instead.

Orton made his comeback and performed the hanging DDT from the middle rope at 15:30. Orton played to the crowd and then struck the Viper’s Pose. Orton hit the RKO on Mahal and covered him , but one of the Singh Brothers put Jinder’s foot over the bottom rope. Orton barked at the referee. The Singh Brothers asked to be disqualified. Instead, the referee ejected the Singh Brothers from ringside at 17:10.

One of the Singh Brothers whispered into the ear of the other as the crowd sang the goodbye song. The Singh Brothers turned around and started barking at the legends. “You think this is funny, right,” one of them said. They grabbed Bob Orton Jr. by the collar. Randy went to ringside and beat the hell out of both Singhs. Orton tossed one into the timekeepers area and then tossed the other one onto the broadcast table.

Orton grabbed the Singh from the timekeepers area and worked him over again. Orton cleared the Phillips’ broadcast table. Orton RKO’d one Singh on the floor, then RKO’d the other Singh through the broadcast table. Orton returned to the ring where Mahal kicked his bad knee. Mahal hit the Cravate and covered Orton for the 1-2-3. JBL noted that Mahal beat Orton on Father’s Day in front of his dad…

Jinder Mahal defeated Randy Orton in 20:50 to retain the WWE Championship.

Powell’s POV: The body of the match with Mahal working over the bad leg of Orton was a little slow, but I like the way they hometown crowd was able to see Orton hit his moves on the Singh Brothers before he had the rug pulled out from under him by Mahal. By the way, it did seem odd that the referee didn’t count out Orton during the time he was working over the Singhs. I’m still happy they stick with Mahal for another month. I’m not saying he’s the right guy, but I still believe there’s a lot the creative team can do with him and the Singhs in terms of character development.

A Great Balls of Fire commercial aired with the Raw wrestlers singing lines from the song and/or dancing to it. The Smackdown broadcast team hyped the Great Balls of Fire event and the Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe main event…

Tyler Breeze and Fandango made their entrance. The Ascension came out, apparently revealing themselves as the attackers of Breeze…

Powell’s POV: There’s a role for everyone other than American Alpha in the Smackdown tag division. Here’s hoping they will show up on Raw as the mystery Enzo Amore and Big Cass attackers after all.

5. Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. The Ascension. Breeze was isolated early on. Fandango checked, but dove into a spinebuster from Konnor, who got a two count. A short time later, Breeze took out Konnor in the corner, and then Fandango caught Viktor with an inside cradle for the win…

Tyler Breeze and Fandango beat The Ascension in 3:50.

Another Great Balls of Fire ad aired… The broadcast team hyped Jinder Mahal, Naomi, and the winner of the men’s MITB ladder match as the guests on the Talking Smack type show that follows the pay-per-view… A video package set up the main event…

Ring entrances for the men’s MITB match took place. JBL said Ziggler was his favorite to win. Sure. Shinsuke Nakamura was the second to last to make his entrance. Baron Corbin attacked him from behind on the stage and worked him over with a ladder and even a television camera. Corbin headed to the ring as trainers came out and checked on Nakamura. The referees huddled and called for the bell to start the match while Nakamura was still lying on the stage…

6. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin vs. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Money in the Bank ladder match. The five wrestlers brawled at ringside. The trainers took Nakamura to the back. Zayn performed a big dive onto Owens on the floor. Ziggler and Corbin fought Styles on the other side of the ring. Ziggler barked at Corbin to grab a ladder. Corbin complied and they teamed up to run it into Styles. Ziggler patted Corbin on the back. Corbin responded by punching Ziggler. Moments later, Ziggler superkicked Corbin.

At 5:45, Owens worked over Styles inside the ring with a small ladder. Corbin and Ziggler tried to enter the ring, but Owens knocked them off the apron by ramming them with the ladder. At 8:15, Zayn tossed Owens off the top rope and onto a ladder that was set up on its side in the middle of the ring. Zayn tried to set up the mangled ladder and instead opted to toss it to the floor. Zayn slid a different ladder inside the ring. The crowd reacted to something that happened off-camera at ringside. Ziggler ran in and hit Zayn from behind before he could set up the ladder. Ziggler set up the ladder in the corner and then tossed Zayn onto it at 9:45.

Ziggler went for a superkick, but Zayn spun him around and performed a Blue Thunder Bomb. Zayn climbed the ladder, but Corbin returned and cut him off. Styles rolled inside the ring as Corbin ran Zayn into the middle of the ladder. Styles worked over Corbin and then set up a ladder. Styles climbed the ladder only to have Corbin climb up the other side. They fought near the top of the ladder. Styles punched Corbin down. Ziggler climbed over Corbin and ended up knocking Styles off the ladder. Corbin pulled down Ziggler. At 13:00, Ziggler performed a Zigzag on Corbin off the ladder.

Zayn, Ziggler, and Styles all battled on the ladder with Styles standing on the support piece. Ziggler punched Styles off the ladder. Ziggler performed a sunset flip powerbomb that resulted in Ziggler landing near the ropes and then rolling outside the ring. Damn. Ziggler went into the move with a minor cut above one of his eyes.

Owens and Zayn fought on the apron. Zayn blocked a powerbomb attempt, then performed a wicked suplex onto the apron. Zayn climbed the ladder. Styles performed a Phenomenal Forearm that knocked Zayn off the ladder. Corbin pulled Styles to the floor and slammed his head into the broadcast table. Corbin tossed Styles over the table. Corbin set up a ladder over the ring steps and one of the broadcast tables. Styles caught Corbin with a kick. Styles went for a move off the apron, but Corbin caught him and chokeslammed him onto the ladder at 18:30.

Corbin entered the ring. Zayn tagged him with a Helluva Kick. Zayn set up a ladder and climbed it. Ziggler tried to stop him, but Zayn kicked him down. Zayn got his hands on the briefcase before Owens pulled him down and low blowed him. Owens climbed the ladder and got his hand on the briefcase, but Styles pulled him down. Styles and Owens ended up fighting for position on the ring apron. Styles got the better of it and ended up dropping Owens onto the ladder that was still over the ring steps and one of the broadcast tables at 20:45.

Styles climbed the ladder. Ziggler pulled the ladder out from under Styles, who held onto the cable. Styles tried to unhook the briefcase while hanging from the cable, but he ended up crashing and burning. Ziggler flashed a big smile while lying in the corner. Corbin pulled Ziggler out of the ring and set up the ladder.

Nakamura’s entrance theme played at 22:20. Nakamura headed to the ring. Corbin tried to throw a ladder at hime, but Nakamura ducked it. Nakamura entered the ring and worked over Corbin with kicks. Nakamura cleared Corbin for the ring. Nakamura caught Ziggler with a flying knee from the ropes and the a Kinshasa. Zayn ran in but Nakamura got the better of him and put him down with a Kinshasa. Nakamura tried to bring a ladder in from ringside. Owens held onto the ladder. Nakamura took him out with a Kinshasa.

Nakamura set up the ladder in the middle of the ring. Styles entered the ring and they stood on the mat looking at one another through the rungs of the ladder. They both put the ladder aside and squared off. Styles and Nakamura traded punches. Styles started to land his combo, but Nakamura ducked it and applied a sleeper before releasing that and performing a suplex. Nakamura set up for his finisher, but Styles caught him with a leaping punch.

At 28:30, Nakamura and Styles fought on top of the ladder while the fans had a dueling chant. Corbin pushed the ladder over and they both bumped into the ring and face first into the top rope. Corin climbed the ladder and unhooked the belt for the win. JBL said there could not have been a more unpredictable character win MITB than Corbin. Phillips said it would change Corbin’s life…

Baron Corbin won the Money in the Bank ladder match in 29:45.

Powell’s POV: The best match of the night with the first taste of Styles vs. Nakamura in WWE. The finish with Corbin pushing them both over led to the same tame bump by Styles and Nakamura off the ladder that the women kept doing in the opening match. Again, though, no complaints about these guys playing it safe. Corbin. Nakamura’s return was expected, yet led to the crowd firing up in a big way. I was happy they didn’t have Nakamura win the match given that he was out for the first 20 minutes. Nakamura is going to be fine. They clearly see him as the star that he is. Corbin isn’t the most exciting MITB holder, but he’s a logical pick. Overall, the main event was a blast and it was enough to help overcome some of the undercard shortcomings. I will have a lot more to say in the member exclusive audio review later tonight.

Check out Prowrestling.net Live with Jason Powell and Will Pruett taking your calls on Monday at 3CT/4ET at PWAudio.net.

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