By Jason Powell
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WWE Money in the Bank 2015
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Columbus, Ohio at Nationwide Arena
The Dusty Rhodes memorial graphic opened the show. The entire roster (including Daniel Bryan) stood on the stage for a ten bell tribute. Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H were front and center. The fans were silent throughout the tribute, then chanted “Dusty” once it was finished. Dusty’s WWE entrance theme played and the wrestlers and McMahons clapped on the stage…
Powell’s POV: A very nice touch. Many of the wrestlers had tears in their eyes, as did Vince McMahon. Nobody seemed to enjoy Dusty’s theme music more than Vince, who clapped and pumped his leg to the beat of the music. Once again, a major thumbs up to a pro wrestling crowd. The Columbus fans were silent and tremendously respectful throughout the ceremony.
Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler were on commentary… Lilian Garcia was the ring announcer…
1. Roman Reigns vs. Kane vs. Neville vs. Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus in a Money in the Bank ladder match. Sheamus made an early play for the briefcase, but he was stopped. Kofi went for the briefcase, but Sheamus knocked over the ladder. At 5:40, Kingston and Neville battled on top of the ladder. Reigns entered and pulled them both down and received some boos. Reigns ended up shoving the ladder into the face of Neville.
Reigns powerbombed Kingston onto a ladder that was set up over the lower turnbuckle in one of the corners. He caught Neville going for a huracanrana and then powerbombed Neville onto Kingston, who was lying on top of that same ladder. Reigns made a play for the briefcase, but Kane stopped him and chokeslammed him. Orton dropped Kane with an RKO. Orton climbed the ladder at 8:45, but Kingston was there to stop him. Orton put Kingston down with an RKO.
Orton was positioning the ladder when Neville springboarded over him. However, Orton pulled Neville down and RKO”d him. Cole called it RKO City. Gee, I wonder where he got that one. Sheamus and Orton fought. Orton put Sheamus down with the sidewinder backbreaker. Orton climbed the ladder, but Sheamus recovered and stopped him.
Sheamus and Orton fought on top of the ladder. Ziggler applied a sleeper hold on Sheamus, then performed a Zigzag on Sheamus off the ladder. Neville went up top and performed the Red Arrow on Sheamus. Cole said Neville called this the start of the Altitude Era. There was a loud NXT chant from the adult males around 9:00.
Neville and Ziggler fought on top of the ladder. Neville knocked Ziggler off and made a play for the briefcase, but Kane was there to stop him. Ziggler superkicked Kane to break up Kane’s chokeslam attempt. Ziggler and Neville teamed up to run a ladder at Kane, who kicked the ladder into both men. Kane followed up with a sliding kick of the ladder onto both men at ringside.
Reigns got a big pop when he performed a Superman Punch on Kane. Reigns was alone in the ring. Rather than go for a ladder, he dove over the top rope and onto each of his opponents on the floor. Big E and Xavier Woods ran out and helped Kingston up. Kofi set up the ladder and slowly climbed it. Reigns kicked Big E and Woods.
Reigns tried to stop Kingston from grabbing the briefcase. He pulled him down on the third try and powerbombed him onto some of the other wrestlers at ringside. Orton spun Reigns around, but Reigns dodged the RKO. Orton dodged a Superman Punch. Orton ended up connecting with a spear. Reigns set up a ladder and started to climb.
Bray Wyatt’s video flashed. Wyatt stood in the ring and pushed the ladder over to prevent Reigns from winning. Wyatt, who was wearing his butcher’s vest, performed Sister Abigail on Reigns. Wyatt headed to the back. Sheamus entered the ring and set up a ladder. Neville climbed the ladder and punched Kane several times. They fought at the top of the ladder, where Sheamus flung Neville to the mat. Sheamus unhooked the briefcase and won the match…
Sheamus won the Money in the Bank match in 20:50.
Powell’s POV: A very entertaining match. The Bray Wyatt interference was an interesting surprise and gives Reigns an out. I have been an advocate of the heel Sheamus character, but I can’t say him winning the match did a lot for me even though I did not see it coming. It will be interesting to see if he is fed to the champion quickly or if he hangs onto the briefcase for a long period of time.
A Don’t Try This At Home video aired…
Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Paige, who said not one Diva has offered to help her take down the Bella Twins empire. She said she will create the change on her own. “For you, Dusty,” Paige said at the end…
2. Nikki Bella vs. Paige for the Divas Championship. A group of additional Divas were shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. They were looking rather catty, which is par for the course in WWE. At 6:55, Paige applied a submission hold, but Nikki reached the ropes to break it up. The broadcast team noted that the women watching on the monitor didn’t appear to be cheering for either woman in the ring.
At 7:55, Paige set up for the PTO again, but Nikki rolled and kicked her way out of it. Nikki performed a kick off the second rope for a two count. Paige hit the RamPaige for a good near fall around 9:00. Both women fought on the ropes and fell to ringside. Brie Bella emerged from underneath the ring and traded spots with her sister.
Brie caught her with an inside cradle, but Paige reversed it and got the pin. Brie protested with the referee, unstuffed her bra (yes, really), and showed off her crotch tattoo to show Paige that it was her rather than Nikki. Nikki entered the ring and hit the Rack Attack on Paige and pinned her…
Nikki Bella beat Paige in 11:20 to retain the Divas Championship.
Powell’s POV: “And then you’re going to un-stuff your bra.” I’m just trying to imagine what the pre-match instructions sounded like. I think this makes the Bella Twins heels, but I’ll probably feel differently tomorrow night after Raw. Good effort from the women, though. I assume the other Divas watching on the backstage monitor will lead to something.
Cole recapped footage of the Ryback and Big Show appearance on Miz TV…
The Miz made his entrance. Miz played to the Ohio fans briefly. “My people,” he said. “The people I left because we all know that if you don’t live in New York or L.A. you don’t count,” he said. Miz said he would be winning the IC Title if it wasn’t for Big Show. Miz said he was going to create an audio/visual masterpiece. Miz sat in on commentary for the next match…
3. Ryback vs. Big Show for the Intercontinental Championship. Ryback clotheslined Big Show to ringside to start. Ryback went to ringside, grabbed Miz, and threw him back over the announcers’ table. Big Show took advantage of the distracted Ryback and took control offensively. Fatal Error. Something has gone terribly wrong! Reboot the network, and Ryback was in control.
Late in the match (and after another WWE Network error on my end), The Miz entered the ring and hit Big Show with a microphone repeatedly for the DQ. The Miz headed backstage…
Big Show beat Ryback by DQ in 5:30.
Powell’s POV: What I saw of the match was solid, but the network issues cost me at least a couple minutes.
A WWE Tough Enough commercial aired… A John Cena vs. Kevin Owens video package airead…
4. U.S. Champion John Cena vs. NXT Champion Kevin Owens in a non-title match. Before the match, both men took turns holding up their title belts. The cheers for Owens were much louder. More network related fun on the PS4 early, but thank goodness it works just fine on my laptop. Cena performed an impressive reverse suplex. At 7:00, Owens performed a cannonball.
Later, Cena had Owens up in Electric Chair position and dropped him frontwards instead. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment for a two count. Cena stood up and complained to the referee about the count, and the referee stood his ground. Cena brought Owens to the ropes and set up for his finisher from the second rope. Owens slid away and put Cena up in Electric Chair position, then spun him around with a powerbomb for a good near fall. The fans changed “this is awesome” at 11:45.
Owens went for his finisher, but Centa countered into a huracanrana. Owens blasted Cena with a superkick for another good near fall. Cena came right back with a tornado DDT off the second rope for a two count of his own. Cena went for his top rope leg drop, but Owens avoided it can came right back with a package powerbomb for a two count.
Owens missed a moonsault when Cena moved. Cena performed the Attitude Adjustment for another good near fall. Cena set up Owens for a superplex, but Owens countered into a fisherman’s superplex for a two count at 16:20. There were another round of “this is awesome” chants.
Cena came back with the STF, but Owens reached the ropes at 17:10. Cena came back with a sunset flip powerbomb. They had a tough time getting to the move, but they eventually got there and the crowd popped big for the near fall. Owens came back with a pop-up powerbomb, but Cena kicked out at two. More awesome chants. Cena performed the spingboard Stunner and then followed up with the Attitude Adjustment for the win.
After the match, Cena waited for Owens to stand up. Cena played to Owens and the crowd. Cena got Owens’s NXT Championship belt and handed it to him. Cena offered Owens a handshake, which Owens accepted. Cena raised the hand of Owens, who turned and kicked him out of the ring.
Owens followed him and powerbombed him on the ring apron. Owens grabbed the U.S. Championship. He walked toward Cena, but the referees pointed him away. Owens backed up the ramp and dropped the U.S. Title, then posed mugged with the NXT Championship from the stage. Owens laughed maniacally at Cena and mocked him with a “You Can’t See Me” hand gesture before going backstage…
John Cena defeated Kevin Owens in 19:20.
Powell’s POV: Another gem of a match from Cena and Owens. It’s not the finish I would have gone with, but the post match attack by Owens was excellent. Here’s hoping Cena sells the attack on Raw. It should be a gimme, of course, but you never know what you’ll get from Cena the day after a pay-per-view match. He did sell it by having the referees help him backstage afterward.
A WWE Shop ad aired, then a Total Divas ad aired…
Backstage, Renee Young said they would have pass along an update on John Cena as soon as one was available. Young interviewed Dean Ambrose and asked him about partying with the title belt on Bourbon Street. He asked what kind of animal she thought he was. “But I did do that, didn’t I?” he asked.
Ambrose said sometimes you have to stand up for yourself and take what’s yours. Ambrose said he knows he earned the title with his blood, sweat, and tears. “This belongs to me,” Ambrose said. He told viewers that if they are into paperwork and official rulings, then Rollins is your champion, but Ambrose said he is the champion of people who believe in doing the right thing. “Taking this was about taking respect,” Ambrose said of the title belt…
The broadcast team spoke at ringside about the Cena vs. Owens match, then shifted it into discussing the death of Dusty Rhodes. Lawler said there was never a better talking in the industry. Cole spoke of Dusty’s gift of gab and spoke about how he was teaching the NXT students how to cut promos. They played a Rhodes video… Cole hyped the “Celebrating The Dream” special for WWE Network after Monday’s Raw…
5. Big E and Xavier Woods vs. The Prime Time Players for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Before the match, New Day cut a promo Kofi being the victim of a travesty in the MITB match. They also mocked the fans about Ohio State University winning a title after being on probation. New Day had the first prolonged stretch of offense. They isolated Darren Young.
Young eventually dodged a charing Big E, who crashed into the corner. Young made the hot tag to Titus, which didn’t get as much of a reaction as it has been getting on television lately. Titus worked over both members of New Day and then the crowd pepped up a little. Titus had Woods covered, but E broke it up. E speared Young off the ring apron. In the ring, Titus hit his finisher on Woods and pinned him clean…
The Prime Time Players defeated New Day in 5:50 to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Powell’s POV: A flat tag title change. There was one guy in the crowd who hugged his son because he was so excited, which got some laughs in my house. The crowd seemed surprised, but how excited can anyone get about The Players beat New Day to win the tag titles?
The Kickoff Show panel spoke from their set. Byron Saxton sat in his chair and swayed to the music like a jackass. They spoke about Kevin Owens and John Cena, then offered main event predictions…
Cole and company recapped the Money in the Bank match and Sheamus getting the win. Cole announced Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt at the WWE Battleground pay-per-view… The broadcast team set up a video package for the main event…
Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon spoke with Seth Rollins. Stephanie said not to put any added pressure on Rollins, but the entire weight of the company rides on his shoulders. She said they would have no one else to blame but him if he didn’t come through. Hunter told Rollins that he wanted to stand on his own two feet. “So show them,” Triple H said. “Show them. Show them why I chose you. Show them that you are not the future, but you are the man.” Rollins got fired up and they went separate ways…
6. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins in a ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Cole said we may see “more wrestling” in this match than compared to the MITB match. After several minutes of early action that ultimately didn’t mean much, Ambrose made an attempt to climb the ladder. Rollins grabbed a chair and slammed it on the leg of Ambrose to knock him down. Rollins made a play for the belt, but Ambrose pulled him down.
Ambrose sold a knee injury from the chair shots. Rollins worked over the knee. The crowd chanted for Ambrose until Rollins slammed a ladder into the bad knee around 11:00. For some reason, they had a spotlight pointed at a middle aged woman in the front row for some time. That was odd.
Rollins mocked Ambrose by telling him he would have to climb with one leg. Ambrose thew punches at Rollins, who pulled him down and wrung his knee on the ring post. Rollins applied the figure four around the ring post and continued to taunt Ambrose about climbing with one leg. Back inside the ring, Rollins applied the figure four. Ambrose rolled it over to break the hold.
At 14:40, Rollins tied up Ambrose in the tree of woe and put the boots to him. Rollins brought a chair inside the ring and slammed it over the knee of Ambrose. Rollins climbed the ladder, but Ambrose got up and hopped on one leg to reach the ladder and knock it over.
A short time later, Ambrose did his bit where he leaned through the ropes and went for a clothesline, but Rollins pulled the ladder into Ambrose before he could perform the move. Rollins went to the ropes, but Ambrose threw a chair at Rollins. Ambrose went for a superplex, but Rollins fought him off. Rollins went for a spot on the ropes, but Ambrose crotched him on the top rope and then clotheslined him.
Ambrose was the aggressor, but he stopped to sell his bad knee. He got to his feet and limped as he chased after Rollins, who took a shot at Ambrose’s knee and then ran him into the barricade. Rollins headed back to the ring and then threw a chair at Ambrose, who ducked it. Ambrose went for his tilting clothesline, but Rollins dropkicked him. Ambrose did the move again and connected for a pop.
At 23:00, Ambrose dove onto Rollins at ringside. The fans chanted “this is awesome.” There was a ladder positioned on top of the ring and the broadcast team’s table. Rollins tried to powerbomb Ambrose onto it, but Ambrose fought his way out. Rollins charged Ambrose, who backdropped Rollins onto it.
Powell’s POV: Cole had a great call here as he yelled “Oh my God, look at the ladder,” which had buckled. It sounded like Cole was genuinely caught up in the moment.
Ambrose brought another ladder inside the ring and set it up at 25:25. Rollins entered the ring and Ambrose gave him a huracanrana over the top rope. They went to ringside where Ambrose clotheslined Ambrose over the Spanish announce table. Ambrose and Rollins fought on top of the table. Rollins set up for the Pedigree, but Ambrose fought him off and performed Dirty Deeds on the announce table. One of the Spanish broadcast team members could be seen calling the match from the front row.
Ambrose tried to climb the ladder inside the ring, but Rollins ended up hitting him on the knee with a monitor from the Spanish announce table. Rollins climbed the ladder, but Ambrose stopped him. Rollins fishhooked him and then punched him down. Rollins performed the Pedigree on Ambrose.
At 30:30, Rollins smiled as he looked down at Ambrose while climbing the ladder. Ambrose came up behind Rollins and grabbed his legs. Rollins kicked him a couple times, then dropped down and charged at Ambrose, who stepped aside and sent Rollins crashing to the floor.
Ambrose crawled toward the ladder, but Rollins pulled him to ringside and ran him face first into the ladder that was set up over the broadcast table and the edge of the ring. Rollins performed a Buckle Bomb into the barricade at ringside. Rollins picked up Ambrose and performed another, um, Barricade Bomb(?) at 32:10. The replay showed that Ambrose came up short of the barricade and book the bump on his tailbone. Ouch.
Rollins set up some chairs on top of a ladder on the floor. Rollins picked up Ambrose and performed a sit-out powerbomb onto the ladders and chairs. Rollins threw the ladder and chairs onto Ambrose on the floor. Rollins returned to the ring and climbed the ladder slowly.
Ambrose suddenly popped up and crawled into the ring. Ambrose also climbed the ladder on the same side as Rollins. They both fought over the title belt. Once it was unhooked, they both fell to the mat with hands on the title belt, but once they laded it stayed with Rollins. Afterward, Triple H came out and celebrated with Rollins on the stage. JoJo came out and interviewed Rollins on the stage. Rollins proclaimed himself the greatest of all time. Hunter smiled and celebrated with Rollins…
Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in a ladder match in 35:40 to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Powell’s POV: A 35-minute war that gives Rollins some major credibility as a heel champion. He’s no longer the guy that always needs J&J Security, Kane, etc. to win matches. Of course he’ll get help as long as he’s a wormy heel, but it’s so nice to see a heel WWE Champion that can win a hard fought match without outside interference. The finish felt a little too cute. I get the idea of protecting Ambrose, but they had done enough with the knee injury that I don’t think he would have lost anything if he never returned to the ring and Rollins had simply taken down the title belt. By the way, it will be interesting to see if Hunter eventually takes exception to Rollins boasting about being the greatest of all time.
Overall, this was a very good show. The MITB match, the Cena vs. Owens match, and certainly the main event made this a completely worthwhile event. I’m looking forward to discussing it with Jake Barnett later tonight for our members’ audio review. Thanks for watching along with me.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...