Powell’s WWE Money in the Bank 2016 live review: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, John Cena vs. AJ Styles, Money in the Bank ladder match

imgresBy Jason Powell

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WWE Money in the Bank 2016
Aired live on WWE Network and social media
Las Vegas, Nevada at T-Mobile Arena

A Las Vegas themed video package aired and then focussed on the top matches… Michael Cole checked in on commentary and was joined by JBL and Byron Saxton. Cole played the event us as the biggest MITB ever and said they were in a big fight town…

Enzo Amore and Big Cass were first out to a big reaction. Enzo spoke about being lovestruck by lady luck, then my feed jumped all over and I couldn’t make out what he said. Big Cass delivered a promo about how it didn’t matter which teams got in their way, they would go broke. The Vaudevillains were out next. Lilian Garcia was the ring announcer, and a bunch of the foreign broadcast teams checked in. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows were out next.

New Day made their entrances. New Day cut a promo from the stage. They said Enzo and Cass remind them of Han Solo and Chewbacca because the big guy does all the work. The crowd laughed when they compared the Vaudevillains to the Monopoly Man (it’s Vegas so I would hope that some of them have been drinking all day). They told Anderson and Gallows they would show them why they are the elite team in WWE…

1. Kofi Kingston and Big E (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Big Cass and Enzo Amore vs. The Vaudevillains vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in a four-way for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Cole said New Dave held the tag titles for 301 days and are closing in on the 334-day record set by Brian Kendrick and Paul London. At 4:00, all four teams ended up in the ring and traded blows. The babyface teams clotheslined the heel teams to ringside and then squared off.

At 8:30, Cass went on a big run and worked over several opponents, then threw Enzo onto some of them at ringside. Cass put Anderson down with a big boot and then performed a Rocket Launcher with Enzo onto Anderson for a good near fall that was broken up when Enzo was pulled to the floor. Cole said Enzo and Cass had the match won. JBL said that’s what makes four-way matches so much fun to watch.

There was a botch spot with Kofi going for a Trouble in Paradise Kick on Enzo, who was being rolled over and out of Kofi’s path by one of the Vaudevillains. Moments later, the Vaudevillains hit their finisher on Kingston for two. E did his big running shoulder block through the ropes onto English. A short time later, Anderson and Gallows hit English with their finisher, but E picked up Anderson to break it up. Kingston and E ended up hitting their finisher on Anderson, then Kingston pinned English for the win…

New Day beat The Vaudevillains, Big Cass & Enzo Amore, and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson in 12:00 to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.

Powell’s POV: A chaotic train wreck style opener. Given how much they played up New Day closing in on the record for the longest tag title reign, I will be surprised if they fail to break the record. There was a time when Cole mentioning the length of the reign was the kiss of death for the champions, but it seems like they pull that out more frequently these days.

Backstage, Tom Phillips interviewed Kevin Owens, who was interrupted by Chris Jericho, who bragged about creating the Money in the Bank ladder match. Owens mocked Jericho for never winning the match. Owens said Jericho won’t win this one again because he plans to win it instead. Jericho and Owens bickered until Alberto Del Rio showed up and boasted that he’s won the match before. Owens asked why Del Rio calls everyone perro, and asked if he has a dog at home. Jericho acted like he didn’t know that perro means dog in Spanish. Jericho struck his pose and told them to drink it in. Owens said he would just stick to water. Jericho called Phillips a stupid idiot after the other two walked off… Additional foreign broadcast teams checked in…

2. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler. Corbin was on the offensive early. There was a loud “boring” chant as Corbin continued to work over Ziggler. Corbin showed frustration over not being able to put Ziggler away. Ziggler performed a Fameasser for a two count that didn’t get much of a reaction. They went to ringside and Ziggler went for a move off the ring steps. Ziggler nearly tripped, but Corbin caught him and performed a spinning side slam on the floor.

At 10:15, Corbin went for his finisher, but Ziggler flipped onto his feet and caught Corbin with a superkick for a two count. “This is a hell of a match,” Cole said. Ziggler went to the top rope and was cut off by a punch from Corbin. Ziggler fought off Corbin’s superplex attempt, but Corbin tripped up Ziggler on the top rope and then hit End of Days for the win…

Baron Corbin beat Dolph Ziggler in 12:15.

Powell’s POV: The broadcast team kept telling viewers that it was a great match. And both men definitely worked hard. It’s just a shame that this feud overstayed its welcome. Fortunately, Cole said this might be the end of the rivalry. Here’s hoping that’s the case. If nothing else, one can only hope that Corbin has benefitted as a wrestler from working with Ziggler this much even if his character has not.

A shot aired of Seth Rollins putting on the foil, er, his gloves fists backstage… A commercial aired…

3. Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Becky Lynch and Natalya. The babyface duo performed a Hart Attack clothesline on Brooke at 1:20. A minute later, Brooke held the leg of Natalya, and Charlotte gave her a big boot to the face. Later, Lynch hit an exploder suplex on Charlotte and covered her, but Brooke broke up the pin at 5:30. Lynch followed up with a double missile dropkick and got a near fall on Charlotte. At 6:20, Natalya applied the Sharpshooter, but Brooke grabbed her by the hair. Brooke ran Lynch into Natalya. Charlotte performed the Natural Selection on Natalya and pinned her…

Charlotte and Dana Brooke beat Becky Lynch and Natalya in 6:55.

After the match, Lynch helped up a disappointed Natalya. Suddenly, Natalya struck Lynch from behind and then threw several forearm shots at her. The surprised fans booed and then Natalya left the ring with Lynch lying on the mat…

Powell’s POV: I didn’t see that one coming. They replayed the finish with Lynch being run into Natalya by Brooke. Cole said he thought it was just Natalya’s frustration boiling over. It was nice to hear the live crowd cheer for Lynch when she struggled to her feet after the attack. She continues to keep the fans in her corner now matter how her character is booked. I hope this means we’re going to get a feud between women that doesn’t involve the championship for a change. I’m guessing Paige is next in line for a title shot since she got a recent non-title win over Charlotte.

An ad aired for AJ Styles on the Stone Cold Podcast on Monday after Raw…

Backstage, Phillips interviewed Dean Ambrose, who said the contract will be his. Ambrose was asked for a comment on the title match. Ambrose said Roman Reigns will have fun beating on Seth Rollins. “Trust me, I know,” Ambrose said…

4. Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews. The referee cut between them and then called for the bell to start the match. Cole noted that there were 14,150 fans in the sold out building as Sheamus applied a chin lock that had all but 14,142 of the fans reacting in silence. Later, Crews connected with a nice kick to the side of Sheamus’s head for a two count at 6:00.

Crews followed up with an over the head belly-to-belly suplex that sent Sheamus over the top rope and down to the floor. Crews performed a moonsault off the ring apron and onto Sheamus, who was lying on the floor. At 8:10, Sheamus caught Crews on the ropes with a couple of punches and then performed White Noise off the second rope for a two count. Sheamus acted upset by the referee’s count. Crews rolled over the distracted Sheamus and pinned him…

Apollo Crews beat Sheamus in 8:40.

Powell’s POV: The crowd was flat, yet was seemingly focussed on the match. A reader pointed out that Sheamus was doing overseas publicity last week, which may explain why we didn’t get any additional hype for this match during go-home week. I like the finish in that it gave Crews the win, yet also gave Sheamus an out and another reason to be angry. We haven’t seen the last of this feud.

An ad aired for WWE Battleground, which airs July 24 from Washington, D.C. at Verizon Center… A video package set up the John Cena vs. AJ Styles match…

5. John Cena vs. AJ Styles. The crowd was hot as both men took turns playing to the crowd. Cena smiled at the crowd’s reaction. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers before the bell with the Styles chants winning the first battle. Styles smirked at Cena as both men stood in their corners and then the bell rang to start the match. Styles had an early takedown and then celebrated it before telling Cena he could do that all night long.

Cena came back with a pair of deep arm drags and a monkey flip out of the corner. Cena gave Styles the “You Can’t See Me” hand gesture. Styles punched Cena, who sold it by staggering and then stumbling to one knee. Styles played to the crowd a short time later only to have Cena deliver a belly-to-belly suplex. They went to ringside where Cena caught Styles with an elbow. Cena tried to run Styles into the ring steps, but Styles slid over the top of the stairs and returned to the ring.

At 6:30, Styles suplexed Cena and then asked, “Is this all he’s got” a couple of times before being censored for adding, “Shit.” At 8:30, Cena performed a high back body drop that Styles sold by selling lower back pain. Styles came back with a dropkick. Saxton said Cena just couldn’t get on track. Styles applied a chin lock.

At 10:35, Cena came back with a couple of shoulder blocks, but Styles cut him off with a kick. Cena avoided a charging Styles in the corner and then slammed him to the mat. Cena stood up and a good portion of the crowd booed as he teased “You Can’t See Me.” Styles used his legs to flip Cena over and down to ringside. Styles pulled himself over the top rope and blasted him with a flying forearm on the floor. “John’s all out of sorts,” Cole said.

Styles went for a move between the ropes, but Cena moved to avoid it. Cena rolled Styles back inside the ring and hoisted him up for his finisher, but Styles threw several elbows to the head to break it up. Styles threw a combination of strikes and then went for a dive onto Cena, who avoided it and applied the STF. Styles reached the ropes to break the hold at 14:00.

At 14:45, both men fought on the ropes. Styles slipped through Cena’s legs and then tripped him up, causing Cena’s head to hit the turnbuckle. The broadcast team said it had been a nearly perfect performance by Styles. Cena tried to launch him over the top rope, but Styles came up short somehow and landed on the ropes.

At 16:30, Cena set up for his finisher, but Styles countered into the Calf Crusher. Cena teased tapping before reaching the ropes to break the hold. Cena held his left calf and stood up gingerly. Styles kicked the bad calf, and Cena sold it more by limping. Styles ran the ropes and ran right into a big clothesline from Cena, who did the “You Can’t See Me” routine, but he fell before running the ropes to sell the Calf Crusher.

Cena caught Styles with the Attitude Adjustment and covered him for a very good near fall. Cena continued to sell the calf injury. Cena got to his feet and went up to the top rope. Cena dove feet fist at Styles, who put him down with a powerbomb that led to a two count at 20:00. The dueling chants resumed as the wrestlers traded shots in the ring. Cena got the better of the punches, but Styles caught him with a Pele Kick. Styles performed the Styles Clash on Cena and got a two count that led to some great reactions of agony and relief from fans depending on which wrestler they were cheering for.

The fans chanted “this is awesome” as Styles went to the apron. Styles performed a springboard 450 splash, but Cena put his knees up. The wrestlers jockeyed for position. Cena went for his finisher, but Styles landed on his feet. Cena avoided a Pele kick. Moments later, Cena hoisted up Styles for the AA, but AJ’s legs hit the referee and knocked him down to ringside. Cena hit the AA and covered Styels with the referee still down.

Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows ran out while the referee was down and hit their finisher on Cena. They rolled Styles onto Cena and then ran to the back. The referee recovered and counted the pin to give Styles the win. Saxton said Styles couldn’t be happy with the victory. JBL and Cole questioned whether Styles was even aware of the interference. JBL said Styles and Cena deserve better and this was “a BS way to finish this thing.” Styles left the ring and smirked and then celebrated his win on the stage…

AJ Styles defeated John Cena in 24:10.

Powell’s POV: Styles left TNA, yet he can’t escape the TNA referee bump finish. The first 23 minutes of the match were just fantastic with the wrestlers delivering in the ring and the fans creating a tremendous atmosphere. The finish was a big letdown even though I can’t say it’s a big surprise that Styles didn’t win clean. I would have gone that route with it because Cena had the out of this being his first match back, and it still would have been a huge win for Styles. Instead, they give us the finish they told us we wouldn’t get with Anderson and Gallows interfering despite the contract that Styles signed. JBL worked hard to put the heat on the heels, but I really believe the bulk of the heat for a finish like this is directed at the company itself in this day and age. Again, though, this was a highly entertaining match until the finish.

A commercial aired and then the broadcast team spoke about the previous match with JBL venting more about the way it ended. They shifted their focus to the MITB match… A video package set up the MITB match…

6. Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Sami Zayn in a Money in the Bank ladder match. The fans sang along with Zayn’s entrance music. Owens received a big pop when he was introduced. Ambrose was out last to a strong reaction. Ambrose performed a suicide dive onto Owens less than 40 seconds into the match. Jericho grabbed a ladder, and Cesaro flipped off the apron and into the ladder to take out Jericho momentarily. Zayn performed a big flip over the top rope and onto (more like over) a group of his opponents.

Zayn and Owens tried to pick up a ladder at ringside. Owens used his weight to drive the ladder into Zayn against the barricade. Owens teased a big ladder spot, and instead ran past the ladder and superkicked Zayn. At 5:20, Cesaro performed a round of uppercuts on Ambrose, Jericho, and ADR. Owens ended the madness with a superkick, then ran Cesaro into a ladder that was set up in the corner. Owens performed a round of cannonballs on the three men who took the uppercuts. Zayn recovered and performed an exploder suplex that drove Owens into Jericho. Zayn performed Helluva Kicks on Ambrose and then on Owens and Jericho.

Zayn set up a ladder in mid-ring and climbed it, but Del Rio ran in and pulled him down. Del Rio blasted a kneeling Zayn with a superkick and then tied him up in the tree of woe. Rather than make a play for the belt. Del Rio went to ringside and grabbed another ladder, which he positioned on the bottom rope in front of Zayn. Del Rio caught Owens with a kick and then kicked the ladder into Zayn. ADR tied up Cesaro in the tree of woe over the ladder in the ropes and then performed his double stomp at 8:40.

Del Rio climbed the ladder slowly and was stopped by Jericho. Del Rio fought off Jericho and then double stomped him off the ladder. Jericho held his left knee. Del Rio made a play for the briefcase and got his hand on it, but Cesaro ran up the other side of the ladder. Del Rio caught Cesaro in the Cross Arm Breaker on top of the ladder, which Owens broke up with a superkick. Cesaro leapt off the ladder and onto the middle rope and then performed a springboard uppercut onto Owens at 10:0.

Moments later, Jericho raced up the ladder and was cut off by Ambrose momentarily. Jericho fought off Ambrose and then climbed to the top of the ladder and had his hand over the top of the briefcase before Zayn broke it up. Owens pushed the ladder over and Jericho and Zayn bumped into the ring and slammed their faces off the ropes. Owens went for the briefcase, but ADR gave him a Backstabber off the ladder.

Cesaro performed the Swing on Del Rio, which had to be frightening given that his head was whizzing past ladders. Cesaro performed the same move on Jericho and actually flung him into one of the ladders at 12:35. Ambrose climbed to the top of a tall ladder set up near one of the corners and dove onto Cesaro with his flying elbow move. The fans chanted “this is awesome.” Owens threw a ladder at Ambrose from behind. Owens placed Ambrose onto the ladder and then performed a frogsplash onto him at 14:00.

At 14:55, Zayn performed a sit-out slam of Owens onto a ladder that was standing on its side. The crowd responded with “holy shit” chants and understandably so. Damn. Zayn set up the tall ladder in mid-ring as the crowd sang the “ole” song. Zayn got his hand on the briefcase, but Del Rio used another ladder to strike him repeatedly and knock him down (one of those ladder shots appeared to hit Zayn’s head).

Del Rio placed a ladder between a standing ladder and the middle turnbuckle. Rinse and repeat with another ladder on the other side. All six men fought on the four ladders while JBL said, “I smell disaster.” Ambrose, Jericho, Zayn, and Owens made it to the two standing ladders and fought while reaching for the briefcase. Del Rio and Cesaro joined them, but the ladder they used was pushed over and they both tumbled to the floor at 19:05.

At 20:30, Zayn was the last man on a ladder, but Owens pulled him down and powerbombed him onto one of the other ladders. Owens climbed the ladder and made a play for the briefcase, but Ambrose caught him and traded blows with him. Ambrose slammed Owens into the ladder, then pulled him face first into the ladder several times before knocked him onto one of the flat ladders. Ambrose unhooked the briefcase and won the match…

Dean Ambrose won the WWE Money in the Bank ladder match in 21:45.

Powell’s POV: Ambrose winning is the scenario that made the most sense with his former Shield brothers fighting one another in the main event match. Again, don’t rule out the title being split with the mystery becoming which man Ambrose will choose to cash in on. Here’s hoping this leads to an Ambrose heel turn. Overall, an entertaining MITB match. I called the outcome, yet it still felt like it was less of a foregone conclusion than we’ve seen in the past.

A SummerSlam commercial aired… The Kickoff Show panel checked in from their set on the floor and spoke about the MITB match. Then the Kickoff Show panel sat there while Cole, JBL, and Saxton recapped the Kickoff Show matches…

7. Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Titus O’Neil for the U.S. Championship. Lana introduced Rusev before the match. Titus made his entrance and had a moment with his two sons who were at ringside. The bell rang and Rusev walked to ringside and glared at O’Neil’s sons. O’Neil and Rusev then ran at one another and performed simultaneous clotheslines.

Late in the match, Rusev went for a corner splash, but O’Neil moved and Rusev slammed his head into the ring post. Titus got a two count moments later. Titus looked at the quiet crowd and barked at them to get up before getting another two count. Rusev kicked Titus a few times and then went for his finisher, but Titus avoided it. Titus performed a pumphandle slam for a two count. In the end, Rusev connected with a couple of kicks and then applied the Accolade and then O’Neil tapped out…

Rusev beat Titus O’Neil to retain the U.S. Championship in 8:00.

After the match, Rusev took the mic and approached O’Neil’s children. He told them their father is a loser and then said, “Happy Father’s Day”…

Powell’s POV: If we’ve learned anything from Shane McMahon and Titus O’Neil this year it’s don’t bring your sons to ringside for your big matches. Anyway, it was nice to see the return of the regular Accolade rather than that glorified face lock that Rusev had been using.

A WWE Network commercial aired and focused on Holy Foley, the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, WWE Battleground, Camp WWE, Ride Along, Swerved, and the Stone Cold Podcast…

The broadcast team spoke at ringside while various shots of Las Vegas were shown. Cole asked how many big fights have been fought in Vegas over the years, then shifted into setting up a video package…

Ring entrances took place with Rollins getting a lot of cheers and Reigns getting his now customary reaction of more boos than cheers. Lilian Garcia delivered the in-ring introductions for the championship match just eight minutes before the top of the hour…

8. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Cole asked if Rollins could beat Reigns without The Authority. JBL said champions have entourages and Rollins will have an entourage when he wins the title again. There was a loud “Let’s Go Rollins” chant once the bell rang to start the match. There was a loud “Roman sucks” chant as he roughed up Rollins at 4:00. Cole recapped the history of the duo as Reigns continued to control the match at 5:00.

“You know what I am,” Reigns told Rollins around 5:30. “You’re just little brother.” The broadcast team just ignored what Reigns said. Ugh. At 6:45, Reigns grabbed Rollins by the face and asked, “Are you sure you’re ready.” Rollins fired back by slapping Reigns, who got pissed and worked him over. Reigns continued to dominate and threw Rollins onto the top rope in a seated position and then knocked him down with a punch.

Later, Reigns hoisted up Rollins Razor’s Edge style and then dropped him from there with powerbomb. Cool move. Rollins came back by pulling Reigns into the middle turnbuckle. Rollins went on the offensive and ended up performing a dive over the top rope onto Reigns on the floor. At 13:00, Rollins went for the Pedigree, but Reigns backdropped him. Rollins landed on his feet, but Reigns blasted him with a Superman Punch for a near fall.

At 14:15, Rollins performed a springboard flying knee and then followed up with a great frogsplash for another two count. The broadcast team said it was unfortunate for Rollins that he bounced off Reigns when he performed the frogsplash because that may have been the difference (good call). Rollins performed a Buckle Bomb and then a superkick onto the kneeling Reigns and covered him for a good near fall. Later, Rollins performed a superplex and then rolled over and immediately suplexed Reigns again for another good near fall.

At 20:40, both men traded blows while on the mat. They fought as they stood up. Reigns went for a Superman punch, but Rollins caught him with a kick and then another Buckle Bomb. However, Rollins came out of the Buckle Bomb with a Superman punch into a cover for another two count. At 22:45, Rollins was on the floor near the timekeepers area. Reigns ran from the other side of the ring and went for a spear on the floor, but Rollins moved and Reigns crashed into the padding.

Two referees and a trainer checked on Reigns. Rollins brought Reigns back to the ring. There was a ref bump, but fortunately it didn’t lead to anything In a great spot, Reigns went for a spear, but Rollins caught him in a Pedigree on the way down for an excellent near fall. Moments later, Rollins performed the Pedigree again and pinned Reigns…

Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in 26:00.

After the match, Dean Ambrose’s music played and he came out from behind Rollins and struck him with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Ambrose and told the referee he was cashing in…

9. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds and pinned Rollins to win the match…

Dean Ambrose beat Seth Rollins to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Powell’s POV: Wow. I definitely did not see Ambrose winning the title tonight. I don’t know if this is WWE’s way of trying to create some major buzz coming off their terrible Raw rating last week or if this is something they would have done either way. The live crowd loved it, and it came off very well since it seemed to be the one Shield member that most of them could agree on.

The main event built very well and had some strong near falls down the stretch that really had the live crowd buying in. It was strange to see Rollins booked to appear so sympathetic throughout the majority of the match. There was nothing really heelish about his approach, and Reigns came across far more heelish than he did during the match. I suspect we will be getting the Triple Threat between the Shield members soon, which could be a lot of fun. Overall, a memorable night with the top three matches all delivering in a big way and then a couple of big surprises via the main event finish and then the surprise cash-in. I will have more to say later tonight when Jake Barnett and I record the member exclusive MITB audio review.


Readers Comments (4)

  1. Go over the matches one by one. The tag titles match was terrible. Just a huge mess. The New Day have hung on to the titles long enough. Time for some new blood to take the titles. I know Corbin is supposed to be this new killer heel, but he is absolutely boring as all hell. If Natalya is really turning heel, we should find on on RAW Monday night. I want her to turn heel. Would give her a push. Styles/Cena was excellent, but I agree the finish was lame. Going forward, Cena can claim Styles can’t beat him one on one. Rusev/Titus was a complete waste of time. Bray Wyatt would be an excellent feud for Rusev. Don’t understand why Cesaro keeps getting punked by the WWE? This man needs a title around his waist. Well, everyone wanted a Shield reunion, and we have one. Going to be interested to see how long Ambrose keeps the title. My guess is not too long because Rollins will get the belt probably at SummerSlam.

  2. HURRAY AMBROSE IS CHAMPION!!!!!

  3. Hasn’t Paige defeated Charlotte twice within the last month?

  4. I think seth deserves the shoot to the world tittle than roman

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