Powell’s WWE Money in the Bank live review: Two MITB ladder matches, AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship, Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship

By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Money in the Bank 2018
Aired live on June 17, 2018 on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena

A video package opened the show and focussed on various matches… The Smackdown team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary to start. Phillips touted a sellout crowd with 15,214 fans in attendance…

1. Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass. The crowd was hot for Bryan and responded with his early strikes with “yes” chants and booed whenever Cass was on the offensive. Cass took control and performed a nice spinning side slam for a two count at 4:40. Bryan rebounded and threw several kicks to the left leg and then performed a couple of dragon screw leg whips. Bryan also slammed the left knee of Cass onto the ring apron, then slammed it into the ring post.

Bryan hit a missile dropkick and then hit two running dropkicks in the corner. Bryan went for a third, but Cass caught him only for Bryan to tilt a whirl into a takedown and into the Yes Lock. Cass reached the ropes to break the hold. With Cass at ringside, Bryan performed a cross body block at 9:00. The crowd got very quiet as Cass regained offensive control and a brief “CM Punk” chant broke out. Cass performed a fallaway slam from the middle rope and covered Bryan for a two count. Cass put Bryan in a torture rack and eventually slammed him down and got another two count.

Cass went for the big boot. Bryan ducked it and pulled the top rope down, causing Cass to get caught up in the ropes. Bryan chop blocked the left knee. Bryan threw his Yes kicks. Cass cut him off before the finale by grabbing him by the throat, but Bryan got free, dropkicked him, and delivered another kick to the face. Cass came back with a big boot and got a two count at 13:45. Cass walked around and questioned how he kicked out. Cass smiled and then put Bryan in the torture rack. Bryan escaped it and connected with a running knee to the head. Bryan applied a heel hook. Cass reached for the ropes for a second and then tapped out…

Daniel Bryan beat Big Cass in 16:20.

Powell’s POV: He’s hoping that Bryan beating Cass twice in a row means this feud is over. I through they would go with Cass evening things up in this match going in, but once it was made the opener it left me suspecting a Bryan win to get the show off to a favorable start. Bryan was really over and this was a better match than the one they had at WWE Backlash, but it seems like everyone is ready for Bryan to move on to something different.

An ad aired for the WWE UK Championship Tournament…

Backstage, Kevin Owens emptied a trash bag of pancakes onto a table for New Day. He tried to sell the trio on helping him take out Braun Strowman. They told him they are not cheaters. He said he was just looking for someone who would listen to common sense. Xavier Woods asked him to join them in eating pancakes and they could talk it over. Owens said he doesn’t like pancakes or any breakfast cereal, including Booty O’s. New Day freaked out and told him to leave the room. Owens told them not to blame him when Strowman runs wild. He also said IHOP was right to change their name because burgers are better. Funny…

2. Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn. The Raw team of Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman, and Graves called the match. A flat reaction for Lashley was followed by fans singing the Olé song for Zayn early in the match. The broadcast team played up Zayn disrespecting Lashley by questioning his military history. Lashley performed a nice fallaway slam at 4:00 and performed a nice spinebuster shortly thereafter.

Lashley executed a vertical suplex while Graves said he hoped Zayn’s vertigo wouldn’t return. There was a quiet “one more time” chant. Lashley performed the move again and the crowd cheered loudly. Lashley performed the move a third time only he held him up with one hand before performing the suplex and then he pinned him clean…

Bobby Lashley beat Sami Zayn in 6:35.

Powell’s POV: Chicago loves vertical suplexes, but they seemed indifferent toward Lashley even after the match as he played to them. It will be interesting to see if this was a one and done feud or if they have Zayn do something on Raw to extend it.

After some ads, the broadcast team hyped the Raw Women’s Championship match as separate shots of Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey were shown. Rousey was shadow boxing while Natalya sat behind her…

Powell’s POV: This was a nice touch in that it made the match and Rousey feel important.

Ring announcer JoJo introduced Elias, who sat on his stool in the ring and strummed his guitar while the crowd cheered loudly. Elias said Seth Rollins took a little piece of his soul on Monday so he would respond by taking his championship. He did his WWE bit and then said the fans were scumbags who just want attention. The fans responded by chanting, “We deserve it” and “We are scumbags.” He teased playing the guitar and then said Chicago just isn’t worth it. Rollins made his entrance for their match…

3. Seth Rollins vs. Elias for the Intercontinental Championship. There was a “Burn it down” chant for Rollins after the bell rang. The broadcast team played up Elias hitting Rollins with a guitar on a recent Raw, and Rollins sold neck pain early on. Rollins bled from the mouth early on, but it seemed minor based on the low amount of blood. After selling for several minutes, Rollins performed a suicide dive at 8:35.

Rollins played up his knee buckling after leaping from the top rope, then Elias caught him with a running knee to the head for a two count. Rollins came back with a kick and went for a pin, but he clutched his knee rather than hook the leg and got a two count. Rollins went back up top while Graves questioned his logic. Rollins performed a frogsplash and Elias put up his knees and covered him for another two count.

Elias went up top and was cut off by Rollins, who eventually performed a superplex into a falcon arrow for a near fall at 13:40. Rollins tuned up the band and the crowd chanted “burn it down.” Elias avoided a stomp by rolling to ringside. Rollins went for a suicide dive, but Elias caught him and ran him into the ring post and the ring steps. Elias followed up with a top rope elbow drop for a strong near fall at 15:05. Rollins acted like his knee gave out when he was going for a powerbomb. Rollins performed a school boy. Elias rolled Rollins into a pin, but Rollins rolled through it and held Elias’s pants while getting the pin…

Seth Rollins beat Elias in 17:00 to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

Powell’s POV: The brief surge with Elias working over Rollins at ringside and following up with the top rope elbow rates as the most memorable moments of his in-ring career. It was slow going early, but the closing minutes were fun. This was the most entertaining match of the night so far. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this feud and that’s cool with me.

The Smackdown broadcast team took over and set up a video package for the women’s MITB match…

Powell’s POV: They are having the women’s MITB match before either women’s championship match, meaning the contract will technically be in play. I went with Joe winning MITB and cashing in successfully, but I can’t rule out Natalya doing it instead.

4. Ember Moon vs. Charlotte vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Lana vs. Sasha Banks in a Money in the Bank ladder match. They jumped out to a quick start and the expected scenario with six women selling on the floor while two fought in the ring. The first big spot had Moon performing a springboard dive onto Banks with both women landing on a back that was lying in the middle of the ring around 2:30.

Lana performed an X Factor on Moon onto a ladder. With no one else in the ring, Lana was about to set up a ladder. Natalya ran in and Lana pushed the ladder at her and Natalya avoided it. Naomi entered the ring and ended up doing the splits on the ladder while Natalya worked her over. Charlotte checked in and threw chops at Natalya to the delight of the wooo’ing crowd. Charlotte cleared Natalya to the apron. Lynch entered the ring and fought over a ladder with Charlotte while a “Becky” chant broke out. Naomi returned and leapt onto the ladder they were holding and then onto Natalya. Naomi kicked the ladder into Charlotte and Lynch.

Naomi performed a move on Bliss at ringside and then a Blockbuster off the apron on Banks. The first “this is awesome” chant started up roughly six minutes into the match. In the ring, Naomi and Moon fought over a ladder. Lynch tried to climb up the ladder, but they tipped her over the in corner and shoved the ladder at her. They both kicked Lynch, who rolled to ringside, leaving Naomi and Moon to square off. Naomi did her silly rapid fire kicks spot. Moon hip-tossed Naomi onto a ladder that was set up in the corner of the ring.

At 8:30, Banks stacked Moon and Lana onto a ladder set up over the middle rope in the corner and then performed a double knee press. Banks set up a ladder and there were some boos (thanks awful feud with Bayley), but Charlotte stopped her. They fought on a ladder and knocked each other down. Charlotte caught Banks with a neckbreaker and set up a ladder over the middle rope in the corner. Charlotte went for a Razor’s Edge, but Banks slipped away and climbed up the ladder in the middle of the ring. Natalya stopped Charlotte from going after Banks, then the ladder was tipped over and Banks caught Natalya with a knee on the way down.

At 11:40, Lynch and Banks fought on top of a ladder. Lana set up another ladder next to them. Six of the women ended up on the two ladders. Natalya pulled Banks off the ladder and performed a slingshot powerbomb onto the ladder. One of the ladders tipped over. Moon and Lana fought on the standing ladder. Charlotte pulled Moon off it and powerbombed her onto a ladder in the corner. At 13:50, Bliss performed a Code Red on Charlotte that drew some gasps.

Lana and Bliss took turns shoving each other down to the mat. Lana got the better of it and applied an Accolade on Bliss. She released the hold and then climbed the ladder. Naomi springboarded onto the ladder and knocked her down. Naomi was alone and tried to pull the briefcase down. Lynch ended up stopping her. Lynch, who was the crowd favorite, climbed the ladder only to be met at the top of the ladder by Charlotte. They traded blows until Bliss tipped their ladder over. Both women landed on their feet. Charlotte speared Bliss and made a play for the briefcase, but Banks performed a Backstabber. Naomi slammed Sasha’s face into the ladder.

Lana stopped Banks from going up the ladder. Lana climbed the ladder, but Natalya caught her and performed an electric chair drop. Natalya started to climb and was booed. Moon caught her with a kick and stopped her, then Charlotte stopped Moon and drove her into a ladder set up in a corner of the ring. Lynch and Charlotte fought again. Lynch performed an exploder suplex. Lynch made a play for the briefcase and had her hands on it, but Bliss pushed the ladder over. Bliss raced up the ladder and pulled the briefcase off to win the match…

Alexa Bliss won the Money in the Bank ladder match in 18:30.

Powell’s POV: The time off from the house shows this weekend to work on the match clearly paid off. The women did a good job. There were a couple of awkward moments where the person at the top of the ladder had to fumble around because someone was late stopping them. The worst example was when Naomi was up there for way too long. Even so, this was a fun ladder match. I can’t say that Bliss winning it does much for me. I enjoy Bliss, but she’s coming off a long run on top of both brands and I was hoping this would launch someone else into a meaningful position. That said, it’s funny that there was one heel in the match and she won.

Backstage, Kurt Angle told Paige he was sorry, but he was happy that Bliss was bringing the MITB briefcase to Raw. Paige said there was still the men’s match. Angle and Paige agreed that the dual brand pay-per-views were great. Angle said he got to see old friends like Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Daniel Bryan. Constable Corbin showed up and said tonight was about bringing both briefcases back to Raw. He said Angle wouldn’t want to disappoint Stephanie McMahon. Paige mocked Corbin for failing miserably when he won MITB. Corbin said it was one down and one to go for Raw and then walked away. “Good one,” Angle told Paige…

A video package set up the Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal match…

Sunil Singh sat in a wheelchair on the stage and wore a neck brace and had his right arm in a sling. Singh introduced Mahal. Cole noted that Singh was injured while being roughed up by Roman Reigns on Raw. Mahal wheeled Sunil to ringside and then the international broadcast teams checked in. The fans started booing when Mahal’s entrance music stopped. The boos were loud when Reigns made his entrance…

5. Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh). The CM Punk chants started during the opening minute. The next chant was “boring” as the wrestlers fought at ringside. Next up was an NXT chant. It was all Reigns early, but Singh leapt up from his wheelchair and shoved Reigns face first into the ring post. Mahal worked over Reigns while the fans chanted “Rusev Day”.

There was a “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chant as Mahal worked over Reigns in the ring. Mahal applied a chinlock. The crowd cheered loudly, presumably because it was beachball time. They booed shortly thereafter so it didn’t last long. Mahal barked at the crowd to get attention and it didn’t work. The fans started doing the wave as Reigns hit Mahal with repeated clotheslines in the corner. Reigns ran the ropes and Mahal caught him with a high knee.

Reigns did the locked and loaded bit and that drew some boos. Mahal cut him off and performed a nice gutbuster for a two count. Mahal came up with blood on his left cheek. Reigns came back with a Superman Punch for a two count. A Y2J chant started. At 14:45, Singh tried to interfere again, but Reigns ended up punching him out and spearing him at ringside. When Reigns returned to the ring, Mahal caught him with an inside cradle for a two count. Reigns got up and speared him for the win…

Roman Reigns defeated Jinder Mahal in 15:40.

Powell’s POV: The Chicago crowd sent a message by not just booing the babyface Reigns character, but by chanting for countless things and humoring themselves. WWE can claim that passionate cheers or boos are good reactions for Reigns, but can they honestly say that disinterest and chants about anything other than the match are good reactions? Well, this is the same company that claims he’s already a heel, so they’ll probably just spin Chicago’s reaction too.

A Special Olympics video aired and the athlete featured in the video stood up and waved to the crowd while the fans chanted her name…

The Smackdown broadcast team recapped the Bludgeon Brothers beating Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles on the Kickoff Show and ran through the undercard matches. They set up a video package on the Smackdown Women’s Championship match…

6. Carmella vs. Asuka for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Carmella moonwalked to taunt Asuka, who responded by throwing strikes that Carmella dodged while fleeing to the ropes. At 4:20, Carmella caught Asuka with a kick that knocked her to her knees and then another good one to the head. Carmella played to a quiet crowd a short time after and got some heat. Asuka blocked a kick and then applied a kneebar, but Carmella reached the ropes at 6:15.

Asuka performed a high knee and then followed up with kicks and a German suplex. at 7:05. At 8:30, Carmella knocked Asuka off the apron with a weak kick. Carmella rolled her back inside the ring and covered her a few times for two counts. Carmella screamed each time she kicked out. Asuka came back with a spinning back fist. Asuka connected with a kick.

Someone climbed onto the apron dressed similar to Asuka with one of her masks. Carmella rolled up Asuka for a two count. The masked person unmasked and revealed himself to be James Ellsworth. He winked at Asuka, who looked surprised. Carmella kicked Asuka and pinned her…

Carmella defeated Asuka in 11:10.

Powell’s POV: A forgettable match with a finish that you’ll either love or hate. If you’ve been reading this website for any length of time then you know how I feel about Ellsworth. Eight stars!

An ad aired for the Something Else to Wrestle With show on WWE Network… The Smackdown broadcast team hyped the WWE Super Show-Down event that will be held in Melbourne, Australia on October 6… A video package set up the WWE Championship match…

Powell’s POV: There goes my hope for Samoa Joe winning the MITB contract and cashing in tonight. It’s a wise move to go with the title match before MITB if there’s not going to be a cash-in. Otherwise, you risk having fans staring at the entrance ramp in hopes of something that won’t be delivered.

7. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship. Ring announcer Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers as the match got underway. Nakamura was in offensive control early. They ended up over the barricade and fighting next to fans on the floor. Styles got the better of it with punches and then kicked Nakamura back over the barricade to ringside. Styles went for a springboard off the barrier, but Nakamura kicked his legs out from under him and Styles tumbled to ringside.

Nakamura leapt off the ropes and Styles dropkicked his legs. Nakamura went for a low blow but Styles avoided it. Styles hit a Pele kick moments later. At 16:00, Nakamura dropped Styles into the timekeepers area and cleared off the German broadcast table. Nakamura followed up by tossing Styles onto the table. Nakamura tore the tops off of the English and Spanish broadcast tables and then ran over them and delivered a Kinshasa to Styles, who was seated on the German table. Styles rolled off the table and onto his feet at the referee’s nine count.

Nakamura slid a table into the ring and pulled the legs up. Styles was kicked and bumped awkwardly onto the legs of the table. Nakamura set the table up and set up for a superplex. Styles slid under him and went for a powerbomb, but Nakamura avoided it. Styles knocked the table on its side. Nakamura dropped Styles gut first onto the table. Nakamura set up the table in the corner and then ran Styles through it at 20:45. Styles got back to his feet at the nine count.

Nakamura tried to run Styles face first into an exposed turnbuckle. Styles blocked it and tried to do the same to Nakamura, who also blocked it. Nakamura caught Styles with a kick to the back and then placed in over the top rope. Nakamura went for a running knee, but Styles moved and Nakamura ran his knee into the exposed turnbuckle. Styles applied a Calf Crusher at 23:55. Nakamura tapped. The broadcast team pointed out that submissions don’t count in a Last Man Standing match. Styles released the hold. Nakamura struggled but was able to get back to his feet.

At ringside, Nakamura begged off when Styles grabbed a chair. Styles hit him with the chair and then slammed it on his knee. Nakamura got to his knees and begged. Styles wound up with the chair and Nakamura delivered his latest shot to the balls at 26:25. Iron Balls McGinty got back to his feet at nine. Nakamura immediately hit him with a Kinshasa. Phillips pointed out that he delivered the knee with a damaged knee. Nakamura got back to his feet, then Styles leapt up onto the table at nine.

At 28:00, Nakamura tried to hoist up Styles for a move on one of the broadcast tables, but his knee gave out and Styles shoved him down. Styles performed a Phenomenal Forearm off the broadcast table. Styles picked up Nakamura and performed a Styles Clash off the ring steps and to the ringside floor. “Holy hell!” Phillips exclaimed. The live crowd followed that up with a “holy shit” chant. Styles got up and sat on the ring steps. Nakamura barely got back to his feet to beat the count at 29:35. Nakamura smiled at Styles and did the “come on” bit. Styles kicked him in the balls. Styles returned to the ring and performed a springboard Phenomenal Forearm onto Nakamura, which drove him through the table. The referee counted. Graves said it would be a draw if neither man stood up, however Styles stood up and Nakamura did not beat the count…

AJ Styles defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in 31:15.

Powell’s POV: A strong Last Man Standing match. It started a little slow, but it built nicely and this was the best of the Styles vs. Nakamura matches in WWE and my favorite match on this card so far. I assume this is the end of the feud. If so, it will be interesting to see where both men go from here. Could Nakamura rebound by taking the U.S. Championship from Jeff Hardy?

An ad aired for the WWE 24 documentary on Matt and Jeff Hardy that will air after MITB on WWE Network… The Raw broadcast team spoke at ringside by their broken table. They set up the Raw Women’s Championship match and read through a tale of the tape that listed height, weight, Raw and pay-per-view matches…

8. Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship. Jax made the first entrance. Graves said it was a mind game by Jax because it’s intimidating to come to the ring and see someone her size. The crowd popped for Rousey’s entrance. Cole said it was the fifth time in history that someone would compete for a championship in their first singles match. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match.

The bell rang and Jax picked up Rousey and drove her into the corner and then tossed her across the ring. Rinse and repeat with a second toss. Rousey avoided a charging Jax, who grabbed her by the throat. Rousey threw a punch to break it and then threw several more right hands until Jax headbutted her and then splashed her in the corner. Jax hoisted her up for a Samoan Drop, but Rousey rolled her into a kimura, which Jax blocked by locking her fingers. Jax powered her up eventually and slammed her down with a sit-out powerbomb.

Rousey got up and then tumbled through the ropes to ringside. Jax went to ringside and pulled at her ponytail in a mocking manner. Jax went for a powerbomb, but Rousey countered with a huracanrana attempt. Jax caught her and flung her into the barricade. Back in the ring, Jax pressed Rousey over her head and dropped her onto the mat before covering her for a two count. Cole said this might be Jax’s best performance to date.

Rousey applied a guillotine while grapeving Jax. She went for another move, but Jax responded by grabbing her by the neck and slamming her into the mat a few times. Jax applied a bearhug. Rousey broke it with a shot to the face. Jax came back with a Samoan drop for a two count at 6:30. Rousey avoided a legdrop by Jax. Rousey used the ropes to pull herself up. Jax charged in the corner, but Rousey pulled herself up and Jax went through the ropes by the post. Rousey applied an armbar over the ropes while Cole noted that she had to break it because she was over the ropes. “This isn’t UFC,” Cole said. What?

Rousey went to the top rope and performed a cross body block for a two count. Rousey fired up and then threw some punches that dropped Jax. Jax got up and Rousey threw a high knee that knocked her down again. Rousey performed a judo throw and got a two count. Rousey applied an armbar. Jax rolled onto her for a two count. Rousey performed a uranage and went for an armbar again. Jax once again locked her fingers to prevent her from locking it in. Jax yelled no as Rousey pried her hands apart. Suddenly, Alexa Bliss hit Rousey from behind with the MITB briefcase for the DQ.

Ronda Rousey defeated Nia Jax by DQ in 11:05.

After the match, Bliss hit Jax with the briefcase. Rousey rolled to ringside. Bliss followed and hit her with it again and then threw her over one of the broadcast tables. Bliss returned to the ring and hit Jax with the briefcase a couple more times. Bliss handed the referee the briefcase to cash in.

9. Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship. Jax held her arm at her side to sell Rousey’s move. Bliss performed a DDT, then followed up with Twisted Bliss and scored the pin…

Alexa Bliss beat Nia Jax in 0:35 to win the Raw Women’s Championship.

Powell’s POV: Rousey and Jax did a helluva job. Despite the awkward build, it felt like an event once the bell rang. It wasn’t silky smooth, but it was suspenseful from start to finish. The Bliss cash-in was fun, but I actually wish it had been Sasha Banks in that role. I really enjoy Bliss, but I was hoping to get a break from her at the top of the Raw women’s division. Plus, I have more faith in Banks getting a quality outing out of Rousey more than I trust Bliss. That said, Jax vs. Rousey and the cash-in were really fun.

A video package set up the men’s MITB match… Ring entrances for the match took place. Samoa Joe made his entrance, then Finn Balor was out next. Aiden English came out to introduce Rusev and there were big Rusev Day chants. Kevin Owens was out next to some cheers. Bobby Roode came out and the fans had fun with his song. The Miz was cheered when he was introduced. Braun Strowman was out to cheers. New Day was out last for Decision 2018. After some teases, Kofi Kingston headed to the ring as their entrant…

10. Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz vs. Rusev vs. Bobby Roode vs. Kevin Owens vs. Samoa Joe vs. Kofi Kingston in a Money in the Bank ladder match. Cole, Graves, and Saxton called the match. Everyone went after Strowman to start. The wrestlers all ended up at ringside. Strowman clotheslined Owens on the ramp, but the other wrestlers worked him over with ladders and knocked him down. They threw a bunch of ladders on top of him. Miz was alone in the ring and he set up a ladder to make a play for the briefcase. Joe raced back to the ring and shoved the ladder over.

At 6:15, Owens placed Balor onto a broadcast table. Owens was setting up for a move on him but was cut off. Kofi made a play for the briefcase a short time later, but Miz cut him off. Kingston sent Miz to the floor and then went up top and performed the trust fall onto a group of wrestlers at ringside. They caught him and were standing him up again when Balor did a big flip dive onto him. Balor ended up on the stage and pulled a ladder off the pile that Strowman was underneath. Strowman grabbed the ladder and pulled it away, then returned to ringside and let out a primal scream. Joe dove onto him through the ropes.

Rusev and Owens worked over Strowman on the stage. Owens set up a table. Strowman fought off Owens and Rusev only to have Joe apply a Coquina Clutch at 10:30. Owens hit him with a superkick. Joe barked at Owens to get his ass to the top of a ladder. Owens climbed up one of the supersized ladders. Strowman recovered and fought off Rusev and Joe. Owens begged off on top of the ladder. Strowman ran up the other side and caught Owens halfway up and then dragged him to the top of it. Owens continued to beg, but Owens threw him off the ladder and through a table off to the side of the stage.

Strowman beat up Kingston on the stage. Roode and Balor had a ladder to ram him with, but Strowman charged through it and knocked them both down. Miz was at the top of the ladder and froze in his tracks when Strowman looked at him. Strowman clubbed Miz and started up the ladder. Joe knocked Strowman down with another ladder and then clotheslined him to ringside. Joe made a play for the briefcase. Balor raced up the ladder and fought Joe. Roode knocked it over and sent Roode through the ropes and into the post. Joe performed a uranage on Roode.

Rusev returned and traded shots with Joe, then pulled the ropes down when Joe charged, causing Joe to tumble to ringside. Kingston went for Trouble in Paradise on Rusev, who caught it and delivered a nice kick. Kingston and Roode were on top of each other. Rusev applied a double Accolade, which Miz quickly broke up. Rusev fought him off. Rusev smiled at the crowd and then went for a triple Accolade. Joe broke it up. Rusev hit Joe with a Machka kick. Rusev climbed the ladder. Miz pulled it over and Rusev bumped into the ropes at 16:30. Miz set up the ladder and smirked as he climbed the ladder. Kingston went up the other side and cut him off. They exchanges punches. Kingston hit him with a couple of headbutts, but Roode pushed their ladder over.

At 18:00, Balor climbed to the top of a tall ladder that was set up on the floor and then performed a Coup de Grace onto Roode in the ring. Balor set up the ladder and went for the briefcase. Strowman cut him off and then slammed Joe. Miz tried to race up the ladder, but Strowman stopped and slammed him. Strowman looked at the briefcase and started to climb the ladder. Balor recovered and climbed up the other side. Kingston leapt onto the back of Strowman and ended up at the top of the ladder with him. Strowman knocked Balor down while Kingston was still holding onto his back. Strowman ditched Kingston and then pulled down the briefcase for the win. “Braun Strowman has become Monster in the Bank,” Cole said…

Braun Strowman won the Money in the Bank match in 20:00.

Powell’s POV: Good work by everyone involved. There weren’t many truly suspenseful moments and the finish left a little something to be desired. Strowman holding the briefcase may set up the SummerSlam main event, which would be a welcome change from the tired Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns feud. It would be a bit strange if Strowman cashed in the way Alexa Bliss did tonight and other heels have in the past, so hopefully this will be a situation where he announces when he wants his title shot.

Overall, this was a fun event. It dragged at times, which is to be expected when the show clocked in at roughly four hours and 15 minutes (not counting the extra hour for the Kickoff Show). They closed strong as everything after the WWE Championship match between Styles and Nakamura was really fun. In retrospect, they could have gone with the Raw Women’s Championship match in the main event slot and it would have been fine. I can’t blame them for not going with it due to the uncertainty of Rousey in her first singles match, but it played out well enough along with the post match cash-in by Bliss that it would have worked. Thanks for watching along with me tonight. I’ll be by later tonight with my audio review for the members. Join us on our ad-free website and unlock a decade of audio content via PWMembership.net..

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Readers Comments (20)

  1. Jack C Catalano June 17, 2018 @ 8:44 pm

    Do, you think Bliss cashes in tonight? Maybe have Rousy/Jax on last?I don’t know if they do a clean finish in the Rousy/Jax match. Natalya turning? I think fans already see that coming as they booed, at I thought, in The MITB match.

    • It’s possible, but I hope not. I like Bliss. I need a little break from her on top of the women’s division, but that’s just me.

      • I’m gonna go on a gut feeling and say yes.

      • Jack C Catalano June 17, 2018 @ 9:47 pm

        Guess I was right. I kind of figured because Rousy wasn’t going to win in her second match and Ronda wasn’t going to lose in her 2nd match. The match did more to protect Rousy than anything.

    • Good call. I love Bliss at the top and can’t wait for her to talk her way into main eventing a PPV with the stunningly good Rousey.

  2. If you’re a Japanese wrestler it’s obvious you won’t get a title belt, wtf did Asuka do to get buried?

    • This. I hate the way Asuka especially has been booked since coming out of NXT. Okay, losing to Charlotte is like someone losing to Hogan.. But losing to Carmella is like jobbing to Barry Hardy

    • Both speak a limited amount of English, which is an issue for a Champion because they’re usually so heavily featured in talking segments. How are they going to carry promo segments? Unless they bring managers back, I don’t know how you’d do the lengthy Summerslam build with either as champ.

      • Nakamura is one of those guys who doesn’t need to speak a whole lot to carry a feud. Just look at his feud with AJ. He barely said anything during the feud but it was arguably one of the most entertaining feuds on the main roster. I think he could get by on his charisma.

        • It’s been a short feud, though. And while I have to say that Nakamura’s been leaps and bounds more compelling as a character after his heel turn, the feud never clicked for me the way it seems it did for you, I think. I enjoy good in-ring action- but I’m more a fan of character portrayal, and quality promo work. That was a little lacking early on.

  3. I hope to one day have a son so I can name him Iron Balls McGinty.

  4. Best. PPV. EVER! Alexa’s back on top of the women’s division, and I’m ecstatic! They could’ve just shown me that, and replayed it for 3 hours, and I’d have happily forked over my ten bucks this month.

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

  5. Won’t he have to announce it since Brock’s @ss is hardly on Raw. It would be nice if when he comes out for one of his jump around like an ape while Heyman says the same sh!t that Stroman would come out & beat the hell out of him & then cash in. But Vince ain’t lettin’ that happen he’s gotta have his .99 cents worth.

  6. I’m glad I cancelled my WWE Network subscription.
    Asuka was an amazing worker in NXT, and now, losing to Charlotte, then Carmella on PPV is bogus. I can forgive losing to Charlotte, considering she’s basically the Hogan of the division, but Carmella is the Barry Hardy.

    Also, what is the fascination with James Ellsworth?

    Rousey is going to get an easy win over Alexa Bliss at Summerslam, so that sucks ass as well.

    Speaking of Summerslam, the WWE occasionally does crossover matches, so they may somehow put Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns together.

    Now for the good things:
    Braun Strowman as MITB holder, surely they’ll book him as an upfront guy, telling Lesnar when and where.

    Rollins is still IC Champion, so work rate title is back. Put him with Owens and/or Balor at SummerSlam and let them work.

  7. Carmella going toe to toe with Asuka, Bliss with the belt again, Shinsuke can’t put AJ away…
    I’m glad I watched Le Mans this weekend and skipped this.
    Minus five stars

    • All three were what’s best for business!

      I’ve heard a lot of fans who seemingly thought Asuka should’ve bulldozed Carmella. Here’s the thing, Mella’s the top female heel on Smackdown- so if she gets cut through like butter, where do you go? Smackdown went that route last year with their men, and buried every heel on their roster. You can’t, and shouldn’t do it. Besides, she won with help- so Asuka has an out. Mella is money!

      RAW NEEDS Bliss as the Women’s champ. The women’s division has been painfully dull with Nia on top. Bliss as champ elevates the division again, and she has potential programs with Rousey and Nattie individually, as well as in a team with Mickie; plus her rematch with Jax, and battles with Ember Moon. That’s way more interesting than what we were getting before.

      And as good as Shinsuke is, they’re not going to make him a World Champion on the main roster because of his promo ability. You can book around that some for a few weeks, the way they did leading up to MiTB- but not for the months he might carry the title.

      I give it Five Stars! Can I do more?

      • Finally some sensible comments regarding Asuka vs. Carmella. It played out the way it should have. All you guys crying over Asuka’s booking relax. I’m pretty sure they are giving Carmella a respectable reign before she loses to her at SummerSlam and gets the title reign y’all have been clamoring for. James Ellsworth is highly entertaining and compliments Carmella’s act perfectly. I still think they will be babyfaces by the end of the year.

  8. Paul Strutzenberg June 18, 2018 @ 6:28 am

    Strowman isn’t a heel he is a face! But you are right he doesn’t need to but it may play out that way with Brock Lesnar with losses before! A Champ like that even if you are Strowman, he is the BEAST! And no matter who you are I wouldn’t recommend cashing in on a fresh Lesnar! I actually could see it as Reigns vs Lesnar for Summerslam after Roman got screwed at GRR on the horrible ref call, Reigns and then Strowman cashing in on Reigns! Or it could also work the other way because both men would be spent!

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