By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Money in the Bank
Fort Worth, Texas at Dickies Arena
Aired live July 18, 2021 on Peacock, WWE Network, and pay-per-view
WWE MITB Kickoff Show match result: Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso defeated Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio in 11:25 to win the Smackdown Tag Titles.
A Money in the Bank video package opened the main show… Pyro shot off on the stage, which had several ladders on it. Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show and was joined on commentary at ringside by Pat McAfee, who was wearing cowboy attire due to the show being in Texas. Entrances for the women’s MITB ladder match took place with Greg Hamilton serving as the ring announcer for the match.
Alexa Bliss was out first. Footage aired of Bliss winning the 2018 MITB ladder match and then cashing in successfully on Nia Jax later in the show. Bliss stood on the middle rope during the remainder of the entrances. Liv Morgan was out next to a good reaction. Nikki ASH came out to a brief pop. Natalya came out to a flat reaction. Tamina was out next to a similar reaction.
Zelina Vega got some cheers that quickly faded. Naomi came out to a strong reaction. Highlights aired of Naomi beating Bliss to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Elimination Chamber in 2017. Asuka was out last to a big pop. Cole called her the favorite Footage aired of her winning last year’s match on the roof of WWE Headquarters…
1. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki ASH vs. Asuka vs. Naomi vs. Zelina Vega vs. Liv Morgan vs. Natalya vs. Tamina in the Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. The white and green briefcase was hanging above the ring. Bliss ended up alone in the ring during the opening minute. She reached up with her hand and acted like she was trying to use her “powers” to make the briefcase fall, but she was hit from behind.
Tamina catapulted Bliss into a ladder that was lying over the bottom rope in a corner of the ring. The crowd booed Tamina, who tried to set up a ladder. Morgan ran up the ladder in a failed bid for the briefcase. Asuka worked over Tamina with strikes and knocked an opponent off the apron with a hip attack. Asuka put Tamina down, placed a ladder over her and slammed it onto her several times.
Asuka climbed the ladder. Tamina started to push it, but Morgan jumped on the other side to stop her. Morgan made a play for the briefcase, but Natalya cut her off. They had a tug o war over the ladder. ASH entered the ring and rolled under the ladder, but they hit her with it on their second try. Naomi and Tamina fought on opposite sides of the ladder. Tamina got the better of it with a Samoan Drop.
Bliss returned to the ring and climbed a ladder that had Morgan trapped in the corner. Natalya slammed Bliss, who responded by laughing at her. Bliss slammed Natalya onto the ladder, then threw Morgan to the mat. Bliss set up a ladder under the briefcase. Vega rushed up the other side, but then froze when Bliss met her on the other side. Bliss hypnotized Vega, and they climbed down the ladder in stereo. Bliss started to climb up the ladder again, but Natalya cut her off and powerbombed her.
Vega was placed on a ladder that was leaning over the bottom rope in a corner of the ring. Morgan leapt off the ropes and was caught by Naomi, who powerbombed her onto Vega. Fans booed when Natalya and Tamina double-teamed Naomi who ended up taking them out with a double Stunner. Naomi slammed ASH onto a ladder and then performed the splits leg drop.
Naomi went for the briefcase, but Natalya cut her off. Natalya climbed the ladder, but Vega climbed onto her back and choked her. Natalya continued to climb and got a hand on the briefcase before she sold the choke. Vega got a hand on the briefcase, but Morgan pulled her and Natalya down.
ASH performed a dive from the top rope onto all of her opponents. They cut to a shot of a kid who looked unimpressed. ASH made a play for the briefcase, but Bliss cut her off. Bliss performed a modified version of Sister Abigail.
Bliss climbed the ladder and was stopped by Natalya, who was joined by Tamina in tossing Bliss to ringside. Natalya and Tamina followed to the floor and hit Bliss with a ladder, then piled multiple ladders on top of her. The other wrestlers joined in piling the ladders on Bliss, which led to some boos.
Morgan snuck back inside the ring and made a play for the briefcase, but Tamina stopped her. Morgan performed a huracanrana on Tamina and worked her over in the corner. Natalya saved her partner and then set up two ladders side by side under the briefcase. Morgan slammed Natalya’s face into the side of a ladder. Asuka set up a third ladder next to the other two.
Morgan hit Asuka with her finisher and then made a play for the briefcase. Naomi climbed up the other side and fought with her. Natalya, Tamina, Asuka, and eventually ASH climbed onto the ladders. While everyone else fought, ASH removed the briefcase from the hook to win the match.
Nikki ASH defeated Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Tamina, Naomi, and Liv Morgan in 15:45 to win the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match.
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match until the finish. It was anticlimactic for ASH to just grab the briefcase while everyone else fought or took turns swatting at it. I’m not big on the superhero character, but she had some live crowd support. Bliss seemed to be the most over wrestler of the bunch, and the fans booed Natalya and Tamina throughout the match.
After some advertising, the broadcast team spoke about Fort Worth while imagery from the city was shown. They also recapped The Usos winning the Smackdown Tag Titles on the Kickoff Show…
Backstage, the Usos celebrated their title win while Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman stood by. Reigns said winning the match was the easy part. Reigns said he did all the heavy lifting and Jey wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for him. Reigns said they are covered in gold and their family is always watching. Reigns said now that he’s given them what they want, it’s time for them to give him what he wants. Jey said he had Reigns, then Jimmy stepped in front of his brother and praised Reigns, who hugged them both…
2. AJ Styles and Omos vs. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar for the Raw Tag Titles. The Raw broadcast team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton called the match. For some reason, they actually narrated highlights of the Raiders’ silly competitions with The Street Profits prior to the match. Styles teased starting the match, but he tagged in Omos instead. Erik returned the favor by tagging in Ivar and then both Raiders went after Omos.
Omos put Erik and Ivar down with shoulder blocks. Styles checked in again and the fans chanted his name. Styles tagged Omos. Styles ran the ropes and jumped into the arms of Omos, who tossed him over the top rope and into a huracanrana on Erik. Cool spot. Back in the ring, Erik backdropped Styles and tagged out. Ivar performed a series of moves on Styles and then played to the crowd, which responded with a decent reaction.
Omos checked in again and went for Ivar, who did a cartwheel around him. Ivar went to the ropes and dove at Omos, who caught him by the throat and then bodyslammed him. Omos applied a nerve hold of doom on Ivar for a moment, then tagged out. Erik tagged back into the match and performed a series of offense on Styles. The Raiders performed a springboard clothesline and suplex combo that led to Erik getting a near fall.
Styles eventually made the tag. Omos caught Ivar on the ropes and threw him back into the ring. Omos placed his boot on Ivar for a near fall. Styles tagged in and had Omos whip him toward Ivar, who performed his double leg press on Styles. Erik and Ivar worked over Omos and sent him to ringside. Erik dove onto him on the floor. Styles rolled up Ivar for a near fall.
Styles went for his finisher, but the Raiders avoided it and hit him with their finisher. Ivar had the pin, but Omos got back on the apron and shoved Erik into Ivar to break up the pin. Moments later, Omos performed the Baldo Bomb finisher on Erik and pinned him clean…
AJ Styles and Omos defeated The Viking Raiders in 12:55 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: A good match. Styles did the heavy lifting for his team, but Omos did a nice job with what was asked of him. They gave the Viking Raiders more offense than we’ve seen most teams get in Omos matches. The Vikings Raiders could actually gain something in defeat if this is framed properly, but it sadly won’t matter if they continue to be pushed as cartoonishly jolly viking cosplayers…
Backstage, Kevin Patrick interviewed Drew McIntyre, who played to the Fort Worth crowd by asking them to make some noise. He delivered a promo about the MITB ladder match… A video package set up the WWE Championship match…
3. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship. The Raw crew called the match. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The fans booed Lashley and cheered loudly for Kingston. The bell rang and Lashley charged, but Kingston jumped over him. Kingston performed an early double stomp. Lashley regrouped and took offensive control. He put Kingston down with a clothesline and then shushed the crowd, which drew boos.
Lashley went for a spear, but Kingston caught him with a kick. Kingston dove from the ropes and was caught by Lashley, who performed his one-armed spinebuster before shushing the crowd gain. Lashley picked up Kingston and dumped him to ringside. Lashley followed to the floor and put Kingston on his shoulders before running him into the ring post twice. Lashley played to the crowd. A fan approached him with the too sweet sign hand gesture, but Lashley ignored him.
Back inside the ring, Lashley continued to dominate. Lashley put Kingston in the Hurt Lock. He released the hold and suplexed Kingston. Graves played up the idea that Kingston tried to submit, but the referee couldn’t see it. Lashley suplexed Kingston and then went with a ground and pound approach while the broadcast team said the match should be stopped to protect Kingston. Lashley performed three Dominators on Kingston and shushed the crowd, which led to more boos. Lashley picked up Kingston and put him in the Hurt Lock until the referee called for the bell…
Bobby Lashley defeated Kofi Kingston in 7:35 to retain the WWE Championship.
Powell’s POV: It wasn’t an eight-second match like Kingston had with Brock Lesnar. Rather, it was a longer and in some ways an even a more dominant win for Lashley. Between those two losses, it could be tough to take Kingston as a serious threat to a singles world championship anytime soon. On the flip side, Lashley looks like a badass champion.
After some advertising, a video package set up the Raw Women’s Championship match…
4. Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women’s Championship. The Raw team called the match. Ripley slapped hands with fans on her way to the ring, so apparently she is the babyface for the match. Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The crowd chanted “We Want Becky.” Flair responded by flipping off the crowd. She was censored in that the screen went black for a moment.
The Becky chants started up again around the 5:00 mark. Ripley performed a pair of short-arm clotheslines and then headbutted Flair. Ripley dropkicked a seated Flair and played to the fans, who responded with cheers. Ripley threw a superkick and followed up with a suplex into a bridge that resulted in a two count. Graves played up the idea that Ripley was tuning out the crowd, whereas the fans were getting to Flair.
Ripley performed a great release German suplex. Ripley went for a missile dropkick, but Flair avoided it and put her in a Boston Crab. Ripley powered out of it. Flair went for a Figure Four, but Ripley rolled her into a pin for a two count. They got up and Flair ducked a kick and then blasted Ripley with a kick and then covered her for a two count. Flair went up top, but Ripley pulled her down. Ripley put Flair in the electric chair position, but Flair escaped. Ripley impressively powered up Flair for a suplex for a near fall.
A short time later, Flair knocked Ripley off the apron with a big boot. Flair performed her moonsault onto Ripley at ringside. Back inside the ring, Ripley avoided the Natural Selection and put Flair in a standing leg lock. Flair rolled her into a pin for a two count. Ripley got up and threw a kick, then went for her finisher, but Flair countered into a DDT for a good near fall. Flair caught Ripley with an elbow and went for the cover with her feet on the ropes, but the referee caught her. Ripley kicked Flair from the mat.
Ripley threw shoulder blocks in the corner and then placed Flair in a seated position on the top rope. Ripley joined her on the ropes and wanted to superplex her from the top rope, but Flair avoided it and shoved her off. Flair performed a Natural Selection from the top rope for an awesome near fall. Flair acted shocked that she didn’t get the pin. Flair set up for her finisher, but Ripley pulled her so that the back of her head crashed in the corner.
Flair rolled to ringside. Ripley reached through the ropes to grab Flair, who shoved Ripley’s head into the ring post. Flair placed Ripley’s leg against the ring post and kicked it three times. Flair returned to the ring and put Ripley in the Figure Eight. Ripley held on for a moment and then tapped out.
Charlotte Flair defeated Rhea Ripley in 16:50 to win the Raw Women’s Championship.
After the match, Ripley pounded on her knee while Flair held up the title belt. Flair went to the apron and held up her title belt…
Powell’s POV: Awesome match. I loved it. The live crowd clearly makes a difference, but this was Ripley’s best match on the main roster and it’s no coincidence that it happened with Flair as her opponent. This was easily the match of the night thus far and one to go out of your way to see if you’re not watching live. Here’s hoping that Ripley will be consistently pushed as a babyface coming out of this match. It’s unfortunate that they were so inconsistent with her during her title reign, but they can still get it right with her in the babyface challenger spot.
A video package touted WWE’s return to the road… After some ads, including one with WWE talent eating at Applebee’s, there was a backstage segment involving Riddle, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Rick Boogs.
Powell’s POV: Peacock had issues with the stream. Whatever the Riddle and the others did made Kevin Owens look at them funny when he entered the picture. The streaming issues are still happening during the entrances for the men’s MITB ladder match.
5. Riddle vs. Ricochet vs. John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Big E, Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in the Men’s Money in the Bank ladder match. The match started and the feed was still a disaster (no, it’s not just on your end).
Powell’s POV: For those watching live and still having issues, relaunch the app and it should work again. The feed was awful for the entrances and roughly the first five minutes of the match. Rumor has it that CM Punk returned while the feed was spotty. Okay, not really. Back to work.
Rollins cleared the ring and climbed up a ladder, but other wrestlers returned to stop him. Riddle dropped Rollins with an RKO. Rollins rolled to the floor. Riddle and Nakamura squared off until McIntyre took them both out with a double Claymore Kick. McIntyre performed a Future Shock DDT on Big E. Ricochet, who wore trunks rather than those awful pants, charged McIntyre, who caught him and drove him face first onto a ladder set up in the corner. McIntyre followed up with a flip dive onto his opponents at ringside.
Back inside the ring, McIntyre counted down and then blasted Rollins with a Claymore Kick. McIntyre made a play for the briefcase, but Veer and Shanky ran out and stopped him. McIntyre ended up at ringside where Jinder Mahal worked him over with a chair. In the ring, Riddle made a play for the briefcase, but Ricochet ran the ropes and jumped onto the ladder to stop him. Riddle tipped the ladder over, but Ricochet performed a springboard into a flip dive onto a variety of opponents on the floor. Wow.
Riddle was awestruck by the Ricochet spot. He eventually went for the briefcase, but Ricochet returned to stop him. Riddle ended up hitting RKO’s on Big E and Ricochet. Rollins returned to perform a Stomp on Riddle. Nakamura hit a GTS on Rollins. Nakamura made a play for the briefcase, but Morrison climbed up a second ladder and sprayed him with a drip stick to stop it (yes, really). Owens pulled Morrison down and gave him a Stunner.
Owens hopped on one leg to sell something that apparently happened while the feed was bad. Owens put Ricochet down with a Popup Powerbomb and then went for the briefcase, but Rollins stopped him and powerbombed him over the ropes and through a ladder that was propped up over the apron and the broadcast table. Rollins set up two ladders side by side and climbed the taller one. Big E climbed up behind him and hit the Big Ending from the ladder into the ring. Big E climbed the ladder and pulled down the briefcase to win.
Big E defeated Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Ricochet, Riddle, John Morrison, and Shinsuke Nakamura in 17:40 to win the Men’s Money in the Bank ladder match.
Powell’s POV: It was a crowd pleasing finish. McIntyre seemed to be getting more of a mixed reaction when he came close to grabbing the briefcase (well, unless some fans are chanting Drew and not booing, but I don’t think so). WWE foreshadowed Big E winning with that backstage segment on Smackdown with Paul Heyman. I really don’t know why they feel the need to tip things off like that, but it really did make me think there was a better chance that Big E would win once they did that.
WWE replayed the Applebee’s ad. Baron Corbin came in at the end and opted against sitting with the rest of the WWE crew…
Powell’s POV: Wow, Corbin really is down on his luck if he had to eat at Applebee’s. Kidding. Kinda. Not really.
Cole and McAfee hyped SummerSlam for Saturday, August 21…
Backstage, Rollins vented to Kevin Patrick that it was his destiny to win the MITB ladder match. He said he should have been in the Universal Title match, but Edge stole that from him. He said that he is next in line regardless of who wins the main event…
A video package set up the main event… Edge made his entrance to a strong reaction. He went to each side of the stage and yelled, “Give it to me!” Roman Reigns made his entrance, which includes his giant CGI monster. The real Reigns was booed…
6. Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Edge for the WWE Universal Championship. Cole and McAfee called the main event. Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. McAfee laid it on thick while praising Reigns. He said Reigns has beaten Hall of Famers before and this was a typical Sunday for him. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers once the bell rang to start the match.
Reigns and Edge worked a slow pace to start. Edge got the better of an exchange. Reigns bowed to ringside and Heyman asked him what his father would do. Reigns returned to the ring and was cleared to ringside again. Reigns sold a left arm injury. Edge followed to the floor where Reigns performed a Samoan Drop. Edge was on the verge of being counted out when Reigns rolled to the floor and attacked him again. Reigns ran Edge into the ring post. Edge beat the referee’s count.
Reigns went into domination mode and was loudly booed whenever he played to the crowd. Reigns suplexed Edge and covered him for a two count. Reigns took issue with the referee’s count. Reigns put Edge in a chin lock and then jawed at the crowd and boasted that he’s the only heavyweight. Edge broke free, but he ran into an uppercut punch. Reigns went to ringside and performed a Drive By Kick. Back in the ring, Reigns covered Edge for a two count.
Reigns set up for a Superman Punch, but Edge countered into a backslide for a near fall. Both men got up and performed simultaneous kicks. They stood up and traded punches and the fans gave them the “yay/boo” treatment. Edge avoided a punch and then pulled Reigns back into a pin for a good near fall. Edge looked to the crowd, which came to life. Edge clotheslined Reigns, who got right back to his feet and kicked Edge when he approached him. Edge came right back and performed a DDT for a near fall.
Edge caught Reigns on the ropes and slammed his head onto the top of the ring post casing. Reigns was caught in the tree of woe. Edge put the boots to him. Edge applied an STF. Reigns teased tapping, then reached out and grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold. Edge went to the corner and waited for Reigns to get up, then charged him for a spear, but Reigns caught him in a guillotine. Edge drove him into the corner to break it momentarily, but Reigns reapplied the hold. Edge pushed forward and both men tumbled through the ropes, which broke the hold.
Reigns charged Edge on the floor and went for a spear. Edge moved and Reigns crashed through the barricade in the timekeepers area. Edge stopped referee Charles Robinson’s count, then went back to ringside and speared Reigns through another part of the barricade. Edge placed Reigns on his shoulders and carried him back to the ring. Edge covered Reigns for a near fall. Reigns came back with a punch, then hit him with a Superman Punch, which caused Edge to fall into the knee of the referee. REF BUMP!!!
Reigns went to ringside and broke a piece off of a chair. Reigns told Heyman that he was going to teach Edge. Reigns jawed at Reigns while standing over him, which drew boos. Reigns tried to apply the Crossface with the piece of the chair, but Edge blocked it. Meanwhile, help arrived for Robinson, who was helped to the back. Edge got the chair piece and used it while applying a Crossface.
Fans started booing. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso walked toward the ring, but Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio showed up and fought them to the back. Edge maintained the hold. Seth Rollins arrived at ringside, entered the ring, and kicked Edge’s head to break the hold. Rollins left the ring and headed to the back. Reigns got to his feet, waited for Edge to stand up, and let out a war cry. Reigns went for a spear, but Edge beat him to it. A second referee ran in and counted the close near fall.
Edge got to his feet and went to the corner. He waited for Reigns to stand up. Rollins returned and Edge saw him coming and knocked him off the apron with a kick. Edge turned back to Reigns, who speared and pinned him to win the match…
Roman Reigns defeated Edge in 33:10 to retain the WWE Universal Championship.
After the match, Rollins attacked Edge and then stopped or a staredown with Reigns. Edge got up and attacked Rollins. Edge took Rollins to ringside and threw him over the barricade. Edge and Rollins fought into the crowd and eventually Rollins ran way. In the ring, Reigns put his title belt over his shoulder and then Heyman handed him the mic. “Now the whole world can acknowledge me,” Reigns said.
John Cena’s entrance music played. Cena played to the crowd and showed off a towel, then ran to the ring where he ran the ropes and then threw his hat to the crowd while Reigns watched. Cena approached Reigns and did the “You Can’t See Me” hand gesture. Cena climbed the ropes and played to the crowd while Reigns watched and the show went off the air…
Powell’s POV: A very good main event and a hot post match angle. Reigns and Edge worked a slow pace to start and it built nicely and had the crowd popping for the near falls and rallying behind Edge more and more as the match went on. The ref bump was well executed, but it was ridiculous that it took so long for a second referee to show up. Obviously, they set up Rollins vs. Edge for SummerSlam, just as they had been foreshadowing. Cena’s appearance got a great reaction and surely sets up the SummerSlam main event. That was fun.
Overall, this was a damn good show aside from the Peacock issues that cut out part of the men’s MITB ladder match. It was a sold out crowd and they brought great energy, which clearly inspired the wrestlers to up their game. I will be joined by Jake Barnett and Will Pruett for our Dot Net Triple Threat audio review available exclusively for Dot Net Members later tonight. Let me know what you thought of MITB by grading it below and by voting for the best match. Stop back again tomorrow night for my live review of Raw.
Check out the Pro Wrestling Boom Live podcast on Monday at 3CT/4ET. Jonny Fairplay and I will be taking your calls at PWAudio.net.