McGuire’s Mondays: Overthink Monday – Money In The Bank edition

By Colin McGuire, Staffer

The Fourth of July weekend means a lot of things for those of us in the United States. Fireworks. Cookouts. Hot weather. Bad cover bands. And WWE’s Money In The Bank … I guess?

This year, the biggest pro wrestling organization in the world decided to step to the forefront of America’s most patriotic day by … going to Canada … to stage a weekend full of pro wrestling. Friday night’s Smackdown. Saturday night’s Money In The Bank PLE. And Sunday night’s NXT Heatwave. Because Big Events aren’t just Big Events anymore and instead, they’re Big Event Weekends, there has been a lot to digest over the last 72 hours. And so, for the second time, behold an installment of Overthink Mondays – Money In The Bank edition.


For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the weekend’s festivities, there was one tiny match for a mid-card women’s title on the NXT show Sunday night that ultimately sits atop the discussion pool on this fine Monday – and God bless it for that. Kelani Jordan vs. Sol Ruca. There is very little in life that I love more than something that comes along and unapologetically throws a world into a tailspin. This was perhaps the most unexpected match to accomplish something like that ever in today’s contentious world of pro wrestling fandom.

Lots of flips. Lots of gymnastics. Lots of neat moves. Lots of choreography. Little emphasis on selling. Ostensibly, a match for the sake of having a match. No, this wasn’t your typical AEW Dynamite main event. This was the second bout on an NXT PLE! So, AEW fans must have loved this, right? Hmmmm. OK, moving on. All those WWE fans who consistently ridicule AEW for highlighting matches like the one these two women put together certainly hated what they saw here, right? Hmmmm.

Whichever way those equations play out and whatever discussions are being had about Jordan vs. Ruca, I couldn’t help but love their desire to subvert the narrative. Yeah, things were a little clunky at times, and sure, some stretches felt a little too put together in moments, but hell, man. You have to grin just thinking about the premise of the whole thing. Better yet was an observation John Moore made in his live review of the show on this website: If Sol Ruca were on the indies, she’d be a sensation. I’ll second that motion and take things a step further. If this match took place on the indies, it would be clipped up and praised to the high heavens like a Roddy Strong PWG classic.

So, what gives? I understand and accept the reasons to bash WWE in most every way possible most of the time. But sometimes, wrestlers and matches can be the victim of circumstance and when that happens, it simply isn’t fair. It’s times like these when people, ideals and expectations all have mirrors held up to them, warts and all, and it’s times like these when the reflections from those mirrors aren’t always the prettiest thing to look at. It’s funny, sad, revealing and cynical. No matter how hard some try to argue otherwise, the rules across the board are simply not the same.

So kudos to those women for having that match. Within five years, there’s nothing saying they both can’t be main roster stars. And when they are, I’ll think back to Heatwave 2024 and chuckle at the thought of how this match is or is not remembered.


Speaking of achievements in women’s wrestling over the weekend … how about that women’s Money In The Bank match? Holy car crash, guys. It was impossible to look away from, even if looking at it made you feel like we could be 10 seconds away from watching something go very wrong. Adding to it for this viewer was Corey Graves, who has clearly gone to the Pat McAfee school of wrestling commentating over the last few years (I say in a respectful way, mind you). Between Graves’s breathless shock at all he saw and the continued Michael Cole Renaissance, the danger of the moment was only punctuated by the voices tasked with writing the police report.

But back to the women. They say everyone is OK coming out of it, and thank God for that. Some of those ladder bumps felt nasty, no matter how safe they might have actually been. That notion of safety wasn’t aided by the reality that so many of the spots those women concocted felt like they didn’t go off without a hitch. There were some starts, stops, and “f— it, let’s just get this thing over with” moments, and it added up to a recipe for darkly entertaining chaos.

Tiffany Stratton was your winner, of course. Does this mean there is a rift in her alliance with Nia Jax come Summer Slam when she potentially cashes in either after Jax’s title match or during  it to make the bout a three-way? I hope so. Last year’s men’s MITB winner held that briefcase for nearly a year; it’d be nice to have both contracts out of the way by the time fall rolls around this year if only because the gimmick won’t continuously be in our faces for ten months.

Time will reveal those plans. For now, give each woman in that match her flowers.


Phil Collins did it best in 2004 when he embarked on what he called “Finally … The First Farewell Tour.” The cheeky title proved to be true because while in most walks of life “farewell” means “goodbye,” even the pop singer knew the world of music doesn’t play by those rules and he’d be back for more. In other words, there were more farewell tours to be had, and he eventually had them.

John Cena, in his own way, is kind of WWE’s Phil Collins. Between Phil’s work with Genesis and his solo records, the guy had more top 40 hits in the U.S. than any other artist that decade. Mind you, this was a decade that featured Michael Jackson at the height of his popularity. And yet, you would probably never guess that it was Collins who held the top position on a list like that. Cena is similar in that he stuck around, produced hits that a lot of the cool kids didn’t like until way after they reached their mainstream peak, and remained as inoffensive as ever while doing it.

This weekend, we learned that after next year, that Cena’s hit factory will be no more. Or, at least so he says. Cynicism aside, I’m happy that Cena gets his drawn out, longer-than-usual goodbye tour in 2025. He’s one of the few who deserves it, considering all he did for WWE during the days when WWE found itself in an existential crisis and, in a lot of people’s minds, bleeding the pro wrestling business to a slow death. Without his consistency, it’s easy to wonder what WWE would have looked like during his most fruitful years.

My only hope now is that they give him some wins on his way out the door. His previous returns have led to a lot of losses, and they never felt like they had the desired effect in super-elevating his opponents super-immediately. Should he get a 17th world title reign during all of it? Ehhhhhhhhh … sure … OK … fine. I mean, why not? The mere fact that such a thought made so many fans nauseous at one point and is now accepted as a possibility that doesn’t suck is the truest tribute to his impact on the business.

As such, I wouldn’t even be disappointed if this ends up being Cena’s first – but not last – goodbye.


The two best matches of the weekend happened on Friday and Sunday for this viewer – and they were even tag team matches, if you could believe that. First was #DIY’s title win on Smackdown over Grayson Waller and Austin Theory. For some reason, the Cerebral Assassin wasn’t all that … well … cerebral when he booked both tag titles to change hands within a stone’s throw of one another. That, combined with the constant build via video packages and interviews during the entirety of Friday’s Smackdown episode all but tipped his hand in the title change.

No matter. It was fun to finally see Gargano and Ciampa get some main roster championship booking love and with any luck, this will lead to bigger things for both of them individually on the company’s biggest stage. As for Waller and Theory … it was a title reign that left much to be desired only because there wasn’t much of it to even consider. The whole thing was overshadowed by a will they/won’t they split up story that progressed every week but has yet to be paid off.

The weekend’s other best match came Sunday night as Axiom and Nathan Frazier retained their NXT tag titles over Chase U (who, at this point, should just stay in NXT forever, and I say that in the absolute most loving, best-for-you way). As tends to be the case in a lot of tag teams these days, Frazier and Axiom appeared to be put together only to split them apart, but wouldn’t it be fun if WWE just didn’t? I mean, allow them to hold the NXT gold for a couple years and bring them up to the main roster in 2026 as one of the most cohesive entertaining teams in the world ….

… right?

OK, that’s not going to happen, but in the meantime, we’re treated to really good tag matches thanks to their exceptional individual talents. Sunday’s match was no different, despite the not-so-subtle developments that all but promised their days as a unit are numbered. So be it. But hey, before they go, could we at least maybe get a champions vs. champions match against #DIY?


Not much more to say than that. My admiration for Jacob Fatu has been well documented on this website, so I don’t need to bore you with more of it. Instead, I’ll just end this week by noting how happy I was to see him actually work a match in a WWE ring on Saturday night. He wasn’t given the time or space to reach too far into his arsenal, but that no-sell of the Randy Orton draping DDT was a whole lot of fun, was it not?

Now, if only there might be a way to insert him into the Summer Slam main event fold and have him take the place of a certain current Bloodline Wolfpack 2.0 leader …


Readers Comments (2)

  1. How much are you sweating your bet?

    “I’ll bet you those dollars I earned earlier in this column that Nia Jax vs. Bayley and Damian Priest vs. Gunther won’t be the title matches in Cleveland. One of those? Maybe. But both? Nah.”

    How many dollars are we talking about? …

  2. WWE had the type of match that WWE fans hate whenever it happens in AEW. HOWEVER, its WWE, so they (you know if you’re part of “they”) will (and have been) say how great it was.
    Hypocrisy runs wild in wrestling as well as everything else in life nowadays.

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