With the main roster having suffered poor ratings from post-NXT PPV’s for some time, it was great to see WWE finally succeed as a whole for a change. Roman Reigns was moved down from his usual main event slot, and it showed, as the newcomer, Ronda Rousey, flourished alongside Nia Jax in the Raw women’s title match. Both the men’s and women’s Money in the Bank ladder matches also provided great entertainment at the beginning and closing moments of the night.
Here’s what some of the SteelChair Mag writers had to say about the show…
A Women’s Revolution. Lies. The Land of Opportunity. Lies. The chance of a lifetime. Lies. Communist propaganda aside, Money in the Bank 2018 proved that lady luck doesn’t always favour the less endowed. Alexa Bliss cashed in to obtain her fifth Women’s Championship. The counter-intuitive ghost of James Ellsworth returned to assist a capable champ backed into a corner. In an all-star field of men needy of an extra push, Braun Strowman secured an opportunity he has already squandered. What does all this tell us? Our powerhouses have nowhere else to go but up, but the glass ceiling above their heads proves to be problematic. In itself, Money in the Bank was an entertaining show from top to bottom. However, it’s namesake failed to bring angles for future stars to fruition. It was a moment in time that didn’t quite agree with my revolutionary heart.
Small beat tall and hopefully Bryan is moving on from Big Cass. After the worst build ever, Lashley and Zayn had a very one-sided affair, where Lashley firmly put Zayn in the rearview mirror. Elias and Rollins faced off for the Intercontinental Championship in a good match that Rollins survived, his mounting injuries will cost him soon though. The Women’s Money in the bank had some awesome action as well as the usual stalling at the top of ladders. Bliss winning was disappointing at the time but in fairness so were most of the choices. Roman vs Jinder gave me exactly what I wanted as this Chicago crowd was having none of it and chanted for anything and everything except the participants in the match. Asuka tried to kill Carmella who gave a good account of herself. In the end, the return of James Ellsworth helped her pick up the win and made the match instantly better. AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura was a heated brawl where these two beat the hell out of each other. Another loss for Nak is worrying but Styles is a great champion, match of the night so far. Rousey is electric and her match with Jax was great and then Bliss cashed in and stole the win. What a segment, this was genius. Strowman doesn’t need the briefcase but him murdering people and being unstoppable is very fun. Another great MITB with an insane table spot from Owens and everyone trying and failing to faze Stowman.
There’s been some criticism of the co-branded PPVs, mainly regarding the length of shows. Money in the Bank was long, but bigger matches and less filler made for a much more entertaining show. That said, the first couple of matches felt like filler. If Daniel Bryan proving he could beat a guy he’d already beaten, and Bobby Lashley destroying Sami Zayn, hadn’t been on the card the PPV wouldn’t have missed them. It picked up after that, and Rollins versus Elias was great after a slowish start.
The women’s ladder match was the match of the night for me. Ember Moon is incredible, Sasha Banks still has zero regards for her own wellbeing, and Bliss won without being part of most of the highlights of the match – working smarter not harder as usual.
The crowd hated Roman Reigns versus Jinder Mahal. It could have been the best match on the card and they would still have trashed it, it wasn’t, but it was fine.
The reappearance of James Ellsworth was SmackDown Live’s big twist of the night. I see the storyline sense of it, but I’m still not a fan of a man being instrumental in the outcome of a women’s championship match. The best twist came from Alexa Bliss ensuring that neither Nia Jax nor Ronda Rousey left with the RAW Women’s Championship.
Styles versus Nakamura was everything it should have been and Strowman winning the men’s ladder match was a fitting end to the evening.
After the lame duck that was Backlash and the continuing brilliance of NXT: Takeover, expectations weren’t exactly ladder-high coming into Money in the Bank, but stipulation pay-per-views will always be exciting and, in front of a typically vocal and energised Chicago crowd, this was a very good show. Barring the re-emergence of James Ellsworth, everything about the women’s division was great; the ladder match was fast, high-octane and well delivered; Carmella and Asuka worked a very solid SmackDown Women’s Championship bout and not only did Ronda Rousey continue to impress in her Raw Women’s Championship match against Nia Jax, but Alexa Bliss cashing in at the first opportunity and scampering away with the belt was a complete swerve and opened up new avenues to explore in her feud with Jax, especially as Rousey will now be involved.
As for the men, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura finally showed what they’re capable of together in a bruising and tense Last Man Standing Match, Seth Rollins and Elias lit up the arena in a barnstorming Intercontinental Title match and the ladder match, whilst having a somewhat predictable winner in Braun Strowman, had the quality and spots to round the pay-per-view off nicely – plus, Strowman getting his hands on the Universal title over Roman Reigns (whose match with Jinder Mahal suffered badly in front of a hostile and uninterested Allstate Arena) will please the WWE Universe immensely. Overall, a good night at the office for the main roster.
A mix of good surprises and bad made this year’s Money In The Bank PPV one of deeply varying quality. Big Cass had, arguably, his first good match. Of course, he needed a future Hall of Famer like Daniel Bryan to achieve it, but it’s still a step in the right direction for Colin ‘I’m very tall’ Cassidy.
Lashley vs. Zayn was every bit as pointless as its build-up. A staggering waste of talent. Rollins and Elias had a very entertaining encounter. The controversial finish suggests that this one isn’t over. Alexa Bliss’ win in the women’s MITB match was the most underwhelming result possible. However, as we saw later, it was all to protect Nia Jaxx and Ronda Rousey.
My mind has already erased Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal from my memory, so I can’t tell you how it went. Carmella retained her SmackDown Women’s title thanks to James Ellsworth. All of her major achievements in the last year can be attributed to the chinless wonder. Asuka deserves better but that can be said for most of the roster.
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura had their best match so far. After a slow start, the two veterans built up to a thrilling conclusion that brought the crowd to life. Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax had a very competitive match that flattered both women. Then ‘The Goddess’ showed up. The men’s MITB match had a correspondingly unsurprising conclusion as the women. Finally some gender equality in WWE.
Money in the Bank Full Results:
– Daniel Bryan def. Big Cass via submission.
– Bobby Lashley def. Sami Zayn via pinfall.
– Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins (c) def. Elias via pinfall to retain the title.
– Women’s Money in the Bank: Alexa Bliss def. Sasha Banks, Ember Moon, Natalya, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Naomi and Lana to win the briefcase.
– Roman Reigns def. Jinder Mahal via pinfall.
– SmackDown Women’s Championship: Carmella (c) def. Asuka via pinfall to retain the title.
– WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) def. Shinsuke Nakamura by beating the 10 count in a Last Man Standing match.
– Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey def. Nia Jax (c) via disqualification. Alexa Bliss cashes in the Women’s Money in the Bank contract to def. Nia Jax (c) via pinfall to win the title.
– Men’s Money in the Bank: Braun Strowman def. Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Bobby Roode, The Miz, Samoa Joe, Rusev and Kofi Kingston to win the briefcase.
All pics courtesy of wwe.com