Money in the Bank 2016
Date: June 19, 2016
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

You always hear about how any particular show is supposed to be the best ever but in this case they might actually have a chance at the best Money in the Bank of all time. There are three major matches tonight with AJ Styles vs. John Cena, Roman Reigns defending the WWE World Title against Seth Rollins and of course the Money in the Bank ladder match. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: Breezango vs. Golden Truth

Breezango has severe sunburns due to some shenanigans before the match. Fandango and Truth start things off with Truth chopping at the very raw chest. It’s off to Breeze vs. Goldust as the chop-a-thon continues. Fandango comes in and ducks a chop, only to have Truth slap him on the back. Breeze offers a distraction so Fandango can stomp away, much to his own severe pain. We hit a leg crank on Truth for a bit before it’s back to Goldust for more chops and atomic drops. Everything breaks down and the Final Cut (suplex into a neckbreaker) puts Fandango away at 5:00.

Rating: D+. Sure it was stupid but I’ve got a soft spot for this angle as they’re just having goofy fun. The wrestling obviously wasn’t the point here and that’s ok when the entire point of this match is to fill in some time before we get to the actual pay per view. It’s nothing worth watching again but it’s funny enough to do its job.

Pre-Show: Lucha Dragons vs. Dudley Boyz

Bubba and Kalisto start things off before Cara comes in for a dive, followed by a double dive to take the Dudleyz down. Back from a break with Bubba working on Cara’s arm as the fans want tables. D-Von’s big elbow drop gets two before it’s back to Bubba who threatens to rip Cara’s mask off. The jab sequence is countered by a dropkick from Cara and the hot tag brings in Kalisto. The hurricanrana driver and kick to the head have the Dudleyz rocked and we get some heel miscommunication for good measure. A 3D is broken up and it’s the Salida Del Sol and the Dragon Bomb (swanton) for the pin on Bubba at 8:50.

Rating: C+. This was WAY better than I was expecting and a rather snappy little tag match. The Dragons never getting the titles is actually a bit surprising but at least we get a few nice matches like this every now and then. I’d still like to see Kalisto get an extended singles run but if this is the best I can get, so be it.

The opening video looks at the history of Las Vegas and the idea of chasing the dream. Everyone here tonight is going all in for the sake of reaching their goal, whatever that may cost.

Tag Team Titles: Enzo Amore/Big Cass vs. Vaudevillains vs. The Club vs. New Day

New Day is defending. Enzo’s attire looks like it’s covered with a bunch of miniature license plates. He’s sorry but he’s a bit tired tonight because he and Lady Luck were up all night. New Day does some impressions on the way to the ring, including calling Enzo and Cass a sawed off Han Solo and a hairless Chewbacca. The Vaudevillains are the Monopoly Men and the Club is being sent back to Japan to cure their male pattern baldness.

One fall to a finish here and it’s Kofi vs. Karl to start things off. It’s quickly off to Gallows who eats a quick pendulum kick in the corner before Enzo comes in to help clean house. Kofi grabs a rollup for two on Amore and that’s not quite cool. We get the big showdown between Cass and E. but Gotch tags himself in instead. Everything breaks down and all eight stare each other down in a cool visual.

The heels are sent outside and it’s Enzo/Cass vs. New Day, only to have the Vaudevillains jump Kofi from behind to take over. Gallows tags himself in but a double clothesline drops both Luke and Kofi. A double tag brings in English and Enzo (odd choices for tags) but it’s quickly back to Gallows, who low bridges Enzo to the floor. Amore grabs a tornado DDT on Luke and another double tag brings in Cass and Anderson. Cass cleans house and throws Enzo onto a pile at ringside.

The Rocket Launcher gets two on Anderson with Gallows pulling Enzo out at the last possible second (or maybe a bit too late). Kofi tags himself in but misses Trouble in Paradise. The Whirling Dervish gets a very close two on Kofi (I bought that as the finish for a second) and Big E. spears Gotch to the floor. Kofi grabs a DDT on English but Karl makes a blind tag. There’s a Magic Killer to English, only to have Big E. make a quick save. The Midnight Hour connects on Anderson and Kofi pins English at 11:47.

Rating: B+. It’s not quite the four way from last month but sweet goodness they were on fire here. This was a great back and forth match where I actually bought that all four teams could have gotten the belts at any time. In theory this sets up the Club vs. New Day for the titles at Battleground after New Day sets the record for the longest title reign.

Kevin Owens is in the back and brags about being awesome when he powerbombed John Cena on the apron last year. See, you have to specify what he does because everything he does is special. Owens: “That’s what my mom tells me.” Jericho comes in and does his usual speech about inventing Money in the Bank but Owens calls him out for never winning the thing.

Alberto comes in (Owens: “Most likely to speak some Spanish.”) and they discuss the meaning of perro. Del Rio brags about being the only one to win Money in the Bank but Owens cuts him off to say he needs new material, like Owens, who is always doing cool stuff. Jericho: “The only perros I see here are this pair-o idiots.” Jericho offers them the gift of Jericho but both guys leave, allowing Jericho to call them stupid idiots. If Owens was any more golden, he’d be a prize in the Olympics.

Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler

Because this won’t die. The threat of a superkick sends Corbin backing off so he pops Dolph with a right hand to take over. Ziggler tries to send him under the ropes but Corbin swings around the post and comes in with a hard clothesline. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Corbin just stomps away. The fans call this boring so Corbin takes a bit of a bow and picks Ziggler up even slower.

Dolph comes back with some dropkicks but can’t follow up. The Fameasser and superkick are both broken up and Corbin blasts him with another clothesline for two. Back up and Ziggler avoids a charge to send him shoulder first into the post, setting up the Fameasser for two. The fans alternate between Bayley and Ryback chants as Corbin bails to the floor to avoid the superkick. That thing better hit at some point.

A Deep Six on the floor gets a nine count. Back in again and End of Days is countered into the superkick for two. Ziggler heads up top but gets caught by a running right hand. Well that’s a bit more simple. Ziggler jumps back down and tries another superkick, only to run into End of Days for the pin at 12:24.

Rating: B-. This is a good example of a quality match where the fans just weren’t interested and I really can’t blame them. These two have fought so many times and there’s no reason to want to see them again. That’s where WWE gets in trouble so many times: they get something interesting and then don’t know when to stop, laving us with crowd reactions like this. It was good with the nice little story of teasing the superkick but I had no interest in watching them.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin: WWE Money in the Bank 2016 on WWE Network

Charlotte/Dana Brooke vs. Becky Lynch/Natalya

The announcers point out Natalya losing title match after title match this year. Natalya shoves Dana to the ropes a few times to start so Dana shouts a lot. Becky comes in and we get a Hart Attack on Dana, followed by a baseball slide to put Charlotte on the floor as well. Back in and Natalya gets beaten down as the announcers push the idea that Charlotte has been teaching Dana to get better. Apparently she needs to do more teaching as Natalya gets over for the tag off to Becky for the house cleaning.

The Bexploder sends Charlotte flying and a double missile dropkick drops the villains. Natalya comes in for the discus lariat on Charlotte, who comes back with a rollup for two with her feet on the ropes. The Sharpshooter has Charlotte in trouble but Dana makes the save, only to have Natalya and Becky collide. Natural Selection ends Natalya at 7:00.

Rating: C. Much like the previous match, I never want to see Charlotte vs. Natalya again. That’s like five straight losses for Natalya and there’s no reason to see them go at it again. Just let Sasha come up and get the title in a better match like everyone wants to see instead of just doing the same stuff over and over again. Why can’t WWE get that simple logic?

Post match Becky apologizes but Natalya blasts her with a forearm for a heel turn. Yeah because that’s going to make her interesting. Again, if you want us to care about a character more, DON’T HAVE THEM JOB IN EVERY SINGLE MATCH BEFORE YOU TURN THEM.

Dean Ambrose says we’re in the jungle tonight and he’s walking out with the title. He doesn’t have a comment on the main event other than Reigns is going to have fun beating on Rollins. “Beating up Seth is fun.”

Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews

Veteran vs. newcomer. Sheamus jumps him to start and headlocks Crews down. Back up and Crews sends him out to the floor, only to get caught in Irish Curse off the apron and out to the floor. Back in and we hit the chinlock as the fans break out the YOU LOOK STUPID chants again.

The ten forearms to the chest get two for Sheamus and we hit another chinlock. Crews pops back up for his running clotheslines and an enziguri before belly to belly suplexing Sheamus over the top. A moonsault from the apron gets two but Sheamus runs him over again. Sheamus takes it to the top for a super White Noise and two but an argument with the referee allows Crews to grab a rollup for the pin at 8:44.

Rating: C+. I liked this more than I was expecting to as Crews got the win after hanging in there long enough. It’s kind of a fluke but Crews kicked out after a big move and got to show off enough to make it look like a big win. This is what people like Sheamus and Ziggler are good for: having quality matches and putting people over while it still means something.

Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus: WWE Money in the Bank 2016 on WWE Network

We recap AJ Styles vs. John Cena. This has been billed as a dream match and that’s not too far from the truth. Styles attacked Cena a few weeks back like so many others have done but Cena was more impressed by a moment when the fans were chanting LET’S GO CENA/AJ STYLES. Tonight AJ has his chance to prove that he belongs and has agreed to have the Club barred from ringside.

AJ Styles vs. John Cena

The fans are just coming unglued for this before the bell. They trade takedowns to start and AJ is all fired up. Cena comes right back with some armdrags and a monkey flip of all things but it’s way too early for the AA. You Can’t See Me is answered with a forearm to the face and AJ starts sticking and moving. That earns him a belly to belly before they head outside. Cena tries to send him into the steps but AJ jumps over them in a sweet counter that leaves Cena shocked.

Back in and a knee drop gets two for AJ, followed by a suplex. AJ: “Is this all he’s got?” Cena keeps going simple with a stiff right hand and a backdrop but the flying shoulders are countered with a dropkick. We hit the chinlock for a bit before another comeback is countered by an enziguri.

The Protobomb plants AJ but the Shuffle is broken up as well with Cena being knocked outside. A big flip dive misses though and Cena finally has an opening. Back in and the AA is countered again with AJ hitting the strike rush, only to get caught in the STF. A rope is grabbed so Cena tries a top rope AA but Styles reverses into something like Snake Eyes. Cena tries it again (with some LOUD spot calling, which has been an issue all night) but AJ escapes one more time.

The Phenomenal Forearm is countered into the AA but Cena takes too much time turning to face the camera, allowing AJ to reverse into the Calf Crusher. John gets to the ropes and hits that big running clothesline to make the comeback when he needs to hit a big move to make a comeback. The AA is countered AGAIN but Cena just muscles him up, only to have AJ kick out again.

Cena is shocked so he goes up top, only to have the Fameasser countered into a powerbomb to put both guys down. That’s only good for two as well so it’s a Pele into the Styles Clash for two more with the fans getting more and more into the kickouts. The springboard 450 only hits knees though and both guys are down. Neither can hit finishers with AJ landing on his feet to escape the AA but missing the Pele. The Forearm misses and Cena tries another AA, only to have the ref get bumped. Now the AA connects but there’s no one to count. Cue the Club for the Magic Killer to give AJ the pin at 24:09.

Rating: A-. I was hoping for a clean finish here as they were nailing it near the end. They were working the big match formula here and the key thing is AJ looking like he belonged in there and even frustrating Cena like few others have been able to. I don’t know if I’d say it lived up to the expectations but I don’t think anything really could have. Still though, excellent stuff as you had to know was coming..

JBL calls this a cheap victory but it’s not clear if AJ knew what happened. I mean, him looking up while the Club ran in would suggest otherwise but I’ve heard worse storyline explanations. As expected, JBL drives the point into the ground like no one else can.

We get a really cool video on the ladder match with a theme of what the briefcase can mean for you and how it means the world to someone’s career.

Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose

The fans seem split between Owens and Ambrose. Huge brawl to start as you would expect with Ambrose taking Owens down, followed by Sami hitting a big flip dive to take out most of his opponents. Owens kicks Sami in the face though and it’s Jericho with a front suplex to send Cesaro ribs first into the ladder. Dean gets back in but gets suplexed onto the ladder for his efforts. Jericho tries to crush him 69 times with the ladder but Del Rio comes in for the save.

That means it’s time for an uppercut party until Owens makes the save and busts out the Cannonballs. Sami comes back in and makes the first real climb but Del Rio makes the save and ties him in the Tree of Woe. Del Rio gives Cesaro the top rope double stomp onto a ladder but makes the slow climb, allowing Jericho to come in for a save. Chris gets pulled down and might have hurt his knee.

Del Rio goes up again but Cesaro makes a save this time, only to get caught in the cross armbreaker on the ladder. Kevin superkicks Del Rio but eats the spinning uppercut. Now it’s Ambrose and Jericho back inside with Jericho hitting a Codebreaker but only getting his hand on the briefcase as Sami makes a save.

They’re both knocked onto the ropes by an intervening Owens, who is taken down just as quickly with a Backstabber. There’s a Cesaro Swing for Del Rio and one for Jericho as a bonus with Cesaro letting him fly into the ladder for a big crash. Ambrose hits the elbow drop on Cesaro but Owens makes another save and crushes Dean with a frog splash onto the ladder.

Sami’s Michinoku Driver onto the side of an overturned ladder freaks the fans out all over again and breaks Owens at the same time. Del Rio hits Sami with a ladder over and over for the save before bridging one ladder into the other and draping the end on the middle turnbuckle. Cesaro does the same thing on the other side to make two platforms and all six are on ladders at the same time.

Cesaro and Del Rio fall off and the four others climb the middle ladder at once, only to have Del Rio and Cesaro set up another ladder. That results in a huge crash with Del Rio taking a very nasty fall. Everyone else falls down and Sami goes up, only to have Jericho run across the platform and make a save. Now it’s Dean stopping that one and planting Jericho with Dirty Deeds. Owens pulls Sami down and powerbombs him onto the platform. Dean and Kevin fight on the ladder with Owens falling backwards through the ladder and Ambrose gets the briefcase at 21:36 as JBL goes ballistic.

Rating: B+. See, this is what I was hoping for when they announced a six man match. Instead of fighting to get time, this was all about everyone going for the briefcase and surviving until the end when someone could get the briefcase. The ending isn’t a shock as you had two main options with Ambrose and Owens and it’s hard to argue with Dean winning. Really fun brawl though with some awesome spots, though nothing we haven’t seen before.

Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match: WWE Money in the Bank 2016 on WWE Network

Long pre-show recap.

US Title: Rusev vs. Titus O’Neil

Rusev is defending and Titus’ kids are in the crowd. Rusev goes straight outside and gets in their faces, setting up a double clothesline on the floor. Titus just erupts on Rusev against the barricade before throwing him into said barricade. Rusev sends him into the post for a seven count before getting two off a spinwheel kick back inside. A hard knee has Titus’ ribs in trouble and we hit the chinlock.

Titus fights back with elbows to the ribs and a shoulder. Something like a reverse slam gets two but Titus has to get out of the Accolade. A pumphandle powerslam gets two more on the champ, who comes right back with the jumping superkick. Now the Accolade retains the title at 8:15.

Rating: D+. It’s almost like the idea of crushing the former champion over and over left Rusev with no one credible to defend against here. Oh wait Titus won some dad award a year or so ago so now he’s supposed to be interesting. Boring match here with zero doubt about the end result but that’s what midcard titles mean these days.

Rusev laughs at Titus’ kids and PLEASE don’t mean we get a rematch.

We recap Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins with 15 minutes left in the show. They’ve been involved forever and things were made even worse when Rollins cashed in Money in the Bank to end Wrestlemania XXXI. Then Rollins hurt his knee and Reigns took the title in Seth’s absence, setting up this showdown.

WWE World Title: Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns

Reigns is defending and the bell rings at 10:54 EST. Feeling out process to start until Reigns drops him with a shoulder. A second shoulder does the same but a third is blocked with a dropkick. Reigns is sent outside for a suicide dive but comes right back with a Samoan Drop for two. The fans don’t give Roman an inch as he hits that running clothesline and pounds away in the corner.

It’s past 11pm as regular pay per views now have overruns. Roman asks if Seth is ready for this so Rollins slaps him in the face. The comeback is stopped with a right hand and Roman sends him over the announcers’ table. Seth whips the champ into the steps but Roman comes right back with a Razor’s Edge into a sitout powerbomb for two. The Superman Punch is avoided though and Seth dropkicks him outside for another suicide dive. A big flip dive over the top is followed by a Sling Blade for two back inside.

The Pedigree doesn’t work though and the Superman Punch gets two for the champ. Seth enziguris Reigns away and hits the springboard knee to the head. A frog splash gets two on Reigns, allowing JBL to get in his second Eddie Guerrero reference of the night. Rollins is scared to go for the sunset bomb so he switches to a buckle bomb and low superkick for two instead.

Seth has to try three times for a superplex before getting him down, setting up a Falcon’s Arrow for two. The Pedigree is broken up again and Rollins gets two more off a powerbomb. The slugout goes to Rollins and there’s another buckle bomb, only to have Reigns come out with a Superman Punch for two. Since this hasn’t gone on long enough, Rollins goes outside, only to avoid the spear into the barricade.

Medics come out to check on Reigns until Rollins throws him back inside for the Pedigree. That’s countered as well and we get a ref bump, followed by the spear for a delayed near fall. The spear is countered into a Pedigree for two and Rollins is stunned. There’s a second Pedigree and Rollins is champion at 26:04.

Rating: B+. It was long but the end was a surprise and a good way to wrap things up with Reigns getting pinned clean. This sets up a lot of interesting stuff with the potential Shield triple threat that should headline Summerslam but more importantly….I hear music so we’ll cut this short.

We’re not done yet! Ambrose comes in through the crowd and hits Rollins with the briefcase for the cash-in.

WWE World Title: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins

Ambrose is champion off Dirty Deeds in 9 seconds, meaning that all three members of Shield have been World Champion in a single night. More importantly: NO MONEY IN THE BANK FOR A YEAR!!!

Who does Dean Ambrose credit for helping him win the WWE World Heavyweight Title?: June 19, 2016

JBL sounds like he wants to cry as Ambrose celebrates to take us off the air.

Overall Rating: A-. If not for some of the midcard stuff not exactly living up to the same standards and what seems to be the introduction of overruns on a pay per view (because ten matches over four hours and then three hours and ten minutes tomorrow night isn’t enough), this would have been a classic. As it is it’s just great and a bit beneath the 2011 edition, though still very good.

That being said, if WWE actually runs the Shield triple threat at freaking Battleground and not on the big stage of say Summerslam’s main event, I think my head might explode. That’s a Wrestlemania main event level match and there’s a chance they’ll waste it on the nothing July pay per view. Either way, it’s a really good show worth watching, but have your fast forward button ready.


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