Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Money in the Bank 2015
Date: June 14, 2015
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
It’s already time to crown a new Mr. Money in the Bank, just two and a half months after Seth Rollins cashed in during the main event of Wrestlemania XXXI. In addition to the ladder match, the main event is…..another ladder match! Seth Rollins will defend his WWE World Title against Dean Ambrose after saying he doesn’t need the Authority’s help. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: King Barrett vs. R-Truth
Before the match, Truth says dressing up is fun and he’s going to become King What’s Up. Barrett comes out with a new silver outfit which he says was tailor made in London. Truth starts fast with a headscissors before sending the King to the floor as we take a quick break. Back with a boot to the face putting Truth down as JBL name drops all the famous British women that have been trying to get together with Barrett.
Cole: “R-Truth has every bit as much right to call himself King as Barrett.” No Cole, he doesn’t. Truth jumps over him in the corner but takes a kick to the ribs for two. Back up and the Winds of Change is countered into a crucifix for the pin at 5:49. Cole treats this as a huge deal because he has the memory of a drunken elephant.
Rating: D+. Just a Raw match here with Barrett losing again. I don’t know if this makes Truth the King, but why not at this point? Barrett needs to get far, far away from WWE because it seems that he tortured and murdered Stephanie’s pet Feline Animal Champion (pick a hashtag for it) who was destined to revolutionize our industry one day with groundbreaking forms of entertainment at a WWE Pay Per View Event which everyone would be talking about on social media, thereby earning WWE a very prestigious award due to Stephanie’s leadership. How else can you explain the way he loses so much?
Truth gets the crown but throws it at Barrett and leaves.
As expected, this show is dedicated to Dusty Rhodes. We also get a ten bell salute with the roster on stage, complete with Dusty’s theme song playing as everyone claps along. Dusty deserves this and so much more.
The opening video focuses on how there can only be one, meaning a briefcase holder and champion. Wouldn’t that be two? Also, I’m sure that theme is in no way connected to last night’s UFC 188 theme of “there can only be one.” There’s actually no sarcasm there. It really is likely just a coincidence.
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Neville vs. Sheamus vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
Money in the Bank. Kofi is one third of the Tag Team Champions. Everyone brawls to start and Kofi goes for the ladder but everyone stops to look at him in a funny spot. We get the rapid fire climbs with almost everyone getting a hand on the case until almost everyone is knocked down. Kane stops Sheamus from climbing but eats the running DDT from Ziggler.
It’s Sheamus back up first and cleaning house with ladder shots on the floor but having to run back inside to shove Kofi off a ladder. Neville comes back in but takes Trouble in Paradise, followed by Sheamus taking the same. Kofi’s next climb is broken up by Neville and Reigns takes Kingston down as well. With right hands not working, Reigns blasts Neville in the face with the ladder but has to deal with Kofi.
Reigns powerbombs Kofi onto a ladder bridged over the bottom rope and then powerbombs Neville onto Kingston for a big pileup. Kane is back up to stop Roman but Orton remembers that he’s in this match and pulls Kane down by the business pants, followed by an RKO. The second RKO puts Kingston down but Neville springboards over Randy onto the ladder, only to get pulled down into RKO #3. Sheamus can’t get over Orton to grab the briefcase either and a backbreaker puts him down.
That earns Orton a Brogue Kick but Ziggler (where has he been?) runs up the ladder for a save. Ziggler and Sheamus slug it out on top of the ladder with Sheamus teasing White Noise from way up there, only to have Ziggler counter into a sleeper. That changes into a Zig Zag for a massive crash. The Red Arrow drills Sheamus but Neville comes up holding his hand or wrist. He’s fine enough to knock Ziggler off the top of the ladder but Kane pulls Neville’s leg to break it up.
Kane hits Neville and Ziggler with the ladder and throws everything outside, only to turn around into a Superman Punch. Reigns, ever the genius, dives onto the pile instead of climbing a ladder. Cue Big E. and Xavier Woods because this match needs more people. They get Kofi most of the way up but Reigns makes a save and powerbombs Kofi over the top and onto everyone at once.
Orton comes back in and takes a spear, leaving Reigns all alone. He goes up but we’ve got Wyatt! Bray lays out Reigns with Sister Abigail (remember that Reigns cost Wyatt a match against Ambrose a few weeks back) and leaves, allowing Sheamus to climb up the ladder but Neville is there for the save. Sheamus rips at his face and shoves Neville down to win the briefcase at 20:33.
Rating: B-. This was one of the more entertaining Money in the Banks in a few years, but the standard problems hurt it. At the end of the day, this needs to have five or six people instead of seven. The extra people makes this a rotating triple threat with guys like Orton and Ziggler just laying around for long stretches and some, mainly Ziggler, just being there to fill in a spot instead of really adding anything. Fun stuff, but they need to cut the roster down.
Paige talks about the Bellas dominating the Divas division for years and how they do it all for themselves. Tonight Paige is going to change all that and she’s going to do it for Dusty.
Divas Title: Nikki Bella vs. Paige
Nikki is defending. Paige is ready to go but Nikki wants to do jumping jacks. That’s fine with Paige as she takes it to the floor and slams Nikki down, only to get dropped face first onto the barricade. Nikki takes it back inside for some pushups as the rest of the Divas are watching in the back. Paige comes back with a knee to the jaw for two but eats a slingshot suplex. JBL calls this creative but thankfully credits it to Tully Blanchard.
We hit the bodyscissors and a chinlock on Paige for a bit before she kicks Nikki in the face. Why make things more complicated than they need to be? Something like PTO (minus pulling on Nikki’s arms) has Nikki in trouble but she grabs the ropes. Because no one was pulling on her arms you see. An attempt at the actual PTO is kicked away and Nikki hits her spinning kick out of the corner to the…..side?
The Rack Attack is countered into the Rampaige for two because All Hail The Bellas. They fight to the corner and fall outside for some Twin Magic, but Paige reverses Brie’s small package for the pin. They don’t even bother ringing the bell though as Brie rips the stuffing out of her top, allowing Nikki to come back in with the forearm and Rack Attack for the pin to retain at 11:17. JBL wants to know how that’s not a DQ (fair question) and points out that Paige has alienated all the other Divas so no one wants to help her.
Rating: C+. Annoying Bella finish aside, this was one of the better Divas matches in a long time, and one of the reasons is the time. That was the longest Divas/Women’s Title match on pay per view since 2006 and only the second female singles match to get over ten minutes in that time span. However, I’m beyond tired of Nikki keeping the title as they try everything they can to make us accept the Bellas as top stars on Lita and Trish’s levels. Either that or they’re making us wait until Nikki is the longest reigning Divas Champion ever so we forget about AJ.
We recap Ryback vs. Big Show, but here’s Miz with something to say. He sucks up to his home state fans but reminds them that they don’t count if they live in Los Angeles or New York. His team is working on giving us the Intercontinental Title feud that we deserve, but tonight he’s creating an audio visual masterpiece.
Intercontinental Title: Big Show vs. Ryback
Miz is on commentary and Ryback is defending. Ryback hits a spinebuster and Meathook in the first 20 seconds but Shell Shock is broken up. That’s fine with Ryback who knocks Show over the top rope but stops to beat up Miz. Back inside and Big Show gets in a shot to the ribs to slow things down. Ryback throws on an armbar of all things before nailing a suplex. The Meathook is countered into a chokeslam for two and the KO Punch knocks Ryback to the floor. Show goes to get him but Miz attacks with a microphone for the DQ at 5:30.
Rating: C. Not bad here and now they can go to the triple threat that they clearly wanted to do all along and didn’t do here for reasons I don’t quite understand. Miz interfering and ending the match makes sense and hopefully leads to Miz rising up the card a bit more. I’ve always (well almost always) liked the guy and he’d be great as a shorter form Honky Tonk Man: he gets a title from more deserving people and brags about how awesome he is.
We recap Owens vs. Cena. Owens beat Cena two weeks ago in his WWE in ring debut and talked about how this made him a better wrestler than Cena. John countered by saying he was still a better man because he fights for the right causes. Tonight is the rematch for bragging rights.
Kevin Owens vs. John Cena
Owens’ NXT and Cena’s US Titles aren’t on the line. Cena grabs a headlock to start as they’re trying to make this feel as big as they can. A wristlock earns Cena a right hand to the face but Cena blasts him with the big clothesline. The fans are WAY into this and it’s really helping things out. Owens dropkicks him down and hooks a chinlock before busts out Cena’s finishing sequence, including the Shuffle.
Cena escapes the AA (that’s a weird one to type) and puts on the STF. That goes as far as the first STF is going to go so Cena busts out a reverse suplex for two. A Codebreaker of all things staggers Cena but Owens has to escape an AA of his own and hits a release German suplex, followed by the Cannonball for two more. The big man goes up top for a Swanton (but he’s big! I thought big guys couldn’t wrestle a fast paced style.) but Cena gets the knees up. Again, shouldn’t that hurt his knees?
The AA gets two (why is Cena even surprised at this point?) and Cena spends way too much time arguing with the referee. Cena takes him to the corner for a super AA but gets countered into an electric chair, which Owens spins into a Batista Bomb for a very close two. The Pop Up Powerbomb is countered with a hurricanrana but Owens nails him with a superkick for an even closer near fall, causing Owens to headbutt the mat in frustration. There’s a tornado DDT for two for Cena as frustration is really setting in.
Cena misses the top rope Fameasser and eats the package slam for two. Owens keeps things even by missing the springboard moonsault and another AA gets another two count. They head up top again with Cena’s superplex being countered into the swinging fisherman’s superplex for an even closer fall.
With nothing else working, Cena slaps on the STF but Owens gets the ropes again. In a very unique move, Cena tries a sunset flip but can’t get all the way over, so he pulls up and flips Owens down into a sunset bomb for two more. The Pop Up Powerbomb out of nowhere gets another near fall and both guys are spent. Back up again and the springboard Stunner sets up the third AA for the pin at 19:19.
Rating: A+. Yep. This was one of the best matches they’ve had in a long time and these two were just trading bombs for nearly 20 minutes. Cena respected Owens the entire way and could barely hang in there with him. This is one of those matches where Owens doesn’t lose a thing by getting pinned so everyone comes out looking great.
Post match Cena offers a handshake to a real champion but gets kicked in the ribs and tastes the first apron bomb in WWE. Owens walks off with the US Title but throws it down because “The real champ is here!” and laughs like a villain. He calls for a stretcher which is probably match #3 for them. Cena limps off, not being able to put much weight on the knee.
Ambrose talks about getting ripped off by Rollins and Kane last year at this very event but he knows he’s earned this title. It was about respect last month but now it’s about a payday. Of note here: Ambrose called Rollins an errand boy, which was an old Dusty insult.
We get a video dedication to Dusty Rhodes. This felt like something very special, just as it should have.
Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Prime Time Players
Xavier/Big E. are defending for New Day here and Kofi is off recovering from the ladder match. Woods refers to Kofi not winning as a travesty and Big E. rips on Ohio State for their NCAA sanctions a few years ago. However, Kofi needs some power of positivity right now, so the Clap Nation needs to give him the clap therapy that he needs. Woods tells Columbus that they really suck but Big E. says nothing will deter them. Xavier looked like he was about to explode.
Darren flips out of a Woods wristlock to start but it’s quickly off to Big E. to slam Young down. A double splash gets two on Darren and Big E. puts on an abdominal stretch, complete with New Day Rocks slaps to the ribs. There’s a belly to belly for two before it’s off to Woods for a cobra clutch. Darren’s sunset flip to Woods isn’t quite as good as Cena’s was earlier and it’s a blind tag to bring in Big E. for the save. Big E. comes in but goes into the post, finally allowing for the hot tag to Titus to clean house. Everything breaks down and the Clash of the Titus is enough to pin Woods at 5:48 to give us new champions.
Rating: C-. This was in a very tough spot on the card as they were coming after the Owens vs. Cena classic and the Dusty video, but at least we saw a finish that made sense: New Day was down a man and finally in a fair match and lost the belts as a result. I don’t picture the Players as a long term team on top but it’s cool to see them get a run.
The pre-show panel does their thing.
We recap the ladder match. Reigns vs. Wyatt is already confirmed for Battleground.
We recap the World Title match. Ambrose pinned Rollins at Elimination Chamber but wound up winning by DQ, meaning it’s time for a ladder rematch.
Rollins walks past the Stooges in the back but runs into Kane. The big man says this is what he’s been waiting for since Wrestlemania and tonight the future is history. The Authority comes up and says a loss is all on Seth. HHH gives Rollins a pep talk and wants Rollins to show the fans why he chose Rollins to be the man. Show them all.
WWE World Title: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Ladder match. Rollins is defending and comes out all alone. We start with some wrestling as Dean takes him down to the mat and works on the legs in a smart move. A kick to the back has Rollins crawling to the corner but he snaps Dean’s throat across the top. Dean is able to stop Seth from getting to the ladder and drops him with a big clothesline.
They head outside for the first time with Dean taking a slam onto the floor. We get the first ladder brought in (not exactly a dramatic introduction) but Seth springboards onto it and goes inside, only to have the suicide dive hit the steel. Both guys go for a climb but Dean is smart enough to ram Seth into the ladder to take over again. A butterfly suplex sends Rollins into the ladder in the corner and Dean goes up.
We get the spot that we’ve been waiting on all night as Dean does the Flip Flop and Fly before diving into the standing elbow drop. Lawler seemed genuinely happy to see that. Rollins is in trouble but blasts Dean in the knee to stop a climb. Dean’s knee gets crushed in the ladder as we get some rare psychology in one of these things. Seth slaps on the Figure Four around the post and Dean is in even more trouble as Rollins shouts that Dean can’t climb with one leg.
The champ follows it up with a regular Figure Four in the middle of the ring before tying Dean up in the Tree of Woe. You know that’s not all he’s doing as he cracks Dean in the knee with a chair. He adds a double stomp to Dean’s chest but Ambrose is still caught in the Tree of Woe. Somehow Dean is able to shove the ladder over and knock Seth down for a huge crash.
The rebound clothesline is countered with a ladder to the face though and both guys are down. Rollins goes to the top for some reason and gets a chair pelted at his head, followed by a clothesline to knock Seth back down to the mat. A Cactus Clothesline puts both guys on the floor and everyone is down. It’s Rollins back in first and chucking a ladder at Dean, only to eat the rebound clothesline instead.
They fight into the crowd with Dean being knocked into a wall. Rollins heads back to ringside but can’t lift a ladder up, allowing Dean to charge back (while limping) and knock Seth down. The ladder is bridged between the ring and announcers’ table and Seth is quickly backdropped (mostly) through the ladder to leave Dean all alone in the ring. Dean is spent and takes a long time to set up the ladder, plus he only has one good leg. Rollins gets back up and tries a powerbomb, only to be hurricanranaed out to the floor.
They crash over the announcers’ table and Seth tries a Pedigree, only to be countered into Dirty Deeds (THUD). The table doesn’t break so the fans want one more time but Dean can’t get up. Eventually Ambrose does the slow climb but Rollins comes back in with a monitor to crush the knee one more time. The champ climbs but Dean grabs the leg, only to eat a Pedigree, allowing Rollins to…..not quite retain as Dean grabs the leg again. Ambrose pulls him down and sidesteps a charge to send Seth outside one more time.
Rollins pulls Dean out as well and sends him face first into the bridged ladder, following a running powerbomb against the barricade. That’s not enough as he does it again against the other barricade to knock Dean out. Seth still isn’t done as he piles a bunch of chairs onto a ladder for a running sitout powerbomb. Rollins makes sure to bury Dean under a bunch of metal objects but Ambrose gets up AGAIN. Both guys climb on the same side and they pull it down at the same time with Rollins coming up with it to retain at 35:53.
Rating: A-. I really liked the match for the most part but they got a bit ridiculous with Dean getting up over and over so many times. They nailed the drama part though with Rollins never being able to put Dean away until the very end. Very entertaining match here and hopefully the end to the feud.
HHH congratulates Rollins but Jojo comes up for an interview where Seth gets to say he told us so. He declares himself the greatest champion of all time as Dean looks defeated to really end the show after 11pm, which might be a first.
Overall Rating: B+. This followed the Money in the Bank formula with the ladder match headlining things and then two other big matches filling out the card. Unfortunately the supporting matches aren’t as good and held this back from being a great show. That being said, you had six matches and half ranged from good to great so it’s hard to say this wasn’t a very good show. WWE has found the pay per view groove again and haven’t had a bad one in a very, very long time.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!