Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. 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 2018
Date: June 17, 2018
Location: Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Jonathan Coachman, Byron Saxton
It’s finally time to get to what WWE seems to think is the most important show of the year, at least based on how much they promote it. Tonight we find out who might be cashing in to get a cheap World Title reign at any point in the next year. Other than that we have AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura V in a Last Man Standing match. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Bludgeon Brothers vs. Anderson and Gallows
Anderson and Gallows are challenging. Gallows slugs away at Rowan in the corner to start and everything breaks down in a hurry. That means some HI YAH kicks from Anderson with Harper and Rowan falling to the floor with Harper’s leg getting caught in the ropes. He’s fine enough for half of a double dropkick to put Gallows down as we take a break.
Back with Anderson being catapulted throat first into the middle rope for two. Harper’s splash gets two as Gallows is still down on the floor. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Rowan goes shoulder first into the post. A spinebuster plants Rowan again and the hot tag brings in Gallows. Everything breaks down with a pumphandle slam planting Harper, followed by Anderson diving onto Rowan. The Magic Killer is broken up and the assisted sitout powerbomb ends Gallows at 7:35.
Rating: C. This was exactly what it needed to be with a short match that didn’t wear the crowd out and gave us some nice wrestling for a few minutes. The Bludgeon Brothers are a dominant team and could hold the belts for awhile as there’s really no one worthy of challenging them at the moment, unless Sanity comes in as faces.
The opening video looks at a cash-in montage and promises to only explain this once. That’s so laughable that I’m just going to move on to the other big matches being discussed. After that, we go back to Money in the Bank, meaning they’ve already reneged on their promise after two minutes.
Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass
It’s smart to get Bryan out there early and get the crowd away from CM PUNK/ALL IN chants. Cass takes him into the corner and shouts a lot so Bryan throws some right hands. It’s too early for the heel hook so Bryan kicks away at the knee instead. Cass knocks him hard into the barricade in a crash and then gorilla presses Bryan face first onto the apron.
Back in and some elbows give Cass two, followed by the bearhug to keep Bryan slow. A swinging Boss Man Slam gets two more but Bryan goes after the knee. Said knee is wrapped around the post a few times and it’s already YES Lock time. That’s broken up with a simple grab of the rope and Cass heads outside, meaning a big dive from the top to take him out again. Back in and Cass crotches him on top for a super fall away slam.
The big crash is only good for two so it’s off to a torture rack. Something like a running reverse FU gets two and it’s Bryan going after the knee all over again. A few chop blocks set up the YES Kicks but the running knee is countered. The big boot gives Cass two and it’s back to the torture rack. This time the reverse FU is escaped and Bryan nails the running knee. The heel hook makes Cass tap at 15:25.
Rating: C+. Well that was long. Bryan getting the clean pin is the right call of course and hopefully this gets him away from Cass once and for all, but I’m not sure how long this needed to go. With such a long card with three matches that should be getting at least 20-25 minutes each, it’s not the brightest idea in the world to have this go so long. At least it ended in the right way though.
New Day is going over strategy to pick who is going to be in the Money in the Bank match when Kevin Owens comes in, carrying a bag. That would be a bunch of pancakes AND syrup (Big E.: “THIS FOOL CAN STAY!”) but Owens is just trying to find out who is in the match. It’s also a ploy to take out Braun Strowman but New Day doesn’t cheat. Owens doesn’t care for pancakes or BootyO’s and Big E. screams a lot. After things calm down, Owens insults everything about Chicago so they steal his syrup and tell him to get out.
Sami Zayn vs. Bobby Lashley
Sami has taunted Lashley over Lashley’s claims about his family and life so Lashley is here to kill him. The stalling is on for more than two minutes to start until Lashley catches up to him and shoves Sami to the apron. That allows Sami to get in a poke to the eye and a good posting as Graves thinks Lashley’s dad will want to adopt Sami. Lashley shrugs it off and scores with a fall away slam, followed by a running shoulder in the corner. There’s the delayed vertical suplex followed by a second one. An over the shoulder backbreaker sets up a third delayed vertical suplex for the pin on Zayn at 6:35.
Rating: D+. Well that’s over at least. I still can’t believe they’re having Lashley’s finisher be a delayed vertical suplex, which hasn’t been a big spot since about 1975. The match was nothing that wouldn’t be on Raw, which makes me wonder how in the world they felt putting us through the last few weeks was acceptable. Both guys deserve so much more than what they’ve gotten over the last month.
Here’s Elias to sing about how much he hates Chicago, because it’s full of scumbags. After the fans chant that they are scumbags, Elias says they’re not worth it and we’re ready to go.
Intercontinental Title: Seth Rollins vs. Elias
Rollins is defending. Feeling out process to start with Elias not being able to get very far early on. They head outside with Elias being dropped on his face and there’s a flying clothesline back inside. Rollins heads to the apron but gets clotheslined down to reaggrivate his previously injured neck. A hard DDT gets two and it’s off to a cobra clutch, which Rollins can’t shrug off.
Rollins avoids a knee drop though and there’s the Sling Blade to really give him a breather. There’s the suicide dive but Elias gets in another shot to the neck to cut Rollins off again. The springboard knee misses and Rollins comes up favoring his knee, allowing Elias to hit a jumping knee to the face for a fast two. A slugout goes to Rollins and there’s a superkick for two on Elias. Even with the banged up knee, Rollins heads up top and the frog splash hits raised knees.
Now it’s Elias heading up top, only to get caught with the superplex into the Falcon Arrow for a very near fall. Back up and Elias avoids a charge to send him into the post, followed by a whip into the steps. The top rope elbow gets a VERY close two and the fans find this awesome. Rollins is placed up top but shoves him away. They trade small packages for two each, followed by a rollup with tights for two on Elias. Rollins can do the same thing and grabs the tights to retain at 17:01.
Rating: B. Well of course he did it again. Rollins is on another planet right now and is bringing people up to his level, which is one of the hardest things in wrestling. He’s making these matches a treat to watch and Rollins can bring the goods like few others right now. I just hope he gets something out of Lesnar if he’s given the chance.
We recap the Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match with Paige talking about what an opportunity this is. Fair enough. You too can far exceed your career ceiling by stealing titles.
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch vs. Lana vs. Charlotte vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Ember Moon vs. Naomi vs. Natalya
Banks trips over something on the way in. It’s a big brawl to start (as is custom) with Charlotte being crushed. The first ladder is brought in and it’s Ember vs. Sasha with Moon’s springboard crossbody driving Banks into the ladder. Lana comes in with an X Factor onto the ladder before throwing the smaller version to the floor. That means it’s time for the big ladder but Natalya makes a save.
Naomi does the splits onto a ladder and gets dropkicked down for her efforts. Charlotte comes back in and that means a staredown with Becky that goes nowhere, leaving Naomi to hit a Blockbuster off the apron to drop Sasha. Everyone is down on the floor until it’s Moon and Naomi going for the same ladder inside. Ember takes over without much effort but it’s Banks coming in and sending her face first into a ladder in the corner.
Lana is put on top of Moon on said ladder and Banks drops the double knees onto both of them. Charlotte and Sasha go up the same side of a ladder at the same time until Natalya comes in to pull Charlotte off. Becky pushes the ladder over with Sasha coming down with knees to both Charlotte and Banks. Bliss remembers that she’s in the match and comes in for a save but it’s time for the big ladder. Six of them go up at once but Banks and Charlotte make the saves.
Charlotte powerbombs Moon onto a ladder in the corner and Lana gets pulled off as well. Bliss reverses a powerbomb attempt into Code Red on Charlotte but gets shoved down by Lana. For some reason Lana grabs the Accolade on Bliss but it’s Naomi springboarding in to take Lana off the ladder. Naomi can’t get the briefcase down due to reasons of she’s not winning and Lynch makes the save.
Charlotte and Becky slug it out on top but Bliss shoves the ladder down. That just earns her a spear from Charlotte but Sasha makes a save of her own. Natalya electric chairs Lana, only to get sent outside. Charlotte spears Moon onto the ladder again but Becky is back in with an exploder suplex. Becky goes up but can’t get it down either, allowing Bliss to shove the ladder, sending Becky face first into the ladder in the corner. Bliss pulls down the briefcase at 18:27.
Rating: B. There were some issues with people not being able to pull down a briefcase but the rest of the match was rather good. Bliss winning is the safe pick, though some of these women (like Becky) need to win something sooner or later. I’m hoping she doesn’t get the title back anytime soon as we’ve been there way too recently. I’ll give them this though: at least they didn’t go with Natalya for the obvious cash in on Rousey.
Kurt Angle and Paige chat about Money in the Bank when Baron Corbin comes in and demands that we take things seriously. Paige brings up him losing his cash-in last year but Corbin tells Angle to get it done in the men’s match.
We recap Jinder Mahal vs. Roman Reigns. Mahal was mad about not being in the Money in the Bank match and cost Reigns his qualifying match. A feud started with Reigns beating the heck out of him as well as Sunil Singh, setting up this match.
Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal
Singh is in a wheelchair and the booing of Reigns is at a near Wrestlemania level. However, oddly enough it goes very quiet in a hurry, almost like it was turned down. I’m sure I’m just imagining things. They punch it out and there are the CM PUNK chants. A sloppy Samoan drop gives Reigns one to start and Mahal bails to the floor.
The distraction lets Singh get out of the wheelchair to get in a cheap shot so Mahal can take over. Back in and we hit the chinlock, followed by a reverse chinlock to mix things up a bit. Mahal beats on him a bit more and we hit another chinlock, because this is how you do a Mahal vs. Reigns match IN FREAKING CHICAGO.
Reigns makes his comeback as the Wave breaks out around the arena. Mahal cuts him off with a jumping knee to the face and the Wave continues. A gutbuster looks to set up the Khallas but Reigns rolls away and hits the Superman Punch for two. Mahal is busted open off something but still manages to avoid the spear and send Reigns into the post.
Now it’s a VELVETEEN chant until Reigns stops him with a kneelift. A Fameasser from the apron over the middle rope but Singh gets up and tries to send Reigns into the post. Superman Punches abound and there’s a spear to Singh, followed by one to Mahal for the pin at 15:40.
Rating: D-. Not so much bad but terribly boring with the crowd having none of it and this time I can’t blame them. This was a really dull match with a bunch of laying around in chinlocks and Mahal doing his usual boring offense. They knew what they were getting into this this match and it was every bit as awful as it could have been. And now, we’re likely going to get a rematch because we’re that lucky.
Special Olympics video.
Recap of the rest of the night, likely to get the ladders set up again.
Actually never mind as we recap Carmella vs. Asuka (because this show is running long already but of course we have time for a recap). Carmella cashed in her briefcase in April and now it’s time for Asuka to get her one on one shot at the title.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Carmella
Asuka is challenging and has Carmella bailing to the floor in a hurry. Back in and Carmella slaps her in the face, earning herself a hip to the face. More strikes rock Carmella and there’s a sliding knee to send Carmella outside. Back up and Carmella pulls her face first into the post for two. Followed by just rubbing Asuka’s face into the mat. Carmella kicks the knee out and we hit the chinlock.
It’s off to a front facelock for a bit until Asuka goes up, only to miss a middle rope dropkick. A kick to the head is countered into a kneebar but Carmella is quickly to the ropes. It’s back to the striking with a knee to the face and a running dropkick, followed by a German suplex to rock the champ. Another running charge misses though and Asuka falls out to the floor in a heap.
Carmella actually hits a suicide dive for two but gets hit in the face a few times. Cue someone in Asuka’s robe and mask for a distraction though and the ELLSWORTH chants begin. The distraction lets Carmella get two off a rollup and it’s James Ellsworth under the mask. Carmella’s superkick retains the title at 11:04.
Rating: D+. Now I know a lot of you are probably going to be annoyed that Carmella won, but let me make this clear to you: she had a BRIEFCASE and that makes her worthy of winning here. Ellsworth makes my eyes roll but good for him for getting back in the company. I just wish they would actually do something with Asuka, who has plummeted since Wrestlemania.
We recap the Last Man Standing match. AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura have had four matches so far but Nakamura won the most recent, earning the right to pick the stipulation for this match. He picked a match where he could beat on Styles as much as he wanted so here we go.
Smackdown World Title: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Styles is defending and this is Last Man Standing. They lock up to start before realizing what a waste of time that is and fighting to the floor. A suplex into the steps has the champ in more trouble and a running shot to the head gets eight. Back in and Nakamura kicks him down without much effort and Styles has to pull himself up using the ropes. Nakamura adds in more kicks to put Styles on the floor again, this time choking with a boot against the steps.
They fight into the crowd with Styles punching away but trying a springboard off the barricade (which wouldn’t provide much spring) proves badly as Nakamura kicks his leg out from underneath him. That’s not enough either so they head back inside with Nakamura throwing some soft kicks to really mess with Styles. The reverse exploder is broken up and Styles kicks him in the head. Nakamura doesn’t even go down but misses a low blow, which ticks Styles off even more.
The Pele….might have connected but Nakamura is right back up with the reverse exploder. Styles knocks him down for an eight, only to have Nakamura break up the Phenomenal Forearm. They head back outside with Nakamura loading up the announcers’ table. Kinshasa on the table is good for nine and it’s table time. As opposed to the two tables at ringside of course. The table is set up inside but Styles slips out of a superplex, only to have his powerbomb attempt broken up.
Nakamura rams the table into Styles’ ribs and puts the table up in the corner. Styles actually goes through the table but the ropes get him up at nine. The turnbuckle pad comes off and Nakamura puts him ribs first onto the buckle for the knee in the corner. Of course the running knee hits the buckle (that was really stupid) and, after a random crowd shot, AJ starts kicking at the leg. The Calf Crusher goes on and Nakamura taps so Styles hangs on a little while longer.
They head outside again with AJ blasting the knee with the chair. For some reason he begs off though and walks into a low blow. That’s not enough but a Kinshasa gives Nakamura…..nine. Nakamura loads up something on the table but his knee gives out, allowing Styles to hit the Phenomenal Forearm off the announcers’ table, followed by a Styles Clash on the floor….for nine again. Nakamura says COME ON so Styles kicks him VERY hard low. That’s not enough either as it’s a springboard Phenomenal Forearm through the announcers’ table to retain the title at 31:04.
Rating: A-. That win is going to give Styles the longest WWE Championship reign since Brock Lesnar’s 2014/2015 reign and that makes me wonder who could take the title from him. My guess would be Samoa Joe, but that might be too good to be true. Other than that, save for a cash-in, there aren’t a lot of viable options, which isn’t too promising considering AJ has been feuding with Nakamura for three months now.
We recap Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Title. Jax is unstoppable and Rousey is having her first singles match for the title. A few weeks back, Jax challenged Rousey and then turned heel out of annoyance over the attention Rousey has been receiving as of late.
Raw Women’s Title: Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey
Rousey is challenging and smiles all the way to the ring. Jax drives her into the corner for shoulders to the ribs to start and tosses Rousey across the ring for another splash. Another splash misses and Rousey punches her in the chest, only to get headbutted down. The Samoan drop is countered into an armbar and then a triangle, which is countered into a sitout powerbomb.
Rousey falls to the floor so Jax takes her outside for a swing into the barricade. Jax rams her head into the mat for two and it’s off to the bearhug, which Coach says allows Rousey to rest. Another Samoan drop gets two more but the legdrop misses. Rousey gets the armbar over the ropes and holds it until four, followed by a high crossbody (with Rousey looking like she’s not sure how she got up there) for two. A HARD knee to the face sets up a judo throw (nearly dropping Jax on her head) for another near fall. The armbar is loaded up….and here’s Bliss to hit Rousey with the briefcase for the DQ at 10:48.
Rating: C+. There are two ways to go here. Rousey’s selling was GREAT here and she looks like someone who could be a star for a long time, especially with how little time she’s had in the ring. The problem though is this felt like any given wrestler having a match, which takes away all of what’s special about her. Oh and thank goodness one of the briefcases seems like it’s going to be gone.
Bliss hits Jax with the briefcase, posts Rousey and hits her with the briefcase as well. More briefcase shots to Jax’s bad arm have the champ in trouble and we have a cash-in!
Raw Women’s Title: Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss
Jax is defending. There’s the DDT and Twisted Bliss gives Bliss the title back at 18 seconds. I’ll take getting rid of a briefcase any way I can.
We recap the Men’s Money in the Bank ladder match, which is just everyone saying they’ll climb to win because it’s so important.
Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Roode vs. Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe vs. Rusev vs. The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
Woods teases getting the spot but rips open his shirt to reveal KOFI written on his chest. Everyone goes after Strowman, which goes as well as you would expect it to. Strowman is left alone in the ring early on but everyone goes after him with ladders and then throw said ladders on him, which never really works but it looks good. Miz tries to use the distraction to go up but gets taken down by Joe.
Kofi comes back in with Trouble in Paradise until Owens makes a save. A superkick puts Kofi down and here’s Balor for a save of his own. Balor and Owens fight to the floor with Owens superkicking him onto the announcers’ table and loading up the big ladder. The frog splash will have to wait though as Owens has to stop Rusev, who gives him a fall away slam onto a ladder bridged against the ropes. Kofi comes back in with a springboard shot to the head but Balor dives onto everyone.
Strowman is back up and starts to wreck things until Joe grabs the Koquina Clutch. Owens superkicks him and loads up a big splash off a really high ladder. Strowman just gets up though and grabs Owens (Owens: “I’M SORRY! I’M SORRY!”) for a huge toss through the table below. With Miz loading up a ladder in the ring, Strowman runs through a ladder (which was being held up and got broken in an awesome visual) and Roode/Balor at the same time to make the save.
Strowman goes up so Joe harpoons him with the ladder but Balor is back up this time around. Roode makes another save but here’s Kofi for another save. Rusev comes back in for a double stack Accolade, followed by an attempt at a triple stack with Miz included. Thankfully Joe is back in for a Koquina Clutch, which Rusev breaks in short order. Miz goes up and gets his hands on the ladder but it’s Kofi’s turn for a save.
Balor is back in with a Sling Blade on Roode and a Coup de Grace from the ladder on the floor crushes Roode back inside. Strowman is back in as well for the powerslams but Kofi springboards onto his back. Balor is climbing up the other side as Strowman climbs with Kofi going along for the ride. Strowman knocks them both off and wins at 19:45.
Rating: B. This was your Money in the Bank match with all of the big bumps and near wins with a bit of a surprise finish. I mean, we have to wait, oh, several months before Lesnar shows up or anything but that’s WWE for you. Strowman winning is a surprise but I have a bad feeling it’s going to be at least somewhat about Stephanie being pleased with Angle for bringing one of the briefcases to Raw. Nothing that hasn’t been done before, but Strowman destroying people was fun.
Overall Rating: B+. As usual, the show was quite good but it doesn’t validate the long, terrible build to get us here. One of the briefcases is already gone and there’s a good chance that we’ll see the other one gone by Summerslam when someone takes the title off of Lesnar. It was a good night, but my goodness I’m ready for something fresh after the last month plus of getting ready for this one night. If nothing else, no more of that stupid song.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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