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. 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 2019
Date: May 19, 2019
Location: XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Renee Young, Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton

It’s time to climb, even if the build for the show hasn’t been as aggressive as previous years. The last few weeks have been all about the Wild Card Rule and Counting Lessons With WWE, meaning the ladder matches have felt like afterthoughts. No wonder this one has been one of the least frustrating. Let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: Rowan/Daniel Bryan vs. Usos

Non-title because now the Brand Split means something. Jey and Bryan get things going with an exchange of chops but it’s Rowan coming in as we take a break. Back with Jey in trouble thanks to a powerslam during the commercial. Bryan strikes away in the corner before it’s back to Rowan for the fists squeezing Jey’s head.

Bryan’s surfboard makes Jey cringe some more but Bryan misses the running dropkick in the corner, allowing Jimmy to come in and pick up the pace. The Whisper in the Wind gets two on Rowan with the kickoff launching Jimmy. Something close to a Jackhammer plants Jimmy for two more and we take a break.

Back again with Rowan superplexing both Usos at the same time for a pretty cool visual, allowing Bryan to come back in for the YES Kicks on Jey. A superkick gets Jey a breather but he gets pulled down into the LeBell Lock, drawing Jimmy in for the save. Four superkicks put Rowan down on one knee and a double suicide dive takes him down for good, leaving Bryan to get kicked in the face. The Double Us finishes Bryan at 11:05. Graves: “What does this mean?” Like WWE knows. Oh and this is billed as part of the Wild Card Rule, which makes even less sense than usual.

Rating: B-. You know, I should have known that WWE couldn’t help themselves with this as it’s a couple of annoying things in a row. Not only do champions lose in their first regular tag match since winning the titles, but now we’ll get the Wild Card Rule to have the Usos get a shot, meaning that again I’m supposed to go with the Usos, as in TWO Usos, counting as one Wild Card Rule spot because THAT RULE IS STILL TOO COMPLICATED FOR WWE TO FIGURE OUT!

In Memory of Ashley Massaro.

The opening video looks at diving off of high things. As someone with a lifelong fear of heights, MOVE ON ALREADY! Regular opening, title matches get attention, we’re done.

Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match

We’ve got Ember Moon, Bayley, Naomi, Natalya, Dana Brook, Nikki Cross, Mandy Rose, Carmella with Nikki replacing an injured Alexa Bliss. Sonya Deville is here with Mandy. The fight is on in a hurry with Nikki grabbing the ladder for the spinning ladder shots to the face. Brooke gets caught in the corner with the ladder and Ember drives Nikki into said ladder for a big crash.

Naomi, with her hair shaped like Mickey Mouse ears and gear that looks like a bumblebee, comes in for the house cleaning but gets knocked outside by Bayley. Carmella and Mandy slide back in and knock everyone down, leaving a bunch of women to come in and pick up a pair of ladders. That lets Naomi walk onto the ladders for a jumping kick to Mandy and then drop down between the two of them in a bunch of spots that felt rather choreographed.

As the overly scripted part takes place, Carmella is down and having her knee looked at, meaning she has to be taken to the back. Dana sends Ember into the ladder in the corner but Bayley does the same to take her down. The big ladder is set up but Mandy and Natalya make a save by crushing Bayley between the legs. Naomi’s split legged moonsault onto Bayley onto the ladder makes for a good crash and Nikki spears Natalya down.

Ember makes the save this time and Dana shoves a ladder over, sending it crashing hard onto Nikki’s head for a scary crash. Dana and Mandy go up with Dana dangling from the briefcase, eventually hanging over Mandy’s head in a scary crash. Four women go up at once with the ladder falling over, leaving Ember to hit a huge Eclipse from a ladder on the floor onto Natalya in the ring.

Mandy goes up but here’s Carmella limping down to superkick a bunch of people and go up. Sonya makes a save of her own and spears Carmella down before helping Mandy go up. Since Mandy can’t stand, Sonya throws her in a fireman’s carry but Bayley is right there. Mandy and Sonya get shoved down and Bayley wins at 13:39.

Rating: C+. Convoluted spots aside, this was short and to the point with a good choice in Bayley. I mean it’s two years late and her career has been wrecked due to WWE having no idea what they’re doing with her as she has been on a treadmill for over a year, but at least they did something with her. It’s a good match, though eight (or seven at times) people in one match is still too many.

Post match Charly Caruso talks to Bayley about the win and mentions Sasha Banks staying on Raw while Bayley moved to Smackdown. Bayley says she’s proud of what she and Sasha accomplished but she’s here to prove a point, which she just did.

We look at Sami Zayn and Braun Strowman’s issues over the last few weeks.

Sami interrupts HHH’s phone call to look for Shane McMahon and gets him off the phone. Sami is worried about Strowman going insane and killing him later tonight but HHH assures him that Strowman has been banned from the building. Zayn: “I’ve heard that one before.” He wants protection so HHH tells him to tape up his fists and leave.

US Title: Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio

Mysterio is challenging in the rubber match and his son Dominic is watching in the back. Rey hammers away in the corner so Joe sends him to the apron, earning himself an enziguri. The springboard seated senton takes Joe down but he’s right back with a chop. Joe’s nose is busted as he loads up a powerbomb….with is reversed into a hurricanrana for the pin and the title at 1:40??? Joe’s shoulder was a good foot off the mat, which is likely going to be addressed.

Post match Dominic comes out to celebrate but Joe runs Rey over and destroys him in the ring.

Strowman is here and wants to know where Sami is.

We recap Shane McMahon vs. the Miz, which started back in November and is still going today because Shane is that great. Shane attacked Miz’s dad and Miz has sworn revenge, even though he lost at Wrestlemania. Tonight it’s a cage match to keep them in one place.

The Miz vs. Shane McMahon

In a cage and Shane goes to escape twice in a row early on to no avail. Some kicks to the ribs and chest have Shane down until he comes back with right hands. The CM PUNK chants start up as Shane sends Miz into the cage. A torture rack neckbreaker gets two and Shane is already drenched in sweat less than five minutes in.

Coast to Coast is caught and Miz slaps on an ugly Figure Four, sending Shane to the door for the break but not the escape. A chair is dragged in though, with Miz taking it away and blasting Shane in the back with the chair instead. The Skull Crushing Finale onto the chair knocks Shane silly….but he puts his foot on the rope for the break. In a cage match. Five minutes after Shane grabbing the rope in the Figure Four wasn’t a break.

Cole and the fans call the referee out for that MAKING NO SENSE BECAUSE THEY CAN’T KEEP CONTINUITY IN THEIR OWN MATCHES ANYMORE, probably along with a World Champion’s finisher onto a chair isn’t enough to pin Shane. Also, there was almost no way the referee would have been able to see the foot from that angle.

Miz hits Shane in the leg to keep him from climbing out and slams him face first into the cage for the big crash. A top rope splash gives Miz two but Shane is right back with his triangle choke. Miz bridges back into a cover so Shane has to let go. Shane climbs so Miz catches him and loads up a superplex….but Shane falls to the floor to win at 13:10.

Rating: F. Yeah no. Under no circumstances does this make sense or come off as the right move, mainly because it seems that this feud is going to continue for reasons that I do not want to understand. The match was more Shane McMahon Is Awesome with continuity problems and Shane winning AGAIN because of course he does. Keep defending this. I beg of you.

Mick Foley will be on Raw tomorrow to introduce a new title. Let the ratings gimmicks continue.

Sami Zayn has been attacked and hung upside down.

Cruiserweight Title: Ariya Daivari vs. Tony Nese

Nese is defending and Daivari drives a Mercedes into the arena. They start fast with Daivari missing a kick to the head and getting legdropped for two. Daivari goes to the eyes to take over and stomps away as the fans call this boring. A Billy Goat’s Curse (reverse Boston crab) keeps Nese in trouble but he gets out and hits a spinwheel kick as the crowd still doesn’t care. The springboard moonsault gives Nese two but a pumphandle is escaped.

They head outside for a few seconds with Nese throwing him back in and then back out for the running Fosbury Flop. Back in and the 450 gets two on Daivari as the fans want this to end. That’s not fair as it’s been fairly good but the lack of a 205 audience doomed this from the start. Daivari hits a superkick and the Persian Lion frog splash connects. The hammerlock lariat gets two and that’s it for Daivari’s chances. Nese sends him into the corner for the running knee and the pin to retain at 9:28.

Rating: C. These guys tried and I feel bad for the lack of a reaction they received. 205 Live is a good show and it’s not their fault that no one watches it due to how ridiculous their taping schedule is or that WWE raided their talent pool (and hey, Cedric and Buddy have done wonders on the big shows so far). They were working hard out there and tried to get the fans into things but they weren’t going to get a chance. Not a bad match at all, but not the right audience.

HHH asks Strowman to leave, though Strowman says he doesn’t know what’s going on.

Ad for Super ShowDown in Jeddah. No country listed or anything. Just Jeddah.

We recap Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans. Lacey wants to get rid of the Nasties and that starts by winning the Raw Women’s Title. Becky has to defend both titles in one night and this is the first of two matches.

Raw Women’s Title: Lacey Evans vs. Becky Lynch

Lacey is challenging and has the traditional money guns (in holsters of course) for her entrance. They start brawling in a hurry and head outside with Lynch sending her hard into the barricade. Back in and Lacey winds up the arm to send Becky face first into the mat and stomp on the arm and shoulder. The arm gets slammed into the apron as Graves points out the picture of Lacey punching Becky on Lacey’s boots. Renee: “Cute.” Probably not what she was going for there.

The arm cranking continues and it’s a swinging neckbreaker to keep Becky down. Lacey pulls out a napkin to wipe down a bit and shoves it into Becky’s face, earning herself a middle rope clothesline. Becky starts the comeback with the Bexploder and a top rope dropkick which might not have completely connected.

It’s still enough to send Lacey outside so the delayed cover can only get two. Something like a middle rope Dudley Dog gives Lacey two and she chop blocks Becky down. The referee takes forever to start counting (making sure to check the shoulders to avoid a fine) and it’s reversed into the Disarm-Her to make Lacey tap at 8:41.

Rating: D+. The lack of strong villains continue to vex WWE as there was nothing to make me believe that Lacey was a threat to the title. That’s the case in a lot of title feuds right now and it’s really showing. Shane McMahon is the top heel in the company and it’s all downhill from there. You can be the biggest champion in the world and get all the rubs like Becky has, but without a good challenger, it doesn’t matter. That’s the case with Becky, plus several others at the moment.,

And here’s Charlotte for the second title defense.

Smackdown Women’s Title: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte

Becky is defending again. Charlotte takes her straight into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs and Becky’s rollup goes nowhere. Some chops keep Becky rocked and a Boston crab has her crawling over to the ropes for the break. Becky’s comeback is cut off with a kick to the leg but a running forearm drops Charlotte. The Disarm-Her is blocked but here’s Lacey to punch Becky in the face. Becky is right back with a small package for two but Charlotte hits a big boot for the pin and the title at 6:12.

Rating: D+. And thus we get one step closer to Charlotte winning her sixteenth title, because Charlotte and her dad both having sixteen titles is such a cool idea that I’m sure HHH, Shawn and Flair will all love very much. I’m rather over Charlotte as champion and it was nice to have someone new in there for all of six weeks. At least we got something out of it though and that’s an improvement.

Post match Becky goes after Lacey but gets double teamed. Cue Bayley with the briefcase but she gets beaten down as well. Becky and Lacey fight to the floor and Bayley sends Charlotte into the corner, meaning the cash-in is on.

Smackdown Women’s Title: Bayley vs. Charlotte

Charlotte is defending and the top rope elbow gives Bayley the title at 22 seconds. Ignore the rule about the champion having to be on her feet being waved. Oh and ignore Sasha Banks because WWE is making it pretty clear that they don’t care about her.

Bayley celebrates in the crowd in a cool moment. I give them three weeks before they screw it up.

Elias blasts Roman Reigns in the back with a guitar and heads to the ring in a long tracking shot. There’s an electric guitar waiting on him and we get a song about how much Elias hates Hartford. He can’t stand it here and is getting out, just like the Whalers. Elias stops to pose on the ramp and here’s Reigns to take him to the ring.

Roman Reigns vs. Elias

Spear in six seconds. If you don’t have time to run these matches and have to rush through so many matches, maybe your show is too freaking long/has too many matches. It makes sense to have Reigns run him down like that because Elias is no threat to him, but then why book the match?

We recap Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles. Rollins wants to prove that he’s the best and AJ wants to prove that he can win on the Raw stage. Now go have a great match.

Universal Title: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles

Rollins is defending and they start with a wrestling sequence as AJ takes over early on. The second such sequence goes to Seth and it’s a hard whip into the corner to take AJ down this time. A knee drop gives Seth two but AJ is right back up with the dropkick to take over. Some shots to the ribs keep Seth down as AJ is the subtle heel here. Rollins blocks a hiptoss and hammers away, followed by the Downward Spiral into the middle buckle.

They head to the apron with Rollins saving himself from a Styles Clash but a sliding knee to the face takes him down. Rollins is right back with the suicide dive to send AJ into the announcers’ table, followed by a second for a bonus. Back in and Rollins grabs the Sling Blade, setting up the springboard clothesline for two. The fireman’s carry onto the knee (thankfully now with the normal name of the Revolutionary Knee) drops Seth again and it’s off to the pinfall reversal sequence.

The Buckle Bomb drops AJ and the frog splash gets two. AJ’s torture rack powerbomb gets the same but Seth breaks up the Phenomenal Forearm. The reverse superplex into a reverse suplex slam gives Seth two more and they’re both down. The Stomp is countered into the Calf Crusher so Seth goes with a shot to the head for the break. AJ is right back up with the moonsault into the reverse DDT for another near fall. Seth superkicks his head off but the Stomp is countered into the Styles Clash (SWEET) for the closest two yet. Rollins’ Ripcord knee sets up the low superkick and the Stomp retains the title at 19:52.

Rating: A-. Well yeah this was great and I’m not sure why you would have expected anything else. They beat the heck out of each other and traded a bunch of spots, which is exactly what this was going to be the entire time. Rollins getting a big win is a great sign for his title reign, but that title defense against Lesnar scares me more and more every day. Great match though.

Post match they shake hands as everything is cool.

Kofi Kingston is ready to prove that he’s a champion on his own. He might not be here without the New Day, but Xavier Woods doesn’t want to hear that. Kofi earned this and tonight, Kofi gets to prove things one on one. Woods is even going to honor his wishes and let Kofi do this on his own.

Lucha House Party comes out for a six man tag but Lars Sullivan (gotta work to pay off that fine) comes out and destroys them all. Lars busted himself open in there somewhere.

We recap Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens. Kofi won the title at Wrestlemania and Owens pretended to be his friend for about two weeks before attacking him to set up the title match. The idea here is that Kofi can’t do it on his own and wants to prove himself.

Smackdown World Title: Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens

Kofi is defending and they start fast with Kofi knocking him to the floor for a running chop off the steps. Another top rope shop to the head keeps Owens in trouble but he’s right back with a shot to the face of his own. The running backsplash gives Owens two and the trash talk begins. Kofi knocks him away and goes up, but gets kicked out of the air. The buckle bomb is countered with a backdrop into the corner and Kofi is getting fired up.

The Boom Drop is countered into a Boston crab to keep Kofi’s ribs sore. Kofi is in the ropes soon enough and they head to the apron, with Owens walking into the standing double stomp. Kofi’s top rope spinning chop is superkicked out of the air as Owens keeps cutting him off. Back in and the Pop Up Powerbomb is countered into the SOS for two to put them both down.

Another superkick is blocked and Kofi hammers away with forearms to the head on the mat. Kofi is fired up but walks into the Pop Up sitout powerbomb for another near fall. Owens demands that the fans stop clapping and tries the Stunner, which is reversed into Trouble in Paradise. Kofi throws him back in and walks into the Stunner for two with the champ having to grab a rope. Owens’ Swanton hits knees and it’s Trouble in Paradise to retain the titles at 14:55.

Rating: B. The ending felt kind of out of nowhere but what mattered most here was a well done story with Kofi having to fight through adversity and win the big match on his own. I’m not sure where it goes with New Day, but the way Smackdown goes, we should be leading to Kofi vs. Shane. Tell me that isn’t a possibility at the moment.

Super ShowDown ad.

Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match

We’ve got Baron Corbin, Ricochet, Andrade, Finn Balor, Drew McIntyre, Ali, Randy Orton and no Sami Zayn, meaning it’s a seven man match this time around. Orton wastes no time in taking Ali outside for a whip onto the announcers’ table. That leaves us with a Ricochet vs. Balor showdown but Orton throws Balor onto the table as well. Orton drops Ricochet back first onto the table, meaning it’s time for the ladder.

Andrade breaks that up with an elbow to the face but it’s Corbin and McIntyre cleaning house with the ladders. Ali breaks that up and hits a suicide dive, setting up a staredown with Ricochet. They both climb with McIntyre and Corbin making some quick saves. McIntyre throws Ricochet hard into a ladder and Corbin does the same to Ali. Orton gets back inside but walks into the Claymore to send him outside again.

Balor comes back in and starts taking people out with the ladder but Andrade’s ladder shots break it up. Now it’s Ali getting back in for a reverse hurricanrana on Ricochet but Andrade ties Ali up in the big ladder. Ali gets out and hits the middle rope Spanish Fly to Andrade, only to be pulled outside by McIntyre for another beating. Corbin chokeslams Ali through the announcers’ table and now it’s McIntyre being pulled off the ladder. Deep Six plants Ricochet on the floor but McIntyre hits the Claymore to drop Corbin.

A suplex onto the ladder takes Balor out and the reverse Alabama Slam sends Andrade onto Balor for a bonus. Ricochet is back up and gets thrown over the top and through a bridged ladder. That leaves McIntyre to climb the ladder until Orton pulls him into the RKO. Ali and Corbin climb up at the same time but come back down so Ali can hurricanrana him to the floor. Ali is alone….and BROCK LESNAR is here to take Sami’s place and win the briefcase at 19:00.

Rating: B. I’m going to try and remain calm until Lesnar actually cashes in, but EGADS if they go back to him as champion anytime soon I think my head will explode. The match was a lot of fun but I was hoping for someone a little more interesting than Lesnar. Then again this is WWE, where the solution to things not getting better in six weeks is go to right back to what people got sick of in the first place to get them into trouble. I’m hoping they just do this in Saudi Arabia and move on to something fresh, but I have no reason to believe that’s going to be the case.

Brock laughs and says he’s back to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. This is a case where the wrestling was mostly good but the booking took a lot out of things. Having the show not be quite four hours helped a bit, but that took three matches totaling about two minutes to get there. If that’s the best they can do with a lot of this stuff, don’t bother doing it.

Throw in somehow being at the point where Shane and Lesnar at the top heels and it’s a mess of a time in WWE again. They bring in all these people to the main roster but rarely want to ever actually use any of them as top stars. At some point they need to bite the bullet eventually and that’s not what they did here. I liked the show in parts, but other times made me want to pull my hair out.

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.

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