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 2021
Date: July 18, 2021
Location: Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, Texas
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
After Friday’s dress rehearsal, it’s time for the first show of any serious value in front of fans. The briefcases get pulled down tonight and it would not surprise me to see one of them get cashed in, as WWE is going to want to have a big splash going into the Summerslam build. A last minute replacement would not be shocking either. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Rey Mysterio/Dominik Mysterio
The Mysterios are defending and walk through a portal near an Aztec pyramid to come into the arena. There’s your budget I guess. Dominik wristdrags Jimmy out of the corner to start and grabs an armbar. Rey comes in to a nice reaction and Dominik powerbombs him onto Jimmy for two. A cheap shot takes Rey down so the double teaming can begin in the corner. Rey wastes no time in getting over to Dominik for the tag as the pace picks back up.
The Usos get him outside though and a hard swing sends Dominik into the barricade to put him in trouble. The double wishbone has Dominik down again, with McAfee saying it’s a way to tear him apart…..by the hips. Cole: “Way to catch yourself.” McAfee: “We’re on the Peacock.” Dominik gets in a shot to the ribs and makes it over for the tag to Rey. A top rope seated senton hits Jey for two but Jimmy comes in off a blind tag. That means a superkick into the pop up Samoan drop for two.
Dominik pulls Jimmy outside and Jey gets caught in 619 position, only to hit Jimmy by mistake. A shot from behind puts Rey down so Jey can hit the Superfly Splash for a heck of a near fall. Rey is back up but charges into a hot shot into the buckle. A rollup, with Jey pushing Jimmy gets the pin and the titles at 11:27.
Rating: B-. Pretty hot opener here with the absolute right ending. There was no reason to keep the titles on the Mysterios while the Usos are in the main event scene. Let them have the titles so they can run over some teams (like the Mysterios in a rematch to start) and help bask in Roman Reigns’ glory.
The opening video looks at the history of pulling down the briefcase and what it can mean for your career. The rest of the card gets a look as well.
We get another quick opening video for a bit of a double shot.
Naomi vs. Asuka vs. Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Ash vs. Zelina Vega vs. Liv Morgan
Money in the Bank ladder match. After all of the entrances, it’s time to go after the ladders as Bliss just stands on the top, where she was as everyone else came out. Bliss steps down and skips around a bit but as she reaches for the briefcase (from the mat), Asuka comes in to suplex her down. A parade of knockdowns leaves Tamina standing but it’s too early for her to climb up.
Tamina crushes Vega and Morgan in the corner again but Asuka kicks her down. The ladder has Tamina down as Asuka climbs, so Tamina starts pushing it up anyway. Morgan jumps onto the ladder to push it back down until Natalya makes the save. A tug of war with the ladder breaks out, so said ladder is rammed into various ribs. Vega gets an ugly hurricanrana on Tamina on the floor and Natalya drives the ladder into Morgan in the corner. Bliss breaks that up and then crawls up the ladder for the fear factor.
Natalya pulls Bliss off and gets laughed at, followed by a drop toehold into the ladder. Vega meets Bliss on top of the ladder, where Bliss scares her with the smile. Bliss goes with the channeling and makes Vega climb down, only to climb back up herself. That brings Natalya back in to pull Bliss down and powerbomb her into the ladder. Nikki tries to come back in but gets knocked down as well, allowing Natalya to go up, despite Vega being on her back. A choke cuts Natalya off and Vega grabs the case but Morgan makes the save.
With everyone else standing in the middle of the ring brawling, Nikki climbs a ladder on the floor, poses, and then dives onto the pile (cool dive, but they stood there for fifteen seconds waiting on her). Bliss punches Cross in the face for teasing the climb and the wind up DDT plants her again.
Natalya and Tamina cut off Bliss and send her outside into the barricade. They take their time in burying Bliss underneath the ladders so Morgan goes up but Tamina makes the save. Morgan hurricanranas her into the corner but two more ladders are set up in the ring. The big climb is on with six people up at once…but Ash runs up and steals the briefcase in the middle of the fray at 15:43.
Rating: B-. They kept this moving and that’s the right idea, though I’m a little surprised by the winner. Nikki is far from the worst decision, but I’m worried that they are going to let Morgan just fall off again because her being popular doesn’t fit into her plans. I’ll take Cross winning over Bliss, but a showdown between the two of them for the briefcase would not surprise me.
We recap the Usos winning the titles.
Roman Reigns is happy and says hold onto the titles for him. Winning the titles was the easy part though because Reigns already did the easy part. Now that they all have gold (not quite), it’s time to give Reigns what he wants. The Usos both acknowledge him as the Tribal Chief and Reigns is proud of them. Hugging abounds, but Jey doesn’t look happy.
Raw Tag Team Titles: Viking Raiders vs. AJ Styles/Omos
Omos/Styles are defending and AJ gets a crazy pop. Styles and Erik start but it’s off to Omos immediately. That means some double teaming from the Vikings, which only gets them so far. It’s already back to AJ, who gets hammered down in a hurry. Erik gets sent outside though, and after decking Ivar off the apron, AJ gets launched up and over the top into a hurricanrana to take Erik down again.
Back in and Erik hits a heck of a hurricanrana on Styles, allowing the tag to Ivar to blast Styles with a clothesline. AJ manages to get over to Omos for the tag though and it’s a big slam to Ivar. That’s broken up and Erik comes back in, only to get caught with the Phenomenal Blitz. Some shotgun knees in the corner stagger Styles though and there’s a German suplex. The springboard clothesline/German suplex combination connects but AJ escapes another suplex and brings in Omos.
That means a gorilla press off the top for a big crash and Omos’ one foot cover gets two. Ivar is back up with the seated senton out of the corner so it’s back to Erik. Some running forearms stagger Omos and get him down to one knee, with the running clothesline puts Omos on the floor. Back in and AJ enziguris Ivar into the corner but the Phenomenal Forearm misses. The Viking Experience connects but Omos shoves Erik into the cover for the break. Things settle down and Omos comes back in for the chokebomb to Erik for the pin at 12:43.
Rating: B-. That might be a bit high but I had a rather good time with this one. They worked a story of trying to get rid of the monster and then picking off Styles, but the monster ultimately got the better of things. I liked the story and Omos wrestles a good monster style. Rather good match here and I had fun.
Drew McIntyre promises to win the briefcase.
We recap Kofi Kingston vs. Bobby Lashley for the Raw World Title. Kingston wants to get the title back and thinks Lashley is going soft. That led to Xavier Woods beating Lashley on Raw, sending Lashley completely over the edge. Lashley promises to be more serious and that could go very badly for Kingston.
Raw World Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Kofi Kingston
Lashley, with MVP, is defending but Kofi jumps him for an early two. The standing double stomp gets two more and it’s time to head outside. That’s fine with Lashley, who drives him HARD into the post to take over. Back in and Lashley plants him again, leaving Kingston to grab Lashley’s leg to pull himself up. The Hurt Lock goes on but Kingston manages to escape, earning himself a hard suplex. Lashley hits a Dominator, followed by posing and a Dominator, followed by posing and a Dominator. The Hurt Lock makes Kingston tap at 7:34.
Rating: C. I’m not sure what to say here as Lashley completely squashed him. This was pure dominance and that is exactly the way they should have gone after the end of Raw. Lashley as the ticked off and serious destroyer could have quite the shelf life and I’m curious to see where he goes next. I mean, I have a feeling I know who’s next, but it isn’t exactly appealing.
We recap Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Title. Ripley snapped on Charlotte last month and lost via DQ, meaning it’s time for a recap. They have traded knee injuries so both have a target on them coming in here.
Raw Women’s Title: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte
Ripley is defending. The fans get on Charlotte’s nerves to start before switching to the WE WANT BECKY chants. Ripley sends her to the apron and kicks her down, setting up a running dropkick to put Charlotte on the floor. Charlotte avoids a charge though and another running dropkick puts Ripley into the barricade. Back in and Charlotte slams her down by the head, setting up a boot to the chest.
The fans get on Charlotte’s nerves again though and Ripley sends her outside again. Back in and Rhea grabs a northern lights suplex for two, followed by a heck of a German suplex for the same. Ripley misses a missile dropkick though and it’s the Boston crab to put her in trouble. That’s escaped so the Figure Four is loaded up, only to be reversed into a cradle to give Rhea two. The big boot gives Charlotte two and it’s time to look all confused. Charlotte goes up but Ripley pulls her into an electric chair.
That doesn’t work either so Ripley muscles her up into a heck of a suplex for two more. Back up and Rhea’s chops just fire Charlotte up so she sends Rhea into the corner and over the top. The huge moonsault plants Ripley again but Charlotte takes too long taking her back inside. Most of the Prism Trap is on but Charlotte breaks that up as well. The Riptide is countered into a DDT for a heck of a near fall and Charlotte is stunned again. They slug it out again until Charlotte elbows her in the face for two, with the referee seeing the feet on the ropes.
Charlotte heads up top where she blocks a superplex, setting up a super Natural Selection….for two in a heck of a near fall (and drawing some Charlotte swearing). The Figure Four is countered into a German suplex into the corner but Charlotte sends her head first into the post. Charlotte ties the leg into the steps and kicks away to crush the knee. Back in and the Figure Eight goes on….and Rhea taps at 16:55.
Rating: B+. This is a two part match. First of all, you had two grown women beating the figure out of each other here with one big shot after another until one of them couldn’t hang on any longer. That was great and the super Natural Selection absolutely got me with the false finish, mainly because I didn’t think Charlotte would actually win the title.
Then there is the other part: Charlotte wins the title, beating Ripley again with the Figure Eight. Yes Ripley did win the title at Wrestlemania, but now it’s Charlotte’s time again because it’s time to give her another title reign. Not that this one is going to do anything for her, but at least she gets to cut off a new potential star before she gets the big moment. That is WWE’s Charlotte problem in one match, though it was pretty awesome on the way there. Also, major points for taking the crowd from hating this to losing their minds by the end.
Riddle runs into Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs, who get to hear about how much he misses Randy Orton. Boogs plays Orton’s theme music as Kevin Owens looks confused.
Kevin Owens vs. King Nakamura vs. Riddle vs. Big E. vs. Seth Rollins vs. Ricochet vs. John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre
Men’s Money in the Bank ladder match….at least in theory as the Peacock feed falls apart during the entrances. The audio and video are only holding up for about a second and a half at a time before cutting out, which is going to make this even harder to follow than usual. Thankfully it clears up before the bell and we can see Rollins dealing with a big gang beatdown to start. Ricochet hits a big dive to the floor and it’s off to a Big E. vs. McIntyre showdown.
After disposing of Ricochet again, McIntyre gets to slug it out with Big E. and throws him down. Big E. is back up with a toss to the apron and the spear through the ropes, with Big E. landing hard. The first ladder is brought in but Owens gets sent outside. Morrison goes up and springboards over the ladder with a corkscrew dive onto Rollins. Nakamura is back up and climbs the ladder, where he catches Morrison in a triangle choke over the top. That’s broken up by a Rollins springboard knee and the double stomping has Nakamura in trouble.
The alliance takes out McIntyre and Riddle with ladder shots, setting up a reverse Regal roll to send Riddle into the ladder. Ricochet comes back in to strike away until he gets dropped onto the ladder for the big crash. Now it’s Owens’ turn to get double teamed but it takes too long to set up the announcers’ table. Back in and a limping Owens manages a moonsault, only to get backdropped onto the side of a ladder on the mat.
McIntyre gets back in but gets dropped onto the ladder, setting up the moonsault elbow from Morrison. That’s enough of him for Rollins, who hits Morrison in the face with the ladder to break up the alliance. Ricochet clears the ring but a reverse hurricanrana to McIntyre is countered with the reverse Alabama Slam into the ladder in the corner. McIntyre hits the big no hands flip dive onto a bunch of people at ringside but has to headbutt Rollins back inside.
There’s the Claymore to Rollins and McIntyre goes up but Veer and Shanky come in for the save because JINDER MAHAL IS A THING AND YOU WILL CARE ABOUT HIS MAIN EVENT GLORY!!! AGAIN!!! McIntyre is taken out and Riddle goes up, only to have Ricochet springboard up onto it as well. The ladder is shoved over with Ricochet…landing on the top rope and hitting a springboard flip dive onto the pile, just because he can. Riddle is stunned, as he should be.
Back in and Riddle slugs it out with Ricochet on top of the ladder as Rollins set up one of his own. Big E. takes out Rollins so Riddle hits an RKO on Big E. and Ricochet. That lets Rollins Stomp Riddle but Nakamura remembers that he’s in the match and takes Rollins down. He gets his hand on the briefcase but the Drip Stick cuts him down too.
Owens is back in to pull Morrison down and give him the Stunner, followed by one for Nakamura. The Pop Up Powerbomb gets rid of Ricochet but this time it’s Rollins powerbombing Owens through the ladder at ringside for the huge crash. Big E. is back up with the Big Ending off the ladder though and he wins the briefcase at 18:13. I would not have bet on that one.
Rating: B. Well ok then. Big E. has seemed ready to be pushed to the top of the company for a long time now and if this is the way to get there, I think I’m down with it. The man has more charisma than he knows what to do with and it would be great to see him finally do something with it. The match itself was the usual car crash and that’s exactly what it was supposed to be, so well done on the match with the great ending.
Big E. gets in a rather long celebration and you can feel the energy.
Seth Rollins is furious over the loss and says that wasn’t good enough. He needs a new plan and change and isn’t waiting to be the next Universal Champion.
We recap Edge vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Title. Edge was supposed to win the title at Wrestlemania but then just didn’t, as Reigns wrecked both he and Daniel Bryan. Now Edge is back for his one on one title match and knows he can make Reigns tap, even if it takes a piece of a chair.
Smackdown World Title: Roman Reigns vs. Edge
Reigns, with Paul Heyman, is defending. They stare each other down to start and soak in the dueling chants. The lockup takes a bit but it’s Edge driving him into the corner for a slap. They actually go technical with Edge getting the better of things to get on Reigns’ nerves. Back up and Reigns runs him over with a shoulder, meaning it’s time to yell at the crowd a bit. Edge takes some time getting up but starts working on the arm.
That earns him a punch to the face and the big clotheslines in the corner make it even worse. Reigns seems to bang up the arm though and Edge wraps it around the post. That means we need a breather on the floor until Edge follows him out, only to charge into a Samoan drop. Reigns breaks the count and posts Edge for a big knockdown as the pace slows. Back in and Reigns stomps away in the corner before throwing him outside again. Reigns takes him back inside and unloads with forearms to the face, followed by the chinlock.
To keep things fresh, Reigns shouts at the fans a bit. McAfee says Edge’s eyes are fluttering like Peacock and Edge is draped over the bottom rope. That means the running apron dropkick for two and it’s time for the Superman Punch. That’s countered into a backslide, followed by stereo big boots for a double knockdown. Back up and the slugout goes to Reigns, who gets pulled into the Edge-O-Matic for two.
Edge hits some clotheslines into the Edgecution for two and the kickout staggers Edge a bit. Reigns catches him on top but gets sent into the post to tie him in the Tree of Woe. Edge unloads on him to set up the STF (or Crossface according to Cole), which he switches into the Crossface at the last second. The rope is grabbed for the save though and they’re both down again. Back up and Reigns slaps on the guillotine until Edge drives them through the ropes and out to the floor in a crash.
It’s Reigns up first but his spear only hits barricade. Edge breaks up the count and hits a spear of his own through the other barricade. That’s good for two back inside but Reigns is back with a Superman Punch. The ref is bumped on the crash though and winds up holding his knee, which gets Reigns’ attention. That means Reigns can go outside and break up a chair, but Edge cuts it off and fires off headbutts.
The Crossface with the bar goes on as the referee is taken out but here are the Usos….to be cut off by the Mysterios. Reigns is out in the hold as we STILL don’t have another referee. Cue Seth Rollins to lay Edge out and the spear is loaded up, only to have Edge hit his own spear for a VERY delayed two from another referee. Cue Rollins again so Edge kicks him down, earning himself a spear from Reigns to retain the title at 33:16.
Rating: B-. This took some time to get going but it never quite got over the hump. The time didn’t help them and they probably had one too many moments at the end before just getting to the point. What matters is that Edge can still have a good match on this level and that’s nice to see. Just find a way to trim some of this down a bit and it would be that much better, but it was still good as it was.
Post match Rollins says that Edge would be champion if not for him so Reigns owes him. Edge gets up and jumps Rollins to fight him into the crowd. Reigns grabs the mic and says everyone can acknowledge him….and JOHN CENA Is back to some thunderous roaring. Cena is all fired up to be home and steps towards Reigns, who can’t see him to end the show.
Overall Rating: A-. Money in the Bank is one of those shows that just works most years, mainly because WWE knows how to do the ladder matches rather well. I’m still not big on the build to them, but the shows themselves are almost always great. Throw in the big angle at the end to set up the Summerslam dream main event and there wasn’t much here to be annoyed about. Nothing was bad, a lot of Summerslam is ready, and they are trying some new people with the briefcases. Awesome show, with the crowd bringing it up a whole bunch of notches.
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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