Money in the Bank 2014: A Review of a Roller Coaster Night (**Some Spoilers**)
Every year there are pay-per-views that seem to be fillers with underwhelming matches. This is not one of those pay-per-views. Money in the Bank is an action packed, fast action thrill ride that gives a boost to someone typically in the mid card with the ability to reach the main card and get a shot at the WWE Heavyweight Championship.
This year, however, would see TWO of these featured matches – one for the briefcase which holds a title fight contract guarantee and one for the recently vacated title, as Daniel Bryan is unable to physically defend it. This is a match in which six to eight wrestlers enter the ring in hopes of climbing a ladder in the middle of the ring and begin a quest for glory to raise the coveted prize.
As I watched this past Sunday, Money in the Bank managed to keep my attention, but seemed to lack a certain something that previous years have had. Here’s my breakdown of the matches:
(c) Will be the indicator of the champion heading into the match
The Usos (c) vs. The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Eric Rowan)
WWE Tag Team Titles Match
Even though this match was the longest non-ladder match, it felt rushed. The Usos always put on a great show, but I feel their storyline has run its course and is starting to become stale. I personally thought the belts were going to change hands and finally put some gold into the creepiest stable since Undertaker’s Ministry. It was a high action match with a lot of double team moves and high flying by The Usos but nothing to really go over the top. The match ended with little fanfare as The Uso’s retained their Tag Team Titles.
Grade: B+ The high flying moves are always good for an excitement builder.
Paige (c) vs Naomi (with Cameron)
WWE Divas Title Match
In a match involving what I consider two of the more physically gifted female wrestlers, there was a lot of the basic moves and overall feeling of a typical filler match. Paige has been on a roll since claiming the title from AJ Lee the night after WrestleMania and it seems all of the other Divas are more preoccupied with how much airtime they get on E’s Total Divas, so it’s been nice to have a younger female wrestler commanding the title. This was a relatively quick match and seemed to be more of a storyline set up for Naomi and Cameron to part ways (which happened on the Monday Night Raw after). Paige retained the title in this match, which saw Cameron laughing at Naomi’s loss.
The absent AJ Lee would return the following night, however, and reclaim the Divas belt from Paige. Personally, I feel they are both similar in style and ability. This could be a great rivalry in the making.
Grade: C Paige did her little primal scream and that was pretty much the high point of the match.
Adam Rose vs. Damien Sandow
Seriously, who did Sandow piss off? Just one year removed from winning the Money in the Bank ladder match himself, Sandow is now a costume-wearing jobber. It’s sad how quickly his career has tanked. He had great steam to be a big heel and they just dropped him to roster filler. Adam Rose, recently brought up from NXT, came out to his usual cheers and theme music sing-alongs as his party brigade danced to the ring. From start to finish, this was less than 5 minutes. Thankfully, I have the WWE Network because if I was paying full price for this kind of match at a pay-per-view, I would be furious. Oh and if you can’t tell from my utter confusion and disdain, Adam Rose won.
Grade: C- This didn’t fail solely based on Sandow’s ability as a heel.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger
6-Man Ladder Match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship Contract
For weeks, WWE built up the Rollins/Ambrose rivalry and finally we would be rewarded by watching them go at it in the ring. Accompanied by high flyers Rob Van Dam and Kofi Kingston, I was already pleased with the wrestlers involved in this match. From the bell, Ambrose wasted no time going straight after Rollins, the man who betrayed him and Reigns a little over a month ago. This match saw the high-flying Kingston and Van Dam do what they do best. With great aerial assaults and a lot of high risk moves, it was overall an entertaining match marred only by the eventual interference of Kane, who knocked Ambrose off and cleared the way for Rollins to capture the contract case.
Grade: A- If Rollins had beat Ambrose out cleanly, I would have been happier but an overall good match.
Goldust and Stardust vs. RybAxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel)
Recently, Cody Rhodes has reinvented himself as Stardust, a mock of his brother’s Goldust character. While the copycat wrestler is usually done to mock the original, this idea actually has me excited and intrigued by the revamping of the Rhodes Brothers’ tag team. Watching a younger, more agile wrestler in Cody Rhodes performing some of his brother’s classic moves combined with mimicking the in-ring antics of Goldust is becoming increasingly entertaining and provides the fans with great matches. I hope they continue this path and eventually challenge for the Tag Titles.
Grade: A+ The “Dust” brothers are an entertaining tag team and I hope it continues.
Rusev (with Lana) vs. Big E Langston
Apparently, WWE has forgotten that the Cold War ended over 20 years ago because, week in and week out, we have Lana come out to make inflammatory comments about Russia being superior to the US and Rusev fighting an American wrestler. (Fun Fact: Lana is a FSU graduate and one of the original FSU Cowgirls.) This was a relatively lackluster match that saw Rusev’s Muay Thai skills become the focus point in what ended the match for Big E.
Grade: C Big E and Rusev are about the same size and should have put on a much better match than this lackluster showing in the 10 minutes they had.
Layla vs. Summer Rae
This was another needless match on a pay-per-view. Having the girls fight each other over wrestler Fandango, who Summer Rae used to escort before being replaced by Layla. This was yet another under five minute match in which the entrances of the wrestlers actually took longer than the contest itself. Snooze Fest 2014.
Grade: F Boring storyline and not the way to build into the main event of the night.
John Cena vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt
8-man Ladder Match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship
To be honest, before the bell even sounded to start this match, I knew the outcome. We were in Boston, Cena’s hometown and a Summer Slam PPV poster had already leaked for August featuring Cena and Brock Lesnar, but still I was hopeful for an entertaining match at least. I must say, it delivered.
Out of the gate you knew Kane was there to try and help Orton secure the title, with every other man for himself. Wyatt and Cena delivered some good back and forth, as well as when Wyatt and Reigns went at it. Del Rio and Cesaro seemed to be missing the majority of the match with the exception of a few moments that seemed all too designed to give Cena, Reigns and Orton a moment to breathe. Of course the culmination of the action led to almost all the participants hitting their finishing moves, but in the end John Cena would rise and become a 15 time World Champion.
Grade: A I was entertained, and though I knew the results, there were moments that had me believe in an alternate ending, but, in the end, “The Champ is here.”
Overall Grade: B+
Note to the WWE. With Pay-Per-View – especially one as loved as Money in the Bank – give us less filler matches and more meaningful moments for the story line, please.
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