Chicago second dose of pay-per-view action came in the form of two ladder matches, as whatever the gender everyone was looking to secure some ‘Money In The Bank’.
WWE SmackDown Live Tag Team Titles: Bludgeon Brothers (C) vs Gallows and Anderson
Result: Bludgeon Brothers
Grade: C –
The Bludgeon Brothers came out on top against The Good Brothers to retain their SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Both teams brawled to open, with Harper and Rowan coming out on top by hitting a double drop-kick on the outside to Luke Gallows. The Club nearly get the win by countering a suplex attempt from Harper into the Magic Killer, but Rowan breaks it up and then the champs they hit their full nelson powerbomb on Luke Gallows for the win. An acceptable opening match, but nothing to write home about.
Daniel Bryan vs Big Cass
Result: Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan made it 2-0 against the mouthy New Yorker, once again via submission. Big Cass tried to use his power game against Daniel Bryan, who aimed to take the knee out of the much larger Cass, even smashing his knee into the ring apron and ring post. Big Cass took control, including a vicious middle-rope fall away slam and a torture rack into a burning hammer but Bryan would not give up. Bryan rallied back with big kicks to floor the seven-footer, and then Bryan countered a second burning hammer into the running knee. Bryan would follow up with the heel hook for the win. A pretty good opening match, much better than their encounter at Backlash.
Sami Zayn vs Bobby Lashley
Result: Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley got his revenge against Sami Zayn in quick fashion. Sami Zayn opened the contest by trying to avoid Lashley, then catching him by surprise with a shot into the ring post. Lashley used his power to counteract Zayn’s hit-and-run antics and it worked, as Lashley hit trio of vertical suplexes for the win. This was disappointing, could have been so much better but I guess this was a means to an end.
WWE Intercontinental Title: Seth Rollins (C) vs Elias
Result: Seth Rollins
Grade: B –
Seth Rollins keeps hold of his Intercontinental Championship in a hotly contest bout against Elias. Elias opened proceedings by starting off his concert, but refusing to play for Chicago as ‘they are not worth it’. Seth came out the gate very methodically, but Elias took control with a big clothesline on the apron. Elias worked over the injured neck of Seth Rollins but a missed knee drop gave Seth Rollins an opening. Rollins was rolling, but then on a jump, Rollins tweaked his knee and Elias hit a knee of his own for a near fall. Rollins rallied once more, hitting his superplex/falcon arrow combination for a close two count. The momentum shifted again when Elias dodged a dive, and threw Rollins pillar to post, ending it with a huge elbow for another near fall. The two have a series of roll-ups, with Rollins countering his (holding the belt of Elias) for the three count. A great match.
Womens Money In The Bank – Sasha Banks vs Natayla vs Alexa Bliss vs Ember Moon vs Lana vs Naomi vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte
Result: Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss captured the Womens Money In The Bank in the best ladder match of the two. It was a real high octane affair, with a lot of notable moments early on such as Ember Moon hitting a springboard crossbody onto Sasha Banks into a prone ladder and Lana hitting a nasty X-Factor into an upturned ladder on Ember Moon. The group battled to climb the ladder, with repeated attempts by all to grab the briefcase. Charlotte stopped Ember Moon grabbing the briefcase and then took her out of the game with a spear into a ladder, but a second attemped spear was stopped by a boot from Lynch who looked all set to get the case herself. However, Bliss rushed in at the last second to hotshot Lynch into an ladder bridged across the middle ropes and climbed the rungs herself to nab the Money In The Bank contract. A fantastic showcase.
Roman Reigns vs Jinder Mahal
Result: Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns beat Jinder Mahal in a match that predictably the Chicago crowd did not care about. Sunil Singh came out in a wheelchair following his beating at the hands of Reigns on Raw, but it was all a rouse as Singh shoved Roman into the ringpost early on to turn the tide in the favour of Mahal. Mahal dominated proceedings until Reigns started to rally, hitting a drive-by kick to put himself in control. Sunil Singh tried to post Roman again, but it was blocked so Sunil was speared out of his wheelchair. One superman punch and a spear later, Roman Reigns gets his win. A forgettable encounter.
WWE SmackDown Live Women’s Title – Carmella (C) vs Asuka
Carmella held on to her SmackDown Live Women’s Title thanks to a little help from an old friend. The confident Carmella look self-assured early on, avoiding Asuka’s strike but soon enough, the champ found herself under severe pressure from the challenger. Carmella got in some offence but it looked all set that Asuka would ascend to the throne until a mysterious figure appeared on the apron, dressed in Asuka’s robe and mask. This puzzled Asuka for a moment, only for the figure to reveal himself as James Ellsworth, Carmella’s former manager. The distraction paid off as Carmella caught unaware with a superkick for the three count. A good match, with a fun finish.
Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship – AJ Styles (C) vs Shinsuke Nakamura
Result: AJ Styles
AJ Styles held on to the WWE Title in a war of attrition against his hated rival Shinsuke Nakamura. This started off a striking battle, with Nakamura getting the best of Styles with vicious blows to the midsection. AJ tried to get some offence in, but Nakamura kept cutting him off at the pass, kicking AJ off the barricade causing him to faceplant into the floor for a 7 count on the outside. Nakamura looked to end it with a Kinshasa but Styles caught him with a forearm to turn the tide, but both were down for a count of 8. Nakamura fought back, hitting a vicious kinshasa running across two announce tables to hit a prone Styles on the third. Styles made his way up for a count of 9, but Nakamura then threw Styles through a table for another close 9 count. Nakamura then exposes the turnbuckle but he ends up hitting his knee on it himself, leading to Styles targeting the now injured knee of Nakamura with kicks and the calfcrusher. He then works over the knee with a chair but when Styles goes for a big final shot, Nakamura hits a low blow and then a Kinshasa with both getting up just before the count of 10. AJ Styles fought back, hitting a Phenomenal Forearm from the announce table to the floor, a vicious styles clash off the steps to the floor once again and then a second Phenomenal Forearm from the ring through the announce table to keep Nakamura down for the ten count. A fantastic contest, the best between the two in the WWE.
WWE Raw Women’s Title – Nia Jax (C) vs Ronda Rousey
Result: Ronda Rousey via DQ
Ronda Rousey gets the win via disqualifcation in part one of this title story. This was another impressive outing for Rousey, looking very good against a Nia Jax who had one of her best singles outings to date. Nia took control early on, using her strength to enforce her will on Rousey. Rousey got in a few moments of offence including an armbar over the ropes which turned the tide. Rousey hit an unreal judo throw on Jax, followed up by a suplex urinage and was all set to capture the title by locking in the armbar until Alexa Bliss comes in and hits her with the Money In The Bank briefcase for the DQ. A good match for what it’s worth.
WWE Raw Women’s Title – Nia Jax (C) vs Alexa Bliss
Result: Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss shocked the Chicago crowd by cashing in her briefcase the same night she won it against Nia Jax. Bliss hit Jax and Rousey with the briefcase and then throws Rousey over the announce table, neutralising her. Bliss then swipes as Jax’s arm, cashes in her briefcase and drops Jax with a DDT. Alexa then climbs to the top to hit Twisted Bliss for the win. A real shock, not sure where they are going with this.
Mens Money In The Bank – Kofi Kingston vs Rusev vs Samoa Joe vs The Miz vs Braun Strowman vs Finn Balor vs Kevin Owens vs Bobby Roode
Result: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman worked in the odds-on favourite, and walked out the Money In The Bank briefcase holder. This was an all-out destruction derby, with Braun brutalizing all that crossed him. Strowman did start the match however buried under a host of ladders on the ramp, but that did not stop ‘The Monster Amongst Men’ as he emerged from the rubble and laid waste to everyone, throwing Owens off a 15-foot ladder through a table, running through a ladder taking two men out and hitting powerslam after powerslam after powerslam. In the end, Strowman fought up Finn Balor on the opposite side of the ladder and Kofi Kingston on his back, who he flung to the mat below and grabbed the briefcase to ensure himself a title opportunity. A fun match that in essence was a Braun Strowman vehicle.