Courtesy of WWE Home Video, Matthew Roberts takes a look at the latest WWE DVD release, Money In The Bank 2019.
I’m not a fan of “Gimmick Match” pay-per-views as such, but I will make an exception for Money In The Bank. This is because the prize at stake here is enough to say that the matches happen once in a year; the MITB winners get a title shot of their choice at any point over the next year. They are not simply put in a “Hell in a Cell” match because it’s October and that’s what we do. As is now traditional there were Men’s and Women’s MITB matches so we’ll crack on with those first.
The Women’s’ match, which opened the show, didn’t look all that much on paper, mainly due to the relative lack of “possible winners”. Few would have thought the veterans Natalya or Naomi would have picked up (or in anyway benefited) from the opportunity to be a champion again. Carmella has already, technically, won it twice before. Nikki Cross and Ember Moon are under-utilised talents who could have benefitted from the showcase but had in no way been “prepared” for it. If you think Dana Brooke was going to win I’ve got some chocolate fire-guards you can buy off me. Which left Bayley and Mandy Rose. Bayley because it would be one in the eye for Sasha Banks (knowing the way the WWE works) and Mandy because she’s Blonde (with the accusation being that’s how the WWE works).
But against all the odds this was a well-put together match that kept the crowd interested AND guessing throughout. There were a few awkward moments but they didn’t really hurt the momentum of the match at all. There were plenty of good teases about the winner and the final twist, where it looked as if Sonya Deville was going to help Mandy Rose to win it only for crowd favourite Bayley to knock them both off and claim the briefcase was the perfect ending.
The evening ended with the men’s MITB match. Maybe it’s just knowing that Vince is a mad so and so but it felt like most of the participants in this one had at least a chance of winning it. That no-one who was officially entered into the match before the show began did win was a decision that provoked a lot of different opinions on-line. Yes, Brock Lesnar waltzed into the match as a replacement for Sami Zayn…albeit after everyone else had slogged their guts out for nearly twenty minutes….and claimed the win. At least as an “anyone but Orton” man I could be happy.
The match itself was very good. Everyone got a chance to shine (well, except poor Sami) and there were the usual insane bumps to enjoy/wince at. I didn’t even mind the ending. You can’t criticise the WWE for being “predictable” and not having any surprises to then moan when they pull out a genuine surprise like this. Would I have liked someone of the ilk of Andrade or Balor to win? Of course. But that’s life. You can’t have your cake and eat it in the WWE Universe.
The undercard had its up’s and down’s. The United States Title match was too short to really rate (clocking in at under two minutes) but it played into the storylines between Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio. Whether it should have been on a PPV is another question. Still, I’d much rather pay to watch that short match than ever have to pay to see Shane McMahon in the ring. Now the inevitable backlash has begun against the non-worker who has to lord it over the actual wrestlers and take up an inordinate amount of TV time I could look back to the time he returned and say “I told you so” but what do I know? His Steel Cage match with The Miz was another showcase for Shane to show how tough he is whilst simultaneously putting an actual wrestler in his place. And those who would disagree, tell me how any of this feud has benefited Miz. Or indeed how the over-exposure has in any way benefited Shane. Or the company.
The Cruiserweight title match between Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari made it onto the main show for once but was a disappointment compared to some of the matches we’ve seen this year. There was nothing awful about it but neither did it grab you.
“Becky 2 Belts” was pulling double duty tonight, defending the Raw and Smackdown Women’s titles in separate matches, in quick succession. The Raw defence against Lacey Evans wasn’t great, although it was perfectly acceptable. What hurt it was that the closing moments of the match fell apart (and I’m still not sure if the referees were being booked to be bad at their jobs on this show, or were actually being incompetent), a problem that resurfaced in the subsequent Smackdown Women’s title match between Becky and Charlotte. Again, it was ok without being great and the finish was a mess. The only thing that saved it was the post-match cash-in from Bayley, which left things on a high note. Perhaps the kindest thing to say was that the whole scenario was a way of the WWE extracting themselves from the corner they’d painted themselves into at WrestleMania and ending up with two champions the fans liked/wanted.
Roman Reigns and Elias was another short one, almost being booked as the crowds breathing point between Bayley’s win and the Universal Championship match between Seth Rollins and AJ Styles. Expectations were high for this one and the two didn’t disappoint. A great back and forth match with plenty of action and drama that kept the fans with it from start to finish. WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and challenger Kevin Owens couldn’t really follow that and although they had a reasonably good match it never quite clicked.
As it was Money In The Bank it was fitting that the two MITB matches that bookended the show delivered. The Universal Championship match was a cracker too (and the best of the night by far). The short matches on the undercard served a purpose; the Women’s title scene was re-set and other than my utter contempt for Shane McMahon nothing on the card was dreadful. All in all, a satisfying night of WWE action.
Extras include the kick-off match pitting the Uso’s against Daniel Bryan & Rowan as well as promos from Raw and Smackdown.
Format Reviewed; DVD
Photographs courtesy of Fetch and WWE
You can find me on Twitter @IWFICON.