Last night wrestling fans witnessed one of the most exciting, unpredictable and favourite WWE PPVs of the year, Money In The Bank.
Due to Coronavirus there were changes made to this year’s event and as a result we saw one of the most unique wrestling matches in history, booking both Money In The Bank matches to take place at the same time – ending at the top of WWE headquarters. Fans were divided ahead of the PPV but was the unique set up a success? Were champions Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Bayley able to keep hold of their championship gold? And most importantly, was Money In The Bank 2020 worth the watch?
Jeff Hardy vs. Cesaro
Grade – D+
With Jeff Hardy making his return to action last week on Smackdown it was no surprise to see him booked on the Money In The Bank kick off show this weekend in a random bout against Cesaro. From the get-go we saw Cesaro use his strength advantage to dump Hardy’s body on top of the barricade to keep his momentum going while slowing down the pace.
Now, there was not a great deal of chemistry between the two, but the bout did what it was intended to do. Of course, the result was incredibly predictable, and we all knew Hardy was walking away with that win, but it was great to see Cesaro in control throughout which certainly surprised me. The match was both longer and better than I was expecting.
A win for Jeff will certainly add to his momentum alongside the great story being told with his character and I cannot wait to see where things go for him. As for Cesaro, can we stop doing him dirty and get him on the main show?
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos vs. Miz & Morrison vs. Forgotten Sons vs. Lucha House Party
Grade – B-
The call up of Forgotten Sons left many of us very surprised indeed and this past weekend they looked to prove exactly why they have made the jump from NXT to Smackdown when they challenged for the tag team titles alongside Lucha House Party and Miz and Morrison. Adopting the strategy current champs the New Day usually have – having another team mate at ringside – the former NXT stars looked to gain the upper hand. There were moments throughout where Jackson Ryker did indeed play a role in allowing the new faces to gain some momentum.
However, the Forgotten Sons were up against SmackDown’s best teams and the athleticism their opponents possessed allowed them to be the ones to control the pace of the action. Spots involving both members of Lucha House Party, Morrison and Kingston made this match action packed and fast paced with thrilling spots. It was shorter than I expected, and I do think it could have been much stronger if it were longer. However, with that being said everyone had their moment, and this was a fun match to kick start the evening.
No surprise to see the New Day retain their titles but a great showing for an underrated team in Lucha House Party and important booking for Forgotten Sons.
R-Truth vs. Bobby Lashley
Grade – F
In the latest edition of “Bobby Lashley is angry”, we saw the former Champion give MVP the night off. The Franchise Playa was originally scheduled to compete against R-Truth at the MITB PPV. Of course, Truth gave us some entertainment as always and it’s great to see momentum built for Lashley and character built for MVP, but this wasn’t something that should have been on the card and I would have loved to see this time added to the tag match prior. It is moments like this that cheapen a PPV.
Smackdown Women’s Championship – Bayley vs. Tamina
Grade – D+
While these two women may not be getting any awards for most captivating characters, it was great to see Tamina given a championship opportunity. The woman has competed in two MITB ladder matches and this is a superstar who has been through so much in her personal and career life. The veteran is massively underrated and while there were no title changes expected here, I was personally happy to see her involved in the title picture.
Tamina did indeed start off strong, but Bayley was able to work on the leg of the challenger to gain the upper hand and what we saw was some great character storytelling from Tamina throughout. We also saw the 10 year veteran work as a great opponent to showcase a lot of Bayley’s character – bouncing from the cocky heel acting childish to the cowardly behaviour, making Tamina such a great pick at this stage of Bayley’s reign.
This was a career highlight performance for Tamina, and Banks’ presence was most certainly interesting.
WWE Universal Championship – Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman
Grade – A-
The best storyline heading into Money In The Bank 2020 was without a doubt Bray Wyatt vs Braun Strowman.
The two have so much history and the build to this match was great, keeping everyone interested and excited for their collision. Across social media it was clear this match divided fans and this was one of the most unpredictable contests of the evening with things able to truly go either way. Throughout, fans were left entertained with Wyatt’s work and the performance from both men.
There was a great deal of dominance and power on display and when you include the characters of the Firefly Funhouse popping up this a fun match to watch. The action was very split down the middle with momentum bouncing back and forth leaving us all on the edge of our seats. A true turning point saw Strowman appear with the black sheep mask on his face, which was honestly just brilliant. This is the kind of character work we like to see.
Of course, these mind games allowed Strowman to time his actions perfectly and pin Wyatt to retain his Universal Championship. But we can assume things are far from done between these two and I sense the Fiend is set to haunt the dreams of Strowman very soon.
WWE Championship – Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins
Grade – B+
Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins are two vastly different superstars. Their motives, motivations and characters are strikingly different. The multi time champion in Rollins makes for a great opponent for McIntyre, but was this match booked too soon into McIntyre’s reign?
There is most certainly an argument to be made, but what was clear was how important this match was for McIntyre. This contest would determine and show the world what his title reign means and stands for in WWE. The beginning of the bout saw the champion take control with his dominance, power and character all on display which I’m sure we all expected. The match slowed down once we saw Rollins attempt to get the upper hand as he worked on the leg of the champ. We saw Rollins’ experience in championship match ups with the former title holder transitioning through submission holds over time, grounding the champion and controlling the pace.
We could see how much the leg Rollins had been working on was effecting McIntyre but the fight in the champ remained evident and we got a competitive match up with a collision of styles. Eventually McIntyre retained in his biggest challenge since becoming champion. The mutual respect after the match was not something I saw coming but was a great moment. I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited for what is to come next from Drew and his reign.
Men’s and Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match – King Corbin vs. Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles vs. Otis vs. Aleister Black vs. Rey Mysterio / Shayna Baszler vs. Carmella vs. Dana Brooke vs. Asuka vs. Nia Jax vs. Lacey Evans
Grade – AA
Well, this was different.
The WWE promised us a unique Money In The Bank 2020 and that is exactly what we got. With one of the biggest matches of the year taking place at WWE headquarters and with both the men’s and women’s MITB ladder matches taking place at the same time, this was sure to be either something absolutely brilliant or a total mess. We actually ended up with both. While I’m sure this divided fans I have to say that I really enjoyed this.
It was totally different to anything else we have ever seen in the WWE and while I was not the biggest fan of some of the comedic angles, this hour gave us plenty to enjoy and left every single fan absolutely entertained. We had several characters pop up throughout, a food fight, a collision between the male and female superstars and sheer character excellence at the hands of Asuka and Otis who both had me genuinely laughing for all the right reasons.
The race to the top of the building gave us so much to enjoy from everyone involved and yes, there were a few moments that made me cringe but overall I was glued to my screen and there truly was so much going on.
Once the action reached the top of the roof, things got way more serious. The women were first to reach the ring as they looked to edge closer to becoming Ms. Money In The Bank 2020, with Nia Jax the first superstar to grab hold of a ladder.
I will be the first to admit that I was very surprised with the result of the women’s match. With only Asuka, Lacey Evans and Nia Jax making it to the top of the building, it was former champion Asuka who climbed to the very top to retrieve the contract and become the fourth woman to be crowned Ms. Money In The Bank. This I’m sure was a surprise for so many watching considering Baszler was the favourite but keeping in mind her popularity, her fantastic character work and her position in the division I’m very excited about this. I will admit there is a disappointment that not every woman made it to the ring.
As for the mens, once King Corbin bounced back from being kicked off a ladder by Asuka, he proceeded to murder his opponents and battle AJ Styles at the top of the ladder, only to be struck across the back with a guitar (by Elias) dropping the briefcase into the hands of Otis. The former NXT star became our 2020 Mr. Money In The Bank in what was yet another huge surprise. I didn’t see that coming, but Otis is on fire right now and the night ended with many fans having a big smile on their face.
Money In The Bank 2020 was exactly what we needed.
Times are tough right now, but we had a few hours here of wrestling entertainment like no other. Interesting title matches kept us hooked but the unique MITB main event was something incredibly special indeed. Two of the best and most over characters in Asuka and Otis walked out with the big win and while it was not what we expected you cannot help but be happy for both superstars.
The favourites in Styles, Baszler and Black may not have taken it home, but we can expect to see interesting work from all three and the fallout from a very unique and interesting MITB is sure to be one to watch.
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You can find the author of this article on Twitter @TezangiVictoria. Thanks for reading!