Perhaps Rusev was correct about Lana being a curse on his fortunes, as Dolph Ziggler had an exceptionally difficult week. On RAW, the Show-Off was defeated by Kane prior to both competing in the Money in the Bank Ladder match, and then on SmackDown was beaten by the WWE Champion Seth Rollins. This lack of momentum made his efforts in the ladder match futile, as he could only watch as Sheamus captured the briefcase.
The New Day will need a lot of clapping to overcome the disappointment of these past seven days. It started promisingly, as Big E bested Titus O’Neil in a singles match on RAW, but from there it was all downhill. Kofi Kingston in the lead-up to his appearance in the Money in the Bank ladder match lost to both Roman Reigns and as part of a six-man tag on SmackDown, and once again failed to secure the briefcase. And, if that wasn’t bad enough Big E and Xavier Woods would lose grasp of their Tag Team Championships against the Prime Time Players.
Another tag team that is not enjoying a great deal of success, Los Matadores was thrown to the wolves on RAW this week. They had the unwelcome prospect of battling the reunified tandem of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, and this contest went exactly as expected. The speedy matadors were no match for the immense power of their opponents, crashing to total defeat.
Alicia Fox took exception to the position of Paige representing the Divas division against the tyranny of the Bella Twins. Instead, she challenged the Brit to a match on SmackDown to take her out of the picture before Money in the Bank. But, Fox would suffer the loss to Paige, being forced to tap out to the PTO.
The Miz, bitter over missing out on his shot at the Intercontinental Championship last week, spent these seven days concentrating on interfering in that title’s business. This included a loss against the champ himself Ryback on SmackDown. This additional frustration led to Money in the Bank, where following a stint on commentary, Miz assaulted both Ryback and Big Show to end their contest in disqualification.
I’m beginning to think King Barrett was awarded with a cursed crown, as ever since winning the coveted King of the Ring title his stock has fallen dramatically. He picked up a rare win on SmackDown when he toppled Jack Swagger, but R-Truth’s antics made it hard to revel in that triumph. So when it came to the two meeting on the kickoff show on Sunday, Truth winning was the icing on another awful week for the King.
Stepping out of her traditional Main Event slot and onto the major shows, Summer Rae’s rare foray onto RAW did not bring new success. The blonde was matched against the Divas Champion Nikki Bella, and was ultimately found wanting against the best the division currently has to offer.
Given a golden opportunity to push himself into the limelight, Neville was left agonizingly short of claiming a coveted briefcase. On RAW, the Man that Gravity Forgot was not able to reclaim a former prize of his, as he lost an NXT Championship match against Kevin Owens. This was followed by some success on SmackDown with a win in a six-man tag, which ended with him holding the Money in the Bank contract aloft. But Neville was unable to hold that when it counted, as Sheamus walked away with it instead.
A former winner of Money in the Bank, Kane was confident of reclaiming that accolade, and built some good momentum on RAW with a win over Dolph Ziggler. It was damaged somewhat through a loss in a six-man tag involving most of the ladder match participants. And this proved to lead to his downfall, as despite a strong showing Kane was unable to win the case for a second time.
The Eater of Worlds might not show up every week, but when he arrives he makes a noticeable impact. Bray Wyatt struck from the shadows during the Money in the Bank Ladder match, knocking down Roman Reigns when he looked certain to be victorious. Sealing the deal with Sister Abigail, Reigns was laid out and a new victim for Wyatt was confirmed.
The family is back together, and look to have a purpose in mind. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan have been plowing through victims under the radar for the last couple of months, decimating all teams that stand against them. The latest tandem to fall at their feet was Los Matadores, who could not withstand the power of the giants opposite them.
With his eyes firmly locked on the crown and robes currently adorning King Barrett, R-Truth has been a thorn in the side of the Brit for the last few weeks. They clashed on the Money in the Bank kickoff show, and Truth wriggled out with the surprise victory, heaping further misery onto the king and pursuing his own run with the crown.
The most decorated competitor in the Money in the Bank Ladder match, Randy Orton was an obvious favorite to claim his second briefcase. On RAW, he fell to defeat by disqualification due to the beating he handed out to Sheamus in their match, and then responded with a win on SmackDown in a six-man tag team match. But when it came to the big prize, the Viper was left a bystander watching Sheamus claim victory.
The self-professed bringer of change in the Divas division, Paige set out to claim her third Divas Championship and end the run of Nikki Bella on top at Money in the Bank. She built some good form by forcing Alicia Fox to submit on SmackDown. Yet, thanks to some trickery and poor officiating, the step to overcome the Bella Twins was too much, as Twin Magic and a Rack Attack brought Paige’s dreams crashing to the mat.
Big Show has returned as brash and confident as ever, sure of himself as the next Intercontinental Champion. Ryback got the better of him with a Shell Shock on RAW, but their clash at Money in the Bank was a far more balanced, physical affair. Show could have easily claimed his second reign with the belt, but thanks to some jealous interference by the Miz, his victory was merely by disqualification.
As shock results in WWE come, the victory of J&J Security this week sits near the top of the pile. Following a strop by Seth Rollins, the diminutive security team were placed in a handicap match against their client and WWE Champion. And despite being beaten around for the majority of the contest, thanks to an unexpected assist by Dean Ambrose they rolled up the champ and secured the stunning result.
The Big Guy matched the Big Show for most of the week in their feud for his Intercontinental Championship. Ryback provided a memorable moment on RAW when he hoisted the giant up for Shell Shock, eliciting a huge reaction from the crowd. Then, after defeating the Miz on SmackDown, the powerful superstars battled in a strong, even fight. But, this was derailed towards the conclusion, as Miz inserted himself into the mix, causing Ryback to lose by DQ.
The overwhelming favorite heading into Money in the Bank’s signature contest, Roman Reigns did little to dispel those rumors on RAW or SmackDown heading into the PPV. First, he defeated Kofi Kingston on RAW, and then was on the winning side of a pre-ladder match six-man tag featuring most of the participants. Reigns come the bout looked certain to ascend to the briefcase, but a shock assault by Bray Wyatt cost him this glory.
The Lunatic Fringe was the most passionate man in Ohio on Sunday, as he channeled the spirit of Dusty Rhodes in his pursuit of the WWE Championship. Dean Ambrose was in possession of the belt itself leading into the main event ladder match, as he used it to drive Seth Rollins crazy with his antics. But Ambrose was all business when it came to Money in the Bank, and in an awesome match he was excruciatingly close to securing his first reign, only to have cruel fate have it fall into the hands of Rollins.
Kevin Owens is the name on everybody’s lips after the last few weeks of performances, both in the ring and on the microphone. To show up John Cena’s Open Challenges, the NXT Champion continued to host his own version, besting Neville on RAW and then Heath Slater on Main Event. This led to the highly anticipated rematch at Money in the Bank, where Owens and Cena produced one of the greatest contests in recent memory. And though Cena this time was victorious, Owens left the lasting impression with a powerbomb against the apron.
After years of waiting in the background, the Prime Time Players stepped out into the spotlight this week. Titus O’Neil did not get the week off to the best start on RAW, as he suffered a loss to Big E heading into Money in the Bank. But, with the Tag Team Championships on the line and Kofi Kingston away from ringside, O’Neil and Darren Young claimed their first belts in WWE when the Clash of Titus flattened Xavier Woods.
John Cena proved once again that his time being the man in WWE is still far from over, as despite his naysayers, he is one of the best in-ring performers the company has ever produced. The United States Champion engaged in a heated confrontation with Kevin Owens on RAW, and then they proceeded to tear the house down at Money in the Bank. In a brutal battle, Cena came out the winner, but thanks to a powerbomb on the ring apron, he did not walk out with his hand raised in victory.
The Divas division remains firmly in the hands of the trickster sisters after the events of the past week. In a bid to show her giving nature, Nikki Bella offered a RAW match to Summer Rae, and bested her in quick fashion. The Divas Champion then headed into her title defense against Paige at Money in the Bank, but she was not alone. Some attempted Twin Magic by Brie seemed to have backfired when Paige pinned her, but she revealed herself as a fraud. Nikki then hit the Rack Attack to retain her beloved belt.
The WWE World Heavyweight Champion had a lot to prove this week, as he stood alone without the backing of the Authority in his feud with Dean Ambrose. This seemed to be a bad omen when Seth Rollins could not overcome his enforcers J&J Security in a handicap match on RAW. But things improved on SmackDown, as in spite of being alone he toppled Dolph Ziggler. Then, in a heated and impassioned fight with his former Shield brethren, Rollins showed he has fighting spirit all on his own, ending the night with his title firmly in his grasp.
If there is any greater certainty of a future WWE Championship in the future, it is the Money in the Bank briefcase. So, despite the fact that Sheamus suffered a vicious beating at the hands of Randy Orton on RAW, and then followed that with a loss in a six-man tag on SmackDown, these results pale into insignificance. The events of Sunday night were all-important, and that is where the Irishman shined. Battling six other men for the most coveted contract in professional wrestling, Sheamus ascended the ladder to the prize and became Mr. Money in the Bank for the first time. Expect his green to be laced with gold within the next year.
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