WWE Money in the Bank 2018 Review and Repercussions - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

WWE Money in the Bank 2018 Review and Repercussions - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Jonathan Maldonado Thursday, June 21, 2018
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Jonathan Maldonado, Ben Guest and Jordan Chaffiotte will share their thoughts on the this past weekend's Money in the Bank.

Let's discuss...

Question 1: Braun Strowman is Mr. MITB. What did you think of the match and how do you see this playing out?

MALDONADO: Kudos to everyone involved in this one. MITB is supposed to be fun, spot-filled and chaotic, we got just that. Kofi was super enjoyable in this one, especially during the ride-Braun-Strowman-up-the-ladder spot. It's a shame he didn't win. I feel the most for Finn Balor though, he was just as great and really could have used the briefcase to exciting ends. Imagine Brock at SummerSlam losing the belt to Balor, following or during a match with Roman Reigns. But that's not what we got. We got the obvious choice to win this match, Braun Strowman. I'm OK with that.

Braun is going to be fun as hell with the briefcase. To me it's not what the briefcase promises, but the aura it can give a wrestler. Braun is already a scary force in the locker room and the briefcase increases his danger factor. He'll be lurking, and with Brock hardly ever on TV, expect Braun to strike at a moment's notice.

CHAFFIOTTE: Both MITB matches did a really excellent job with their false finishes. There were probably half a dozen times that I was sure it was over just to have them switch it on me. Which was great, until the last time it happened. Kofi has worked his butt off and stood in line for the better part of 9 years. This was a unique opportunity to freebird the briefcase, which has never happened before. AND the finish was gold. Kofi spring boarding himself onto Strowman's back in order to get himself to the contract was a moment of pure genius. To have it taken away and Strowman win the match after all was just so unfair. I feel that they underestimated how over Kofi is and how much people wanted this for him. While Strowman is most certainly ready to be a world champion, I can't help feeling disappointed for Kofi. Strowman should absolutely challenge Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam and use MITB to get that title off him. There's no need for the song and dance.

Oh, and can someone please check on Kevin Owens?

GUEST: Braun Strowman doesn't need the briefcase, but he needs something. I think he was deserving of a title shot regardless of this, and that The Miz or Kevin Owens would have been a much better choice. All of that said, I hope they give him a slightly smaller briefcase, to make him look bigger and that he cashes in on a relatively fresh Brock Lesnar. The match itself was extremely entertaining and everybody in the match deserved to be there. Strowman could have a good run with the briefcase, but I also think it will take away from his win somewhat, assuming he cashes in on an already exhausted champion.

Question 2: Raw is the realm of the Goddess, Alexis Bliss, once again. The now five-time women's champion won the briefcase and successfully cashed in during a solid matchup between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey. How good, or not, was this booking?

MALDONADO: This match was incredible, all for Ronda's selling. She's a natural. She moves with a chaotic grace around the ring that's wonderful to watch and incredibly believable. I'm not calling her the best in the business, but she can be, and really soon. I'm not sure I like the women's briefcase being used so soon, but it kept WWE from having to make a ballsy decision with the end of this match. Ronda winning the title so soon would be shocking and Nia going over would be equally as jarring.

The match promised a bright future in both the separate careers and rivalry between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey. Because of that, the cash-in is fine. Ronda is gone for awhile, but just the right amount of time to keep this whole title and rivalry situation fresh and suspenseful.

CHAFFIOTTE: I don't hate it. It wasn't my first choice, or my second, or my fifth. Okay, it was my last, but I don't hate it. My issues with this match, which I very much enjoyed, were the exact same as the men's. The false finishes were so good until they weren't, until Becky had it and then all of a sudden didn't, in favor of the person who was probably last on my list. No shade to Bliss, I think she's phenomenal and if they would give her a scrap of good writing she would really shine. However, I worry that we're digging ourselves into a hole of Alexa not being relevant unless she has a title. It's fine that she does her best work there, but we need to spend time developing her outside of the title scene if we want to have longevity. I've heard people complain that they're shoving her down our throats, but I couldn't disagree more. We're chomping at the bit, just listen to how the crowd reacts to her. The problem is that it is not sustainable and yes, five runs in two years is not good for anyone, not even her. Out of all the things they could've done with it, this made a lot of sense and kept both women looking really strong. I'm looking forward to the next few months of Alexa running around with the title on her waist and a massive target on her back.

GUEST: On the one hand, i completely agree with what Jordan has to say and I don't think the Alexa Bliss having the title is best for anybody right now. However, she's a great champion and one of the best performers in the company, so if they felt Nia Jax's run was becoming stale and Ronda Rousey wasn't quite ready, then Bliss is a proven placeholder and a reliable, likable (or unlikable I guess) and professional person to have holding the title. That doesn't mean that Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks or Charlotte wouldn't have been just as good. But if you're asking me, I'll always be happy for Bliss to have a title round her waist.

I'd also like to mention how everything we all said about Ronda… it's all wrong, she’s great. She's not the best wrestler in the world, but she isn't supposed to be yet and when you compare Ronda and Lana, considering how long they have been in the industry, there is only one winner. Ronda is a natural athlete and she has the potential to be a World Champion by the end of 2018, as one of the biggest skeptics leading up to Ronda's debut, her two matches have completely changed my mind. Great job!

Question 3: Are we through with the Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles feud following the last man standing match? Who is next in line for the title?

MALDONADO: Keep it going, maaaaaaan. I know people are over it at this point, but there's still only up to go with these two. We've already hit rock-bottom, believe it or not. A forgettable WrestleMania match between these two, a story-line about low blows and lackluster follow-up matches? I'm telling you this should keep going with some more creativity throw their way. It's been a long time since we've had a truly one-on-one feud for a world title between two true singles competitors. The title in recent memory has been surrounded by Wyatts, Singhs, Authority figures, S.H.E.I.L.D., and more. Give this more gasoline, and see where it takes us.

As for the other guys, we have plenty to hold us over. Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz and Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy can give us a bit more time to see this out at least through SummerSlam.

CHAFFIOTTE: We better be! It's unfortunate because I'm not sure where we go with Shinsuke from here, other than to the back of the line. What else could we possibly do and moreover, why would AJ give him another shot. I think it's clearly time for Samoa Joe to get his hands on some gold on SmackDown. He is far and away the best heel on either show, maybe in the history of wrestling forever. His presence is something unlike anyone else's and it's both enthralling and horrifying all at once. If he ever took that overly calm aggression to say "hello, Clarice," I think I wouldn't be able to sleep for a week. Maybe Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles would better live up to the hype.

GUEST: This is the match this feud needed, an incredible performance from both guys and I think it's best to leave it on a high, before anybody tells AJ to wear a cup again. I don't think Nakamura will ever be far away from the main event scene, but maybe a midcard title would allow him to get some wins, and put on some good matches without the pressure of the main event. As for Styles, Bryan? Joe? Miz? There's plenty of people lining up for a shot at the title and any of them could have an amazing feud with the GOAT.

BONUS: Just talk about Takeover: Chicago. What did you love, hate or absolutely need to get off your chest?

MALDONADO: NXT is a wrestling factory, period. As usual, TakeOver was stellar. The crowd stayed hot throughout the entire show, and the performances matched that energy. And oh, is that what a ring looks like naked? Whoever thought up this spot, a direct continuation of the concrete floor spot from their previous match, is genius. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano will go down as one of the greatest rivalries of all time in professional wrestling history.

And as I've said before. WWE should bet their future on the Velveteen Dream. He should double the amount of WrestleMania main events Roman Reigns ends up with. So far that's 8, and I don't think that's enough...

CHAFFIOTTE: These are my tears, I made them just for you. It's pretty impressive to have a match of the year contender in the middle of July, a time not exactly known for the best wrestling. It's even more impressive to have two, and Takeover did. Nothing was ever going to outshine Gargano vs. Ciampa, but boy did Dream and Ricochet put up a fight. The highlight of my weekend was Dream coming out in Prince Puma's tights (rumored to be the actual tights Ricochet wore in Lucha Underground) as a nod to Ricochet's storied past. 

GUEST: I've only seen Gargano vs. Ciampa from TakeOver, but it's the best match of all time, Ciampa is the best heel of all time and Gargano is the best wrestler in the world right now. I'll fight anyone who disagrees. I'm not usually a huge fan of matches that go straight into the hardcore style, but this feud has been so perfect and so well built, that feeling each other out wasn't what was needed and throwing away a man's wedding ring after spitting on it was ideal. Amazing work from both guys and if they top it, I might have a heart attack. But I don't doubt that they will. Highlights from the crowd include the guy shouting "you’re the devil Ciampa" and the guy who asked "why are you doing this Tommaso? He was your best friend!"

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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THIS POST WRITTEN BY: JONATHAN MALDONADO

Jonathan Maldonado is a lifelong wrestling fan from the Bronx, NY. He grew up during the Monday Night Wars and the Attitude Era and is a sucker for the flippy stuff and a good wrestling tee. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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