Monday, July 18, 2011

Show Me the Money

@ChadSmart on Twitter 
all photos in this post come from

Wow! Really, what more do you need to say about Money in the Bank? Top to bottom this pay per view was probably the best show since the first One Night Stand. The only “bad” match was the Diva’s match and it wasn’t really bad, it was simply a WWE Diva’s match. I went four for six in my predictions, which normally I’d say meant the show was too predictable. But with this show, even if an outcome felt predictable, it actually helped the match instead of hindering it.

I watched the show at a local sports bar. This was the first time going to the bar and I have a feeling I’ll be going back for future shows as the crowd was electric. Granted, it could have been because of the anticipation for the John Cena vs. CM Punk match but still the crowd helped make the show. As soon as the show started there was a large “We want ice cream” chant. The crowd was into the show the entire time, even busted out a “We want Ryder” chant three times during the show. One of my friends remarked, “they know the people in the arena can’t hear them, right?” at one point. Even if they couldn’t be heard by the live crowd the fans in attendance were treating the show as if they were there live making the experience even more enjoyable. I do have one sarcastic comment to make that hopefully doesn’t apply to anyone reading this blog. It’s one thing to wear a replica belt to a live event, but when you wear one to a bar just to watch a show, you look like an idiot. And if you’re wearing more than one, well, you’re just foolish. Anyway, let’s take a look at the show.

Money in the Bank opened with the Smackdown MITB match. Perfect match to start the show as it got an already rabid crowd into the show. The crowd I was with was solidly behind Cody Rhodes and as the match progressed, I could see WWE giving him the briefcase and letting him hold it for several months while he was groomed for the main event. I found it interesting they had Sin Cara do a stretcher job during the match. After reading today that Cara has been suspended for 30 days for a wellness violation, I found it amusing that every time Sin Cara would set up for a move, the crowd I was watching with started chanting, “botch, botch, botch.” Looks like Sin Cara hasn’t made the best impression with the audience yet.  It makes sense to write him out with an injury. I didn’t expect Daniel Bryan to win. I doubt many people expected that outcome.  I can only hope this leads to a lengthy title run with a defense at the Royal Rumble.

The Divas championship match was just kind of there. I don’t really remember much about the match other than a really ugly spinning head scissors. Kelly Kelly retained and I was surprised this wasn’t used as the buffer match between the two other title matches.

In my preview blog, I said Mark Henry vs. Big Show could be the sleeper match of the night. They lived up to my expectations. Nothing really scientific about the match, just two big guys going out and laying the smack down on each other. I’m really enjoying this renewed energy Henry has been showing lately and would like to see him pushed to some title matches. With Henry “Pilmanizing” Show’s ankle after the match, it’ll be interesting to see how much time Show is out for. I mean, he got hit by a car and was only out for two weeks. Will a broken ankle keep him out longer?

The Raw MITB match was a nice contrast to the Smackdown match. I enjoyed everyone grabbing ladders to start the match with but question why there were so many stepladders around the ring. There were lots of crazy and cringe worthy spots during the match. While I appreciate the physical abuse wrestlers put their bodies through for my entertainment, I don’t want to see anyone injured.  Alberto Del Rio winning didn’t really excite me, as I still haven’t climbed about the Del Rio bandwagon. Now that he’s won MITB and won a title shot on Raw a few weeks ago, it will be interesting to see what the next step to fulfilling his destiny will be in the coming weeks.

In my opinion, the Randy Orton vs. Christian match was the most lackluster on the show. I couldn’t hear the commentary so I don’t know how much they hyped up the DQ stipulation. While the match was decent, the ending felt flat to me. I don’t get why Randy snapped so quickly just because Christian spat in his face. Then after Orton destroyed Christian post-match why didn’t Daniel Bryan cash in his MITB briefcase? Glad to see Christian with the title again, but as of this writing Christian doesn’t look like a champion. Hopefully he doesn’t lose the title on Smackdown.

Now, the match everyone was looking forward too, John Cena vs. CM Punk. I need to re-watch the show so I can hear the live crowd’s reactions.  If I wanted to be negative, I could say Cena basically went through his same move repertoire while not really looking like a guy who’s job was on the line. But I don’t want to be critical. This match delivered everything everyone hoped for and then some. I was disappointed Colt Cabana didn’t get to punch Cena at some point. When Vince McMahon and Johnny Ace came down and went to recreate the Montreal Screw job, I was shaking my head because I want everyone associated with wrestling to forget that ever happened. I did like Cena stopping Ace to make sure the match ended clean. CM Punk winning was the right call. Punk leaving with the title after Alberto Del Rio didn’t get a chance to officially cash in his MITB briefcase was a surprise. Perfect ending to a near perfect show.

It’s been years since I’ve anticipated an episode of Monday Night Raw.  Tonight I can’t wait to see what happens. I don’t know what the status of CM Punk and WWE is at this moment, nor do I care. I want to sit back and enjoy the ride. Though I will say no matter what his status is, CM Punk should not show up on Raw for at least the next 2-3 weeks. 

I don’t know if WWE can sustain this momentum, but right now they have me more interested in their programming than I have been in years. It’s times like this that remind me why and how I became a wrestling fan.

*Sorry for the lame title. I know that phrase is played out.

We’ve go the internets covered from Facebook to Twitter to Youtube. There’s no reason for you to not be entertained. 

Watch Dr. Dropkick's MITB predictions here...


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