It's that time again for WWE Money in the Bank. Refresh this page throughout the night for live updates, results and analysis. Also, yes, I am dual-screening it hard tonight with Game 7 of the NBA Finals starting at 8 p.m. ET.
We're underway after that hour-long pre-show, which serves as the Dudley Boyz personal jobbing session each month. So much for all that Bully Ray heel momentum, right?
Anyways, let's jump into the action. We've got four big ones tonight, and we knock the first of four out of the way early on.
Tag Team Championship: New Day (c) vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Vaudevillains:
First team to score a pinfall or submission wins the belts. There is no DQ or count-out in a Fatal 4-Way match. In the same way Dean cashing in tonight feels like a reach for MITB, I get the same feeling about Enzo and Cass winning the belts. Smart money says both are set to tease us all summer, but never take the small money.
The personalities in this one mesh so well, which gives me extremem optimism even for the scary, clustery fatal 4-way stipulation. For example, Cass gets a tag, Xavier Woods sarcastically "ooooohhhhhss" on the outside as the behemoth tip-toes over the ropes, then Simon Gotch distracts the big fella so Aiden English can sneak a tag in.
Good, old-school, fun tag wrestling early on.
Takeaways: I see the star potential in Cass, big time, but WWE needs to have some patience with him. Being in a successful tag team can grow you just as much as a singles run.
This got really sloppy. There was an arguably Botchamania highlight in a 3-count. Then for the next near-fall, the ref was so hesitant to count, that it looked really bad. Add in some poor camera angles, and it got a little ugly. Guys forgot spots left and right. Gallows was just staring at Big E in the middle of the ring until he finally walked into the corner for Kofi to make the tag.
This was sloppy.
Let's stick to two teams. There was a lot of potential, but outside of the big spots, this was a cluster, awkward moving typical Fatal 4-way
Winners: The New Day (c)
Kevin Owens interview session interrupted by Y2J and Alberto Del Rio. This is gold and worth the watch for the "Gift of Jericho."
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
Takeaway: I had some chips and guacamole. The crowd chanted boring, the Cavs and Warriors are struggling to score.
Dolph is clearly still bursting with talent and deserves better, but he is over-selling and trying to make the crowd fear Baron Corbin. It's not really working, yet. Baron sloppily lifted Dolph's arm up while pinning him, ref didn't notice, announcers did. Always wonder if Vince is screaming them to shut up about noticing a botch like that.
This one didn't do it for me. Dolph sells a big boot and punch for about 20 seconds earlier in the match. Later on, he takes the Deep 6 on the floor at about the 6 count and makes it back in the ring on time.
Winner: Baron Corbin with the coolest looking finisher
Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Natayla and Becky Lynch
I still don't understand why an old man in a robe 50 yards away is ever a believable distraction (See Extreme Rules 2016). Also, Dana Brooke on a PPV before Bayley? Meh.
Takeaway: This one starts with "We want Sasha chants!" Oh God. Another missed spot, in a awkward, paused guarantee lock for Maffew's MITB Botchamania. Natayla takes down Dana and Charlotte, crawls to the corner and all of a sudden just starts swimming in place. I had no idea. Then Charlotte comes in and breaks it up. I thought my stream froze. Good lord.
Winners: Charlotte and Dana
After the match, Nattie beat the shit out of Becky and walked away.
Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews
Takeaway: The following tweet is very NSFW, but it perfectly captures this match of guy made to look dumb and guy with literally no mic skills and all the athletic ability in the world (this event is in Las Vegas):
I think half the crowd realised they can go fuck a legal whore and be back for the main event matches.— MaffewOfBotchamania (@Maffewgregg) June 20, 2016
AJ Styles vs. John Cena
I am really excited about this match. Did you guys see the odds for this match? AJ Styles a heavy favorite. Maybe they do the Cena Formula backwards this time?
Instead of the Cena Formula of Loss + Win + Win, maybe it will be Win, Loss, Loss. I don't know, I just don't get how the weird WWE betting lines (that a lot of people use) could ever doubt Cena to that degree.
Takeaway: Crowd was hot early on. Easy to see they've been waiting for this one, as we all have. The perfect slow burn start, these two showed off that veteran prowess early. They let the moment speak for itself, unlike our convoluted, talk over everything announce team.
Shit. Something is off tonight. Cena's timing on a belly-to-belly is awkward, but he recovers nicely. Timing miscues are happening so often that it makes you wonder, what's off?
There were a couple moments that made you go, what was that? or really?
Cena talking and calling his spots way too long. Sloppy counters and missteps. But, when these two are on, it takes away from their mistakes. The drama is there. The crowd is there. The action is there.
That's more of a statement on the rest of the show, and not this match, though. AJ is flying around, both our countering each other in their own signature way.
These two put on a pacing and character camp in this one. It's not over the top or spectacular, but it's a really, really, solid starting point to what I think has the potential to be one of the better summer-long feuds in memory.
Note: If Cena ever wants the crowd to believe the STF, he has to pull on it a little.
As is par for the course, both kicked out of each other's respective finish moves. Cena powers into an AA, AJ nails a flawless Clash. The tide turns when AJ's 450 Splash nets him a pair of knees to the gut.
The back-and-forth, while predictable and formulaic, is classic stuff. The crowd is into it big time and it gives it that "This Matters" feel.
We get a garbage ref bump. AJ's feet might have brushed not Mike Chioda's face.
Winner: AJ Styles pins Cena after rolling over on Cena after outside interference. Hey, it creates more of a feud, maybe match No. 2 will actually get a real finish or maybe we won't see the TNA posterboy get a clean win over WWE's.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Jericho, Del Rio, Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro and Sami Zayn
In what feels a match between Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose in terms of what feels like realistic winability, I am excited for this one. No disrespect to Y2J, who is doing some amazing stuff right now.
Takeaway: Kevin Owens is such a heel that he fakes putting his body on the line. He runs at Sami to tease a rolling senton, but steps to the left and superkicks him. Brilliant.
They have made Cesaro so gimmicky, that it is beyond frustrating. Find this amazing talent a gimmick, stick to it and let him work.
That jump off the ladder onto the ropes and into the corkscrew uppercut. Let this guy work.
Alberto Del Rio is criminally underrated. His kicks, his fluidity and intensity make him a character that is often overlooked.
Some amazing highlights and impressive spots in this one.
The Michinoku Driver onto the ladder was nuts. Not just on the ladder, the damn thing was opened on its side. Brutal spot.
All six men getting on that little innovative workshop was amazing, and will most likely be the poster for next year's show. That was a cool shot.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
It ends just like it should have. With Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose trading blows at the top of the ladder. This was a MITB match to remember. The finish was well executed and extremely satisfying. Whether what does or doesn't happen with Dean and the main event, this was a moment he and his fans had been waiting for.
Thanks to WWE's official Twitter accounts for quickly posting awesome gifs as I can show rather than simply describe a match like this one. Some great spots.
Rusev vs. Titus O'Neil for the U.S. Title
I feel bad for Titus, he got a shot at a title on a PPV late in the night during the final two minutes of Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
Winner: Rusev (and the Cavs)
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship
Takeaway: It's fun watching two guys together that just click.
Super anti-Roman crowd. Roman Sucks chants, not just normal ones, but ones with enough of a harsh pause. It's almost like the bizarro Lucha Dragons chant.
Even with these two going at it, there's just this thought in the back of my head thinking about Dean. WWE has built an organic level of tension with the aspect of the third member of The Shield just sitting in the back with the MITB briefcase.
Reigns is really clicking throughout the middle of this match. Knocking Seth in and out of the ring while throwing him like a ragdoll into the spanish announcer's chairs. A decent amount of time spent outside or on the turnbuckle.
Tangent: I'd rather have Roman finish people with that sit-out Razor's Edge than the spear. Damn, that's good.
Some truly fantastic sequences. The counters are on point, and the familiarity between these two is being played like a fiddle (in a good way). They know each other well while it's a storyline decades old, it still works.
It's the little things that make Seth stand out from the pact. He sells his own Frog Splash to the level that it surprises the never-stop-talking, let-a moment-live announcer that is Michael Cole.
Sidenote: How happy is WWE about having the Network? They can go over time as much as they want now.
Super cool moment to see Seth deliver the move that he blew out his knee on. It's an "I'm back" type of moment that the fans at home appreciate a lot more than those in attendance.
Seth proves, in my mind, that he is the unquestioned man. The superplex into a roll into a Falcon Arrow. Come on now, WWE 2K doesn't even have anything close to that capability. Absolutely amazing.
There were so many false finishes in this match that "One Two Nooo!" was a very common Tweet. Exciting, innovative non-finisher-reliant spots.
"We want Ambrose" chants sneak in for a brief recovery moment. Doctors and refs aren't going to end this are they? They played that up perfectly.
Running pedigree doesn't win the match? Damn.
Winner: Seth Rollins (New Champion)
I can sit here and tell you that Seth is the best in the world, but give credit to Roman Reigns. As champion, he has put on stellar main event after stellar main event. He kept making shows better each and every month, and that's exactly what your champion was supposed to do.
Money in the Bank Cash-In Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose
Dean sneaks in, hits Seth with the briefcase, turns it in, nais Dirty Deeds.
Winner: Dean Ambrose (New Champion)
This show will go down in the books as the show where The Shield officially took over WWE. Seth and Roman tear the house down, Seth gets his title back and Dean had won the MITB briefcase. Does the surprising not-surprising thing at 11:18 ET(!) and cashes in.
What a career-defining night for Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns, even. Their career's were already tied at the hip, but they somehow merged them closer.
This is going to be the Summer of the Shield. What a night.
The rest of this card next to AJ and Cena and the Ladder Match was very 2005 SmackDown PPV. It was sloppy, but no one will remember that thanks to the night that will go down in history in Ohio.
LeBron, the Cavs and Ambrose all in one night.
Great final 35 minutes of this show.