money in the bank: a night to remember

Hello there, loyal Wrestlegasmers! Your favourite member of the Wrestlegasm team, (fake) Matt Striker, here for the second time in just a few weeks. I was travelling to sunny Little Rock after our incredible night at the Money in the Bank Pay Per View, when this frisson of excitement flashed up on my phone:

Ok, so you can’t get jet lag flying from Kansas City to Little Rock, but still, I’m pretty exhausted. I take my role here seriously, so instead of heading to my hotel room to slip into my sweats and catch a nap, I’m here, tip-tapping away to recap the PPV in the hotel business centre. Dedication, my friends. Ded-i-ca-tion!

I guess we’ll start at the very beginning. I’m told it’s a very good place to start. We began with the Smackdown brand Money in the Bank match and, boy, was it eventful. It was a scintillating mix of might and agility, youth and experience. The first victims of this brood of hungry assailants were Big Show and Kane, the smaller guys focussing their attacks on the two largest competitors. But they clearly underestimated their power and Kane’s thirst for justice on behalf of his brother spurred him on.

The dastardly Dolph Ziggler and everyone’s favourite captain, Christian, were early ladder climbers. It looked as if this much-anticipated match might be over before everyone had chance to settle into their seats and pour a cold drink. But Christian managed to throw Dolph from the top of an impossibly tall ladder and, like I said during the show, when you’re at the top it’s a loooooong waaaaay doooooown!

There was soon all kind of carnage around the ring, and there was almost carnage around the announce table too when Kane lost his temper and decided to start trashing both our announce table and the Spanish announce table. Not that I was scared. I’m never scared of big men. I used to take care of Big Daddy V, you know. Thankfully for our announce table, Kane was distracted, but our Spanish compadres weren’t so lucky. Kofi Kingston capitalised on the wide open table space and launched himself onto the splayed Drew McIntyre. Look at how excited I was…..

You can’t manufacture passion and the Springloaded Superstar that is Kofi Kingston has passion in abundance. The man who I dubbed the most vicious competitor in the match, Drew McIntyre, was out for the count. While the sinister Scotsman recovered in front of us, Big Show was back on his size 22’s in another part of the arena. You may remember on Smackdown that Show introduced us to his reinforced 350lb ladder. (Ray underestimated its weight. Always fact-check, Ray!) At the PPV, Big Show was forced to call upon it again and, after a little trouble dragging it over the ropes, he planted the enormous structure in the middle of the ring. Unfortunately, the big man found himself at the bottoms of a ladder pile-up and, ironically, it was Show’s personal climbing apparatus that led the winner to the all important briefcase, perilously swinging above the ring. So who, I hear you pleading, walked off with a title shot?

I know, right? A shocker. The fiery one finally clawed something back for the Brothers of Destruction. If only the Undertaker were conscious enough to witness it.

Let’s not dwell on sad things. Let’s move on to the Raw Divas match and….oooh, maybe not such happy times after all. You know me. I’m happy to support our smart, sexy, powerful Divas at every opportunity. But the Alicia Fox vs Eve Torres match kind of stunk up the joint. Sorry, ladies. I feel bad saying it and I was a tad frustrated with the crowd for not giving you more support, but it was lacking a little je ne nais quoi. To entertain myself during this match I sent jibes down the announce table to Jerry Lawler. A little mean, maybe, but he and Cole take every chance to interrupt me, so I feel it’s justified. I told Lawler that I hear the Divas knock his door down all the time…..from the inside! Bahahahaha! I’m hilarious. I wish I could show you the text I got from Ray when Lawler exclaimed that he likes his Divas “With a high IQ and a low neckline!” but it’s far too ‘adult’.

Unfortunately, the powerful superhero-esque Eve fell foul of a wicked axe kick from Alicia. The title stayed in foxy hands.

You’ll be pleased to know that this was the lowest point of the night. From here, things spiced up tremendously with the tag-team titles match. The Harts, who have been feeling the arrogant wrath of the Usos+Tamina recently, were primed and ready for victory. And they did just that. Both The Hart Dynasty and the Samoans of new were an example to behold and such an exciting prospect for the future of our company. Natalya looked stunning as always but Tamina looked particularly beautiful. Although the most beautiful thing I saw during the match was Natalya lifting Tamina and slamming her into the ground to keep her from helping her team-mates to a win.

In homage to the sadly absent legend that is Bret Hart, DH Smith lock the Sharpshooter on and won the match for our pals in pink. I particularly enjoyed how DH tapped into that Hart mean streak and twisted the knee and foot as he pulled the move into the perfect position. My only gripe was that the match was a little short, but with so much action to pack into our three hours, something had to have the snip.

Following this we were back on Smackdown territory with the Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger World Heavyweight title match. I was a little worried for Rey. If you want to know how bad his injury feels, just recall the last time you tripped and twisted your ankle, then enhance it by a hundred. This makes the fact that Rey Mysterio could even walk out to the ring, let alone compete, an incredible and admirable feat. I think the collegiate and academic all-American, Jack Swagger, was expecting an easy ride. That’s not what he got.

These two worked beautifully together and they both took some fearless bumps along the way. It was exciting to see Rey come back time and time again, drawing on that pool of resiliency which reminded me so much of the never forgotten Eddie Guerrero. Rey wanted to win at any cost and the adrenaline pumped as the crowd noise forced him to push the limits of all that is sensible. The wheelbarrow suplex he pulled off was especially memorable.

As the match went on, Swagger pulled out some powerful moves and it looked as if the big-guy had it in the bag. When he whacked the devastating ankle-lock on, it looked like a matter of seconds before Swagger would retain his title. Left lying in the ring, Rey loosened his boot, seemingly to relieve the excruciating pain in his ankle. But no, that wiley fox was removing his boot to make the run-up to the 619 easier. A few seconds later, Rey Mysterio had the belt in his grasp.

While Rey celebrated, Kane came out to chase Swagger away. But that wasn’t the end of Kane’s night. The excitement hit an all-time high when he returned to the jubilant Mysterio, applied a tombstone piledriver and cashed in his hour-old MitB contract.  So dedicated! So opportunistic! I LOVE IT! Mwahahahaha.

Staying with Smackdown, we were on to the better Divas match of the night – Kelly Kelly vs Layla for the Women’s Title. Thankfully, my usually rude commentating colleagues shut their faces and actually let me speak throughout. The match was a little chaotic, especially with Michelle McCool and Tiffany ripping into each other at ringside. That’s not to say it wasn’t wonderfully entertaining and it was nice to see Michelle back. I hear it’s a lovely time of year for a honeymoon. Ahem.

This was Kelly’s first title match, and while she made a special effort to defeat Layla, my little English muffin was triumphant.

Seriously, how awesome is my English accent these days? Sometimes, I like to prank-call Ray and Andrew in the Bunker in my English accent. They never suspect a thing.

Before moving on, if ever you wanted evidence that I’m second class citizen when it comes from the commentary team, check this out:

King gets a slurpee cup, Cole gets a Summerslam cup and me? Generic R’ Us. Apparently I don’t deserve any better. Just sayin’.

Hang on in there, folks. This was one of our longest shows in some time, but we’re getting there. Time for our second Money in the Bank match of the night and it was just as breathtaking as the first. Any match involving a Viper, a stupendously strong man and one of the most exciting high-flyers to hit the WWE ring since Rey Mysterio’s arrival can be nothing but spectacular. And that’s before we even mention the Miz, Morrison, DiBiase, Edge and the irrepressible Chris Jericho.

As the match kicked off, Ted DiBiase looked strong, letting his former Legacy brother, Randy Orton, know that he meant business. I even tried to suggest that Ted may have slipped a sneaky little envelope under some of his fellow competitors’ hotel room doors that morning. It was met with silence from my co-commentators.

It’s usually the quick, agile competitors who do well in ladder matches. Their speed allows them to race to that all-important briefcase quicker. But that doesn’t mean the heftier competitors don’t stand a chance. Just look at the amazing display of strength from Mark Henry here.

Wowwwwww! Soon after this long fall to the ground, several of the guys were a little dazed and confused. In fact, the only person still on their feet was Ted’s stunning lady-friend, Maryse. After tending to her man and taking a quick scan around the arena, the French lovely took off her shoes and reluctantly crept her way up the ladder set up in the middle of the ring. My colleagues felt she may be on a mission to grab the briefcase for her beau. Personally, I think this young lady is mercenary enough to take the prize for herself. What a cat among the pigeons that would have been had she managed to make it up the ladder in time. It was not to be, though. John Morrison made it to the ladder just in time to remove Madame Ouellet.

John Morrison was one of the stand-out stars during this match, at one point climbing a ladder leaning against the ropes and using only his body-weight to swing it towards another mass of metal piled up in the middle of the ring. Fantastic! The chaos continued as Morrison became trapped inside a ladder as if he was being held by an Iron Maiden. And that has nothing to do with rock music, kids. Look it up!

Between the intense excitement of Evan Bourne furiously failing to unhook the briefcase and Randy Orton RKOing Jericho off a ladder, it was hard to know where to look.

That was, until this…….

That’s right, folks. One of the sleeper contenders in the contest won the title shot and made quite the victory speech. To cut a long oratory short, this was Miz’s moment, and we were to feel privileged to share it with him. Bravo, young man. There’s one thing I’m certain of, you’ll never hear the end of this on Raw.

Now to our main event which, I have to say, started a little slowly. Also, relations between myself and Lawler reached an all-time low during this match. I thought John Cena looked extremely focussed for his title match against Sheamus. Lawler insisted that he was nervous and refused to let the matter go. Even while commenting on a particular move I heard cries of “Wait! Wait! Wait!” just so that King could point out that Cena was having his face pressed into the steel. And the sarcasm. Oh, the sarcasm. I dared to suggest that the way Sheamus’ performance gradually improved throughout the match seemed as thought he was evolving, particularly after he applied the Celtic Hammer to John Cena. What did I get in response? “Ohhhh, he’s evolviiiiing!” Insert your own snippy, sniggering tone. If you watch the match back you’ll hear me raise my voice on several occasions to defend myself. But I should probably get back to recapping the match. I certainly didn’t want this to be my own personal soap-box to air my frustrations in public.

The match improved as it went along and Sheamus applied a great body-scissors move….. the rear naked choke, I believe. And I’m not surprised Sheamus plumped for some hardcore sleepers. I wondered if he might go that way when I saw him chit-chatting to Dolph Ziggler earlier in the day. But it takes more than a borrowed MMA move to keep John Cena down. John summoned up all his super-powers and began climbing the steel cage with Sheamus still clasping his huge body around Cena’s frame. Simply unbelievable.

Both men had the opportunity to leave the cage on several occasions but they clearly wanted the respect and adulation of gaining the pinfall and winning the match outright. From here things got a little crazy.  The Nexus arrived unannounced and with bolt cutters in hand. Officials were left unconscious, crowd members had to duck when keys were thrown their way and John Cena seemingly won the match when he forced Sheamus to tap out. All he had to do was leave the cage and reclaim his title belt. The Nexus had other ideas. Justin Gabriel scaled the cage like Peter Parker’s alter-ego himself and despite being thrown from the cage, Justin’s efforts delayed Cena’s exit long enough for Sheamus to leave from the other side of the ring, keeping the WWE championship firmly around his waist.

The hostile takeover left the scuppered Cena fuming, so wearing his wounds of war, he took all his frustrations out on some of the remaining gate-crashers.

What a show, eh? The Pay Per View everyone doubted delivered in abundance. I now have to prepare for the NXT and Smackdown tapings. See you later tonight, guys. There’s a fun show ahead.

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4 thoughts on “money in the bank: a night to remember

  1. Normally I find the comments about the Divas to be spot on around here, but you’ve got to be kidding about the Layla/Kelly Kelly match being better than Eve/Alicia. Did you see Kelly’s pathetic clotheslines? And her complete lack of anything resembling wrestling talent? And the constant shrieking! Gah! I’m all for the awesomenes of LayCool, but that match was weak. I personally found Eve and Alicia to be quite entertaining; Eve especially has been impressing me a lot lately.

    • Eve is a fantastic athlete and I’ve mentioned on several occasions that the under utilising of her MMA and jiu-jitsu skills is outrageous. With some proper promo training I could see her taking Mickie James’ place as the top female super-face of the WWE. But she can only do as much as she’s allowed to, and when her opponent is Alica Fox, Eve has even more to do to get a quality match out of the short time they’re given.

      Alica has got a long way to go before I can take her seriously as wrestler and definitely as a champion. The company very rarely invests its resources into the Divas and even rarer does it invest in the women on Raw. The match, in my opinion, was poor wrestling-wise and personality-wise. I don’t mind if competitors are still learning the craft of wrestling if the match can be balanced with personality and storyline, but this particular match had neither. Eve and especially Alica need some acting training pronto. I’ve probably been spoilt by the women in independent wrestling, because I watch a lot of it these days. But Eve vs Alicia was below par for me.
      The Smackdown Divas match, while somewhat light on strong wrestling ability, was rather entertaining as an overall package. Having Tiffany and Michelle McCool at ringside added something to the overall story and got the crowd involved, which is always good to see and hear in any Divas match. Layla is improving as a wrestler and while Kelly might never be one of the best athletes in the company, but she’s improving slowly and she’s found a collection of moves which work for her, so good luck to her. Having only a small repertoire of moves in your arsenal never hurt John Cena.

      Also, Matt Striker was there. So knows better than all of us.

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