The SmarK Rant for WWE Money in the Bank 2022 – 07.02.22
Well this one kind of snuck up on me.
Live from Allegiant Stadium MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV
Your hosts are Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton
Women’s Money in the Bank: Becky Lynch v. Asuka v. Liv Morgan v. Raquel Rodriguez v. Lacey Evans v. Shotzi v. Alexa Bliss
Glad to see Lacey has ditched the stupid “sassy southern belle” gimmick that was going nowhere. Asuka batters Becky with strikes to start while everyone else fights on the floor, but she grabs a ladder and Becky runs her into it. We get a wacky spot where Becky and Liv are left laying on the ladder and Raquel tries to lift it like a barbell, but that doesn’t work, sadly. So Lynch and Morgan double-team her, but Raquel suplexes them onto the ladder. Shotzi gets a bodypress and we get a dogpile on the outside, and that leaves Bliss alone to try the climb. Raquel stops her, but Bliss gets a rana to take her down and Raquel is kind of left laying in the corner doing nothing until Asuka suplexes Shotzi onto the ladder on top of her. That was a tad contrived. Asuka and Becky climb, but Lacey brings them down and climbs, but Shotzi saves and they slug it out on top of the ladder. Lacey actually gets the case, but takes too long and Raquel comes from underneath her and awkwardly pushes her away from it. Liv climbs up and tries, and then brings Lacey down with a terrifying powerbomb from the top of the ladder. Alexa climbs and Shotzi tries to bring her down with an electric chair, but they awkwardly fall over and land on the ladder in a bad looking spot. Shotzi goes up and lands on a ladder, allowing Asuka to climb, but Raquel saves and they fight over the ladder before Raquel changes her mind and heads to the floor. So she preps the announce table and fights with Asuka out there, but that goes nowhere they do a weird thing with Asuka trying an armbar on the floor for some reason. Asuka ends up on a ladder bridge and Becky does a senton, sort of, off another ladder, but completely misjudges it and lands on Asuka’s ribs with her ass. This match is a complete car wreck. Everyone climbs up in the ring, but Becky pushes over the ladders and climbs herself. Liv pushes her off, however, and grabs the case at 16:38. I still don’t get what the big deal is supposed to be with Liv, but people seem to like her, so good for her. This match was a complete disaster, though, filled with missed spots and bad looking bumps. ** Get the damn referees to steady the ladders!
US title: Theory v. Bobby Lashley
Lashley is all smiling babyface now. That’s never been an effective role for him. Bobby quickly overpowers Theory and chokeslams him, but Theory runs away to the apron, so Lashley runs him into the railing. Lashley chases him out there, so Theory sends him into the post to take over. But Lashley comes right back and runs Theory into the post, and back into the ring, where Theory runs away again and hides in the corner. Theory finally gets a clothesline for two and puts the boots to Lashley, and then goes to a chinlock. That goes for a long time until Lashley powers out and makes the comeback with suplexes and Theory runs away again, but Lashley catches him with a press slam for two. Theory escapes the Dominator, but Lashley rolls him up for two. Theory with a slingshot rolling dropkick for two. Theory goes for his finish, but Lashley cradles for two. So Theory spears him and tries to finish again, but Lashley gets the full nelson and submits him at 11:07. A good RAW match with a hot crowd. ***1/4 I have no idea why they’re jobbing Theory here, though.
Meanwhile, Liv Morgan doesn’t want to commit to when she’ll cash in just yet.
RAW Women’s title: Bianca Belair v. Carmella
Bianca takes her down to start and flips over her into a dropkick. Carmella tries a headscissors and Bianca brings her down with a backbreaker, so Carmella bails to the floor. Bianca bowls her over out there, and back in the ring Mella suckers her in for a superkick for two. She gets a submission move and Bianca fights out of that, so Mella slams her. Bianca comes back with a delayed suplex and slugs away in the corner, but she misses a charge and hits the post. Mella gets a cradle for two and a superkick for two. Mella talks some trash, though, and Bianca finishes her with the KOD at 7:20. This was pretty basic. **1/4 And then Carmella attacks afterwards, so I guess THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE. Maybe she’ll have to win another multi-person match to get another title shot, who knows?
Meanwhile, Alexa and the stupid doll shill for the credit card.
World tag team titles: The Usos v. The Street Profits
Dawkins quickly dominates Jimmy and hits a spinebuster to set up the finish, but the Usos bail while Montez offers some crotch chops. Montez is putting on some muscle so hopefully that means they’re splitting them up and pushing the crap out of him soon. I’m not always into splitting up tag teams for the sake of it, but Ford is clearly the star of the future and they desperately need babyfaces. Ford dropkicks Jey and flips into another crotch chop, and then slams Dawkins onto Jey for two. The Usos manage a double spinebuster on Dawkins and chase him out of the ring to set up a dive from Jimmy while Pat McAfee notes that “the gold has been showered all over the Bloodline for quite some time.” Ew. That’s way too much information. Dawkins gets run into the post and they slug it out in the ring, with Jey winning that one. Jimmy beats on Dawkins and stops to mock the dancing of the Profits, but that allows Montez to get the hot tag. And Jey immediately cuts him off with a superkick for two. Usos go to work on Ford now with a Demolition elbow for two. And they SLOOOOOOOOOOWLY beat on him and choke him out on the ropes before Jey goes to the chinlock. Ford fights out and tries a springboard, but Jimmy cuts him off again and slugs him down on the apron. Ford fights back with a suplex on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and Dawkins gets a hot tag and runs wild with clotheslines. Neckbreaker on Jimmy gets two. Back to Ford, who dives in with a slam for two on Jimmy. Ford with an enzuigiri on Jey and the Profits hit him with a Street Sweeper for two. Dawkins slugs it out with Jey and they try another finisher, but the Usos knock Ford down and superkick him for two. Ford recovers and dumps both Usos for a crazy over-the-post dive, and back in for From the Heavens on Jey, but Jimmy saves. They all slug It out and Jimmy tosses Dawkins over the railing to get rid of him, allowing the Usos to double-team Ford and hit the 3D to finish at 22:53. This took FOREVER to get to the big heat at the end but it ended up pretty good, albeit with the usual “Usos win LOL” finish. ***1/2 Like seriously, would it kill them to do a job once in a while?
Smackdown Women’s title: Ronda Rousey v. Natalya
This had quite the buildup. I’m not quite clear on who is supposed to be the heel in all this, but people seem to be booing Ronda less. They trade armbars and Nattie takes her down, but Ronda reverses for two. Crucifix gets two. Nattie with an anklelock, but Ronda reverses to her own. Nattie bails and tells everyone around ringside to shut up, to which Pat quips “We have to talk, they pay us to talk.” Back in the ring, they call each other “bitch” a lot and Natalya gets a clothesline for two. Nattie beats her down in the corner and goes to a chinlock. Nattie continues telling everyone to shut up and controls with an armbar, but Ronda reverses to an abdominal stretch. And then Nattie gets her own. Thrilling. Ronda comes back with clotheslines, and they trade rollups for two. Ronda with a Sharpshooter while doing a Shawn Michaels pose, but Natalya makes the ropes. Was that supposed to be a babyface move from Ronda? I don’t get what they’re going for in this match at all. Ronda goes for the armbar, but Natalya dumps her and Ronda hurts the knee. So Natalya does her own Sharpshooter on the apron, which makes absolutely no sense because you can’t win doing that and in fact you can get disqualified, and Ronda runs her into the post to break. Back in the ring, Ronda tries her slam, but Natalya reverses to the Sharpshooter, and Ronda turns that into an anklelock. Nattie tries to reverse out of that, but Ronda grabs the arm and submits her at 12:48. What the hell WAS that? This was a complete mess. *1/2 And then Liv Morgan comes out and cashes in.
Smackdown Women’s title: Ronda Rousey v. Liv Morgan
Liv charges in and Ronda grabs the anklelock, but Liv hits her in the knee and pins her at 0:30 to win the title. Had they done a better job of making it seem like Ronda actually had a bad knee this might have been more convincing. And they’re really fond of burning that briefcase early.
Money in the Bank: Riddle v. Seth Rollins v. Omos v. Madcap Moss v. Sami Zayn v. Sheamus v. Drew McIntyre v. Theory
So Theory gets added to the match by Adam Pearce at the last minute as now the title loss earlier makes more sense. Omos slams everyone right away and then hits everyone with a ladder outside. He continues dominating back in the ring, until Drew finally hits him with the Claymore kick to put him on the floor. Drew and Sheamus fight over the climb and slug it out, but Theory tries to sneak up the ladder and gets hauled down. Sheamus and Drew take turns beating him up, but Rollins dumps them. He tries a Pedigree on Riddle on the ladder, but Riddle escapes and hits a senton on the ladder. Sami and Madcap fight over the ladder and Moss wins that battle and makes the climb. Yeah that’s likely. Omos beats up Riddle and Moss and chokeslams Theory. So he climbs and Drew pushes the ladder over, but Omos was standing on the second rung and basically just steps down. Everyone throws ladders at him on the floor and buries him underneath to hopefully get him the hell out of this match. Two ladders get set up and everyone climbs, but the ladders get knocked over and Madcap climbs again. But then he climbs down and goes after Sami for some reason. Sami climbs over him and Moss powerbombs him onto a ladder in a dangerous spot. Moss and Drew slug it out on the ladder and Drew goes for the case, but Sheamus saves and brings him down this time. Sheamus beats on Riddle, but he misses the Brogue Kick and Riddle gets a draping DDT off the ladder. Riddle runs wild on everyone and climbs the ladder in the corner for a Floating Bro onto the pile. And then Omos returns to suck the life out of the match again and throws everyone out. Everyone finally gangs up on him while we get to watch Omos “selling” their big moves, and they all team up to put him through the table. Sami tries to steal the case and Drew makes the save and traps Sheamus under the ladder, but Butch runs in and makes the save. And then Sheamus climbs with Drew trapped, but Drew pushes the ladder over from underneath to escape. They fight on top and Sami dumps them over to save and makes the climb, but Moss saves. Rollins pushes him over and makes the climb, and fights off Riddle on a second ladder, but Riddle recovers with an RKO off the ladder. So Riddle climbs, but Theory follows him up and wins the case at 25:30. What a bullshit finish to the show that was. They desperately need babyface challengers for Roman and THIS is the guy you give the briefcase to? Match was overly long and Omos was single-handedly trying to wreck it every time he was in. Most of it was the same-old same-old climb and save stuff. ***
This was solidly thumbs in the middle for me, with a terrible ending to the show that mostly wasted whatever goodwill they had built up.