SmackDown’s Money in the Bank ladder match
This match had just about every class of competitor that you would expect in a Money in the Bank ladder match. The former World Champions and Size Attractions: The Big Show and Kane; the ladder match veterans: Matt Hardy and Christian; along with the new generation of wrestlers: “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, and Kofi Kingston. Each sect of wrestlers were looking to cement their legacy’s in the most effective rise to championship glory since the The Royal Rumble.
Pros: The Big Show provided a breather from the intensity of the match to portray a giant’s struggle to climb a “normal” ladder. Which lead to Big Show bringing out his own reinforced ladder weighing over 350 lbs. This ladder allowed for more wrestlers to climb for the briefcase, sometimes having up to 6 wrestlers striving at the same time.
The ladder match vets, despite their own agendas, worked as a cohesive unit to take down the competition.
As for the new class, Kofi Kingston, the new Jeff Hardy, from the top of the ladder, connected with the Boom Drop on Drew McIntyre through the Spanish Announce table. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes struck Kane with his new signature move: Beautiful Disaster (jump kick from mid-rope); while later on in the match, Dolph Ziggler secured the sleeper hold on Kane.
Cons: With the match having two ladder match veterans, there was a lack of creativity on the part of Matt Hardy and Christian. Aside from them fighting over the briefcase until they knocked one another down, they provided no memorable moments throughout the match.
The Big Show was able to supply the match with the biggest ladder in WWE history, but his size became a disadvantage as everyone targeted him with a slew of ladders.
End Result: The SmackDown ladder match was not as star-studded as RAW’s ladder match, but it was probably the best in-ring story-telling of the two. Giving Kane the push to win the briefcase suggests one of two things: 1) He is ready to retire soon, or 2) The Undertaker’s return is evident.
Singles match for the WWE Divas Championship
Pros: Eve Torres left nothing to chance, breaking out a multitude of offense from drop kicks, standing moonsaults, and even a 450 Splash from the middle rope. Despite skepticism of Alicia Fox with the Divas Title, she is quickly proving why she belongs in the championship picture.
Cons: It should have been the only women’s match of the night.
End Result: Alicia Fox was able to take Eve Torres at her best and prove that her Championship victory at Fatal 4-Way was no fluke.
Tag team match for the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship
Pros: The Hart Dynasty are possibly the best pure athletic tag team that WWE has seen in a very long time. David Hart Smith provides the power, Tyson Kidd utilizes his swiftness, and Natalya keeps distractions from occurring.
The Usos, though very green to WWE, are simply phenomenal in their offense. They are making good on their word to replace the stereotypes of Samoans being “wild” and “savage” by establishing intelligent and cohesive wrestling.
Cons: These two teams are the face of the tag team division as of right now. The problem is, no one really knows them that well. Aside from Bret Hart’s two-week endorsement with The Hart Dynasty, not much has been thought of about Smith, Kidd, and Natalya. And even less is known of The Usos. They seem to have come out of left field with Bret Hart signing them to the roster.
End Result: The Harts retained the Unified Tag Team Titles, by clearly countering a “Superfly” Splash, and locking in The Sharpshooter for a submission victory. The Hart Dynasty dominated the final minutes of the match, and Smith’s reluctance of releasing the Sharpshooter after the victory shows that they are ready for the next level in tag team competition.
Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Pros: Challenger Jack Swagger may have appeared desperate to some, but he has instilled a mean streak where wrestling fans can accept him in the main-event title hunt. Rey Mysterio Jr. did not allow the ankle injury to slow him down throughout the match, or from executing high aerial offense.
Cons: Rey Mysterio Jr.’s victory could only be savored for a moment before Kane cashed in his SmackDown briefcase to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
End Result: Rey Mysterio Jr., despite the constant ankle lock attacks by challenger Jack Swagger, proved that well after five years, Eddie Guerrero still remains his highest inspiration in the sport of professional wrestling.
Author’s Notes: Call Kane opportunistic if you will, but Kane endured a 26 minute ladder match being pummeled with ladders every chance the other competitors got. Kane was kind enough to attack Jack Swagger and toss him out of the arena. So for Kane to cash in on Rey Mysterio Jr. should not be looked at as unfair, but perfectly fair. Rey Mysterio had an injured ankle but only wrestled a normal wrestling match, while Kane survived one of the most brutal concepts in WWE, a ladder match. So congratulations to Kane on becoming the only superstar in WWE to have worn the WWE, World Heavyweight, and ECW Championships. While Big Show has held all three as well, the World Heavyweight Title was back in WCW, not WWE.
Singles match for the WWE Women’s Championship
Pros: Kelly-Kelly found herself contending for the Women’s Championship on PPV.
Cons: Rated the worst match of the night, it was poorly done with only 3:56 given of wrestling time. Tiffany and Michelle McCool provided meaningless outside interference that added nothing to the match.
End Result: Layla-El managed to successfully defend her title in her first PPV defense.
Raw’s Money in the Bank ladder match
Similar to SmackDown’s, RAW’s Money in the Bank Ladder match featured a number of different sects of wrestlers, some even overlapping into different ranks. The Former World Champions: Chris Jericho, Edge, and Randy Orton; the Ladder Match veterans: Chris Jericho, Edge, and John Morrison; the size attraction: Mark Henry; along with the new generation of superstars: The Miz, Ted DiBiase Jr., and Evan Bourne.
Pros: John Morrison was simply electric. Many may not remember his ladder match feuds with The Hardys, and an I-C Title Ladder Match against Jeff Hardy, but John Morrison is a vet in ladder matches, and it showed by his creativity and innovative use of the ladders.
Randy Orton struck with three RKOs throughout the match: 1) Edge, 2) John Morrison, and 3) Chris Jericho from off the ladder.
Evan Bourne was finger tips away on several moments of the match from unhooking the briefcase, leaving fans on their feet. Ted DiBiase Jr. was aggressive in taking out the more experienced of the superstars, even utilizing his valet’s, Maryse, distraction to climb up the ladder.
Mark Henry stood in between two ladders, holding two superstars on each, and pushed them away causing them all to fall off. If that was not enough to prove his dominance, then catching Evan Bourne and dropping him to the floor with his High-angle falling powerslam should do the trick.
Cons: Chris Jericho had very little time to shine in the ring, with only keeping Evan Bourne from unhooking the briefcase being his only contribution.
Much like Kane suffered a three person attack during SmackDown’s match, Mark Henry was struck with Morrison’s Chuck Kick, Jericho’s Code Breaker, and Edge’s Spear. Simply because you have the size, does not mean you have the advantage.
End Result: Michael Cole, strangely, put it best: “There is a change in the air, changing of the guard, you are looking at the future of Monday Night RAW.” As stated before, several times throughout The Wrestling Times, winning a mid-level title is supposed to be a wrestler’s turning point in his career towards one day head-lining the company. The Miz has successfully taken this next step from WWE’s Miztake to WWE’s future by becoming RAW’s Mr. Money in the Bank.
Steel Cage match for the WWE Championship
Pros: Sheamus has defied fate twice by becoming WWE Champion, and proved that opportunistic and cunning attributes gets you championships. Able to kick out of The AA (Attitude Adjuster) and the 5-Knuckle Shuffle, Sheamus is almost becoming as superhuman as John Cena.
John Cena provided more high-risk offense in hopes of high reward. Cena was also valiant in keeping the match inside the steel cage in order to decisively defeat Sheamus once and for all. As for Sheamus’ superhuman feats, Cena matched his intensity by making it to his feet as Sheamus applied a rear-naked choke submission.
Cons: Sheamus entangled Cena in the Andre The Giant rope trap, where both arms of the wrestler’s are entangled in the ropes. Instead of simply taking the opportunity to escape the cage, he defiantly attacked a helpless John Cena. Afterwards, Sheamus used John Cena, literally, as a stepping stone to climb to the top of the cage. The fear in Cena’s eyes as Sheamus attacked and then proceeded to add insult to injury, was a look that he may have finally met his match.
At one point, Cena had the opportunity to climb out of the cage, but instead, he chose to go for a high-impact 5-knuckle shuffle, which he missed. He then managed to knock out referee Charles Robinson by throwing Sheamus against the steel cage. Thus, failing to realize that his STF submission move, and Sheamus tapping out, meant nothing without a referee to count it.
End Result: The Nexus interfered, allowing Sheamus the distraction to climb down the cage and retaining his WWE Championship.
The Nexus Interference
Pros: The Nexus delivered on their promise to make their presence known at the Money in the Bank PPV. With the advanced notice of Nexus showing up, more referees were set to officiate the match, and RAW’s MITB winner knew not to cash in with the knowledge of possibly squandering the MITB opportunity.
Cons: The Nexus failed to deliver punishment to either John Cena or Sheamus. Michael Tarver brought in bolt cutters, which were taken away. Wade Barrett and co. tried getting the key, but were thrown into the audience. So if the pay-per-view was a ladder match event, then why not use ladders to climb into the cage?