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Review: WWE Money In The Bank [2016] PPV

Review: WWE Money In The Bank [2016] PPV

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This might be my shortest wrestling Pay-Per-View review I’ve ever done on FilmFad. Tonight, at Money In The Bank, there wasn’t much to write home about. What is my third favorite PPV of the year has been stripped down to a very boring level. It’s not like the card wasn’t great. It actually was, including some matches that I was hesitant about but ended up being quite decent. The main problems I had with the show are either a match was redundant and predictable or just basic in nature. Yes, some of the most anticipated matches were basic and somewhat boring, even though a few of my favorite superstars were featured. I don’t know if it’s because I was personally having an off night/day, but there were very infrequent doses of entertainment tonight, which is very sad to say.

Kickoff Show

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Golden Truth vs. Breezango

The only truly entertaining aspect about this match was Breezango’s gimmick during it. They are “fabulous” characters who pride themselves on their looks and physiques and time in the tanning salon. After their tanning beds were tampered with by Golden Truth, Breezango came out with extreme sunburns and their skin peeling. This lead to some pretty funny moments during the match where R-Truth and Goldust would throw small slaps or flicks to the bodies of their opponents, and Breezango would react in such painful and brilliantly entertaining ways.

The match itself was quick and funny, but there’s nothing else worth going into detail about. Although, Breezango is an entertaining tag team. Fandango and Tyler Breeze work well together, and I hope to see them prosper in the future.

Match Grade: C

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Lucha Dragons vs. The Dudley Boyz

Kickoff show matches are notorious for being “nothing special,” and this one is no different. Here we have two very talented teams, but the result can best be described as “meh.” There was no real tension or any kind of spots that got me biting my nails with my dramatic nerves. It was a glorified-Raw match, which means it’s the type of “basic” match you’ll see on Monday Night Raw or Smackdown.

One reason why this match’s grade didn’t falter is because the match actually was “decent” and didn’t flop, and another reason is because the Lucha Dragons are always fun to watch. I feel like the matches should go far and beyond a basic weekly bouts when it’s a PPV, but sometimes that’s just not the case. This match is one of those times.

Match Grade: C

Main Show

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Tag Team Championships: New Day vs. The Vaudevillains vs. Enzo & Big Cass vs. Gallows & Anderson

A Fatal 4-Way Tag Team match has always been iffy for me. Sometimes they are fun and entertaining and then other times they are chaotic messes. This time around they stuck closer to the former, but there were definitely some screw-ups and misses that keep this match’s grade down.

First and foremost, Enzo & Big Cass looked absolutely great. It’s nice to Enzo back on the PPV stage after his unfortunate accident during Payback a couple months ago. He was back in full force with his 7-foot partner, and they stole the show. The other teams did well and mixed their styles together in such a way that they kept the audience guessing every step of the way. It has been awhile since I actually thought New Day might lose the titles, which is a very refreshing feeling.

New Day did end up winning in the end, but the match didn’t end in typical New Day “Crook” fashion. It was a good match, one of the better Fatal 4-Way Tag Team matches, actually. Still, it was a bit of a slop with some critical mistakes, bringing the energy way down a few times.

Match Grade: B-

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Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

This match has moved up from the pre-show to the main card. That’s a great hump for a superstar like Baron Corbin to get over, yet I wish he was facing someone else other than Ziggler. Do not get me wrong, please. I love Dolph Ziggler and he’s one of my favorites, but we’ve seen this match-up so many times that it’s now getting redundant. It’s not a fresh and entertaining rivalry, to me. It comes off as WWE not knowing what to do with Ziggler or Corbin, so they match them up every week until something else comes along.

This match itself wasn’t all that bad, though. Some great reversals were performed perfectly by Ziggler and Corbin showed off the extreme power he possesses. Seriously, I thought Corbin killed Ziggler with one of his clotheslines. It’s great to see Corbin getting better in the ring as a character and a performer and it’s always great see Ziggler work his magic, although this match has been seen so many times that it’s becoming dull. I didn’t have fun during it, and that’s why I watch wrestling in the first place. To be entertained, which is exactly how I didn’t feel for the majority of this match.

Match Grade: C+

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Dana Brooke & Charlottes vs. Natalya & Becky Lynch

I don’t know where the Women’s division is going. First of all, I’ve never been a fan of Dana Brooke. She’d be a great manager; she needs some work as a wrestler, though. She always looks so awkward, sluggish and boring. Her character is annoying, which actually is a good thing, but her in-ring skill doesn’t match her character’s potential. So, before this match, I decided to give Dana another chance. It has been some time since she’s been in NXT and has had time to hone her craft, so she deserves an open mind from me.

Once again, I was disappointed with Dana. She was either too early for a spot or was way too awkward with them. Of course, perfection does not come without practice and I believe any one can be great at anything, but at this point I think it’d be wiser for her to stick to being a manager. She has already been quite entertaining with Charlotte over the weeks, and I’m sure she’d do a great job with some of the male superstars as well.

As for this match, It was honestly nothing. It felt like a routine match, filled with the same boring spots and the same boring drama. Natalya even had an EXTREMELY slow crawl to her corner, trying to tag Becky Lynch in. I don’t know if one of the other women were late on a move or a spot, but Natalya’s crawl came off as so fabricated and over-acted that it hurt. Yes, professional wrestling is scripted, fixed and fabricated, but the beauty and the magic of the show comes from this fabrication making the audience use their imagination and start believing.

That didn’t happen here, and the only reason this match’s grade is above a D+ is because of Natalya’s vicious heel-turn after the match, where she ferociously attacked Becky Lynch, blaming her for their loss.

Match Grade: C-

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Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus

Here’s one of the matches that I was skeptical about. I like both superstars, but something wasn’t sitting well with me.

For one, I thought they were going to let Apollo bury Sheamus, building his resume and putting him over since he’s a newcomer. That wasn’t the case though, and these two had a very entertaining and solid match. It should’ve gone longer, but the chances Apollo took with his moonsault off the apron and Sheamus taking a belly-to-belly over the top rope kept the match intriguing, solidifying the fact that Sheamus is a solid veteran and Appolo is a solid newcomer.

The match was a nice breath of fresh air since the previous two matches nearly almost sent me to sleep. Its short length gets in the way of its grade going any higher, yet it’s a good example of some good wrestling; check this one out.

Match Grade: B

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John Cena vs. A.J. Styles

This might’ve been many people’s most anticipated match. It wasn’t for me. I’ve seen both Cena and A.J. do some incredible things in the ring, including having a couple of my favorite matches. There was just something about this one that had “boring” written all over it. Sure, A.J. and Roman Reigns stole the previous two PPVs with their main events and Cena has shown he can have a great match without doing too much “wrestling,” but right off the bat I knew their styles weren’t going to mix very well. Still, I of course went into this one with an open mind and hoped for the best.

At first I could see they were milking the crowd, keeping everything at a slow, melodic pace. But, other than some dramatic submission moments, the slow and melodic pace stayed with the match until the final few moments. It was, like many of the matches tonight, very basic and boring at times. I wanted this match to work out like A.J.’s past bouts with Reigns, yet it wasn’t in the cards tonight. I don’t know if it was an off night for both of them or something.

Even though it was slow and melodic and their styles didn’t mix, A.J. and Cena gave the audience a decent match with what they had to work with. Their few dramatic moments had more tension than some of the earlier matches had entirely, and how they worked the crowd actually made the match more entertaining than I thought it would, and because of this I had the match’s grade over a B at one time. That is until the cheap, stupid ending occurred, then it went down to a…

Match Grade: B-

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Money In The Bank Match: Sami Zayn vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens

Ah, yes. The featured match. The very reason this PPV exists. My favorite part of the night, and these six superstars did not disappoint… just the ladder structure/pyramid built late in the match did.

The innovations, chances taken, brutality and entertainment encompassed in this match was just short of brilliant. As one of the better line-ups for a Money In The Bank match in recent years, this was my most anticipated match of the night. Every superstar held their character and utilized it in excellent fashion, especially when talking about Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Kevin Owens. Those three are the future, and I cannot wait to see them prosper in the future. There were some other brutal moments that can only be described by watching them, so definitely check out Kevin Owens’ frog splash onto a knocked-out Ambrose on a ladder.

The match was going great until they moved into the third act and built a structure made out of ladders. One ladder was in the middle, underneath the briefcase, and then two ladders, one on each side, were inserted in between the middle rungs of the middle ladder and their other ends were supported by the ropes, giving the middle ladder two bridges to work with. As weird and complicated and awesome as that sounds, it really sucked the atmosphere and tension out of the match. Instead of watching these guys beat the crap out of each other with ladders, we watched them throw exhausted and pitiful punches while standing on ladders for the last act of the match. Even when all six superstars were up in the air, I didn’t feel any kind of excitement or drama because all they were doing were minimal moves. Sure, I definitely wanted to see someone get power-bombed off the top ladder through one of the ladder bridges, so I got a little excited every time there was a chance for it. In the end though, no one got power-bombed off the top ladder and Ambrose grabbed the briefcase.

The match was going so well until they built that structure. It would’ve been great if the structure started off the third act, but was then completely destroyed quickly afterwards. That didn’t happen, yet this was still one of the better Money In The Bank matches in recent years. I had fun.

Match Grade: B+

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United States Championship: Rusev vs. Titus O’Neil

FINALLY! Titus O’Neil gets a Singles Title shot. I always thought he would be a better singles competitor than with a tag team. The Prime Time Players were fun and had a spark of a moment, even though they deserved more than a spark, yet the nature of the business wasn’t too kind to the promising team. O’Neil was always the powerhouse of The Prime Time Players, and he has carried that trait over into his singles career.

Tonight, O’Neil did what he has always done. He showed off his power and actually made me nod with approval multiple times. His power matched beautiful with that of Rusev, creating such a rugged and brutal match. Well, rugged and brutal described the first few minutes of the match. After that it turned into a basic match where Rusev wins with his accolade and holds onto the championship, walking out with his lovely wife Lana.

I’m not saying Titus O’Neil isn’t going to get another shot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t. I hope what Rusev said to O’Neil’s kids after the match will shoot the rivalry into the next gear, but more than likely Titus will not get another shot. Which is sad since he’s a great talent who can do very well in the Singles division. He just needs the matches and the time, just like all the top dogs needed.

Match Grade: C

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World Heavyweight Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see Rollins in another PPV main event. He has always been outstanding on this level, and I expected nothing less from him tonight. As for Reigns, I’ve always been a believer and his last two main events with A.J. Styles prove he’s capable of creating a great match, even if he’s more of a powerhouse entertainer than a “technical wrestler.”

With these two performers, there’s a lot of history. Their time in The Shield will be remembered and renowned throughout history, and they’ve had their scrambles during their time in the singles division. But, everyone has been waiting a long time for The Shield Triple Threat match, where Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns fight each other for the title. Since Ambrose won the Money In The Bank briefcase earlier in the night, this main event quickly turned into the the first piece of the puzzle that will eventually lead to the highly anticipated Shield Triple Threat match.

After the initial bumps and punches of this match were dished out, it took an interesting turn. Instead of seeing the extremely talented Seth Rollins we’ve all come to love, we got a defeated, weak and “less than 100%” Rollins that got thrown around like a rag doll. I see why the creative team chose to have Rollins perform like this. He is just coming off an ACL injury and Reigns has become more powerful since he turned champ, so it’s only right for Rollins to appear “less than 100%” and for the champion to beat up and throw around his challenger. But… it’s Seth Rollins, and seeing him being tossed like a rag doll took me out of the match and kind of disappointed me.

Reigns did his thing, showing off his powerhouse talents with an exceptional power-bomb, and watching him absolutely destroy Rollins just makes me excited for the rematch when Rollins is “100%.” The match’s length helped its score, and a few of the moves were performed to perfection, especially Rollins’ pedigree reversal on Reigns’ spear. In the end, Rollins came back from his weak state to overpower Reigns and win, creating a semi-fulfilling character arc for Rollins. It still didn’t heal my initial disappointment.

Match Grade: B+

The night, overall, was pretty basic. Wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen, not by a long shot, but with the card they had I cannot help but think it could’ve been much better. It felt like a slightly longer episode of Raw, since Raw’s runtime is three hours and this PPV was three and a half hours. I may watch the Apollo Crews and Sheamus match once again and maybe the Fatal 4-Way tag match as well, but other than that I think I’ll pass on this one. None of the matches will probably make the “Best PPV Matches of 2016” DVD, but that’s okay because there were still some promising developments that came out of the event.

The biggest development is Dean Ambrose becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion. Reigns started off the night as champ. Rollins beat him in their main event, and then Ambrose cashed in the Money In The Bank briefcase and took the title. In one night, all three Shield members held the world heavyweight championship. Pretty awesome to witness and think about, especially for someone who has been watching these guys since their NXT days. Still, it seemed like there was going to be a second world heavyweight championship since Rollins definitely looked like he could give Ambrose a good fight, but Ambrose hit him with the briefcase, hit him with dirty deeds and won without breaking a sweat. A second match would’ve made the night better, but you can’t always get what you wish for.

Overall Show Grade: C+

Show MVPs: Enzo & Big Cass

About The Author

Matt

Seeing "Stand By Me" at the age of 6 solidified Matt's ambition to be a part of the entertainment industry. After growing up in Northern Virginia, studying film at Old Dominion University and rising from intern to Stage Manager at a Dinner Theater, Matt found himself at a speed bump in his life and wanting to express himself in more of a substantial way than calling a cue or flying a line every night. This need for creative expression pushed him to take on the challenge of getting a Master's Degree, which sent him on a year-long endeavor that seemed to throw obstacles and setbacks from every direction. But now, Matt is a screenwriter with a Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a passion for film, video games and professional wrestling, looking to keep the ambitious 6-year-old inside of him alive by entertaining the world through various forms of entertainment.

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