Pre show notes:
– For those of you that may not know me, my name is Danny Boy Downes (not actual legal name). I’m a college graduate turned UFC fighter turned UFC writer turned back up blogger for pro wrestling. While it’s been a hell of an adventure, it does mean that my parents fail to acknowledge anything I’ve done since I won the 8th grade spelling bee.
For the record, I want everyone to know my commitment to deliver you fine people the Best and Worst of Money in the Bank. This weekend was my bachelor party trip down to Kansas City and despite a massive hangover, I still decided to get things done. Some of highlights include: explaining to someone that you’re not really supposed to call the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum the “Negro Museum.” and my drunken best man decided to yelling at 4:30am that, “Bob Backlund would chicken wing the shit out of Verne Gagne.”
– Be sure to leave a comment on the report and click the “like” button. Not only does it help the people at With Leather, but it will make up for the lack of love I get from my family
– Thanks to Casey for the pics and gifs.
On to the wrestling!
Best: Money In The Bank Matches Make Everyone Look Good
I can’t remember any MITB match that’s sucked (then again, I did get punched in the head for a living). Even with a few botched moves this match still set the tone for a great PPV. I know the majority of the readers enjoy anything that begins with Vickie Guerrerro and a Dolph Ziggler butt wiggle, but I do have one complaint. What’s up with the hair? Johnny Lawrence wouldn’t have been the same with dark hair, and neither is the Zig Zag man. Is there a peroxide shortage I haven’t been informed of?
What pleased me the most was how the “lesser knowns” performed. Not only did Tyson Kidd have the move of the match with his ladder transfer power bomb, this was his breakout match as a whole.
Also, I’m a big Damien Sandow fan so it was nice to see him get some PPV time. It’ll be interesting to see if these solid performances translate into a bigger push, but at least they’ll always have this one magical night. I hope to make my future wife’s wedding night that magical, but I don’t think the ladder would fit in the honeymoon suite
Best: Tensai Throwing Ziggler
Another best has to go to the former daimyo known as Tensai. Partly because he had an overall solid performance, but most because he almost hit Booker T with Dolph Ziggler. It more than made He turned in a solid performance and almost hit Booker T with a Ziggler. It more than made up for DZ underselling Santino’s cobra strike. Which brings us to
Mostly Worst: Santino’s Cobra (not a euphemism)
I’ll be honest, Santino jumping for the briefcase at the beginning of the match was funny. Especially once Jerry Lawler explained that Santino needs a ladder to win the match. Even the way he fell down the ladder towards the end hitting his face on every rung on the way down was solid physical comedy. What’s starting to bother me, though, is the gradual evolution of the Cobra into an actual being. A few weeks ago Santino himself told Ricardo Rodriguez that it’s actually only a sock, but that comment seems to be lost.
Santino is scared of heights! Don’t worry, the magical sock of doom will give him the courage to continue! It’s like the sock is starting to become its own character. Even Mr. Socko didn’t get this much anthropomorphism. How long until the cobra goes the way of Moppy?
Worst: Car Metaphors!
Sheamus is related to my cousin’s future wife, so I’ll try to be careful here so I don’t get smacked during the cake cutting ceremony. This promo sucked. Sure that doesn’t sound diplomatic, but internet diplomacy qualifies as anything that doesn’t use racial and/or homophobic slurs. While I was impressed at The Great White’s level of car knowledge, the whole metaphor just seemed forced. Also, it kind of hard to feel bad for the guy that sneak attacks people for getting sneak attacked. On the bright side, if this wrestling thing doesn’t work out for him, Sheamus could make a lot of money with a auto garage and Irish pub hybrid business.
Apathy: The Miz Returns
I couldn’t give this a best or a worst because, honestly, I didn’t really care. You had to know that someone else was going to be in the second MITB match because even though the original four could carry the match, the WWE seems to always love adding new stipulations to matches. At least this time we didn’t find out via text message.
Worst: Underwhelming Championship Matches
I know that MITB matches are a tough act to follow. Expectations are high and anything else by comparison seems kind of blah. It’s like when I open up my workout mixes with Meatloaf’s “Paradise By the Dashboard Light.” Was it a bad match? No, but there was nothing special about it. At the very least they could have had Ricardo Rodriguez give Del Rio a good luck kiss on the cheek and then have him deftly avoid the Brogue kick. The wrestling was solid, although it did seem odd that the Irishman with a supposedly injured arm performed a lot of moves that required arm strength.
The way the WWE keeps pushing the fact that every MITB winner has won the title, you know that the next person to do so is going to lose. As Dolph Ziggler walked down the aisle, my heart sank a little thinking that the Zig Zag man was going to be the first. Then, part of me kind of wanted it to happen just to see all the rage and CAPSLOCK hatred that would come from it. Brandon would either have a brain aneurism or get arrested for shanking any pale red-headed men he found on the streets of Austin and I’d get to move up to the big leagues.
As an added bonus, it would catapult Sheamus to Cena levels of hatred where everyone under the age of ten would love him and buy all his merchandise and all the other fans would despise everything about him. I’m looking forward to seeing what extended metaphor Sheamus uses to describe Ziggler tonight.
See fella, Dolph here has a lot o’ dem fancy shirts. There are a lotta shirts out there. Ya have yer dress shirts, dinner shirts, V-cuts, polos and camisoles. Me, I’m just yer average flannel shirt. Nuttin’ special, but highly despised by all the folks on the internet.
Worst: The Tag Titles Mean Nothing
I don’t understand why the actual tag team title match gets put on the YouTube pre-show, but the number one contenders wrestling the same team for the 100th time with nothing on the line gets on the PPV. Much like Sex Panther cologne’s statistics, it doesn’t make sense. On the other hand, we did get to see an MITB edition of America’s Best Dance Crew between Rosa Mendes and the Prime Time Players. I’m sure all of you feel as enriched by that experience as I do.
Ever since the Prime Time Players won the shot at the titles, all they’ve done is lose their momentum. Plus, it seems odd that Epico and Primo are getting a bigger push than any time they actually held the titles. I would say this means I’m not looking forward to them facing Kofi and R-Truth, but then again….
Best: Mic’d Up AW
AW better be mic’d up for all the Prime Time Players matches from now on. Even the Sheamus Del Rio matchup would have been saved with a guy in the background yelling, “Get up brotha!” “Shut up Rosa!” and “That’s money! Millions of dollars!”
Another best goes to R-Truth for holding back Little Jimmy when they had their scuffle after the match was over. That’s commitment. It almost makes up for the terrible commentary by Kofi. Almost, but not quite.
Also, did anyone notice that Kofi seems incapable of not smiling? Even when he’s angry and talking trash, he’s still smiling ear to ear.
Best: Personalized Referee Uniforms
I think it’s nice that special guest referees get to change up the zebra stripes. Whether it’s HBK’s sleeveless or AJ’s half shirt, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they alter their uniforms. My first summer job was at Beverly Country Club in Chicago and I made sure to alter my clothes to appear more like a Medieval peasant. Sure it was hot as hell in those britches, but it gave the golfers the sense of superiority that made them more like to throw some extra dollars my way — and spit on me. I just wonder what Earl Hebner would have done to his…
This needs to stop now. Not only will it mean we’ll get even more social media talk besides _____ is trending on Twitter, but it also means we’ll get moment like last night where Cole tells us that someone’s favorite RAW memory was AJ proposing to Punk. Now I don’t know anything about this girl personally, but I’m sure she’s a bad person.
Best: CM Punk vs Bryan
And as what should come as the least surprising event of the evening, CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan was a great wrestling match. This still happened despite the best efforts to sabotage it with an unnecessary stipulation, much less ones created via text message. Think Hornswaggle is the anonymous WWE texter?
When you have great wrestlers, you don’t need gimmicks (unless they decide to bring back the triple cage). This match had it all. Daniel Bryan busted out a sweet huricanrana GTS counter and the surfboard submission. Punk had his innovative chair scoop slam and beat Bryan with a ken-do stick (aka Singapore Cane) like he stole something from him. The only thing that would have made it better was if he told Bryan to, “Go cut me a switch,” beforehand.
Luckily for us this feud doesn’t appear to be slowing down. While some may criticize the WWE for having the same guys wrestle each other week after week, I could get used to seeing Bryan vs Punk every Monday night. It’ll be nice to see Bryan get some momentum going. Last night was he became the first wrestler in WWE history to lose five PPV matches in a row with major titles on the line. He’s still the people’s champ, however, which means absolutely nothing.
Worst, Then Best: AJ as Guest Referee
I knew AJ was going to get knocked down in the match and then come back, but it still frustrated me. Despite being someone’s 95 lb girlfriend she’s still a wrestler and shouldn’t have to go in the back because she gets bumped off the apron. The only thing worse than the event was Booker T’s response. “That would never happen to an experienced referee!” Really? WWE referees drop easier than those fainting goats and only about half as adorable.
Needless to say, she wasn’t a huge factor and that was appreciated. I’m still not sure where they’re going with the story, but it was nice to finally see some subtle (for wrestling) advancement. After the match, Punk barely paid attention to her and simply gave her a sideways glance towards the end. As long as we don’t find out on RAW that AJ and Eve are in cahoots and create Team Hoeski, I’ll be content.
Best: Ryback’s advancement
Now maybe I was still drunk from my bachelor party this weekend, but I even like the handicap match. Ryback didn’t totally squash Reks and Hawkins like he did all the other jobbers he’s faced and the King even threw in a Superman reference. Not sure what I dislike more, though. The fact that his finisher is now called Shellshocked or the whole marching thing before he actually does it.
Best: Jericho’s Hair On His First Raw Episode
You know it
Best: A Divas Match?
Now I know I’m still drunk. At first I thought the only positive thing I’d say about the match was Layla’s bedazzled knee brace, but the match turned out nicely. It’s amazing what can happen when you actually let your talent wrestle on a pay per view without Maria Menounos. I wonder how they’ll set them back tonight. Maybe the Godwins return on RAW and Beth Phoenix get thrown into a pig pen match.
Best: Everything But The Result
Now before we get to how much we hate the ending, let’s just recognize that the match itself was entertaining. The Miz showed himself to be Bizarro-Samson; cutting his hair appears to make him stronger. Concerning his previous performances, I was skeptical about what he would contribute to the match. At the very least, I figured he could make up for the lack of wrestling by taking big bumps. You know, like Mick Foley just without knees of 125 year old man.
Both Kane and Big Show continued their stretch of solid performances. Kane nonchalantly knocking Miz off by throwing a ladder at him was my personal favorite and Big show got to take an extended nap under a pile of ladders. Show’s custom ladder made another appearance and the announcers pretended that they had never seen it before. Continuity issues were the least of concerns, though. Which brings us to …