The extremely hot topic of conversation in the pro wrestling world this week is the first-ever women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. Or rather, the finish to that match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on Sunday. If you somehow missed it (or the ensuing heated discussion), Carmella was announced the winner after James Ellsworth (not a woman, and also not part of the match) climbed the ladder and retrieved the briefcase for her. After two days of very passionate debate on the internet, WWE did an abrupt take-backsies on Tuesday, and will have a rematch on next week’s Smackdown Live.
The argument basically boils down to this: the people upset about the finish of the match believe it’s a slap in the face to promote and hype a match as being an historically important breakthrough for women in wrestling and then have a man steal the victory, and the people who are upset about the people being upset believe that everything is fair play when wrestling heels do heelish things.
One of the people who wasn’t a fan of the booking decision? WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler. On the latest episode of his podcast, Lawler talked about his disappointment in how things played out. (Transcript via 411Mania.)
“That’s one thing that disturbed me, and hopefully they will fix that in some kind of way. That’s what WWE has been about. We don’t even call them Divas anymore; it’s the women’s division because it’s about empowering women. So much of the emphasis that the WWE has put on the women’s division has done that. That’s why I was disappointed to see, in the first ever, historic Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match, that they had to have a man climb the ladder and retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase. I’m one of [the people who are upset about the finish].”
If Jerry Lawler — one of the all-time cheap heat heels and master of pissing people off — has a problem with the finish, that’s a pretty telling sign.