Money in the Bank most often than not should about elevating new stars and WWE actually did it — but something about it all just didn’t feel right. Either way, Saturday night’s show from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, conjured up all sorts of emotions and that’s the best thing you can ask for from a wrestling show.
Liv Morgan finally had her well-deserved moment. She not only won the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, but then cashed in the contract only a few hours later to stunningly defeat a story-lined injured Ronda Rousey — who has just beaten Natalya — to become SmackDown women’s champion for the first time. The whole night felt like one big story unfolding. Theory, who lost his United States championship to Bobby Lashley early in the show was a surprise eighth entrant in the men’s Money in the Bank match. The 24-year-old, who was gifted the chance in storyline by Mr. McMahon, ultimately won much to the crowd’s dismay. Theory now carries around nuclear heat with him. But it again feels like WWE is ducking the Money in the Bank winner being a threat to Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns as Theory is more likely to cash-in on the babyface who defeats the champ.
Here are the top takeaways from an entertaining Money in the Bank show that gave fans plenty to talk about and theorize about what the future holds.
Liv In The Moment
Morgan time is finally here. The New Jersey native, who for years kept falling short of becoming a champion, is officially one in the feel-good moment of the night. It’s a trust from the company Morgan, who got very emotional, has been striving for through different phases of her career and she finally looks ready for. Having her defeat Rousey only made WWE’s faith in her feel that much stronger.
If you are going to nit pick how this played out, this is now the sixth time in the seven chances the women’s Money in the Bank winner become a champion in two days or less since winning — one of them being Becky Lynch relinquishing to Asuka — and the third time it’s happened at the event itself. While it feels like rinse-and-repeat booking, this at least had some gravitas of having Morgan cross brands to do so and defeat the usually untouchable Rousey.
It did appear “The Baddest Women on the Planet” was about to turn heel, but instead she hugged Morgan and walked off. I have a feeling that could come on SmackDown in the near future if WWE plans to have a babyface Morgan feud against a heel Rousey, maybe with Shayna Baszler by her side for SummerSlam. Maybe Rousey takes time off, but it’s really hard to see that happening with two stadium shows on the horizon. Rousey, who was booed when she initially put the Ankle Lock on Morgan, said in a recent interview she would prefer to be a heel and Morgan gives her a fantastic babyface to work with. If so, Morgan’s reign could certainly and sadly be short-lived and Saturday becomes just another WWE moment that stays just that
The finish to the women’s ladder match was very well done. Becky Lynch had just pushed four of the other competitors on ladders onto the ropes, leaving what appeared to be a clear path to the briefcase until Morgan jumped up on the ladder next to her. As Lynch tried to push her aside, Morgan was able to get a foot on the rope to bring herself back to center and knock Big Time Becks down. She climbed up and got a very good pop as she pulled down the contract.
This was a good match overall with tons and tons of ladder spots. Morgan pulled off a gnarly-looking falling powerbomb off the ladder to Lacey Evan’s while kind of jumping over the top of Rodriguez, who continues to be presented as a dangerous powerhouse. Rodriguez and Asuka had really fun sequence of reversals around a ladder propped up between the ring and the commentary table. It ended with Lynch delivering a leg drop off another ladder onto both of them.
Having Theory become Mr. Money in the Bank is not the problem. It’s how it was done and the champion he would have to cash in on that is. Telegraphing your winner in any match is never a good thing and WWE has done it twice in the past three years in the men’s match with Brock Lesnar’s making a shocking return to do so in 2019 and Theory being added as a late entrant this year. He fought off fan favorite Riddle to finally grab the brief case.
His victory itself makes sense, but what does it become past this moment. Theory, a heel, feels like zero threat to cash-in on Reigns, but does feel like he could do so to whoever finally beats the Tribal Chief. It could create an instant feud with a Cody Rhodes or Drew McIntyre – unless Theory pins a babyface in a triple-threat scenario. But that also makes little sense. What does feel logical is John Cena somehow thwarting Theory’s cash-in attempt to set up their eventual match whenever that may be. It makes you think WWE wants the Money in the Bank winner nowhere near Reigns because Rollins and Riddle would have been better choices.
During, the match the other competitors did everything they could to neutralize Omos. They buried him under ladders and then six of them lifted the giant up and put him through the announce table. Riddle also managed a Floating Bro off a ladder and onto a pile of competitors then delivered a super RKO off the ladder to Rollins in the spot of the match. There was a more frantic effort to grab the contract, especially late as Zayn, Madcap Moss, Seth Rollins, Riddle all had quality chances before Theory got the job done.
The Show Stopper
The Street Profits and The Usos for the Undisputed WWE tag team championships was everything we thought it would be – a show stealer — and it appears will be getting the match again at SummerSlam. After delivering the 1D, Jey Uso pulled Montez Ford’s shoulder off the matt on the pin. The referee didn’t see it, but Ford angrily reacted and WWE showed the clear replay so it could advance the story forward to probable a Street Profits win in Nashville. Michael Cole did hint that Ford and Dawkins were not on the same page, so maybe it becomes a breakup angle – but that seems unlikely with how the finish played out.
This match was rightly given plenty of time with so few of them on the card and the two teams made the most it. It got off to a very slow pace with The Usos picking the Street Profits apart, mocking them and delivering cheap shot in the process. As the pace quicken, things turned Ford and Dawkins’ way. It left the crowd hanging on every near fall, including the Street Profits hitting their signature double-blockbuster from the top rope and then the spinebuster into a frog slash combo but not getting the win. The crowd was really behind Ford and Dawkins and while they appear to be the team most likely to unseat The Usos it will have to wait for now.
A post-match attack by a defeated Carmella to Raw women’s champion Bianca Belair at least makes it seem this feud is not over yet and makes you wonder if original and injured challenger Rhea Ripley will be back soon. Hopefully she is and this is just a rematch on Raw. That’s not to say Belair and Carmella had a bad match. It was fine for what it needed to be, but Belair never felt in true danger, it felt very similar to other Carmella title match losses and saw the challenger get put away pretty definitively with a KDO. Ripley is by far the biggest threat to Belair it’s just a matter of when WWE get the match in the ring
Ronda Rousey over Natalya to retain the SmackDown women’s champion
Before Rousey was cashed in on, she had a somewhat-better-than-expected match with Natalya that aptly set up Morgan’s moment. This one started slow, focusing on a number of submissions. But it got us to a point where Rousey’s leg was “injured” and then came some super cool submission transitions from sharpshooter or an arm bar attempt to a potential sharpshooter to a more horizontal arm bar for the tap out. Rousey at one point even put the Sharpshooter on Natalya and did a Shawn Michael’s-like biceps flex.
Bobby Lashley over Theory to win the United States championship
This match was all about Theory trying to find a way to avoid or limit Lashley’s power advantage, which he was mostly unsuccessful at. At one point, Theory rolled into Lashley lifting him up above his head and then dropping him for a powerslam. The finish came when Theory raked Lashley’s eyes and hit him with a spear – appearing to be ready to win in a super obnoxious way. The All Mighty was however able to counter Theory’s A-Town Down into a Hurt Lock to become a three-time US champ. There are not a ton of creditable heels for Lashley to feud with on Raw. Maybe someone like Veer Mahaan is next.
WWE ran a very cryptic vignette that many people took as a possible Bray Wyatt tease, but it feels more like a return of Edge or debuting Gable Stevenson based on the imagery.
WWE made Happy Corbin’s match with Pat McAfee at SummerSlam official after he came out after the show was over to attack the SmackDown commentator
So WWE, after Bliss lost the MITB match, ran a commercial for its credit card involving her doll Lilly buying merch with the card. It certainly felt misplaced and misguided to have a kid’s doll pushing credit cards. Tweets from people at the show said the spot was booed in the arena.
Biggest Winner: Liv Morgan
Biggest Loser: Seth Rollins
Best Match: The Usos vs. The Street Profits