Money in the Bank 2017


After a dismal Raw Extreme Rules PPV we look to Smackdown to pick up the ball again and give fans a great show. Here’s hoping it happens. 

Women’s money in the back match:

To catch attention right off the top the show begins with the women’s MITB ladder match. A first ever which has high expectations from everyone watching. 


As the intros happen there is a nice vignette paying tribute to past women wrestlers. A little out of place as most entrances are shown and then Natalya gets cut out. Overall not too bad of an idea. 

The match started quick and with some good ladder play. While there was some hesitation (probably to protect everyone involved), it was decent to get going. The only thing missing was the continuation of the “Welcoming Committee” storyline as there were no alliances at all. 

The match had some big bumps and some of the traditional ladder match falls. However, the finish seemed rushed, the match short and the interference of James Ellsworth just made it lose the hype that it should have had. In the end Ellsworth climbed the ladder and handed Carmella the briefcase. He then announced Carmella as the winner while the referees were still arguing about the legality of it all. Very anticlimactic for what should have been a great first in wrestling. 


New Day vs The Usos : Tag Titles:

Two well established teams facing one another. It started well and continued for the bulk of the match. The two teams play well off one another and had a good back and forth match. Kudos to Kofi Kingston for the huge bump he took going over the top rope to the floor and then for the countless times after that he was tossed outside the ring. 

After some amazing moves and some great high flying action the Usos took their belts and ran away. New Day wins via count out but Usos keep the titles. 

Naomi vs Lana – women’s championship:

This was thought of as the sleeper match. Lana has next to no ring experience and isn’t taken seriously as a wrestler at all. Fans still like her look and she is certainly showing some strength as she goes. 


Lana actually dominated the early stages of the match showing she has learned some in ring maneuvers. She did show some inexperience with her hesitation to go from one move to the next. I don’t think chain wrestling will be in her near future. 

As Lana’s repertoire was nearing an end Carmella made a grand entrance to tease her MITB briefcase and provide a distraction. Naomi was able to reverse Lana’s next move and get a submission win over the Ravishing Russian. 

Overall this was a bit of a surprise to fans watching. Even if the crowd didn’t sound like they were into it. 

*Fashion Files filler to lead to a match later.

* Mike and Maria Kinellas have arrived in WWE to teach the world about love. I’m already not interested. To be honest, I’ve never gotten into Mike Bennett aka Kinellas. 

*introduction to AWA legends including Cowboy Bob Orton. 

Jinder Mahal vs Randy Orton -heavyweight title: 


People are starting to accept Jinder Mahal as a true champion. He came out to full crowd reactions fitting for someone “established”. 

The match was slow but deliberate. There was no wasted motion and it seemed to be the style that suited both men. Jinder seemed to dominate the bulk of the match and in an odd homage to the legends at ringside he seemed to be doing moves to pay tribute to them. Some successful and some not. 

In the end the Singh brothers proved to be a distraction as they were destroyed ringside by Orton it gave Mahal time to recover and take advantage of the distraction to get the win. 

Breezango vs The Ascension:

So this was a dark match filler to give time between the championship match and the main event. 

It was nice to see the Ascension again as they have basically been forgotten it seems. However, in very short order Breezango snuck out a victory after being dominated by the dark lords. 

Money in the Bank:


Baron Corbin started MITB before the bell even began by taking out Nakamura during his entrance. He then demanded the match begin and showed strong for the first few minutes. 

The match did not disappoint. It was back and forth with everyone having a chance to grab the case. Kevin Owens took a couple big bumps leading to a rumour of him getting injured. With Corbin being the last man standing and about to climb the ladder Nakamura made a grand return to freshen the fight and bring the audience to a new level. 

Nakamura took everyone out of the match one by one with high energy and high impact moves. With ladder in place Nakamura and AJ Styles came face to face for a long time reunion from times in Japan. The two men traded blows going back and forth and even climbing the ladder as they did so. However, Baron Corbin, who made an impact at the very beginning dumped the two men and was able to climb the ladder himself and get the briefcase.  Mr. Money in the Bank is Baron Corbin. A title reign for him will be coming soon. 


Overall the fans were well invested and were entertained for their money.  It was a PPV that was fairly well done with little let down and some nice surprises.  Based on the number of advertisements for Raw’s next show Great Balls of Fire, I feel they are nervous of having another failure. Until then, we will see what develops.

Advertisements

NXT: Takeover & Wrestlemania Predictions 

Ok so it’s Wrestlemania weekend and it all kicks off tomorrow with NXT: Takeover Orlando.  I’m writing my predictions together as I believe that some of the participants will be coming over from one to another. 

So without further delay here we go:


NXT: Takeover Orlando

8 person mixed tag. 

I give this to Sanity for the simple reason that I love Nikki Cross. She has truly come into her character and embraced the crazy. I believe she won’t just fight Ruby Riot but some of the men too!  

My initial idea for this was the have Dillinger join Sanity. With the new intro of Ruby Riot I don’t see him turning now which is too bad. I don’t know why he has such a following but Tye Dillinger is one guy I can’t enjoy. The only thing I’m waiting for is to see how big is collar is on his ring jacket for this PPV. 

Aleister Black vs Andrade Almas

To be honest I don’t even know who Black is. I’m going with Almas for the win unless this guy is about to get a push. The fact he was trained by Nigel McGuiness that could be the case. Either way this could be one of the matches to go for a drink refill. 

Aiden Reid vs DD Tristan. 

This was just announced and again, no idea who they are so I’m guessing a dark match or something for the pre-show. Either way I couldn’t care less, especially when there is so much more that could occur. 

Tag Team Titles – 3way

For this I’m sticking with Authors of Pain to keep the titles. They are huge men and still learning. It’s obvious they can’t carry a match on their own yet which is why it’s a 3 way. DIY will take the fall with Revival looking strong. 

I sincerely hope after this that The Revival will jump to the main roster to help Smackdown Lives dying tag team division. Maybe even a “face” turn to challenge the Usos for the titles. 


Asuka vs Ember Moon

This is where my predictions take a turn. I had a great story line filled out in my head and was awaiting to see if I was right. 

Originally I called Moon to win with Asuka showing up at Mania in the Smackdown women’s title match thinking it was going to be a gauntlet style. 

However, now that Naomi is back early and it’s a 6pack challenge my mind is changing slightly. However, if Moon does win, I predict Asuka to show up on one of the main shows next week. 

For now, I’m calling Asuka for the win, possibly from DQ as I can’t believe there aren’t more of the women’s division involved with this card.  It’ll give Moon a chance to look strong and learn more as she gains the experience she needs. 


Bobby Roode vs Nakamura. 

It’s hard to believe that Roode opened a Takeover show just a couple month ago and has been main eventing them since.  He’s a strong veteran with a great gimmick. I don’t see him losing in Orlando. 

As for Nakamura, he too has been a main event guy since showing up in NXT so maybe it’s time he moves to the main roster and maybe start a rivalry against another former bullet club member in AJ Styles. 

Overall I don’t see this NXT: Takeover as good as it could be. Here’s hoping those lucky enough to perform on this show will give a good show. 



Wrestlemania
: I’m looking forward to this Sunday’s Wrestlemania more than the NXT: Takeover show. With that being said, there are some matches that just shouldn’t happen and we will get to that as they come up. 

Andre the Giant Battle Royale:

I still don’t know who all is in this match. But I can see it being a squash for Braun Strowman if they do it properly. Otherwise some other predictions will be Sami Zayn overcoming everything or potentially a surprise entrant like Shaquille O’Neil surprising everyone and entering again only to eliminate Big Show for the win setting up a year long rivalry for next year. 

Cruiserweight title:

The WWE has invested a lot of time and energy keeping Austin Aries relevant throughout his recovery. I don’t see him losing to Neville. 


Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton:

Randy Orton has come across as strong during the set up on this match. However, I don’t see Bray losing the title just yet. My possible prediction for this one is either a new member of the Wyatts shows up possibly even Sister Abigail herself!  

Seth Rollins vs Triple H

It’s a non-sanctioned match and one that shouldn’t even be a part of the card. Triple H isn’t ready to leave the Mania spotlight and Seth Rollins needs to be on the card. I see it being short with HHH coming out on top. 


Undertaker vs Roman Reigns

The battle of the dogs in their yard. With the fans not fully on Roman Reigns band wagon I see the Undertaker coming out on top in this one. It should be a decent fight overall. 

Shane McMahon vs AJ Styles

Again, someone who should be on the card (AJ) against someone who shouldn’t be (Shane). I really don’t care about this match and hope Styles puts an end to Shane O’ Mac and his decision to wrestle. There is potential for someone to interfere on Shane’s behalf to help with the win and set up a new feud for Styles. We shall see. 

Raw Women’s Title:

I believe this one will be a wash. Charlotte should win it back after Sasha Banks turns on Bayley. It seems fitting for Charlotte to win the title at the same venue that retired her father. Once again letting her ride the Flair coat tails.  Bayley hasn’t quite got her footing with Raw so dropping the belt won’t be huge. It’ll set up some nice rivalries if it’s handled properly. 

Christ Jericho vs Kevin Owens. 

Ok first off my beef. Naomi had to give up the women’s title because injury was going to stop her from defending it within 30 days. Since winning the belt Jericho hasn’t even defended it, let alone hardly wrestle. My belief is he is keeping it warm for Owens who will take the title from Jericho. Chris Jericho doesn’t need titles anymore. He’s so well established that this won’t hurt him at all. Maybe even some time off to tour is in order. The title win keeps Owens strong and moving forward to eventually getting back the Universal title. 

Cena/Nikki Bella vs The Miz and Maryse 

Ok this is a title yawn for me. The highlight leading into this match was watching the Miz make fun of Cena/Bella as a couple. I applaud John Cena for doing this and taking a lower roll on the card. I’m curious how much he was paid to do all this and what the end game will be. It he really going to pop the question now? Lol. I give the Miz and Maryse the win somehow followed by a John/Nikki moment before he disappears again for a while. 

Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin

Last year Corbin won the Andre Battle Royale and now he’s going for the IC title. This is progression the way it should be. Again how long has it been since Ambrose defended the title and yet Naomi has to give it up?  Anyhow, I give this to Corbin followed by a bit of time off for Ambrose to recover from all the insane bumps he’s taken over the last couple years. 

Raw Tag Team Titles. 

As I said about the tag team division being in a mess (and this is the good one). Smackdown Live can’t even put a tag match together anymore. It’s a ladders match. Having never seen Gallows climb a ladder it already puts his team at a disadvantage. Based on the push they are getting though I give this one to Big Cass and Enzo just because Enzo is going to do something stupid with a ladder. So long as he doesn’t knock himself out again I give them the titles. 


Smackdown Women’s Title

This 6-pack challenge has lost some of the lustre for me. Especially since it’s now part of the pre-show. Originally I expected Asuka to come in and be a surprise entrant but with Naomi making her grand return on Tuesday I don’t see that happening now. Naomi wins the title in her hometown and maybe Asuka will show up Tuesday to take it away. 

Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar

This one makes me sick. My biggest fear is that this will be the main event where it should be Orton/Wyatt. I’m sure Goldberg hasn’t improved any, and Brock can’t carry the match unless we see Goldberg taking suplex after suplex which I’m sure won’t happen.  I fear it’ll be another steamroller of a match where the intros take longer than the match itself and Goldberg walks out with the title still in hand. WWE could have done so much more with the title for Wrestlemania but this is where they went. I sincerely hope I’m wrong on this one and that it is mid-card and a better match than anticipated. Good luck believing that though. 

Fastlane 2017

The final PPV before Wrestlemania – thank God!

I’m watching this one with mixed emotions. I can see some of the directions that WWE writers want to go, but as a fan I really hope they don’t. This show will dictate several of the matches for Wrestlemania.

So, here we go-

Samoa Joe vs Sami Zayn:

Great opening match. Sami looked good against the guy they are going to be finally pushing. Samoa Joe is a great performer. He knows wrestling and seemingly has the total package in size and agility. Joe got the win with his choke hold, putting Sami out. What made Joe look stronger still was his kicking out of one of Sami’s finishers. Bravo!

As a side note, the announcers continued to comment about how Joe doesn’t like to be referred to as Triple H’s muscle. My prediction right now is they are building towards a Triple H vs Samoa Joe at Wrestlemania should Seth Rollins not be available.

Tag Team Title match:

Enzo is great on the mic but drags it out a little too much. Big Cass needs a new catch phrase to add to his vocabulary. Cass is getting there but isn’t ready yet. Still they have more personality than Gallows and Anderson. The match was a sleeper, predictable controversial ending to set up something bigger at Wrestlemania.

Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks

Wasn’t this supposed to be on the kick-off show?  Decent match with Sasha finally getting a victory over Nia Jax.

Cesaro vs. Jinder Mahal

Umm really? I don’t know what match has been bumped from this PPV but there seems to be a lot of filler.

Good showing by Jinder in general but nothing truly vested in the match so it didn’t really get anyone’s attention.

Big Show vs. Rusev

Was it just me, or was Big Show favouring his left leg?

Show himself has said he has hardly won a match in the last few years. It was surprising to see him get a strong victory over Rusev, especially with his new haircut. I’m happy for Show, he’s in amazing shape and seems to be enjoying himself.

Cruiserweight title:

The first match of the night to truly have the fans fully engaged. “This is awesome” chants were heard and well deserved. Neville and Gentleman Jack put on a great match that I thought might have ended after one hell of a bump by Jack. Those who watched know what I’m talking about, for those who haven’t watched yet, Neville did a snap German suplex on Gentleman Jack which looked very awkward on landing. I’m sure he’s going to have a sore shoulder and neck in the morning. Jack was able to shake it off and continue the match showing both his guts and determination for the match and show. In the end Neville prevailed with his amazing athletic leap from the top rope.

maxresdefault

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

It’s nice to see the crowd still boos Reigns when he comes out. It was even more entertaining to hear a smattering of “Strowman’s gonna kill you” chants as things began.

Two big men in a match is exactly that. Two big men. There isn’t a lot they can do outside of their basic repertoire. Strowman’s inexperience showed through as the match continued past the 2 minute mark. Applying nerve holds and chin locks to give him a chance to talk through the next steps was blatantly obvious. Strowman had a match with Sami Zayn at Roadblock that was a 10 minute challenge. Sami made Strowman look good and dominant throughout the match. Reigns couldn’t do the same.  But I digress. Strowman did show some power and agility at the end when he climbed the top rope and leaped off. Sure he missed, but it was impressive none the less. Roman capitalized on the mistake and got the first pin fall win over Braun Strowman.

Women’s championship

Bayley and Charlotte came to fight. The match started with a surprising aggressive flurry from Bayley before Charlotte took over with her own aggression and athleticism. As much as I hate the fact that Charlotte  “no sells” when a body part should be hurt, she truly is a very gifted athlete. Bayley’s inexperience showed through a couple times. Especially when Charlotte was tied up in the corner. I still don’t know what she was planning.   It got very tiring hearing how many times she was 16 and 0 for PPV matches but with Charlotte losing to Bayley the announcing team had to make it seem like a monstrous feat. Of course it wasn’t a clean victory for Bayley as Sasha Banks once again got involved.

Universal championship.

Are you kidding me? Goldberg is the champion? Another minute match thus showing he still hasn’t developed any talent whatsoever. What kind of a contract did he sign?

I applaud Kevin Owens for doing the job and keeping the crowd in the match for close to 6 minutes before the bell even rang.

Sure this sets up Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens for Wrestlemania but I think it could have been equally as good a match with Owens as the champ.

Wins/Fails/Summery

Overall it was probably one of the worst cards I’ve seen in a long time. There seemed to be some filler to make up time for some reason.  At the time of writing this I can’t think of what match was missing so obviously it wasn’t important either.

My Win for the night: it’s a tie. Samoa Joe/Sami Zayn was great, as was the cruiserweight title match. Outside the ring I give a win to the guy with the sign early in the night saying Jack Tunney is my President. It made me smile as I’m sure many of the older Canadian fans did.

My Fail: Goldberg. C’mon, this guy doesn’t deserve to be champion after 15years away from the ring. Sure he’s training and in great shape but it’s obvious he can’t carry a match and now he’s the champ. Very disappointed WWE went in that direction when there were so many other options.

As a ranking: 1 bodyslam out of five, (only because of cruiser weights)

UK Championship Tournament

This event on the WWE Network is what got me thinking about writing a blog.  There was a lot of hate put on this event, but when I first saw it advertised, even I didn’t care.  It took me several weeks before I even watched it because I just didn’t think it was worthwhile.  A lot of people put hate into this event, and the biggest reason was because they didn’t know who any of the wrestlers were.  That’s when I changed my mind and decided to watch.

Anyone reading this is a wrestling fan.  However, you weren’t born an instant fan knowing who everyone was and their back-stories etc.  We learned over time.  Hell, when I first saw wrestling on television I had no clue what I was watching, let along who anyone was.  But as a fan we learn, we grow, and we develop too.

Sure we may not know who anyone is in this tournament, but who’s to say we won’t remember some of them when it’s done?  I’ll admit, I don’t remember a lot of the names of the guys who competed.  But there were some who stood out.  Wolfgang, Trent Seven, Pete Dunn, and the eventual winner Tyler Bate. (Spoiler alert ooops).

_93586304_tylerbatewithukctlogo1

Sure some of these guys weren’t built like the wrestlers we are used to here in North America.  Sure, we hadn’t heard of them before. But I have to say, that these guys put on one hell of a show!  There were some flubs, there was some lack luster parts, but overall the men involved were out to entertain and that was exactly what they did!

It was nice not knowing them too because there was a slight learning opportunity for those watching at home.  We didn’t know back stories, but it didn’t matter.  What we needed to know at the time was their name, and a bit of their history.  It was no frills, no nonsense wrestling where two guys went out there and put on a show.  To be honest I wish some of the regular shows would do that more often – but that will be for another blog and will probably become an ongoing joke.

All in all, I felt this was a great show.  It was well done and probably one of the sleeper surprises from WWE in recent years.  (update) Seeing the guys from this tournament now showing up on NXT is nice too, as it gives them a chance to showcase more and begin to grow that audience and fan base.  Maybe in time NXT will become a two hour show – it should be!

As a ranking, I give this 4 bodyslams out of 5.