Monday, June 20, 2016

The New Era finally begins at Money in the Bank

I have to be honest: the undercard of Money in the Bank was not as good a show as it could have been. But it did do a lot to cement the new era of WWE. Two new stars in Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews scored pay-per-view wins. The three new tag teams challenging The New Day all had chances to win the belts. Natalya might not be new, but she displayed a new and wholly different attitude. But they were just the prelude for the rest of the card, with three big matches that could very well signify a better future for WWE.

AJ Styles and John Cena wrestled an instant classic, with a nearly twenty-five minute battle that allowed both men to show why they are two of the best in the business. While both agreed to wrestle a clean match, a ref bump and injuries to both men allowed Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows to insert themselves into the match. It is clear this is a set up for a match that will go for several more months of WWE television.

The Money in the Bank ladder match was pretty much everything you could expect from the six men that entered. Every man made a name by putting their bodies on the line and it was no different tonight as Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose each pulled out the stops to make this MITB one of the best in history. It doesn't hurt that unlike previous Money matches, no one felt out of place in a ladder match. But when Dean picked up the win, it clearly spelled implications for the main event.

Rusev and Titus O'Neil took the bathroom match spot, but they surprised me with how good they worked together in their eight minute encounter. I am not a huge fan of Titus, but he definitely looked great as he wrestled the Bulgarian Brute in front of his kids. While he didn't win, the taunting of Rusev's children post-match almost certainly mean this feud isn't over, which could spell some great wrestling from both underrated talents.

The main event was supposedly two years in the making, even though Reigns and Rollins did meet in solo matches before this one. But those battles didn't have the stakes of this one, with both men doing everything they could to take the other man down. Like the Cena/Styles match, a lot of time was spent with both men knowing each other's moveset and countering them, the biggest highlight of which was a spear reversed into a hopping Pedigree. Ultimately another Pedigree put down Reigns and won Seth Rollins his second WWE championship.

But it wasn't to last. Rollins' reign was measured in seconds as Ambrose came out, cashed in his briefcase and hit Dirty Deeds to become the new WWE World champion.

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It was a glorious sight for the fans that have waited anxiously for WWE to pull the trigger on one of their most over stars. It also allows WWE to make some unpredictable moves at the championship level as unpredictable is pretty much Ambrose's calling card.

Whether or not WWE uses this to streamline into better storytelling remains to be seen, but it finally is starting to feel like we have a new WWE to follow for the next few years.

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