Tuesday, July 20, 2021

WWE Money In The Bank 2021

So I saw the Money In The Bank PPV... the first WWE PPV in a good long while to have a full capacity crowd... and while the crowd made the show more exciting and tolerable to a certain extent, it didn't change the fact that at the end of the day, this was a WWE show, where you can expect some great wrestling matches to go along with some questionable booking and even more questionable production choices.

As a precautionary measure, I sampled the Smackdown show and wasn't all that impressed. Started with a strong tag match, but then slowly became another WWE show. Fortunately, Money In The Bank proved a much better show, though nowhere near the level of some of the recent AEW efforts or even some of the true exceptional WWF shows of the past, but indeed a step above the Thunderdome stuff and certainly better than those empty Performance Center shows which are just SAD to watch.

A large part of it is production; the computer graphics that they apply look cheap and horrid, the camerawork is still somewhat poor, as is the constant cutting. And the brand new set - the one that Stephanie McMahon claimed would freshen up the show - is just a giant video screen. Nothing special or elaborate about it - it's just a bigger screen and feels like every other lazily put together WWE setpiece of the past two decades.

And of course... the booking.

I didn't watch the pre-show, but apparently the Usos won the Smackdown tag titles from Rey & Dominic Mysterio. This happened, of course, after Jimmy Uso was busted with a DUI and naturally response on Twitter is far less positive. Fortunately, Uso is connected and is needed for that big angle with The Rock that they're hoping will happen. Try not to be shocked that this happened; Edge had an affair with Lita that ended a marriage and killed a relationship a long while back... and he was punished with the biggest push of his career, including multiple World titles. And before that, JBL was goose-stepping at a Germany house show, which is an illegal act in that country that resulted in FOX firing him from his analyst job and WWE punishing him by giving him a WWE Championship reign.

Nikki Cross/ASH/Whatever won Money In The Bank when a bunch of women climbed a bunch of ladders, fought each other in a glorified catfight on these ladders, and Nikki decided "fuck that, I'm going to just climb and grab the briefcase." And that's what she did and all those other women look like total GEEKS because of it. You know what? I like this finish. It's about time somebody decides to just grab the fucking McGuffin off the hook instead of the usual fumble and bumble. Beyond that, if you liked MOVES, this was the match for you.

For those wondering, Alexa the Fiend got cheered whenever she did wrestling stuff, but whenever she tried doing "magic" stuff, no reaction. Probably because people liked Alexa and nobody wants to boo her, but no reaction is perhaps the strongest reaction you can apply, because that can easily translate to "nobody gives a shit" and that could mean changes in the future. God, I hope so.

RAW Tag Champs AJ Styles And Big Tall Dude defeated the Vikings to retain the titles. Match was alright. AJ did most of the work and Big Tall Dude... was Big Tall Dude. I'd learn some names, but why even bother?

WWE Champion Bobby Lashley retains over Kofi Kingston in a glorified squash match. Hey, at least Kofi lasted longer than six seconds, but yeah, this was a one-sided whippin' and something to give Lashley an edge into his fight with the Berg Of Gold; a man whose last "big" win was over the Fiend... 

Charlotte Flair wins another title. Yawn. Next. Though I will say this much, the part where the crowd was chanting for Rhea Ripley and Baby Flair responded by flipping them the bird and a Peacock-Unapproved Crotch Chop that was blacked out and the crowd replied by chanting for Becky Lynch. Excellent.

And then the next night, she loses it to Nikki via cash-in. Don't worry; she'll get it back. We gotta bump up that title count somehow.

Big E wins the Money In the Bank ladder match. My pick, Drew, got beat up and taken away by Jinder Mahal and his cronies... but yeah, great match if you like MOVES. And Big E winning... good on him, hopefully this leads to his first world title and maybe a good-sized push to the top for a good while.

Roman Reigns beat Edge to retain his Blue Belt in a thirty minute match that was probably ten minutes too long. I know Edge is going to be upset for hearing this, but fuck it; I gotta go to bed early for work the next day and I ain't got time for your ego-stroking 30-minute masterpiece. The match was fine, but too long for my tastes. There's a bunch of run-ins; the Usos try to cut in, but the Mysterios stop them... and then Seth Rollins curb stomps Edge to cost him the match and stuff. And then John Cena shows up to end the show.

Hey, you know what? Major annoyances with production and minor grievances with the booking aside, this was a pretty good show with some great wrestling and a relatively hot crowd. This makes me almost look forward to Summerslam... almost.

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