Welcome to the TJRWrestling review of the 2019 edition of WWE Money in the Bank. It is one of my favorite pay-per-views of the year. You can check out the Money in the Bank archive on TJRWrestling for my reviews of every Money in the Bank ladder match in WWE history and how the match was followed up after that. Let’s get to it.
WWE Money in the Bank
XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut
May 19, 2019
The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton were at ringside to call the Kickoff Show match.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso)
This is not for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships held by Bryan and Rowan. The Usos are Raw superstars.
Jey worked over Bryan to start the match, Rowan with a blind tag and he ran over Jey with a running cross body block. They had a split screen commercial for Money in the Bank as the match was going on. The heels remained in control with Rowan hitting a body slam followed by a running splash. Bryan worked over Jey with chops, Rowan tagged back in and hit an elbow drop. Rowan did his move where he squeezed Jey’s head with his fists on the side of his head. Rowan kept Jey in the heel corner with a suplex. Bryan worked over the knees of Jey, two running dropkicks from Bryan and Jey came back with a Samoan Drop. Rowan tagged in and he went shoulder first into the ring post, so Jimmy got the hot tag. Jimmy with a kick to the chest, he avoided a slam, boot to the face and Jimmy hit a corkscrew dive off the top to knock down Rowan. Jimmy with a jumping kick to the head. Jimmy up top, he jumped, Rowan caught him and hit a Jackhammer slam for a two count. There was another split screen commercial plugging Money in the Bank.
Rowan battled both Usos by their turnbuckle and Rowan hit a double superplex on both Usos at the same time. That was impressive by the big man. Bryan tagged in against Jey, who was the legal man again. Bryan worked over Jey with repeated kicks to the chest, Jey avoided the roundhouse kick, then they each connected with kicks with Jey hitting a superkick to put Bryan down. Jey went up top, he went for the splash, Bryan moved and Bryan slapped in the LeBell Lock submission. Jimmy went back in the ring to break up the submission. Rowan went after Jimmy, who sent Rowan to the floor and Jimmy went for a dive, but Rowan caught him. Jey tried a dive and the Usos hit Rowan with three superkicks. The Usos hit a double team suicide dive to put Rowan down. When Bryan tried a suicide dive, The Usos hit him with a double superkick. Both Usos went up top and hit the Double Uce (Superfly Splash from each guy) for the pinfall win at 11:05.
Winners by pinfall: The Usos
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good tag team match as expected from these teams. They had a quality match two weeks ago as well, so I’m not surprised that it was similar this time around. It’s also a reminder that wrestlers that are as awesome as Bryan and The Usos should not be on the Kickoff Show because they are among the best performers in the company. Rowan does well in his role too. The Usos winning was my prediction because it was announced as a non-title match, so I figured we would see the usual WWE booking where champs lose non-title. It could lead to a title match due to the “Wild Card Rule” that lets Raw people on Smackdown and vice versa, but I’d rather see teams stick to their own shows and their own divisions.
There were about ten minutes left in the Kickoff Show after that match as the Kickoff Show panel talked about the matches on the show.
Naomi, who is from Raw, made her entrance at the end of the Kickoff Show because the Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match was up first.
Money in the Bank Main Show
The show began with a graphic saying In Memory of Ashley Massaro 1979-2019. Gone way too soon. She was an amazing person.
— WWE (@WWE) May 19, 2019
There was a video package hyping up the matches that are coming up during the show. Good stuff as usual.
The crowd in Hartford looked full and they made a lot of noise. Naomi’s music started again even though she made her entrance five minutes earlier. She was dressed like a bee…I think.
The order of entrants for the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Naomi (Raw), Carmella (SD), Nikki Cross (Raw replacing Alexa Bliss), Mandy Rose (SD) with Sonya Deville, Ember Moon (SD), Dana Brooke (Raw), Natalya (Raw) and Bayley (SD).
The announcers calling this match are Tom Phillips, Renee Young and Byron Saxton. They also introduced the Spanish and German announce teams at ringside, who reminded you to read TJRWrestling.net daily. The match began after about ten minutes.
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Bayley, Naomi, Dana Brooke, Ember Moon, Mandy Rose, Nikki Cross, Carmella and Naomi
The women got into a brawl to start the match. Moon tried going for a ladder right away. Cross trapped Brooke and Carmella in the ring apron and knocked them down. Cross used a ladder to knock down several of the women that walked right into them. Brooke kicked the ladder to knock Cross down. Moon used a ladder to trap Brooke against the turnbuckle. Moon put Cross on her back and slammed her back first onto a ladder. Rose with a running knee on Brooke. Carmella pulled Rose out of the ring. Natalya hit her spinning clothesline on Carmella and a catapult sent Carmella into a ladder. Naomi with a kick off the ladder on Natalya. Rose with a spinning slam on Naomi. Bayley with a ladder shot to the ribs of Rose. A few women tried to set up a climb. Carmella hit a superkick on Bayley. Carmella grabbed a ladder, Rose hit a kick to the right knee that looked like it hurt Carmella. When Rose got close, Carmella shoved her and told her to get away. Carmella bailed to the floor as referees checked on her. Naomi with a jumping kick on Rose. Naomi ducked a double ladder attack by four of the women. Natalya stepped on Naomi on a ladder, but Bayley tossed Natalya into the ladder. Carmella was getting helped to the back, the doctors looked like indy wrestlers, so my first thought is that it was probably just an injury angle. Bayley took down Cross with a ladder. Moon with a spin kick to Brooke and Brooke set up moon across a ladder. Brooke hit a handspring back elbow on Moon against a ladder. Bayley hit a sunset flip that drove the back of Brooke’s head into the ladder against the turnbuckle. Bayley grabbed a huge ladder and set it up under the briefcase. Natalya and Rose sandwiched Bayley between a ladder. Naomi went up top with a split legged moonsault on Bayley on a ladder. Cross back in the ring with a Spear on Natalya. Naomi climbed up, Moon grabbed her and hit a Codebreaker. Cross hit a spinning neckbreaker off the ropes on Moon. Brooke shoved the ladder over and it hit Cross to knock her down. Brooke set up the ladder under the briefcase, nobody was there, and then Rose climbed up. Brooke managed to grab the hook above the briefcase and she was holding on. Brooke and Rose got into a battle on the top of the ladder. Bayley pulled Rose down. Naomi went up behind Brooke and Cross climbed up behind Bayley. Natalya shoved the ladder over to knock down four of the women. Natalya whipped Bayley into the turnbuckle. When Natalya turned around, Moon jumped off a ladder and hit Natalya with the Eclipse stunner! Wow! That was incredible. That drew a standing ovation from the crowd and some “Holy Shit” chants.
— WWE (@WWE) May 19, 2019
Moon was in the ring alone trying to set up a ladder, but Rose hit her double underhook sitout slam on Moon on a ladder. Rose set up a ladder in the middle of the ring. Carmella walked back out to the ring with a limp. Rose went after her, so Carmella whipped Rose into the ladder and Carmella hit a superkick to put down Rose. Carmella tried to climb up the ladder, but Sonya Deville hit a Spear on Carmella. Deville grabbed Rose and rolled her back into the ring. Deville put Rose on her shoulders, then Deville climbed up the ladder slowly and Renee put it over as a feat of strength, but it’s probably not that hard. Rose was near the top of the ladder. Rose reached up, but Bayley climbed up the other side of the ladder and shoved Rose and Deville down. Bayley reached up and unhooked the briefcase to win the Money in the Bank ladder match at 13:50. The crowd popped big for it.
Analysis: ***3/4 That was a very good ladder match that was put together well. There weren’t a lot of those climbing moments that sometimes hurt a ladder match. It was very physical with some big bumps throughout the match. That Eclipse by Moon on Natalya was an incredible move that I didn’t see coming and the crowd reacted to it in a big way. It also seemed like they started a Rose vs. Carmella feud in this match, so that was worthwhile although their matches will probably be below average. Bayley was my original pick weeks ago, then I changed it to Rose because I just felt it would be a heel win. I really had no problem with a Bayley win, though. She’s awesome and giving her a push on Smackdown is a smart move because it’s a fresh start for her.
— WWE (@WWE) May 19, 2019
After the victory, Bayley was interviewed in the ring by the lovely Charly Caruso. Bayley stood there while Caruso mentioned Sasha Banks remaining on Raw while Bayley was on Smackdown even though Banks hasn’t been seen on Raw. Bayley said that she reminded everybody what she’s capable of because she’s not “just Bayley,” she is Miss Money in the Bank.
Analysis: Solid promo from Bayley. As I mentioned earlier, it was a good way to give Bayley some new positive momentum as part of Smackdown.
There were replays of Braun Strowman tossing Sami Zayn in a dumpster two weeks ago and then last week on Raw, Zayn beat Strowman in a Falls Count Anywhere thanks to Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin. The win meant that Zayn was in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
Triple H was shown in the office wearing a suit while talking on the phone. Sami Zayn showed up saying Strowman was a big problem. Zayn said that he destroyed Strowman to be in the Money in the Bank ladder match. Zayn was all stressed out saying there was concern over this Strowman situation. Triple H said that Braun isn’t even there and is banned from the building. The fans booed. Zayn said he was asking for some protection. Hunter told Sami to tape up his fists and get out of the office as Zayn left.
Rey Mysterio was shown in the locker room with his son Dominick.
A WWEShop advertisement aired. A Papa John’s commercial was next.
Rey Mysterio was up next for the US Title match. The Raw broadcast team of Michael Cole, Renee Young and Corey Graves took over for this match. Samoa Joe entered second with the US Title. Dominick, who is Rey’s son, was shown watching the match on a TV backstage.
United States Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio
Joe hit a kick to the left leg three times to knock Mysterio down as fans chanted “Joe” for the champion. Mysterio charged and hit a hurricanrana to send Joe across the ring. Mysterio hit a jumping kick to the head followed by a seated senton springboard attack off the top. Joe immediately grabbed his nose because Mysterio landed right on his face. Joe worked over Mysterio with a hard chop to the chest to knock him down. You could see the ref communicating to both guys. That led right to the finish. Mysterio hit a hurricanrana, he sat on top of Joe, the ref counted to three and you could tell that Joe’s left shoulder wasn’t even close to being down. It went 1:39.
Winner and New United States Champion: Rey Mysterio
In this screenshot, you can even see referee Shawn Bennett starting at the left shoulder of Joe being off the ground, yet he kept counting because that’s what he was instructed to do.
Analysis: * That was quick. I did not expect that short of a match or a title change. The pin was weak because Joe’s shoulders were clearly not down. It was reported by PWInsider that WWE decided to end the match quicker than expected due to Joe bleeding and potentially suffering a broken nose. It was on the seated senton spot where Joe grabbed his face right after. That’s lame that they ended the match so fast because of blood, but they did go through the post-match angle as planned. I assume the match was likely going to go 10 minutes or more.
Post match, Joe had a stunned look on his face. Dominick was happy watching it backstage. There was blood all over Joe’s face especially around the nose, which might have been broken. Cole noted it was Rey’s first time winning the US Title. When they showed replays, they showed a back angle that didn’t show Joe’s shoulder and Graves said he wanted to see if Joe’s shoulder was down. They replayed it again that showed Joe’s shoulder was clearly off the mat and the announcers said that the referee missed the call.
Rey celebrated the win with his son Dominick. Joe had gone to the back, but then Joe ran back to ringside and hit Rey with headbutts. Joe went after Mysterio in the ring and hit a uranage slam in the middle of the ring. Joe hit another uranage slam on Rey with Cole calling Dominick the “teenage son” of Rey. A quick check finds that Dominick is 22 years old, so he’s not a teenager. Oh well. Joe stared at Dominick repeatedly and hit a running senton splash on Mysterio. Joe left eventually. Rey was helped to the back by his son.
Analysis: That post match attack was really good. Rey is awesome at selling and Joe is one of the best in WWE at delivering a believable looking beating. Joe is such a great heel and that bloody nose look made him look like even more of a badass. It was a cheap attack to keep the feud going after the title change. It will probably lead to Dominick taking some bumps because he’s a trained wrestler now.
Braun Strowman was shown walking backstage and he was knocking around some things. Strowman yelled about wanting to find Sami Zayn.
The steel cage was lowered above the ring. A video package aired to set up The Miz vs. Shane McMahon.
Shane McMahon made his entrance to boos with Greg Hamilton doing the special “best in the world” introduction for him. Graves thought Shane would get a bigger ovation from Connecticut fans. The Miz got a pretty good pop from the crowd.
Steel Cage Match: The Miz vs. Shane McMahon
In a Steel Cage Match in WWE you can win by pinfall, submission or leaving the cage.
The bell rang with Shane trying to climb to the top of the cage to leave, but Miz stopped him. Miz worked over Shane with kicks to the chest and a kick to the back. Shane managed to block a kick and Shane slammed Miz into the steel cage. Shane got a rollup on Miz as fans chanted for “CM Punk” and even a small “AEW” chant. Shane whipped Miz into the steel cage. Shane whipped Miz into the steel cage. Shane put Miz on his shoulders and hit a neckbreaker for a two count. Shane set up Miz by the turnbuckle. Shane set up for the Coast to Coast dropkick, but Miz caught him and slapped on the Figure Four Leglock submission. Shane grabbed the ropes to try to break the hold, but they said no rope breaks and Shane tried to get out of the door. Miz held onto Shane’s legs to keep him in the ring. Miz dragged Shane back in the ring while Shane brought a chair into the ring. Miz kicked Shane to knock the chair down. Miz worked over Shane with multiple chair shots to the back. Miz hit Shane in the back repeatedly. It was about eight chair shots to the back. Miz said that this is for the entire Miz family and he gave Shane a Skull Crushing Finale on the steel chair. Miz covered, but Shane got his foot on the bottom rope before the three count. Cole and Young yelled about how there are no DQ’s in a steel cage, so that shouldn’t break up the count. Cole covered for it that the referee was worried about his well being. Fans chanted “bullshit” for it with Cole saying that the WWE Universe was voicing their displeasure. Miz set up Shane on the top rope and teased a Skull Crushing Finale off the top, but Shane knocked Miz down.
Shane climbed up the cage. Miz hit Shane in the left leg with a steel chair to stop him a bit. Shane and Miz were sitting on top of the cage. Miz worked over Shane with punches. Shane’s legs were over the side of the cage as Miz tried to ram Shane’s head into the cage. Miz slammed Shane from the top of the cage into the ring. Miz hit the WORST LOOKING SPLASH OFF THE TOP (I had to put it in all caps to make a point) for a two count. That splash was so bad it made Tamina’s shitty splash look good. I think Miz landed on his feet before he laid on top of Shane. They replayed the bump of Miz slamming Shane off the cage into the ring. Shane managed to slap on the triangle choke submission and Miz countered it into a pin attempt for two. Shane tried to climb out the door, but Miz grabbed him. Miz with a catapult into the cage, so Shane climbed up the cage quickly. Miz teased a suplex off the top of the cage into the ring, but Shane held onto the cage. Miz grabbed onto the Shane jersey and Shane managed to slip to the floor as the winner of the match at 13:08.
Winner by escaping the cage: Shane McMahon
Analysis: ** It was a below average, boring match with an outcome I didn’t expect just like at WrestleMania because I thought Miz would get the win in both matches. For whatever reason, the 49-year-old Shane got the win. I guess it’s good to have your dad as the booker. That likely means the feud is continuing in order to put over Miz. That rope break spot was weird because they said no rope breaks and then shortly after that they had a rope broke, so that’s either a storyline that will come into play or it was an error by the referee. Shane didn’t take too many crazy bumps aside from the slam off the cage and then Shane barely sold it after the big bump. The finish was creative (that doesn't mean it was good) while making Shane look lucky as the victor in the match.
It was announced that Mick Foley will appear on Raw on Monday night to announce WWE’s newest title.
Analysis: I have no idea what it will be, but I don’t think they need more titles. They already have more than enough.
There was a backstage shot of Triple H and others running in the backstage area with referees as well. There was a shot of Sami Zayn hanging upside down with his feet tied together. Triple H told the camera to get out of there.
Analysis: It was at this moment where I realized my prediction of Sami Zayn winning Money in the Bank was not going to happen. The idea was that there was some mystery attacker on Zayn that we were supposed to think was Strowman, but we never saw who did it.
The 205 Live announce team of Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Aiden English took over to call the Cruiserweight Title match.
Tony Nese is the Cruiserweight Champion that entered first. Ariya Daivari drove a Mercedes into the arena. The international announce teams were shown: Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (hi Funaki), Hindi, French and Mandarin.
Cruiserweight Championship: Tony Nese vs. Ariya Daivari
It’s rare to see the cruiserweights on the main show instead of on the Kickoff Show. Nese used his speed to counter some of the moves of Daivari with Nese hitting a leg drop to the back of the head. Daivari with a jawbreaker. Daivari grabbed the head of Nese and pulled his eyes across the top rope as if he was blinding him. Daivari worked over Nese with punches. The announcers put over the fact that Daivari was undefeated in 2019. Daivari hooked the legs of Nese for a submission attempt until Nese drove Daivari face first into the turnbuckle. Nese with a running knee followed by a spinning heel kick. The crowd was dead even as Nese yelled to try to get them to care. Nese with a kick to the head followed by a moonsault off the middle ropes for two. Daivari hit a reverse DDT for a two count. Nese with a forearm to the chest, but Daivari came back with a knee to the face. Daivari kicked Nese repeatedly while Nese was tied up in the ropes, so Nese bumped to the floor. Nese avoided an attack on the floor, forearm to the face and Nese went up top, but Daivari hooked the arms into a slam for a two count. The crowd was still dead. Back in the ring, Nese sent Daivari out of the ring with a dive over the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Nese hit a 450 Splash for a two count. Nese ran the ropes right into a superkick. Daivari went up top with the Persian Lion Splash and a hammerlock lariat for a two count with Joseph saying that Daivari put everybody away with that sequence. Nese came back with an open palm strike and a top rope hurricanrana. Daivari crawled to the turnbuckle for the next spot with Nese hitting the Running Nese knee to the face for the pinfall win at 9:20.
Winner by pinfall: Tony Nese
Analysis: **1/4 The match was solid, but it wasn’t that exciting at all. It also doesn't represent the Cruiserweight Title that fans want to see where it comes to high-risk moves. Nese did that one impressive dive towards the end. Other than that, it was a basic wrestling match. The crowd was dead for it. Nese is a good all-around performer. I just think he’s bland, so when he’s the face champion, it’s hard to get that excited about these matches.
There was a shot of Braun Strowman backstage with Triple H walking up to him. Hunter told him that if Braun thinks he is going to take Sami Zayn’s place in the Money in the Bank match, it’s not going to happen. Braun said he didn’t do a damn thing. Hunter said he’s going to ask Braun as a professional and as his boss, he’s going to ask Braun to leave. Braun just said, “whatever man” and left.
Analysis: When I saw that, I assumed Strowman would be back later in the night. He was not on again.
The WWE Super Showdown commercial said “what’s as good or better than WrestleMania?” suggesting that it was bigger than WrestleMania. They plugged the Undertaker vs. Goldberg match. That show is on Friday, June 7th at 2pmET from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for one of WWE’s two annual shows over there.
The announcers talked about what happened to Zayn with Cole saying that Zayn was taken to a “local medical facility” because WWE can’t say hospital. It’s a banned word. Anyway, Cole said that meant no Zayn or Strowman in Money in the Bank.
There was a video package for the Raw Women’s Championship match with Becky Lynch defending the gold against Lacey Evans.
Lacey Evans made her entrance with some “guns” shooting some money. It was Lacey Evans dollar bills. Huge pop for Becky Lynch with the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championship. They made sure to get camera shots of girls in the crowd holding signs for Becky.
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans
Lynch was aggressive early, she sent Evans out of the ring and hit a baseball slide dropkick to knock Evans down. Lynch sent Evans back into the ring. Evans came back by sending the back of Lynch into the turnbuckle followed by an armbar takedown. The fans were humming the Lynch theme song. Lynch worked on the left arm of Lynch by stretching it against the steel ring post. Evans with a punch followed by a trip and an elbow drop for a two count. Lynch with an armdrag takedown and Evans came back with a neckbreaker into a cover for two. Evans took out a napkin, wiped her sweat and rubbed it in Lynch’s face. Lynch with a kick to Lacey’s face and Lynch hit a clothesline off the middle ropes. Lynch hit two clotheslines followed by a kick to the chest and a Bexploder suplex. Lynch hit a forearm against the turnbuckle. Lynch went up top and hit a missile dropkick to knock Evans out of the ring. Lynch with a forearm to knock Evans down on the floor. Back in the ring, Lynch got a two count. Evans hit a bulldog headlock out of the corner followed by a kick to the face for a two count. That was like the Dudley Dog that Spike Dudley used. Lynch tried for the armbar, but Evans got to the ropes. Evans hit a forearm to the back of the knee. When Evans got a rollup on Lynch, the referee didn’t count because he was checking the shoulders. Lynch slapped on the Disarmher submission the left arm and Evans tapped out quickly to give Lynch the win at 8:40.
Winner by submission: Becky Lynch
Analysis: ** It was just an average match. The finish wasn’t very good. They should have had Lynch fight more to get the armbar on because Evans gave up so quickly and it made her look weak. It was the biggest match in the career of Evans so far. She did okay, but she’s not at the level of Lynch or the other top women in the ring. Evans has a good gimmick that can work in the long term, she is very athletic and I think she’ll get better in the months ahead. Lynch getting the win was what I expected.
They replayed the finish with Graves complaining about the referee not counting the pin as he said he didn’t know what was going on with the referees tonight.
Lynch celebrated the win at ringside with her two titles, she greeted fans and that’s when Charlotte Flair showed up with a big smile on her face. That title match was next with the idea that Lynch didn’t expect it to happen right away. Flair was very confident while Lynch realized she had to wrestle right now. They didn’t officially announce both women for the match, but the Smackdown Women’s Title was held up by referee Mike Chioda to begin the match.
Analysis: It was a way to make it unfair for Lynch, who is the babyface champion.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
Flair was aggressive early in the match. Lynch missed an attack off the middle ropes when Flair moved. Lynch whipped Flair to the corner, Flair landed on the apron and hit a boot to the face. Lynch slammed Flair off the top like many wrestlers did to Charlotte’s dad Ric thousands of times. Lynch got a rollup for two. Flair worked over Lynch with several chops, Lynch with a kick to the head that Flair blocked with a forearm and Flair slapped on a Boston Crab submission. Lynch got to the bottom rope to break the hold. Flair and Lynch exchanged forearms with the crowd reacting to every shot. Flair ended that with a kick to the knee. Lynch avoided a kick to the face and Lynch hit a forearm. Flair took control by grabbing Lynch’s neck against the bottom rope. Flair went for the Natural Selection neckbreaker on the ring apron, but Lynch held onto the rope. The referee started a count on Flair on the floor, so Evans went to ringside and hit the Woman’s Right punch to Lynch that the referee never saw. Flair went back into the ring, she went for a slam, Lynch countered with an inside cradle for two and then Flair came back with a big kick to the face. Flair covered Lynch for the pinfall win at 6:15.
Winner by pinfall and new Smackdown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair
Analysis: **1/4 It was a cheap win to protect Lynch in a situation where she had to wrestle two times in a row. It also got the Smackdown Women’s Title off Lynch, so the “Becky Two Belts” story was over after the first PPV after WrestleMania. This was probably the last Lynch vs. Flair match for a long time although with the Wild Card Rule in place, that may not be true. I’m just saying that now there is less of a reason for them to face eachother with Lynch expected to mainly be a Raw superstar.
The win meant that Charlotte Flair was a nine-time Women’s Champion. There was a “Charlotte 9 belts” sign in the crowd. The nine title reigns were already a record by Flair. Daddy Ric Flair had 16 World Title reigns, so maybe Charlotte will beat that number in a few years.
Post match, Flair taunted Lynch with her new title. Lynch went after Evans at ringside. Flair left the ring to help Evans as Flair worked over Lynch too. They went back into the ring with Flair and Evans working over Lynch with chops. The fans were chanting for Bayley. Moments later, Bayley ran down to the ring with the Money in the Bank contract in hand.
Bayley knocked down Charlotte wit ha clothesline and Bayley hit a knee to the face of Evans. Bayley hit a suplex to send Evans out of the ring. Flair knocked down Bayley with a forearm to the back. Flair stomped away on Lynch against the turnbuckle as the fans chanted for Bayley. Flair charged at Bayley, who moved and Bayley sent Flair face first into the middle turnbuckle. Flair sold that routine bump as if she was knocked out. The crowd cheered loudly for Bayley, who looked at her Money in the Bank briefcase and fans chanted “yes” for Bayley. Bayley told referee Mike Chioda she wanted to cash in Money in the Bank right now. The fans were cheering loudly for this as referee Mike Chioda called for the bell.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
Bayley dragged Flair out of the corner. Flair was selling like she was knocked out. Bayley went up top and hit an elbow drop for the pinfall win after 20 seconds. The crowd cheered loudly for the title change.
Winner by pinfall and New Smackdown Women’s Champion: Bayley
Analysis: It was so quick that there’s no point in rating it. That was a nice way to give Bayley some new positive momentum on Smackdown by having her win Money in the Bank, plus the briefcase in the same night. It’s also the second year in a row where a woman cashed in Money in the Bank in the same night to win a title because Alexa Bliss did it last year. It was also the second time Flair has lost the Smackdown Women's Title to a Money in the Bank winner because Carmella did it to her last year as well.
The crowd popped big for the title change. Graves complained about how this was the worst night in the history of WWE officiating because Flair did not get back to her feet. Phillips pointed out that Flair got greedy trying to attack Bayley and Bayley moved, Flair hit the turnbuckle and Bayley capitalized to win the title.
Bayley celebrated the win by giving high fives to fans at ringside. The people loved her. Bayley sat on the barricade and held up her title in front of some fans. They replayed what happened with Bayley hitting the elbow drop for the title win. Bayley continued the celebration by going deeper into the crowd and celebrating with the fans. Bayley posed one more time at ringside.
— WWE (@WWE) May 20, 2019
Analysis: The reaction for the title win was great. I hope they can use that positive momentum to continue to book Bayley as a strong babyface wrestler that the fans can really get behind. They can probably do a Bayley vs. Flair feud on Smackdown soon. The title win by Bayley also meant that she was the first woman to be the Raw Women’s Champion, Smackdown Women’s Champion, Women’s Tag Team Champion (those titles just started a few months ago) and NXT Women’s Champion. Congrats to her. I’m a Bayley fan.
There were commercials for Papa John’s and the next episode of Miz and Mrs.
Roman Reigns was shown walking backstage. As he was walking, Elias walked up behind Reigns and hit him in the back with a guitar. Elias walked down a hallway and walked out to ringside to begin the match.
Analysis: Cheap attack by Elias to give him a big advantage ahead of his match…or so we thought.
Elias walked out to the ring, sat on his stool and he had an electric guitar in the ring. Elias claimed he was not just the biggest acquisition in Smackdown history, but all of WWE history. Elias said that Vince McMahon texted him saying because of Elias, Vince can sleep peacefully at night known the future of WWE is in good hands. Elias said that made him feel good, but he wondered why you would come to a morally, substandard toilet bowl like Hartford. That drew a lot of boos. Elias said that with the Big Dog out of the way, the era of Elias can begin. Elias sang a song about how people there are so boring, he brings energy to the world, no one wants to hear Roman talk and Elias just took Reigns for a walk. Elias said that North Carolina was a beautiful place, now he understands why the Whalers left this city because Hartford is a disgrace. That’s a 22 year NHL reference since Hartford’s hockey team moved to Carolina. Elias thanked the crowd, said he loved none of the fans and that was it. Elias said he was going to get out of Hartford. Elias posed on the stage, which is when the music of Roman Reigns started up.
Reigns hit a Superman Punch to knock down Elias. Reigns looked fine after he was hit with a guitar backstage several minutes earlier. Reigns threw Elias into the ring. The bell rang to start the match.
Roman Reigns vs. Elias
Reigns hit a Spear and covered Elias for the pinfall win at 0:07.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Reigns celebrated the win while the announcers said that made Reigns the true greatest acquisition in Smackdown history.
Analysis: It was an angle more than a match. Reigns didn’t sell the pre-match attack at all. I don’t mind the short match that much because I doubt it would have been that good anyway. It does suck for Elias because this was a big match for him. Also, the rivalry may continue because there is a rumored PPV match with Reigns facing Elias and Shane soon.
There was a commercial for WWE Shop. A commercial aired for the Becky Lynch “WWE 24” special on WWE Network that debuted after Money in the Bank. I have not watched it yet, but I will check it out soon.
The video package aired to set up Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles for the Universal Championship. It was a good video that was shown on last week’s Raw as well.
AJ Styles made his entrance to a good pop first for his shot at the Universal Title since he was moved to Raw in the Superstar Shakeup. Seth Rollins made his entrance to an even louder pop for his first Universal Title defense on PPV. The two men stood in the ring as ring announcer Mike Rome did the championship introductions for them.
Universal Championship: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles
They did some quick counter wrestling to start the match with Rollins tripping him up while Styles hit a headscissors takedown. Styles hit an arm drag. Rollins charged, leapfrog from Styles and Rollins hit a clothesline. Rollins whipped Styles sternum first into the turnbuckle followed by a knee drop by Rollins. Styles avoided a Rollins attack leading to Styles hitting a dropkick to put Rollins down. Styles with a backbreaker. Rollins hit a hip toss, Styles charged and Rollins sent Styles face first into the middle turnbuckle. They battled on the apron with Styles teasing a Styles Clash, but Rollins avoided it by going to the floor and Styles hit a running knee to the face. Styles with a neckbreaker into the top rope, but Rollins followed up with a suicide dive that drove Styles into the side of the announce table. Back in the ring, Rollins with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Rollins hit a suicide dive on Styles again. They went back in the ring with Styles hitting a forearm, but Rollins hit a Slingblade and a corner forearm. Rollins hit a springboard clothesline for a two count. Rollins went for the knee to the face, but Styles hit the Ushigoroshi (fireman’s carry into the knee) as the fans chanted for both guys. Styles hit a corner clothesline. Rollins avoided a Styles Clash by sitting on top of Styles and Rollins hit a Buckle Bomb that sent Styles into the turnbuckle. Rollins went up top and hit a Frog Splash for a two count. That was a great sequence.
There was a battle on the top rope, Styles avoided a superplex, he tripped up Rollins and hit a German Suplex. Rollins avoided a slam attempt into a two count. Styles kicked the arm of Rollins, Styles put Rollins onto the back and Styles hit a Rack Bomb for the two count. Rollins sent Styles to the apron, Styles with a forearm, but when Styles went up top for a springboard attack, Rollins tripped him up. Styles hit a reverse superplex off the top rope, which looked amazing and Rollins hit a lifting slam for a two count. The crowd popped big for that nearfall. That was well done. Rollins stomped to signal for his finishing, Rollins with a kick to the gut and Styles countered with a Calf Crusher submission in the middle of the ring. Rollins rolled through to counter the submission and he kicked Styles to knock him down. Styles hit his moonsault off the ropes leading to a reverse DDT for a two count. Styles told Rollins to get up, Styles charged and Rollins decked him with a superkick right to the jaw. They got into a slugfest as the fans chanted for both guys. Rollins hit a step up enziguri, Styles went for a Pele Kick, but Rollins moved. Rollins with a kick to the face. Rollins charged with The Stomp, but Styles countered right into a Styles Clash! Styles covered for one…two…and Rollins kicked out at the last possible moment. Holy shit! That was amazing. Styles was shocked that he didn’t get the win with that. Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Rollins caught him with a ripcord knee to the face. Rollins with a kick to the face put Styles on his knees. When Styles got to his feet, Rollins hit The Stomp and Rollins did a slow cover for the pinfall win at 19:45.
Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins
Analysis: ****1/2 It was an outstanding match that lived up to the hype. Rollins and Styles truly are two of the best wrestlers in the world. That spot they did with Rollins going for The Stomp with Styles countering with a Styles Clash was one of the best counters into a finisher that I have ever seen. I expected something around four stars or better, but you never really know if it’s going to reach that level and they were able to go above that. It was one of the best main roster matches of the year. Styles came close to winning numerous times, but Rollins kept on fighting back and was able to get the clean win as it should be. It was good that Styles didn’t kick out of The Stomp. Save that for the rematch and protect Seth’s finisher. I like that it wasn’t controversial because there was already enough of that on this show. There was so much great counter wrestling with Rollins avoiding AJ’s big moves the entire match while Styles did the same to Rollins as a well. This is a feud that will hopefully continue with Styles perhaps turning heel in order to add to the intensity of their matches. I expected Rollins to get the win since he just won the Universal Title at WrestleMania, so it made sense for him to retain the title.
After the match, Rollins sat up against the ropes with the Universal Title while Styles slowly left the ring. The announcers did an excellent job of putting this over as an excellent match. While Rollins celebrated with the Universal Title, Styles went back into the ring. They had a long staredown. Rollins held up the Universal Title. Styles looked up at it and then put his head down. Styles extended his hand. Rollins shook his hand as a sign of respect. The fans cheered them. Styles left. Rollins celebrated a bit more and that was it.
Analysis: It’s respect for now. I think people are going to expect a heel turn from Styles in order to continue this rivalry in the months ahead. I don’t know when the heel turn will happen, but they can probably save it for a few months if they want. There’s no need to rush it. Raw also has a lot of bigger heels for Rollins to deal with, so maybe the rematch won’t be so soon after this match.
The New Day’s Kofi Kingston, the WWE Champion, was interviewed with Xavier Woods with Charly Caruso conducting the interview. Kofi said that he did what he did at WrestleMania because of New Day. Woods told Kofi he’s going to get the job done against Kevin Owens. Woods said he’ll respect Kofi’s wishes and stay in the back. Kingston complained about Owens attacking Woods week after week. Kingston said that he’s going to show Owens that if you think you can attack brothers to get to the WWE Title, you cannot. Kofi left while Woods said that’s why he is the WWE Champion.
The Lucha House Party entered for what was announced as a six-man tag team match, but that’s not what we got. Lars Sullivan made his entrance instead.
Gran Metalik jumped onto Sullivan, so Sullivan slammed him on the floor. Sullivan caught Lince Dorado and slammed him on the floor as well. Sullivan headbutted Kalisto leading to a cut on his own head. Sullivan worked over Kalisto with forearms. Sullivan picked up Kalisto and hit a running Powerbomb. Sullivan made his angry faces as blood ran down his head and some more grunting from Sullivan put an end to it.
Analysis: It was another destruction from Sullivan just like every time he has been in the ring on the main roster. It was not a match. It was just an angle to put over Sullivan in a big way.
A commercial aired for NXT Takeover 25 on Saturday, June 1 on WWE Network. I will review that too.
The video package aired for Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE Championship. Owens acted as if he was a friend of Kingston and Woods, but then KO turned on them to set up this title match.
Kevin Owens entered first as the challenger for the WWE Championship with fans booing him. Kofi Kingston got a decent ovation as the WWE Champion although it was nothing that special. Kingston was alone without his New Day buddies as Kingston tossed some pancakes into the crowd. Woods was shown watching on a TV backstage. Owens and Kingston stood in the ring for the championship introductions.
Analysis: It was noted by PWInsider before the show that Big E was backstage at Money in the Bank, so it’s good to see him back on the road after knee surgery last month. He’s expected to be back in the ring soon.
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens
The match started as a brawl as it should be since it was a personal rivalry. Kingston with a clothesline, Owens to the floor and Kingston hit a clothesline style move off the steps onto Owens. Kingston whipped Owens into the barricade at ringside, Kingston went up top and hit a cross body block on Owens on the floor. Kingston went for an attack off the top, Owens ducked and Owens hit a superkick to take control. Owens whipped Kingston into the turnbuckle followed by a senton splash to the back for two. They were on the apron with Owens whipping Kofi back first into the turnbuckle. Owens followed up with a Frog Splash off the apron onto Kingston the floor. Back in the ring, Owens worked on the back of Kingston with kicks and knees to the back. Kingston came back with a back body drop that sent Owens into the turnbuckle. Kingston hit chops to the chest, a dropkick and a leaping clothesline followed by the boom drop leg drop. Owens came back with a Boston Crab as Owens continued the offense working on the lower back of Kingston with Kofi getting to the ropes to break it. They battled on the apron again with Kingston hitting a double stomp to the chest of Owens on the apron. Kingston went up top, he went for a dive off the top and Owens decked him with a superkick. Owens sent Kingston back in the ring for a two count.
Owens sent Kingston into the ropes, he went for a Popup Powerbomb, Kingston avoided it and Kingston hit the SOS for two. Kingston went for Trouble in Paradise, Owens blocked it and slapped on another Boston Crab submission with Kingston crawling to the ropes to break the hold. Kingston avoided a superkick, he tripped up Owens and fired away with elbows to the back of the neck. Kingston tried for a submission hold, Owens shoved him away and Owens hit a Popup Powerbomb for a two count. The fans rooted for Kingston, so Owens told the fans to stop clapping. Owens went for a Stunner, Kingston shoved him off and Kingston hit a Trouble in Paradise kick leading to Owens bumping to the floor. Back in the ring, Owens hit a Stone Cold Stunner with Kingston bumping near the ropes, so when KO covered, Kingston got his hand on the bottom rope to kick out. Owens took the red shoes off of Kingston’s feet and threw them down at ringside. That was odd. Owens went up top for a Swanton Bomb, but Kingston got his knees up to block and Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise kick for the pinfall win at 14:10.
Winner by pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good match that was a bit below my expectations for it, but it wasn’t due to the lack of effort. They could have used a few more exciting moments towards the finish. I thought the story was fine and they were intense right from the beginning. The last few minutes were booked well. I think it was also tough for them to follow that Rollins/Styles match. Owens was aggressive as usual, Kingston showed a lot of heart as a face and in the end, Kingston won clean as expected. The feud may continue, but Owens will need some big wins soon to build him back up again.
Post match, Kingston celebrated the win while his New Day buddy Xavier Woods joined him in the ring for the celebration.
Analysis: Kingston got some good fan reactions here, but it wasn’t nearly as big as the pop he got at WrestleMania. I know that reaction is never going to be topped for Kofi. I’m just saying that with ratings being down, I think Kofi’s title reign will probably end before SummerSlam. By the time Smackdown is on Fox in October, I expect Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar to be WWE Champion.
There was another commercial for Super Showdown on Friday, June 7th.
The announcers spoke about how Super Showdown could be equal to or exceed WrestleMania. This show is actually more profitable since WWE gets paid about $80 million per year for the two Saudi Arabia shows.
The announce team for the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match was Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
Baron Corbin from Raw was the first man to enter for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match main event. He made Mike Rome read the list of Corbin accomplishments before the match to get Corbin more heat. The rest of the entrants were Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor (Smackdown), Ricochet (Raw), Andrade (Smackdown) with Zelina Vega who went to the back, Ali (Smackdown), Drew McIntyre (Raw) and Randy Orton from Smackdown was the last man to enter.
Analysis: This 8-man Money in the Bank Ladder Match started as a 7-man match with Sami Zayn being removed earlier in the show.
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Randy Orton, Ali, Ricochet, Finn Balor, Andrade, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin
There was a brawl in the ring to start the match. Orton left the ring, he grabbed Ali and gave him a belly to back suplex onto an announce table. Ricochet and Balor hit a double clothesline on Corbin to knock him out of the ring. Balor hit a somersault dive onto a couple of guys on the floor. Orton grabbed Balor and slammed him onto the announce table. Ricochet tried to attack Orton, but Orton sidestepped him and he slammed Ricochet on the announce table. There was a “Randy Orton” chant even though Orton was a heel. Orton set up a ladder under the briefcase and he took his time, so Andrade came back with a springboard dropkick on the ladder followed by a back elbow to Orton’s face. McIntyre and Corbin worked over Andrade, Orton and Balor with ladder shots to the chest. Ricochet back in with a Codebreaker on McIntyre and Ali with an X-Factor on Corbin. Ali hit a suicide dive on McIntyre into the barricade. Ricochet with a back body drop that sent Andrade over the top to the floor. Ricochet and Ali each tried to climb up a ladder. Ricochet climbed up first, Ali also got up and Corbin and McIntyre pulled down the smaller guys and stomped on them on the mat. Corbin launched Ali into a ladder against the turnbuckle. McIntyre with a belly to belly overhead suplex on Ricochet into a ladder against the turnbuckle. Orton sent Corbin to the apron and he hit the draping DDT off the ropes. When Orton set up for a RKO, Corbin shoved Orton into a Claymore Kick from McIntyre on Orton. Balor back in the ring with a Slingblade on Corbin and a dropkick that sent McIntyre into a ladder. Balor with a double foot stomp on a ladder on Corbin’s chest. Balor sent a ladder into McIntyre’s back. Balor climbed up, Andrade grabbed a ladder and Andrade hit Balor in the arm with the ladder. Ricochet went up top, but Andrade shoved him to knock him down to the floor. Balor and Andrade climbed up the ladder and Andrade hit a sunset flip over a ladder onto another ladder that was bridged off the ropes. They replayed the spot a few times and the fans started a “Yowie Wowie” chant, which was funny.
Ali with a leaping DDT on Corbin, dropkicks for others and a reverse hurricanrana by Ali on Ricochet looked brutal. Ricochet also sold it perfectly. Cole was screaming about how ridiculous these guys are. Yeah, they are very good. Ali tried to climb, but Andrade tripped him up to trap him against a ladder. Andrade set up another ladder, so Andrade and Ali climbed up the ladder side by side. Ali hit a Spanish Fly on Andrade off the ladders! Cole: “No way! What is wrong with these guys!” McIntyre with a hard forearm to the chest of Ali. McIntyre set up a ladder bridge from the announce table to the ring apron. Ali hit a superkick on McIntyre. Corbin went over to Ali and hit him with a massive Chokeslam through the Spanish announce table. Corbin turned on McIntyre by tossing him over the barricade into the crowd. Corbin with a Chokeslam on Balor on the side of a ladder. Ricochet with a dropkick on Corbin. When Ricochet tried a dive, Corbin caught him and hit a Deep Six slam. McIntyre got revenge on McIntyre with a Claymore Kick on the floor. Back in the ring, McIntyre tossed a ladder into Balor’s face and McIntyre gave a suplex on to Balor on a ladder that was folded in the ring. McIntyre grabbed Andrade and gave him the reverse Alabama Slam onto Balor on the ladder. McIntyre set up a ladder under the briefcase. Ricochet got back into it with a springboard clothesline off the top to knock down McIntyre. Ricochet climbed the ladder, but McIntyre grabbed him and McIntyre launched Ricochet over the top onto the ladder that was bridged from the apron to the announce table. McIntyre went climbing up the ladder again, but Orton grabbed him off a ladder and hit a RKO on McIntyre. Corbin went back in the ring and whipped Orton into the steel ring post. Corbin tried a climb, Ali climbed over him and Ali hit a headscissors to send Corbin over the top to the floor. Ali climbed the ladder, he reached up for the briefcase and got his hands on it. Brock Lesnar’s music hit. Brock Lesnar was there! The crowd reacted to that with a loud reaction. A mix of cheers and boos, but definitely what you would call a superstar pop.
Brock Lesnar ran down to the ring, shoved a ladder over and it hit two camera guys at ringside. Lesnar went into the ring, shoved the ladder and knocked Ali off the ladder leading to Ali bumping into the ropes. The bump from Ali led to him getting cut in the face as a doctor checked on him at ringside. Paul Heyman was at ringside with Lesnar. Lesnar set up the ladder under the briefcase, Lesnar climbed up to boos, Lesnar laughed while on top of the ladder and Lesnar unhooked the Money in the Bank briefcase. Lesnar grabbed the briefcase to win the match that he was not even a part of...unless he was? The match went 19:00.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Lesnar had an evil smile on his face. The announcing during the climb of Lesnar was key. Cole was screaming and wondering how Lesnar was in the match. Graves claimed that Lesnar was the eighth man in the match, so that was clearly the story they wanted to push.
Analysis: **** That was a very good Money in the Bank ladder match with some ridiculous bumps throughout the match. Some of the guys had some rough landings on ladders, so it was a bit concerning at times. Lesnar’s appearance was a huge shock that I doubt anybody saw coming. The problem is that a lot of fans are so sick of Lesnar dominating the title scene on Raw for most of the last two years that it’s going to be a turn off for a lot of people. Money in the Bank is something that has been a springboard for somebody to get to that main event level, but in this case they decided to put the briefcase on a guy that has already been a champion many times before. Getting back to the match, I thought Ricochet, Andrade and Ali really stood out while Orton had a very good showing too. Balor took a lot of bumps on ladders that looked really painful. Corbin and McIntyre utilized their size advantage to look dominant throughout the match.
Lesnar posed on the top of the ladder with the briefcase. When they showed the other wrestlers around the ring, you could see that Ali had a cut around his mouth from when he bumped into the top rope. Cole said that everybody in the arena was shocked while Cole yelled about how that guarantees Lesnar a shot at the Universal Title any time he wants it. Lesnar sat on top of the ladder. Lesnar said: “Guess who’s back, baby. Guess who’s back.” The show ended there.
Analysis: I assume the storyline explanation will be something about how Lesnar was the one that tied up Sami Zayn backstage to take him out of the match and because of that, Lesnar got to take his place.
— WWE (@WWE) May 20, 2019
This show had a run time of 3:38:08 on WWE Network. It was probably going to run another ten more minutes, but as I mentioned earlier, that Mysterio/Joe match was cut short due to blood.
It was pretty funny to see AEW's Chris Jericho tweet this after the show.
Awesome to see @BrockLesnar win the #MoneyInTheBank match...even though he wasn’t officially entered! Brock is the future of the biz and this perfect example of genius booking shows why @WWE will remain on top FOREVER! #GoBrockGo
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) May 20, 2019
I know Jericho's just having fun with that and trying to get people worked up. It made me laugh.
Five Stars of the Show
- Seth Rollins
- AJ Styles
- Becky Lynch
It gets a 6 out of 10 from me.
It was a mixed bag type of show with some good matches, but also some questionable booking decisions along the way. I thought Rollins/Styles match was one of the best matches of the year, so they lived up to the hype. The Money in the Bank matches were very good like most MITB matches are. While I liked seeing Bayley becoming the Smackdown Women’s Champion to try to give her some positive momentum again, it was frustrating to see them go back to the well with Lesnar.
What really hurt this show is some of the booking decisions like Lesnar winning Money in the Bank in a match he wasn’t even a part of. As I wrote in the review, they will probably say he took out Zayn and took his spot in the match, but it was not explained well. Some of the finishes were bad too. Why have so many controversial endings where the referees were made to look inept? I miss the old days when heels would cheat to win. Instead, they barely have heels cheat and they are oftentimes booked to win with fluke finishes. I think WWE’s decision makers are overthinking the match endings way too much. It’s better to keep it simple.
I had higher expectations for Money in the Bank. I thought it would be better. Some of the matches that I wanted to go longer were too short (due to Joe’s blood in one case) while others went too long. Going nearly four hours made it a very long show too although last year’s Money in the Bank was over four hours. Anyway, I would recommend Rollins vs. Styles because it was excellent, big night for Bayley, I enjoyed the work in the two MITB ladder matches, but most of the rest of it was skippable.
Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below. I’ll be back during the week with Raw and Smackdown reviews as usual.
Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook