Dean Ambrose wins Money in the Bank and the WWE World Heavyweight title
While WWE heavily hinted that Ambrose would win big at Money in the Bank, I was still surprised that they took the WWE Championship off of their #1 guy Roman Reigns, and transitioned it to another babyface in Dean Ambrose. Ambrose was always the guy they should have strapped the rocket to coming out of The Shield break up, but hey, better later than never. I do wonder where they go with this. Are they giving Ambrose a proper shot to see if he can be the top face of the company? Or will he just be a transitional champion? Either way, this was done really well and the crowd reacted really positively to it like it was a big deal.
Money in the Bank match
I like that they limited this to just the six guys, rather than adding extras. It kept things simple but still fun and creative. Everyone got time to shine and there were some brutal spots. Kevin Owens taking a Michinoku Driver into the side of a ladder was just brutal. The end result was somewhat phoned in given how heavily they implied that Ambrose would win and get involved in the main event in some capacity. But sometimes the predictable result is also the right result.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles
It wasn’t really the five star classic that a lot of people were expecting, but it was still very, very good and it told a good story. Styles was wrestling circles around Cena and was always a few steps ahead, but he just couldn’t put him away. They worked great together. I think Cena still needs a few more matches before he’s fully back into the swing of things, as it felt like he wasn’t quite at 100% here. I hated the finish of this though. I understand that Styles is a heel, but it really weakens and cheapens the win and spoils a great match.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
A good, if a little too long, main event. Rollins looked good, although like Cena, he’s still not quite the Rollins he was last year when he was having brilliant matches night in and night out. Reigns looked good too, even if he was playing the babyface when he really should have been the heel. I was shocked at how clean the finish was too – Seth Rollins pins Roman Reigns clean in the middle without any major shenanigans.
Tag Team Four Way
It was both a good and a bad match. They had a lot of good ideas, but there were also eight guys running around trying to get their spots in and maybe trying to do a little bit too much. This match was overloaded with botches and miscues. At one point, the ref made a three count when someone was too late to break up a pin with Enzo. The end of the match was a shambles too. Some good ideas but a lot of blown spots.
US Title Match
For Titus O’Neil matches, it wasn’t the worst. But this is an example of how far down the totem pole the US Championship has fallen. This time last year, it was one of the most prestigious belts in the company. Now it’s being defended in the death spot between main events against a prelim guy like Titus O’Neil. Commentary really didn’t play up the fact that Titus was trying to win his first singles title in front of his kids on father’s day, that was like an afterthought. I’m glad Rusev won clean though.
Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
They both put a lot of work into this match, but nobody cared. It’s not entirely their faults as we haven’t been at all given a reason to care about Baron Corbin since his main roster debut. And Dolph Ziggler just hasn’t felt relevant in… I want to say years. But maybe that’s too harsh. But the fans don’t care about either guy right now, and this feud was never given any real momentum. And this match went way too long.
Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus
It wasn’t a horrendous match, it was just a bit bland and boring. Apollo Crews is so talented, but he didn’t get much of a chance to showcase his abilities as he spent most of the match either in rest holds or selling. And the finish, while Apollo looked strong for kicking out of the Super White Noise, still wasn’t the big strong win the guy needs. A roll up on Sheamus won’t do anything for him, while a decisive clean win would have.
It was so short and the crowd didn’t really react to it. I’m really starting to feel like they’re regressing with the women’s division a bit. On a three and a half hour show, the women got barely 7 minutes. It just felt a bit rushed and came across as your usual short TV match instead of a big PPV blow off match. I’m intrigued by the Natalya heel turn though. I like her and she’s really good in the ring. But her character has always been a little two dimensional, so a heel turn might give her a chance to try something new. And the women’s roster could use another heel or two.
All photos via WWE.com