Money in the Bank 2011 Review

-We are LIVE! from Chicago, IL (an awesome wrestling town who will boo the ever-loving crap out of Cena tonight).

Smackdown Money in the Bank Match
Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Kane vs. Heath Slater vs. Daniel Bryan
I guess they had to put the Miracle Jobber Connection of Gabriel and Slater in there but I have as much of a chance of winning as they do. Huge brawl to start until Kane clears the ring but he takes a ladder to the face courtesy of Bryan, who quickly suffers the same fate. Cara gets blasted by Slater and Gabriel and Gabriel makes a climb attempt but gets stopped by a Bryan dropkick. Cody also makes an attempt but gets stopped by Sheamus, who beats on Cody until Kane returns and dumps them.

Barrett tastes a ladder setup in a corner and Kane dumps a ladder on Cody and Sheamus on the outside. Sidewalk slam takes out Slater but Cara returns and gets rid of the Big Red Machine. Bryan smokes Barrett with a dive through the ropes to the outside so Gabriel one-ups him with a swanton to the outside. Slater says “that’s too easy for me” and hits a corkscrew plancha and Cara closes us out with a dive from the top to the floor on Kane…very cool.

After some recovery, Cara dumps Gabriel and takes Bryan off the top with a moonsault side slam. Barrett takes out our Mexican hero and preps the Spanish announce table (poor guys) before bridging a ladder from the table to the apron. Barrett hits the post on a charge and Cara gets destroyed by a Sheamus pump kick. We head to the apron and get our first holy s*** spot as Sheamus powerbombs Cara off the apron and through the aforementioned ladder. It was definitely a wooden ladder but it was still a very cool spot. Cara does a stretcher job as Kane and Sheamus square off in the ring and Booker proclaims Sin Cara dead.

Cody and Bryan team up against Kane but he takes them both out with a ladder and makes his first attempt at his briefcase but is stopped by the Original Nexus. They hammer on all the faces (and Cody) and Barrett convinces his former friends to let him win the briefcase….before they immediately turn on him and dump him to the floor of course. Gabriel and Slater’s attempt at the case is stopped by Cody tipping over the ladder and he hits Barrett with Cross Rhodes to establish dominance.

As my wife asks “where’s Sheamus?”, he returns with an Irish Curse backbreaker on Rhodes (if you weel) and Bryan joins him in a briefcase attempt. Sheamus puts Bryan on his shoulders and Kane comes off the top with a clothesline to hit a Doomsday Device, which the crowd responds to by chanting “LOD! LOD!” I love Chicago.

Sheamus wedges a ladder from the second turnbuckle to a set-up ladder in the middle of the ring but Kane chokeslams everyone. Bryan stops Kane with a DDT and Slater tries to sneak in a climb attempt. They head up the same side of the ladder but Heath brings Bryan down with a neckbreaker from the top of the ladder. Barrett and Kane try to use a ladder to direct Slater from the top rope to the floor but almost drop him on his head, so they abort the spot and he falls on Kane.

Now it’s Sheamus’s turn to dominate and he lays a ladder across a corner before hitting Snake Eyes on Gabriel. He make a slow attempt at the case but Kane climbs the other side and they have a slugfest. Kane gets smart and climbs down, reaching up and chokeslamming Kane on the corner-bridged ladder. Holy crap, Sheamus actually BOUNCED. That is bad, bad times.

Barrett takes out Kane with Wasteland and Gabriel goes Nexus Old School by adding a 450 splash from the top to effectively eliminate Kane. Barrett shows his thanks by dumping Gabriel like a sack of horse crap to the outside. Wade clears out the others and makes an attempt but Cody dumps him and Bryan wills himself to make a case attempt. Both guys fight on the same side of the ladder while Barrett climbs the other. Cody goes tumbling and Barrett tries to finish Daniel with Wasteland off the top but a kick send Barrett to the canvas and DANIEL BRYAN of all people claims the briefcase for the win.
Winner: Daniel Bryan

-Totally didn’t see that finish coming and it was a great booking call to try and elevate Bryan. The crowd gave him a great response and even chanted “Daniel Bryan” while he was celebrating his win and Bryan seemed genuinely touched. The match was the usual good stuff as they were sick spots, no “slow climbing” fake drama and a solid finish ***

-By the way, if you’re bored during this next match (and you will be), check out New Jack’s Facebook page. He has quite a few interesting allegations about a certain former Diva who shall remain nameless on this page.

Divas Title
Kelly Kelly vs. Brie Bella
Eve is managing Kelly tonight because who cares? Kelly dominates and hits a really sloppy flying headscissors before taking out both twins with a dive from the apron. Kelly tries to use a tarantula but gets dumped to the floor. Back in, Brie works the body (I’d like to work her…nevermind) and gets two. The crowd amuses itself by chanting “CM Punk” at random points during the match. Kelly makes the comeback with her usual sloppiness and hits a neckbreaker for two. Kelly apparently went to the same wrestling school as A-Train because she screams like a lunatic while performing basic moves. Brie DDTs Kelly leg for two (how would that get a two count?) but Kelly hits a rocker dropper out of nowhere for the win.
Winner and STILL Champion: Kelly Kelly

-Match was sloppy and totally disjointed with an ending that seemed tacked on out of nowhere. And what the hell was the point of Eve being out there? *

Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Just please, let it be quick. Big Show hits a tackle, sending Henry to the floor while Cole rattles off body measurements like a goon. They job around for a bit before Henry gingerly hits the ring steps. In our first REALLY stupid spot of the night, Henry “dropkicks” the ring steps (which don’t move an inch) and Show has to sell it like they slammed into his knee. Who thought of that one?

Back in, Henry clips the knee for two and now WOOOOO, we go to school…right? Henry works a half-crab but Show valiantly fights to the ropes to avoid losing to a career mid-carder. Avalanche in the corner hits but a second does not and Show climbs to the second rope and hits another tackle, further injuring his own knee. He signals for the chokeslam but Henry goes to the knee and the World’s Fattest Slam gets two. Another World’s Fattest Slam hits and this time Henry adds two splashes off the ropes and that’s enough to get the win.
Winner: Mark Henry

-Beating Big Show really doesn’t matter considering everyone who matters in the promotion has done it at one time or another. Henry goes old school and pillmanizes Big Show’s knee which is actually sold very well by Mr. Show. As with the last couple weeks, the booking for Henry has been great but he just can’t bring it in the ring when it matters *.

We get our second stretcher job of the night as Big Show is charted out. Nice touch as Henry refuses to move in the aisle for the medical team, forcing them to roll the the cart around him. The crowd is so concerned about Big Show that they chant “CM Punk” while he’s rolled out.

-Meanwhile, Vince McMahon is with James Laurinaitis and an unnamed attorney. Vince reveals he offered CM Punk a contract and Punk threw him out. Vince is very careful with his words and says if CM Punk leaves the building with the title NOT wins the match then Cena is fired. Hmmm, hint hint?

Raw Money in the Bank Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne vs. R-Truth vs. Alex Riley vs. The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio
Everyone brings a ladder to the ring with them except Truth, who brings a stepladder because he’s afraid of heights…pretty funny. There is a VERY large ladder setup on the entrance ramp, which probably means death for someone. Everyone takes out Del Rio and dumps their ladders on him in retribution for last week. The ring clears and Truth faces off with Miz with stepladders before Swagger takes them both out. Kofi and Bourne show off some balance tricks before Mysterio uses the ladder they are fighting over to take out Swagger with flying headscissors. Riley crotches Truth on a ladder and takes him out with a kick but the ladder they are using is nowhere near tall enough to reach the case.

Riley takes out Miz and Swagger with a dive to the outside and Truth one-ups him by using a somersault plancha. Everyone joins in as Kofi and Rey hit dives from the top rope and finally Evan Bourne says “screw you, everyone” and hits the Shooting Star from the top of the HUGE ladder on everyone…my God.

Bourne makes the first case climb but Miz thwarts it and they battle over the case before Del Rio removes the ladder and Miz injures his knee on the fall. I guess we’re going with the “someone’s getting injured in every match” theme for tonight. Miz heads to the back while Truth and Del Rio try for the case but Rey and Bourne climb over them and take out the heels with a double hurricanrana.

Kofi leapfrogs Swagger to get the ladder so Jack yanks him off with an ankle lock. Swagger and Riley head up top but Truth shoves the ladder, clotheslining both guys on the top rope. Truth wedges a ladder in the corner but IRONY STRIKES as Kofi uses it to drop a Boom Drop on Truth to get rid of him. Del Rio returns only to knock himself out by missing a charge and tumbling to the floor.

Truth catapults a ladder into Swagger’s face but Mysterio hits him with a 619 and sets up a second ladder in the ring. Him and Riley head up but EVERYONE joins them on their own ladders as they all fight over the briefcase in a cool spot. Alberto falls first, hitting the wedged ladder and Bourne tumbles all the way to the floor. Riley lands hard followed closely by Truth and Kofi kicks Mysterio to the mat but Swagger quickly climbs and they REALLY fall with Kofi’s leg landing squarely on Jack’s face. Holy hell, that had to hurt.

All guys are down but the crowd erupts as Miz charges from the back and makes a climb but Mysterio powerbombs him off the ladder. Del Rio stops Mysterio and they battle over the case until Alberto is all like “Screw this!” and yanks off Rey’s mask. The finish gets screwed when Mysterio accidentally knocks over the ladder but Alberto claims the case for the win anyways.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio

-Again, another finish that makes perfect sense because it’s time for Alberto to make the jump to the next step. I actually liked the Smackdown match a little more but this one had more crowd heat and more drama as opposed to sick spots. However, this match did have a few blown spots and the finish was almost screwed by the ladder falling. Still, a great effort from all ***3/4

-Alberto Del Rio brags about his MITB win and says it’s a mere formality on his path to the title.

World Heavyweight Title
Randy Orton vs. Christian
If Randy Orton is disqualified, then Christian wins the title because of some creative contract work by Captain Charisma. Shouldn’t the world title be held in higher regard than the WWE title or are we supposed to think that the “WWE Universe” that they always shove down our throats is somehow related?

Anyways, Christian throws a chair in the ring to bait a DQ but Orton would break Sting’s record for stupidity if he did actually fell for that one. Orton dominates to start and hits a clothesline before dodging a plancha attempt and introducing Christian to the ringside steps. Christian recovers with an elbow from the second rope for two and another elbow gets a near fall. Christian chokes Orton out on the ropes for two but gets rolled up on a corner charge for two. He recovers with a spinebuster for two and looks for the Killswitch but both guys tumble to the floor for a double KO.

Back in, Orton catches Christian’s feet on a dropkick and hooks a jackknife cover for two then follows with a dropkick for another near fall. Nothing of note happens until Christian hits a diving headbutt off the top for two. Christian looks to finish again and that launches Orton’s comeback but Christian hits a Killswitch out of nowhere…for two.

Christian preps a spear but Orton leapfrogs and lifts Christian on his shoulder upside down before dropping him into a neckbreaker for two…nice move there. Powerslam sets up the hangman’s DDT and then goes into his little tribal dance which signals the RKO. Christian cowers away but spits in Orton’s face, which triggers Orton’s temper. Orton can’t help himself and punts Christian in the family jewels…whoops.
Winner and NEW Champion: Christian

-Orton goes nuts at ringside, bashing Christian with a monitor and RKOing him through the Spanish announce table, which doesn’t break…ouch. As Orton is leaving, the crowd chants “one more time” so Orton returns with great facial expressions and hits another RKO on the table which AGAIN doesn’t break. That’s one well-built table right there.

OK, here’s my problem with this match: The win does absolutely nothing for Christian whatsoever. Sure, he won the title but he comes off as a coward who knew he was going to lose and was bailed out by stipulations instead of a heel mastermind who outsmarts his opponent.

Anyways, the match wasn’t nearly as good as their previous two efforts and I didn’t like the booking, so it gets **3/4 and likes it.

-Just an FYI, my little sources are telling me that Colt Cabana is sitting ringside tonight.

-Also an FYI, there actually is precedent for people defending WWE titles outside the promotion. Eddie Guerrero defended the Intercontinental title at a couple independent shows while he was serving a suspension.

WWE Title
John Cena vs. CM Punk
To say the least, the crowd is absolutely RABID for CM Punk and equally, the crowd absolutely HATES John Cena. Slow start allows the crowd to get the “you can’t wrestle” chants out of the way and Cena works the arm. Headlock spot allows the crowd to chant some more and the Insane Clown Posse desperately try to get their faces on camera as much possible…I hope security throws those morons out.

Punk takes control with a dropkick and a headlock and they trade finisher attempts early but a stalemate results. Punk kicks away but Cena comes back with a bulldog for a one-count and he works a front facelock. Huge clothesline floors Punk and a chinlock milks the crowd heat a little more. Punk breaks with a back suplex for two but Cena fires off his typical sloppy “fisherman’s suplex” for two. Attitude Adjustment is countered to a DDT for two and Punk goes to a head scissors.

Punk sets Cena on the apron and drops a knee from the top in a nice spot and gets two but he hits post on a blind charge. He basically shrugs it off though and we hit another chinlock. Punk goes for a high cross body from the top and lands on Cena’s knee in an awkward manner but it still gets two. Punk tries to suplex Cena in from the apron but it gets reversed and Punk hits the floor hard.

Back inside, a snap suplex and an elbow get two for Cena as Booker proclaims the crowd is turning like a moron. Cena slams him but only gets two and they have a Yay-Boo Slugfest until Cena goes to an abdominal stretch…really? In 2011? You’re not exactly bringing the 21st century moveset tonight, are you John? Punk fights out of the devastating maneuver and they clothesline each other for the double KO.

Out of nowhere, Cena goes into his usual SOS Comeback and the crowd boos the hell out of the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Punk responds by stunning Cena with a kick during the move and sending him to the floor before following with a dive between the ropes and earning a high five from Colt Cabana (not acknowledged by the announcers of course).

Punk misses an elbow off the top and the Five Knuckle Shuffle hits for real but an Attitude Adjustment in countered to a kick series for two. GTS is countered to a gutwrench for two and Punk counters an Attitude Adjustment to two Shining Wizards and a bulldog. Flying clothesline off the top gets two and Punk goes back to kicks but Cena surprises him with the STF. Punk wills himself to the ropes and the crowd breaths a collective sigh of relief as Punk grabs the bottom rope.

Punk recovers and hits a high kick for a near fall and both guys sell for some recovery time. Punk goes up for a high cross body and Cena rolls through and they go through an awesome finish exchange sequence that ends with Cena having Punk trapped in the center of the ring with an STF. The crowd goes absolutely nuts as Punk fights it and counters to the forgotten Anaconda Vise. Cena fights to his feet and hits an Attitude Adjustment out of nowhere…for two.

Now the crowd is getting seriously into this match as both guys sell but Cena gets to his feet first and heads up top. Cena tries his legdrop but Punk turns it into a sloppy powerbomb for two a la Batista. GTS attempt but Cena slides to the apron and clotheslines Punk on the ropes and this time hits the legdrop to the back of the head for another close two, drawing frustration from Cena.

Another Attitude Adjustment hits and it looks like the end for Punk…but it only gets two. Cena starts to get desperate and drags Punk’s carcass to the top rope and tries for the AA off the ropes. Punk is more desperate though and elbows his way out of it and hits a hurricanrana off the top. Punk hits the GTS (after pulling down the kneepad of course) but Cena tumbles to the outside and Punk’s reaction is awesome.

Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis make their way to the entrance ramp, distracting Punk and allowing Cena to trap Punk in the STF. McMahon sends crony Laurinaitis to ringside to get him to ring the bell but Cena cuts him off because he wants to win his way. Punk catches Cena coming back in with the Go 2 Sleep and yes, gets the three count as the crowd goes absolutely insane.
Winner and NEW Champion: CM Punk

-BUT WAIT, this is not over. Vince grabs Lawler’s headset and calls for Alberto Del Rio to come to ringside to cash it in. Punk catches him with a kick to the face before the bell can ring, knocking him out. Punk blows a kiss to Vince McMahon and heads through the Chicago crowd as world champion…and we fade to black.

-Well, you can’t say they didn’t bring the drama here. They went with the slow build during the match and it was very effective since it had three stages: First, they worked headlocks and other submissions letting them get their chants out of the way. Then, they did a typical match, calming the crowd done and teaching them to react to normal spots. Finally, they busted out the awesome finishing sequences and had the crowd with them the whole rest of the way. That, my friends, is a well-booked match. Call the whole thing ***3/4 and a rousing success.

Final Word
Needless to say, I didn’t think Punk was walking with the title but they must have worked something out. The MITB matches always deliver and the main event was Drama City, Population: Me the whole time, so that means this is definitely a recommended PPV and something people will be talking about for quite awhile…order the replay NOW.

Make sure to check out my Raw coverage tomorrow to find out what’s going to happen next.

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