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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
he WWE has decided that all of its non-‘big four’ PPVs should now be named after lame gimmicks, it would seem. We’ve had TLC, Elimination Chamber, Extreme Rules, Fatal Four Way and now we have Money in the Bank.

The Money in the Bank gimmick came in to WWE in about 2005 (I’m sure someone will correct me on this), and has done no end of damage to the integrity of the championship titles. Indeed, not only did the WWE decide to have two championship belts, they also decided that any mid-carder who needs a quick push can win the Money in the Bank match at Wrestlemania. What has made the Money in the Bank gimmick so interesting in the past, however, is that it brings together the wrestlers from Raw and Smackdown together and allows the winner to cash in on either brand (as Jack Swagger did with his move over to Smackdown). With two (yes two) MiB matches (one for each brand) the value of the gimmick and the value of the belts has been further diluted.

At the beginning of MiB, we were shown one of the most dangerous things in professional wrestling. No, I’m not talking about Hell in a Cell or the Elimination Chamber, and I’m not talking about barbed wire ropes or exploding turn buckles: I’m referring, of course, to the Spanish announce table. I think I’ve said before that WWE has lost any sense of subtlety in its storytelling and in its matches, if I haven’t, I’ve certainly thought it. It’s almost as if WWE management went: “Right, we need to do a spot where someone goes through the Spanish announce table,” the board members look on blankly, another one chirps up: “I’m not sure our demographic know what a Spanish announce table is, and I’m not sure they could picture such a thing.” And so they show, for those fans who can’t picture what an announce table looks like with people commentating in Spanish rather than English.

First up was the Smackdown MiB match. We had Dolph Ziggler, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, Kane, The Big Show, Matt Hardy and Drew McIntyre in what was actually a well-booked match... until the end that is. Unlike most recent WWE PPVs, the crowd were really into this one, and the crowd were hot for this match in particular. The match started with most of the guys beating on Show, even though when he tried to climb a ladder it broke. Christian and Hardy did some great stuff on top the ladders, reminiscent of some of their matches back in their tag team days. Kofi did a really cool Leg Drop from the top of ladder, onto Drew McIntyre who was spread out on... the Spanish announce table, woo! With Show unable to climb a regular ladder, he went under the ring to pull out a big ladder made of ‘reinforced steel’ – this thing looked heavy, this thing looked so heavy in fact that Show could hardly lift it into the ring, if you missed it I’m sure it will be on the next Botchamania. Indeed, the Big Show’s frustration was clearly evidenced when the words ‘fuck me’ left his lips. Naughty Big Show, that’s not very PG now, is it? Then came what was probably the highlight of the match for me, Show got thrown out of the ring and the rest of the wrestlers came over and buried him in a pile of ladders. I’m not sure if it was meant to be funny, but I was pissing myself. It reminded me of that ECW thing were the crowd were throwing the chairs. Awesome. Then came the ending... Kane won. Fucking Kane. Easily the worst guy possible to win this won. What the fuck?

Next up was the Divas. Don’t care. Enough time to put the kettle on.

The next match was the Hart Dynasty versus the Uzos for the tag titles. To be honest, I’m not sold on either team in this one and really didn’t care what the result was, it seemed the crowd agreed with this sentiment. The match ended with Davey Hart Smith doing the Sharpshooter (why not a Bulldog?) for the win. Pretty dull match, but luckily it was only 6 minutes long.

Next up was Rey Mysterio versus Kurt Angle for the World Heavyweight Title. Hang on, Kurt Angle? Lets work this out carefully: Amateur style ring attire? Check. Ankle Lock? Check. All-American gimmick? Check. That sounds like Kurt Angle to me! But wait, it’s Jack Swagger, not Kurt Angle... my mistake. Anyway, this match was pretty decent. Rey was selling an injured ankle throughout the match, which made him change his style. There were some pretty cool spots in the one like Rey getting Swagger with the Lou Thez Press of the top rope and Rey countering a superplex into a DDT for a near fall. The match culminated in Angle, sorry, Swagger getting Mysterio into an Ankle Lock. After squirming for a few moments, Rey shimmied out of his boot and took Swagger down with a Hurricianrama for the pin. This was not the end for Swagger though, he went back to work on Rey’s ankle, and Kane ran in for the save and chased Swagger to the locker-room. With Mysterio still reeling in the ring, who should return the ring but Kane, MiB briefcase in hand and cashed it in. Kane quickly worked on Rey’s ankle, put him in a Tombstone and got the pin. For fuck’s sake. That’s right, Kane, yes Kane, is now the World Heavyweight Champion. I predict, hmm, Undertaker getting the title, hmm, at Summerslam, hmm, 12 year old feud gets reignited, hmm, fans don’t care. I would care if they brought back Paul Bearer to fuck around with the Undertakers head a bit though. So let’s get this straight: rather than using this opportunity to get a young guy over, they use it to reignite a feud which has been done, four, maybe five times before, which doesn’t even need a title to establish a match... for fuck’s sake.

Another Divas match, but this time I made the mistake of watching it. Oh dear, this was bad. This was Rob Terry doing Lucha Libre bad. This was Warrior verus Hercules bad. Kelly Kelly versus Layla could go down in history as the worst thing to ever appear on a PPV. Now don’t get me wrong, Layla is hot, but God damn it, this is a wrestling show. If I wanted to watch hot girls wrestle I’d... anyway...

Next up was the Raw MiB match with Randy Orton, Miz, Mark Henry, John Morrison, Jericho, Ted Dibiase, Edge and Evan Bourne. This was actually an excellent match, and the ending was so much better than the Smackdown MiB match. There were some really good spots during this match, probably too many to go into. There was one where two guys were each on a ladder and Mark Henry came in between them and sent them flying. The commentator said something dumb along the lines of “It’s Hercules parting the Red Sea!” Because Hercules and Moses are the same, you fucking moron. Everyone seemed to get in their signature moves and Morrison did some great acrobatics between ladders before getting socked by the Miz and Edge. The worst bit of the match came when DiBiase’s lady Virgil, Maryse came in to try and grab the case for DiBiase. Morrison then fireman’s lifted her away. The ending came with a battle on the ladder between Orton and Miz with Miz unhooking the case and giving a pretty decent promo afterwards. I really wanted Miz to win this, the MiB suits an up and coming heel, but I want Miz to be the first person to cash in his case and not get the belt.

Finally, the main event was Cena versus Seamus in a cage match for the WWE title. This match had some really dumb moments. There was one where Seamus put Cena into a Sleeper Hold, with his last few breaths, Cena started Hulking up, brother. With the Sleeper Hold still tightly in place, Cena started to climb out of the cage with Seamus on his back. For fuck’s sake. Like a lot of cage matches, this one also had a number of opportunities when either competitor could get a clean win and simply escape the cage, but would rather do some spots instead. For fuck’s sake. The match went on, both did their finishers and then the NXTWo came in, bolt cutters in hand, no doubt to break into the cage and mess up the match. A little old referee came over to try and stop them and snatched the bolt cutters and made a hasty exit. Remember that this group had beaten up most of the roster, had beaten up management and had beat up legends, but it was a little referee who got the better of them. For fuck’s sake. The NXTWo then demanded that a referee gave them the key to the cage. Obviously having watched the Angle versus Anderson cage match on TNA, the ref threw the key into the crowd, and again a little ref got the better of the NXTWo. The climax to the match came when the ref in the ring got bumped and Cena got Seamus to tap out to the STF. With the ref out, Cena attempted to climb out, but Justin Gabriel of the NXTWo climbed the outside and started fighting with Cena. Meanwhile, that sneaky Irish heel managed to climb out and get the win. Seamus then legged it into the crowd.

Overall, this was a pretty good PPV. Both of the MiB matches were very good, the Swagger versus Mysterio match was also pretty decent, the Divas match I saw was bad as they come, and the main event was also pretty good. This is probably the best PPV WWE have put on this year.

Ratings:

Smackdown MiB:
***1/2

Harts versus Uzos
*

Mysterio versus Swagger
***

Kelly Kelly versus Layla
Minus *****

Raw MiB
****

Cena versus Seamus
***

PPV Rating:
***1/2
 
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