I correctly predicted in yesterday’s blog post that John Cena would win his respective Money In The Bank match and even wrote a second post about what direction I would take him and the WWE Championship should it happen. However, despite correctly predicting the outcome of that match (and every announced match on the card), I still do not think that the Money In The Bank match was created for a WWE Superstar like John Cena to win.
The MITB match was originally created as a Wrestlemania match that would feature anywhere from 6-8 Superstars who had never (or not for a long time) been a world champion or who had never (or rarely) been in the main event. It would give that Superstar a chance to shine on an international stage and, as 10 Superstars climbed the ladder and retrieved the briefcase over the years, become world champion (to date, no MITB winner has unsuccessfully cashed in the briefcase). The MITB match was not created for a guy like John Cena, a 10-time world champion who has been in the main event of the list give pay-per-views while not holding a title and who can be in the main event simply by blinking his eyes. In fact, of the five Superstars in that MITB match last night, I would say that Cena’s character was the least deserving to win and the one who needs to hold that briefcase the least. However, what’s done is done and now the question is what happens from here. Obviously, as a super face who counts young children and teenage girls as his core audience, he will announce his intentions in advance and not cash it in on an injured champion, making him only the second MITB winner since its inception to do so (coincidentally, the only other Superstar to do it was Ron Van Dam against John Cena). What remains to be seen is when Cena decides to cash it in (Raw 1,000, SummerSlam, Wrestlemania?) and who will be the WWE Champion when he does so.
My other problem with the PPV last night is that for the seventh time this year the a world title match has not closed out the show. With the exception of the Royal Rumble in January, every other PPV this year has featured John Cena in the main event and yet he was not a world champion or a challenger for a world title any of those times. I am aware that CM Punk continues to tweet, including last night, that he does not care where on the card he is because he will simply steal the show every time, but while this is certainly true, it doesn’t negate the fact that by booking the PPV as they do, the WWE is telling us that John Cena is more important than either of the two world titles. The WWE needs to learn that John Cena is well enough established and loved that he does not always have to close a PPV show, that his match can be at the halfway point or the second-to-last match and both his fans and other viewers will be equally happy. The MITB PPV last night could have ended with CM Punk celebrated his title defense and did not have to end with John Cena celebrating his MITB win. The alternative to not putting John Cena in the main event every time is to just give him a world title already, which is seemingly going to happen soon given his victory last night. While I do not want to see Cena as the WWE Champion because I do not want him to ever break Ric Flair’s record and I think it is time to give other WWE Superstars a chance in the spotlight, at least then the WWE Championship would be defended in the main event.
The rest of the MITB PPV was good if not great. I correctly predicted every announced match which, when you take into account the fact that two of the matches are supposed to be among the most unpredictable matches in the WWE, makes for a less than stellar show. But all four announced matches were solid, one was a match-of-the-year candidate (you can guess which one) and even one of the unannounced matches was good if not puzzling in its participants and finish.
The PPV kicked off, as everyone predicted, with the MITB match for the World Heavyweight Championship contract. The match was good but worse than I expected it to be, as a number of spots in the beginning were botched and there were no “Holy S**t” moments like there have been in the past. Tensai power bombing Sin Cara into the ladder was cool and Tyson Kidd hitting a hurricane neckbreaker on Dolph Ziggler while jumping from one ladder to another was impressive, but that was about it. The best part of the match was that Santino Marella did not win and was hardly used, save for one spot where he was seemingly afraid to climb the ladder but his cobra sock puppet was not (yup, that guy is your United States Champion). The finish was a furious one as it saw nearly all eight participants up on the ladders at the same time but in the end Dolph Ziggler grabbed the briefcase for the win. Now that is the type of guy who should be winning an MITB match; I just hope that his eventual world title victory sets off a career more like Edge and CM Punk than other past winners like Jack Swagger and RVD.
The Miz came out between the first and second match to announce that he was back from filming a major Hollywood movie (I wouldn’t call “The Marine 3” a major Hollywood movie, but okay) and that he was tired of being looked over and was going to change all that be entering, and winning, the MITB match. Why they couldn’t bring back The Miz on Raw last week and announce his entry in advance is beyond me, but at least he was in it and the match didn’t take place with only the four previously announced Superstars. Obviously, Miz did not win the match but hopefully his return to the active roster also marks a return to the main event.
The World Heavyweight Championship match between Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio was better than I expected which is a credit to Del Rio, who rarely puts on a bad match. Sheamus retained his title but after the match Del Rio assaulted him, which leads me to believe that their feud is not over. Hopefully, when it does come to an end, it is Del Rio holding the World Heavyweight Championship high above his head. After the assault from Del Rio, Ziggler made his way to the ring in an attempt to cash in his briefcase, but Sheamus recovered before the match could start and hit Ziggler with a Brogue Kick. Hopefully this is not the beginning of something like that happening multiple times because it makes Ziggler look weak leading up to being the world champion.
In my blog post yesterday I asked why the tag team champions, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, were on the YouTube pre-show and not the actual PPV and why they were facing a team that was not the #1 contenders for the titles. Now, after an unannounced match between The Prime Time Players (the #1 contenders) and Primo & Epico took place on the PPV, I am even more confused. The only reason it makes sense is because PTP and Primo/Epico actually have a feud going on, but what does that say when these two teams have a feud but the tag team champions do not? Furthermore, Primo & Epico defeated PTP, which makes the #1 contenders looks weak going into their eventual title match. I guess I should be happy that tag teams, and the titles, are being featured at all, but right now the division is really just one big clusterf**k.
The WWE Championship match between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan obviously stole the show. The added stipulation of it being a no disqualification match earlier in the day only made the show that much better and fans who were worried that AJ would steal the spotlight away from the wrestlers were proven wrong. In fact, at one point, she was accidentally knocked off the ring apron and taken to the back, giving Punk and Bryan a chance to really shine. As I tweeted last night, I am okay with AJ’s presence in the storyline so far because you get the best of both worlds – classic wrestling and soap opera drama. Eventually, AJ made her way back to the ring but still did not make a clear choice as to which Superstar she prefers. She took a chair away from Punk but also didn’t let Bryan grab a kendo stick and gave fair three-counts to both men. In the end she was taken completely out of the equation as Punk put Bryan through a table from the top turnbuckle and pinned him for the win to retain his championship. After the match, AJ looked upset that Bryan had lost, so where Punk, Bryan and AJ (and their feud/love triangle) go from here will be fun to watch.
Ryback defeated both Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks in a handicap match. I went to the bathroom.
As expected, the Divas were featured on the show and, as expected, it was not a title match. Instead, Divas Champion Layla teamed up with Kaitlyn (wrestling on her first PPV) and Tamina Snuka to take on and defeat the team of Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Eve Torres. While you will never hear me complain about six Divas being in the ring (especially when two of them are Kaitlyn and Eve) it really would take minimal effort to have a feud over the Divas Championship that culminates in a pre-announced match on a PPV. With Kharma’s status up in the air the Divas division looks a little weak, but the signing of female indy wrestling star Sara Del Rey gives it some hope for the future. As much as Beth Phoenix vs. Kharma would be a dream match, Beth Phoenix vs. Sara Del Rey would be epic as fas as women’s wrestling goes.