It’s a rare occasion for me to buy a Pay-Per-View wrestling event besides Wrestlemania. There haven’t been a lot of feuds that have caught my interest lately, but after seeing those involved in the Money in the Bank Ladder matches for both Smackdown and Raw, along with the interest in the CM Punk storyline, we wound up purchasing the PPV and would not be disappointed. The night started out with the Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder Match. For those who aren’t current wrestling fans, or unaware of what the match type means, a Money in the Bank Ladder match usually features 6-8 competitors who all try to climb a ladder to retrieve a briefcase suspended over the ring. In the briefcase is a contract for a Title shot that can be used anywhere, anytime for up to one year. As a fun fact for you, every since person that has won (except Mr. Kennedy who lost his MITB contract to Edge) the match has gone on to cash in the contract and become champion. I’ve seen a lot of ladder matches in my time and to be honest, this one was mostly forgettable. Other than Sheamus powerbombing Sin Cara throw a propped up (and rigged to bend) Ladder the match passed without many eye catching moments until the end. With a F-Up that saw Heath Slater plummet out of the ring and a battle atop the ladder, Daniel Bryan would succeed in getting the briefcase and become Smackdowns Money in the Bank champ. (EDITOR NOTE: News was released today that Sin Cara is suspended from the WWE for his first violation of the WWE Wellness Policy. This would explain his lack of high spots and being taken out of the match with an “injury”)
For me, the Divas involved in the championship match aren’t the most talented when it comes to wrestling skill. I honestly went to the kitchen for this one and pretty much missed it. Kelly Kelly beat one of the Bella Twins to keep her title though. Maybe next time Beth Phoenix or Natalya Niedhart could be involved?
After that was the Mark Henry vs Big Show grudge match. With two guys who are this big, you couldn’t expect anything but a knock down, drag out slobberknocker, which it was. These two can hit harder than anyone else when they want to and they put in a good showing. In a PPV that is mostly known for high spots and crashes from atop ladders, they showed two giants can still put on a good show. The match ended with Mark Henry winning, followed by him decimating Big Shows leg which required him to be removed by EMTs (the 2nd in the night after Sin Cara.)
The RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match caught my eye featuring names like Evan Bourne, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston and others. The RAW match featured more high flyers than the previous Smackdown match and saw a lot more high spots and crazy ladder antics than Smackdown. The match even started with every participant armed with a ladder and beating the hell out of each other. With a lot of near wins, jumping high off the ladders and dives to the outside into piles of wrestlers it would be Alberto Del Rio who would win the match after pulling off Mysterios’ mask atop the ladder, causing him to cover up and crash to the mat. Much like Daniel Bryan before, Del Rio had little to no offense for most of the match but pulled out the win anyway.
For Randy Orton vs Chrisitian there would be a special stipulation that if Orton was disqualified then Christian would automatically become the new World Heavyweight Champion. First of all, Orton needs to shave. His beard grows in so ridiculously white trash it made it hard to focus on anything else. While both men put on great matches together in the past, you could tell they were starting to run out of new options and ideas. With a lot of reversals and near pins, Christian was on the verge of loss when he spit into the Viper’s face and send Orton over the edge. After pummeling him unmercifully the ref had to pull Orton off and warn him. When Christian returned to his feet, Orton kicked him where the sun doesn’t shine and caused his own disqualification and basically handing the belt to Christian (my personal favorite.) After the match, Orton would be the living hell out of Christian, playing up his “anger issues” and “insanity” but with his tongue hanging out of his head half the time he looked more like a disgruntled 5 year old with a bad beard. After 2 RKOs on the Spanish Announce table, Orton finally left and Christian would be carried out of the arena…but carried out as champ! I’m just surprised they didn’t have Daniel Bryan cash in his MITB contract right then and there because they normally screw Christian out of his belts pretty fast!
The main event was the match though that will remain in everyone’s minds. The story is that CM Punks contract ended last night at Midnight and he would NOT be resigning with the WWE. He WOULD however be winning the belt as he claimed and would leave the WWE as it’s champion. Vince McMahon stated that if John Cena lost and allowed the WWE to be embarressed like that then John Cena would be fired. If Punk won, the WWE would lose John Cena, the WWE title and CM Punk in one night. Not only did Cena have to face off against Punk but he would do so in Punks’ hometown of Chicago which turned out to be the most hostile, anti-Cena crowd that he’s faced since ECW One Night Stand against Rob Van Dam. Punk came out the hero and was cheered like I haven’t seen in years. Cena doesn’t even receive that kind of reaction in his own hometown!
The match would see Punk take an early lead with a lot of offense and, as Michael Cole would say, a lot of “Vintage Punk” kicks, knees and elbows. Around Mid-match Cena would turn it around in his favor though when Punk came off the top he would accidently land on Cenas knees which would’ve made it the 4th or 5th time the paramedics came out that night but Cena would shake it off. The back and forth would continue with Cena putting Punk in the STFU (or whatever dumb name it has these days) with it looking like Punk would tap out each time, though he would reach the ropes and reverse it into the Anaconda Vise himself. Both men would hit their finishers and be met with kickouts each time. Vince McMahon approached the ring and called for the bell, only to see Cena lay out Vinces’ crony (John Lauranitis) and say that it wasn’t going to happen like that. When Cena re-entered the ring, Punk caught him with the Go To Sleep finisher and would win with the 1-2-3! Vince called Del Rio down to cash in his MITB contract, but Punk fended him off with a quick kick to the head and left through the fans to end the PPV. Punk won the title, Cena is fired and Punk’s contract is up!
For the first time in a long time, Punk, Cena and Vince have something wrestling fans WANT to see. They legitimately want to see what happens next and I think most fans, like myself, will be tuning into RAW tonight to see what exactly is going to happen. Will Vince fire Cena tonight? Will RAW go on WITHOUT a Champion and WITHOUT a title? Will WWE Ice Cream Bars be brought back?! (If you don’t get the joke go look at Punks pre-PPV interviews on WWE.com) The only way to find out is the watch RAW tonight and see for yourself!!