After the abysmal PPV event that was Hell in a Cell, WWE came back to entertain its fans with what many deem a new member of the “Big 5” shows that WWE puts on. Could they redeem themselves with this show? Lets find out.
The Usos def. Dominik Mysterio and Rey Mysterio in a Tag Team Match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
At 11 minutes, we had a pretty standard affair and a good way to kick off the show. There weren’t very many spots that havent been seen on a normal episode of Smackdown as these 4 have been involved in this feud for a while. The decision to put the belts on the Usos is controversial at best, since Jimmy’s recent DUI went public and many were disgusted by his lack of safety or care for others. However, The Table/The Family will definitely appear stronger on screen with the belts, and will inevitably make it sweeter for when Roman drops the title, so there’s that.
Fan Vote: N/A (preshow)
Nikki A.S.H. defeated Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Liv Morgan, Naomi, Natalya, Tamina, and Zelina Vega in a Ladder Match for the Women’s Money in The Bank Briefcase
There was so much wrong with this match. The chemistry felt completely off, and literally none of these wrestlers are really high flyers or hardcore wrestlers so the actual stipulation was a hinderance to their abilities. It was a spot fest, but not a good one, with the lowlight being a terrible “Lets All Wait and Catch The Diving Superstar” in the ring that looks so forced that even the markiest mark of a child would ask their parents why they waited like that. It was the worst MITB match in history, and the finish made everyone look so dumb as they allowed Nikki to grab it despite them all being inches away as well. Awful. However, it was great to see one of the best female workers finally get the rub.
Fan Vote: 27% (37 Votes)
AJ Styles and Omos def. The Viking Raiders in a Tag-Team Match for the Raw Tag-Team Championships
The ongoing experiment of the rookie wrestler Omos had an interesting turn with this match. Ivar and Erik are both bigger competitors and it was very pleasant to see that they matched up well with Omos. Some have said that this match took some of the mystique away from him and that his selling was a bit comical but he seemed to really be able to hold his own in a match with hard working wrestlers. It felt like an NXT tag-team match because there were some really great false finishes. AJ Styles is the perfect working partner for Omos and this definitely showed it with how Styles kept the energy up and accentuates the big-man style.
Fan Vote: 69.2% (13 Votes)
Bobby Lashley (with MVP) def. Kofi Kingston in a Singles Match to retain the WWE Championship
Not much to say about this match, except it was a bit of a burial for Kofi Kingston as he continues his bad luck streak against big-man wrestlers but it did have the good effect of making Bobby look extremely dominate. Not sure if this is leading to the much-rumored Brock Lesnar bout but it definitely felt like it. Some were not happy with the lack of competitive structure. I go back to WWE’s Beast in The East PPV event on the Network to see a much better way of booking Kofi in a match like this.
Fan Vote: 45.5% (11 Votes)
Charlotte Flair def. Rhea Ripley in a Singles Match to win the Raw Women’s Championship
This seems to be the end of one of the worst booked feuds in a while, and while many fans (including the crowd in Texas at the event) were quick to disparage the two’s work in the recent weeks, they had a hell of a match. It felt like a big-fight, lots of hard hitting spots and the two really seem to have regained the chemistry they had at Wrestlemania 36. Speaking of which, we had a repeat of the finish as Ripley tapped to the Figure 8 hold. The match was great, but they should’ve had Rhea Ripley win this match because they are in desperate need of more star power on the women’s roster and this could have been a huge injection of energy into the division.
Fan Vote: 69.6% (23 Votes)
Big E defeated Drew McIntyre, John Morrison, Kevin Owens, King Nakamura, Ricochet, Matt Riddle, and Seth Rollins in a Ladder Match to win the Money in The Bank Briefcase
After the women shat the bed earlier in the evening, the men showed up with a much more classical MITB. While it fit the formula of having 6 men sell on the outside while 2 have the floor, it worked well in this match. Everyone brought something exciting to the table and while only half of the people in the match were actually believable as winners, it was a fun watch. Possibly the most egregious booking decision, however, was to have Jinder Mahal’s lackeys come out to take out Drew. We were robbed of a spot where McIntyre is seen backstage fighting them off and heads to the ring to compete again but oh well. It wasn’t a technical marvel but it was nice to see everyone look like a strong candidate in the match. Big E seems like a questionable winner, but with how many stars are coming back into the fray for the upcoming Summerslam and Survivor Series, its interesting to see what they will do with it.
Fan Vote: 81.3% (16 Votes)
Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) def. Edge in a Singles Match to retain the Universal Championship
It was so refreshing to see WWE let a match go past 20 minutes, and this was almost 35 minutes of a wrestling classic. Any way you slice it, this was a true big-fight feel that accompanied one of the best faces on the roster and one of the best heels. It was classic wrestling booking at its finest and had moments that had me skeptical over my own prediction that Reigns was going to retain no matter what. It was a bit slow and pacing at times but Edge is so good with his visual selling and Roman gave him the perfect baddie to go at it with. It felt like a film scene, well done and masterfully crafted to the best of both of their abilities. Of course, it was a little screwy with a lackluster ref bump and interference from the Usos, Rollins, Rey, and Dominik but it is what it is. While detrimental to the match, it heightened the beginning of what should be an excellent rivalry between Edge and Rollins. Short of an all-timer, but a solid argument could be made for this being a top-10 MOTY candidate.
Fan Vote: 77.8% (16 Votes)
Of course, there was a lot of hoopla over the surprise reappearance of John Cena after the match, which is a huge moment for the WWE as they are desperate to make a big match for Summerslam and who else is better than Big Match John? Overall, this was a good show. Not great, not bad. Just good. And that’s a good thing considering how bad the HIAC PPV was, and this served as the perfect lead up to Summerslam. The lowlights weren’t that bad, but the highlights were only great at small parts scattered throughout. There’s a lot of potential for an amazing show with the talent on the roster, but we will see how WWE does from now on.
Overall Show Grade: 7.5/10
Fan Vote: 69.2% (13 Votes)