Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, July 18, 2021

WWE Money in the Bank 7/18/21

The Usos vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio

ER: This feels like a pretty high profile tag to throw on the pre-show, although I also felt like it was too big a match to do on Smackdown and they already did that. This is a tag title match, wasn't expecting it on the pre-show, but honestly the match didn't quite gel the way I expected it to. Jey felt a little off, looked sluggish on back bumps, didn't work with Dominik well, just didn't feel right. Things picked up when Rey tagged in, but the match never felt totally clean. It was laid out well and built to a couple of big reactions (including an excellent late Rey kickout that really looked like the finish), but there was an occasional hitch in the timing. There were a couple great moments down the stretch, with Jimmy saving Jey by jumping face first into the 619 a highlight, and I like the belts on the Usos more than on the Mysterios, so the heart of this was in the right place. I just think there is a list level match between these two teams and this was not that. 

Alexa Bliss vs. Liv Morgan vs. Nikki A.S.H. vs. Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Zelina Vega vs. Naomi vs. Asuka

ER: This feels like it could be a mess, but I'm rooting for them. Apparently, I did not root hard enough. This is one of those bad modern MITB matches where WWE only likes to focus on two people at once, so less than 2 minutes into this several of these women just disappear to the floor. Naomi hit a great Rear View and then was gone, lying hidden for 5+ minutes. Nikki vanished, they all vanish for long stretches here. It's awful. God bless the crowd for staying with this one, as there were many long gaps between some brief inspired moments. Asuka had a nice tear midway through but that ended with a flat Tamina ladder tipping spot when Asuka was maybe 3 feet off the ground and acting panicked. Natalya throws a nice clothesline but also frequently looks like someone who has never handled a ladder in their life. Tamina can be a wrecking ball but is also a klutz. Nikki got a big reaction for doing a ladder dive off to everyone else but soaked in the crowd for ages before corgi jumping the ladder. I'm torn on the two big Nikki moments, as I appear to be one of the few who actually views this ASH gimmick as a major positive for her, but she really hung 7 people out to dry during both her big moments. It's hard for 7 people to all fight amongst themselves while waiting on one person, and we got to see that ugliness for far too long while Nikki climbed ladders. This whole thing was a mess, just a series of seeing people calmly hiding out of sight, waiting for their turn. It's a terrible way to work this kind of match and I don't think there are any 8 wrestlers who could have succeeded with a similar layout. 

Viking Raiders vs. AJ Styles/Omos

ER: This may have gone a touch too long and a couple things felt a bit repetitive, but this was the kind of tag necessary to bring things back after that trainwreck of a Money in the Bank match. Styles has been tremendous in his tag with Omos, the perfect partner to mentor that giant, and they have been really good at tailoring matches around Omos. He's got decent timing already and at that size timing will take you incredibly far. Their teamwork is already strong, and the Vikings are a team with cool double teams, so this is a naturally fun pairing. Styles is so great at both making up the size difference by working stiff with the Vikings, but also running headlong into their big man offense. Styles gets tossed and slammed by Erik, smooshed by Ivar, gets thrown into several Erik kneelifts, and nails the timing on several (needlessly complicated) Ivar tumbles and cartwheels. Styles is great at being thrown, a guy who can pull off a sky high backdrop, yet also get absolutely LAUNCHED by Omos into a rana on the floor. Great catch by Erik, great throw by Omos, great death wish from AJ. I loved how this whole thing shook out, thought the Raiders looked strong against a dominant team, but really I just want Styles and Omos to hold the belts for a couple years. This is a good dominant team, perfectly complementary. It's the perfect way for Omos to continue to grow, and it's almost surely true that we haven't even seen their best work as a team. 

Bobby Lashley vs. Kofi Kingston

ER: This was not at all the match I expected. I honestly wouldn't have been shocked at a surprise Kofi title win due to someone costing Lashley the match, sending Lashley off in a different feud before sending him back to Kofi. But I did not expect Kofi to get steamrolled...and also I kind of liked it? I'm sure people will complain, but I think Kofi is as bulletproof as a babyface can get. I don't think there is any kind of loss that will make the fans stop wildly cheering for Kofi, certainly not while he's getting annihilated by the monster Lashley. Kofi will recover, and if they play their cards right they can build to a Kofi return challenge the could be a REAL money match. It was more valuable to give Lashley a dominant win, and this was a GREAT dominant win. Kofi sold his beating really well and Lashley looked savage, ragdolling Kofi on throws and throwing hard hammer blows at the side of his head. I like when a babyface gets run over by a heel, victim of an opponent that started out too hot to comeback from. It's not a match you can do often, but a match that is super effective when done right. A lot will depend on what they do with both after this, but I welcome this kind of violent squash. 

Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte

ER: This is a feud that has done very little for me, with bad chemistry and little good coming from it. But I was still curious how it would work with the live crowd, and I guess I still don't know? This was probably the most actual chemistry Charlotte and Ripley have shown together, and there were still big stretches where things didn't look good. It is just always going to be a bad thing for anyone who gets into a feud with Charlotte. She is a heel who doesn't know how to work heel (outside of really getting rattled by the fans' Becky chants and flipping off the arena, but she stopped that behavior almost immediately after starting it). So we get one of those Charlotte matches where every spot they build to is a big babyface Charlotte spot, and so the crowd just keeps reacting for Charlotte and clearly viewing Rhea as the lesser babyface. It's no good, even if the 3rd act is better than the first two. Charlotte looked gaunt and actually ill during the match and made an unfortunate makeup decision to have a bright red underline, making her look like she'd been crying the entire match. Her making crying faces after every single kickout didn't help things either and only added to the match confusion. Rhea looked like someone with no chance, Charlotte looked like someone who really knows how to whip her head into the mat whenever she attempts a moonsault. Charlotte hasn't hit the Andrade back elbow cleanly one time since she started doing it in every match, but maybe before the year is out she'll manage to hit one without tripping over her feet. This match was an ugly mess at times, but the crowd got into it as they built to the finish so it wasn't a total loss. They just don't look good against each other, and I am tired of Charlotte's heel babyface routine. 

Kevin Owens vs. Matt Riddle vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ricochet vs. John Morrison vs. Big E vs. Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre

ER: This one also did not work at all, for the exact same reasons as the women's MITB. This layout was atrocious, and the number of disappearing participants was absurd. You would hardly know that Ricochet was in this match, he's completely absent for a 10 minute stretch but at least gets a highlight worthy springboard dive. But everyone disappears!! Because we can only focus on a couple of guys, and the other six are not allowed to do anything distracting while those two people are being focused on. It's the same exact kind of agenting that has ruined the Royal Rumble, where you have 14 guys leaning against the ropes barely fighting, because the newest entrant has to run in and do several one on one signature moves. They now do that in ladder matches. Owens took the biggest bumps, McIntyre had the hardest chops (he seriously moved Morrison and Rollins back two steps with chops), and Rollins brought good energy to limited moments. Riddle and Nakamura had a terrible strike exchange, Morrison did a flipping cannonball that caught 100% mat, I'm pretty sure every single person hit some kind of cutter off the ladders, just a badly done gimmick match. It blows that we're married into these gimmick match PPVs and I'm not sure what it will take for them to get rid of any of them, but my god would they benefit from it. Either nobody knows how to agent these gimmick matches any longer, or fewer guys understand how to work them, but this trend is dire. 

Edge vs. Roman Reigns

ER: I knew this was not going to be for me, was going to feel way too long, and was going to feature a lot of Edge face. It certainly went too long, and while I loved Roman laying a long headlock on Edge to troll the fans, there were plenty of boring dull moments where nobody was being trolled, just losing interest. The big spears through the barricade played well with the crowd, but there was a lot of trash. The Charles Robinson ref bump lead to a few blatantly dumb moments, beginning with Robinson being kept out for a long period of time just from standing near Edge when Edge got punched. This is a man who took one on the chin from Tank Abbott! Surely he can stand a couple feet away from another man being punched. The Usos/Mysterios interference was quick and well done, slick rana from Rey and a silla from Dominik, but it lead to a rough moment where Roman kicked out of an Edge spear after possibly being tricked by the crowd's chanting? If it was HHH or Charlotte you instantly assume that it's a power move, but this just looked like an embarrassing mistake that blew the nearfall. Roman awesomely stands by and lets Edge and Rollins battle it out, so not only does Edge not even get a visual pin on Reigns, you immediately DO get the visual of Reigns being the smartest man in the room and letting the other beardos fight amongst themselves. The Cena return is a huge surprise, the exact kind of thing you do your first PPV in front of a live crowd.

I thought this show was a real flop and only the Raw tag title match really worked for me, but every major news outlet will be talking about John Cena's return tomorrow, and Roman is positioned strongly for Summerslam. I didn't love a lot of the in ring execution of the matches tonight, but the results set a pretty nice looking card for Summerslam and that feels more important than me hating the MITB matches and being tired of Charlotte title reigns.

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Blogger Yerfuneral said...

I had stream issues, sounds like I wasn't the only one, so didn't finish it. After issues all night I gave up when it turned super choppy before the men's MITB match.

Between Smackdown and this ppv it has been interesting to hear actual fan reactions and knowing how people actually feel. Sounded like Alexa is really over though I am not liking the gimmick.

The tag matches were best of the bunch for me.

I liked the beating of Kofi but unlike a Daniel Bryan beating didn't feel like he was allowed any offense what so ever. With the difference in size it worked for me.

Glad the crowd seemed to warm up to Nikki. Felt like she had the worst pop out of the 8 women in the MITB. I been liking the super hero stuff but want to lean more into Hogan like rants of prayers and vitamins.

I am sorry. I like Ripley but they should have just kept the belt on Asuka if the plan was always going back to Charlotte before Summerslam. Asuka was such a team player during the no crowd era. Deserved a few big win backs against Flair.

Not sure if going to try and watch the final two matches.

2:03 AM  

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