THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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It’s gimmick match overload time again as WWE presented their latest concept pay-per-view, Money in the Bank, shown live in the early hours of this past Monday morning on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The show began with the Smackdown Money in the Bank offering, featuring Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Matt Hardy, Drew McIntyre, Kane and the Big Show.
What an opener this proved to be, with well over twenty minutes of bone crunching action, tons of big bumps and outstanding performances from all involved.
There were so many highlights that it would take too long to list them all. An early one saw the Spanish announce team take an early hit when Kingston dived off a ladder and leg dropped McIntyre through their table.
From there we had countless more big bumps, as well as an appearance from the Big Show’s custom-made ladder, which proved to be the most immovable object in this match.
In the end nobody expected Kane to win the match, pushing McIntyre off the ladder so he could grab the case and claim the title shot, ending this very exciting match.
The ladies were up next as Eve Torres challenged Alicia Fox for the Divas title.
I really didn’t hold out much hope for this match, thinking that it wouldn’t be much more than filler material.
But you know what? This was quite good, mainly because these two were given time to show what they could do.
So after an impressive outing for both women Fox retained her title after taking Torres down with the axe kick. Now if only they could put on an effort like this every month.
The title action continued as Jey and Jimmy Uso challenged the Hart Dynasty for the Unified Tag Team titles.
This was another match that exceeded expectations as two teams from tremendous wrestling stock put on a great exhibition.
Both teams excelled in this great example of 21st century tag team wrestling. They worked extremely well together.
The Harts came out on top in this one, with David Hart Smith locking in the sharpshooter on Jimmy Uso for the submission win. Now if the WWE could just get a few more teams going…..
The Smackdown main event saw Jack Swagger challenging Rey Mysterio for the World title.
This David versus Goliath battle certainly ticked all the right boxes. Once again Mysterio played the part of the plucky underdog to perfection, while Swagger was just as good, constantly frustrated at his inability to put his opponent away.
Mysterio came out on top here, invoking the spirit of Eddie Guerrero when he loosened his boot, which slipped off when Swagger went for another ankle lock. Mysterio then got the title retaining pin after taking Swagger down with a hurricanrana.
But the drama had only just begun. Swagger attacked Mysterio after the bell, only to be run off by Kane. Then, seconds later, the big red machine returned to the ring with a certain briefcase. A choke slam and a tombstone later, Kane pinned Mysterio to become the new World Champion, over a decade since he beat Steve Austin for his one day reign as WWF Champion. And about time too!
More Divas action followed as Kelly Kelly challenged the co-holder of the Women’s title, Layla.
Now you could tell that this was the filler material, especially when an advertisement for Wrestlemania travel packages ticked along at the bottom of the screen.
It wasn’t a patch on the Divas title match. It was okay, but it was nothing special, as Layla retained her half of the title, pinning Kelly after reversing her sunset flip attempt.
It was then time for the Raw Money in the Bank match, featuring Randy Orton, the Mix, Mark Henry, Ted Dibiase, John Morrison, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne and Edge.
After the excitement of the Smackdown version this match had a lot to live up to. It just about did it, but only just.
As before all eight men put in good performances with plenty of big bumps, although there weren’t any Kofi Kingston-like moves here.
But like the Smackdown version this one had something of a surprise winner. In a match containing former multi-time champions Orton, Edge and Jericho it was the Miz who emerged victorious, stopping Orton so he could claim the prize as his own.
The Raw main event saw Sheamus defending the WWE title against John Cena in a cage match.
A very entertaining back and forth battle between these two, which was well executed but if anything suffered because of the other great matches on this show.
Both guys looked good, with Sheamus once again impressing. Cena was as solid as ever, the perfect foil.
Needless to say, Nexus made an appearance as they came to the ring with some bolt cutters, until a brave referee ran in and took them away. They then began to hassle a second referee for the keys to the cage, but he ended up throwing them into the crowd.
So they began to climb the cage as Cena tried to make his escape, attacking him as he tried to win the title. But on the other side of the Sheamus was also making his escape, knocking down the only Nexus member who attacked him as he landed on the floor to retain the title.
He didn’t have time to celebrate though as he jumped the barrier to get away from his Nexus attackers, leaving Cena to take out the two remaining members who stayed behind.
In conclusion – so a few days after I reviewed a great TNA show I got the chance to review what turned out to be a great WWE show.
Although I was sceptical about having two versions of a match that has become a Wrestlemania tradition the two matches here delivered big time, with the Smackdown version the more enjoyable of the two.
As for the rest of the show, apart from the Kelly/Layla match, everything was great, proving that the undercard talent can certainly pull their weight when they need to.
So in all the first Money in the Bank show gets my thumbs up. But it will be interesting to see if we’ll still see the multi-brand MITB match at Wrestlemania.
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