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Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Money in the Bank 2017 Pay Per View Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Jun 18, 2017 - 10:47:57 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome to the Mr. Tito column review of WWE's Money in the Bank 2017 Pay Per View event exclusively here at / For your convenience, I write & edit this column as the event happens and instantly post immediately after the show ends. "Insta-Column" as I've called it and I've been doing this for more than 2 years now. Saves me time and gives you instant gratification instead of waiting hours after the show or waiting for my review on the next day. Very few websites and columnists offer such a service (aside from just pure results).

Honestly, I'm shocked that Money in the Bank is a Smackdown exclusive event. For the past 5-6 years, it has been one of the best WWE Pay Per Views. Why? Because the Ladder Match consistently delivers a "sense of urgency" because the #1 contendership is in a briefcase that hangs above the ring for that match. Furthermore, that Ladder Match seems to force the Main Eventers to step up their game to achieve "Match of the Night". For RAW to LACK that annual Briefcase winner is strange to me and makes me wonder if they'll create something new to create their own #1 contender midway through the year. Maybe the winner of an Elimination Chamber match could score the #1 contendership briefcase?

But because Money in the Bank has presented quality shows, most of the time, it felt like it was joining Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, and SummerSlam to form the "Big 4" with many subpar Survivor Series events of late (past 2 have been decent). Instead, the WWE has already made their decision as to its place in the WWE by making it a Smackdown exclusive event. Oh well.

Let's stick on that "Big 4" thought, notably the 4 WWE shows that RAW & Smackdown talent BOTH attend: (1) Royal Rumble, (2) Wrestlemania, (3) SummerSlam, and (4) Survivor Series. Those are the original 4 Pay Per Views and I'm OK with the WWE holding those 4 in a higher light. However, what I'm NOT OK with is how the WWE struggled to care about Survivor Series for a while or not care about the rest of the Pay Per Views during the year. There's just no rhyme or reason for many of the shows. Lately, some of the lighter Pay Per Views have just been resembling a decent edition of RAW and Smackdown and that's not acceptable. Pay Per Views should be special and a bonus to those willing to pay $9.99 per month for the WWE Network. In fact, the Pay Per Views providing content that you DO NOT SEE on RAW/Smackdown should be why WWE Network sells.

Besides Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania, there is just no cohesive link between the Pay Per Views and no real "sense of urgency" to do well at all of the Pay Per Views. Just hopefully win the title or retain your title at a show. That's it... Nothing unique, nothing special.

Today concluded the U.S. Open for Men's Golf. If you look at how pro golf is structured, winning one of the 4 "Majors" is a big, big deal. Whether you win the Master's, U.S. Open, the Open Championship (or British Open), or the PGA Championship, it's a really big deal. If you happen to win all 4 in a row or win them consecutively spanning 2 different years, it's a serious deal. Ditto for Pro Tennis... If you win the Australian, Wimbledon, French, or U.S. Open Championships, it's a major deal. If you win them all, the Grand Slam, it's a really big deal. For both Golf and Tennis, the surfaces of play change per event as Golf courses are different or for Tennis, there's a difference between playing on hard, grass, or clay surfaces. Thus, it makes winning each event special and winning all 4 events consecutively really special.

Then, look at NASCAR... They have a points system that spans all events and based on how you do within those events determines if you enter their playoff system. Golf is trying to replicate that with their FedEx Cup. It's not perfect, but you see the point of trying to link up events together somehow to create a "sense of urgency" to win something.

WWE has their annual Slammy Awards and maybe something like combined performance at Pay Per Views and/or the "Big 4" should play into WHO wins the "Wrestler of the Year" award. Something... I'm just trying to think "out of the box" to give wrestling fans a reason to care about what happens at that TLC Pay Per View event in December because 2 wrestlers could be so close in "points" that they'll do whatever it takes to win at that December Pay Per View.

SOMETHING needs to be done with the WWE's Pay Per Views. There are too many and many lack any kinds of "sense of urgency". Seriously, we have a show this year called GREAT BALLS OF FIRE. Who cares about that event other than the fact that Brock Lesnar is there this year? It's just the RAW brand's July Pay Per View. Other than the storylines that RAW's June/July storylines feed, who cares about this show for the rest of the year? What consequences of this Pay Per View affect the rest of the year for the RAW roster? At least with the Money in the Bank briefcase winner, tension is in the air as to when that person could cash-in the briefcase and become WWE Champion. Great Balls of Fire won't matter UNLESS the WWE grows a sack and lets Samoa Joe CHOKE OUT Brock Lesnar. Otherwise, it's just another event where Lesnar slaughters a WWE superstar in their first match. Been there, done that many times since 2012.

WWE needs to do something to make their big events matter. Smart creative decisions can make that happen even with 3 hours of RAW and 2 hours of Smackdown to endure.

On to the WWE Money in the Bank 2017 review.


Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Money in the Bank Review

OPENING MATCH is the Women's Money in the Bank Match. Good spot for the match, as it maximizes on the fresh crowd and let's the AWFUL Naomi vs. Lana match have a bathroom break match later on the show. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Tamina (Snuka), Carmella (with James Ellsworth), and Natalya are the competitors. If I were booking the Smackdown Women's group, I'd center it around Charlotte and Becky while holding out carrots for the rest of them to chase in order to join them. My exception to that group is if they build up Carmella as a HEEL and have James Ellsworth act like a legitimate heel manager and actually helps her repeatedly cheat to win. That includes actually hitting the other women, LOL... If WWE knew what they were doing with Tamima, they could have something. She appears legitimately tough. Heard it for years about Natalya being related to the Harts... And what does she have to show for it other than steady veteran on the roster (which is still good)? Pretty good ladder spots but they didn't do the dangerous stuntman bumps we're used to... But that's OK. You don't have to kill yourselves in these matches. The match set-up kept having someone attempt to climb the ladder and then get simply knocked off by pushing it against the ropes or getting pulled down. Very safe bumps which again is OK. Table spots get old after a while. Charlotte flipped on Tamina/Natalya while Becky stopped Carmella... As Becky attempted to climb the ladder, James Ellsworth lifts the other end to cause Becky to fall. Ellsworth climbs the ladder to to retrieve the briefcase to help Carmella win the match... BUT, the referees argue at ringside after the bell rang. Ellsworth rushes to the announcer's booth and announces that Carmella won the briefcase. [ ***3/4 ] Perfectly acceptable match and I like the cheap ending. Good to see that WWE is using Ellsworth as that heel manager as he doesn't have much worth otherwise. In my opinion, the briefcase helps Carmella the most and that's a plus that she won.

Next up was New Day vs. Usos (c) for the Smackdown Tag Titles. New Day with mics in hand before the match. While Smackdown's tag team division is a hot unorganized mess, at least we have experienced teams working in their Pay Per View match tonight. I'm OK with that. WWE just needs to figure out character development for the Usos instead of just making everyone assume they are heels by they way they dress now (playing up some stereotypes). I think if the WWE played up the Usos' relationship with Roman Reigns, they'd really get heat! Doesn't help the Usos that they are wrestling the New Day who had their best days already on RAW over a year ago. Too repetitive on their promos. Typical tag wrestling with a "face in peril" before Big E entered the ring that nobody really popped for. Big E hit a Rock Bottom like move from the corner with one arm, which looked cool. But then Big E dove through the ropes. Can someone backstage tell him to STOP doing that? Goes to show you how relaxed the road agents are these days aside from banning a few select moves (piledrivers, etc.). How does Kofi's SOS move even hurt anyone besides Kofi? Looks like he's eating a DDT. Big spot to end the match was Big E catching one of the Jay Uso and then Big E hitting his finisher. Completely blown and to make matters worse, Big E still tried to deadlift Jay Uso into his finisher. After that, New Day went on the offensive to appear like they were going to win the match... But then the Usos just walk out of the match and lose by Countout! LOL, why doesn't EVERY SINGLE CHAMPION DO THAT?!? [ **1/2 ] Just no heat for most of the match and then things got too reliant on spots at the end. Both teams can do better.

Naomi (c) vs. Lana was up next and Naomi, the Champion, comes out FIRST. Talk about disrespect but also whom WWE management truly likes in the company. Complete carry job by Naomi, as she sold everything and anything that Lana threw at her. I'm sure that multiple WWE officials came up to her backstage to repeatedly tell her "make sure you make Lana look good". Of course, many yes-men WWE fans were like "Lana held her own". No, a veteran worker did her best to make the part-time wrestler look decent in the ring. Try Lana vs. Carmella (who has less experience, not a knock) and let's see how that goes. Thankfully, Naomi won the match as I was worried that WWE would rush Lana to the title. Speaking of Carmella, she was at ringside and was flirting with cashing in the MITB briefcase but didn't. [ ** ] FINGER OF SHAME goes to anyone infatuated with Lana, both WWE management and yes-man fans who enjoy any crap sandwiches that Vince McMahon/Kevin Dunn want to serve up. They want Lana to become the "next Sable" now and many fans are already playing into their hands. "Lana held her own"... Are you that obtuse as wrestling fans?

I don't get the Breezango storyline stuff... I must not be high enough.

Maria Kanellis and Mike "Kanellis" debut via promo. He's taking her last name... Interesting. I'm happy to see Maria back in the WWE as she's one of the best looking females in the business and has actual passion for pro wrestling as well. We'll just see how much the WWE wants to utilize Mike Bennett Kanellis. He's a good talent and at 6'1" and 225 lbs, he's not undersized. No direct-to-NXT trip, either. Good for them, hope it all works out.

Something needs to be said about milking the St. Louis vibe for Randy Orton when you fly in many St. Louis wrestling legends to support Orton. That's in addition to pushing Jinder Mahal as the anti-American wrestler to push zenophobia amonst fans. So much time and resources being dumped into BOTH guys and they can barely keep WWE viewership on Smackdown above 2.0 million viewers. THANKFULLY, this is not the main event. WWE made sure to announce Orton as being from St. Louis to really get the crowd behind him and it did work... But what about the silence from other arenas lately? What about how bad his recent WWE Title run has been? Match was back and forth until the Singh brothers got involved and the referee tried to throw them out. Of course, Singh brothers then went to the St. Louis wrestling legends and Randy Orton, of course, was distracted by that. Many moments of Orton beating up the Singhs and the second he returns to the ring, Jinder hits his weak looking finisher. [ ** ] John Cena can't return fast enough to get his WWE Title back already. God damn.

Up next, the "death spot" or "bathroom break" match between Tyler Breeze & Fandango and the Ascension. Quick match, as both teams went back and forth before Breeze/Fandango pulled off the win. How that relates to the recent storyline, I'll never know. Don't care. [ **1/4 ]

I feel like I've been through a marathon... FINALLY, the MAIN EVENT with the Money in the Bank #1 Contendership match between AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura, & Baron Corbin and Baron Corbin attacks Nakamura during his entrance! I can hear the anger boiling by the Internet Wrestling Community but at the very least, it creates heat between Nakamura and Corbin while giving a valid excuse why Nakamura won't win it. Reportedly, Nakamura was very unsure about working with the ladders and this is probably an easy out. To further show how the Referees have ZERO control tonight, Corbin then demands that the bell rings to start the match. They cave. Hopefully, Daniel Bryan's return addresses some sloppy happenings on Smackdown lately (makes him disagree with Shane running things on his own). Crowd is honestly silent after Nakamura was attacked and Baron Corbin becomes an early dominant figure in the match. Oops! And Sami Zayn is an idiot... Why would you do dives off the ropes for this kind of match? Bad psychology for a match about endurance. Match was actually paint-by-numbers until Sami Zayn stunned everyone with his Sunset Flip Powerbomb on Dolph Ziggler from the ladder. HOLY COW! That woke everyone up... Then, Sami Zayn did a modified belly-to-back (hooked the arms) on Kevin Owens on the side of the ring! THEN AJ Styles knocks Zayn off the top of the ladder with the Phenomenal Forearm! Wow! Corbin attacks Styles and then Zayn fights off Corbin. Zayn tries to get the briefcase but Owens pulls him off, low blows him. AJ Styles pulls Owens off the ladder and then Owens fights him back. Tries to powerbomb Styles off the Ladders stacked up on the ring/barrier but it's blocked! AJ Styles then hits a Death Valley Driver on Owens on those very ladders. OUCH! Styles climbing but Dolph Ziggler pulls ladder away! Styles his hanging from the briefcase and has no choice but to drop. OH MY GOD, he just drops like deadweight to the canvas. THAT WAS SICK! Ziggler gets knocked out by Corbin and Nakamura's music hits! Corbin misses with the thrown Ladder and Nakamura goes on the attack with many kicks and knees, Stong Style baby! Ziggler tries to attack Nakamura but gets dealt with. Ditto Sami Zayn! Nakamura goes for a ladder but Kevin Owens holds on to it for dear life! Owens gets a kick to the face for that! Ladder is up and guess who joins Nakamura in the ring to climb? AJ Styles and the St. Louis fans are going bonkers! Both set the ladder aside and it's a fight! Trading blows, chokes, exploders, forearms, etc. A much deserved "THIS IS AWESOME" chant breaks out. It sure is... Now, both Styles and Nakamura climb and a loud "Nakamura/AJ Styles" chant breaks out. They trade blows and fans begin to boo heavily as Baron Corbin pushes the ladder down to send Nakamura/Styles crashing. Corbin then climbs the ladder to win the Money in the Bank. [ ****1/2 ] I'm OK with him winning because it could help him if cashed in correctly. Still, the fans went bonkers once Nakamura/Styles were together and that's the Tea Leaves that the WWE needs to notice.

LAST WORD: It's time to flush Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal down the main event drain. It's over. Between Elimination Chamber and now where Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Jinder Mahal have been WWE champions, Smackdown's television show has gone from averaging 2.7 million viewers to not just becoming permanently under 2.5 million, but seriously challenging to be at or under 2.0 million viewers flat. They are NOT drawing... The guy that held ratings steady, AJ Styles as a HEEL, should be the one pushed as a babyface and let his workrate carry the Smackdown roster for a while. Orton has been overexposed as a talent for years with the many opportunities granted while Jinder is inexperienced for the role (he's trying his best, I'll give him that). Just let John Cena come back and then have SummerSlam 2017 headline with John Cena as WWE Champion against AJ Styles once again. I bet that wouldn't disappoint. This show was pretty much "just check out the Ladder Matches and avoid the rest". There needs to be a mass job terminations within the McMahon family, Creative, and the Production Truck. Pay Per View quality is dropping fast during 2017 and that was something that kept WWE afloat during 2014-2016 despite the television product declining. Not now. [ C+ ]


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