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  • Connor Ewens

Let's Review: WWE Money in the Bank 2023

BLOODY BRI'IN INIT!?! Yes, we're on home turf for this months premium live event as Money in the Bank comes to London. This is being hyped as WWE's first major London show for 20 years. Insurrextion in 2003 was the last, which was broadcast from my hometown of Newcastle. The hype is HIGH for this show. We have family dramas, Championship matches and of course our two ladder matches for a future Championship match at any time, any place. We have some clear fan favourites for the winners, LA Knight & Iyo Sky particularly, and some not so favourites, Logan Paul especially. After Puerto Rico showed the US how to be a hot crowd, its time for the good ol' UK to show them how it's really done with loud singing and outrageous chants. Let's hop on the tube with tea and a crumpet, your majesty. Let's review.


July 1st 2023- Money in the Bank 2023


-Our commentary team tonight is Michael Cole & Wade Barrett. Good choice to have Barrett around, it's a shame he acted too much of a heel commentator instead of embracing he is on home turf.


Men's Money in the Bank: Ricochet vs Shinsuke Nakamura vs Damien Priest vs Butch vs Santos Escobar vs LA Knight vs Logan Paul

Being a local British lad, Butch recieved a huge reaction from the crowd. Nakamura also got a good reaction with the crowd singing his theme. LA Knight also got a great reaction, probably as loud as Butch which should be more than enough evidence to push him into the main event scene. Everyone else got a good reception, except for Logan of course who was drowned in boos. This is a wise choice for an opener, a ladder match with spots galore to warm up the audience. Logan is attacked by the other 6 men immediately which pops the crowd, and myself. The 6 lads have some nice sequences together clearing the ring which allows Logan to set up our first ladder. Whilst those in the ring fight for and with the ladder, Butch pulls out two tables on the outside as well as grabbing a cricket bat to hit people with, because Britain init. Paul and Priest make a brief alliance and set up the tables, Logan begins to taunt so Priest just launches him over the steps which was hilarious. Suicide from Escobar, so Ricochet decided to one up him and do a running somersault under a ladder to the men outside. Ricochet isn't human surely. More failed attempts to try retrieve the briefcase, followed by Logan Paul frog splashing Priest who was on a ladder bridge outside the ring. It didn't break or bend, it looked really painful.


There's plenty of action to enjoy in this, but it felt really scrappy and sloppy and moments too. Some of the sequences didn't quite flow very well, an example was Knight and Nakamura seemed mixed up in a move attempt and led to a DDT which felt out of place. Plenty of spots to praise though. Butch jumped on Escobar's back as he climbed, choking him out until they both lay on the ladder. Ricochet does a 450 splash on them both. Again, no ladder movement aaaand it looks painful. After a big brawl spills to the outside, Butch climbs a tall ladder and moonsaults to everyone below to everyone's delight. Later, Escobar jumped from a ladder to Knight (on a second ladder) with a hurricanrana which looked sweet. Our final big spot, and probably spot of the night, was of course between Ricochet & Logan Paul. They fall from a ladder and Spanish Fly from the ropes through the two tables on the outside. Holy shit that was awesome. It was nearly botched, I imagine they were supposed to springboard from the ropes as they fell but they lost their footing. Still, both men recovered for a crazy spot that look awful to take. Ricochet just managed to rotate enough to not break his neck, Logan ended up with a huge gash across his shoulder from the table. We close the match with LA Knight climbing up the ladder, we see the hard camera angle so we're certain he's won but NO! A hand emerges and chokes him, it's Priest! He hits a Broken Arrow from the ladder, climbs up and retrieves the briefcase.


This was a great match, some great spots but brought down a bit by seemingly a lack of communication and coordination at times. It looked quite janky in the first half. I'm disappointed to see Knight not win when he is the hottest property currently, but I'm also happy for Priest because he has earned this opportunity. WWE can't ignore Knight's popularity for long, he'll have his moment. With all that's happening with The Bloodline, Judgment Day and more currently, maybe Knight has to wait another year.


Damien Priest wins the MITB ladder match (20:27)

3.75/5


Shayna Baszler & Ronda Rousey (c) vs Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez for the Women's Tag Team Championships

Morgan & Raquel are the former champions who had to vacate them when Liv got injured. MMA besties Ronda & Shayna won a tournament a few weeks back. Liv only just returned recently and I believe this is her first televised match back. This match is probably the one I'm least excited for, the Women's Tag division has been in dead waters for a long time. Raquel is a great wrestler but she has no character anymore, just "hey look at my back". She was excellent in NXT. Ronda has been quite vocal in criticism about WWE, which is fine but my opinion is that I don't think she's been in and around the business long enough to be making those sort of comments. I agree with some of the things she says, but not all of it.


The action is all with the heels early on, taking turns to isolate and punish Liv Morgan and her injured arm. Raquel tags in and goes on a mini tear. Morgan tags back in which almost immediately gives the heels the advantage again. Baszler & Rousey take turns dissecting Morgan. Then, as Ronda goes to attack Morgan, Shayna attacks Ronda!!! She chokes her out with thr Kirifuda clutch and bails. Raquel and Morgan take advantage. Texana bomb by Rodriguez then a weak Oblivion by Liv for the win and new champs!


The match was decent but the action was forgettable. The story is the turn for sure. It came so randomly, I'm conflicted. There's been zero inkling that this would happen, which made it a bigger surprise. I expected the MMA friends to retain confidently here. Rumour has it Ronda is leaving for a while. I'm all for this, I don't think there's much left for her to do for now, I think a singles win for Baszler will do her a lot of good. It just felt a bit random though, like why did they wrestle and tag together for a full match for Baszler to just decide to turn? I dunno, I guess we'll find out but I'm definitely intrigued. Also, Liv Morgan looked really weak here. I know she's fresh from injury, but she barely did anything in this match except get the pin. If they're using this for a future story then I'm fine with that, just something to keep in mind.


Morgan & Rodriguez are new Women's Tag Team Champions via pinfall (9:02)

2.5/5


-Interview with Damien Priest, discussing what titles he might cash in on. They've been teasing issues between him and Balor recently, will he cash in tonight?


GUNTHER (c) vs Matt Riddle for Intercontinental Championship

Very excited about this one. I attended a WWE Live event in Newcsstle and it was very fun, especially Imperium vs Riddle & Alpha Academy. This feels predictable but with the talented involved this could be amazing. Michael Cole shouts out Progress Wrestling which was nice, these two were stars regularly for the promotion. Riddle and Imperium have been feuding since he returned in May, Gunther sicking his associated Vinci & Kaiser on the Original Bro. After weeks of attacks and 6-man tags we finally have the singles match. Imperium have targeted Riddles foot, which you can see is heavily taped in this match. Shout out to Kaiser who caught and folded up the coat of the Ring General so smoothly.


This is back and forth early on, with exchange of strikes and Riddle trying to restrict Gunther in submissions. Gunther manages to sweep Riddle down and grab him by the foot, removing the tape protecting it. Both men continue to exchange strikes and submission attempts. Riddle flips out of a German suplex but he is hurt by his foot, exposing him for a meaty lariat. Riddle continues to gut it out but Gunther has a response for everything. Gunther turns an arm triangle in a powerbomb. He transitions into a half crab submission and he uses his patented big slaps directly on the injured foot. It looked funny, but also painful. He moves again into a knee bar and Riddle has to tap.


A good match but I can't deny I was a little disappointed, I was hoping for more but it wasn't bad. Riddle looked tough and Gunther is WWE's new unstoppable boss. Have him break the Honky Tonk Man's record, drop the title to someone new (Ilja Dragunov please) then have him dominate his way to a Rumble win and a world title victory at Wrestlemania.


Gunther retains via submission (7:44)

3.25/5


-Whilst Gunther poses with his belt, we have the surprise return of Drew McIntyre!! This is his first appearance since the match at Wrestlemania 39 Night 2! He stares a whole through Gunther. The champ pushes Drew, who responds with a headbutt and a Claymore. He holds up the IC title. Great return, great to see Drew back. Lots of rumour about his intentions for taking the time off but I'm just glad he's back. I'm more than happy with a Drew vs Gunther singles match at Summerslam.


Cody Rhodes vs Dominik Mysterio w/ Rhea Ripley

This match is still so weird to me. Nearly 3 months ago, Cody was challenging the god of WWE Roman Reigns in the main event of Wrestlemania. Now he's in a midcard fight with arguably the worst wrestler on the main roster. Sorry Dom, you're a great heel for sure but you are still quite green in the wrestling game and need some refining. Why are they feuding? Well Dom & Rhea called Cody a shit dad and teased him, then Dominik kept ducking any physical confrontation so we get a match here. It's a weak build up, we're clearly killing time ahead of Cody's next big match. Rumours of Brock Lesnar, even Randy Orton returning tonight and if it's going to be anywhere its in this match.


Dom comes out to loud heel heat. Cody comes out to a hero's welcome, crazy ovation as they sing his theme like a near 20,000 person choir. Cody keeps going for Dom but Dom keeps escaping and running away. Cody then removes the cast, Cole tells us that medical personnel say it's fully healed now. Cosy finally catches Dom for a couple strikes but Dom rolls away again. Dom keeps using Rhea to keep a distance, eventually Rhea trips Cody allowing Dom a window to throw a few shot. Cody counters a three amigos into his own suplex, and it's all elementary from here. Cody runs through his signature offence, he dodges the world's slowest 619 and hits a Cross Rhodes to win.


This was fine, pretty much an extended squash to give Cody another win as he "continues his story". No surprise appearances here either, so that's just it. Hopefully once Rhodes vs Lesnar 3 is done at Summerslam we regain focus of Cody's story and where he should go because it feels off the cuff currently.


Cody Rhodes wins via pinfall (8:38)

2.5/5


-JOHN CENA IS HERE!!! HOLY SHIT. With all of the rumoured appearances, this one was never even hinted at or suggested. This was a big shock. He comes out and bigs up the UK crowd and complains why it's been so long for this to happen. Then, Cena goes and does the biggest shock of the night. He teases a future Wrestlemania in London. Like, WHAT? He says "Wrestlemania London" at least 5 times throughout the segment. Surely they wouldn't do this, unless they're seriously planning on doing it right? I've heard through the grapevine that WWE are 100% interested, that it's down to London to green light the event. Crazy. Anyways, he's interrupted by Grayson Waller. He shits on London and suggests Wrestlemania Australia instead. The fans throw chants and slurs at Waller, "shut the fuck up", "wanker", "fuck him up, Cena" for examples. All good fun. Waller wants Cena on his show, the Grayson Waller Effect to help John save his dwindling career. Cena passes, tries to leave and Waller refuses to accept a no. Waller hits him, Cena hits an AA and celebrates as he leaves.


-That was a long but very entertaining segment. I think we're building to a future Waller vs Cena collision. This interaction was what WWE wanted Theory vs Cena to be like. The fans just didn't get on board with that. But this, you really felt the chemistry here. Good segment, LET'S GO WRESTLEMANIA LONDON!!! #Wembleymania


Women's Money in the Bank: Becky Lynch vs Bayley vs Iyo Sky vs Zoey Starks vs Trish Stratus vs Zelina Vega

Time for our second ladder match of the evening. Plenty of interesting moving parts in this. Trish & Becky have been feuding since Stratus turned heel on her. Zoey Starks recently debuted on the main roster and is allied with Trish, which I think is a great move for her career. Then, we also have the Damage CTRL team of Bayley & Iyo who don't dislike each other but there is a small seasoning of dissension going on there. Zelina has been really improving her game ever since she turned face, I'm a big fan of her work.


The fans sing the "hey Bayley" chants throughout this match, she's very over because she's great. Lynch goes Trish & Starks immediately. Damage CTRL work over Zelina. All 6 women are fighting on the outside with the ladders, poor Zelina even being trapped under one for a while. Eventually Trish & Starks secure the ring but Damage CTRL come to face off with them. This match is very similar to the men's ladder match in a few ways. First, again it felt quite scrappy and messy in places. Not as much as the men though. It's expected in these type of matches yes, but it felt even more prominent this evening. Second, the structure. In both matches its a brawl to the outside, then after a few ladder attempts it's time for nice sequences of wrestling and moves before we move in to the spot section of the match. We even have the same spot as Iyo does a diving moonsault off a huge ladder to all of the women. It's a great spot, but it's less impactful seeing it twice. Though, Iyo's dives looked bigger and better. Becky targets Trish any chance dhe gets but Starks is always there to help her mentor. Bayley & Iyo seem conflicted on who should climb up to win, which cost them opportunities to climb. A nice moment when Becky & Trish reluctantly worked together to stop Vega winning the match.


Trish hits a Stratusfaction on Becky, on a Ladder. Stark has handcuffs and attempts to handcuff her to the outside but only manages to get it locked on one wrist. Becky uses it as a weapon, which is new. Lynch hits a Mandhandle slam on Trish in a ladder bridge. Yikes, to be 47 and still look like Trish and take the bumps she's taken is insane and I respect it. Vega and Stark duke it out on top of a ladder, leading to a Code Red from the top onto a ladder bridge! Fuck! That looked awesome and terrifying. Both women are okay. Strong competitor for spot of the night but I think Ricochet/Logan pinched it. Sky makes the climb but Bayley pushed the ladder over! Commentary mention that Iyo most likely doesn't know Bayley did that. Bayley & Becky are left, they fight on the ladder. Becky fishhooks Bayley with the end of the handcuff! Ugh. They're both halfway down the ladder, Iyo returns and handcuffs Becky to Bayley through the ladder, both of them are stuck! Iyo climbs up and wins the match!!


That is one of the most creative finishes to a ladder match I've seen. This match was awesome. It was similar to the men's in a lot of ways but I also thought it exceed it too. Some huge spots, some Great storytelling and most definitely the right person won. 3 women didn't need it, 2 women weren't ready. Iyo is though. She's one of the best wrestlers on the planet and I can't wait for her singles push. Now WWE, let a women hold the briefcase for longer than a few nights okay? It makes it interesting. Best match of the night so far.


Iyo Sky wins the MITB ladder match (18:04)

4/5


Seth Rollins (c) vs Finn Balor for the World Heavyweight Championship

An almost guaranteed good match here. Two of the companies best workers, one of them part of the hottest faction going and the other on the run of his career. Rollins' ability to reinvent himself and stay relevant and exciting to watch is a testament to his talent. I'd compare him to a modern day Chris Jericho, purely for his ability to do that. Balor & the Judgment Day have been targeting Rollins, Balor not forgetting Summerslam 2016 when Rollins injured him and derailed his career. Now he wants to derail Rollins for good. Commentary even shouted out Newcastle as after a match between Rollins & Priest, Balor came out and targeted the ribs of Rollins which are covered up in tape here tonight. In the span of a month, Rollins has defended the title the same amount of times as Reigns has over 5 months.


The fans serenade Rollins as expected, singing to his song for a long time. It was great. Balor did not like it. They keep singing throughout the match. A fast start, both men looking for control, Balor looking to target the ribs and Rollins going for a stomp. Rollins has control after a tope suicida, but inside Finn stomps on the ribs and takes control. Balor from here forward works over the ribs with kicks, punches and elbows. Rollins tries to rally now and again but Balor shuts it down. After turning the tide with a superkick and a buckle bomb, Balor goes for a frog splash but the knees are up. The avoid each others finishers, Rollins hits a pedigree for a nearfall.

Then, out comes Damien Priest.

He looks like he's going to cash in, Rollins stares him down leaving him open for a roll up but just a 2. Priest takes a seat at ringside. Finn & Seth fight on the outside, Finn with heavy blows to the ribs including two diving foot stomps. Back in the ring, Balor is setting up Coup de Grace and Priest stands up and approaches the ring. Balor looks at him and Priest stops. This distraction helps Rollins dodge the incoming attack, hit the stomp and retain. Rollins leaves with his title, Balor and Priest argue.


This was a very good match, although shorter than I expected. It never reached the excellent heights we were hoping for but there was nothing bad about this. It was very similar to the Gunther/Riddle match except less focus around submissions and more around stomping. I'm happy to not see the cash in yet, I think there is plenty of story left between the Judgment Day before that happens. I expect to see a cash in and a new champion crowned by the end of the year though. It's Priest's time.


Seth Rollins retains via pinfall (12:31)

3.5


-Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn are in the crowd having a good time watching the show. They talk about retaining their titles. Owens bigs up the London crowd. Zayn bigs up to upcoming Bloodline Civil War. This was fine.


Bloodline Civil War: The Uso's vs Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa w/ Paul Heyman

Man, where to start to talk about this? Everything over the last 3 years has led up to this match essentially. The early beginnings of the Bloodline was just Roman & Heyman, who forcibly recruited the Uso's through threats of violence and emotional manipulation. Then with Sami Zayn involved and some issues within the Bloodline, enter Solo Sikoa who has been the groups mercenary. Solo has confidently without doubt stayed alongside Reigns and his rule over the family. After the Uso's lost the Unified tag titles to Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn at Wrestlemania, the cracks within the Bloodline have gotten wider and wider. Reigns demanded an apology, Jimmy refused but Jey did. Reigns & Solo would try to bring back the tag gold to the Bloodline at Night of Champions. The Uso's tried to get involved and help but accidentally superkicked Solo. Reigns was extremely angry, pushing around both Uso's and Jimmy snaps with a pair of kicks. Since then, Jey has been torn on supporting is brother or his tribal chief. However, he made his decision clear on Smackdown "You're out of the Bloodline, and I'm out too" followed by superkicks to Reigns. Within months, Uso's have returned to being the most over tag team in WWE. Outside of this feud, Roman Reigns has now been a world champion for over 1,000 days and hasn't been pinned since December 2019. The last man was Baron Corbin, which is fucking hilarious. Remember the dog food feud? Crazy.


The Uso's get a great reception. Reigns, Solo & Heyman get the loudest boos of the evening. The crowd are great throughout this match. Chants such as "Tribal Wanker", "Tribal Bitch", "Jey is our Tribal Chief", "Fuck you Roman", to name but a few. This was a hot main event. It's slow to start, the Uso's get in some nice offence on Solo. Reigns demands a tag, a little staredown and Solo obliges. The Uso's get some nice offence in, Reigns narrowly avoids a double superkick. Eventually, our Undisputed Champion seizes control and works over Jey. The match cools off here as Reigns & Solo take turns beating the Samoan piss out of Jimmy for a long time. Jimmy dodges a Superman punch and takes himself and Reigns out with a crossbody. Jey finally gets the tag in and fights with Solo, turning the tide until Solo catches him in a hip attack attempt. Reigns tags himself in but Jey noticed, wiping both men to the outside followed by suicide dives for both lads. Reigns regains control with a Superman punch, he's readying for a spear but he runs into a double spear from the Uso's! Nice spot. Solo breaks a pin attempt.


After a brawl, we're down to Jimmy & Roman. Superman punch by Roman, but a Superkick by Jimmy. Uso splash but its reversed into a guillotine choke! I thought this was nearing the finish but Jimmy stays awake and gets a tag. He's still in the choke though, he pushes Roman and knocks down the referee. Here come the shenanigans. The Uso's hit the 1D but there's no referee to count the pin. The Uso's go for double splashes but it's prevented and we get tandem uranages by Reigns & Solo. Solo spikes Jimmy. Jey takes a Spike x Spear combo from both men. Reigns stacks both men on top of each other (how he pinned Bryan & Edge at Mania 2 years ago) and pins for a 1-2-NO! Amazing nearfall as the crowd erupts. There's a beautiful moment of storytelling here. Reigns is distraught with emotion and frustration. Solo just glares at him, almost as if to say "really? You're going to behave like this?". Then, Solo goes for the Uso's and tells Roman to stay on them. Reigns shakes his head and returns to his usual aura.


They continue the beat down towards the commentary table. Solo superkicks Jimmy onto it, goes for a splash from the barricade but Jimmy rolls off. Solo is down and Reigns is shocked. In the ring now. Jey superkicks Reigns, who responds with a Superman punch, Jey returns a second Superkick, Reigns follows with a spear. Jey kicks out with his arm low blowing Reigns in the process, something Reigns has done in the past. Jimmy tags in. Both Reigns eats two superkicks from both Uso's. Solo eats a double superkick. Roman eats two more superkicks. Jey Uso hits a big splash for the 1-2-3. The Uso's win, Roman has been pinned. The civil war is over.


Wow. It was a slow methodical start but it blossomed into a pure poetry. It just kept ramping upwards until we get our fantastic finale. Jey Uso breaks a 3 and a half year streak without being pinned, he was also the first person to ever pin Roman Reigns on main roster. 3 out of the 4 major WWE events have had a tag team main event. This might be the best tag wrestling has been on main roster WWE for years. I don't think I've cheered louder recently than I did when Jey pinned Roman. What an awesome match with an awesome story. The rumoured plan is for Jey vs Roman 3 to take place at Summerslam. I'm all for it. Hell, I'd even love to see Jey be the one to take the gold away. I don't think he will, but he could. The nuances between Solo & Roman are great. I don't think the alliance between the two is going to exist for too much longer.


The Uso's win via pinfall (32:05)

4.5/5


Overall- 68.6%

This was a very fun show that felt a bit house showey at times but in the best ways. Lot's of fun action, some fun segments and most importantly an exciting crowd. Plenty of good things to talk about, with good signs for the future ahead. Future world champions Damien Priest & Iyo Sky? Count me in. Shayna Baszler going over Ronda Rousey to become the new dominant force? Count me in. Gunther vs Drew McIntyre? Count me in. More Bloodline drama, fights & fallout? Count me in. Wrestlemania in fucking ENGLAND??? Count me in tenfold.


MOTN- The Bloodline Civil War


That's my review, thanks for reading. Next on my calendar is Impact's Slammiversary show to watch. In between now and then I intend to have another list or fantasy booking out. Until next time, see ya!

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