Monday, June 19, 2017

WWE Money In the Bank 2017: In Perspective (A 1-2-3 Podcast Feature)



Comic Frontline & Zone 4's 1-2-3 Podcast presents another installment of the new monthly written feature here on Comic Frontline: In Perspective!

Brant Fowler, co-host of 1-2-3 Podcast breaks down and discusses each match on the card. This month, it's WWE MONEY IN THE BANK ,SMACKDOWN only Pay-Per-View available on the WWE Network!
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Welcome back to "In Perspective!" Last night was the SMACKDOWN only Pay-Per-View, WWE MONEY IN THE BANK. This is one of my favorite events because of the match the event is named after. And this time, not only did we get a Men's MITB match, but we also got the first ever Women's MITB match! Needless to say, but be warned... ***SPOILERS***.





WOMEN'S MONEY IN THE BANK MATCH

CHARLOTTE vs. BECKY LYNCH vs. TAMINA vs. CARMELLA vs. NATALYA


Speaking of the Women's MITB match, that's how we kick off the show! As the five women squared off, everyone except Tamina ran outside to grab a ladder. Tamina stood in the center of the ring and took each one of them out one by one. For a while she ruled the ring, but things quickly broke down lot of ladder shots, and a lot of competitors climbing the ladder only to get knocked down. Charlotte made a spectacular diving spinning moonsault on the outside onto Natalya and Tamina leaving Carmella to climb the ladder as it approached the end. But she was foiled by Becky Lynch. And that's when the controversy occurred.

James Ellsworth knocked Lynch off the ladder and climbed it himself, grabbing the briefcase and tossing it down to Carmella. Since there are no rules, she technically won and is the first ever Miss Money In the Bank. She can now cash that contract in any time, any place for a title match.

It was disappointing that the first women's MITB match was technically won by a man. That tarnished the whole match in my opinion. I'm glad a new face got the win instead of the same old, same old, but not this way.


WINNER: CARMELLA (Miss Money In the Bank)

Following the match was a brief interview with Lana who would face Naomi for the Women's title later in the event.




SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: THE USOS vs. THE NEW DAY


This match right here at this point in the show had the promise of being match of the night, and for the most part it delivered. This was one knock down, drag out, pull out all the stops kind of match.

Both teams took their turns leading the match, though the Usos took charge for a longer period of time. After that, though, we saw every single and tag move in each team's arsenal. There were more false finishes in this match than a Rock/Stone Cold match. Every time you thought one of them had it locked down, the downed man was saved by his partner, or kicked out of a move he shouldn't. This was one of those matches teams would shake hands out of respect afterward. But that's not how this one ended unfortunately.

Instead, the Usos decided to get themselves counted out and ruin what was up until that point an amazing match. So the second match and the second disappointing ending.

WINNERS BY COUNT-OUT: THE NEW DAY (USOS RETAIN TITLES)

After the match, we got notice that Daniel Bryan would be addressing the way the Women's MITB match ended first thing on SMACKDOWN LIVE this week.



SMACKDOWN WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP: NAOMI vs. LANA


And speaking of the Women's Division, then came this title match. Lana had never even had a singles match, but took out Naomi on SMACKDOWN LIVE last week with a version of the Sky High and got Naomi to request a match putting her title on the line. So we would see if the actress turned valet turned wrestler would be able to pull off this match.

It wasn't a perfect match, and Lana is definitely still green, but she was far better than anyone thought she would be. Not as good as the announcers sold her to be, but still a solid performance. And credit has to be given to Naomi for selling Lana like she was a real contender. So overall it was a pretty good match with Lana dominating for the most part.

What I didn't like is that both Lana and Naomi kicked out of each others' finishers, and in this particular case, it made them both look weak.

After Lana delivered her Sky High move, Carmella came out with the briefcase, but decided not to cash in. This distracted Lana enough for Naomi to recover and get her in a submission for the win. Carmella decided to wait for another time to cash in.

WINNER BY SUBMISSION: NAOMI (RETAINS TITLE)

Next up, another installment of Fashion Files Miami Vice style. Fandango went back in time and got Paul E. Dangerously's portable phone from his WCW days and both wore the classic white jackets with rolled up sleeves. I have to admit, these segments have grown on me.

After receiving a fax to answer the door where a VHS tape waited for them to watch, they saw an old school promo with silhouettes telling Breezango to meet them in the ring tonight. Additional match?



After that we were met with another surprise. Mike and Maria! That's right, Maria Kanellis is back in WWE with her TNA and real-life significant other Mike... Kanellis (he took her name in the gimmick I guess). They are here to educate everyone in the Power of Love. Interesting...




WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: JINDER MAHAL vs. RANDY ORTON


Interestingly the WWE Title match is taking place before the Men's MITB match. I get that it's the MITB PPV so the MITB should be the main event, but it means the WWE Title is NOT the main event, which is always weird to me. I guess they also wanted to illustrate that there would not be a MITB cash-in tonight?

I know a lot of people are unhappy that Mahal is the champ, only because he was basically a jobber one day and champ the next. It's cool they were thinking outside the box and giving someone new an opportunity, but it's just not that believable.

Anyway, with legends at ringside, including Orton's father, Cowboy Bob Orton, the match took place in Orton's hometown of St. Louis. Anyone that's been watching WWE for any length of time knows that usually superstars lose in their hometowns. Not always, but most of the time. Would that be the case here?

The match, I have to admit, had that big fight feel. Orton took it to Mahal right at the onset, pounding him with fists and kicks sending Mahal reeling to the outside. As soon as he came back in, Orton started pulling out moves including the stomp before sending him back to the outside and this time following him and keeping the heat on Mahal before running the Singh brothers off. Then he introduced Mahal to the announce table. Once back in the ring he tried to deliver his signature DDT from the ropes, but the Singh brothers distracted him and Mahal took the advantage attacking Orton's knee.

From this point, Mahal took the lead, beating down Orton systematically for a time. He used every advantage he could from tossing him into the stairs, to using the barricade and continuously attacking the knee. But once they got near the legends, Orton took back the advantage and actually back suplexed Mahal into the legends. But Mahal quickly regained the advantage and continued to attack the knee of Orton.

This was the first time I saw Mahal as an actual contender. He sold himself as a credible villain here, and a credible threat to a superstar the caliber of Orton.

The action went back and forth, but every time Orton got a bit of momentum, Mahal went right back to the knee causing further damage to Orton. It was never a clear domination, but a pretty strong onslaught by the champ. Orton missed his second attempt at the RKO to be met with a massive side kick from Mahal, but it wasn't enough.

Mahal pointed at Flair and then promptly placed Orton in a Figure-Four as Flair looked on offended at the mockery. Orton was able to reverse it, though, putting the pressure on Mahal who had to break it. But Mahal kept pouring it on. Knee drops, chops, slamming Orton's knee into the mat, submission holds... Mahal really worked Orton's knee over all match long.

After Mahal attempted to add further insult by superlexing Orton, a move his father was known for, Orton reversed it delivering one of his own. The fight was back and forth once more as things picked up. Punches and headbutts, uppercuts and kicks, the two superstars put it all on the line and left it all in the ring.

Orton started pulling out his signature moves with the powerslam and DDT before positioning once more for the RKO. THis time he nailed it, though, but the Singh brothers placed Mahal's foot on the ropes. The referee was about to disqualify Mahal, but Orton begged him not to. Instead, the referee tossed the Singh brothers out from ringside. Instead of leaving, though, they tried to attack Cowboy Bob Orton prompting Randy Orton to destroy them both. One got an RKO on the floor, the other through an announce table. Unfortunately, this distracted Orton from Mahal allowing Mahal to deliver his finisher and pin Orton to retain the championship. Thus Orton lost in his hometown in front of his father on Father's Day.

WINNER BY PINFALL: JINDER MAHAL (RETAINS CHAMPIONSHIP)


FASHION POLICE vs. THE ASCENSION


Impromptu match as it was revealed The Ascension trashed Breezango's office leading to this tag team match. And as much as I have enjoyed the Fashion Files, The Ascension I've always felt were highly overrated. So this was a little disappointing to me.

The Ascension dominated the match as they tend to do, but also as they tend to do, they came up short as the Fashion Police proved why they've been gaining popularity of late. Between their offbeat humor and their athletic skills, the Fashion Police turned things around and took out their attackers.

WINNERS BY PINFALL: FASHION POLICA aka BREEZANGO


MEN'S MONEY IN THE BANK MATCH

AJ STYLES vs. BARON CORBIN vs. KEVIN OWENS vs.

SAMI ZAYN vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA

Shinsuke Nakamura was the next to last superstar to come out, and as he did, the final competitor, Baron Corbin attacked him, beat him down and took him completely out of the match, leaving only five participants.

As the action got started, it again began typically for these types of matches. Lots of ladder shots and fighting outside the ring. As a matter of fact, most of the match at the beginning was standard and not very creative or exciting to be honest. But as the match went on, things got intense. So there was a nice build up of suspense as to who would win, and of progression as the action got heavier gradually.

Some of the highlights of the match include Zayn suplexing Owens on the apron and tossing him off the top rope onto a ladder, AJ Styles being caught and choke slammed on a propped up ladder, Ziggler being deep-sixed from the apron to the floor, and Ziggler Zig-Zaging Corbin off the ladder.

Surprisingly, Zayn had quite the advantage in the middle of the match. He found himself alone in the ring with the ladder more than anyone and nearly reached the top unhindered several times, but was always eventually thwarted. But he was the MVP of the match... until the end.

Baron Corbin finally found himself with a clear path to victory. All the superstars were down and out. He was all alone. Then Nakamura's music hit as he finally made his way down to the ring.

After taking out Corbin, Nakamura took out three of the other supertars with his running knee strike leaving himself alone with the ladder. He set it up, then looked up and there stood AJ Styles. The old friends stared each other down as the crowd went nuts. They moved the ladder and let the fists fly. They went back and forth, then countered each other a bit. Styles managed to take out Nakamura long enough to scale the ladder, but Nakamura climbed up and met him. And that's when Corbin took his shot. Corbin pushed the ladder over, dispatching the two and freeing him to climb the rungs and grab the briefcase.

Baron Corbin wins Money In the Bank.

WINNER: BARON CORBIN (MR. MONEY IN THE BANK)




The Men's MITB match was the match of the night. The outcome was surprising and unexpected. It really could have been any of the six, and that's rare in a MITB match. Usually there are clear cut winners and losers, but any of these six could have gotten that briefcase and walked away with a contract for the WWE Championship.

The worst match of the night was probably the impromptu match of the Fashion Police vs. The Ascension. They keep trying to sell us on The Ascension, yet they always lose. I'm not even sure why they're still there.

The Tag Team Championship and Women's MITB match were disappointing as I stated before. The way both ended was a disservice to the competitors involved, and while it did add to the narrative, it wasn't in a good way. Both of those matches had the potential to be great, and the tag team match was very good up until that point.

Lana and Mahal impressed me tonight. Can't say I'm a Jinder fan, but at least I can believe him as a heel champion now.

Overall, I thought it was slightly above average. Some really good matches, one really bad match, and a couple of terrible finishes, but still good matches. I fill I got enough out of it to enjoy the event by and large. And it'll be very interesting to see how Corbin and Carmella with the MITB briefcases play out over time.



What did you think of MONEY IN THE BANK? And more importantly, what did you think of this feature?!  Let me know in the comments below!



And if you've never listened to or watched 1-2-3 Podcast, you can find the playlist here:


And if you're really bored, you can find my old wrestling blog, Kayfabe here before I eventually delete it!:


Join me in a couple of weeks as I cover RAW's oddly named event GREAT BALLS OF FIRE out of Dallas, TX where Brock Lesnar will defend the WWE Universal Championship!

Brant Fowler is the co-founder of Zone 4 and one of the Frontline Six. He's also Co-Publisher of Last Ember Press. Check out his YouTube channel every Monday for Monday Musings, and find him most Tuesday nights on Frontline LIVE!

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