Money in the Bank is usually not a PPV that throws in a lot of surprises but the 2018 edition did. Here is everything that went down in Chicago.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows (Kickoff show)
Gallows tries to get the upper hand at the start and then Anderson does the same. The Bludgeon Brothers are caught off guard a bit before they finally get rolling. Gallows is used as a battering ram against Anderson. It is all offense from the Bludgeon brothers from here on before the Good Brothers manage to get in some offense towards the end before finally succumbing to a sitout powerbomb.
Winners and STILL Smackdown Tag Team Champions, The Bludgeon Bothers!
Verdict: A good hard-hitting match. Definitely deserved to be on the main card. Bludgeon Brothers are still scary while the Good Brothers weren’t treated as jobbers as we expected them to.
Daniel Bryan vs Big Cass
The match begins with Bryan trying to gain the upper hand but Cass immediately fights and the rest of match is filled with back and forth action. Bryan uses his athletic ability and penchant for submission holds while Cass uses his strength to counteract. Bryan then began working on the knee of Cass to negate his height advantage. Once Cass is on his knees he gets dropkicked and put in the Yes Lock. Cass escapes to the outside where he is dive-bombed. It is then Cass’ turn to inflict some damage before Bryan finally comes back with the Yes kicks. The crowd goes nuts. A little back and forth follows before Bryan finally puts Cass in the heel hook and makes him tap out.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Verdict: Excellent match that told a great story. The crowd was very much into it, cheering Bryan while booing Cass. Nothing to complain about this match.
Backstage segment: The New Day and Kevin Owens
A nice nod is given to E3 before the New Day begins discussing as to who would be in the MITB match. Owens walks in with pancakes and syrup and tries to sweet talk them into taking out Braun Strowman but the New Day doesn’t buy any of it causing Owens to confess that he hates pancakes. New Day chases him away after taking the syrup from him.
Verdict: Good funny segment. A nice way to fill the gap between matches.
Sami Zayn vs Bobby Lashley
The most pointless match on the card took place in an equally pointless way. We get that WWE is trying to build up Bobby Lashley but having him literally manhandle Sami Zayn was an insult to the WWE fans. Sami Zayn got almost zero offense in and Lashley defeated him with a vertical suplex.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Verdict: The intentions were good but the execution sucked. Zayn deserved better than this.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs Elias
Before the match, there is a backstage segment with Elias dissing the Chicago crowd. The match begins with both superstars attempting to put the other in a submission hold. Some nice, fast back and forth action follows. These two are currently among the best workers of a match that WWE has and that shows.
There are a few painful-looking spots. Midway through the match neither appear to have the upper hand. Elias rolls out of the way of a springboard causing Rollins to land awkwardly on his legs. A couple of near counts follow with Elias kicking out at 2 each time. Elias has an answer to Rollins every single time he tries something big. A few roll-ups follow before Rollins manages to hold on to a win with a hand full of tights.
Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion, Seth Rollins
Verdict: One of the best matches of the night, it showed how matches should be booked. The right guy won while the other came out still looking strong.
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
(Naomi vs Sasha Banks vs Lana vs Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss vs Charlotte Flair vs Natalya vs Ember Moon)
The match begins with a huge brawl. Everyone ends up outside and begins taking on each other. The ladder is then used as an offensive tool as multiple ladders get thrown around. Moon gets the initial upper hand. Moon and Banks have some nice back and forth. Banks makes the first attempt to grab the ladder but is stopped by Lana. Lana is then taken apart by Natalya. Naomi also gets beat down by her before Flair joins and begins chopping Natalya.
Flair then sets up a ladder and is soon joined by Lynch. The women fight on the ladder. Naomi puts an end to that. Bliss who has been cleverly on the outside gets splashed by Naomi. A nice spot follows with Becky trying to climb a ladder while Moon and Naomi are still fighting over it. Becky gets thrown into the corner for her troubles. Banks gains the upper hand and tries to get the briefcase before being stopped by Flair.
The women all are involved now and Flair gets the biggest ladder. Everyone tries to climb up before each stops the other. A nice sequence follows with Naomi almost grabbing the briefcase before being pulled by Lynch. Lynch and Flair fight on top of the ladder before their ladder is tipped off by Bliss who gets speared by Flair. Flair gets hit by a Backstabber by Banks who then climbs the ladder. She is pulled down by Naomi who tries instead to get to the briefcase. She is stopped by Lana and then Lana gives a try but is stopped by Natalya. When Natalya tries to climb she is dropkicked by Moon. Moon gets speared by Flair while Flair gets superplexed by Lynch. Bliss then tips the ladder and clears everyone. She then climbs the ladder to grab the briefcase.
Winner and the 2018 Miss Money In The Bank: Alexa Bliss
Verdict: a wonderful exhibition of female athleticism, it proved to be a very entertaining match. WWE chose the safe option in Alexa but we are not complaining. A lot was expected from this match and it delivered.
Backstage segment: Kurt Angle, Paige, and Baron Corbin
What the hell was WWE thinking here? Corbin is supposed to be a scary heel. Instead, here he is reminded of his failed cash-in attempt and is laughed off the segment by Angle and Paige.
Verdict: Why would you berate one of the entrants of the MITB match this way? There are definitely better ways to get a laugh.
Jinder Mahal (With a disabled Sunil Singh) vs Roman Reigns
This match was better than we expected. Instead of Reign bulldozing the match or Mahal getting in cheap shot after cheap shot, the two genuinely had a fight. There were many near falls with Mahal kicking out at almost the very end of a three count a couple of times. A little back and forth towards the end before Reigns speared Mahal for the win.
Verdict: While the match itself was good it did nothing for either wrestler. We are clueless if this was a one-off thing or the feud will continue. The most predictable ending to the match.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Carmella (c) vs Asuka
This match entailed the biggest surprise of the night. Carmella’s reign has been so-so thus far. Finally, it gathers some steam. The match itself isn’t too shabby. Carmella is obviously not at the same level as Asuka from an athletic point of view but she uses heel tactics and talking trash to good effect. This allows her to gain the upper hand on multiple occasions.
The second half is all Asuka as she gets one offensive move after another in on Carmella. Carmella is almost put in the Asuka lock before she escapes. Asuka misses a hip attack and gets thrown out of the ring and nearly gets counted out. As Asuka again starts building momentum she gets distracted by someone who enters the ring wearing her gear. Carmella uses this distraction to get in a couple of kicks for the win. The mystery helper is revealed to be none other than JAMES ELLSWORTH. Yes, The Chinless Wonder returns.
Winner and STILL Smackdown Women’s Champion, Carmella
Verdict: The match itself was entertaining. It worked to both women’s strengths. The ending was a nice surprise. How it works out, only time will tell. So far so good.
Last Man Standing Match for The WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura
We expected this match to bring the roof down and it certainly did. As expected, this match was filled with athletic spots and highly technical wrestling. As is the norm with these matches, the action spills outside the ring and soon gets violent. The announce table, barricades, and then a table from under the ring is used as weapons. The inevitable shot to the nuts comes with Styles being thrown nut first into the corner of a table. Thankfully, Styles gets up at 9 and a half. A lot of back and forth takes place before Styles puts Nakamura out with a Phenomenal Forearm through a table. That is enough to keep Nakamura down for the 10 count.
Verdict: We are happy the match did not end again with a ball busting spot. Hopefully, the feud continues in the same vein.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Nia Jax (c) vs Ronda Rousey
This was the most surprising match on the card. It is still unbelievable how good Rousey is in a WWE ring. We got to see more of her athletic abilities in this match. Jax is the first one to get in some offense and a few near falls. Halfway through the match, Rousey begins gaining momentum. She shows exceptional bursts of speed that WWE fans are not used to. There is even a spot from the top rope. The match seems all set for Rousey to get her first championship. One of the best moments of the night follows with Rousey executing a perfect Judo throw on Jax. Jax is trapped in the armbar but Bliss hits the ring and decks Rousey with the briefcase for the DQ.
Winner: Ronda Rousey (Via DQ)
After the match Bliss hits Rousey a few more times before sending her through the announce table before cashing in.
MITB Cash in by Bliss:
Bliss hits a DDT and a Twisted Bliss on Nia Jax for the win
Winner and NEW Raw Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss
Verdict: Nia Jax was beginning to wane as a champion but she deserved a longer run. Rousey had another exceptional match and while the ensuing feud between Bliss and Rousey is an exciting prospect, Jax got totally buried today.
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
(Rusev w/Aiden English vs Samoa Joe vs Bobby Roode vs Finn Bálor vs Braun Strowman vs The Miz vs Kevin Owens vs Kofi Kingston)
Kofi is revealed as the New Day member to be contesting in the match. As expected the match begins with everyone attacking Strowman only for the ring to be cleared by him. Everyone else again tries to take Strowman out of the equation. They try to send him up the ramp. Miz uses this to try and sneak into the ring and get the briefcase. Joe notices and returns to the ring to stop him. It is all action packed from here on.
Wrestlers try to hit their finishing moves on each other. The ladder is used as an offensive tool on multiple occasions. Joe temporarily manages to put Strowman down with the Clutch but he gets back up soon. Owens brings out one of the biggest ladders we have seen only for Strowman to climb it too and chokeslams Owens from the ladder. Kingston then receives another chokeslam. Rusev then gets some nice offense in with a double accolade on Roode and Kingston. Miz tries to deck him but he also gets added to the Accolade.
The others also get a few spots in before Strowman clears everyone out and it is just him and Balor. As both of them are climbing Kingston leaps on to Strowman’s back. Strowman dispatches both of them to grab the briefcase.
Winner and Mr. Money In The Bank: Braun Strowman
Verdict: Easily the best match of the night. Some lovely spots and the right person wins. Cannot wait for Strowman to cash in and finally show how good he will be as a champion.
Overall Review: MITB 2018 was a PPV of extremes. For every good match there was an equally bad match. Don’t get us wrong, everyone on the card did really well. It is just the booking that screwed up a few of them. Still, as a show it was an entertaining one.