Sheamus vs Kane vs Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston vs Roman Reigns vs Neville vs Randy Orton (Money In The Bank Ladder Match)
Six is the ideal number of people for this type of match. Any more, even one more, and the cracks appear. It usually means two people in the ring and five people, apparently dying, on the outside. This particular MITB suffered more than most from this problem. Other people stay outside for ages after a mere dropkick; others spring back into the ring after being powerbombed onto a ladder. The latter was the case of Kingston. Not only was he powerbombed onto a ladder by Reigns, but Reigns powerbombed Neville onto Kingston who was still on the ladder. Five minutes later, Kingston ran into the ring, while Neville was still dying on the outside. Where’s the logic in that? True, in this kind of spotfest logic doesn’t matter, but it wasn’t much of a spotfest. There was the aforementioned powerbomb spot, and Ziggler’s Zig-Zag on Sheamus from near the top of a ladder. But even the spot monkeys such as Neville and Kingston added little to the match. The appearance of Bray Wyatt to stop Reigns from grabbing the briefcase was a pleasant surprise. Sheamus’ victory was an unexpected finish. A lot of effort was made by most competitors, but not enough to make the match any better than average.
VERDICT: 7/10. Hard worked effort, but left little to remember it by.
Nikki Bella (c) vs Paige (Diva’s Championship Match)
One of the better Diva’s matches I’ve seen for a while. Guided by Paige, the match flowed well and showed the best of the two women. They put on possibly the best match of the Diva’s division so far this year (I dare not compare it to any NXT women’s matches!). The match fell apart, however, with the appearance of Brie Bella and Twin Magic. The twins switched, but Paige pinned Brie with a small cradle. The referee saw that it was Brie (with the great comedy moment of Brie pulling tissue from her bra) and simply carried the match on. Nikki attacked Paige with a forearm and hit the Rack Attack for the victory. For one, the Twin Magic things shouldn’t work anymore because the twins have different hair colour and style! And should the ref have stopped the match? It spoiled what was a good effort from the women.
WINNER: Nikki Bella
VERDICT: 7/10. Better than the average Diva’s match by a fair bit. Ruined by the end, however.
Ryback (c) vs The Big Show (Intercontinental Championship Match)
Any match with The Big Show in leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Ryback and Show do not makes great opponents, either. The bout was mercifully short, however. Although Ryback looked powerful in the opening moments of the match, Big Show made Ryback look like a chump. It looked like Show was in for the win, after hitting a chokeslam and the KO punch. But The Miz interfered and hit Show and Ryback with a microphone. Show won by DQ, but the match and the finish were terrible. What a way to make your IC champ look like a chump, WWE! Ryback should have easily polished off The Big Show. For some reason, he didn’t. But at least the match was short.
WINNER: The Big Show (By DQ)
VERDICT: 3/10. Short and offensive. Felt like something from Raw.
John Cena vs Kevin Owens
The rematch that most people were looking forward to with baited breath: Cena/Owens II. And unlike most sequels, it did not disappoint. There are some wrestlers who bring out the best in one another: Cena and Owens are the epitome of this fact. Owens wants to prove he belongs in the WWE; Cena wants to show that he’s better than the developmental NXT crew. To Cena’s credit, he pulled off a few ‘new’ moves. We’ve seen his hurricanrana before, but this one looked half-decent. Both wrestlers pulled off moves that deviated from their normal routine. Back and forth, back and forth, the match was spellbinding. They were both out to impress, and impress they surely did. The sequel almost outdid the first match. In fact, I need to watch both matches again. Like the first one, there was some overkill towards the end, as they kicked out of finisher after finisher. But the bout was so gripping that it didn’t matter. It was obvious that Cena would get the victory, to set up the rubber match, but it was a well-deserved victory. And of course, the post-match attack by Owens was something else!
WINNER: John Cena
VERDICT: 9/10. As good as, if not better, than their first match at Elimination Chamber. Either way, a brilliant bout. Match of the night…again!
The New Day (c) vs Prime Time Players (Tag Team Championship Match)
I do not see the appeal of the Prime Time Players. Titus O’Neill is the most wooden wrestler in the WWE. Simply awful wrestler. Darren Young is decent, but can’t carry his tag team. The New Day need opponents like Cesaro/Tyson Kidd to have good matches. And, of course, Kofi Kingston. Xavier Woods and Big E are not a good tag team. Woods isn’t polished enough in the ring, and Woods needs Kingston’s in-ring expertise. What transpired was a short and uninspiring match that made me remember what I disliked about PTP and The New Day. The ending felt lazy, and there was no build to it either. It just came out of nowhere. Awful match, and an awful decision to give PTP the victory. The New Day should have carried the belts for much longer.
WINNERS: Prime Time Players
VERDICT: 4/10. Below average tag team match that highlighted the weaknesses of both teams. Without Cesaro/Kidd, the tag team division will suffer.
Seth Rollins (c) vs Dean Ambrose (Ladder Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
This was an unusual ladder match, one that seemed to fit late 90s ladder matches than our era of ladder matches. Rollins focused on Ambrose’s knees for a good portion of the bout, rather than executing high spots and such like. Of course, there were a few spots involving bodies landing on ladders and such forth, but they were few and far between (and reserved for the closing moments of the match). What resulted was a strange match that one would give a polite applause to rather than a standing ovation. The bout kept me watching, but never progressed to anything more than a good match. Like Elimination Chamber, the two wrestlers had to follow/better Cena vs Owens. It was a tough task that they failed twice. The brawl into the crowd and back into the ring at the end sucked me into the match, but then Rollins decided to destroy Ambrose.
He powerbombed Ambrose into the barricades twice, then executed a sitdown powerbomb on a ladder covered in chairs. Overkill, anyone? Even after that, Ambrose got up and stopped Rollins from grabbing the belt. What ensued was an ending that looked like both wrestlers fell off with the belt, but as Rollins was holding it after the wrestlers hit the mat, he was awarded the victory. What? Both wrestlers pulled the belt off at the same time! Will Rollins ever be given a straight victory? I don’t think so. Ambrose should have stayed down after the successive powerbombs. He still would have looked like a valiant loser, who took a great beating. And Rollins would have been given an ounce of credibility as champion. Instead, the finish (yet again!) spoiled the match a little. Like the opening MITB match, it was a hard-worked effort from both men, but the hard work only resulted in a good match, not a great match.
WINNER: Seth Rollins
VERDICT: 7/10. About as good as the opening MITB. A slow-paced, methodical ladder match until the closing moments. A nice change, but the overkill at the end spoiled the slow build.
OVERALL VERDICT: 7/10. Another Special/PPV defined by Cena/Owens. Their match elevated the Special as a whole, but made everything else look inferior by comparison. The opening and closing bouts were good, as was the Diva’s match. A improvement on Elimination Chamber!