I am still working on getting my wife to watch this one with me. We’ll see how it goes. We were supposed to go out dancing last night, but she bailed on me because she “was sick”, and I feel like she owes me a WWE pay-per-view in return.
This is a show for which I am simultaneously excited AND full of dread. There are so many possible outcomes that get me very excited:
- Big E winning Money In The Bank, setting himself up as the man to take down The Roman Empire.
- Liv Morgan winning Money In The Bank, setting up a likable new face at the top of the Smackdown Women’s Division.
- Kofi Kingston ending this snooze fest Bobby Lashley title reign for another feel-good run that won’t [hopefully] end in Lesnar squash.
- Rhea Ripley solidifying her main event status by beating Charlotte.
Those all sound delightful, and the thought of them makes me positively giddy for this show.
But then, I realize what we probably-to-definitely WILL get instead:
- Drew McIntyre winning MitB and setting up a terrible “Wait, is he technically allowed to cash in on Bobby Lashley?!” storyline. This sees the title held by our old chum Abeyance (at worst) or just wastes the Men’s MitB contract for what feels like the 50th consecutive year at this point (at best).
- Alexa Bliss winning MitB and turning it into some spoopy dollhouse for Lily.
- Bobby Lashley, undefeatable 45 year old WWE champion, remaining undefeatable.
So you can clearly see the challenges I face. They’re not… they’re not REALLY going to do Lashley/Goldberg at SummerSlam, right? That’s… that’s gotta be a red herring rumor to make literally WHATEVER ELSE they have planned seem 9000% better. Right?
I believe the WWE will do right thing here. As George Michael sang, “Guilty feet have go no rhythm”.
Wait, I think I quoted the wrong song.
I hope that’s not an omen!
Oh, huh. I had this article saved up to that point, and when I came back to start editing it for the show, this is what I see:
Let’s try again, and this time I won’t save and close the window!
MATCH 1: Women’s MitB Match
I’m not sure if there was a lack of chemistry between a lot of the participants here… or if there were just a lot of nerves for being back in front of a crowd doing a huge match… but this felt really contrived and sloppy. I was hoping for better here, but… not so much! Oh well.
I kind of love how Natalya sold NOTHING this match, as she was perpetually there to stop whoever was trying to climb. No one else could ever really be bothered, I guess.
Nikki [Cross] ended up winning, and you know what? I’m okay with that. WWE is definitely building a story with Liv, so she’ll be fine even without the briefcase. And if the winner couldn’t be her, Nikki was the next best.
Also, I’m just happy it wasn’t Alexa.
So… now that we have live crowds back and can’t just camera-voodoo everything away… how mystical can Alexa still even be? She did a hypnosis spot here, but that was it. She wasn’t Dark Phoenixing rafters at people anymore.
Anyway, are people going to hate the ending here? It kind of made everyone look like a moron when they all stood there punching each other while Nikki went “scuse me, pardon me” and just took the contract. It’s fine. It’s FINE. It’s a new ending, which is nice.
MATCH 2: Raw Tag Team Title Match
I was pleasantly surprised how this match tricked me into believing at separate points that the Viking Raiders might win, but… ultimately, it was not to be. Given the Raw tag team division, I have no idea where the Raiders go from here. Do they feud with…
Who else are heel tag teams on Raw? Hm.
This was a better match than the opener, and the crowd was definitely more into it than they were the Women’s Money In The Bank match (which is wild to consider, but oh well).
Omos does seem to be getting better, but he’s still green like fried tomatoes. He’s getting there, though. The press slam on Ivar was rad.
MATCH 3: WWE Title Match
Fuck this company.
But hey, at least I know my Worst Match of 2021 already!
No wait, you know what? I’m not done.
It’s like WWE has remembered how much everyone hated the way Kofi was humiliated by Brock Lesnar. And then they just went “Wouldn’t it be rad if we DID IT AGAIN?”.
Who wanted this match? Who needed this result? Lashley’s been the champ for, like, five or six months. We don’t need a Look-How-Dominant-He-Is showing. His boring ass title reign has already been dominant. He should have been a transitional champion, but… he isn’t. He’s just Roman Redux on Monday Nights.
Bobby could have won, and that would have been fine. We all knew he was GOING to win, even if I had my Kofi hopes up, but they could have given Kofi a showing here.
What did this accomplish? Getting more a heat on a boring champ no one likes anyway? Taking one more guy on Raw’s roster out of the main event?
Fuck this company.
MATCH 4: Raw Women’s Title Match
Money In The Bank will see my frustration over the WWE Title match and raise me a Charlotte match, I guess.
The problem with this match was that at no point did I ever believe Rhea was going to win. So I never really enjoyed what was going on here. It was just several minutes of my going “Can we just get to the end already?”. Maybe that’s a combination of the previous match bringing out my inner skeptic and just the typical expectations of Charlotte title matches. But there was no drama here.
There is a small–a VERY SMALL–part of me that really admires the cajones on WWE! It’s like they went “Hey, this is our welcome back PPV to the fans! Let’s IMMEDIATELY remind them what we think of them”.
To be fair, maybe I’M the lemon here. The fans in attendance actually seemed to pop for this result. I’ll own that. I’ll be the villain you need right now, even if I’m not the villain you deserve.
MATCH 5: Apparently The Match Where Peacock Feels The Same Way About This Show That I Do So Far
Really couldn’t have pulled this stunt during the Lashley/Kofi match, huh?
Four Peacock restarts later, it finally worked for me about midway through the match. Right around the point where Rollins and Morrison suplexed KO onto the sideways ladder. KO always out there killing himself for our enjoyment.
What I got to see of this match was pretty damn incredible, and it makes me wish I COULD HAVE SEEN ALL OF IT.
Big E, which is great. The nice thing about this match is that there was no bad result. Really any guy winning here would have been snazzy. After the previous two matches, though, I was convinced WWE was going to revisit the Lesnar finish a few years back and have Goldberg come out and just take the briefcase.
MATCH 6: Universal Title Match
I’m nowhere near the first person to point this out, but isn’t it hard to believe that all three WWE brands are doing the exact same story with their world title? And even though only one–Roman, obviously–is doing it particularly well, the fact that all three are doing it is even diminishing his work. Because it really feels like we’re watching the same show three nights a week.
(To be fair, I am not nearly as hard on Karrion Kross’ current reign as others are; but my absolute disdain for Lashley’s run balances that out)
Thought of the match: I have the same Bluth’s Frozen Banana shirt that someone in the front row is wearing.
There was a referee bump in this match that lasted SO LONG, I was convinced WWE had to put out a job posting for a new referee. They were calling references and conducting interviews during the match. What the heck?
This did end up being a quality match, though; Roman just doesn’t not deliver in these past 300-plus days. Roman won, and that was never really in doubt, but that’s okay because it was the right result.
And following that up, we got the return of John Cena to tease a SummerSlam (?) encounter with Reigns!
Give this show credit for finishing strong with correct calls and great bouts in the last ninety minutes or so… when Peacock was working, anyway.
Until next time… take care!