Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO – July 18, 2010
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Matt Striker are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Big Show vs. Christian vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Matt Hardy
The winner of this one gets a shot at the World Heavyweight Title. Hardy, Kane, Rhodes, Christian, Kingston, and Show did not have to qualify for this event. On the July 9 episode of Smackdown, Ziggler beat MVP and Chavo Guerrero in a triple threat match to qualify, while McIntyre defeated Kingston. This is the first appearance for Show, the fourth for Christian, the first for Rhodes, the second for Ziggler, the second for McIntyre, the fourth for Kane, the third for Kingston, and the fourth for Hardy. None of the combatants has won it yet. Kingston is the current Intercontinental Champion.
I don’t expect to fully be able to keep up, but I’ll try to hit the high points. Kane and Show clean house and then turn their attention to each other. Show takes Kane out and tries to climb the ladder but he breaks it. That’s cute. Everyone gangs up on Show out on the floor to take him out for a few minutes. McIntyre brings a ladder into the ring and everyone takes turns climbing it. The action continues at a frenetic pace, with offense coming from all over the place. Kane pulls McIntyre to the floor and starts clearing off the announce tables. Before anything can happen Kane gets distracted and turns his attention elsewhere. Kingston kicks a ladder into him, and then he finds McIntyre and drills him with Trouble in Paradise. He then goes up a ladder and puts McIntyre through the Spanish Announce Table with a huge Boom Drop! Ziggler almost grabs the case but Show pulls him down and hits a thunderous Chokeslam. Kane tries to thwart Show but he pays for it. Hardy and Christian try working together to tae Show out but even that doesn’t work. Show goes under the ring and finds a special ladder designed to hold someone of his weight. Before Show can climb said ladder, Rhodes hits him in the injured ankle with a stepladder. Rhodes tries to climb up but Ziggler pulls him down. Show is able to recover and Kingston springboards back into the ring right onto the ladder. When Show grabs Kingston off the ladder, Kingston is able to reverse it into a DDT. Ziggler hits Rhodes with a Zig-Zag right onto the giant ladder. Show recovers and starts decimating everyone again. He tries to climb up but Kane shoves him down. Meanwhile out on the floor the rest of the competitors bury Show in a sea of ladders, which is awesome. Back in the ring Ziggler almost gets the case and Kane climbs up to block him so Ziggler locks him in the Sleeper! Kane cracks Ziggler’s head on the ladder and then dumps him to the floor onto the ladder pile on top of Show. Out on the floor Kane Chokeslams Kingston on the ladder pile and then chases Rhodes up the ramp. Kane throws Rhodes into the armored truck being used as a set piece. Christian and Hardy climb the ladder together and slug it out up top. They knock each other down and everyone is out. McIntyre is stirring and he climbs up. Kane joins him and Chokeslams him down. That’s enough for Kane to pull down the case at 26:06. That seemed a little long but they threw some cool spots in there, especially around the Big Show. Kingston has become the new Shelton Benjamin of Money in the Bank matches.
MATCH #2: Divas Championship Match – Alicia Fox vs. Eve Torres
Fox has been the Champion since 6.20.10, and this is her second defense. Former Champion Eve is aggressive from the get-go, trying to win the title back quickly. Eve goes to the second rope and Fox yanks her down to the mat. Fox goes to work on the lower back now, which will neutralize “Eve’s high-impact offense.” That’s cute. Fox hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Eve escapes a submission hold and hits a monkey flip, almost landing Fox right on her head. She fires up and hits a cross body block for two. Eve follows with a series of dropkicks. She tries a suplex but her back is too injured to complete the move. Eve instead hits a kick to the chest, which I believe Cole calls a DDT. She follows with a standing moonsault for two. Eve goes up to the second rope for a somersault senton but Fox gets her knees up. Fox then hits the Axe Kick to get the pin at 5:53. That was not so bad – they worked some psychology around the back and both seemed to be working hard.
MATCH #3: WWE Unified Tag Team Title Match – The Hart Dynasty vs. The Usos
Jimmy and Jey Uso are accompanied by Tamina. David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd have been the Champions since 4.26.10, and this is their second defense. They’re accompanied by Natalya. Smith and Jey start the match and Smith strikes first with a big powerslam for two. Kidd tags in and gets hiptossed by Smith into a rana for two. Smith comes back in and Jey cuts him off and goes to the corner to tag Jimmy. The Usos go to work now, even utilizing moves learned from their father Rikishi. Smith catches Jey with a back body drop but can’t quite make the tag. Jimmy hits a headbutt for two. Smith catches Jimmy in a belly-to-belly suplex and this time the tag is made. Kidd is a house afire. Jey makes a blind tag to Jimmy and the Usos hit an assisted Samoan Drop but it only gets two. Jimmy goes for the Superfly Splash but Kidd gets his knees up. Smith gets the hot tag now and blasts Jimmy with a shoulder tackle. He then goes for the Sharpshooter but Tamina distracts him so Natalya pulls her off the apron and bodyslams her. Kidd takes out Jey and Smith locks Jimmy in the Sharpshooter to get the tap out victory and retain the titles at 5:54. Both teams did some cool stuff and showed good chemistry together. This match should have been at least twice as long.
MATCH #4: World Heavyweight Title Match – Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger
Mysterio has been the Champion since 6.20.10, and this is his first defense. He’s visibly limping on his way to the ring, which would seem to give Swagger the advantage. Swagger goes for an early Ankle Lock but Mysterio fights his way out of it. Mysterio tries an Asai Moonsault but Swagger catches him and slams him upside down into the turnbuckles. Swagger misses a charge and rams into the ring post. He falls to the floor and Mysterio follows him out with a seated senton. Back in the ring Mysterio goes up top and Swagger pulls him down with a belly-to-belly suplex. Swagger viciously attacks the ankle now, both in and out of the ring. He goes for the Swagger Bomb but Mysterio avoids it and kicks Swagger right upside the head. Mysterio goes up and hits a seated senton off the top rope and then lands a headscissors that sends Swagger into the middle turnbuckle. He goes up top and hits a split-legged moonsault for two. Swagger comes back with a wheelbarrow suplex for two. He maneuvers Mysterio into the Gutwrench Powerbomb and it gets two when Mysterio gets his leg on the bottom rope. That powerbomb should be called the All-American American Bomb. Mysterio gets a headscissors to send Swagger shoulder-first into the ring post. They fight up to the top and Swagger goes for a powerslam but Mysterio counters to a DDT! Amazingly that only gets two. Mysterio then hits the 619, but when he tries the springboard seated senton Swagger catches him and locks on the Ankle Lock. Luckily Mysterio is able to reach the ropes. Swagger hits two Swagger Bombs and then puts on the Ankle Lock. Mysterio had loosened his boot though and he’s able to kick out of the hold and trap Swagger in a hurricanrana to get the three-count at 10:45. These two worked well together and they told a simple story around Mysterio’s injured ankle and it came together nicely. I would have liked to see more.
As Mysterio celebrates, Swagger attacks him and puts on the Ankle Lock again. Kane comes out to make the save and runs Swagger off. Then as Mysterio celebrates with the belt, Kane’s music hits! The Big Red Monster is cashing in his briefcase already! That’s the shortest cash-in ever by far.
MATCH #5: World Heavyweight Title Match – Rey Mysterio vs. Kane
Mysterio has been the Champion since 6.20.10, and this is his second defense. He tries to avoid his much larger challenger but Kane catches him and hits a thunderous Chokeslam. Kane picks Mysterio up and hits the Tombstone Piledriver to get the pin and win the title at 0:53. That was what it was.
MATCH #6: Women’s Championship Match – Layla vs. Kelly Kelly
Layla has been the Champion since 5.14.10, and this is her first defense. She’s accompanied by Michelle McCool. Kelly is accompanied by Tiffany. Layla asserts her superiority early but Kelly pluckily fights back. Kelly tries a handspring elbow but Layla moves out of the way so Kelly scores with a victory roll instead. She kicks Layla to the floor and Layla uses the ring apron to trip Kelly up and take advantage. Layla attacks the knee and McCool taunts Kelly from the floor. McCool gets a little too close to the action and Layla kicks Kelly out of the ring right on top of her. Layla goes to the floor and whips Kelly into the barricade. Tiffany comes over to yell but accomplishes nothing. McCool sits on the barricade and taunts Kelly, but she gets shoved into the audience for her trouble. Back in the ring Kelly is fired up and but can’t put Layla away. Kelly hits the K2 and McCool has to put Layla’s foot on the bottom rope to help her not get pinned. Tiffany and Kelly take McCool out. Back in the ring Kelly tries a sunset flip but Layla sits down and cradles the legs to get the pin at 3:59. Striker’s British accent is brutal, and actually worse than this match, which was pretty bad in its own right.
MATCH #7: Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Chris Jericho vs. Edge vs. Evan Bourne vs. John Morrison vs. Mark Henry vs. The Miz vs. Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase
The winner of this match gets a shot at the WWE Championship. None of these eight men had to win a qualifying match. R-Truth was originally scheduled for the match, but Miz attacked and injured him on the July 5 Raw, and Mark Henry was announced as his replacement the following week. This is Jericho’s third time in the match, Edge’s third (won it in 2005), Bourne’s second, Morrison’s second, Henry’s second, Miz’s first, Orton’s second, and DiBiase’s first. Miz is the U.S. Champion and DiBiase is the Million Dollar Champion. DiBiase also has Maryse with him tonight.
Edge brings a ladder into the ring with him and then bails right as the match begins. The offense is coming from all angles in the early going, and Edge tries to make good on his “Ultimate Opportunist” nickname by capturing an early victory. Orton stops him while DiBiase and Morrison do battle in the ring. Ladders are strewn all over and everyone uses them as weapons. Bourne almost gets to the case but Edge stops him, only to take a rana. Orton stomps away at Bourne and hits the Orton DDT with the ladder. Morrison makes creative use of the ladder, of course. Edge and Morrison climb one ladder, Jericho and Orton climb another, and Henry pushes both of them over. Bourne uses a ladder as a springboard to take Henry out with a flying knee. Pretty much everyone is down so Maryse gets in the ring and climbs a ladder. Morrison pulls her down and tells her to get out. DiBiase almost sneaks in a win but Morrison stops him just in the nick of time. Edge traps Morrison in between a standing ladder. He then joins forces with Miz to slam a ladder into Morrison’s midsection, and then slams it into Miz’s face for fun. Edge then tips the ladder over and dumps Morrison to the floor. Henry asserts his power advantage and tries to climb the ladder but Bourne stops him. Edge and Orton then pull Bourne down and throw him into a World’s Strongest Slam on the floor. Henry then gets hit with a parade of finishers. The top of the ladder gets awfully crowded, as everyone goes up and flails for the case. DiBiase gets dumped to the floor. Orton hits Edge with an RKO. Jericho and Morrison fight on top of the ladder. Jericho gets trapped and Orton pulls Morrison down with an RKO. Bourne then hits the Air Bourne to take Orton out. He almost gets a hold of the case but Jericho un-traps himself and knocks Bourne down. Edge climbs up the ladder and knocks Jericho down far enough for Orton to hit an RKO. Orton then knocks Edge off the apron as well and appears to have a clear shot to the case. But wait! Miz shoves the ladder over and then climbs up to unhook the briefcase and win the match at 20:27. That had more star power than its Smackdown counterpart but lacked the innovation. It was the usual fun stuff and Miz winning was a big (good) surprise.
MATCH #8: WWE Championship Steel Cage Match – Sheamus vs. John Cena
You can win this cage match by pinfall, submission, or escape. Sheamus has been the Champion since 6.20.10, and this is his second defense. Both men are cautious in the early going, using their power to try scoring the advantage. Sheamus takes the first control and goes to work. Cena gets a few brief hops spots, including a fisherman suplex for two, but Sheamus mostly controls the action early on. Sheamus gets a two-count after Cena runs himself into the cage wall. He climbs up to the top rope and Cena joins him and hits a big superplex for two. Sheamus fights back with a DDT for a near-fall. The crowd mostly likes Cena tonight. Sheamus puts on a sleeper and chokes Cena out. Cena powers up to his feet and starts climbing the ropes, with Sheamus on this back. Sheamus slips out and clips Cena’s knee for a two-count. He tries to climb out of the cage but Cena pulls him down hard to the mat. Cena starts building momentum with his moves of doom, including the Five Knuckle Shuffle. They fight back up to the top rope and Cena knocks Sheamus down. Cena tries to follow with a Super Five Knuckle Shuffle but Sheamus moves out of the way. Sheamus ties Cena up in the ropes and unloads on him. He uses Cena as a stepstool to try and climb over the cage but Cena is able to free himself and stop Sheamus’ progress. Cena pulls Sheamus down with a super bulldog for a near-fall. He goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Sheamus reverses it to the Irish Curse. Sheamus follows with the Brogue Kick for a two-count. He signals for the High Cross but Cena counters to the Attitude Adjustment and Sheamus kicks out! The Nexus (sans Daniel Bryan) makes their way out and Michael Tarver has a pair of bolt cutters. A referee simply snatches them away and the Nexus stands there looking dumbfounded. Wade Barrett tires to get a key from the outside referee but this ref throws the key into the crowd. Meanwhile back in the cage the referee gets bumped and Cena locks on the STF! Of course the referee doesn’t see the tap out. Cena climbs to the top of the cage and Justin Gabriel meets him up there, only to get tossed down to the mat. Both Cena and Sheamus try climbing over the cage and the Nexus is able to hold Cena up while Sheamus comes down to touch the floor and win the match at 23:00. I like both Cena and Sheamus a lot, but that was a dull match with a lame finish.