By Steve Ward
WWE made their return to Las Vegas this evening as Money In The Bank emanated from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. One could make the argument that this has evolved into one of the most significant pay per views of the year simply for the massive ramifications it can have on the world championship landscape. For those unfamiliar with the long running event, the respective winners of each Money In The Bank Ladder Match (who are crowned by retrieving the briefcase suspended above the ring) are awarded a world title shot at any point for one calendar year. One note of interest was that the event was originally scheduled to be held at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Raiders, however, sub-par ticket sales lead to the venue change. This evening’s loaded card featured six scheduled matches including two Money In The Bank Ladder Matches, as well as, three title bouts.
Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Becky Lynch vs. Asuka vs. Liv Morgan vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Lacey Evans vs. Shotzi vs. Alexa Bliss
Winner: Liv Morgan
The women’s match offered a well rounded field of competitors as it combined many established contenders and former champions, as well as, a few dark horse participants with the winner in position to potentially take a shot at the winner of the Ronda Rousey versus Natalya Neidhart title showdown also featured on the card. In the final moments of the match, we witnessed Becky Lynch seemingly moments from retrieving the briefcase as she ascended a ladder in the center of the ring, however, Liv Morgan came out of nowhere and climbed another ladder right next to her. Morgan was able to dispatch of Lynch and transitioned over to her ladder with a clear path to the briefcase. Morgan retrieved the briefcase and will now be able to cash in an opportunity at the Women’s Champion for one year.
United States Championship
Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory (c)
Winner: Bobby Lashley via submission
After imposing his dominant strength upon Theory for much of the match, Lashley appeared in dire straits in the closing moments as Theory raked his eyes and executed a spear on The Almighty. Theory then hoisted Lashley up on his shoulders for the A-Town Down, however, Lashley used his speed and tact to slip out and promptly cinched in The Hurt Lock for the submission victory.
RAW Women’s Championship
Carmella vs. Bianca Belair (c)
Winner: Bianca Belair via pinfall
Belair was originally slated to defend her title against Rhea Ripley until an injury left her unable to compete. Carmella was subsequently able to insert herself in the match after she won a five-way match recently on RAW. By championship bout standards, this was a relative squash match as Belair had an answer to every ounce of offense Carmella attempted to mount. In the end, Belair retained her title after she put Carmella down with the KOD.
WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championship
The Usos (c) vs. The Street Profits
Winners: The Usos via pinfall
The Usos put their historic 348 day title reign on the line this evening as they stood toe-to-toe with Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins, The Street Profits, with the Undisputed Tag Team Championship on the line. The Usos frustrated The Street Profits for the majority of this match as they couldn’t put away the champs regardless of the level of risk associated with their offense. In the closing moments, Dawkins was disposed of into the timekeeper’s area leaving Ford to fall victim to some heavy tandem offense at the hands of The Usos. First, he took duel super kicks on the chin and then fell victim to the 1D as The Usos retained their titles. Controversy surfaced after the conclusion of the match as the replay showed that Ford’s shoulder was never down on the canvas as the referee commenced with his three count - there certainly will be more to come of this in the coming days.
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Natalya
Winner: Ronda Rousey via submission
Ronda Rousey returned to the ring tonight to defend her championship against another technical wrestler in Natalya. There were not many highlights in the match although the key moment came when Rousey was propelled from the ring and “tweaked” her knee on the landing. Rousey was still able to overcome this and a Sharpshooter attempt from Natalya to lock in an impressive armbar for the submission victory.
Following the match, Liv Morgan rushed to the ring to immediately cash in her Money In The Bank contract as Rousey was hobbled.
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Liv Morgan
Winner: Liv Morgan via pinfall
Rousey was able to immediately cinch in the ankle lock, however, Morgan escaped as she targeted Ronda’s knee. Morgan then rolled up Rousey for the pinfall to become the new Smackdown Women’s Champion.
Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Riddle vs. Seth Rollins vs. Omos w/ MVP vs. Madcap Moss vs. Sami Zayn vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Theory
After all seven competitors entered the ring, WWE executive Adam Pearce made his way out to announce there would be an eighth competitor and he proceeded to introduce Theory who lost the United States Championship earlier. In the closing moments, Riddle disposed of Rollins as he executed an RKO from the top of the ladder before scaling it once again. With the briefcase at his fingertips, Theory met Riddle at the top of the ladder. The two combatants proceeded to exchange blows as Riddle was knocked off of the ladder leaving Theory alone to retrieve the briefcase in possibly the worst Money In The Bank Ladder Match I’ve ever witnessed.