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WWE presents Money in the Bank 2012
July 15, 2012

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OOWrestling.com


Looks like I picked the wrong night to be a Wrestling Guru.
Even without a PPV tonight, I would have had my hands full, what with the Reds playing a rare Game of the Week on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball (against the Hated Cardinals, no less) AND the season premiere of "Breaking Bad" (of which I am now a fan, after watching all 40+ previous episodes in the last month).

But with a PPV? IT's utter chaos. "Breaking Bad" is demoted to DVR material, and it's only thanks to my Droid Device that I'll be able to have the baseball game next to me on a second screen while I watch the PPV on TV. Of note: the last time I tried a PPV/baseball double viewing, it required me to lug an extra TV into the living room, and it ended up sucking (it was Taboo Tuesday, and the night of Curt Schilling's Bloody Sock). We can only hope tonight goes better. And even if it doesn't, I promise I won't take it out on you, Constant Reader.
I'll stick to the wrestling, cuz that's what you came for. In that vein, here's the rundown from the Money in the Bank 2012 pay-per-view:

  • Opening Montage/Pyro/Etc., and we're live in Phoenix, AZ. Standard 3-man PPV booth with King, Cole, and Booker. And also, we are wasting no time. It's down to the ring for ladder match goodness....
  • Dolph Ziggler wins the SD Money in the Bank Ladder Match (over Christian, Cody Rhodes, Tensai, Damien Sandow, Santino, Tyson Kidd, and Sin Cara). All eight men enter, and Vickie Guerrero is allowed to stay at ringside as Ziggler's second. Could she come in to play later? My guess is yes.

    Big ol' brawl to start, and they waste no time getting a pair of ladders into the ring. After a few big spots, 6 guys powder out, and it's down to Ziggler and Rhodes (outed as "the two favorites" by Cole) for a bit. Then Sin Cara gets back into the mix, isolating on Ziggler, building up to an attempted top rope C-4. I say "attempted" because even though he "hit" it, he did so very sloppily. Damned near killed Dolph.

    Tyson Kidd's the next to try his hand climbing the ladder, but is stopped by Tensai. Those two do a bit of back and forth. Then they powder out, and it's time for Christian and Sandow to do some one-on-one goodness. Then all 8 men start cycling in and out again, all taking their shots at climbing the ladder, but all being knocked off with varying degrees of spectacularity.

    As everybody gets knocked off, suddenly Santino is the last man standing, and even hits a couple of Cobras to take out Dolph and Rhodes before taking his shot at the ladder. Going veerrrrrrrrryyyyy slowly (because he's afraid of heights), Santino was knocked off at the last second by a sweet dropkick by Rhodes.

    Cody then climbs the ladder, and is about to win when Vickie hits the ring to cause a distraction. This allows DOlph to hit a Zig Zag on Rhodes (off the ladder). Ziggler tries for the briefcase, but Kidd is there with an awesome spot where he rode one ladder from the apron, into the middle of the ring, then leapt off that ladder and pulled Ziggler off with a sunset flip. Wild, and it got the first "holy shit" chant of the night.

    Outside the ring, some kick-ass action, including the building of a "ladder bridge" from the apron to the announce table. Included in this sequence is Sin Cara being powerbombed into the "bridge" in a replay of last year's big injury spot. Ouch. Tensai is also taken out.

    Back in the ring, Santino gets one more climb in before powdering out. Cody and Kidd go up simultaneously, with Kidd being tossed viciously off the ladder, then Christian going up to knock off Rhodes. Christian's about to grab the case when Ziggler springboards onto the ladder, tosses Christian off, and then climbs up to grab the briefcase. Winner.

    Pretty much exactly 20 minutes, and everything you would have hoped it would be. Everybody got at least one spot to shine (and only 2 real botches, one by Sin Cara and one by Santino/Tensai), and it all built up to an absolutely killer 5 final minutes.

  • Miz Returns. Justin Roberts gives Miz a big ol' introduction, and the crowd actually greeted him with 50/50 cheers/boos (including a small but audible "Miz is Awesome" chant). Miz boasts that he's been off making a movie, and he's now a Big Time Movie Star. And that experience has helped him regain his confidence. ANd now that he's back, that confidence will seep into his wrestling career... in fact, he announces that he's not just a former MitB Winner, he cashed it in to become a WWE Champion. WHich means he's got all the qualifications necessary to enter tonight's RAW MitB Ladder Match. So let it be known: it's not a 4-way match anymore.... it's now 5 men, and Miz will prevail over Cena, Show, Jericho, and Kane because he's the Miz, and he's awesome. I approve of this change. Then again, you already know that. [Or you would if you read the OO Forums, where I proposed this very twist.]

  • Sheamus beats ALberto del Rio to retain the World Heavyweight Title. Boxing-style intros, with Ricardo and Lilian splitting duties. Pre-match instructions from the ref add to the "boxing" vibe, and during said instructions, Alberto is taunting Sheamus by gesturing (Broadly) that he will make Sheamus tap out. Makes sense, given how much punishment del Rio has already administered to Sheamus arm/shoulder over the past 2 weeks...

    Brawling to start, with Alberto playing a bit of chickenshit (diving out of the ring or going for rope breaks) at first, before pretty much matching Sheamus blow for blow. THis is Sheamus' bread and butter, however, and so the champ gains control for several minutes (the live crowd could not care less). The tide turns on the classic "beat a guy up outside the ring, throw him into the ring, but then he catches you as you step back into the ring" spot.  As Alberto takes command (focusing on the arm, naturally), the crowd at least perks up a bit. In fact, a vocal minority start chanting "SI! SI! SI!".

    Extended heel beatdown, broken up by a hope spot or two for Sheamus. One highlight of this otherwise armbar-y segment: a Sheamus hope spot where he tried to hit that slingshot shoulderblock he does, but ALberto caught him in mid-air and turned it into a DDT. Suhweet.

    At about 15 minutes, Sheamus' for-real rally kicks in, including his 10-pack of forearm blows and the Irish Curse. Crowd perks up substantially as we hit a nice cruising speed for more back-and-forth action and near falls. Alberto's run-up-the-buckle enzuigiri is ducked, and Sheamus hits White Noise for a convincing near fall. And then Sheamus starts tuning up the band, and.... wow, he hits the Brogue Kick on the first try. Just like that. And it's over. Huh.

    After the match, Ricardo distracts Sheamus, and then del Rio pounces to administer a vicious beating. Crowd: "We Want Ziggler *clap* *clap* *clapclapclap*"...


    Here's Dolph, cashing in... except Alberto does not approve, and argues with Ziggler. The distraction allows Sheamus to get to his feet, and hit Dolph with the Brogue Kick out of nowhere. Bleh. Fortunately, the ref never rang the bell, so that was NOT an official "cash in." Dolph retains the briefcase.

    Fun little post-match angle, but the match itself? Way underwhelming. Incredibly abrupt, anti-climactic, unsastifying finish, even by "Brogue Kick Out of NOwhere" standards (compare with the awesome End Game for Sheamus/Jericho on Friday). And before that, it was (at best) "competently formulaic." Which is fine for a mid-card type match, but not what you're looking for out of a world title level match.

  • The COlons beat the Prime Time Players. Tag Champs Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, fresh off a pre-show win and now decked out in suits, are out to do guest commentary. I haven't had a chance to say anything about it till now, but I really enjoy AW's live mic.... it's like a latter day "Mouth of the South," except I think AW might be an even better talker than Jimmy Hart.

    Fast start for the Colons, culminating in a big ass plancha by Epico. But before long, Titus' power proves to be too much, and the heels take control. AW has some fun freshening up the heel beatdown by mocking Rosa's dancing (going so far as to order Titus to show her how it's done). EPico's the face in peril for about 3-4 minutes, ice cold tag to Primo. Primo is surely on lukewarm as he rallies against Young.

    ANd then, out of nowhere, Primo hits a schoolboy on Young, and gets the three count. Huh. The #1 Contenders to the tag titles just lost. Again. But they're still the #1 Contenders, as AW reminds us after the match.

    No more than 7-8 minutes, and in this case "competently formulaic" seems to fit just fine, even if this still came off as an obvious piss-break/filler match when shoehorned into a pay-per-view, instead of being on free TV.

  • Backstage: Josh Mathews interviews AJ. Nothing new; she basically acts tormented, saying she still cares about both men, even though each has hurt her, and she doesn't know what she'll do when she's in the ring with both of them next. Then she walks away, and the camera stays on her long enough to catch her expression of "conflicted uncertainty" turn into a shit-eating grim of "I know EXACTLY what I'm doing."

  • CM Punk beats Daniel Bryan (with AJ as guest ref) to retain the WWE Title in a No DQ Match. So, title match before MitB; that definitely affects the booking possibilities for the night. AJ enters first, to mostly cheers. Bryan enters second (in some kind of wacky full-length military-fatigue robe/coat) to mostly boos. Punk enters third to all cheers. FYI, this is now a No DQ match, per a deus ex machina "ruling from the board of directors" that was randomly revealed on the pre-show.

    Back and forth feeling out to start, with the fans enjoying a bit of "YES!"/"NO!" ("yes" for Punk's offense, "no" for Bryan's). ALso, there were "WHOOOOO's" for all chops, regardless of who threw them. And then, just 5 minutes into the match, Bryan blatantly shoves PUnk into AJ, knocking her down. And out? Yep... trainers come out, and decide she's too hurt to continue. So AJ's replaced by a regular ref.

    Methinks we haven't seen the last of her, though. This is, afterall, the same girl who got "waylaid" by Kane last month, only to reveal she was faking. The question is "to what end?" would she be faking here... the obvious is that it was a pre-planned scheme between her and Bryan, but we'll have to see.

    Meantime, the back and forth brawl is spilled outside, where Punk teases looking for something under the ring, causing a deafening "We want tables" chant. Punk goads them into making it even louder, before grabbing a table... but the delay was enough for Bryan to recover and grab a kendo stick of his own. Now, there's a table at ringside, and both guys are in the ring fighting over the kendo stick. Bryan finally gets control and starts landing some pretty sick blows. Crowd is now more mixed, with dueling "Dan Yil Bry Yan"/"See Em Punk" chants.

    A bit of a beatdown sequence by Bryan, with Punk staging a rally at 15 minutes. Punk signals for the GTS, Bryan counters with an attempted YES Lock, Punk re-counters with another GTS attempt, Bryan counters with a rana. Nice. Now back to the kendo stick for Bryan.... but not for long. Punk gets it away from Bryan, and starts whacking him with it to massive "YES!" chants.

    More back and forth, and both guys end up on the top rope. Trade a few fisticuffs, and Bryan manages to hit a superplex. Both men down.... and AJ is back! She orders the replacement ref to hit the bricks, and surveys the scene. ANd she likes what she sees: both jerks are KO'd, so she starts smiling and skipping around the ring. Then she goes and grabs a steel chair and places it dead center in the middle of the ring as Punk and Bryan start coming around... both guys look confused, then realize that the chair's up for grabs, courtesy of Crazy Chick, and lunge for it. Remember: No DQ.

    Bryan gets it, uses it, and scores a near fall. But AJ counts fair, not fast. Bryan confronts her about this, thinking that she was trying to help him with the chair, so why not help him with a fast count. AJ disagrees, saying she's being fair. Punk manages to get to his feet and sneaks up on Bryan with a schoolboy roll-up. Again, AJ counts fair. Punk then starts going to town with the chair, and AJ looks conflicted... so when Punk wedges the chair in the corner, she blocks Punk from whipping Bryan into it. In so doing, she causes enough of a distraction so that Bryan can dropkick Punk from behind (causing him to fall into the chair).

    AJ makes up for that by preventing Bryan from grabbing the kendo stick. While Bryan argues with her, Punk recovers and hits Bryan with the chair, and follows up with a chair-assisted bodyslam. But when Punk goes for the Macho Man Elbow, Bryan dodges, and Punk lands on the chair. Bryan then follows up with a kendo stick assisted YES Lock. Punk escapes by worming out and slingshotting Bryan into the turnbuckle. Bryan stumbles back and Punk hits the GTS... but Punk is slow to cover, and when he does, he only gets a 2. A FAIR 2, but that doesn't stop Punk from glancing at AJ, like she could have counted faster.

    Then Punk remembers there's a table at ringside, and goes to fetch it. He sets it up, mid-ring, and lays Bryan on top. Then he goes up top, looking for the Macho Man Elbow... but Bryan rolls off at the last second, and catches Punk on the top rope. Trade some blows, and Bryan goes for a top rope rana (through the table), but Punk fights out at the last second, repositions, and then lands a wicked belly-to-back superplex through the table. Not only is that the night's second "holy shit" chant, but when Punk rolls over to cover, it's the end of the match. AJ counts three, and that's that.

    Brushing right up against 30 minutes, and really good. Really, REALLY good. Based on the build-up and melodrama, I think the lack of anything interesting by AJ (she's still in the same place as before the match; some stuff she did helped each guy, other stuff she did hurt each guy) might have led to a sense of letdown on the sports entertainment side. I know I, personally, was kinda hoping for more (especially since this surprisingly engrossing soap opera finally got kinda-sucky this week, indicating that the time for stringing-along is over, and the time for finishing it up is now). But sweet fancy Moses did these two ever deliver the goods on the wrestling side. From that perspective, I'd call it the best of their PPV outings yet.

    But I'm still demanding an IronMan once RAW goes to 3 hours. And I'm demanding that THAT one be even better.

    After the match, Punk celebrates, and AJ stands in the middle of the ring, sort of looking back and forth between Punk and Bryan, still as conflicted as ever.

  • Ryback beats Curt Hawkins/Tyler Reks in a Handicap Match. On one hand, it's Ryback's most competitive match to date. On the other, it's still a squash in no matter how you slice it: 3 minutes, tops, and even that seemed to test the fans' patience. As Gorilla Monsoon used to say, he ain't getting paid by the hour. Reks eats the pinfall. If you're looking at something noteworthy from this match, maybe it'd be that Ryback's finisher now has a name ("Shell Shock"). ALso, his big-ass lariat is "The Meat Hook." Whee?

  • Layla/Kaitlyn/Tamina beat Beth Phoenix/Natalya/Eve. Really? It's 10:15pm, and you're carting ANOTHER filler match out there, instead of getting RAW's MitB going? Actually, given the selection of women here, I'd rather have ditched Ryback's match, but still... this had better be worth it.

    I guess the fact that Kaitlyn was featured for her team (and she's my favorite diva, if the voting takes place in my pants) was nice. She even got Beth to cower in fear after a brief exchange. Things break down into a Pier Six brawl, and in the chaos, Layla pins Beth (thanks to a superkick by Tamina).

  • John Cena wins, outlasting Big Show, Chris Jericho, Miz, and Kane. After ring entrances, the bell rings at 10:28pm, which means 20 minutes, tops for this one. I'd probably have managed my time differently, but let's see how it goes.

    Right out of the gate, the vibe is "gang up on Big Show," but then Big Show overwhelms everybody, anyway. Well, everybody but Kane, who holds back and waits till Show clears the ring, and then steps in to do a Slobberknocker Sequence with Show. Show wins that, but then has to deal with a refreshed Cena...  and loses. Cena F-U's Big Show through the SPanish Announce Table. Ouch. Adding injury to injury, all four other guys start throwing ladders on top of Show's carcass. Good way to get the most out of Show, then give him time to rest.

    And while everybody's caught up in the fun of burying Big Show, Jericho smartens up and uses one of HIS ladders to paste Cena, then Kane. Crowd loves it, and fires up a "Y2J" chant... Jericho decides to take a stab at the briefcase, but instead gets into an exchange with Miz for a bit. Jericho wins, and in so doing, actually sets up 3-4 ladders at various spots (including outside the ring), but only ends up using one. When Jericho starts climbing it it, Cena intervenes and ditches Jericho. Cena vs. Miz is interrupted by Kane, who ditches both guys, and makes a move for the briefcase... but is stopped by Miz and Jericho, who nail Kane with a doubleteam suplex onto a ladder.

    (Re-)enter Cena, who goes to town on Miz and Jericho, slamming them both onto a ladder, and then hitting them both with a "Ten Knuckle Shuffle" on the ladder. Kane tries to derail the offense, but Cena F-U's him onto a ladder. Cena seems in control, and ready to ascend the ladder, but Jericho's able to regain his senses and put a stop to that happy crappy. Kane's already out, Jericho makes sure both Cena and Miz are KO'd by ladders.... but he didn't bother checking on Big Show.

    ANd Big Show is now conscious. And angry. He stops Jericho from climbing the ladder... and better still: he rips the ladder in half. Awesome. Jericho is decimated with both halves. Kane eats a second ladder (in its entirety). Miz eats a third. And now, it's Show vs. Cena.

    And now it's just Show again, and he clears all the ladders out of the ring.... and goes under the ring... and pulls out his special Gold Plated Reinforced Ladder (last seen in 2010's MitB Match). It's the only ladder man enough to hold Big Show's 500 lbs., baby! Show sets it up, and starts the climb.... but here's Kane. So now it's the only ladder man enough to hold Show and Kane's 800 lbs, baby!

    Show wins that exchange, sending Kane flying off the ladder. Cena replaces Kane, and just as quickly, he's sent flying, too. So Jericho's left with the job of stopping Show, and uses a steel chair to do it. Show tumbles off the ladder. Now it's Cena and Jericho on top of the ladder, trading blows.... Cena actually pulls Jericho over to his side of the ladder, and sets up for the F-U off the ladder, but Jericho counters it into a sleeper.... Cena fights it, but fades out with both guys still on top of the ladder. With Cena out, Jericho shoves him off, and  grabs for the briefcase.

    ANd just as he gets it, Miz comes out of nowhere to get HIS hands on the briefcase at the same time. Both guys are holding on. Then both guys let go to trade blows. Then Big Show climbs up behind Miz, and delivers a KO Punch to Jericho. Then one for Miz. Then, as he reaches for the case, Cena re-appears, and manages to pull the case in the way to block the KO Punch directed at him. Then he uses the case to bash BIg Show in the head repeatedly until Show is out.

    Cena grabs the briefcase, and that's that: 18 minutes, and while they packed a lot into that time, it still seemed a bit less-than-epic. The for-the-kiddies ending with Cena winning was also more than a bit anticlimactic for the grown-ups who were probably hoping for something a bit more -- you know? -- interesting. But hey, it's been almost a year since Superman was in the title picture, so no matter how one-dimensional Cena can be, at least he hasn't been this specific KIND of one-dimensional since last fall. Right?

    Show ends with Cena celebrating in a manner that can only be described as cheesily over-the-top. But hey, credit to him for making it seem like he thinks carrying around a technicolor briefcase really is the highlight of his career, rather than vaguely undignified for a man of his stature.

And so ends the show. If you skipped it, you WILL want to track down Punk/Bryan on the youtubes. I insist.

But the rest? Nothing really youtube worthy. Maybe the last 5 minutes of SD's MitB Match. In a way, that makes this a bit of a letdown as a whole. It certainly wasn't a bad show, or anything, but the highlights were condensed (mostly) into one match, and other segments ranged from "OK" to "underwhelming." That might be a function of high expectations -- or even unfair ones, if you saw some of the fantasy booking being done on the OO Forums -- but there's also a lot to be said for looking at that main event and thinking "Huh, an 18 minute main event where the most obvious and uninteresting guy wins. That's not what I call a Big Finish."
That's not unfair, is it? I mean, I know I'm a jaded Internet Guru and all, but it's still OK to point out when a main event is only the 4th longest match on the show, and doesn't even spend that time building to a particularly noteworthy finish, right?

Feel free to let me know what you think. And as always, if you're one of the thousands who don't buy PPVs because you know OO has your back, remember that you should think about donating to help pay OO's bills. If I'm saving you $800 per year, wouldn't it be only fair to drop me $25? I vote yes. Yes! YES! YES!!!

On that note: I'm out of material for tonight. Talk to you again soon, kids.


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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