`Reverse Hipster's Review's
Women's MITB 7.3/10 C
The crowd didn't give the women much outside of Liv Morgan. However the match itself just seemed restained. The women's biggest spot of the entire match was Nikki Ash jumping on everyone inside the ring from a ladder outside of the ring. However, I think it's unfair the women weren't given bigger spots. Kevin Owen's ladder spot from Smackdown would have been the biggest spot in this match.
The match wasn't rhythmic enough. It seemed like some of the women were thinking too much, and it wasn't fluid. Even the finish was kind of like that, was it? I'm not too fond of the fact that Nikki won in a fluky way. She grabbed the case while everyone was fighting on the ladder. It was like a distraction finish. However, I am thrilled that Nikki won and cashed in the next night. She was my pick, and I've wanted this for her for a long time. As for the people who didn't win, Liv was a standout in the match, and even though she didn't win, big things are clearly in her future.
Raw Tag team title match 7.9/10 C+
AJ got one the biggest pops of the night. Texas seemed to love the champs. I was rooting for the Viking raiders, and even though they didn't win, they did give the champs their best match yet. Omos seem to do more in this match, and I felt like Raiders pushed the champs to have a fast-paced, more complex match. My favorite spot was when the Raiders had AJ down for the count, and Omos pushed Eric into the pin to break it up. The Champs live to fight another day with a decent performance.
Bobby vs. Kofi 0/10 F
This match was such a wasted opportunity. Kofi is a former WWE Champion who people thought could win this match. This could have been a blockbuster match that we talk about years later. Instead, it was a boring squash match. Bobby just destroyed Kofi the entire match without Kofi getting any offense in. It was stupid and boring. This was one of the matches I was looking forward to, and they just took a dump all over the potential of the match. The most confusing part is that Kofi didn't even need to win to send fans home happy. All they needed to do was have Kofi have a competitive, exciting match with Bobby and have Bobby go too far in the finish, and there would have been a good match and a dominant champion. Instead, we got the sequel to the Brock finish everyone hated on Smackdown. What a waste. I feel bad for Kofi, who keeps having his credibility destroyed. Not only did he lose, but he also tapped out. I feel like WWE doesn't understand what they have with Kofi.
Rhea vs. Charlotte 8.8/10 B+
The crowd didn't seem like they wanted to like this one. They chanted Becky and didn't seem to like either superstar. However, I can't blame the crowd for this one; it was booked as heel vs. heel. They had no choice but to chant; this is awesome because Rhea and Charlotte are excellent wrestlers, and they put on an excellent match. They had the match of the night up to this point, and it's not even close. It was competitive. It had fast-paced and fluid, and brutal. Charlotte pulled out her backflip, and she destroyed Rhea's leg.
My biggest gripe against the match is that having Rhea lose to Charlotte again was egregious. Rhea went into a depression after losing to Charlotte at WrestleMania and fell to the bottom of the card. So she builds herself back up to the top only to lose to Charlotte again? Also, she had to tap out. I know they wanted Nikki to cash in on Charlotte, but why? They have been using Rhea as a Heel. She should have been able to be cashed in on by Ash. Because if we don't think Rhea is heel enough for the cash-in, then why is she fighting charlotte in a Heel vs. Heel match-up?
Men's Money in the bank 9.2/10 A
This didn't end up being the greatest MITB of all time. However, it was damn good. There were crazy spots, nonstop action, and everyone was able to have their moments. I think the best spot of the match was Ricochet jumping off a falling ladder onto the ropes and then onto everyone else on the outside. But there was also Kevin Owen's being slammed to Hell through a ladder on the outside.
What helps to put this match in the upper echelon of money in the bank matches is that it had a good story. Morrison and Seth Rollins had an enjoyable run of dominating the match, which had to be broken up. Drew almost won but was dragged out by Jinder and his goons as revenge for beating Jinder in the qualifier. Seth betrayed Morrison like he betrays all of his partners. Big E hit Seth with the biggest big ending ever off the ladder and won the match avenging his loss to Seth on Smackdown. Also, Big E was just such an amazing choice to win. One of the biggest moments of the year.
Edge vs. Roman 9.3/10 A
Edge and Roman definitely delivered. Even in the feeling out process, you could tell both Roman and Edge wanted not only to beat but embarrass the other. By the end of the match, the entire audience had bought in and thought each competitor would win at various times. It's amazing to think that Edge and Roman took out barricades, used chair parts, and just generally went to war under the confines of a regular match. Even before the ref went down, it was crazy. The interferences from Seth didn't ruin the match because the majority of it was so good. I also loved that the mysterious stopped the Usos from interfering. My favorite spot was when Roman set up for the spear, and Edge hit it first. Even though Edge lost because of Seth's second interference, I think Edge gave Roman his best singles match of his title run.
Women’s Money in the Bank
Immediately, the theme of the night became finding out how the WWE Universe reacts to acts they haven’t seen in a year and a half. The crowd wasn’t as rowdy as I expected. I expected Asuka to get a huge pop, and she did. Natalya and Tamina got flat reactions. Alexa Bliss and Nikki A.S.H. got less than I expected. Naomi, Liv Morgan, and Zelina Vega got more than I expected, which was awesome. This match was perfect to open the night. There were creative spots, and the action was so natural, I forgot that women have only had Money in the Bank matches for the past few years. I felt like all eight women showed their distinct characters in this match, which improves the whole division. Nikki A.S.H. won in such a unique way that it made me pop at home. I don’t recall ever seeing a spot where someone sneakily grabs the briefcase while six others are fighting over it. The win was huge for her career. Nikki A.S.H. has a lot of potential as a wrestler, and I feel like she took a huge risk with her character that should be rewarded. The downside is that the crowd didn’t react to her as much as I expected. That was about the only negative in this match.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
AJ Styles and Omos vs. The Viking Raiders (Raw Tag Team Championship)
The Viking Raiders got a kind of flat ovation, but the reaction to AJ Styles was huge. Cheering for the heels throughout the match kind of hurt the story they were telling, but the Viking Raiders are so good they made it work. Erik and Ivar found some chips in Omos’s armor, and they found a way to take him off his feet with teamwork. Styles and Omos still won, but I think they succeeded in developing their reputation, building teamwork, and showing that at some point Omos will be beatable.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Bobby Lashley vs. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship)
This was one of the matches I was most looking forward to, so the type of match it was disappointed me. Kofi Kingston got a big reaction from the WWE Universe, so I felt validated that most people were with me and wanted to see Kingston relive his underdog championship story. Kingston getting squashed was immensely unsatisfying because he spent the last month rebuilding his reputation all for nothing. You would think WWE would want to deliver more for one of their biggest babyfaces in front of the first full live crowd for a PPV since February 2020. As far as squash matches go, this was great for Bobby Lashley, and it made sense in the context of the story where Lashley is taking things more seriously. I like Lashley, and generally, I think establishing a dominant champion is good for the product. But they took it too far here, squashing one of their most over, veteran wrestlers, who even sacrificed his last reign to be squashed by Brock Lesnar. Kingston deserves better than WWE’s booking.
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair (Raw Women’s Championship)
I think the nature of this heel vs. heel rivalry backfired for WWE in front of a live crowd. Rhea Ripley got a good ovation coming out, which made me feel like there was still hope for her reign. Charlotte Flair got a mixed reaction, and she started the match by flipping off the crowd to establish she was a sure heel. The problem is, Ripley still wasn’t a sure babyface. The confused crowd ended up chanting for Becky Lynch, which I think the WWE should have anticipated in building all of this. Among all of that, the wrestling was really really good. Flair and Ripley have great chemistry, and they are great wrestlers, but I couldn’t get behind it because the feud didn’t make sense and both of them are overexposed. I didn’t want Ripley to be champion because it’s too early in her main roster career. I don’t want Flair to be champion again because we’ve seen that story too many times, and there’s no new opponents for her on Raw. Flair winning again felt so forced, another way to add numbers on her title reigns. My final grade is entirely indicative of the feud and not the wrestling we saw.
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Men’s Money in the Bank
Watching live, this match was nearly ruined for me by Peacock streaming. That was a huge blunder that WWE and NBC are going to have to address if fans are forced to use Peacock to stream PPVs. I ended up missing the entrances and the first five minutes of the match but rewatched all of it before writing this review. Here’s what we know from the entrances: Kevin Owens, Riddle, and Big E are very over. Seth Rollins, Shinsuke Nakamura, Ricochet, John Morrison, and the Miz are over. Drew McIntyre really does have the weirdest career. He skipped straight from white-hot Royal Rumble winning reaction to now getting cheers and boos because he is an overexposed main event star on Raw. This had all the right pieces to be the match of the night, and it delivered. We got one of the most anticipated interactions for me between Seth Drippin’ Rollins and Johnny Drip Drip. Ricochet had the spot of the night walking the ropes, jumping on the ladder, and then using the ropes to dive on everyone when the ladder was pushed over. Kevin Owens had his crazy spot when he was power bombed through the ladder. My only complaint with the booking is that McIntyre was taken out by interference from Jinder Mahal and his cronies. I don’t think their feud was developed enough to warrant that, and I think it was a way to make McIntyre look stronger by being taken out when he could have afforded to lose this match straight-up. In the end, Big E hit the biggest ending on heel Seth Rollins to pull down the briefcase and win. I think this ending was more satisfying than the Women’s Money in the Bank because Big E was even more over with the crowd. It felt like this was the perfect time to strike with Big E’s push. He is hot, and the crowd hasn’t seen too much of him yet. This match would have maybe benefitted from another ten minutes, but it was the match of the night for me. Other than Peacock streaming, this match was near-perfect.
Final Grade: 9/10 Amazing
Roman Reigns vs. Edge (Universal Championship)
I don’t love the WWE main event style, but Roman Reigns and Edge pulled it off perfectly. They slowed down the pace for about ten minutes, following the car crash-style Money in the Bank match. Then, they got into storytelling and high spots, high stakes submissions, and spears through the barricade. By then, everyone was really into the match. After accidentally knocking the ref out, they had the callback to their past match with the submission. The Usos tried to interfere but got taken out by the Mysterios, then Seth Rollins actually interfered, evening the odds for Reigns, who was stuck in Edge’s submission for minutes. Even after all that, Edge almost won, and Rollins had to interfere again for Reigns to win. It was frustrating as a fan, but it was supposed to be. The action was still gripping, and Reigns is executing these matches to perfection. I don’t think this match should have main evented, and I would have preferred they give the slow ten-minute start to the Money in the Bank match, but the post-match made everything make sense. Rollins and Edge brawled through the crowd into backstage, and Reigns cut a victorious heel promo only to be interrupted by JOHN CENA. Cena had the biggest pop of the night, and it was worth it. In the context of SmackDown, we have a dream feud between Edge and Rollins plus another generational match between Cena and Reigns for the Universal Championship and a chance for Cena to break Flair’s record. This is the hottest I can remember WWE being in three or more years.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Rob's Overall Grade
The return of the crowds was much-needed in WWE, and I think it was worth it to delay Money in the Bank for them so stars like Nikki A.S.H. and Big E got the pops they deserve. The format of this show worked well. There were fewer, longer matches, but everything mattered. The middle of this show had me worried with Kofi Kingston’s loss and Charlotte Flair’s win, but the end of the show was so good that I am excited to watch weekly TV this week.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Reverse Hipster Overall Grade 70.8 C-
This show was a roller coaster ride. The crowd was tough and didn't pop as much as you would expect. The night had some incredible highs and drastic lows.
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