Money in the Bank 2012: Punk vs. Cena III. Book It.

Money in the Bank 2012
Date: July 15, 2012
Location: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Booker T

It’s amazing how a year can change things. A year ago this was the hottest show in the world but now this is just another show. There’s nothing going on with this show that is going to overshadow what happens on the 1000th Raw. The main events tonight are the two ladder matches and the two world title matches. That’s the extent of the card so all four matches are main events. Let’s get to it.

Note that I’ll be watching this a few hours after it aired so I already know the endings. I had some issues avoiding spoilers, but the final three matches were all reviewed live.

Kofi Kingston/R-Truth vs. Hunico/Camacho

Pre-show match. This is non-title for no reason whatsoever that I can tell. I get that Hunico and Camacho aren’t the number one contenders, but MAYBE THEY SHOULDN’T BE IN THIS MATCH THEN. Truth and Hunico start with Hunico running off Little Jimmy. Hunico’s music starts playing for a few seconds after the bell for some reason. Truth does his dance and works on the arm before bringing in Kofi. Kofi snaps off a rana for two and brings back Truth for a backbreaker for two.

Off to Camacho who hits a butterfly suplex for two. Hunico comes back in with a slingshot hilo for two. Truth hits the spinning forearm to put both guys down and there’s the hot tag to Kofi. He flies around well enough to clean a few rooms but Hunico ducks the kick and takes out Kingston’s knee. Kofi goes for a springboard but Camacho kicks the ropes out to break it up and take over.

Camacho back in now and he pounds down the speedy one (Kofi) on the middle rope. Some headbutts from Camacho (he’s Tongan/Samoan so that has to be expected) puts Kofi into the corner and it’s back to Hunico. He hooks a chinlock followed by a lifting powerbomb for two. Kofi gets sent into the corner but he comes out with a gorgeous rana to send Hunico down. There’s the tag to Truth and he goes nuts. A DDT gets two on Camacho and everything breaks down. Little Jimmy (move, not person) hits Camacho for the pin at 8:22.

Rating: C-. This was a tag match and that’s about all I’ve got for it. That being said, it was a good choice for a pre-show match as it was good enough to get the crowd going thanks to Kofi’s jumping, but it wasn’t good enough that it took away from later matches. Again though, why in the world wasn’t this the tag title match? The belts don’t mean anything so why not put them here?

Time for the real show now.

No video for some reason.

Smackdown World Title Money In The Bank: Christian vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Tensai vs. Santino Marella vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Damien Sandow vs. Sin Cara

The ring nearly clears out to start and it’s Tensai in control. He cleans house and heads out to get the first ladder. Kidd is down in the corner so Tensai slingshots him into a ladder draped over the middle rope. Tensai goes after Christian so Christian and Kidd team up to squash him with some ladders. Christian decks Kidd and goes up but here’s Santino for the save. Kidd goes up as well but Sandow shoves all three over.

Cody and Ziggler come in now and Ziggler gets rammed into the ladder face first. Ziggler will have none of that and sends Cody into the ladder as well. If this was a year ago that would have gotten a much better reaction. It’s Cara’s turn to go crazy now and he snaps off a bunch of ranas. After the one to Cody, Rhodes is holding his knee. Cara goes up after Ziggler and they badly botch something with both guys falling to the mat.

Kidd vs. Cara now and Kidd gets sunset flipped down for a cover because Cara is confused. Cara slams him onto a ladder but Christian takes him down. Captain Charisma tries a frog splash but it only hits ladder. Cody pops up but gets taken down by a springboard dropkick from Kidd. With everyone down, Santino goes up but Tensai grabs him for a powerbomb. That doesn’t actually happen as Tensai falls backwards and Santino almost lands on the ladder. The botches are mounting up quickly.

Kidd sends Tensai to the floor and hits a dive to take out the Big Bald. Sandow goes up but Cara makes a save. That gets him nowhere as Cara is knocked down again and it’s Sandow going up again. Christian makes the save and gets his hand on the case, but Sandow takes him down again. Christian counters being rammed into the ladder in the corner and hits the reverse DDT to take Sandow down. He charges into a knee from Sandow, but hits the spear a few seconds later, sending Sandow into the ladder.

Christian goes up but Ziggler and Cody slams him into the ladder to make the save. They both go up and Ziggler gets rammed face first into the ladder. Tensai pulls Cody down and locks him in the Tree of Woe, only to have Kidd make the save. The Canadian is sent down and it’s Cara/Santino for the save. They get knocked down too so here’s Christian with some ladder shots to put Tensai back on the mat.

Ziggler sends Christian to the floor and it’s time for Santino to go insane. He hits his usual stuff on Ziggler and loads up the Cobra to take out Ziggler. Santino goes up but gets scared of heights. The Cobra makes him climb and takes out Sandow, but Cody dropkicks Santino, sending both him and the ladder down. Cody (whose leg appears to be fine now) throws a ladder at Santino and sets up another one in the middle of the ring.

Cody goes up and Vickie climbs the ladder to stop him. Ziggler makes a fast climb and hits the Zig Zag off the ladder to pull Cody down. Christian makes the last minute save and Sandow climbs another ladder. All three are up there so Kidd springboards in and takes Ziggler down in an awesome spot. Christian slams a ladder into Sandow’s face and they both go to the floor.

Tensai comes back and goes insane, setting up a ladder between the announce table and the ring. Cara gets powerbombed onto it ala last year, followed by Ziggler getting launched over the announce table in a cool looking power display by Tensai. Cody pops up from the middle of nowhere and hits a pair of Disaster Kicks to put Tensai down.

Kidd and Rhodes go up the ladder but Christian climbs another ladder. Cody drops Kidd but Christian spears Cody off the ladder. Christian and Santino go up but Marella is knocked down. Ziggler runs up from out of nowhere, sends Christian into another ladder and pulls down the case for the win at 18:23.

Rating: B-. There was only so much they could do here with eight people and that’s what really brought things down here. With eight people, there aren’t enough spots to go around and it catches up to them every year. Sandow wasn’t needed here and I don’t think Cara was either. Neither guy really did much in the match but they didn’t bring it down either. The botches hurt it too, making this a pretty good match but more of a mess than anything else.

Sheamus talks about how Alberto slammed a car hood on his back. Sheamus’ dad taught him that you can tell a lot about a man by the car he drives. He isn’t much to look at, but he has it under the hood. Oh and Ricardo is a spare tire.

The Miz is back. He has very slicked back hair and talks about being gone due to filming a movie. He’s tired of being overlooked, so tonight he’s adding himself into the Raw World title MITB match.

Mick Foley winning the world title on January 4, 1999 is a Raw moment.

We recap Del Rio vs. Sheamus. The idea here is that Del Rio is finally getting his one on one shot and it’s his destiny. Sheamus has a bad shoulder and some other injuries after being attacked by Del Rio over the last few months.

Smackdown World Title: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

After some big match intros (complete with an old school weapons check) we’re ready to go. Sheamus knocks him to the floor and it’s time to stall. Back in and Del Rio gets knocked to the corner but he grabs the arm to take over. Scratch the taking over part as Sheamus hits an elbow to the face for two. Del Rio charges into another boot and a knee to the head gets two. Sheamus lowers his head and gets kicked in the face followed by a dropkick.

The champ still won’t have anything like that as he rams Del Rio into the buckle and suplexes him into the ring. Top rope shoulder gets two. Ricardo earns his paycheck with a distraction, allowing Del Rio to hit an enziguri to put Sheamus on the floor. There’s a shot to the shoulder and Del Rio takes over. A top rope dropkick gets two on Sheamus and it’s off to an armbar. Alberto hits a DDT on the arm for two and he slaps Sheamus in the back of the head a bit.

Del Rio cranks on the arm some more and hits a high kick for two. After a little more time in the armbar, Sheamus hits a neckbreaker to give himself a breather. It’s followed up by some ax handles to the face but Sheamus charges into the post. After a headbutt it’s time for the cross armbreaker, but Sheamus escapes. The slingshot shoulder is countered into a Codebreaker to the arm for two. The champ comes back with a knee lift and powerslam for two out of nowhere.

Sheamus hits the ten forearms to the chest but Del Rio drapes the arm over the top. Alberto charges right into the Irish Curse for two. Regal Roll is broken up and Sheamus charges into a boot. Brogue Kick misses and Del Rio hits a Backstabber for two. The enziguri in the corner misses and there’s White Noise. Brogue Kick retains the title clean at 14:24.

Rating: C+. It’s no wonder this title is treated like a midcard title: there’s nothing here at all. There was almost no heat on this match and while it was ok, this felt like a TV main event instead of a PPV world title match. The feud feels thrown together and that’s not what you want for a match like this. Or maybe it’s that no one cares about Del Rio at all.

Post match Ricardo and Del Rio jump Sheamus, so here’s Ziggler with his case. After Del Rio is sent away, Sheamus kicks Dolph’s head off before the bell so there’s no match.

We get a promo from the pre-show from Bryan, who says he and AJ are soul mates.

Truth and Kofi come out to watch the next match.

Prime Time Players vs. Epico/Primo

Epico and Primo now have massive bibs with their names on them. AW is mic’d up again and it’s Primo vs. Titus to start. Titus takes over as Kofi calls Titus a horse. Off to Young as the crowd is DEAD. Primo hits a sweet headscissors out of the corner and it’s off to Epico. Primo launches himself at Young on the floor and Titus is sent out after him. Epico hits a huge dive to take out all of them.

Back in and Epico hits a slingshot hilo for two on Young. Back to Titus as AW continues to not have much to say. Oh scratch that as he wants a round of applause for his guys. Titus rams Epico into the post and works on the back in the ring. Young comes in again and dances a bit. He gets Epico on the apron and AW stops things to work on Young’s hair. Back to Titus for some backbreakers and a fallaway slam for two.

Titus stops to dance which causes Rosa to dance and get the crowd to make the first noise of this match. It also allows for the ice cold tag to Primo. He cleans house and hits a springboard chop and a springboard flip dive for two on Young. The hip attack to Young while Young is in 619 position sets up another springboard crossbody, but Primo dives into a gutbuster from Darren. Not that it matters as Primo rolls up Young for the pin at 9:30.

Rating: D+. I get that this is filler, but what in the world are they going for with these matches? The Players are the #1 contenders but now they’re losing to the former champions. I mean, it’s not like they’re getting their title shot anytime soon, but why would we want to see that anyway? There’s been almost no interaction between the teams and we barely ever see the champs anymore.

Post match the losers and the champs have a staredown and Truth throws water on AW. No physical contact is made. Again, why would you have the Players lose here, unless you want to make a three way feud?

We recap Punk vs. Bryan. This is all about AJ, as she’s gone nuts and is guest referee here. She seemingly loves both guys and there’s no real way to know who she’s going to side with tonight. Unless you’re on the writing/booking team for WWE but that’s a small group of people indeed.

AJ says both guys have hurt her.

Raw World Title: Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk

This is now No DQ, Punk is defending and AJ is guest referee. Punk takes him to the mat and fires off some quick kicks. They head outside and Bryan gets rammed into the apron, only for Punk to get rammed into the barricade and kicked in the chest. Back in and Bryan fires off the YES kicks but gets rolled up for two. Bryan pounds away in the corner and they chop it out. That evolves into a strike off and the champion takes over.

A backbreaker looks to set up a middle rope legdrop but Bryan moves, followed by more YES kicks. They head to the floor again and Punk takes over, sending Bryan into the barricade again. Punk accidentally elbows AJ in the face, sending her out to the floor. The champ goes to check on her and Bryan uses the distraction to hit the running knee off the apron to take Punk down.

Punk gets draped over the steps on the floor and Bryan fires off more kicks. Punk comes back and sends Bryan into the timekeeper’s table. This is a back and forth match the entire time so far. The fans want tables because they’re greedy people. Punk pulls one out from under the ring but Bryan slams him down on the outside. Bryan finds a kendo stick and pounds away on the ribs of the champion. Punk rolls away and gets back inside while Bryan is still on the floor.

Back in and Punk gets the stick for a second, only for Bryan to go back to the ribs. Punk loads up a springboard but Bryan hits Punk in the ribs with the stick to take him down. Bryan fires away with stick shots to the ribs, complete with YES shouts. Those shots get two with the regular referee having taken over inside. Daniel goes up but the swan dive misses, putting both guys down.

They trade kicks and then forearms but it’s a leg lariat from Punk that takes Bryan down. Punk comes back with a running knee to the head and the snap powerslam for two. GTS and YES Lock are both countered and another GTS attempt is countered into a rana for two. Bryan kicks the champ’s head off and both guys are down. Bryan pops him in the back with a kendo stick and puts on a surfboard.

Punk manages to get to the kendo stick and beats the fire out of Bryan with it but can only get two. Punk goes up top but Bryan drills him with forearms to the head. Bryan pops up top and hits a superplex to put both guys down again. AJ is back and she sends the regular referee out to the floor. It’s time to skip! AJ pulls out a chair and Bryan crawls to her for it. Instead AJ throws the chair in the middle of the ring and it’s a scramble for it. Isn’t that how the XFL started its games?

Bryan gets in a kick to the ribs and pounds away on Punk with the chair for a close two. Bryan tries to talk to AJ calmly but it gets him rolled up for two by the champ. Daniel fires off more kicks to the chest of Punk and Punk can barely sit up in the corner. Bryan gets a running start but Punk comes out with a clothesline. Now Punk has the chair and blasts Bryan with it before wedging it between the top and middle ropes.

Punk goes to get Bryan to ram him into the chair, but AJ is standing in front of the chair. As Punk yells at her, Bryan comes up from behind and dropkicks Punk into the corner but not necessarily into the chair. Bryan goes to get the kendo stick but AJ is standing on it. She gives him a psycho stare and Bryan gives up. He walks into the high kick though and Punk slams Bryan onto the chair. The top rope elbow misses and the elbow hits the chair. Bryan throws on the YES Lock and grabs the stick at the same time to choke away.

Punk somehow bends back and blasts Bryan in the knee with the stick, followed by a GTS, but the champion can’t follow up. The GTS eventually gets two so Punk brings in a table. Punk loads up the elbow through the table but Bryan crotches Punk and hammers away. Punk slips down off the ropes and crotches Bryan at the same time. He pounds away with elbows and a belly to back superplex through the table FINALLY pins Bryan to retain the title.

Rating: A. This was GREAT at the end as I was hanging on every count of every near fall. That was a great match all the way through, but were you expecting anything else with these two having nearly half an hour? The major problem here though is the lack of AJ involvement. She basically did nothing other than blocking a weapon shot either way, and the ending was about the wrestling instead of her. That’s fine on paper, but we’ve spent two months building her up as the key to this whole thing. Still though, the match was more than enough to make up for that.

Ryback vs. Curt Hawkins/Tyler Reks

This was a pretty obvious pick. The “stars” have to tag here. Hawkins starts and pain follows. He gets sent to the floor and tags in Reks, who manages to take Ryback down for no count. Hawkins back in now and Ryback is actually in trouble. A double team actually gets one as Ryback is being beaten down. A gordbuster by Hawkins gets two. Reks comes in again and Ryback wakes up. The annoying fans chant Goldberg because Goldberg is the only wrestler to ever be pushed as a monster. The clothesline puts Hawkins down and Reks is Shell Shocked for the pin at 4:21.

Rating: D+. Nothing much here but they had to give Ryback more of a challenge eventually and that’s what happened here. Hawkins and Reks aren’t much, but they’re better than random jobbers. WWE has a huge roster, so there’s no reason to not use some of them against Ryback. At least it’s better than squash after squash.

Jericho debuting on Raw is a moment. That’s a good one for a change.

Layla/Kaitlyn/Tamina vs. Natalya/Beth Phoenix/Eve Torres

When you have a seven match card and three are added the day of the show, you may be having some issues. Natayla and Tamina start us off as I guess Natalya is a heel again. Kaitlyn comes in with a cross body for two and it’s off to Beth. They trade slaps so here’s Eve, getting a slap of her own from Kaitlyn. Eve goes to the corner but comes out with a kick to the head for two. Beth comes in and chokes but it’s off to Layla. A sunset flip gets two for the champ (Layla) and everything breaks down. Tamina superkicks Beth into the Layout for the pin at 3:20.

Rating: D. Why do the Divas wrestle? Honestly, I’d like an answer to that question. There are so many people you could send out there that would have something better to offer in the future, but we have to sit through this stuff instead. The girls are hot but they can’t wrestle. Cut down the roster to a few good looking ones and stop having them wrestle. Make two divisions if nothing else: models and wrestlers. It can’t be that hard.

Raw World Title Money In The Bank: John Cena vs. Kane vs. The Miz vs. Big Show vs. Chris Jericho

Main event time. So the ideas here are that Cena has never been in one of these before, Show is “unstoppable”, Jericho is the originator of these matches, and that’s about it. Jericho, Miz and Kane go to the floor quickly and Cena clotheslines Show to the outside. Show sends Jericho into the ladder and Miz goes for the case, only to be stopped by Cena. Show clears the ring but here’s Kane to slow him down. That gets him nowhere and Miz goes down too.

Jericho comes in and grabs a quick Codebreaker to put Show down and Miz hits a DDT on him too. Kane boots Show to the floor and Cena is waiting. He hits a HUGE AA through the table and all four guys bury Show with ladders. All this has happened in the first four minutes of the match or so. Jericho is like screw this teamwork stuff and hits everyone with a ladder before going for a climb. Miz makes the save but gets put in the Walls for his efforts.

Kane breaks that up for some reason and Jericho has to fight him off. Miz goes up but Jericho makes the save after knocking Cena off the apron with a ladder shot. Jericho is going up but Cena makes the save. Now Miz goes up but Kane throws a ladder at his back to put him down. Jericho stops Kane but Miz and Jericho combine to suplex Kane onto a ladder. Cena lays both of them out with shoulders and it’s a double Shuffle.

Kane comes back in and tries a chokeslam, but Cena escapes and hits the AA onto Miz onto a ladder. Chris takes Cena down and lays out everyone else, but here comes Big Show again. Show literally snaps the braces off the middle of the ladder with his bare hands and crushes Jericho between the legs of the ladder. Kane gets a ladder thrown on him and Miz gets chopped in the chest through the ropes. Cena gets crushed behind a ladder and Show throws a second ladder over the top rope and down onto Miz. There’s a pile of about eight ladders at ringside.

Show goes to the floor and pulls out the jumbo ladder from last year. After taking forever to set it up, Show makes the slow climb up, but Kane goes up the other side. Apparently he uses his powers of mesmerizing because Show stops dead when Kane is looking at him. Kane gets chokeslammed down but here comes Cena. John gets sent down as well so here’s Jericho with a chair.

A trio of shots finally takes Show off the ladder and it’s Jericho vs. Cena on the ladder. They bat the case back and forth until Cena loads up an AA on top of the ladder. Jericho escapes and hooks a sleeper, causing Cena to climb down instead. Actually scratch that as Cena climbs back up with Jericho on his back, but he finally goes out. Miz tries to sneak up but Jericho knocks him back down. Cena gets a hand on the case but he goes down again. The hold is broken and Jericho goes up, but Miz runs up the ladder and they’re fighting for the case.

Jericho is higher up so Miz knocks him back and Jericho is dangling. Miz pulls him back to the ladder and loads up a superplex, but here’s Show again. Jericho looks terrified so Show drills him in the head. Miz takes a punch as well but Cena runs the ladder and blocks the punch with the case. He blasts Show in the head with it enough times to knock Show down and Cena wins at 20:07.

Rating: B. This was as good as you would expect with the talent in there. The ending with everyone not named Kane fighting on the ladder was very cool, with someone being on the ladder for the better part of five minutes. Blocking the punch with the case was a good idea too, and Cena is really the right choice for this as no one else would have made sense. Good stuff here and a good way to end the show.

Cena’s face when he wins is hilarious as he looks so happy.

Overall Rating: B+. The matches that needed to hit did so very well, but there were some dull parts here. When you have a seven match card and three of the matches are added the day of the show, you can tell that there’s something going wrong. That being said, the show was very entertaining and that’s what a show like this is supposed to be. It’s nowhere near what last year’s show was, but given the lower level Raw and Smackdown are at at the moment, I can’t complain here at all.

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