TV Recap: WWE Money in the Bank 2013

michael dworkis climbs a ladder …

Well, this was an interesting show. Happily, my pick to win the World Title MITB match came through, while his buddy turned out to be the MVP of it. The winner of the WWE Championship contender’s match was a surprise, but the match itself was not with and without its own surprises.

Pre-Show: Reigns & Rollins of The Shield retained the WWE Tag Team Championships
Great match. Lots of high impact moves, sort of reminded me of Hardyz vs. Edge and Christian. This should have been on the pay-per-view while Ryback/Jericho or Miz/Axel were better off on the pre-show.

Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Josh Matthews and Vickie Guerrero were on the pre-show panel. During the PPV, Brad Maddox came to entertain and annoy the crowd. We treated us to a pretty embarrassing video package highlighting all of the blunders from former general manager, Vickie Guerrero. That was funny, Maddox is not. He gets his gimmick over, you really hare the little brat.

Damien Sandow wins the World Championship Money in the Bank ladder match
This was a great match. Slow going early on, but thanks to some pretty crazy stunts by Fandango the pace of the match quickened. Cesaro and Swagger were quite unified, as Cesaro stood on the shoulders of Swagger in an attempt to capture the briefcase. Wade Barrett dominated the match, I think so anyway, but of course, he was not to be the winner. Dean Ambrose had some great stunts which gave us all something to talk about, but the real show-off during this one was Cody Rhodes. Yep. Mr. Mustache was the show-stealer. Move after move, crushing Cesaro with a Muscle Buster on top of a ladder. If being beaten to a bloody pulp by Barrett was not enough, how about being hurled off the top of the ladder by your so-called “best friend” as in Damien Sandow who winds up winning. Where was Sandow during the match? Hiding by the timekeeper. Not even joking. He fought well in the opening minutes, but when the action got heavy, he bailed, and like a genius, waited for the right moment to strike.

Curtis Axel retained the Intercontinental Title against The Miz
Terrible match. I expected better from both of these guys, and we wound up with a snoozefest. The old saying of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” applies here.

AJ Lee retained the Diva Title against Kaitlyn
THIS was a BETTER match than Miz/Axel. I could not make this up if I tried. Hell, this match was GOOD. AJ is a very sneaky little witch and Kaitlyn, the more physically dominant one fell prey to the smaller yet more agile AJ and her submission technique.

Ryback pinned Chris Jericho
Again, a bad match. These two really had no business being in a ring together. Halfway through you could see both men were not even into it. Ryback pinned Jericho with the sloppiest roll-up I have ever seen. My two-year-old could have performed a better pinfall maneuver. The crowd was as dead as Doink the Clown. What? Too soon?

Alberto del Rio retained the World Heavyweight Championship against Dolph Ziggler… by DQ
Once again, I swear, I am not making this up. This was one of the best Ziggler and Del Rio matches ever. They have had quite a few, but this one was incredible. Both champs look strong and Ziggler can take a beating and fire it right back. Del Rio is probably one of the best heel-based champions in WWE history. He performs in the ring like a pro, kills it on the mic, and whether speaking or wrestling, he makes you hate him. He sweats arrogance. Modern-day Rick Martel.

Here is the crazy thing. I predicted this a few weeks ago when addressing the AJ Lee element. She is heel, Ziggler is face. Can they still be together? Well, this question was answered pretty quickly. As Ziggler faced defeat, AJ, who was not present for any of the match, chose her spot to come down and skip around ringside. Ziggler told her to go back, which resulted in Del Rio kicking him in the head. As Ziggler began to mount an offensive, AJ jumped in and clocked Del Rio with her Diva Title Belt. Right in front of the ref. Bell rings, disqualification, match over. Ziggler pissed off while AJ pleads for forgiveness.

AJ and Big E. Langston will turn on Ziggles, solidifying him as uber-babyface.

John See-Nuts defeated Mark Henry by submission to retain the WWE Championship
Submission, you must think I am joking again. I am not. Which is sad. It makes me sad. After such a good build for Mark Henry, after 17+ years loyal to WWE, and he still cannot have just ONE reign as WWE Champ. It is pretty easy to recap this one. Henry dominated the entire match. Sweat was everywhere. Cena hulked up, couple of counters, and oh look, the terrible version of the STF. I really wish Steven Regal would just pop up and punch Cena in the face for ruining a submission hold which the former Blue Blood made famous. It is worse than when The Rock tries his version of the Sharpshooter, which looks more like a pea-shooter.

Randy Orton wins the WWE Championship contract Money in the Bank ladder match
This whole show must be made up, right? Randy Orton? He wins it? Not one of the rising stars like Daniel Bryan or a returning Rob Van Dam?

First off, the surprises. We were surprised when Brock Lesnar did not show up. Instead, Curtis Axel ran down to save Punk, or at least we thought. Punk drops him with a Go To Sleep, and Heyman runs down to yell at Axel for his treachery. Or so we think. Punk goes up the ladder, and it is none other than Paul Heyman who performs the stab-in-the-back, smashing Punk with a ladder numerous times.

CM Punk had some great offensive hits, and a funny moment where he crushes Sheamus with the ladder, then takes a bow and smiles to the crowd afterwards. Sheamus nearly died, multiple times. Besides being crushed by Punk, he gets launched out of the ring, crashing, and breaking through a ladder. Camera does not cut away in time, and we see a referee calling for the medics. Scary spot early on where Sheamus was climbing, and RVD pushes the ladder but something went wrong and Sheamus fell awkwardly, nearly knocking himself out.

Daniel Bryan in a not-surprise gave the performance of his life. It was surprising to see him not win the match. No replacement for Kane. I expected someone else, but we got nothing. Rob Van Dam. We got the five-star and some good moves, but the surprise is that we did not get a whole lot else. Being it is his first match back, I expected ring rust, but come on, this was Money in the Bank, I expected some more from the former ECW mainstay. Christian was the bump-taker in this one. Something is up with him. He either looked jaundiced or he needs a new tanning solution. He did not really seem to know what he was doing, but he did a good job of taking some nice bumps.

Randy Orton. Alright, I give him credit he hit a very nice T-Bone Suplex during the match. Which reminds me, we got a lot of suplexes tonight. A lot. Very nice to see, perhaps we are slowly seeing a resurgence of real mat-based wrestling. He crushed Rob Van Dam with an RKO off the ladder. He went up the ladder, and must have sat there for a whole minute, just looking around making frowny faces. The guy needs to go back to acting school. As the swinging briefcase bumps him in the head, he realizes he might want to actually go for it, which he does, and wins. So, what do I think about it? If Cena can win, then I suppose guys like Orton have a chance too. Now, they really have done nothing with Orton, only in the past few months have we seen more involvement in storylines. Perhaps with Cena still as champ and Orton as MITB holder, we could finally see the heel turn we all want… But will it be Orton, or Cena? Frankly, between the two, I do not care.

Damien Sandow winning his match is a great thing. It goes back to the first Money in the Bank matches where guys on the verge of hitting main event level need the extra push to get there, and this is what the championship contract in the MITB briefcase will do for Sandow. While I would really be happy to see him be World Champion one day, I can see it ending in disaster, courtesy of the master of the Disaster-Kick, Cody Rhodes. With a feud between them immediately brewing, it is possible, should Sandow cash in, Mr. Rhodes is the one to spoil the party.

All in all, I give this PPV 3-out-of-5 stars. The Money in the Bank matches were great, but the undercard really went off the mark on this one.