July 2, 2023

WWE Money in the Bank 2023 (7.1.23) review 

WWE Money in the Bank 2023 (7.1.23) review 


July 1, 2023 


Hi, I rather stupidly forgot about this, thinking PPVs happened on Sunday, and was out when it happened. I am spoiler free and very awake at 7am on Sunday. Let’s do this. I’ve been watching a load of wrestling from 1983-4 this week so everything is going to feel really fast paced*! We’re in London at the O2 Arena. What a piddly little building to run in. AEW is running at Wembley next month. You’ve been big dogged by Tony Khan lads! Hosts are Michael Cole and Wade Barrett who are fired up by a crowd of 18,000. Wait till you see how many are at Wembley mate.  


*Boy howdy, did this ever not turn out to be true


Money in the Bank Ladder Match 

Butch vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Santos Escobar vs. Damien Priest vs. Ricochet vs. LA Knight vs. Logan Paul  

Barrett says Priest will call himself “Senor Money in the Bank” if he wins. That’s lazy. Senor Banco en el Dinero surely? LA Knight is very over. I have no idea why.  

This is a cracking mixture of talent. From the gifted fliers to the strong personalities. There’s a lot of setting up little collaborations in there. This is always an issue when you plan out matches in detail like this. Logan Paul is the most sensible person in this, as he tries to actually win the match. Logan being an unlikeable douchenozzle gets him over with me. I rate what he did to boxing and he’s thrown himself into wrestling in remarkable fashion. I also like Paul and Priest’s subplot, where Paul tries to get them to team only for Damien to turn on him. Paul then deliberately takes himself out, splashing Priest on a ladder to get revenge. It’s the one time he didn’t try and scurry up a ladder. It’s smart psychology. Ricochet, who I normally like in these things, does a lot of setting up his spots. Including creating a ladder bridge while being punched in the back of the head. It is cool that he dived through a ladder though. Ricochet and Paul attempt a ridiculous spot where their ladder topples over and they try and land on the rope and do a Spanish Fly, from mid rope, through a table. Both poor bastards go through it head first. They have a great finish where LA Knight clears out everyone and goes to grab the briefcase, only for Priest to throw him off the ladder and win. I’m sure no one thought LA Knight would get this over and booked Priest to win ages ago. He’s getting older and needs those main events now if he’s ever going to be in them.  

The match? As with every Money in the Bank match it had good and bad spots. A lot of this match was well constructed and the insulting set-up spots were kept to a minimum but they were there. The best set-up spot was part of the storyline of the match with that little Priest-Paul situation. ***½  


WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship 

Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez  

Having Ronda & Shayna as champions makes it tough to get another team over enough to beat them.  

I suggested splitting them and feuding them ages ago. That’s where the money is. They can do mat work that no one else can do. Let them do it to each other.  

Liv Morgan is out here sporting the kind of gear that says “Brexit means Brexit”. Liv has been in WWE for 9 years and still feels like she should be jobbing here in a matter of seconds. Plus she’s slow and slapping her thigh like a chump. Raquel has issues too. She’s a big powerhouse and needs people to bump for her stuff. She’s clumsy but at least Ronda can use her as a tree for a hanging armbar. For me Liv takes too much abuse on an already injured shoulder. Her tiny little ass surviving in the Kirifuda Clutch is ridiculous.  


Anyway, that’s not the match. I finally get my Shayna-Ronda feud as Shayna blindsides Ronda and chokes her out. Liv beats Ronda with Oblivion and the belts change hands. They should probably just bin the belts at this point because they have almost no interesting teams. Excited to see Ronda vs. Shayna. They should have done it beforehand but I’m glad they’ve finally got to it.  


WWE Intercontinental Championship 

Gunther (c) vs. Matt Riddle 

Riddle has a bad ankle but runs down and jumps around the ring like an idiot. Cole dropping the Electric Ballroom and Progress on comms is so bizarre to hear. Remember when BritWres was cool kids? He’s also objectively wrong calling it the ‘start’ of Gunther’s career. 

In turning this into a limb match we lose all of Gunther’s aggressive stand up. Most of this makes sense, with Riddle at least selling during the match and it leading to Gunther destroying him. The match lacks intensity though, which is strange coming from this pairing. It was a dream match in BritWres 6-7 years ago. Gunther chops Riddle’s foot and wins with a kneebar. This had some decent stuff in it, and it made sense but could have been better. I do love that they did a limb match and finished with a submission. For that alone we go ***.  


Post Match: Drew McIntyre returns to face off with Gunther. Apparently he’s been off TV since WrestleMania, hence the big pop. I thought he’d left the company to be honest. He takes out Gunther with a Claymore and I guess that’s Summerslam sorted.  


Cody Rhodes vs. Dominik Mysterio 

Dom is getting serious heat, even if Rhea Ripley is more intimidating than him. Maybe because of it. WWE seem to have no idea what to do with Cody now but he’s still mega over and seems to be capable of carrying any storyline so fuck it. It’s like when Bret Hart was wrestling midcarders in 1995 in between main event runs because everything he did was over.  

Cody should be a shining example to guys like Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins. WWE lifers who don’t want to take chances and go onto the Indies and experience life. Cody, more than any of those guys, understands the concept of the territories, where you go away to get over. Ziggler in particular is a coward as WWE haven’t given a toss about him in forever.  


The match is a load of nothing but both guys are over so they can get away with it. The crowd chant for Cody all match and he finishes with the Crossroads. As far as wrestling matches goes, this was perfectly acceptable but the gulf in status made it feel like a house show.  


Promo Time: John Cena 

HUUUUGE pop for Big Match John.  

I keep forgetting I’m the same age as Cena. While he’s doubtlessly in better condition than me I’ve got better hair. I’ll take those W’s where I can get them. Cena is confused it took this long to run a PPV (sorry, “Premium Live Event”) in the UK. Cena sucks up to the crowd for a bit and drives home a few truths about why WWE doesn’t like loud audiences. Cena casually says “I want WrestleMania in London” and everyone is all YOU FUCKIN WOT MATE? Tony Khan selling 66k for Wembley lit a fire under someone’s ass. The whole segment is getting too over so they send out Grayson Waller to interrupt it and he’s drowned out by “shut the fuck up” chants. Waller pitches the idea of WrestleMania in Australia. Waller does pretty well out here, but this is the kind of thing they’ve been doing forever. New guy comes out to interrupt over guy. And what do you know, he eats an FU. I’m sure that’ll help him get over. Remember when Santino Marella got over by eating a finisher on PPV off Steve Austin? Oh wait, his last match was in FutureShock.  


Money in the Bank ladder match 

Bayley vs. Iyo Sky vs. Zelina Vega vs. Zoey Stark vs. Trish Stratus vs. Becky Lynch  

Sam Irvin says Bayley is in Judgement Day. She’s not mate. Looking forward to that one being on Botchamania.  

See, look, she’s in Damage Cntrl. I don’t even watch the show and I know that. Big respect to Trishy Strats coming out here and wrestling in a ladder match at 47 years young. We have an odd dynamic here with two heel groups (Damage Cntrl and Trish/Zoey) who can both double team the two faces (Becky and Vega). Zelina immediately gets put in a stupid spot where she can’t move from under a ladder. You can’t pick up a ladder? How pathetic are you? Trish takes a header into the ropes and her next couple of spots look rough. I don’t know if she got dinged on that. Close ups show she’s probably broken her nose.  

Iyo is so great at everything. Just literally everything. She’s too good to be champion because whatever and whoever WWE put her in with, she gets results. One thing that irks me about these matches is the need to climb the ladder on the hard cam side. So, you know who’s winning because they climb the side facing the hard cam. Part of WWE’s general stupidity because they need a perfect shot for the camera. Zoey Stark has a great match. She takes some big bumps including a huge powerbomb off the ladder into another ladder. Both Bayley and Lynch have some issues with the ladder and spend ages adjusting it for some reason. Presumably TV purposes. Just let them go guys. In a genius spot Iyo handcuffs Bayley to Becky, who already had the handcuffs on thanks to Trish. Then she climbs over Bayley and gets the briefcase. 

Bonus points here for some clever spots, being subtle in setting stuff up, the creative finish and managing to put the right person over for the win. There were some definite issues, but it overcame them. ***½  


I preferred this to the men’s match. While the men’s match had bigger and better high spots, this just made more sense. The various issues between the participants worked towards a crescendo. I love the post-match with Bayley and Becky just having to stand there cuffed to the ladder looking miserable while Iyo celebrates. Brilliant.  


WWE (Fake) World Heavyweight Championship  

Seth Rollins (c) vs. Finn Balor 

Balor is still mad about beating Seth for the original Universal title, only to get injured in the match and never get back to that same level. It’s a shame he’s the heel here, because that would make a great babyface redemption arc. I watched that title match and it sucked, so I’m not terribly hopeful about this one. Jesus, was that 7 years ago? I kinda blanked out wrestling during Covid so, for me, it feels like 3 years. The crowd decide to sing along to Seth’s shit entrance music for ages after it finishes. I end up skipping ahead until it ends.  

Seth has drawn a picket fence on his rib cage to make some statement about the UK being a village in comparison to his big city USA. The fucking dirtbag. I see through you. The match stinks. It’s the usual dancefloor crap from both guys. Balor works over the picket fence. As with Gunther-Riddle, it makes sense, but they have a worse match because of it. Seth, desperate after being beaten down for minutes, does a stupid discus clothesline. Why? Adding in that extra twist for no reason at all and just furthering that he’s a moron. Turning like that is surely bad for the ribs, no? After having his ribs worked over all match he still does the running powerbomb. Fuck off, Seth. Learn to work. His work somehow gets worse after that as everything he does looks fake and shit. He might be the worst wrestler, ever, who thinks he’s good.  


Damien Priest comes out here, as he’s in the same stable as Finn, but he can cash in if he wants. Balor tries hard to get the match back on track but it’s increasingly sliding away from him. Coup de Grace misses and Seth just finishes this poor afterthought chump with the Curb Stomp. Man, this sucked. Rollins is such a bad wrestler. When he’s just out here doing dancey spotfests he can be quite fun but anytime he tries to do anything resembling traditional wrestling I want to scream. What on earth was he doing here? His selling was wildly inconsistent and all the little dancey reversals and shitty strikes were woeful. Criminal.  


There are 7 matches on this card and it’s 3h40m. How? How is it this long?  


Bloodline Civil War 

Usos vs. Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa 

This big overblown drama they’ve been running for an eternity seems to be popular. This is what happens when you establish personalities and have them interact and people REMEMBER what they did.  

Roman has now surpassed CM Punk’s epic title run from 2011-2013. That makes him the longest reigning WWE champion since Hulk Hogan in 1984-88. Obviously, he’s held that Universal belt for over 1000 days but who cares about that? An absolute nothing title that already serves no purpose whatsoever and should just be binned off.  


Solo is one of those guys who’s a better character than a worker. I actively dislike him in the ring. Roman decides that the crowd are reacting to them doing nothing so they might as well carry on doing nothing. I’ve been watching 1984 wrestling the past week and half and even by 1984 standards, this is painfully slow. They work heat on Jey for ages, Jimmy tags in and eats a forearm immediately and that kills everything dead again. The crowd have to amuse themselves. 

This is Roman sulking after a chant of “stand up if you hate Roman”. The heat continues unabated. This is so boring. They waste 20 minutes of the main event doing nothing at all. Surely the solution here was for the Usos to beat the shit out of the heels for a big old shine before they go into the heat but no, just 20 minutes of heat. When Jey finally gets the hot tag we have to suffer through Solo selling. Roman is completely off his game too, constantly chasing that ugly Superman Punch, his worst spot. Just to really piss me off they work in a shitty ref bump FOR NO REASON. Solo then puts himself through the announce desk FOR NO REASON. They put in stupid sequences like Jey hitting a superkick and Roman bouncing off the ropes to hit a Spear. Jey gets yet another hot tag and splashes Roman for the win and gives Reigns his first pinfall loss since December 2019.  


The crowd was so animated during this and I have no idea how they managed it. I was bored out of my mind watching this. When they finally got going in the last 10 minutes, they did a lot of dumb spots. The crowd salvaged it, really. You watch this match on mute and it’s negative stars. Truly awful wrestling.  

The Cagematch rating for it is insane. 8.73? You think this is a ****+ match? Get the fuck out of here with that bullshit.


The 411: 

If WWE choose to do a WrestleMania in London it’s because the crowd is vocal and will pop anything, which was evidenced when they sat through that boring main event and stayed hot throughout. The show had twin Money in the Bank peaks. Everything else was quite bad. I don’t like Money in the Bank as a concept at all, so for me this was just a bad show with a hot crowd.  

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