WWE Money-in-the-Bank kicks off with a historic match as, for the first time ever, five women would compete in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match as Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Tamina, and Carmella, with James Ellsworth in her corner, would compete in the eighteenth Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match in history as the first Superstar to climb a ladder and retrieve the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase hanging high above the ring will become the first “Ms. Money-in-the-Bank”, guaranteeing them a shot at the SmackDown Women’s Title any time they want it for the next year! In the early-going, each Superstar would go move-for-move with Tamina dominating early on, doling out super kicks. Tamina then props a ladder up in the corner before catapulting Natalya face-first into the steel. The second-generation Superstar then slams a ladder into Becky Lynch before Charlotte Flair uses a ladder to briefly take control before Natalya takes Charlotte out. Natalya and Becky then both go for the same ladder, sparking a tug-of-war between the longtime rivals before they use the ladder to take out Tamina. Becky then knocks Carmella off of the ring apron before Natalya slams Becky on the ladder.
This gives Natalya the opportunity to make a climb for the briefcase, but Charlotte is able to pick Natalya off of the ladder and take Natalya out with an electric chair drop. Carmella then hangs Charlotte up in the rungs of the ladder before both Superstars climb to the top of the ladder, trading blows before Charlotte nearly unhooks the briefcase. However, Tamina would come back into the ring, pushing the ladder over to send both Charlotte and Carmella to the outside. Natalya then uses a ladder to take Tamina out before Natalya locks in the Sharpshooter on Becky Lynch before Carmella breaks it up. Charlotte then takes out Carmella before Natalya takes Charlotte out with a suplex. Becky then sends Natalya into a ladder set up in the corner before “The Irish Lass Kicker” starts to make the climb for the briefcase. Carmella then takes Becky out before “The Princess of Staten Island” sets the ladder up to climb, but Charlotte comes in, taking out Carmella and blasting Becky with a big boot. Tamina then manages to knock Charlotte off of the ladder before Charlotte delivers a Spear to Tamina, taking Tamina to the outside. Charlotte then delivers another Spear to Tamina, sending Tamina into the steel steps! Charlotte then climbs to the top rope, delivering a corkscrew moonsault to take out both Natalya and Tamina! Carmella then starts to climb the ladder before Becky grabs Carmella off of the ladder, delivering a powerbomb to “The Princess of Staten Island”.
Becky then climbs the ladder, getting her fingers on the briefcase before James Ellsworth comes in, tipping the ladder over and sending Becky to the floor! With Carmella unable to climb the ladder herself, Ellsworth gets the idea to climb the ladder on Carmella’s behalf and Ellsworth is actually able to unhook the briefcase! James then tosses the briefcase down to Carmella and the bell rings to end the match, seemingly meaning that Carmella won the match and is “Ms. Money-in-the-Bank”! However, this controversy would spark an argument among the referees on the outside with Ellsworth joining the argument before Ellsworth decides to make the announcement himself, announcing that Carmella is the first ever “Ms. Money-in-the-Bank”! Despite the controversy, the win is apparently official as Carmella and James Ellsworth celebrate with the briefcase, leaving with the briefcase as the other four Superstars are enraged over the conclusion of the match.
The SmackDown Tag Team Titles would then be on the line at WWE Money-in-the-Bank as The New Day’s Big E & Kofi Kingston, with Xavier Woods in their corner, would challenge The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. During a hotly contested matchup, Big E would nearly secure the tag titles after catching one of The Usos out of mid-air with the Big Ending. Having taken the most abuse of anyone in the match, Kofi Kingston then takes out both Usos on the outside. Back in the ring, Big E & Kofi Kingston hit the Midnight Hour on one of The Usos but the other Uso pulls his brother to the safety of the outside. Realizing their reign as champions was in serious jeopardy, The Usos would decide to abandon the match, taking their titles and leaving into the crowd, taking a count-out loss to The New Day in order to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
In the first singles match of her WWE career, “The Ravishing Russian” would get a golden opportunity at WWE Money-in-the-Bank as Lana would challenge Naomi for the SmackDown Women’s Championship in a title match that Naomi requested. Throughout the match, Lana would work on the leg of Naomi and would nearly put the champion away with her sitout spinebuster. However, this is when the new “Ms. Money-in-the-Bank” Carmella would come down to ringside with James Ellsworth and a referee in tow as it appeared as though Carmella was about to cash in already! However, it would just be a tease as Carmella would decide not to cash in the contract. With the title match still in progress, Lana would go for another spinebuster but Naomi would counter into her Slay-o-mission submission maneuver, making “The Ravishing Russian” tap out to successfully retain the SmackDown Women’s Title as Carmella looks on, opting to wait for a more opportune time to cash in her Money-in-the-Bank briefcase.
WWE Money-in-the-Bank would then be the home of a simultaneous return and debut as, after seven years away from WWE, Maria Kanellis would return in St. Louis but Maria would not come alone as she would bring her husband, Mike Kanellis! After introducing themselves, Maria proclaims that the “first lady” is back in WWE before saying that she’s spent the last seven years searching for the “perfect partner”. Mike then says that she found him and, now, they are there to “educate everyone” in the “power of love”. The couple then slow-dances on the stage before sharing a kiss, having made their arrival on the SmackDown LIVE roster.
The top prize in WWE would then be defended at WWE Money-in-the-Bank as, with St. Louis legends and Hall of Famers such as Greg Gagne, Sgt. Slaughter, Larry “The Axe” Hennig, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair seated in the front row, Randy Orton would walk into his hometown of St. Louis to challenge Jinder Mahal, with The Singh Brothers in his corner, for the WWE Championship. During the match, Randy Orton would tweak his left knee and Jinder Mahal is quick to target the injured knee as the champion would relentlessly attack the knee and even slam the challenger knee-first on the announce table. While Randy Orton is able to briefly gain control of the match, a shot to the bad knee would put the champion back in control as Jinder Mahal would slam the knee on the barricade on the outside. Back in the ring, Jinder would continue to work over the left knee of “The Viper” before the champion points at Ric Flair before Jinder locks in Flair’s patented Figure-Four Leg Lock on Orton! The challenger is able to reverse the Figure-Four Leg Lock with Jinder quickly making it to the ropes to break the hold.
Later on in the match, Randy Orton is able to battle back against Jinder Mahal before striking with the RKO, but just when it looked like Randy was about to win his fourteenth World Title, one of The Singh Brothers puts Jinder’s foot on the bottom rope to save the title for the champion! After a discussion with Randy Orton, the referee would decide to eject The Singh Brothers from ringside! However, The Singh Brothers would decide to get in the face of the row of legends at ringside, putting their hands on Randy’s father Bob Orton. This would send Randy Orton over the edge as “The Viper” mauls The Singh Brothers, dropping one brother on the barricade before dropping the other on the announce table! Orton then grabs Sunil Singh, exposing one of the announce tables before dropping Samir Singh with the RKO on the floor! However, Orton was not through there as Orton would deliver an RKO to Sunil as well, sending Sunil crashing through the announce table! Despite being destroyed by Randy Orton, The Singh Brothers’ plan would still come to fruition as, as soon as Orton comes back into the ring, Jinder catches the challenger with the Khallas, pinning “The Viper” in his hometown to successfully retain the WWE Championship.
In a bonus tag team match at WWE Money-in-the-Bank, Breezango would square off with The Ascension. In the end, it was Fandango surprising Viktor with a roll-up as Breezango picks up the win.
Then it was time for the main event as, in the nineteenth Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match in WWE history, six of SmackDown LIVE’s top Superstars would battle in the unpredictable ladder match to secure themselves a guaranteed shot at glory as AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Shinsuke Nakamura, and United States Champion Kevin Owens would battle in the every-man-for-himself match with the first Superstar to climb a ladder and retrieve the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase earning themselves a shot at the WWE Championship any time and any place they want it for the next year. However, before the match can even begin, Baron Corbin would try to increase his own odds of victory in the match by ambushing Shinsuke Nakamura during Nakamura’s entrance! “The Lone Wolf” then grabs a nearby ladder, twice sending the ladder into the mid-section of Nakamura. Corbin then picks up a camera, smashing the camera on the back of Nakamura! Referees and medical personnel then come out to tend to Nakamura as Baron Corbin makes his way to the ring, demanding that the bell be rang. The referees would conference on the outside before deciding that they have no choice but to go ahead and start the match with only five capable competitors.
The action would quickly spill to the outside and, as Shinsuke Nakamura is helped to the back, AJ Styles tries to fight off both Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin as Sami Zayn takes flight, taking out Kevin Owens on the outside. Deciding to form a temporary partnership, Dolph and Baron would grab a ladder, running AJ Styles down with the steel before Corbin takes out Ziggler. However, Dolph would fire back with a super kick, laying “The Lone Wolf” out before Dolph puts a ladder in the ring. Sami Zayn then takes Ziggler out before taking Owens out as well. Sami then tries to pull a ladder into the ring, but AJ Styles intervenes, tossing Zayn to the outside. AJ and Dolph then battle for control of the ladder with Ziggler knocking Styles off of the top rope before Baron Corbin picks Ziggler off of the ring apron, planting “The Show Off” on the floor with the Deep Six! Sami then springboards off of the top rope to the outside, taking “The Lone Wolf” down. Back in the ring, AJ pulls a ladder into the ring only for Kevin Owens to blast Styles with a super kick. The United States Champion then uses the ladder as a weapon to take out AJ and Sami before using the ladder to knock Ziggler and Corbin off of the ring apron. Owens then tries to use the ladder against Styles again but AJ would counter before Styles and Owens go blow-for-blow with Owens sending AJ to the outside.
Kevin Owens then starts to set up the ladder with Sami Zayn getting involved and, after taking Sami down, the United States Champion would climb to the top rope with the intent of diving onto Styles and Ziggler on the outside, but Zayn grabs Owens and hurls his longtime rival off of the top rope as Owens lands on the ladder, mangling the steel! Sami then brings a fresh ladder into the ring with Dolph blindsiding Zayn and propping the ladder up in the corner, tossing Sami onto the ladder. Dolph then sets the ladder up in the ring before Dolph and Sami both try to climb the ladder with Sami countering the super kick and planting “The Show Off” with the Blue Thunder Bomb. Zayn then slowly pulls himself up the ladder but Baron Corbin pulls Sami off of the ladder, sending Zayn face-first into the steel. AJ Styles then takes it to Baron Corbin, laying Corbin out before “The Phenomenal One” makes the climb for the briefcase with Corbin meeting AJ at the top. Styles briefly knocks Corbin off of the ladder before Ziggler climbs the ladder, knocking AJ off before Corbin starts to climb only for Dolph to jump up and deliver a Zig Zag to “The Lone Wolf” off of the ladder!
Dolph and AJ then both climb the ladder with Sami Zayn also climbing up, knocking AJ off of the ladder before Zayn and Ziggler battle atop the ladder. Sami then puts his own well-being at stake by delivering a sunset flip powerbomb to Dolph off the top of the ladder! Kevin Owens then drags Sami Zayn out of the ring with Sami avoiding the powerbomb on the ring apron before the rivals do battle on the apron with Sami hitting a half-nelson suplex to the United States Champion on the ring apron! Sami then uses the ladder to pull himself to his feet before again making the climb for the briefcase with AJ Styles coming out of nowhere with the Phenomenal Forearm, knocking Sami off of the ladder! Before AJ can capitalize, Baron Corbin pulls “The Phenomenal One” out of the ring before Corbin exposes the German announce table, propping a ladder up between the steel steps and the German announce table. AJ would battle back but would get caught by Baron Corbin as “The Lone Wolf” plants Styles with a chokeslam on the ladder! Corbin then rolls back into the ring but Sami Zayn is quick to strike with the Helluva Kick before Sami again climbs the ladder. Sami is able to fight off Dolph before Kevin Owens pulls Sami off of the ladder and delivers a deliberate low blow to his former friend, taking Zayn out.
The United States Champion then climbs the ladder but is grabbed by AJ Styles as AJ pulls Kevin Owens off of the ladder. Owens then battles back before both men find themselves on the ring apron with Owens looking to powerbomb AJ onto the ladder propped up on the outside but Styles is able to counter, delivering a modified version of his signature neckbreaker as the United States Champion sickly bounces off of the steel! Styles then makes the climb to the briefcase, but Dolph Ziggler pulls the ladder out from under AJ and, despite Styles’ best efforts to unhook the briefcase, AJ loses his grip and free-falls all the way to the mat! Baron Corbin then pulls Dolph out of the ring, tossing Ziggler over the announce table but, just as “The Lone Wolf” is about to set up the ladder, Shinsuke Nakamura re-emerges, clutching his shoulder as he makes his way towards the ring! Corbin then tosses a ladder at Nakamura, but the ladder misses and Nakamura makes a beeline for “The Lone Wolf”, assaulting Corbin with a punishing series of kicks, taking Corbin out of the match. Nakamura then delivers a Kinshasa off of the second rope to Dolph Ziggler before delivering another Kinshasa! “The King of Strong Style” then takes Sami Zayn out with a Kinshasa before Nakamura tries to pull a ladder into the ring. However, Kevin Owens would do his best to hang onto the ladder before Nakamura takes the United States Champion out with the Kinshasa!
Having taken out everyone in sight, Shinsuke Nakamura would set the ladder up in the ring but, just as Nakamura is about to climb, he is met with resistance from a familiar friend and foe in AJ Styles! The two veterans then put the ladder to the side before Styles and Nakamura trade shots with Nakamura getting the better of Styles but when “The Artist” goes for the Kinshasa, AJ Styles intercepts with a flying forearm to Nakamura! With Nakamura down, AJ Styles then positions the ladder in the center of the ring as “The Phenomenal One” starts to climb the ladder only to be met on the other side by Nakamura as both elite Superstars trade shots atop the ladder with neither gaining a clear advantages. This is when Baron Corbin would intervene, sending both Styles and Nakamura careening off of the ladder before “The Lone Wolf” makes the climb, finally unhooking the briefcase to win the match, becoming “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” as Baron Corbin has now secured himself a guaranteed shot at the WWE Championship any time he wants it for the next year!
What did you think of WWE Money-in-the-Bank? Post your comments in the box below.