WWE MONEY IN THE BANK RESULTS: The Stars Break Out But Not Without Controversy (June, 18th 2017)

Welcome all to a report on a historic (but also controversial) event as WWEs Money in the Bank Pay Per View played host to WWEs first ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match, where either Natalya, Carmella, Becky Lynch, Tamina or Charlotte would walk out of this brutal affair with a future shot at the Smackdown Women’s Championship to be cashed in whenever the victor pleases. Plus we see Lana step back into the WWE ring for the first time since WrestleMania 32. And thats not all the event had in store for us but lets get talking the whole thing right now (women’s wise of course).

The Women have the privilege of being the high octane show opener, as Charlotte, Becky, Tamina, Carmella and Natalya enter for the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Notable is the predictable presence of James Ellsworth for this match as ringside support for Carmella and the fact the high favorite to win also enters to a new version of her theme. Before any of these ladies can clash, there’s a promo aired to hype the match that will see the eventual victor be the future challenger for whomever may be the Smackdown Women’s Champion, with homage paid to many named women who have been contributors to the rise of women’s wrestling in WWE such as Mae, Trish, Jacqueline etc.

When the bell rings, all women minus Tamina bolt to adjacent sides at ringside, with Charlotte and Carmella first to seize Ladders for utilization. The combatant remaining in the ring, Tamina, knocks Charlotte from the apron before she can bring her ladder in, also kicking Carmella’s Ladder into her on the opposite side. Natalya has begun to seize her ladder but Tamina uses that against her also, then using a ladder against Becky’s, driving Becky’s own into her. With her fellow women down and wounded, Tamina takes a moment to analyze the Winning Briefcase hanging above her then readies her ladder. Before Tamina can do much, Charlotte runs in and forearms her from behind. Charlottes momentum continues on with a boot to Tamina then to Carmella. Becky returns to the ring, only to be taken down by a big discus clothesline from Natalya. She also gets fended off by Charlotte, courtesy of a kick into the midsection and an exploder suplex. Tamina crushes Charlotte’s momentum with a superkick then splashes Becky against a corner. Carmella tries to match up against Taminas own superkick but gets caught and the Princess of Staten Island takes a Samoan Drop for her troubles. Tamina then utilizes her superkick again to temporarily take out Natalya, enough for her to set up her ladder again, only somewhere unexpected as she sandwiches it between the ropes, with Natalya lying underneath. This seems a set up for Tamina as she tilts Natalya into the ladder. Tamina returns her focus to Becky, keeping her down with a kick before placing her ladder right in the center of the ring. However Tamina’s intentions quickly shift, as she sends it right into Becky instead. Charlotte charges over, tackling Tamina from behind and sending her face first into her own ladder.

Charlotte begins to utilize a ladder now, trying to use it against Natalya though taking a kick from the Queen of Harts instead. Natalya lobs Charlotte to the outside, leaving herself to recover, and as she does, Becky goes back on the offense, launching a ladder in the direction of Tamina. With the Briefcase in sight, the target of boths championship desires, Natalya and Becky begin to fight over the single ladder, but end their verbal spitfire by working together to send the same ladder into Tamina. They go back to scrapping over the ladder and Becky eventually has enough and uses the ladder to knock Natalya down. Carmella has begun to climb the apron but Becky quickly notices and sends her back to the floor, only for Natalya to capitalize as she kicks then slams Becky into the ladder perched against the mat. Natalya sets up a ladder in the center and is the first to make an ascent, but with any ascent comes intervention as her generational rival Charlotte starts to pursue, attacking the back of Natalya’s foot to try drive her off the ladder only to tumble downward herself. Natalya kicks off Charlotte again as she tries to stop Natalya from seizing the Briefcase with fingertips placed, but Natalya’s ascent ends when Charlotte attacks a third time, managing to knock her down some steps. Charlotte then closes Natalya’s momentum with an electric chair drop.

With Natalya cleared off, Charlotte has eyes directed towards her possible first ever Money in the Bank Briefcase and begins her ascent up the ladder. She just about gets halfway when Carmella pursues from behind. Carmella sticks Charlotte’s leg between the ladder steps and roughs her up with a few forearms and kicks to the shoulder as she heads upwards. Looking to avoid Charlotte blocking her chances further, Carmella carefully brings herself to the other side of the ladder and continues her ascent from there. Charlotte frees herself from her stuck position and joins Carmella almost at the top, where the two trade forearms. Charlotte tries to get the upper hand by smacking the face of Carmella against the ladder, then reaching out to try to unhook the briefcase, but both face a landing on the top rope when Tamina pushes the ladder, and the two ladies in turn off of it. As Tamina tries to fix the ladder back into position, Natalya returns to the ring with her own ladder, smacking the unsuspecting Tamina with it. Natalya rams Tamina in the chest with it as she runs back towards her, then takes Becky down as she tries a behind assault. Despite the rules not being victory via pinfall or submission, Nattie hooks Becky in the sharpshooter. Regardless as Natalya delivers pain to wear out Becky, shes ambushed by Carmella, breaking up her famed submission. Carmella attacks the shoulder of Natalya after, before Charlotte runs in, throwing Carmella backwards. Natalya then ends up battling her rival, connecting with an underhook suplex. Natalya then turns her attention to Becky, whipping her towards a ladder placed against a nearby corner, though Becky reverses it, leading to Natalya taking the hit. Becky manages to send Natalya out of the ring and now has eyes on taking the wanted briefcase. Her chance is taken away by Carmella, as the fellow NXT Alumni attacks Becky from behind, then trying to send her face first into the ladder placed against the corner, though Becky perfects a landing on it instead. Carmella bounces back however as she catapults Becky to the mat using her legs. Again Carmella is about to reach to the briefcase but it isnt long before shes head to head with Charlotte again, as Charlotte drags her from the ladder to the mat, taking her out quick with a big boot. Before Becky can square up to the on/off rival, she takes a big boot too.

As Tamina battles Natalya on the outside, flooring her with a clothesline, Back in the ring is Charlotte, glaring at the still hanging briefcase awaiting a holder. Charlotte takes advantage of Carmella having placed the ladder in its appropriate position to begin her climb, and gets a hand on the briefcase when she feels a behind beating from Tamina. Tamina pushes Charlotte all the way down to the mat, but in turn, she also loses her grip and crashes too. When both get to their feet, Charlotte directly targets Tamina with a spear over to the ropes, and it doesn’t end there, as she sends her into the steel steps when they meet again on the outside. Charlotte blocks Natalya’s chance to stop her returning to the ring, before flooring both her and Tamina with a top rope moonsault, delaying her return to the ring a little longer. With the three ladies in need of recuperating, its just Carmella left in the ring. With Ellsworth shouting the support, Carmella begins what she would believe to be her final ascent, but along comes Becky, delaying her ascent, attacking her in the back and powerbombing the Princess of Staten Island to the mat. Becky has eyes on the briefcase, makes her believed last ascent but ends up crashing and burning, courtesy of Ellsworth hitting the ring and tipping the ladder slightly. With Carmella still recovering, Ellsworth makes the majorly controversial climb to the top, unhooks the briefcase and throws it into the hands of the original victor Carmella. Carmella wins the match.

While that finish can be heavily debated, it cant be forgotten that The Smackdown Women’s Champion Naomi is also a part of the show. While Carmella indeed holds the keys to future contention, a current challenger also awaits in the unexpected, the Ravishing Russian Lana as she makes her in ring re-debut. Before that match can even get underway, getting her second interview of the week with the Ravishing One is Dasha. Dasha addresses Lana, stating she has created a buzz through her feud with Naomi, who she will challenge tonight. Lana isnt addressing that first however, but rather the earlier Money in the Bank Ladder Match, believing herself as an entrant would have created another outcome. She then addresses the champion, asking Dasha like in their first encounter on if she saw what she did to Naomi on the past Tuesday. Dasha did, but regardless shes aware this is Lana’s first ever singles opportunity, and that Naomi is the top ranked best. Lana is glad of this, because a victory for her over Naomi will shock the world, silencing all the doubters. The victorious outcome for Lana will see to it that the land of opportunity is ruled by the only “Ravishing Smackdown Women’s Champion”.

Entering first for this recently booked singles encounter for her championship is the fan favorite babyface Naomi, then Lana, also unveiling her newest in ring gear. As Lana makes her way to the ring with shown confidence, there’s a brief recap of how Lana managed to push the buttons of the champion, ambushing her in a Backlash Rematch not long after hearing she wouldn’t be getting a title opportunity. On top she would attack Naomi a week later after the champs clean win over Tamina. Returning to the present, Lana has stepped her way into the ring, and once the entrance is complete, on goes Greg Hamilton to introduce the Ravishing Russian as well as the defending Smackdown Women’s Champion Naomi.

Once the bell is rung, Naomi is straight lunging at the challenger, driving Lana back first into a corner, hammering her with a number of forearms as punishment for last week. Once Naomi cools down, Lana charges at her, taking her down to the mat and additionally planting her face first against it. After a second toss, Lana acts even more cockier, before being outsmarted by the quickly recovered champ, who uses a kick to send Lana to the mat. Naomi runs the ropes, lowers herself and slaps Lana across the face. Naomi isn’t done punishing Lana there, executing her running bulldog, ramming Lana head first against the middle turnbuckle. Lana recovers in time to move away from Naomi as she goes for a diving crossbody, and she takes advantage of the champs fall to try the first pin attempt. Lana gets the first near fall on Naomi.

Lana is already infuriated at Naomi still being in the match it appears, storming over to her as she recovers on the apron, attempting to hook her by her hair. Naomi shoulder blocks her from above the second rope to create separation, and she goes for her high kick, only for Lana to grab the same leg and snap it against the top rope. Lana kicks Naomi from the apron to the floor, slowly following as she makes her way out of the ring, but rather than assault the nemesis, she does the clever move of rolling her back into the ring as a count out wont award her the gold. Lana takes advantage of her earlier onslaught once back in the ring, trying to pin Naomi again, getting again a near fall. She reverts to new strategy to try and wear the champion out, driving her knee into the back of Naomi. She locks in a chinlock that Naomi comes close to escaping, only to be tossed backward by her hair by Lana. Lana, having already tried to inflict damage to Naomi’s legs, does so again with suplexes into the ropes followed by a stretch. Lana kicks Naomi off the second rope, then goes to cover the champ once more, leading to yet another near fall.

Lana continues the punishment to the leg of Naomi with a singular standing knee drop, followed by hyper-extending the knee. Naomi manages to reverse into a cross armbreaker variation, though releasing quickly to target Lana’s left shoulder with her leg. Naomi limps to the corner, fending off Lana with forearms as she tries to have some recovery space. Naomi is forced to utilize the legs as she kicks Lana as she tries to attack again. Lana goes for a seeming forearm smash, but Naomi blocks it and delivers a high kick. More kicks follow before Naomi brings Lana to her shoulders for a possible GTS, though her leg seems to give way, allowing for Lana to slip free and attack the same leg again. Lana heads to the ropes but runs right into the rear view, though for Naomi, this only gets her a near fall. As Lana heads outside, Naomi tries to get a grip on her, but takes a boot. Lana climbs back in, kicking Naomi in the face, before planting the champ with her recently debuted sit out spinebuster. To the challengers dismay, this doesn’t take out Naomi, as the defending champion kicks out to Lana’s dismay at a count of two. Lana begins to vent over the move not working to her advantage, but can only vent more to see her chance possibly taken by the arrival of James and Carmella.

Carmella teases the very early cash in of the briefcase, but dismisses this last second, instead keeping a watchful eye on Lana as well as Naomi. Lana breaks off from the distracting moment to try pin Naomi, getting a one count per the time of Carmella’s entrance being used as recovery time for Naomi. Lana is furious and continually forearms the champ before having a brief vent at Carmella. Lana goes for her finisher for a second time, reversed by Naomi into a roll up into the Slaymission. Lana eventually taps, awarding Naomi the submission victory as Carmella looks on. Naomi wins the match, retaining her Smackdown Womens Championship.

Originally id be done with the summarizing for the women there, however we get a very nice surprise later on, as the two performers rumored to be appearing in WWE make an official appearance, the returning Maria Kanellis alongside Mike Kanellis (Bennett) who is making his official WWE debut. Out to a huge ballad, Maria announces that she, “The First Lady” is back and over the seven years that shes been away from the WWE Scene she has been searching for the perfect partner. With Both now officially in the WWE, the mission is on by the couple, to educate others on “The Power of Love”.

(Becky Lynch vs Charlotte vs Natalya vs Tamina vs Carmella w/ James Ellsworth; Money in the Bank Ladder Match)

(Lana vs Naomi; Smackdown Women’s Championship Match feat James Ellsworth and Carmella)

(Maria Kanellis Returns to WWE; Mike Kanellis Debuts)

(Becky Lynch Backstage Exclusive)

(Naomi Backstage Exclusive)

Thoughts On:
MITB Match: First the Positives. Tamina really stood out here and got her moments of momentum, the spot with Carmella and Charlotte goes down as one of the most memorable coming out of this match. Another is the outcome of Carmella ascending to victory. Sure it was done completely wrongly and a slap in the face to the women’s revolution, but she truly is a fresh winner and its a true payoff for ascending as a heel on the Smackdown Roster, making a fresh face a more legitimate threat, having lost the momentum since losing to Nikki Bella. The Negatives are not seeing Becky and Charlotte work together on an occasion (though i understand the every woman for themselves ideal) and Tamina not getting to do the Supafly Splash once during this match. The Most negative part is the slap in the face to the rise of these women by having James do the work for Carmella in taking the MITB briefcase. Sure James and Carmella have come out to crickets at times and a reaction is needed, especially since James reactions have also gone down since the heel turn on Ambrose. The positive of this move is the heel heat but i cant blame the women on both rosters for acting upset, whether kayfabe or not on the matter. The night was about the women excelling to new heights with this first ever moment, with a woman finally winning what has been a male centric match over the years, but instead we got the opposite and we dont even know if both rosters will have the same depth next year to be able to put on this kind of match again. All i ask coming out of this is let Carmella pay her dues and have her moment like Alexa has post NXT, because with the horsewomen being a focal point over the past few years, these chances for different women can only happen where appropriate. If Carmella is stripped off this new accolade, whats the chances she will ever make history or get this chance again? Seeing her non kayfabe celebration was moving and she truly deserved this over any other competitor here.

Lana/Naomi: Not the best match but we got an extensive look at Lana’s move-set, more than we got at WrestleMania 32. After the finisher i thought Lana may have actually pulled off the shock victory, but kudos to WWE on bringing in Carmella and James to provide themselves a threat to whoever would walk out victor, or to the competitors themselves had she decided to cash in mid match. Also while Lana being entirely distracted by Carmella is debatable, it sort of presented Lana a heat of the moment moment, as she seemed to struggle debating on whether beating Naomi would be a crucial move or not, but if she had won, she would also have to avoid Carmella in true heel fashion, though that would make Carmella a babyface in that instance. Therefore the idea of Naomi retaining and being the true threat to Carmella if not Charlotte was logical, on top of the fact that Lana still has much to extend to her arsenal and much to learn.

Maria/Mike: When MITB rolled in, i heard a debut was scheduled within 72 Hours, so that could have either been the time frame or the actual length until the stated debut. Seeing these two in WWE was a great moment for me personally, having been a fan of Bennett pre IMPACT and being further sold on him during the IMPACT run that somehow didn’t culminate in him ever being world champion. Also IMPACT has shown how great a heel manager and mic worker Maria can be, and having never been heel before in WWE, this provides casual and regular fans a look in at how good Maria is under an alternate character to what WWE fans first saw. Sure this new gimmick is a far cry from “The Miracle” but it doesn’t take away how cunning and vicious both can be. Lets hope they don’t have Nikki and John booked to make them lose their momentum early because there’s much these two can do.

– Catherine


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