Saturday, September 18, 2021

Latest Posts

SmackDown Redux (June 27th, 2017): The real race to the crown

[media-credit name=”WWE” align=”alignnone” width=”1400″][/media-credit]

Tonight is the night for vengeance. It’s time for the women to take what was supposed to be theirs, and make it memorable. All five competitors

Before the night begins, some of the women are interviewed about the night’s main event.

Charlotte Flair is the first to be interviewed. The former RAW Women’s champion states that she is “confident” that “the right woman will walk out the winner” – and that woman is her.

Carmella is then interviewed next. The Princess of Staten Island reminds us of how she won the previous contest “fair and square”. She insists that just because the General Manager Daniel Bryan didn’t like the ending, it doesn’t mean that we need to redo the match. Carmella leaves us by stating that she will still get back what is “rightfully” hers, and thus will become the “undisputed Miss Money In The Bank.”

So now, onto the show!

Daniel Bryan takes to the ring to address the upcoming Money In The Bank match, but before he can get into it in detail, the F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S Carmella walks to the ring, with James Ellsworth by her side. Again, we see her go on about how unfair the rematch is, as she didn’t break any rules the first time. Bryan is persistent with his words as well, but it is Ellsworth that offers a bit of a turning point with the events. After insulting Bryan, claiming that he’s a “gutless, spineless, coward that has no grapefruits to cut it in the ring anymore so he made up some hooky injury,” the General Manager decides to take it one step further. As mentioned last week on Talking Smack, Ellsworth was banned from ringside during tonight’s Ladder match. So now, Bryan bans Ellsworth from the entire arena – bring in the security!

A cocky Ellsworth then tries to escape from the incoming security guards whom are made to drag him from the ropes. He manages to convince them to let go, and soon dashes away from them. Unfortunately his attempt of jumping over the barricade ends up with his stomach being hit, so he is soon carried away, kicking and screaming. Delightful.

So now let’s get on to the match we’ve been waiting for!

All five women enter the ring, and the bell rings. The women quickly attack one another, attempting to knock their opponents out to give themselves a chance at climbing the ladder.

The contest lasts for quite a while – though required adverts do take place. We see each woman get her shining moment, and it works perfectly for each.

Becky Lynch proves to be a sneaky member of the match as when Charlotte and Tamina are fighting over an unhooked ladder, the Lass Kicker climbs it. She soon finds herself falling with it, but does knock down Flair in the process. Lynch also spends the match offering Bexploders to pretty much all of her opponents.

Tamina ends up being quite the powerhouse in We see a ruthless spear from her, as well boots to people’s faces, as well as a Superfly Splash (from the top rope) and Samoan Drop onto Lynch.

Natalya and Charlotte spend the majority of the match fighting each other. At the top of the ladder, Neidhart is inches away from the briefcase, but after placing another ladder onto Natalya’s ladder, Flair climbs up. It is Carmella that knocks the two of them down however. Neidhart finds a few shining moments as she powerbombs Lynch to the ground aggressively, smashes a ladder into Charlotte, and inserts the Sharpshooter onto Carmella. Her downfall occurs however as she chases Flair into the crowd and the end up fighting there until the end of the match.

Charlotte is also a big star in the match. She boots Natalya in the face, inserts the Natural Selection onto Carmella and has a lot of heated exchanges with Tamina. After feeling the wrath of Snuka, she knocks her down and attempts to trap her between the ladder as she climbs. Carmella then climbs the ladder too, but Snuka gets the better of both of them by lifting up the prop and drops them both onto the ground.

Another poignant moment is when Charlotte, Becky, Tamina and Natalya all climb onto the ladder. However the aggression and weight gets the better of them and they all tip over onto the mat. Carmella soon climbs the ladder on her own, but each woman then returns to lift it up and place it on the side. They then have a quick brawl which knocks down Flair and Snuka. ‘Mella then takes advantage and jumps on both Neidhart and Lynch.

Towards the end of the match, we see Ellsworth run up to the ring as an attempt to get the briefcase down for Carmella, yet again. But unfortunately for him, Becky runs into the ring and tilts the ladder over, leaving Ellsworth landing on the ropes – right in his baby maker! Ouch!

However, despite having the momentum, Lynch finds herself being attacked by Carmella, with a focus on her leg. The Princess of Staten Island knocks a steel chair into her, leaving her knocked out. This then gives Carmella the chance to climb the ladder – which she does – and she ends up taking down the briefcase. Give it up for your Undisputed Miss Money In The Bank!

On Talking Smack, Carmella gloats to Bryan about taking home the briefcase. Despite demanding an apology however, Daniel refuses to give her one. She continues to brag and then insists that when her time to cash in the contract comes, she will become the next SmackDown Women’s champion. She also slates Naomi, saying that all she does is “glow in the dark”. But before anyone can comment on her words, ‘Mella leaves to go celebrate her win!

At another point in the night, we get our other Money In The Bank rematch as Naomi defends her SmackDown Women’s championship against Lana. Before the match begins, Lana attacks Naomi, looking to end the match as early as possible. Naomi insists that she is okay, so the match begins. This is then followed by Lana inserting her Spinebuster. And after a close call, Naomi manages to kick out. The champ then kicks Lana, knocking her down. She then drags her into the corner, inserts a Split-Legged-Moonsault, and takes home the win. Just like that.

Also, this incredible moment is found during the champ’s celebration and it is definitely the highlight:

After the match, Lana is confronted by Dasha Fuentes in the SmackDown Fallout where she is asked to vent her frustrations. However, we see a tearful version of the Ravishing Russian, with no words to share whatsoever.

Our other “segment” of the night is between Maria Kanellis and Mike Kanellis. The two attempt to remind us of their love and journey, but just as the “seven years ago” comment is brought up again, Sami Zayn enters to begin his match with Baron Corbin. Better luck next time, guys!

Thoughts: This is exactly what Money In The Bank should have been. Between a brilliant Ladder match to the champion looking unbeatable, the pay-per-view has pretty much been erased – good riddance!

The night has allowed a bit of redemption for the briefcase, as well as giving Naomi a better title reign. But let’s focus on the latter for the minute.

Naomi needed to look strong as her first few weeks as champ revolved around her getting beat down by and losing to the Welcoming Committee. So, she did need to win here, for her own benefit. Lana could have done with the win however, as she has now had three matches on WWE television and has lost all of them – two being in her rebranded era. This didn’t really do her an awful lot of favours and only made Naomi look strong, though. Which in the long run, may not be the best option, depending on where WWE wants to go with it.

If Lana is to play the role of the resident jobber, which with her green level of abilities would make sense, then this is fine. But if we’re supposed to take her seriously and be angered by her, then this wasn’t the right way to go about it. She also needs to look strong, and being defeated cleanly by Naomi two matches in a row – one of them not even lasting longer than two minutes – didn’t do her much good.

So this is a bit of a tough one to critique. It made the champ look great, meaning that the briefcase holder would have a tough battle later on. But it ended the momentum for a rising star. Personal opinion aside, every character deserves an opportunity. So unless this is a way of bringing in a spoilt brat kind of gimmick of Lana – one where she constantly demands rematches – then her chances of stardom may have crashed and burned. But we’ll see what’ll happen. Either way, I’m glad that the champion is looking strong.

Now onto the main event. What a match!

This contest wasn’t the spotfest we were expecting. We didn’t see the women jumping off of ladders to knock down their opponents as opposed to taking down the briefcase. Instead, they all took every opportunity they could to win the match. And that makes more sense than doing a Moonsault from the top of the ladder just to take one person down.

The point of the match was to exemplify just how desperate these women are to be champion. They saw earlier on how tough their leader is, so they all needed to give it their A-game in order to come out on top. They didn’t care to entertain fans, they cared about the briefcase too much. And so they should be.

Each time one woman climbed the ladder, another jumped into the ring, regardless of how hurt they may have been. And it did wonders for them all; in particular, Carmella.

Throughout the match we saw the Princess of Staten Island become the main target of her opponents. Whenever she would attempt to win, every woman would do what they could to take her down – even if it meant they all had to team together. She was one of the biggest threats here, and it made her look as tough as she needed to be. ‘Mella didn’t exactly come across as the Powerhouse (that was Miss Snuka!) but she came across as threatening. Her conniving ways were at the top of each woman’s mind, and they did all they could to try to take her down. Between running into the ring as soon as she climbed to the third step, to lifting up the ladder and placing it elsewhere. We should also note that they didn’t bother knocking her down here. And it’s because they’re not threatened by her strength, just her mindset. All the women had to do was remove Carmella from proximity of the briefcase and she was out of their hair. Whereas with anyone else, they all immediately tried to knock each other out. And this proved to be their biggest downfall. Every time the other women climbed the ladder, they were fatigued. But Carmella could climb quickly. She wasn’t in the best shape of course, but compared to everyone else she had more stamina.

I also want to point out that Tamina Snuka was – yet again – the star of the match. Her brutal spear, her excellent Superfly Splash, and the power of taking down each of her opponents was most definitely noted. We tend to only see a basic side to Snuka. During her Singles matches she’s only ever allowed to give a boot here and there, a Samoan Drop at one point, and then she’s made to lose. But here, despite losing, she went all out. She had some of the best spots and was definitely the star we always knew she was.

On top of all of this, what made this match so great was the storytelling, as well as the potential for more storytelling in the future. Becky got her comeuppance with Ellsworth, Carmella got to be the sneaky winner a briefcase holder needs to be, Tamina proved to be a Powerhouse, and Charlotte and Natalya gave room for another feud between the two.

Because of Natalya, Charlotte wasn’t able to stop Carmella from taking down the briefcase. Despite the initial objective of trying to take down the briefcase, Neidhart became infuriated with Flair constantly taking her down. Every time she would near the finish line, Charlotte would get in the way. She stopped her attack on Carmella, she climbed the ladder when Natalya was about to win, and she constantly attacked her throughout. So with all of this build, the Queen of Black Harts had enough of Flair, so decided to take her down. Of course this proved to be the wrong thing to do in the end, but it can easily give us another great feud between the two – let’s just hope that Natalya can finally come out on top this time.

Another feud that can follow this is Carmella facing Becky Lynch. If it weren’t for Carmella, Becky could have won the match, and if it weren’t for Becky, Carmella wouldn’t of had needed to struggle to win in the end. Also, I can appreciate the nod to the very first Money In The Bank match back at Wrestlemania 21 here. Just like Carmella did to Becky, Edge slammed a chair against the back of Chris Benoit’s back, allowing the Rated R Superstar to take home the briefcase. Storytelling!

And now, we finally have a clip of a woman at the top of the ladder grabbing the briefcase – hoorah!

All in all, this was a brilliant night for the women. They ruled the show, got (somewhat) redeeming writing, and gave us a classic Money In The Bank match. Of course, the first one will always be reduced to the silly finish, but in the end, we got a great contest and to me, this will always be the real first women’s Money In The Bank Ladder match.

What did you think of the night? Did the right women win? Where do we go from here? Let us know your views in the comments below!

Latest Posts

Don't Miss