Money in the Bank: the Day After


In case you hadn’t heard, last night was Money in the Bank! Naturally, we at CDW have a few thoughts on what transpired. Don’t care and just want results? Hit the jump for the quick list of all the MITB winners. MITB spoilers below:

1. WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Winner: John Cena

Cena somehow defied the odds AGAIN and won his 15th world championship. While in some ways this feels like a return to the status quo, there are always compelling reasons for Cena to win the title, kayfabe or otherwise.

Despite what his t-shirts say, Cena is kayfabe the greatest wrestler in WWE today and thus should be the favorite to win any match. He’s won the most titles and had the biggest moments out of anyone on WWE’s active roster. Breaking the fourth wall, WWE had a very public financial meltdown and it’s two other most bankable stars are out of commission for the foreseeable future. The absence of Daniel Bryan in particular has thrown a major wrench into WWE’s storytelling plans and without a totally viable alternative, the belts reverted back to Cena.

The story should hold until SummerSlam when (if the promo materials are to be believed), Cena will defend the straps against a returning Brock Lesnar, who as you may or may not know, ended the Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania XXX.

MITB ended with Cena defiantly hoisting the two title belts in the face of a visibly upset Authority. This is the only potential problem with a Cena title reign. If WWE tries to run the Current Champ vs. Authority storyline with Cena, suspension of disbelief will need to be at an all-time high for it to work. Realistically (since this is the “reality era” and all), there is no reason for the Authority to prefer anyone other than Cena to be WWE champion/face of the company. He represents the company well in the public eye, sells a ton of merchandise, has crossover appeal, and yeah, he can go a little in the ring. Plus, there’s the fact that he IS the face of the company. In real life. The elephant in the room during the entire Randy Orton-Bryan “face of the company” feud is that everyone knows who the real face of WWE is, and it’s neither Orton nor Bryan.

The other big question is what’s next for Roman Reigns? Prior to MITB, signs were pointing to a Reigns-Triple H match at SummerSlam. There’s still time to get there, but with the belts on Cena (another babyface), and Cena seemingly taking control of the feud with the Authority, that leaves Reigns without a clear direction, unless he wants to replace the Usos as Cena’s muscle.

2. Traditional MITB Match
Winner: Seth Rollins

With Bad News Barrett sidelined due to a shoulder injury, it’s no surprise that Seth Rollins (who was billed as the star of the match anyhow) took home the briefcase.

The biggest takeaway from this match is that Dean Ambrose is a star. Dean got monster pops when returning from mid-match injury, beating down Seth Rollins, and nearly winning the match.

Though having Kane run interference to get Rollins the win was a controversial finish, it protected Ambrose, gave him a legitimate claim to Rollins’ briefcase, and ensured that as Rollins ascends to main event status, Ambrose will be right there, hounding him every step of the way. It’s interesting to note that all three members of the Shield have now landed in the main event picture as individual entities. So far, early returns on the Shield breakup are good.

3. Tag Team Title Match
Winner: The Usos

As hot as a curtain-jerker can get, these four guys work great together. The timing felt right for the Wyatt Family to win some gold, but with the emergence of Erik Rowan and Luke Harper as distinct individuals, it’s easy to argue that the Usos need the titles to remain relevant more than the Wyatt Family, as Harper and Rowan represent an intriguing unknown.

Luke Harper continues to be a not-so-secret top wrestler in the company, and don’t think WWE had Rowan take the pin for no reason. Harper is being protected and slowly groomed for BIG things.

Hit the jump for thoughts on the undercard and a quick rundown of the night’s winners!

4. Big E vs. Rusev
Winner: Rusev

Rusev is now 2-0 against Big E in PPV matches, though Big E fared better here than he did at Payback. It remains to be seen if the Big E-Rusev program continues. If so, the story is likely to be one of Big E conquering Rusev after numerous failed attempts. This would be problematic, as Big E has never been billed as an underdog at any point in his WWE career. Plus, with no belt or prize at stake, a final Big E victory is rather meaningless, as Rusev would still hold an X-1 advantage over E.

If Rusev and Big E go their separate ways after last night, Rusev will likely get a slight bump up the card, but what’s next for Big E? Tag team action? If feels as though Mark Henry needs to pass some kind of torch to Big E before Henry retires, but Henry would need to be built up a bit for the coronation to have maximum impact.

5. Divas Championship Match
Winner: Paige
6. Layla vs. Summer Rae
Winner: Layla

With Paige having dispatched both Funkadactyls, it’s time to move their feud away from the title picture. Furthermore, since Paige has bested most of the current WWE Divas, will it be time for her to tangle with Emma and perhaps some more NXT call-ups?

At first glance, the outcome of the Layla/Summer Rae bout felt a bit arbitrary, as Fandango seemed equally invested in both women, and the WWE universe in neither. However, perhaps losing this feud (and a partnership with Fandango) to Layla frees up Summer Rae to chase the Divas title and put on matches with Paige, officially kicking off the NXT-ification of the Divas division.

7. Stardust & Goldust vs. Rybaxel
Winner: Stardust & Goldust

A fun match from four of the most entertaining personalities in WWE. Ryback and Curtis Axel have evolved into a hilarious (and capable) duo, G0ldust is Goldust, and Cody Rhodes has been fantastic as Stardust. Major props to Cody for always throwing himself 100% into whatever it is he’s doing, including crafting an entirely new moveset for his latest incarnation.

8. Paul Revere vs. Adam Rose
Winner: Adam Rose

The WWE universe still seems split on how to feel about Adam Rose. The problem with Rose isn’t his character, it’s that is hasn’t grown since his debut. Those who dug Rose right off the bat likely still do, but those taking a wait-and-see approach are understandably still not on board, as they’ve waited and seen…the same thing every week.

Damien Sandow is somehow making his cosplay gimmick work. Maybe one day he and Heath Slater will form a super-serious tag team and just blow through the entire WWE roster, fueled by their combined rage at being jobbed out in embarrassing ways for so many years.

Quick Results:
John Cena
Seth Rollins via interference by Kane
The Usos
Stardust & Goldust
Adam Rose

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