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Posted in: Doctor's Orders
Doctor's Orders: The Money in the Bank 2013 Report
By The Doc
Jul 14, 2013 - 11:44:27 PM

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There seems to be a lot of interest for tonight's PPV across the net. Two years ago, that type of buzz connected for a 195,000 buys. In general, the event has caught on since the original in 2010 drew a paltry 169,000 buys. The last two years have each eclipsed that by 19,000 or more. Judging by the texts that I received about tonight's event from multiple fans that are not regular PPV watchers anymore, I suspect that 2013's version is going to do solid numbers at the box office.

The Money in the Bank Report (July 14, 2013)

Match 1: Damien Sandow wins Money in the Bank in 16:30 (****1/4) (That was one of the best MITB matches in recent memory with a slew of incredibly innovative moves in a gimmick that craves it after so many years of so many versions. Sandow was the right call, in my opinion. I predicted him to win earlier in the week because of the amount of time that he has gotten to get himself over with consistency over the last year and a half. He can be an excellent heel champion in this revamped World title division that really feels more like the IC title division of twenty years ago. Time will tell if he makes the most of the chance whenever the opportunity knocks. Cody Rhodes had a potential star-making performance of his own, or shall I better put it a star-reminding performance. He's got the goods. I see "it" as much in him as anyone else on the roster. It's just a matter of time before the WWE higher ups fully embrace him. I loved the ending that played up on so many months of The Shield interfering to win matches. It made it seem like Dean Ambrose was going to have it in the bag, but the Usos, fresh off their great outing on the pre-show that should have been featured on the main show, saved the day and gave us a surprising end. I kept thinking, "Where's Sandow?" That feeling was only intensified when it became clear that Ambrose was not going to win. The finish put a stamp on a classic version of this match, which also featured an awesome spot with Cesaro standing on Swagger's shoulders and being ushered from the corner to the middle of the ring. I saw Swagger in person three months and made note of how massive his shoulders look up close and personal. That spot proved how strong he is. Ambrose skinning the cat onto a flat ladder held by the "Real" Americans was also impressive)

Match 2: Curtis Axel retained against Miz in 9-minutes (**1/2) (I was curious to see how they would get heat on this match outside of Heyman and they did well to accomplish it by having Miz cunningly have him ejected from ringside. Axel and Miz proceeded to work very well together. Quietly, Miz has become a solid performer who can be counted on to have strong matches in the mid-card that play to his strengths. He is not an overly scientific, technically engaged wrestler, so his stuff works better in shorter amounts of time. Axel did well in his part and has the makings of a solid mid-card talent, but I'm afraid I do not see much of a ceiling for him moving forward. That's not to take anything away from this match, though, as it was a fine addition to the card after a great opener)

Match 3: AJ retained against Kaitlyn in 7:30 (**) (I cannot tell you how enjoyable it is for me to actually care about a women's storyline. What scares me, if you want to put it that way, is that Kaitlyn is about the only girl on the roster outside of Natalya who can actually work and make AJ look good. The advantage to AJ being 110 pounds soaking wet is that a talented diva can pick her up and toss her around like a rag doll and it look great. What's going to happen when that well dries up and the craptastic girls who cannot wrestle themselves out of bed in the morning have to step in? Hopefully, the WWE has a plan, but I will enjoy the work that AJ is doing for as long as her slender body holds up as Diva's Champ)

Match 4: Ryback defeated Chris Jericho in 11-minutes (**3/4) (A potential reach with the rating, but I really thought that these guys tried to have a standout mid-card match at the top of the second hour. Ryback was a bit clunky and mistimed a few of his spots, taking the rating down from what otherwise would have been a sure-fire 3-star match and a helluva compliment to Jericho's 2013 comeback resume. This was easily the best standard match of Ryback's PPV career and, while I no longer believe that he has much of a long-term main-event future, I can see him being a solid contributor in this slot on a PPV for years to come once the heavier hitters like Henry, Kane, and Show start riding off into the sunset. Only Ryback's match with Daniel Bryan has been a better effort outside of a gimmicked environment than this one. Upon second viewing, I might bump it to the 3-star mark. I thought very highly of the effort, one way or the other)

Match 5: Alberto Del Rio retained via DQ over Dolph Ziggler in 15-minutes (***3/4) (Outstanding match that was well on its way to being a darkhorse candidate for Match of the Year when AJ clocked Del Rio with her title, costing Dolph the match and adding a wrinkle to the story that I predicted would occur in the finish. Del Rio and Ziggler have incredible chemistry in the ring. They showed a few months ago prior to Mania on Main Event that they could produce a showstealer in limited time and they nearly did it, here. Ziggler got exactly the kind of reaction that you dream about if you're as big a fan of his as I am. I have been really down on the push and lack of meaningful TV time that he has received this year, but if the crowd keeps responding to him the way that Chicago began and Philadelphia continued, then I'm confident that the time will come when the WWE will cash in on his high ceiling and untapped potential. Nights like tonight will be the type that fans like myself remember for years to come if Ziggler goes onto have a great main-event career. I actually liked how the match concluded, as it will hopefully make the fans clamor that much more to see him ultimately regain the World title at Del Rio's - and now AJ's - expense. "You Screwed Ziggler" should show up tomorrow night on Raw. I will be curious to see how AJ and Del Rio interact as we prepare for what should be a Summerslam conclusion that gives Dolph that elusive victory)

Match 6: John Cena defeated Mark Henry in 15-minutes (***1/2) (I said in my preview column that I thought Cena needed to have a great match with Henry to add that final feather in his cap to his career resume. I never really enjoyed the matches that Cena has had with larger athletes because they all came across to me as too one-sided and too slow and dull. I thought right out of the gate tonight that we were in for more of the same, but the advantage was that the crowd was really into Henry. All the credit in the world goes to Henry for getting himself this over. I never would have dreamed years ago that he would have dominated much of the early part of a match and still had the crowd hanging on his every move. Typically, the crowd would have tuned out. I think it was that faux retirement segment a few weeks ago; I truly do. That segment was so outstanding that it made everyone that bought a ticket for MITB that was not already into his character a fan that wanted to see him compete for the WWE Championship. Kudos to both men. From a storytelling standpoint, there was not a better match on the card. It was not as aesthetically pleasing as the first MITB match or the Ziggler-Del Rio chapter, but it is a rare thing to see Cena overcome the odds in such dramatic fashion against a monster heel. If you cannot appreciate that Cena is still "The Man" after all these years, then please appreciate that anyone that steps across that ring from him ups their respective game to biggest level available in the WWE today)

Match 7: Randy Orton won the WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder match in 26-minutes (***3/4) (Well, that was a shocker, wasn't it? Randy Orton was built up as a guy with a legit shot to win it, but I never really thought that it was anything more than a TV red herring. That is not going to sit well with much of the vocal minority in the fanbase. Daniel Bryan seemed poised and ready to take the briefcase and make his case for being the next main-event star to elevate himself to a permanent place at the headliner's table, but it was not to be on this night. Let's get the obvious out of the way: this does not mean that Bryan will not still face Cena at Summerslam or that he will not get to the top this year or in the near future. We need to make that very clear. What it does mean is that the WWE decided to give the guaranteed title shot to a guy that has been underutilized for a long time now. It has been since the fall of two years ago that Orton was a viable main-event threat, despite still selling a ton of merchandise and remaining quite over. His Wellness violation last year set him back considerably, but he has fought his way back. He is deserving of a new headlining push. I am not sure where they will go with his title shot, but I suspect he may hang onto it for a bit. Time will tell. I thought the match, in general, was very good, but I cannot deny that the finish sort of let the air out of the figurative balloon when it seemed so plausible that Bryan was going to use this night as a career stepping stone. I am not disappointed that he did not win, but I am not a believer that Orton winning belonged in the last moment of the show, thus my docking of the match rating below the four-star mark despite some brutal, body punishing work from the combatants. I could revisit that decision later in the week, but for right now I'm sticking with it. I think if Bryan had won, we'd be looking at the PPV of the Year to date, honestly. He had that huge swell of momentum going. He still does, but the finish that saw Axel interfere to keep him from winning does not make a ton of sense. They could have done the same Heyman-Punk angle, building to Summerslam in a good way, without involving Bryan. Sheamus might have been the MVP of the match. He took some nasty spills the hard way. RVD looked sloppy and old. My interest in his return was done no favors by tonight's performance. It was a very good match bordering on great, but I think it may go down in history as a missed opportunity to close out an otherwise great PPV with a mark winner in a smark town)


QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you think that Daniel Bryan will still compete against John Cena for the WWE Championship at Summerslam?

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