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Posted in: The Eternal Optimist
The Eternal Optimist Presents: "The Good, The Good and The Good - Money in the Bank Edition"
By Dave Fenichel
Jun 19, 2017 - 11:18:47 AM

Hi Kids.

Welcome to another edition of “The Good, The Good, and The Good”. This time, I’ll be giving my overly positive thoughts on last night’s Money in the Bank PPV event. I’ve seen quite a lot of criticism from our portion of the community surrounding this show, but I found plenty to like. Without further ado, let’s get to it:

People are Talking About the Women.

Admittedly, I had low expectations for the Smackdown women when it came to their Money in the Bank Ladder match. With the exception of Charlotte, no one in the match seemed like they would be taking any major bumps off a ladder. Additionally, I didn’t see how the WWE could get any type of length out of the briefcase storyline due to a shallow roster.

The WWE proved me wrong on both counts. The match was much better than I anticipated it to be. The women chose to work a smart psychology driven ladder match as opposed to a bump fest that they couldn’t possibly live up to. For the same reasons I enjoyed CM Punk v Jeff Hardy from Summerslam 2009, I enjoyed this. If anything, I felt like the match was just getting good when they went to the finish.

Speaking of the finish, did you hear that heel heat when Ellsworth pushed Becky off the ladder and climbed it himself? This was really smart booking. The WWE has created controversy surrounding the legitimacy of the win. I’m interested in seeing where they decide to go with this. The booking gives the WWE many directions they could go in, and turned what appeared to be a short term storyline into a long term one.

The New Day and The Usos – The Start of Something Great?

When the two best teams of the last decade got together for a rare two on two match, it should come as a surprise to no one that they produced greatness. I thought this was the best WWE tag match of the year and I’m struggling to find a better one in recent memory. It was compelling from start to finish, had excellent crowd involvement and kept me guessing as to the eventual winner.

I saw many that disliked the booking, but I thought it was the right call. This feud needed a bump. Other than both teams being all time great, they didn’t really have a reason for a beef. The Usos needed to keep the title. Their heel turn and new gimmick is working and there are far more face than heel tag teams on the Smackdown side. It was too soon to hotshot the belts over to The New Day, but it also wouldn’t have made sense to have them lose in their first Pay Per View match on Smackdown.

The count out finish was the only call to make, and the WWE made it. We can look forward to several months of awesome storytelling and great matches from the Smackdown tag division.

LOVE is in the Air

I had heard rumors of Maria and Mike Bennett signing WWE deals, but I was surprised to see them debut directly to the main roster. I think the gimmick is ridiculously cheesy and not tremendously good, but both are strong additions to Smackdown nonetheless.

The Smackdown mid-card needs more depth. Mike Bennett is a finished product and should provide exactly that. I think a feud with Tye Dillinger or Luke Harper would add to the Smackdown program. However, the real prize is without a doubt Maria. She’s the total package. She’s beautiful, can wrestle and is great on the microphone. Both rosters need a tremendous amount of help on the female side, and she should provide a massive boost. The quicker they can get her into a meaningful feud, the better off the Smackdown’s female division will be.

Jinder Mahal – The Champion Smackdown Needs.

Jinder Mahal is excelling on every level as WWE Champion.

The crowd reactions are getting louder and louder with each passing week. He has found a fantastic niche that is very difficult to obtain. The casual fans boo him because of his kayfabe gimmick and the diehards boo him because they hate his guts and everything about his push. What’s the end result? He’s the most hated heel on the roster. He gets the loudest boos of any heel Smackdown has on a week by week basis. Last night was no different. The Jinder/Orton match received a main event level crowd reaction. That’s all you can ask for.

Furthermore, Jinder is rapidly improving in the ring. Last night was the best match of his career. I gave it 3.5 stars. I don’t understand the vitriol from the IWC towards this match. The main argument I saw was that it was “the same match as the previous month”. I don’t agree. The previous match was a one sided beat down. Last night was one of the best pieces of psychology I’ve seen in years. The entire match centered around Jinder controlling the action and working over Orton’s injured knee. Orton sold it like a champ and the finish only happened after Jinder once again attacked his knee.

People want to talk about how Jinder can’t wrestle, yet here we are. We’ve had two Pay Per Views in a row where he got better matches out of Orton than anything Bray Wyatt was able to do. Face the facts people. Jinder Mahal is an appreciating asset. Here’s to hoping he has a lengthy and hate-filled title reign.

The Male MITB Sets Smackdown Up for the Summer.

I was optimistic that the main event would deliver a match of the year caliber contest. It didn’t, but it was still very good. The action was a bit slow at first, but by the end delivered on the high spots and compelling drama that one would expect out of the gimmick and the wrestlers involved.

I thought the storytelling was unusually good. I didn’t expect Baron Corbin to attack Shinsuke Nakamura during his entrance and disable him for the majority of the match. When Nakamura returned, the pop was tremendous. Baron Corbin was one of the two likely winners, and I have no issue with it. He looks like a long-term briefcase holder, and I think that he will benefit tremendously by feuding with Nakamura.

Speaking of which, this match really highlighted who the WWE wants to build Smackdown around on a go-forward basis. Corbin winning the briefcase shows that they plan on him to be a top heel, but the booking of Nakamura makes me believe that the WWE thinks he’s the future face of the brand. Our portion of the wrestling community has complained forever about the WWE not looking to build new stars. Mahal, Nakamura and Corbin are all new and fresh faces at the top of the card.

Smackdown will benefit tremendously from Money in the Bank being in the rear view mirror. The top talent on the brand will be spread over several feuds and matches as opposed to one multi-man match and storyline. With Jinder carrying the top of the card, Cena returning and both Nakamura/Corbin and Styles/Owens as strong individual feuds, Smackdown’s future looks good.

That’s a wrap kids. What did you enjoy or not enjoy about Money in the Bank? Sound off below!

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