The Golden Truth def. Breezango (Kickoff Match)
LAS VEGAS — Maybe a little corporate sabotage — and that sweet “Step Brothers” T-shirt — were just what The Golden Truth needed to get a leg up on Breezango. By turning up their foes’ joint tanning bed to 11 and frying them to a crisp in the process on last week’s Raw Pre-Show, Goldust & R-Truth not only robbed Breezango of their devastating good looks, but also their trademark agility (not to mention a tolerance for pain) during WWE Money in the Bank Kickoff, allowing the oddest pairing in WWE to claim their very first win.
And what a win it was, as sweet for Golden Truth as it was sour for Breezango, who had made life hell for Goldust & R-Truth over the last month both in and out of the ring. The tanning bed stunt was a case of turnabout being fair play in that respect, though comedic value aside, it was clear from the opening bell that Golden Truth possessed a sizable strategic advantage.
Which meant the order of the day was chops, chops and chops, each delivered in brutal succession to the blistered and peeling chests of WWE’s most gorgeous tag team — first by R-Truth to Fandango, then by Goldust to Breeze. The dastardly duo did somehow manage to power their way to a brief advantage by isolating Truth, but The Bizarre One’s re-entry to the match turned the tide swiftly in Golden Truth’s favor. Breeze’s last-second attempt to interfere was neutralized by R-Truth, and Goldust sealed the deal with the Final Cut to Fandango.
Look at it this way: Breezango was already burnt to a crisp. What’s another three seconds under the lights going to hurt?
Lucha Dragons def. The Dudley Boyz (Kickoff Match)
With both teams looking to shine on the pay-per-view stage, it was the high-flying Lucha Dragons who found a way to defeat The Dudley Boyz when Sin Cara took out Bubba Ray Dudley with a Dragon Bomb.
The outcome was a bit of retribution for Sin Cara & Kalisto, who failed to beat The Dudleys the last time they met in April.
With 20 years of experience on their side, The Dudleys controlled the temp for most of the bout. But The Lucha Dragons were able to find key moments to strike, including when they launched themselves from the top rope and top turnbuckle for well-timed aerial assaults.
With a fired-up WWE Universe chanting “We want tables,” there was a palpable feeling in the air that The Lucha Dragons could meet a painful fate.
But it was a Dragon Bomb from Sin Cara to Bubba Ray Dudley that gave the masked duo a decisive victory and huge momentum boost for the second half of 2016
WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day def. Enzo Amore & Big Cass, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and The Vaudevillains
Booty-O’s might not be served at most Las Vegas hot spots quite yet (give it time, folks), but The New Day nevertheless ran rampant in Sin City at WWE Money in the Bank, where Kofi Kingston & Big E overcame Enzo Amore & Big Cass, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and The Vaudevillains to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Even though the defending champions wrote off their nemeses prior to the match — calling Enzo & Cass “a broke-down Han Solo and a hairless Chewbacca,” dubbing Aiden English & Simon Gotch “Monopoly Men,” and vowing to send Gallows & Anderson back to Japan — The New Day nevertheless faced perilous odds in this Sin City showdown. After spending the night with Lady Luck, Amore nearly scored a pinfall when he and Big Cass nailed Anderson with the Rocket Launcher, but the chaotic, no-disqualification nature of the bout allowed Gallows to save his running buddy from the outside. Moments later, The Vaudevillains nearly took The New Days’ titles to a “bygone era” by hitting Kingston with the Whirling Dervish, but the count was broken by the intervening Gallows.
Ultimately, Gallows & Anderson nearly scored their first championship in WWE when they brutalized English with the Magic Killer, but Big E prevented the pin, hoisted Anderson over his shoulder and hinted at a Big Ending. After Big Cass took out Gallows with a big boot, Kingston & Big E sealed the victory when they put Anderson down with a Midnight Hour to score the pinfall.
The hard-fought victory on day 301 of The New Day’s WWE Tag Team Title reign brought the fighting champions within striking distance of the 331-day record currently held by Brian Kendrick & Paul London. Their potentially historic reign began with a Fatal 4-Way Match victory at SummerSlam 2015, and under the same stipulation, The New Day proved they can not only hang with The New Era’s most competitive tag teams, but stand above them as well.
However, it’s doubtful that The New Day’s unsuccessful challengers will relent in their pursuit of tandem glory in WWE. But for now, WWE’s resident unicorns can continue to hold their horns and their titles high.
Baron Corbin def. Dolph Ziggler
Rookie mistakes have cost Baron Corbin in the past, but against two-time World Champion Dolph Ziggler at WWE Money in the Bank, The Lone Wolf showed the world — and The Showoff — his ability to evolve and adapt as a competitor.
Capitalizing on a misstep by Ziggler, Corbin used the End of Days to shut down The Showoff in just over 12 minutes, perhaps finally bringing to a close a rivalry that has raged on since the night after WrestleMania.
Though conclusive, The Lone Wolf’s win didn’t come easily. The veteran Ziggler used his agility to keep Corbin on his toes early, connecting with a dropkick before being floored by the heavy hands of the three-time Golden Gloves boxer. Corbin then pursued a methodical attack, putting all of his 280 pounds on Ziggler as he controlled him on the canvas.
Ziggler bounced back, but every time The Showoff began to build momentum, Corbin stopped him in his tracks. With each reversal of Ziggler’s offense, The Lone Wolf displayed proved he was one step ahead of the veteran Superstar. When The Showoff sought to Irish whip Corbin into the corner, the 6-foot-8 brawler displayed incredible quickness, sliding out and then back into the ring before tagging Ziggler with a vicious surprise clothesline. On two occasions, Corbin successfully countered one of Ziggler’s favorite weapons, the Famouser.
The third time was the charm, as The Showoff eventually connected with the Famouser, yet Corbin still would not stay down, kicking out at two. Moments later, when the action spilled to the outside, Ziggler leapt off the ring steps toward Corbin. Except Ziggler lost his footing during the high-risk attack, allowing the winner of the 2016 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal to catch Ziggler and slam him on the floor with the Deep Six.
Ever-resilient, Ziggler fought on, and even attempted to take the battle to the air by climbing to the top rope. Once again, The Lone Wolf showed his heightened ring awareness, cutting Ziggler off at the pass and bringing him back inside the ring, where he dropped him with the End of Days for the pin.
Now that Corbin has taken down one of WWE’s most established and revered competitors, who is the next member of WWE’s established guard to feel The Lone Wolf’s bite?
Charlotte Flair & Dana Brooke def. Natalya Neidhart & Becky Lynch
If you can’t beat them, join them. After WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte & Dana Brooke defeated Natalya & Becky Lynch with Natural Selection at WWE Money in the Bank, The Queen of Harts viciously attacked her partner, changing the landscape of the Women’s division.
Becky and Natalya showed the teamwork of longtime friends. They started their attack with a Hart Attack — a tribute to Natalya’s father Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and uncle Bret Hart — then followed up with a double hiptoss and tandem baseball slide. The team nicknamed Hart & Fire was rolling.
But Charlotte turned the tide for her side with a big boot on Natalya, enabling her and Dana to overpower Natalya for several minutes. The Queen of Harts was reeling until she dodged a spear from the reigning champion and tagged in Becky, who bulldozed the opposition.
The frenzied attack culminated in a double missile dropkick, and when Natalya re-entered the battle and locked in the Sharpshooter, it seemed like she’d finally shake the monkey off her back and get the WWE Women’s Champion to submit.
Dana broke up the Sharpshooter and tossed Becky into Natalya, though, allowing Charlotte to connect with Natural Selection for the win.
With Charlotte celebrating another victory at Natalya’s expense, The Queen of Harts’ frustration boiled over after the match, as she pulled Becky down to the mat by her hair, then pummeled her with a series of fists.
Before their tag team matchup against Charlotte & Dana, Becky said Natalya was her “heart.” in betraying Becky at WWE Money in the Bank, Natalya broke it in half.
Apollo Crews def. Sheamus O’Shaunessy
Apollo Crews defeated Sheamus with an extraordinary athletic display, making an emphatic statement on behalf of WWE’s New Era at the greatest WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view in history.
The Celtic Warrior – fed up with the praise of WWE’s new influx of Superstars – first waged war against the New Era a few weeks prior when he brutally attacked an unsuspecting Crews during a backstage interview. However, after an unwavering Crews fired back on the June 9 SmackDown with a jaw-rattling punch to the Dublin native, it can be said that the fiery Irishman may have underestimated his physically commanding foe.
This action-packed “Money” contest started off with a bang as fists flew before the bell could even ring. Crews wasted no time showing off his exceptional athleticism, hitting a picture-perfect dropkick before sending the former Mr. Money in the Bank from the ring. The embattled Sheamus, however, used his veteran guile to quickly turn the tables on the newcomer with his own brutish offense.
The mohawked Superstar continued to deliver a methodical, yet commanding attack against Crews. Just when it seemed like the decorated Irish Superstar would beat his adversary into submission, Crews fought back with a series of lightning-quick strikes. The Georgia native then delivered a forceful belly-to-belly suplex on his foe, sending him spiraling over the ropes to the outside. As if that wasn’t enough, Crews then followed with a spectacular moonsault onto his adversary to the floor below.
Sheamus would again power his way back, though, delivering a back-breaking White Noise on the up-and-coming competitor from the second rope. Amazingly, the hulking Crews managed to kick out of the maneuver, leaving his opponent mystified. But as an irate Sheamus began to argue with the referee, Crews capitalized and rolled him up to earn the pinfall victory.
The impressive win was Crews’ first at a WWE pay-per-view – and, more important, one that successfully silenced The Celtic Warrior’s attack against the New Era … for now.
AJ Styles def. John Cena
The victory in the long-awaited, WrestleMania-worthy dream match between John Cena and AJ Styles went to The Phenomenal One, but you can put an asterisk next to it.
Styles’ win over Cena at WWE Money in the Bank came with more than just a little help from his Club cohorts — Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson — who blasted Cena with their Magic Killer finishing maneuver after the referee went down. WWE’s fastest rising Superstar may have signed a contract pledging that his crew wouldn’t interfere in the match, but that doesn’t mean Anderson and Gallows agreed to the ruling.
Controversial endings aside, this 15-years-in-the-making showdown between The Face that Runs the Place and the single greatest Superstar to have never been given an opportunity in WWE — until now — lived up to its own impossible hype. Big fight feel? This one had it from the moment the Vegas faithful broke out in dueling chants of “Let’s go Cena!”/“Let’s go Styles!” before the opening bell.
Those fans rooting for AJ got what they wanted in the first 10 minutes of the bout as the advantage belonged solely to Styles. The world-traveled athlete even took a break from beating on Cena to ask aloud, “Is this all he’s got?”
Cena, competing in his first match back after a seven-month layoff, couldn’t find an answer for Styles’ offense. If Cena launched Styles in the air, AJ landed on his feet. When Cena went for a superplex, Styles slipped out of his grasp and dropped Cena neck-first on the top rope.
The first pivotal moment of the match came when Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, only to be snatched out of the air by Cena, who immediately went for an Attitude Adjustment. Before he could connect, though, Styles slid out of his hands, rolled through with impossible dexterity and locked in a Calf Crusher. Cena eventually reached the ropes, but those moments he spent locked in the debilitating submission clearly took a lot out of the tenacious Superstar.
Things got gritty from there as Cena connected with the AA on Styles, only for AJ to kick out at two. Moments later, Styles hit the Styles Clash, but Cena somehow powered out of the ensuing pinfall. At that point, it was clear that you’d have to hit one of these guys with a Buick if you were going to win on sheer force alone.
The two Superstars began to throw everything but the kitchen sink at one another until Styles again ended up in the AA. Cena scored, but the referee had gone down in the ensuing mayhem. That’s when The Club struck.
Anderson and Gallows rushed the ring, snatched Cena up in the air and absolutely obliterated him with their Magic Killer maneuver. Styles’ cronies then dragged his body on top of Cena and fled the scene. A few seconds later, the ref reappeared, counted three and gave the victory in this dream match to AJ Styles.
Had Anderson and Gallows acted on their own? Was this Styles’ plan all along? For now, that is unclear. However, rest assured, this was only the first chapter in the Cena-Styles saga.
Dean Ambrose won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match
The greatest Money in the Bank pay-per-view of all-time featured one of the most action-packed Money in the Bank Ladder Matches since its inception more than a decade ago. As is standard procedure, bedlam ensued and the high-stakes competition reached new heights of lunacy. For some it was too much, but for Dean Ambrose the setting was perfect as he became the new Mr. Money in the Bank.
United States Champion Rusev def. Titus O’Neil
Happy Father’s Day? Not for Titus O’Neil. At the “greatest WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view in history,” United States Champion Rusev made O’Neil tap out to the Accolade before humiliating him in front of his family.
Seth Rollins def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns; Dean Ambrose cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion
Minutes after Seth Rollins dethroned Roman Reigns to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion, freshly crowned “Mr. Money in the Bank” Dean Ambrose cashed in his contract and defeated The Architect to claim the title for himself.
Check back soon for a full, detailed match recap.