Pro WrestlingWWE

Titles Change Hands, Usos Reign Supreme at WWE Money in the Bank from London

London played host to WWE’s first premium live event in the capital since Insurrextion in 2003 with two Money in the Bank ladder matches, three championship matches and a ‘Bloodline Civil War’ between family members.

WWE Money in the Bank got underway with a culmination of the James Bond style promo introductions that have built towards today’s event, emanating live from the O2 Arena in London, England. Earlier in the night, on the Money in the Bank Kickoff Show, it was announced that the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match would kick off the event. There have been key moments in the history of this event that have seen the winner of the opening Money in the Bank match cash in their contract later in the night. Would this be what would transpire on this night?

Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Ricochet vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. LA Knight vs. Santos Escobar vs. Butch vs. Damian Priest vs. Logan Paul

With a share of special one off attires amongst the field of seven WWE Superstars, the competitors made their way to the ring with the hopes of climbing the ladder to secure a contract that would guarantee them a championship opportunity at any time between now and the next Money in the Bank event. The strongest reactions came for LA Knight, whom the British crowd were firmly behind, and Logan Paul, for whom the O2 shared their loud disdain.

As the bell rang, the horde descended on Logan Paul before turning their attentions more generally on each other. Paul went for the briefcase early but was intercepted by Shinsuke Nakamura who delivered some Good Vibrations to the Megastar, for his efforts. Logan Paul would skulk at ringside and try again a little later but, this time, the group were all wise to it and made him regret the decision. After taking out his competition with a cricket bat – as well as allowing colour commentator, Wade Barrett, to lament about England’s performance in The Ashes – Pete Dunne Butch attempted to climb the ladder for the first time.

Outside the ring, Damien Priest and Logan Paul teamed up to set up some tables at the bottom of the entrance ramp. Paul thwarted LA Knight’s first opportunity to climb the ladder but was laid out by Priest. The Maverick was almost suplexed through a ladder by Priest but he was saved by Butch, for whatever reason. Moments later, Priest found himself prone on the ladder that he had poised between the ring apron and the barricade and Logan Paul made him suffer with a frogsplash delivered to the vulnerable member of The Judgment Day.

As the dust settled on the recent highspots, all seven men returned to the ring. One by one the group took each other out until only Shinsuke Nakamura and Santos Escobar remained in the ring. Nakamura took out Escobar but he was dragged out of the ring by his foot by Butch. The Brawling Brute then proceeded to gather superstars at ringside so he could deliver a moonsault from the top of the ladder and take down his competition.

With a second ladder set up in the middle of the ring, the battle resumed near the Money in the Bank briefcase. One by one, the men fell until Logan Paul and Ricochet remained. LA Knight came back into the ring to push the ladder over. Paul and Ricochet landed safely on the ropes but Ricochet delivered a Spanish Fly to Paul through the tables earlier set up at ringside.

Knight went for the briefcase to be cut off by Butch. Butch was dealt with by Damien Priest. Priest was met on the ladder by LA Knight but after taking him down to the mat with a modified version of a Broken Arrow, Priest climbed the ladder one more time to secure the briefcase and become SeΓ±or Money in the Bank.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships

Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez

The first championship action of Money in the Bank saw Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler defend their freshly unified WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships against the former champions, Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez.

The match began fairly frenetically with the referee struggling to force one-on-one competition in the early going. As the opening brawl died down, Liv Morgan was powerbombed out of the ring by her own partner to take down the champs who had retreated to the outside of the ring. As things calmed, Shayna Baszler took control of the match when she stomped down on the previously injured arm of Morgan. The Submission Magician went to great pains to isolate Morgan away from Rodriguez and the champions continued to wear down Liv with submissions. As the match progressed, Morgan was able to bring in her tag team partner after escaping Ronda Rousey following delivery of a ‘Jersey Codebreaker.’ It’s a Codebreaker and she’s from Jersey. I get it but it’s a little paint by numbers…

Despite her escape, Liv once again found herself isolated once again. With Raquel Rodriguez sidelined by a push into the ringpost, Shayna beat down Morgan and tagged in Rousey. In a move that nobody expected, Shayna Baszler then attacked her own partner from behind, allowing Rodruigiez to deliver a Tahana Bomb and Liv Morgan to secure the victory with Ob-Liv-ion.

WWE Intercontinental Championship

GUNTHER (c) vs. Matt Riddle

Championship action continued, next, with the Intercontinental Championship on the line. In this contest, GUNTHER defended his title against the challenge of Matt Riddle. The Original Bro tried to start off the match hard, delivering powerful strikes against the Ring General. However, GUNTHER was resolved to pick up where he left off the last time he graced British shores and took strips out of Riddle with loud and powerful slaps and chops.

Starting to favour his ankle amid targeted strikes and submissions from GUNTHER, Riddle fought to stay in the match with targeted blows and technical manoeuvres on the Intercontinental Champion. Riddle delivered a Floating Bro from the top rope to gain himself a nearfall. GUNTHER took to the top rope himself but Riddle countered it into a Triangle Submission. Riddle’s offense was shortlived, though, as the Ring General delivered his own counter moves.

With Riddle prone from a previous Boston Crab, GUNTHER delivered a series of chopping strikes to the exposed foot of Riddle and locked in a heel hook to force the tapout.

As GUNTHER celebrated his victory, the familiar sound of clashing swords rang through the O2 Arena and the returning Drew McIntyre made his way to confront the Intercontinental Champion in the middle of the ring.

The Scottish Psychopath surprised GUNTHER with a Glasgow Kiss and left him laying with a Claymore Kick. The Scotsman then posed for the crown with the Intercontinental Championship held high above his head to the adulation of the hometown crowd.

Cody Rhodes vs. Dominick Mysterio

Accompanied to the ring by Rhea Ripley, Dominick Mysterio made his way to the ring amid a chorus of boos to face off against “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes. Always keen for a singalong, the British crowd not only sung the traditional ‘woah-oh’ portion of Downstait’s Kingdom but the whole anthem from start to finish. Never change, Britfans.

Dom started the contest with a hit and run style approach, peppering Rhodes with quick, insulting strikes before retreating into the corner or around the ringside area. An irate Rhodes tore off the cast on his genuinely broken arm and chased Dominick up the entrance ramp. Cody caught the younger Mysterio and returned him to the ring, only for him to try and get out of dodge through the crowd. Cody returned Dom to the ring again but became distracted by Women’s World Champion, Rhea Ripley, allowing Mysterio to turn the match around.

Despite the “Oh, Dom is a wanker” chants from the British crowd, Mysterio kept Rhodes grounded at secured himself a number of nearfalls. As Dominick tried to deliver Eddie Guererro’s Three Amigos, Rhodes rallied back and picked up a nearfall of his own after a Disaster Kick. Cody went for a second but Ripley leapt to the apron to divert Rhodes’ attention. Despite this, Cody Rhodes soon took down Dom with the Cody Cutter and followed it up with Cross Rhodes to pick up the win.

John Cena Surprises London

As the crowd prepared for the next match, John Cena’s music hit and the sixteen time World Champion made his way to the ring. Cena took to the mic to lament that WWE hadn’t presented a premium live event in London in over 20 years. John Cena suggested, and I use that term loosely, that the reason for this was that the crowd in London has a tendency to take over the show. He went on to say that he was here to represent the underappreciated British audience and that his goal was to try and bring WrestleMania to London. Wow.

As the crowd gave both Cena and the notion of a British WrestleMania a full throated ovation, Grayson Waller made his way to the ring. Despite pleas from the fans that Waller “shut the f*ck up,” Waller took to the mic to mock the notion of WrestleMania in the UK and suggest that Australia get the honour instead. Waller went on to offer Cena a viral moment… a main event match with Grayson Waller at WrestleMania Australia.

With his advances spurned, Grayson Waller jumped John Cena from behind. In classic Cena fashion, though, Big Match John regained his composure and sent Waller packing with the F.U. Attitude Adjustment.

Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Zelina Vega vs. Becky Lynch vs. Zoey Stark vs. Bayley vs. Iyo Sky vs. Trish Stratus

Hoping to etch their own name on a Money in the Bank contract, the women of WWE went to war in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match, next. As the final competitor, Becky Lynch, made her way to the ring, she was met on the ramp by Zoey Stark and Trish Stratus – each competing in their first Money in the Bank matches. With The Man left laying on the ramp, the pair turned their attention to the rest of the field, before taking a ladder into the ring to try and win it all.

As Stark supported Stratus in climbing the ladder, they were intercepted the other pairing in this match: Bayley and Iyo Sky of Damage Ctrl. Where Bayley had been able to ignore the serenade of the London crowd on SmackDown, she became annoyed at their incessant hey, Bayley-ing and demanded that the crowd shut their mouths. As the 18,000 people in the O2 ignored that request, Bayley and Sky were sent out of the ring and the fight between Zoey Stark and Becky Lynch resumed atop a ladder.

Amid further brawling on and around the ladders amongst the field of six women, Iyo Sky climbed to the top of one of the ladders to deliver a picture perfect moonsault to the remaining five women waiting below. This melee allowed Trish Stratus to sneak into the ring and climb towards the Money in the Bank briefcase but her overtures were thwarted by her rival, Becky Lynch. Despite this rivalry, the pair would work as a team, momentarily, in order to stop Zelina Vega’s attempt at the briefcase. This lasted about as long as interest in Lita’s comeback, though, and the pair were soon slugging it out once again.

The brawl between Lynch, Stratus and Stark spread to ringside, culminating in Lynch delivering a Rockbottom Manhandle Slam to Trish from the top of the announce table onto a ladder balanced at ringside. With her mentor, Trish Stratus, laid out at ringside, Stark took to the ring to go for the contract but her attempts were stopped by Zelina Vega, who delivered an extremely impressive Code Red to Stark from the top of a ladder.

With nobody else in sight, Iyo Sky climbed a ladder to try and secure victory for herself but, in a surprising move, Bayley tipped over the ladder with Iyo on it and sent her crashing to the mat. As Bayley climbed the ladder, Becky Lynch intervened but Iyo Sky got her own back on her teammate, handcuffing her to Becky Lynch, trapping both in a ladder and climbing to retrieve the Money in the Bank contract briefcase.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Seth Rollins (c) vs. Finn Balor

In a long awaited rematch of their inaugural WWE Universal Championship encounter eight years ago, Seth Rollins defended his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor, next at Money in the Bank.

As the crowd continued to sing the song of the World Heavyweight Champion, the challenger struck fast with quick strikes. Rollins retaliated and took the fight to ringside, diving through the ropes to take down Balor beside the announce table. Back in the ring, Seth tried to end things quickly, attempting delivery of a Stomp and a Pedigree, to no effect. Balor took over again and continued to target the ribs of Seth Rollins. Balor was drawn to the ribs of the champion, owing to the kinesiotape Rollins had placed on his midsection, and would be a focal point of the offensive attack of the challenger throughout this contest.

Balor received several nearfalls but each seemed to strengthen the resolve of the champion and, eventually, Seth Rollins was able to deliver a Pedigree to Balor. He didn’t get all of it, though, and Balor was able to kick out at two. This nearfall brought Damien Priest to ringside where, despite calls to ‘cash it in’ from the crowd, he parked himself on a chair and watched the action unfold.

The distraction was enough for Balor to build a head of steam and get into the match. Balor climbed the turnbuckle to deliver Coup de Grace but this brought Priest out of his seat. Finn lost concentration for a brief moment but this allowed Seth Rollins to avoid the move, deliver a Stomp and pin Balor to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

“Bloodline Civil War” Tag Team Match

Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa (with Paul Heyman) vs. The Usos

In the main event, The Bloodline continued to implode in the “Civil War” tag team match between the Undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa, and The Usos.

With the crowd requesting Roman Reigns go forth and multiply, the match began with a confrontation between Jimmy Uso and his younger brother, Solo. Sikoa delivered a couple of powerful scoop slams to assert his dominance early but the elder Uso regrouped and took the fight to his brother once again. Once Jimmy tagged in Jey, Roman Reigns was interested and demanded Solo tag him in. The Undisputed Champion asserted his dominance on his cousin, motivated by the words of his special counsel, Paul Heyman, before allowing Solo back into the match to continue the work that he began at the top of the match.

With textbook tag team technique, Reigns and Sikoa continued to tag in and out of the match and continued the systematic beatdown of The Usos. The pair isolated Jimmy from his brother, once again, but when Jey made the hot tag, he was able to build some momentum on Solo Sikoa and edge closer to victory. The Usos gained a very close nearfall after delivering a double Spear to Roman Reigns. Were it not for the breakup by Solo Sikoa, Jimmy and Jey could have taken it all, right there.

With all four men in the ring, the brawl resumed. Roman Reigns hit a glancing Superman Punch on Jimmy Uso but this was only enough for a two count. The Tribal Chief went for a Spear but he was met with a Superkick by Jimmy. Uso went to the top rope to deliver a splash but Reigns caught Jimmy Uso in the Guillotine. Roman Reigns cousin was able to do what few have done before him and fight his way out of the submission but, as Jimmy rallied, the referee was knocked out of the ring. The Usos hit One & Done on Reigns but without an official to count the pinfall, the match continued.

With a view to ending it all, Reigns and Sikoa combined to deliver the Spear and the Samoan Spike to The Usos but a slow count from the groggy referee allowed The Usos to kick out. Frustrated, Sikoa dumped Jimmy on the announce table and looked to crush him with a splash. At the last moment, Jimmy was able to escape and Sikoa crashed through the announce table, solo. Roman Reigns was left to fight alone and, as such, succumned to a low blow from Jey Uso that the brothers followed up with the Uso Splash and Roman Reigns first loss in over three years.

Did you enjoy WWE Money in the Bank from London? Are you excited for the potential of WrestleMania in the United Kingdom? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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