I still have a hard time believing it possible. It's difficult to fathom this actually took place. WWE focused almost completely on the wrestling aspect of their product, and what little bit of the entertainment they delivered is actually something to talk about. Money in the Bank 2011 is their best event in about 5 years or so. I believe it's their best since Unforgiven 2006. It could have been much better though if only one match was left off the event, but still, this is going to be one tough act to follow.
This show revolved around the shoot featuring CM Punk, where he made it known that his contract was going to expire at midnight of this event, and he was going to defeat John Cena and leave the company with the belt. There were many predictions, the suspense was high, I mean it was just something fans couldn't wait to see. And to spice things up, Vince McMahon vowed to fire John Cena should he lose to Punk.
For those who do not know, the Money in the Bank Ladder Match is a multi-man match, in this case 8 superstars, who must bring a ladder into the middle of the ring. Then climb it to claim a briefcase suspended above the ring. The briefcase contains a contract, that states that the winner can challenge a heavyweight champion at any time of his choosing.
1-Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Kane vs. Wade Barrett vs. Sin Cara vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater vs. Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan
This featured a host of newcomers to this environment, and one would probably expect that to be one of its shortcomings, but not all, not even by a longshot. These guys all had moments to shine as they delivered some top notch action and really good high spots. Sin Cara kicked ass here as he pulled off a sick somersault, belly to back suplex from the top rope. The younger guys worked to their major strength which was the high flying, while stronger guys like Sheamus showed why he's a monster in this element. Lots of car wrecks here and a good ending. This was no doubt the best way to start the show. 4.5/5
Kelly Kelly (Champion) vs. Brie Bella
This really wasn't a bad match, and I came into this expecting something awful which really isn't like me, because I normally give the Divas a chance. But when looking at the names I just had difficulty giving them a hope in hell. Kelly Kelly has gotten better and up to this day she's still showing progress. They wrestled a good match with some decent lock ups and action. Although it's not as sloppy as most Diva matches, it's not exactly too far above the usual either. 2.75/5
3- Big Show vs. Mark Henry
I really enjoyed the storyline and the build up to this match, which involved Big Show attacking Mark Henry for no reason about a month ago, as a result, woke up a sleeping giant. This is one of those cases where the heel is actually right and deserved to be cheered for whatever he did. Henry attacked the Big Show in the last event which lead to this match. There was some good offense and displays of strength from both sides. Henry would eventually re-injure Big Show's leg with the steel steps. This was a very good big man match that told a nice story on Henry working on Big Show's leg, and further establishing him as a wrecking machine who should be taken serious. This is the most fun Mark Henry has ever been to watch. 3.5/5
4-Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Rey Mysterio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Alex Riley vs. Evan Bourne vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Miz vs. R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger
This match featured the most stars and experience, yet I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one until later. It kicked off with everyone bringing ladders into the ring, and for some reason it just didn't work well with me. It soon lead to everyone pounding Del Rio with the ladders and burying him outside the ring. The action kicked off and the high flyers went to work with Evan Bourne performing "Airbourne" from the top of a ladder outside the ring. Miz proved how big his heart was by wrestling with an injury after a bad fall. Everyone had their moments to shine and I saw no real dead weight here. The outcome was never really in question as far as I'm concerned. In any case by the end, this proved to be almost as good as the first one. 4.25/5
5-World Heavyweight Championship
Randy Orton (Champion) vs. Christian
This match had a stipulation where if Randy Orton gets himself disqualified, then Christian will be the new champion due to his controversial loss to Randy on the last event. This was another good match from these two, but they had better on free TV and on the Over the Limit event.
There was quite a bit of character development which showed how well these two knew each other by countering their finishers. The action was great and this was a nice back and forth. But the highlight was the outcome, which saw Orton snap and become the heel viper once again by destroying Christian after the match. This match did its job by continuing the storyline and portraying Orton as the psychotic individual he is. 4/5
6-WWE Championship Match
John Cena (Champion) vs. CM Punk
This was the most hyped up match quite possibly in history. All eyes was on this bout and it sure as hell lived up to the hype. Seriously, if John Cena performed like this on a nightly basis, then he would be one of my favorites. This was not a typical Cena match, this was a classic in the making that delivered great wrestling and sports entertainment.
This match just had it all. The event took place in Punk's hometown and the crowd was very vocal, it was clear Cena was in enemy territory. This brought back memories of ECW's One Night Stand in 2006, but not exactly on the same level though. The storytelling and ring psychology was fantastic, and Cena matched Punk almost hold for hold, and they countered each others finishers. Traces of the Montreal Screwjob of 97 began to surface, and the match had the right amount of surprises. This was WWE's best title match in years, and is easily the best of 2011 at this point. I don't think it's going to be matched much less surpassed for this year. 5/5
Money in the Bank 2011 was money well spent from where I see it. This event renewed my faith in the WWE product, and the storylines this would eventually spawn made it worth heavily following again. If only the women's match was replaced with something else, it would be as close to perfect a WWE event can possibly be. This is one event I do recommend.
-Main Event, Solid MITB matches
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