Money in the Bank Ladder Match
AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
This is a fine collection of talent. I’d be happy with any of them getting WWE title runs…apart from Baron Corbin, who’s not at that level just yet. Also Dolph Ziggler because he’s awful. Corbin jumps Nakamura before the match leaving him down on the ramp. Positioning this in the main event slot increases expectations and forces the boys to attempt ludicrous spots to steal the show. It all comes down to timing as things need to look organic. One spot in particular stands out where Owens to readying himself to dive to the floor but Sami throws him onto a pre-set up ladder in the ring. The set up involved Kevin opening the ladder but being stopped in the midst of the set up and the boys being dived onto were all distracted by brawling with each other. As long as this stuff makes sense I have no problem with it.
It’s when spots are deliberately set up and it doesn’t make sense to place a ladder somewhere and then leave it that I get annoyed. The Dudley Boyz did a lot of that in their classic ladder matches. Something I specifically like about this match is that everyone tries to climb and tries to win. This, in turn, leads to spots. Rather than spots occurring because it’s a ladder match and ladder matches have crazy spots. Like Sami and Ziggler making it to the top of the ladder and Zayn hitting a sunset flip bomb off the top. Or AJ hitting the Phenomenal Forearm to prevent Sami from climbing to the top. The only guy who sets stuff up is Baron Corbin and that’s because he’s an asshole. He figures if he hurts someone they’ll become a non-factor. This has the added bonus of leaving something set up for someone more talented to use. Corbin is aiming to climb for the briefcase when Nakamura makes a dramatic return. I’d forgotten he was in the match to be honest.
Nakamura cleaning house makes him look like a genuine star and him missing the first half of the match plays in to the ‘Baron wants to hurt people’ angle. Nakamura and AJ Styles coming face to face gets a huge reaction. A lot of New Japan fans in St Louis! WWE has a ready-made main event in AJ-Nakamura. It’s so easy. New Japan did all the legwork! AJ Styles is the MVP of the match. He takes the sickest bumps and spends the most time in the ring, in the spotlight.
Baron Corbin shoves over the ladder with Nakamura and AJ on and then struggles to unlock the briefcase for ages before successfully doing so and gaining his Money in the Bank title shot opportunity.
Final Rating: ****1/4
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