WWE Money in the Bank 2018 Highlights And Results
🌐 SmackDown Tag Team Championship Kickoff Match
(The Bludgeon Brothers (c) def. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
the good brothers — two of the highest-profile acquisitions over the past few years — haven’t held a title for more than a year gave the challengers a little extra incentive to come out swinging against the fearsome Bludgeon Brothers. Unfortunately, their enthusiasm led them right into Harper &
Rowan’s unorthodox, effective tandem offense. When Gallows found himself taken out by a double dropkick on the ramp, Anderson was caught staring down a two-on-one deficit against the champions.
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Rowan did his best to pancake Anderson into submission, but thanks to a few well-timed blows and a spinebuster to Harper, Anderson weathered the storm and tagged in his partner. Now legal, The Suntan Biker Man quickly shook off the cobwebs and led the good brothers in some tag-team offense of their own. The challengers eventually managed to turn the tables and isolate Harper in a 2-on-1 attack, but before they could execute the Magic Killer, Rowan stormed the ring and tackled Anderson to the ground, leaving Gallows open to a tremendous powerbomb that sealed the match.
🌐 Daniel Bryan def. Big Cass
Big Cass declared that “a good big man will always defeat a good little man.” Big Cass is a good big man. But
Daniel Bryan isn’t just good; he’s great. And Big Cass still has one or two things left to learn after WWE Money in the Bank.
Yes, the Queens seven-footer is now 0-2 against Bryan, who has dispelled nearly every myth about height disparity the sports-entertainment industry has ever held — to say nothing of the idea that his earlier win over Cass at WWE Backlash was a fluke. To his credit, Cass knew what brought him to the dance, and he leaned all the way into those inherent advantages in the early goings: While Bryan literally attempted to run circles around his towering opponent, Cass unleashed the full scope of his strength and size against The “Yes!” Man with a series of slams, splashes and bearhugs that stopped Bryan in his tracks.
If anything doomed Cass, it seemed to be his sense that victory was a foregone conclusion. He gallivanted nonchalantly to the ring and kept pausing his (incredibly effective) strength-based offense to talk trash and admire his handiwork. During one such pause, Bryan dodged a corner charge that landed Cass shoulder-first into the apron, and from there it was all “legs, lungs and heart” for the former WWE Champion.
With Cass stunned, Bryan targeted the big man’s surgically-repaired knee with a game plan that was part street fight and part science, tenderizing Cass’ knee with Dragon Screws before obliterating it against the ring post. Cass didn’t exactly wither and lose from there — he escaped a “Yes!” Lock with a rope grab and showed an impressive transition from a Torture Rack to an inverted Death Valley Driver — but Bryan’s heart carried him over the stretch when The “Yes!” Man escaped a second Torture Rack to land the Running Knee. After pausing over a downed Cass for a moment, Bryan finally applied an agonizing Heel Hook that forced his opponent to tap out.
🌐 Bobby Lashley def. Sami Zayn
After weeks of insults to Lashley’s family and military service, the normally genial big man was raring to fight Zayn from the jump. However, the former NXT Champion had no problem with using his “catlike agility” to play cat-and-mouse with his opponent. Nor did he have a problem raking Lashley’s eyes and booting him through the ropes to finagle a count-out attempt. Nor did he have a problem punching and kicking Lashley while he was down.
Unfortunately, once Lashley grabbed hold of Zayn — literally, he grabbed his balled-up fist and squeezed, in an echo of their handshake a few weeks ago — it was all Bobby, all the time. After pulverizing Zayn with a clothesline, shoulder tackle into the corner and a big Spinebuster, the former ECW Champion executed not one, not two, but three stalling suplexes, each punctuated with a gruesome backbreaker. All of which left Sami so beaten down that Lashley pinned him by simply placing a hand on his chest.
Given the severity of Lashley’s aggression, Zayn likely won’t be convinced that his opponent is as honorable a person as he presents himself to be. But if nothing else, he’ll probably think twice before picking a fight with him from now on.
🌐 Intercontinental Championship Match
(Seth Rollins (c) def. Elias)
That Rollins resorted to chicanery is a surprise for a champion who has made constant competition the founding principle of his reign. However, it’s also a fitting end to this particular cycle, which has seen Rollins and Elias trade sneak attacks and the occasional exchange in tag team action , albeit little to no one-on-one confrontation. Elias took advantage of Rollins’ unfamiliarity throughout the match, catching The Kingslayer with a clothesline in the opening moments that landed him neck-first on the apron. The pain from the impact rendered the champion helpless against a mugging from the guitar-slinging challenger, to say nothing of a rolling Cobra Clutch that seemed as though it could end the match in a submission.
Even as The Architect slowly but surely began to rally, the lingering damage to his neck took something out of his high-risk, high-reward offense, with additional damage also sustained to his knee (tweaked off a leapfrog) and ribs (off a blocked Frog Splash). Superplex-Falcon Arrow combo aside, Rollins was fighting firmly from underneath, and when Elias attempted to finish the job by pulverizing the rest of Rollins’ body in a brief scrap on the outside, The Kingslayer was forced to operate on instinct and adrenaline. The champion reversed Drift Away into a roll-up that was quickly countered and countered again, and when Rollins finally found himself on top, he grabbed a handful of Elias’ pants, using the extra leverage to get the most hard-gotten pin of his title reign.
🌐 Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
(Alexa Bliss def. Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Ember Moon, Natalya, Naomi and Lana)
Alexa Bliss has made a career out of shocking those who would look to write her off. This might be the biggest one yet: Little Miss Bliss went from Five to Fifteen Feet of Fury as she ascended a ladder to claim victory in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match, earning herself a Raw Women’s Title Match opportunity any time over the next year.
She also appeared to be a non-factor in the beginning of the match, though that proved to be a cunning strategy: The Goddess largely kept out of the more frenzied exchanges, only resurfacing each time someone was close to grabbing the contract for themselves. Naomi and Ember Moon, meanwhile, threw caution to the wind, using the shifting landscape of the bout as literal jumping-off points for their own unique offensive styles.
Banks’ me-against-the-world mentality and Natalya’s tendency to focus on one opponent at a time served them less favorably than it did in the last few weeks of Raw: Both Superstars found themselves overwhelmed and caught off-guard down the stretch. Lana mostly tried to win the match the same way she got in it — by taking advantage of whatever situation she could — but she couldn’t quite close the gap with the more experienced Superstars in the match.
Charlotte and Becky, meanwhile, largely ended up canceling each other out. If they weren’t working together, they were fighting each other, and that rivalry opened the door for Bliss. After Lynch got the better of Flair in their final scrap of the bout, The Irish Lass Kicker scaled the ladder, and Bliss made her move, tipping the ladder over so Becky landed face-first on another ladder that had been propped up on the turnbuckle. Alexa then scrambled up to the top rung to claim the contract. Now, the ladder is her Mount Olympus, the contract is hers, and Alexa gets to play to her sneak-attack strengths at any time she so chooses. How’s that for a moment of bliss?
🌐 Roman Reigns def. Jinder Mahal
The Big Dog claimed victory over The Modern Day Maharaja, who had hoped to insert himself into the Universal Title race by taking the self-dubbed “uncrowned champion” out of the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. That landed him square in Reigns’ sights, but Mahal seemed to have found a way to defeat the typically unshakable Superstar: Essentially, get him to see red and then surprise him with as much chicanery as possible.
It looked, at first, like that would be the story of the night at WWE Money in the Bank. Mahal dodged an early Drive-By, and Sunil Singh , who came to the ring in a wheelchair, proved to be as healthy as a horse when he sprang up and hit Roman with a cheap shot by driving him into the ring post while the ref was distracted. The hostility of the Chicago crowd even appeared to help Mahal, as he whittled away against his opponent’s back. Even when Reigns began to rally, Mahal maintained control and stifled his sequences with power strikes and knees.
But Mahal couldn’t close. Reigns hung tough against Jinder, and Mahal began to get more and more frustrated down the stretch, allowing Reigns to take advantage with some timely strikes of his own. He even thwarted another attempted interference from Singh, Superman Punching him out of the chair before spearing him halfway out of his shoes. Mahal, once again, seemed to be nearing victory in the chaos when he rolled Reigns up through the ropes, but The Big Dog kicked out and finally revved up into a match-ending Spear.
🌐 SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
(Carmella (c) def. Asuka)
The re-emergence of Ellsworth, who was released from his WWE contract late last year after months as Carmella’s henchman, was a truly poetic instance of history repeating itself: Ellsworth infamously helped her win the first-ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match at last year’s event, so it was only fitting that he resurfaced to help The Princess of Staten Island in a title match against Asuka that was fast becoming a formality for The Empress of Tomorrow.
Speculation leading up to the showdown had mostly been on whether the end of Asuka’s undefeated streak had left the former NXT Women’s Champion too diminished to mount a credible challenge, and the Japanese striker wasted no time dispelling those notions in the most painful fashion imaginable. Carmella’s early confidence was quickly whittled away with each blistering chop, kick and hip-charge from Asuka; The Empress’ opening salvo was so savage that Corey Graves openly wondered if she’d get disqualified.
Carmella found some success with her surprisingly deep playbook of submissions and by using Asuka’s aggression against her, waiting for the champion to rev up and then simply getting out of the way so Asuka landed the most damage on herself. Though right as Asuka was moving in for the final push, a mysterious figure cloaked in Asuka’s robe and mask climbed onto the apron. When the individual unmasked to reveal Ellsworth, Asuka was so stunned that a savage kick from Carmella to Asuka’s dome was enough to put The Empress of Tomorrow down for the count.
🌐 WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match
(AJ Styles (c) def. Shinsuke Nakamura)
The weeks leading up to the bout had seen Nakamura take up rent-free residence in Styles’ head; each of his sinister eccentricities was enough to send The Phenomenal One flying into a fury. So, it was natural that Styles came out swinging, though he ended up expending so much energy that Nakamura was able to turn it around and notch some early counts from the ref. The King of Strong Style was also the first to lean into the more extreme elements of the match, taking the fight outside of the ring each opportunity he had.
Speculation had focused on how far Styles was willing to go to retain his title; for a while, it seemed like the more pertinent question might have been how much he was willing to take. While Styles certainly brutalized every joint and vertebra of Nakamura he could get his hands on, this was largely a defensive effort from the champion, who found himself Kinshasa’d atop an announce table, beaten about the Allstate Arena, and fastballed through a table — this on top of all the usual agony that comes from suffering The King of Strong Style’s offense.
The Phenomenal One answered the count of 10 after each bout of brutality, and the momentum shifted on something fairly mundane by comparison: A single exposed turnbuckle, which Nakamura ended up kneeing full-force when Styles dodged one of his corner attacks. The Phenomenal One pounced with a blitz of kicks, a torturous Calf Crusher and an attack from a steel chair that was so savage that Nakamura was forced to go back to his bread and butter: A low blow that appeared like it would finally get the job done.
Styles got up from that, too, as well as the Kinshasa that followed, using the table to haul himself to his feet. By this point, champion and challenger were on their last legs — Nakamura’s bum knee would barely support his weight, and that Kinshasa didn’t help — and Styles finally revealed how vicious he’d get to protect his title.
A Phenomenal Forearm off the announce table and a Styles Clash off the steel steps to the floor were the start. When Nakamura got to his feet and dared Styles to come on, the champion obliged with a stinging kick to the knee and a Phenomenal Forearm to the outside that shattered the table.
finally — left the challenger unable to respond. Styles retains, and his reign as WWE Champion moves to its 222nd day: A count that’s growing larger by the second.
🌐 Raw Women’s Championship Match
(Ronda Rousey def. Nia Jax (c) by DQ; Alexa Bliss cashes-in her Money in the Bank contract to become Raw Women’s Champion)
Ronda Rousey was more ready than Nia Jax gave her credit for when it came to the various rules and quirks of WWE-style competition. She was ready for the headbutts, ready for the slams, ready for all of it. But neither woman was ready for a Money in the Bank cash-in, and instead it was Alexa Bliss , not Nia or Ronda, who left WWE Money in the Bank as Raw Women’s Champion just 90 minutes after winning the contract.
Five Feet of Fury’s intrusion was shocking not just for its historical implications — she’s only the third Superstar to cash in their contract the same night as winning it, and the first woman to do so — but because Rousey had managed to claw back from a smothering offensive effort by Jax to finally tee up her dreaded armbar. The Baddest Woman on the Planet was subjected to the full scope of The Irresistible Force’s arsenal; her game plan mainly focused on peppering Jax with strikes where she could and try to maneuver her way into her dreaded signature hold.
That strategy proved easier said than done. Jax had said she challenged Rousey to take her reputation, and The Irresistible Force pulled out all the stops in the effort to expose Rousey as a Superstar who was woefully out of her depth. It seemed, ever so briefly, like she might have been, especially after Jax reversed her first armbar attempt into a gargantuan powerbomb and later incorporated maneuvers like bearhugs and a Samoan Drop.
As the match wore on, however, Rousey began to find her footing and her confidence. The punches landed harder. A judo throw hit its mark. And an armbar over the top rope took enough out of Jax that when Rousey finally got the champion in position for the armbar within the ring, even Nia knew she didn’t have enough left in the tank to counter it. And then, Alexa Bliss struck.
Ms. Money in the Bank, who had won the contract less than two hours prior, attacked from behind, bashing Rousey in the back with the briefcase to earn “Rowdy” Ronda a disqualification win over the champion.
However, after Bliss tossed Rousey over the announce table and brutalized Nia’s arm with the briefcase, it became clear what was about to happen: The cash-in was called, a DDT and Twisted Bliss were administered, and Bliss swiftly became a five-time Women’s Champion. And while Rousey stirred by the commentary table and Bliss paraded back up the ramp, Nia was left dejected in the ring, clutching her arm with all the look of someone who realized that Ronda Rousey was ready after all, but she wasn’t.
🌐 Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
(Braun Strowman def. Finn Bálor, The Miz, Rusev, Kevin Owens, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe and Kofi Kingston)
Braun Strowman said he was going to win the Money in the Bank contract and cash in on Universal Champion Brock Lesnar . He’s one step down. The Monster Among Men is now Mr. Monster in the Bank, having landed Raw its second contract of the night to set up a potential showdown between Team Red’s superheavyweights.
This was hardly a surprise. Strowman was such an obvious frontrunner that Kevin Owens had spent the entire night attempting to sweet-talk the bout’s SmackDown participants into ganging up on him (Samoa Joe was less than receptive; The New Day seemed sufficiently bought by Owens’ trash bag full of pancakes until KO let slip that he hates breakfast food). As it turned out, he needn’t have tried so hard: The match opened with everyone joining forces to effectively bury Strowman under a pile of ladders atop the ramp.
With Strowman dispatched, a mad dash ensued to see if anyone could grab the contract before he awakened. The Miz tried to scramble up the ladder when nobody was looking and repeated the strategy throughout the night. Samoa Joe tried to drop his opponents one by one. Owens, Finn Bálor,
Rusev and Bobby Roode relied on strategic, stick-and-move attacks. And Kofi Kingston , who represented The New Day for his record-tying seventh Money in the Bank Match, relied on his athleticism and ingenuity.
Strowman possessed a combination of all those strategies, so when he eventually rose from his makeshift tomb, Owens (with an assist from Joe and Rusev) didn’t hesitate to try to put him down again with a Frog Splash off a 20-foot ladder. Alas, the monstrous Superstar scaled the ladder, grabbed hold of Owens and tossed him 20 feet through a table.
Needless to say, six Superstars were not nearly enough to stop what came next. After Strowman stormed to the ring (breaking a ladder held by Roode and Bálor in half with a shoulder tackle), another mad dash began. The Monster Among Men was briefly indisposed again, leading to a pair of astounding maneuvers — a double Accolade to Kofi and Roode that almost became a triple and a Coup de Grâce from Finn to The Glorious One from atop a ladder outside the ring — that seemed like they would sway the match.
Alas, the field balanced itself out too efficiently to deter Strowman’s final push for the contract. Bálor ended up face-to-face with Strowman on the other end of the ladder, while Kofi, having saved his best move for last, clung to Strowman’s back, in the hopes of snagging the contract for themselves. Both failed. Finn was decked, Kofi was dumped, and two seconds later, the Money in the Bank contract was firmly in the grasp of These Hands.