An awesome opening from SmackDown's Money in the Bank Ladder Match, as I was pleasantly surprised it was exciting as it was despite the lack of star power. Everyone involved was given a chance to shine, especially the spots involving Justin Gabriel, Sheamus, and Sin Cara. The finish was not only shocking , but a great, emotional win. Giving Daniel Bryan the briefcase got the crowd pumping, as he certainly deserves it.
Obviously, the Divas Championship was lackluster, but at least they both tried. The fact of the matter is that neither of them can work, so new contenders are needed, such as Phoenix, Kim, or Natayla. Nonetheless, at least the placement was a good buffer following the exciting MITB match.
I didn't expect much from Big Show and Mark Henry, but I was again surprised how they lived up to the hype on their on-going feud. It was given good time that included some decent wrestling, that ended with the perfect finish with Henry going over clean. This win gives Henry the monster heel effect, especially since Show will be "sidelined" for six to eight weeks.
Although it didn't quite live up to the SmackDown version, the RAW Money in the Bank match was solid for the most part. Its action was unorganized, but each Superstar involved had a brief moment. I found it humorous the Chicago crowd cheered Miz on his way back and booed Mysterio as he was about to win, and the Del Rio finish was interesting in removing Mysterio's mask. His victory was predictable, but it certifies his rightful place among the main event players.
After seeing three previous matches between Randy Orton and Christian, it's grown to the point where their solid matches have become redundant and repetitive. It didn't quite live up to their previous bouts, and the disqualification finish was a little awkward for Orton knowing he'd lose the title. The contest was never able to really kick off until the near falls, but at least they gave the fans what they wanted with the two RKOs on the after the match. I'm glad they were smart enough to finally put the belt back on Christian, putting Orton in chase mode.
Coming to the climax of the evening, the WWE Championship match was simply excellent and perfect in more ways than one. In a thirty minute wrestling classic, that's the best we've seen from Cena in a very long time, and being put in the ring with a natural such as CM Punk made the match even more suspenseful. The McMahon attempt at the recreation of the Montreal Screwjob was excellently executed, with a very well-done finish. The crowd was absolutely the perfect atmosphere, and added to the excitement of the overall match. I enjoyed the swerve of Del Rio failing to cash in his briefcase only to have Punk run off with the title, leaving a great cliffhanger for the following RAW. I consider this a strong candidate in the running for Match of the Year.
Overall, this is one of the best pay-per-views I've witnessed in a long, long time. The card was strong all around, with some surprising twists and the right people going over. It's about time WWE started to listen what the fans wanted, with an excellent Chicago all right long.
The opening promo from Randy Orton and Christian was harmless, but it seems like we've seen different so many version of this from these two that it's becoming stale. But Christian's insults do make for good comedy, while Orton does nothing for me.
The Intercontinental Championship was random for me, and it seems like DiBiase's constant losing automatically assumes he will lose. However, a good showing from Ted DiBiase even though it was mostly dominant of Jackson's part. Hopefully, this all leads to a DiBiase face turn sooner rather than later.
Another awesome match from Cody Rhodes and Daniel Bryan, with a sick promo recapping their feud prior to the contest. It was wise to give Rhodes the victory here, and hopefully this is the blow-off to the feud that elevates them after Sunday.
A good showing from Sin Cara and Sheamus, even if it reminded of Mysterio in action a bit due to the underdog tactics used by Sin Cara. Wade Barrett was excellent on commentary, and his attack afterwards gives him some much-needed momentum.
Surprisingly, I throughly enjoyed the Big Show-Mark Henry segment. They usually aren't hot on the mic, but they were great last night. Teddy Long was good in his role as the peacemaker, even if the final line was a little strange. Nonetheless, this promo gave Henry some explanation and gets me in the mood to see these two go at it.
The Divas match was horrible as usual, as neither of the two ladies can work a decent match. It was used to get Kelly Kelly some momentum going into her title defense, so at least it had a purpose.
A weak match from Justin Gabriel and Heath Sltaer. It wasn't bad, but these two are capable are putting on something much greater given their history. Slater is a wreck on the mic, and doesn't do anything as a heel, but I'm glad Gabriel is finally getting the face push we anticipated. Hopefully, the feud continues and we see the two go longer than what we got last night.
I was expecting a solid match from Kane and Randy Orton, but it was too short to really get started. Christian getting involved was typical, but I like the swerve of giving Kane the victory. Kane attacking Orton wasn't completely out of character being a tweener, but it certainly was interesting. I'd love to see Orton and Kane fight for the World Title down the line.
Overall, a solid show. I'm disappointed I wasn't able to go due to personal reasons, but a great build-up show nonetheless. The matches were too short to be anything special, but all served a purpose in hyping Money in the Bank. Each rivalry was highlighted, and has me getting high hopes for Sunday.
Awesome opening promo from CM Punk and John Cena, with this being the first time they've stood face-to-face in the ring since the beginning of this feud. Punk's explanation for his actions two weeks was well done, and set up the contract signing later in the night. The handicap was acceptable, but with a very predictable finish in the champ's hometown.
The Divas match was quick and painless, but it's disappointing to see Melina mean so little recently. The beat-down of the Divas is exactly what we saw two weeks ago, and for the love of God, WWE, please stop trying to make the Bellas into the next Lay-Cool.
Great hype for the RAW Money in the Bank this Sunday, hearing from each of the participants. The match was solid action, and made Del Rio look like a favorite going into Sunday. It was odd not seeing Mysterio be involved, but hopefully we can see some cool spots from him Sunday.
Another handicap match is not what I wanted to see later in the show, but it served its purpose. I'm glad the U.S. Champion was the one not looking weak, and kudos to McIntyre for taking such a brutal fall. Mark Henry's run-in was logical but was a nice touch.
The contract signing negotiation was the cherry on top of this epic feud occurring between Punk, Cena, and McMahon. I'm glad they're bringing his real-life situation into this, and being honest makes the segment that much cooler. Punk's confrontation with Cena was simply awesome, and has me sitting on the edge of my seat going into Money in the Bank.
Overall, a great build-up show. Each match was given decent hype, and certainly has me looking forward to this Sunday. The action was light, but the promos all served a purpose. It's a shame the success doesn't show in the ratings, but hopefully it will add more buys to Money in the Bank.