By Carson Koschik
In the go-home week for Money In The Bank, WWE built up to the event with some fantastic wrestling. Add in a great main event from Ring of Honor and another awesome match between Gail and Taryn, and you got yourself a pretty great week of wrestling. As usual, I will give you what I think were the top ten matches of the week.
#10. Austin Aries & Christopher Daniels vs. Bobby Roode & Kazarian (TNA Impact)
For its Bound for Glory series, TNA held a Joker's Wild tournament where "randomly generated" teams face each other for a spot in a gauntlet match. Well, one of those "randomly generated" matches coincidentally pit Austin Aries against his tag team partner Bobby Roode and Christopher Daniels versus his tag team partner Kazarian. Although this match had arguably the four best guys in TNA, it was held back because of the "Daniels and Kazarian don't want to fight gimmick". Obviously, we would see a slight crack in the partnership of Bad Influence by the end of the match, but it was still an entertaining match. I'm just waiting for the inevitable Daniels vs. Kazarian match that will be taking place for the Bound for Glory series.
#9. Curtis Axel vs. Chris Jericho (WWE Raw)
On Monday Night Raw Curtis Axel suffered his first loss under his new name in a hard fought match against Chris Jericho. It wasn't a clean loss however, as a distraction from the Miz helped Jericho land a codebreaker on the Intercontinental Champion. While many people have been complaining about the blandness of Curtis Axel, I think he proved a lot of people wrong when he put on a great match against Jericho on both Raw and Smackdown. He may be crappy on the mic, but he is far from bad when it comes to in-ring ability.
#8. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus (WWE SmackDown)
Randy Orton and Sheamus finally got the chance to have a match without a ravenous crowd who like to chant the names of the announce team. For the first time since their infamous match from the Raw after 'Mania, SmackDown's two top babyfaces went toe to toe in the main event of Smackdown. While Orton and Sheamus are capable of great matches, their signature move heavy formula kind of made the match extremely predictable. But, predictable or not, Orton and Sheamus put on a hard hitting and fun match to lead in the WWE into Money In The Bank.
#7. Sami Zayn vs. Leo Kruger (WWE NXT)
I have always been a fan of Leo Kruger's character, but I have doubted his in-ring ability. Maybe it was the incredibly talented Zayn, or maybe he had improved greatly, but the South African bounty hunter had one hell of a match against Sami Zayn on NXT. In a match filled with hard hitting power moves and technical high flying, Leo Kruger picked up the win over Sami Zayn after locking in his submission finisher. While I was a little sad to see Zayn tap out (it looks like he's getting a title shot soon too), Zayn still looked great the entire match and it's quite obvious that the WWE is a fan of the former El Generico.
#6. Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim (TNA Impact)
Remember that amazing match Taryn and Gail Kim had a while back on PPV? Remember how it completely stole the show, even from the AJ vs. Angle match? Well, they did it again on Impact, this time in a ladder match. For all of those people (which included me) who thought that Taryn was being carried by Gail, I think it's pretty safe to say that you've been proven wrong. In a match filled with creative spots and great in-ring psychology, Gail Kim reached to the top of the ladder and pulled down the Knockout's Title Match contract after tying Taryn's hair to the ropes. I bet you Drew McIntyre wish he had thought of that.
#5. Matt Taven (c) vs. Eddie Edwards - ROH TV Championship Match (ROH)
In the main event of this week's Ring of Honor, Matt Taven defend his Television Championship against Die Hard Eddie Edwards. In a match full of high flying moves, technical wrestling, and a whole lot of hoopla, Matt Taven retained his championship after a distraction from one of the Hoopla Hotties. While I don't like Matt Taven's character (bland douchebag who relies on Truth Martini to get him heat), there is no denying his in-ring prowess. Pair his in-ring ability with the always awesome Eddie Edwards, and you have a good match on your hands.
#4. CM Punk vs. Randy Orton (WWE Raw)
In the main event of Raw, CM Punk and Randy Orton faced off in a WrestleMania 27 rematch, except this time Punk got the victory over the viper. In an exciting match full of reversals a signature spots, Punk and Orton kept the viewers at home excited and intrigued, as it seemed like both men were going to win at many point in the match. As I said before, Punk would pick up the win over Orton by reversing the RKO into a kick into the head followed by a GTS.
#3. Dolph Ziggler vs. Antonio Cesaro (WWE Main Event)
On Main Event, number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship Dolph Ziggler faced off against "Real American" Antonio Cesaro. The match was awesome to say the least. It was extremely fast paced, full of great spots, and the back and forth between the two was perfectly balanced. Both men impressed greatly with their athleticism, and the DQ ending to the match protected both guys heading into their Money In The Bank PPV matches this Sunday.
#2. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (WWE Raw)
In the opener of Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan faced off against the man who beat him in 18 seconds at WrestleMania and beat him. CLEANLY. Yes, Daniel Bryan striked again when he pulled off another upset and beat the Irish version of Super Cena. Not only that, but the match itself was awesome. Every man got to hit their signature spots, and every man got to reverse the other guys signature spots. After a good 20 minutes of great wrestling, Daniel Bryan would reverse the Texas Cloverleaf into a roll-up for the win.
#1. Daniel Bryan vs. Christian (WWE SmackDown)
So, the top two matches were the openers to Raw and Smackdown? Maybe the WWE should think of putting Bryan in the main event for often. I shouldn't complain though, as Bryan has been beating top guys cleanly for the past month, and it was no different on SmackDown. Daniel Bryan and Christian blew the roof off the arena when they faced off on Friday, even eliciting 'This is awesome!" chants from the crowd. In an amazing example of in-ring ability, the ability to the work the crowd, and in-ring psychology, Daniel Bryan and Christian had one of the best Smackdown matches of the year, and proved why they are the two most respected guys in the business. Hopefully we get to see them both hoist World Championship gold above their heads in the coming years.
Agree? Disagree? Tell me why in the comments or on Twitter @SmarkInProgress.