On a show as action-packed as last night's Money in the Bank, it's no surprise that there are going to be a few great moments that go under the radar.
The big incidents like John Cena's title win and Seth Rollins taking possession of the Money in the Bank briefcase are bound to dominate any discussion of the show, and with good reason. These are the happenings that will have the most impact on storylines in the coming weeks.
However—and this is something WWE seemed to have forgotten for a time—a three-hour show like the one Sunday night isn't just about the outcome of its main event. Smaller moments peppered throughout the undercard are just as important in making a show satisfying as a whole.
The Usos and The Wyatt Family Start Things Off Right
Typically, a Money in the Bank pay-per-view with two Ladder matches will use one of those bouts as an exciting show-opener to engage its audience from the get-go. Last night, two very talented teams demonstrated that they could deliver just as much excitement with half the competitors and no ladders.
The steady rise of the Usos has been one of the most quietly remarkable things to happen in WWE this year. For much of their early tenure in the company, it seemed like the duo might be forever confined to also-ran status in the tag division, but their ability to engage their audience and perform in the ring, especially since the beginning of their title run, has put paid to that idea.
The Wyatts had more of an immediate impact in the company, but they too have continued to develop and evolve on a weekly basis. Luke Harper is, of course, one of the most versatile and reliable talents in WWE at present, but it has to be said that Erick Rowan is putting in the effort to hold his own.
There weren't many fans of Rowan when he debuted, but since then, it would be hard to argue that he hasn't improved by leaps and bounds. Playing to his strengths and becoming something of a throwback big man, he's demonstrated that he does have a lot of promise.
Last night, both teams brought their best and put on one of the best matches on the card. It's perhaps only because this happened so early in the night that it's not more of a talking point today.
Big E Almost Escapes The Accolade
Rusev seems to be a rather divisive figure amongst WWE fans, but personally, I think he's proving to be a welcome face in the undercard. His match last night against Big E was a hugely physical affair that ended with a very canny finish.
Big E found himself locked in Rusev's Accolade submission hold, and based off past results, it seemed that all was lost. However, Big E managed to feed off the audience's support and came very close to freeing himself—only for Rusev to reapply the hold and force him to tap out.
The finish worked brilliantly because it did so much while still being very simple. Rusev was put in peril for the first time since he's been on the main roster, and Big E took a loss, but both managed to come out with some measure of success—without detracting from the achievement of the other.
Both men faced up to adversity: Big E held out against a brutal submission hold, and Rusev was able to control Big E when he looked like he could turn the tide. In an era when 50/50 booking means wrestlers typically need to trade wins to look strong, this simple but effective finish showed a bit of ingenuity, and as a result, the match benefited greatly from it.
Paige and Naomi Get Aggressive
It was a shame to see that Paige didn't receive much of a reaction upon her entrance last night, but a very aggressive match with Naomi was enough to get the crowd involved. From the off, the pair were brawling at ringside, which set the tone for a surprisingly physical bout.
Seeing the two Divas locked up on the outside demonstrated just how much the women's division has changed as of late. The future of women's wrestling in WWE looks bright, with NXT trainer and indie legend Sara Del Rey no doubt deserving a lot of credit.
However, it was the two women in the ring who delivered ample physicality last night, making something of a match that few were excited for. Hopefully this isn't the last we see of this pairing.
The Crowd Goes Wild for Rollins vs. Ambrose
While Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins might be getting a lot of acclaim separately for their performances last night, their altercation at the very beginning of the Money in the Bank Ladder match would certainly rank as an underrated moment for my money.
Ambrose, the last competitor to make his entrance, made a beeline for Rollins as soon as he hit the ring, and the crowd loved it. Raining wild blows down on his former stablemate, we saw a hint of the reaction that will be present when the two inevitably face off in singles competition.
Based on the events of last night, it would make sense for Ambrose to take on Kane at Battleground next month before setting his sights on Rollins once again at SummerSlam, perhaps with the Money in the Bank briefcase on the line?
Whatever the details may be, it's very easy to get excited about seeing the match happen. The Shield was such a great stable, and it's very encouraging to see each member of the group being kept hot after their split.
Roman Reigns is being moulded into a superface, Rollins is excelling in his heel role and Ambrose is proving to be very effective as an unhinged antihero. It's clear from last night that people want to see the latter two square off, and there's no doubt that a future match would be an excellent contest with a hot crowd spurring it on.
Did another moment from last night's show stand out to you? Was it Fandango's referee attire? Perhaps Jon Stewart's uncomfortable cameo? Or the surprise and shock of John Cena defying the odds and becoming WWE World Heavyweight champion? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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