WWE Money in the Bank 2015 Results: Biggest Winners and Losers from PPV
Two of the most intense rivalries took center stage on Sunday night as WWE presented its Money in the Bank pay-per-view, spawning huge winners across the board.
Seth Rollins finally captured an elusive victory without the assistance of The Authority, which he has needed since cashing in back at WrestleMania 31.
Kevin Owens suffered his first defeat but responded with a brutal powerbomb that left his opponent in need of assistance.
And John Cena cemented his legacy as the best professional wrestler of his generation.
Where there were winners, there were also losers.
All the positive vibes in the world did not help The New Day successfully retain its tag team titles or win Money in the Bank. Then there was poor Bad News Barrett, whose reign as King of the Ring is making Billy Gunn and Mabel look magnificent in comparison.
With the show in the books and all eyes on the buildup to Battleground and SummerSlam, delve deeper into Sunday's winners and losers with this look back at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
Winner: John Cena
For the last decade, John Cena has listened to crowds taunt him with chants of "you can't wrestle" and he has responded by delivering Match of the Year candidates.
On Sunday night, the current United States champion entered the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and tore the house down with opponent Kevin Owens in a match rife with dramatic near-falls, never-before-seen offense and high-impact maneuvers.
After yet another brilliant performance on his part, in which he did more to get young talent over with the audience than he will ever get credit for from the "smart" fanbase, Cena has established himself as not only one of the biggest stars of all time but arguably the best wrestler of his era.
Sure, "wrestler" is a subjective term that has to be looked at from a number of different angles, incorporating a number of different elements.
But with that in mind, there are few guys in the industry who can regularly go to the ring in big-match situations, with the lights brighter than ever, and deliver as consistently as Cena has.
He did it again on Sunday night, saving a show that was mediocre at best up until that point with a match fans will be talking about in December when it is time to celebrate the best match of the year.
Loser: King Barrett
Welcome to the doghouse, King Barrett. We are not quite sure what got you here, but there is absolutely no denying that you are, in fact, here.
Barrett and R-Truth started Sunday's festivities with the Kickoff show match.
And the 2015 King of the Ring lost another match.
Why WWE Creative continues to use Barrett as poorly as it does is a mystery. He has absolutely had his credibility stripped away, with any chance he ever had of climbing up the proverbial ladder all but eliminated.
And worst of all, putting Truth over him does not favor either guy. Not only does it continue the descent of Barrett, it lessens the impact of his opponent's win because everyone and their mother have beaten the Brit at this point.
Barrett is dead in the water at this point and it will take some truly inspired booking to even attempt to rehabilitate the character.
Winners: Paige and Nikki Bella
Paige and Nikki Bella had the unenvious task of following the Money in the Bank ladder match.
Much to their credit, they wrestled a very good match that had the fans in Columbus erupting at some of the late-match spots and near-falls.
The Ram-Paige finisher and kick-out from Nikki was phenomenal, as was some of the psychology that preceded it.
The finish was outstanding. The continuity was strong, with Brie actually revealing the stuffing from her top. And Nikki attacked from behind, delivering the Rack Attack that rewarded all of the work the champion had put in to that point.
Paige looks sympathetic here in that she was screwed over again by her scheming opponents. The Bellas, in return, looked like the desperate sisters hellbent on retaining their stranglehold over the division by any means possible.
Best of all, the Divas actually have a storyline that fans can invest themselves in rather than watching as random women wrestle random women for no real reason—as is typically the case.
Winners: The Prime Time Players
Titus O'Neil and Darren Young have been with WWE for years now but have never really had the opportunity to move consistently into tag team title contention.
That changed over the last two weeks, thanks to energetic and explosive performances in the Elimination Chamber and some entertaining pre-taped vignettes.
On Sunday night, they put an end to The New Day's recent string of successes, knocking off Xavier Woods and Big E to capture their first championships.
Young and O'Neil have been through a lot in their time with the company, not the least of which was an ill-fated split back at the beginning of 2014.
After fighting through both that and a devastating injury to Young, to see them enjoy a moment like their win on Sunday was refreshing.
Whether they hold the titles for a while or are strictly placeholders until WWE goes back to The New Day remains to be seen, but Money in the Bank was the most monumental night of their careers and they deserve the opportunity to bask in the win.
Losers: The New Day
Kofi Kingston was thrown around the ring with reckless abandon by Roman Reigns. Xavier Woods and Big E failed to successfully retain the WWE Tag Team Championships without the third man lurking around ringside.
All in all, it was a rough night for the most positive act in the industry.
While it was a clear loser on Sunday night, its defeat could fuel it to winner status in the coming weeks and months, if Woods' pre-match promo was any indication.
The spokesperson for the group, Woods expressed anger and nearly told the fans that they were the ones who suck, proving that Kingston's assault earlier in the night had driven them to the brink.
If this defeat leads to a meaner, nastier edge for The New Day, it would not only serve as character development but also open the trio up to be accepted by a larger portion of the audience.
Winner: Seth Rollins
The WWE world heavyweight champion entered Money in the Bank so desperately in need of a win in which he did not rely on The Authority that the writing staff actually turned it into a storyline.
With no support, no interference on his behalf by anyone outside of the bout, Rollins waged war with Dean Ambrose in a 35-minute match that went way too long, was way too slow and demonstrated elements of an over-the-top cartoon.
But in the end, it delivered exactly what it needed in the form of a clean victory for The Architect.
Rollins was outstanding here, showing increased intensity with every passing minute. By the time the match reached its crescendo, he unleashed a series of powerbombs into the guardrail that left Ambrose laying unconscious and should have spelled the end for The Lunatic Fringe.
Of course, an unnecessary powerbomb onto a ladder and some chairs—as well as Ambrose looking like the Terminator as he crawled out of the rubble—made it longer than it had to be.
Rollins winning the match and then standing side by side with Triple H leaves many questions heading into Raw.
Where was Stephanie McMahon? Why was she not there by her husband's side, celebrating the win? Is there tension within The Authority?
Whatever the case may be, Rollins got his clean win. Now, it will be imperative for WWE Creative to follow that up with stronger booking. Otherwise, it runs the risk of falling back into the same awful booking tropes that plagued the product, and Rollins, over the last three months.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens lost to John Cena on Sunday night.
If you had known that outcome prior to the event, odds are you would have put fingers to keyboards, ranting and raving about Cena winning another match over a "more deserving young star."
Instead, Owens' loss came in a Match of the Year candidate in which he was every bit Cena's equal. Then, to top it all off, he demolished Cena with a powerbomb onto the ring apron to regain his heat.
The booking of Owens was brilliant. Immediately after the Elimination Chamber match, he referred to Cena as delusional. On Sunday night, Cena proved it. He actually expected Owens to shake his hand, hug him and thank him for the match.
Instead, Owens destroyed him, and rightfully so. And to top it off, the fans cheered.
The character is so intriguing and fresh compared to the others fans are exposed to on Raw and SmackDown that fans are absolutely willing to support him—win or lose, heel or babyface.
He can withstand a loss in a match like the one he had on Sunday night as long as WWE Creative is willing to let him get his heat back in the manner that he did post-match.
Two straight pay-per-view matches, two straight Match of the Year candidates.
Not a shabby way to kick off one's main-roster career.