WWE Money in the Bank 2019 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2019

WWE Money in the Bank 2019 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Careers were altered Sunday at WWE Money in the Bank as two Superstars earned themselves guaranteed championship opportunities by withstanding the pain of suffering in the titular match and emerging with their arms raised in victory.

    The men and women's ladder matches may have been the night's most anticipated bouts, but a Universal Championship bout between two of the best wrestlers on the planet in AJ Styles and Seth Rollins and two title defenses by Raw and SmackDown women's champion Becky Lynch rounded out what was a stacked card for a WWE in need of momentum.

    Did the company get it?

    Find out with this recap of a pay-per-view that had the potential to be a turning point for Vince McMahon's scrutinized company.

Non-Title Match: The Usos vs. Daniel Bryan and Rowan

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Usos made the mistake of angering SmackDown tag team champions Daniel Bryan and Rowan from the get-go Sunday night, comparing them to Spongebob and Patrick.

    The result? A focused beatdown dealt by the titleholders to Jimmy Uso for the majority of the bout. A tag to Jey mounted a babyface comeback, but the power of Rowan proved too much, giving way to a nasty double superplex that downed the challengers.

    Bryan fired away with a series of hard kicks to the exposed chest of Jey, who ducked one and delivered an enzuigiri.

    Jey tried for the top rope splash, but Bryan caught him coming down and trapped him in the LeBelle Lock. He survived the submission attempt and joined brother Jimmy in laying Rowan out at ringside with a stereo suicide dive.

    With Bryan down, The Usos scaled opposing ropes and delivered a double splash for the win.

          

    Result

    The Usos defeated Bryan and Rowan

            

    Grade

    B

           

    Analysis

    Corey Graves sold intrigue of The Usos' win, openly wondering if their win puts them in line for a championship opportunity. In most cases, all signs would point to a resounding "yes," but the brand split and wild card nonsense leaves that in question.

    That goes for the audience and the writing team, which appears to know as much about the intended direction of its own product as the fans in the stands.

    The match itself was really fun, a sprint that put over Rowan's power, protected Bryan from injury and positioned The Usos as a dual-brand threat to gold. For an opening match aimed at setting the tone for the night's event, this worked perfectly.

    Even if Bryan and Rowan probably should not be losing this early in their title reign. 

Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The women's Money in the Bank ladder match kicked off Sunday's show as Naomi, Nikki Cross, Natalya, Dana Brooke, Ember Moon, Bayley, Carmella and Mandy Rose battled for the right to challenge for either the Raw or SmackDown's women's title whenever they please.

    Cross dominated early, but a dropkick by Brooke ended her initial run. The Arnold Classic competitor showcased her athleticism, scaling a ladder held by her opponents.

    Moments later, Carmella appeared to suffer a knee injury and was checked on by officials at ringside. Back inside the squared circle, the action continued, with the women taking several nasty bumps, including a sunset flip bomb from Bayley to Brooke into a ladder.

    Naomi delivered a split-legged moonsault to Bayley on a ladder and was moments away from retrieving the briefcase when Cross and Moon pulled her to the mat. Brooke scaled the ladder and nearly grabbed the briefcase, but Rose stopped her, leaving the Raw competitor to swing from the cable holding the prize.

    Natalya shoved the ladder over, knocking Brooke, Cross and Bayley to the mat. Moon delivered an Eclipse to The Queen of the Harts but found herself on the receiving end of an underhook facebuster.

    As Rose began her climb up the ladder, Carmella limped back to the ring and unloaded on The Golden Goddess. The Princess of Staten Island, the first Ms. Money in the Bank two years ago, set her sights on a briefcase she is familiar with.

    Sonya Deville appeared and downed Carmella before turning her attention to her friend and tag team partner, using a fireman's lift to carry Rose up the ladder in a tremendous feat of strength. Bayley met them at the top, though, and shoved them off.

    Moments later, Bayley captured the briefcase and set herself up for a monumental moment for whenever she saw fit.

           

    Result

    Bayley defeated Rose, Moon, Carmella, Naomi, Natalya, Brooke and Cross

          

    Grade

    B+

            

    Analysis

    This was a fun way to kick off the show and the perfect showcase for the talent within. Every woman had the opportunity to showcase their abilities and characters, including Brooke, who was one of the MVPs of the contest. Her bumps and the dangling spot were highlights of the contest.

    The Rose and Deville spot was awesome and put over what does, at times, appear to be a one-sided friendship between them. Building on that as the SmackDown writing team continues to tell their story is a wise move.

    Bayley winning was the right move, though.

    She earned the opportunity, though, after beginning to show the edginess that made her character such a revelation in NXT and being among the three or four best wrestlers on the women's roster.

    Setting her up to work with Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and the rest of the women on SmackDown Live will benefit her in ways the Raw writing team never could. 

United States Championship Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Samoa Joe humiliated Rey Mysterio in just over a minute at WrestleMania 35, choking the all-time-great Superstar out to retain the United States Championship. From there, he insulted and threatened The Master of the 619's son, Dominic.

    Sunday, Mysterio sought revenge and redemption as he challenged The Destroyer for the coveted title in a rematch.

    The future Hall of Famer took the fight to Joe from the opening bell but quickly found himself staving off the champion's attempts at a Coquina Clutch. He survived and delivered a seated senton that appeared to have broken Joe's nose.

    Suddenly, Mysterio scored the win and title, as the television cameras focused on the bloodied and stunned face of Joe.

    After the match, The Samoan Submission Specialist blindsided a celebrating Mysterio and laid him out in the center of the ring while Dominic watched on from the floor.

           

    Result

    Mysterio defeated Joe to win the title

              

    Grade

    D

               

    Analysis

    Yes, Mysterio beating Joe so quickly plays off the WrestleMania finish and awakened the beast in the fallen champ, but the whole feud has felt like an afterthought, and another quick winsteeped in controversy as Joe's shoulders were obviously off the matonly devalues the United States title.

    The post-match beatdown is nothing we haven't seen before, either, rendering this entire ordeal worthless.

    This was treadmill booking at its worst.

Steel Cage Match: The Miz vs. Shane McMahon

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The intensely personal rivalry between Shane McMahon and The Miz came to a head Sunday inside a steel cage after weeks of escalation.

    After having his father assaulted by McMahon at WrestleMania and losing in heartbreaking fashion, The Hollywood A-Lister sought vengeance as he battled Shane-O-Mac in one of the night's highest-profile bouts.

    McMahon had the upper hand early, sending his opponent into the chainlink fencing of the cage before downing him with a fireman's carry neckbreaker.

    Miz caught a fliying McMahon and tried for the Figure Four. That didn't work, but he took the fight to Shane-O-Mac, who tried to escape through the door.

    McMahon pulled a steel chair back into the ring with him, but it would be Miz who retrieved it and unloaded on his rival.

    Miz took out months of frustration by punishing Vinnie Mac's son, all while talking a fair amount of trash. With McMahon stunned, The A-Lister delivered a Skull Crushing Finale on to a steel chair but scored a two-count as the villain draped his foot on the bottom rope.

    This, after it was made clear that rope breaks were not in effect in the cage match.

    The fight continued to the top of the cage, where Miz sent McMahon face-first into the cage and to the mat below. A splash from the top rope earned The A-Lister another two-count. An alert McMahon applied the triangle choke and tried to escape, but Miz stopped him.

    That would be a pattern that would continue until Miz caught Shane-O-Mac and teased a superplex from the top of the cage and to the mat below. McMahon, though, slipped out of his jersey and fell to the floor, scoring another fluke victory.

        

    Result

    McMahon defeated Miz

              

    Grade

    C-

             

    Analysis

    From the rope-break rule conveniently popping up and then disappearing again, to the ridiculous finish that made Miz look like a total idiot, this was a waste of time that accomplished nothing.

    That is unless you are a McMahon family member who just went over a full-time Superstar for the second consecutive time and rendered months of storytelling essentially worthless.

    The time to put Miz over and move on from this program was at WrestleMania. Since that didn't happen, he absolutely needed to win here. He didn't, he looks like a fool, and the story limped to an unsatisfactory conclusion.

    Holding off on Miz's victory until the Super ShowDown on June 7 in Saudi Arabia, which is essentially where the program began, is a timing mistake on WWE's part that will render the payoff irrelevant.

Cruiserweight Championship Match: Tony Nese vs. Ariya Daivari

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Ariya Daivari arrived for his greatest opportunity so far in style, driving a luxury car to the squared circle for his match with cruiserweight champion Tony Nese.

    He backed the pomp and circumstance up, controlling the early portion of the match as he worked over the champion. He fended off a babyface comeback attempt and pummeled Nese straight to the arena floor.

    Back in, Daivari scored a near-fall that had the commentary team of Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph and Aiden English questioning whether they were about to witness a new champion being crowned. Nese recovered and delivered a 450 splash of his own that nearly earned him a successful title defense.

    Daivari delivered a lariat that would have beaten almost any other cruiserweight, but Nese shot his shoulder off the mat to continue his reign.

    A running knee in the corner by Nese earned him the victory just moments later.

             

    Result

    Nese defeated Daivari

              

    Grade

    C

               

    Analysis

    This was a perfectly acceptable match, but the lack of spark hurt it with fans.

    Daivari is a technically sound wrestler, but he does not have the sizzle of the faster-paced, more high-risk cruiserweights and was not able to match Nese's athleticism. That damaged the match's ability to win over the crowd and rendered it rather one-dimensional.

    Unfortunately for Nese, this was hardly the first title defense he wanted to help establish his era as champion.

Raw Women's Championship Match: Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Lacey Evans fired off dollar bills with her face on them as she made her way to the squared circle for her Raw Women's Championship match against Becky Lynch, but The Sassy Southern Belle would have to back the grand entrance up between the ropes in what was her most significant match to date.

    It did not go her way early, though, as Evans found herself on the receiving end of a punishing beatdown by The Man.

    Evans finally halted Lynch's momentum and stomped away at the champion before focusing her attack on the left arm of the wildly popular titleholder. A springboard elbow drop by Evans earned her a two-count as she continued to punish the champ.

    The challenger retrieved a handkerchief from her gear and wiped her sweat away, taunting Lynch while doing so. She paid for it immediately, eating a dropkick from the middle rope as The Irish Lass Kicker looked to build momentum.

    Lynch sold her injured left arm but still mustered enough strength to deliver the Bexploder. Another dropkick got just enough of Evans to send her to the floor.

    The fight returned to the squared circle, where Evans scored another near-fall but again let her trash talk get the best of her.

    Lynch countered a schoolgirl rollup into the Disarmer to score the hard-fought win.

              

    Result

    Lynch defeated Evans

               

    Grade

    C+

               

    Analysis

    For someone wrestling the biggest match of her career after less than a handful of televised matches, Evans never looked overwhelmed by the moment. There were some timing issues and not much of a story beyond Evans' arrogance getting the best of her, but this was a solid first showing for a star of the future.

    With that said, the refereeing botch at the end makes three-of-four straight matches to feature some sort of officiating blunder. Unless there is a story to come of it, it was an atrocious night for the zebras.

SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Not willing to let Lynch get a second of rest, Charlotte Flair made her way to the ring for the second of the women's title matches Sunday night immediately after the first had finished.

    Flair took the fight to the SmackDown women's champion, exploiting the injuries suffered by Lynch in her first title defense.

    The Man fought back, though, and was rallying late when she dodged a Natural Selection attempt and watched Flair fall to the arena floor. Enjoying a brief break, Lynch left herself open for a Women's Right from an interfering Evans.

    Back inside, Flair delivered a hard right boot to the face and scored her 10th women's title.

    After the match, Lynch attacked Evans at ringside, only to fall prey to a two-on-one beatdown at the hands of her rivals. This brought out Bayley, who unloaded on the heels.

    Flair still got the upper hand but made the mistake of charging Bayley, who ducked out of the way and watched The Queen crash into the middle turnbuckle.

    Bayley teased cashing in Money in the Bank as the fans chanted "yes!"

    With Flair prone in the ring, Bayley scaled the ropes and delivered a top rope elbow drop to win the title.

              

    Result

    Flair defeated Lynch to win the title; Bayley defeated Flair to win the title

             

    Grade

    A

             

    Analysis

    In a single segment, WWE Creative shifted Lynch permanently to Raw, intensified her rivalry with Evans, gave Flair a historic 10th title win and set her up for months to come in a rivalry with Bayley.

    Most importantly, it gave the excellent Bayley a legitimate and momentous title win.

    For the better part of two years, she was so woefully miscast and underutilized by management that it felt like a triumphant singles run would never be in the cards. Not only was it, but that win also sets Bayley up to be the lead babyface on SmackDown going forward.

    On a night that had been wrought with underwhelming booking decisions, this entire segment provided fans the type of exciting, energetic and even creative content they deserve.

Roman Reigns vs. Elias

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    Credit: WWE.com

    As the cameras caught Roman Reigns making his way toward the arena, Elias snuck up from behind and blasted him with his guitar.

    From there, the sinister songster took a seat in the center of the ring and played an electric guitar, singing a brand-new song for the fans.

    Unfortunately, he made the mistake of thinking Reigns was done for the night.

    Elias made his way up the ramp and ate a Superman Punch from The Big Dog. Back inside the squared circle, the bell rang and Reigns blasted Elias with a spear to score the win in a seconds-long bout.

             

    Result

    Reigns defeated Elias

             

    Grade

    A

              

    Analysis

    Elias delivered a sneak attack. He talked crap. He got his ass kicked. That is natural progression in wrestling. This was all executed in a short, five-minute period.

    Reigns silencing Elias and sending a not-so-subtle reminder to the locker room that he is The Big Dog, regardless of how you try to knock him down, made sense and worked to perfection.

    Elias is always going to be over. His ability to incite a reaction makes up for every one of these losses. He will be just fine.

Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles

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    Credit: WWE.com

    For the first time in a major professional wrestling promotion, universal champion Seth Rollins battled AJ Styles in a die-hard fan's dream match.

    Neither Superstar seized definitive control early, instead opting to test each other. A dropkick from Styles threatened to earn him said control, but Rollins cut him off, sending him face-first into the turnbuckle.

    He followed up with a pair of suicide dives and a near-fall.

    A series of rollups and two-counts gave way to a dramatic rope spot that saw Styles escape Rollins' grasp and deliver a German suplex. A rack bomb earned The Phenomenal One another near-fall as the match intensified steadily.

    Rollins recovered and set his opponent up on the top rope. He delivered a breathtaking inverted suplex from the top, floated over and planted the challenger with an inverted DDT but could only keep him down for two as frustration began to set in.

    Styles answered with a reverse DDT of his own and dared Rollins to get to his feet. He was a bit overzealous, though, running right into a superkick from the champion. Both Superstars struggled to their feet as the effects of the match began wearing on them.

    Rollins tried for his trademark stomp, but Styles intercepted and delivered a Styles Clash for a very close near-fall that brought the fans to their feet.

    Moments later, the resilient Rollins caught a flying Styles and delivered the revolution knee. He followed up with a superkick and the stomp to successfully retain his title.

    After the bell, Styles returned to the ring and came face-to-face with Rollins. They engaged in a sign of respect before The Architect continued his celebration.

              

    Result

    Rollins defeated Styles

              

    Grade

    A

             

    Analysis

    There was a ton of hype for this match, and rightfully so. They are, arguably, the two best workers in WWE today and among a handful of standard-bearers in this generation of pro wrestling. Expectations were understandably high and the match lived up to them.

    This was an evenly fought bout that never saw either Superstar gain a sustained advantage. Instead, it was a battle of big blows and dramatic near-falls en route to Rollins successfully retaining his title.

    The sign of respect between the competitors suggests the issues between them are finished, at least for now. If that is the case, it is unfortunate because a few more Rollins-Styles bouts could be just what the doctor ordered to snap the monotony around these WWE parts.

Lars Sullivan Obliterates Lucha House Party

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Kalisto, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik made their way to the squared circle for what was announced as a Six-Man Tag Team match.

    Instead, Lars Sullivan cut off a promo, stalked to the ring and obliterated the masked competitors.

    Kalisto's mask split the forehead of the big man, inciting a rage within The Freak that he unleased on the former cruiserweight and United States champion.

            

    Grade

    D

             

    Analysis

    We saw this multiple times in the weeks leading into this show. Sullivan attacks everyone and leaves without explanation.

    It would have been even more effective if we had not witnessed the same trio get their asses handed to them by The Viking Raiders a few weeks ago.

    The image of Sullivan bleeding from the forehead saved this from an "F" rating, but not by much.

WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens

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    Credit: WWE.com

    A pissed-off WWE champion Kofi Kingston attacked Kevin Owens from the onset of the match, unleashing a month of frustration and anger on a man he trusted, only to be betrayed in violent fashion. He punished The Prizefighter, pummeling him at ringside.

    A superkick by Owens, though, halted his momentum and left Kingston at the challenger's mercy.

    A nasty bump to the floor, in which he inadvertently collided with a cameraman, left Kingston prone. Owens capitalized, delivering a frog splash off the ring apron. Minutes of a concentrated attack by the challenger were answered by Kingston's babyface comeback.

    The Boom Drop was countered by KO, who trapped him in a Boston Crab as he continued the attack on his opponent's lower back.

    A double stomp on the ring apron allowed Kingston to create separation. A twisting dive from the top rope, though, sent him right into a superkick from Owens. Back inside, he countered the popup powerbomb attempt with an S.O.S. for a close two-count.

    KO again trapped Kingston in the Boston Crab, trying to force a submission from the battered champion.

    Both competitors tried for a kick, allowing Kingston to drop Owens face-first and pound away at the back of his head. KO responded with a sitout powerbomb for another frustrating near-fall.

    Owens tried for the stunner, but Kingston countered with Trouble in Paradise, knocking the challenger to the floor and inadvertently costing himself a victory.

    Kingston rolled Owens back in the ring, but the challenger delivered a stunner that nearly ended the magical title reign of the champion.

    Owens tried a senton from the top rope, but Kingston got his knees up. Trouble in Paradise followed and he retained his title.

              

    Result

    Kingston defeated Owens

             

    Grade

    A

              

    Analysis

    Kingston is on the roll of a lifetime from an in-ring perspective, wrestling his best matches this far into his career. This was another gem in a string of them.

    The work by Owens in targeting the back, Kingston fighting from underneath and frustrating KO as a result, all gave way to a finish that saw the challenger try for an infrequently used senton, only to crash and fail in his attempt to dethrone the New Day member.

    Kingston has been the best-booked wrestler in all of WWE since February and one of the bright spots in a company that has not had many in 2019.

    Owens should recover, with the loss forcing him to become more deprived and desperate, and the rematches should be boatloads of fun.

Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match

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    Credit: WWE.com

    With Sami Zayn taken out by an unknown assailant earlier in the night, Ricochet, Baron Corbin, Finn Balor, Drew McIntyre, Andrade, Randy Orton and Ali made their ways to the squared circle for the main event of the evening.

    The action was nonstop from the opening bell as Orton dropped Ali, Ricochet and Balor with side suplexes on the announce table. The Viper, a veteran of the event's namesake, tossed a ladder in the ring and immediately set his sights on retrieving the briefcase.

    Later, Ricochet and Ali took turns cutting each other off from climbing the ladder before they raced to the top. McIntyre and Corbin ended their exchange and beat them down. 

    Orton ended the Corbin reign of terror, dropping him with a big draping DDT. As he set The Lone Wolf up for an RKO, McIntyre exploded across the ring with the Claymore Kick.

    Balor entered the match and went on a run, taking the fight to McIntyre. He climbed the ladder, but the top contender to his Intercontinental Championship, Andrade, blasted him with a second ladder.

    El Idolo set up a bridge between one ladder and the middle rope. He climbed the opposite side of the ladder but was met by Balor. 

    In the spot of the night, Andrade delivered a sunset flip powerbomb off the ladder, through the "bridge." Balor's body bounced off the ladder before he rested on the mat, wracked with pain.

    Later, Andrade hung Ali in one ladder and began scaling the other. The former cruiserweight contender escaped and met El Idolo up top, from where he delivered a Spanish Fly. Michael Cole reacted, asking, "What is wrong with these guys?"

    Corbin and McIntyre re-entered the fray, with the former delivering a chokeslam to Ali through a table. The alliance was short-lived, though, as The Lone Wolf sent the Scot into the stands and returned to the squared circle.

    The former interim Raw general manager delivered a chokeslam to Balor, right onto the edge of the ladder. He continued his assault, dropping Ricochet with Deep Six.

    McIntyre responded to the betrayal, delivering a Claymore to Corbin at ringside.

    Somehow, Balor willed his way up the ladder, but The Scottish Psychopath cut him off. He delivered a sickening suplex on the IC champion, onto a ladder, and then proceeded to slam Andrade on top of him.

    Ricochet made the mistake of trying to end McIntyre's path of destruction and was sent flying over the top rope and through a ladder at ringside.

    McIntyre's progress was impeded as Orton caught him with an RKO off the ladder. Corbin teased climbing the ladder to the contract, but Ali interrupted. The latter dumped Corbin over the top rope and returned to the ladder.

    Suddenly, Brock Lesnar's music played and The Beast hit the ring. He tossed Ali from the top, scaled the ladder and retrieved the briefcase to win the match.

            

    Result

    Lesnar defeated Ali, McIntyre, Corbin, Andrade, Balor, Orton and Ricochet

             

    Grade

    A+

             

    Analysis

    This was the match of the year in WWE to this point in 2019.

    The incredible displays of athleticism, the breathtaking spots, the danger, the drama and the totally unexpected return of Lesnar to win the briefcase all made for a sports-entertainment masterpiece.

    Having been told there is no such thing as a guaranteed rematch for past champions, and not necessarily being in the business of busting his ass to achieve anything he does at this point, it makes total sense that The Beast would take this route to get back in title contention.

    Now, the guy who was so used to sitting back and waiting for challengers to come to him is even more dangerous. He has the element of surprise on his side and that is a very bad thing for either Kofi Kingston or Seth Rollins.

    That is, as long as this is not to set up a predictable rematch in Saudi Arabia. If that is the case, this entire angle is wasted.

    Kudos to Balor and Andrade for the most sickening bump of the entire night, McIntyre for being the beast we expected him to be and for all seven men involved in the majority of the bout for delivering new and interesting twists on the same old ladder spots.

    An incredible match and a great way to close out this show.