Money In The Bank 2021
Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, Texas
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or so the saying goes. The last week marked the return of the WWE Universe with packed arenas for SmackDown and Raw as well as the Money In The Bank event. Andy Spoors takes us through the fallout and talking points from one of the most exciting and tumultuous nights in recent history…
13 Is Lucky For Some
Since her return from an extended period on the side-lines, Charlotte has been tenacious in her pursuit of Rhea Ripley’s Raw Women’s Championship. Although the WWE Universe has been more than vocal on social media when it comes to the opportunities she has been afforded, there can be no dispute that when the bell rings Charlotte is one of the best to step in the ring.
With loud Becky Lynch chants filling the air, Charlotte and Ripley tore the house down. Building on a solid WrestleMania match in 2020, the pair laid on an excellent match, culminating in Flair’s 13th singles championship win. Well on the way to overtake her Hall of Fame father, Ric, in terms of championship wins, Charlotte proved once again it’s foolish to bet against a Flair. Unless you have some money in the bank…
Big E Earns A Big Opportunity
Many things have changed over the last 18 months, including rather notably, the break-up of The New Day. Recently announced by WWE as the company’s best tag team of all time, fans of the trio may have feared the worst when the brand draft saw Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods move to Raw, while Big E remained on SmackDown.
With success on both brands in the shape of another tag title reign for Kingston and Woods, as well as an Intercontinental Championship win for Big E, the trio have remained successful. At Money In The Bank, the latter claimed arguably his biggest victory to date by grabbing the men’s briefcase and claiming a Championship shot at a time of his choosing.
It’s been a long journey to this point for Big E. One of the original NXT champions, his progress on Raw and SmackDown seemed to stall when acting as the silent enforcer for Dolph Ziggler at the end of 2012. An Intercontinental Championship was all Big E had to show for his efforts and potential before forming a new alliance with Woods and Kingston in the form of The New Day, cementing his name into the WWE history books forever.
Although it was Kingston who main evented and captured the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, many fans believe E possesses all the skill, personality and attributes to dethrone Roman Reigns and become the face of the company in the near future. With briefcase in hand, that near future just edged a whole lot closer…
Nikki A.S.H Soars
Nikki Cross now known as Nikki A.S.H (Almost Super Hero) has been on a rollercoaster journey over the last few weeks. Receiving no real action of note in the ring, Nikki was curiously inserted into the main event picture in a fashion. Surviving a time trial rather than pinning both Charlotte and Rhea Ripley may not have been the way fans wanted Nikki to receive a push, but it would prove to be a stepping-stone to greater things.
Dressing in a bizarre costume shop style Superhero outfit, Nikki dropped the Cross from her name and adopted the moniker of Nikki A.S.H. The real-life release from WWE of husband Killian Dain did little to push the ‘Almost Super Hero’ off her new course though.
Confirming that the new gimmick was from her imagination, Nikki doubled down when betting on herself by gaining entry into the Women’s Money in the Bank match. As others took their eyes off the prize and battled each other atop of three different ladders, Nikki took the opportunity to unhook the briefcase and claim a Championship shot.
The WWE Universe didn’t have to wonder when and where she would cash in her contract as she took advantage of a Ripley vs Flair rematch the very next night. As Ripley attacked the champion after their match had finished, Nikki ran down the ramp and pinned Flair to claim her first singles title of her career.
SummerSlam Plans Take Shape
Few could have predicted the level of success and dominance Roman Reigns has displayed since his return at last year’s SummerSlam PPV. Quickly approaching a year as Universal Champion, Reigns has beaten all comers (and there have been a fair few!). Banishing Daniel Bryan from SmackDown, halting Cesaro’s momentum and disappointing fan favourite, Kevin Owens, no one has been able to push the ‘Head of the Table’ to his limit.
If anyone has gotten anywhere near it has to be Hall of Fame and multiple time champion, Edge. With a glint of determination unseen since his heyday almost a decade ago, Edge demanded a one-on-one opportunity against Reigns. It would be this demand that would ultimately prove his downfall on his quest to claim the Universal title.
A jilted Seth Rollins, upset at Edge ‘cutting in line’ for an opportunity cost the Rated R Superstar the match, setting up a mouth-watering match at SummerSlam. A return for Goldberg on Monday Night Raw saw a possible match against WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, but there was only one return that whipped the fans in attendance and at home into a social media frenzy…
As soon as the all too familiar trumpets blared signalling the return of John Cena, Dickies Arena exploded into levels of noise not heard since smashed glass introduced Stone Cold Steve Austin in the Attitude Era.
Talk about your turnabouts. For years, Cena has been the ultimate polarizing Superstar. Duelling “Let’s go Cena” and “Cena Sucks” chants have echoed around arenas the world over, but in Texas the entire crowd were unified in their appreciation for his return to WWE.
A showdown with Roman Reigns left every fan watching know exactly why Cena has returned. After verbally destroying Reigns in their brief rivalry almost four years ago, this programme will test all of the Universal champion’s new-found attitude and popularity.
Rumours of WWE treating SummerSlam as this year’s WrestleMania seem to have some validity, with the card being pieced together coupled with the grand surroundings of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. If WWE can keep Reigns and Cena from coming to blows before August 21 the noise levels could reach new heights and create an instant classic between two generational talents.