Monday, January 18, 2021

WWE/NXT: Monster in the Bank

We just crowned a Monster in the Bank. A weekend full of wrestling just wrapped up from Chicago. Full of great action, this was probably the best weekend of wrestling the WWE has had in quite some time. NXT delivered as always, but the main roster PPV actually wasn’t a 6 hour snoozefest with small moments of excitement. We are going to look at the three biggest takeaways from the weekend.

WWE closes gap on NXT (for this weekend)

As awesome as Takeover’s have been, it has made the main roster PPV’s pale in comparison. But, this weekend it the main shows delivered a pretty exciting PPV. Both Money in the Bank matches were really good, the AJ/Nakamura match was a good piece to a larger puzzle (still not as good as Gargano/Ciampa but we might get there eventually) and they gave us legitimate surprises. Now this doesn’t right the ship immediately, but it’s a great step in the right direction.

Even the Roman/Jinder match was a good match, even if the crowd booed it into oblivion. If only they would work on some of the finer storytelling points. Get the announcers off the “pro sports” style and get more emotionally involved, tell a story for longer than 2 weeks, and make finishes matter again. If they fix these three things, they would be up delivering great monthly PPV’s.

Ronda looked great, but Alexa stole the show

For Ronda’s first singles match, she looked really good. I had my doubts about debuting against a large opponent in Nia Jax, but damn was it a really good match. Even the storytelling was there, which is normally the last thing someone gets down. Ronda sold well, had her expressions down, and even had some good offense. It did look tough for her to ground fight with someone and make it look difficult. She could have had the match over multiple times if she had her way.

But, the story that came out is Alexa Bliss regained her title by cashing in mid-match. After winning the Money in the Bank earlier in the night, she came down as Nia was locked in an armbar. Hitting Ronda and Nia with the briefcase, she took exception to Ronda still stumbling around a deposited her outside. A quick DDT and a Twisted Bliss and we had a new champion. The crowd loved it and it was a genuine surprise and a great way to keep Ronda looking good and not killing off Nia. One of the few times I will say it was near perfect booking.

Monster in the Bank

Monster in the bank
Monster in the bank

Braun Strowman was still unstoppable. Having all the members of the Money in the Bank match gang up on him, he still fought through and took the briefcase for himself. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great match, and everyone got their stuff in, but Braun still was dominate. And he is without a doubt the Monster in the Bank.

Even running straight through a gimmicked ladder, followed by a great Miz expression. Finn was the closest out of the rest to getting his hands on the briefcase, but it was Braun’s night and soon his championship.

Setting up a match against Brock at some point, presumably Summerslam based off Brock needing to get back in the USDA pool for the UFC for a year. None of this is truly confirmed and just speculation, but everything is falling into place for Braun to take the title and run with it. He would be the dominate champion Brock is, but he would be on Raw every week. I think it’s a great idea and hope they don’t get cold feet again.

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