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WWE Money in the Bank 2022 will certainly go down as a historic event. With a cash-in, two title changes and perhaps the biggest step in crowning a “new John Cena” for the company, fans were left with much to talk about.
It was largely a thrill ride, though there were some bumps along the way.
Before the dust has fully settled and Monday Night Raw comes around with the build toward SummerSlam, let’s look back on the results from Money in the Bank and break down some of the best and worst booking decisions of the show.
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It’s hard to dislike when a fan favorite underdog finally wins the big one.
Liv Morgan was one of the sentimental picks to win Money in the Bank, but not the safe bet by a long shot. After all, the past few years have seen her come up short in all her most important matches of her, so it was easy to assume that trend would continue.
Seeing her win the briefcase was already a major crowd-pleaser. To have her then cash in later and win the SmackDown Women’s Championship was an even bigger shock.
If you ignore everything else from this show, the biggest takeaway was a childhood dream coming true, and since sports entertainment is supposed to be about putting smiles on faces, this was one of the best reasons to be beaming with joy.
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Many fans are quick to hate Theory being added to the ladder match and winning the briefcase, either because they wished someone else would win or they’re feeling like he’s ascending the throne too quickly and not naturally reaching that status at a more gradual pace.
While yes, there is a possibility this will be looked at in hindsight as a mistake, it’s by no means a guarantee.
The truth of the matter is that we don’t know what WWE has in mind for Theory as Mr. Money in the Bank. More than likely, WWE doesn’t even fully know. This is more of a mixed bag for now, rather than a definitive positive or negative.
The pessimistic perspective would be that the tease of adding someone like Cody Rhodes, only for it to be Theory, sucked the wind out of the sails and the crowd didn’t recover, nor want Theory to win, so this ended on a downer.
The optimistic point of view is that it gets him heat and puts him in a position that fans will boo him even more now, which he can spin into becoming one of the biggest heels on the roster.
Maybe he fails his cash-in. Maybe he beats Roman Reigns at SummerSlam and this leads to Rhodes beating Theory for the title at WrestleMania 39. Theory might even drop the briefcase to John Cena.
Some, like yours truly, are interested enough that this is a positive, but many in the WWE Universe consider this to be what derailed their enjoyment of this event, so it is worth mentioning as an option for one of the worst decisions of the night .
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Considering what would happen later with Theory being inserted into Money in the Bank and walking away with the briefcase, it makes perfect sense for Bobby Lashley to have defeated him earlier in the night for the United States Championship.
Not only did that give fans a surprise when Theory worked double-duty, it also meant he was free to hold the briefcase without muddying up the waters with a title in the process. Others have held a belt while being Mr. Money in the Bank, but one often gets sidelined while the other is focused on.
Lashley’s best when he’s dominant. The All Mighty wasn’t able to get back the WWE Championship earlier this year, but this is a fine consolation prize. It should also give him something important to do for SummerSlam.
Later, when Lashley drops the belt to hopefully put over someone fresh, he can move on to fight Roman Reigns for the world titles. But now that he has a belt of his own, it is also a good excuse for why he’s not in the main event scene, allowing Brock Lesnar, Drew McIntyre and others to have their moments of him.
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Call it predictable, an easy call or a foregone conclusion, but Bianca Belair defeating Carmella was absolutely the right course of action.
WWE was in a bind, having had Rhea Ripley scheduled for the match, only for The Nightmare to get injured and need to be replaced. Carmella slotting in wasn’t giving off vibes that the title would change hands, but WWE could have easily done a swerve for the sake of shock value and had Carmella score an upset.
Stranger things have happened. WWE has done cartwheels to do sillier things just to get fans buzzing. This could have been another situation just because, but cooler heads prevailed.
Carmella was able to get some shots in, but Belair ended things with a definitive victory.
Unfortunately, what could be considered a bad booking decision was to have Carmella attack Belair after the match, signaling this feud isn’t over. It might overstay its welcome de ella and become repetitive, hurting this segment in retrospect, but at least Belair winning was the end result, as it is too early for her to drop this title.
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The Street Profits and The Usos put on an amazing match for the tag titles, only for it to end in controversy with a bad referee call. Montez Ford had his shoulder up, so the pinfall should have been invalid, but he was not caught until after the bell.
Sometimes, that results in the match immediately being restarted. It’s arbitrary when WWE Creative will go in that direction and when that option is conveniently forgotten about and fans are supposed to play along.
However, this is a circumstance where it makes sense to drag it out. The Street Profits will likely cut a promo on Raw about how they deserve another opportunity, wherein they’ll get a second chance at SummerSlam.
Originally, this match was supposed to have a stipulation The Street Profits could choose, but WWE never followed through with that. Now, it seems that might have been to save that gimmick for The Biggest Party of the Summer in a few weeks.
Having The Usos retain, but only by a bad call, was a great way to prolong this. Both teams looked strong, The Street Profits retain credibility in remaining the top challengers and The Usos didn’t have to either drop the titles or definitively retain, leaving doubt who will walk out with the belts the next go-around.
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Rounding out the list are a few other things that weren’t the biggest talking points, but are still worth mentioning quickly.
On the nitpicks and complaints:
- The credit card advertisement with Alexa Bliss and Lilly the puppet was awful. Instead of getting the crowd to laugh, it only caused an eruption of boos.
- Morgan beating Rousey with a roll-up akin to how the 24/7 Championship gets traded doesn’t give her the strongest champion vibes going forward, but WWE can choose to book her well to counteract that. It will just be an active choice and not something that WWE can afford to passively hope will naturally happen on its own.
- Why was Rousey happy she lost her title? Even if she’s proud of Morgan, she should still be upset she’s no longer champion.
- Teasing that The Street Profits are having issues while there are zero signs of that whatsoever is baffling. Then again, this match was supposed to have a stipulation and WWE completely ignored that, too, so it would be nice to see some creative cohesion.
As far as other positives go:
- Having six competitors team up to take out Omos was perfect. The big man was a threat to everyone and the only way they could all get on the same page, temporarily.
- Airing a vignette teasing what is likely the return of Edge, but being cryptic about it, definitely got people talking. It should lead to more interest in tuning in to Raw.
- In a digital exclusive, Happy Corbin attacked Pat McAfee after the show. Had this happened during the event, it would have been too much of a distraction, but now, it presents WWE an opportunity to air this footage on Raw and SmackDown and create a feel that even after the show, you never know what surprises could be around the corner.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, Spotify and everywhere you find podcasts. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.