Ladder Match Reviews 2020: #9 & #10

WWE Money In The Back – 10/05/2020

Asuka vs. Nia Jax vs. Carmella vs. Dana Brooke vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Lacey Evans
&
Daniel Bryan vs. Rey Mysterio vs. AJ Styles vs. Aleister Black vs. King Corbin vs. Otis

Well, I guess I’m reviewing this as well. I had to leave this for a few week’s before editing the first draft because SPOILER ALERT this fucking sucks. If this were any movie or episode of a TV show it would suck, and the musical equivalent would also fucking suck. I’m hardly being engaging in this opening paragraph but you have to know how terrible I thought this was from the off.

Here’s some behind-the-curtains gossip for you; all these reviews are simply tidied up notes from my first viewing of a match. I’ll expand upon some thoughts, add some depth and detail, clean up the many spelling errors and that’s it. What you are reading are my real reactions to my first viewing. There’s no exaggeration to go along with any perceived anti/pro WWE ‘narrative’.

In short, if you enjoyed that match, you will not enjoy this.

So, the ring is on the roof. The lads and ladies will have to battle through WWE headquarters to the top and I just cannot take this shit seriously. WWE isn’t DDT, and them trying to emulate another successful niche promotion seems to be their game here. I’m going to assume this will lack the charm and care of a DDT show.

Oh my God, the wrestler’s make their entrance in the fucking lobby. Lacy is introduced then Nia, then it cuts to the gym section (a gym at WWE headquarters, but of course) for AJ STYLES AND OTIS. Wait, they’re doing the two matches at the same time? That’s inspired, I’ll give them that. What isn’t inspired are the awkward as all fuck entrances. There’s post-production entrance music and all! This is bad. It’s also an absolute shambles that Aleister Black and Shayna Baszler have to take part in this bullshit.

So everyone enters their respective areas one by one, and this is just so cringe. I don’t think I’ll be able to go through this review without using ‘cringe’ and/or ‘awkward’ in every paragraph. But I’ll try. For you. Michael Cole sounds less than enthused to be calling this. He sounds very dour. Cole, my dude, I get it…I totally get it. I’m not a fan of your main roster commentary and I never have been, but right now I understand your tone. Poor bloke.

Talking of not looking enthused, some of these guys look less than thrilled to be here. Nia Jax and Dana Brooke look like they’d rather be safe at home. Asuka gets the upper hand by starting out on the floor above, as all the girls argue with her, and all the lads get in a circle and bop around like they’re at the local rock dive club bouncing along to MakeDamnSure. I wish I was 22 again and getting fucked up the sounds of New Found Glory rather than watching this tripe.

This is going to be tough to recap from here on out with all the cuts and editing, and I hate pausing for these reviews as it kills the flow (not that it matters for this but hey I’ve got to be fair) so I’ll jot down what I can and fill in the gaps in post. Hey, kinda like WWE’s production right now!

Holy fuck, the ring bell sound effect! As if the entrance music wasn’t bad enough. Asuka starts by flying off the 1st floor balcony onto the lasses, and it’s cut like a 00’s B-movie (as in, the least entertaining form of B-movie). There’s also background music too, straight from some struggling musician’s drafts. Superb.

So not only did Asuka’s dive look like shit due to the production, it also makes no sense; she’s already got a head start; why not just carry on up to the next floor and leave the rest of the ladies to eat your dust? To be honest, Asuka and her mannerisms are great. She s incredibly entertaining in this environment, and she’ll probably be one of the lone highlights. She heads into a lift where a camera records her being brilliantly weird, and I guess conveniently placed cameras are a thing now.

Baron tries to launch a dumbbell at Bryan, who ducks and it smashes one of the wall mounted mirrors. Baron looks into the smashed remains with regret, as if he’s just realised how much of knob he makes himself out to be on social media. Rey does all sorts of spots with the equipment but the lads aren’t bumping for it (good) so it looks like the kind of backyard wrestling me and my mates did in the 6th form common room (bad).

The men do a chase sequence around the building, and it’s a God damn travesty to see Aleister Black there running along. Brother Love appears in the toilets, as I guess that’s where the agents laid out the plans for the match. The lads and ladies run into each other on the next floor. Lots of Attitude Era punching and kicking going on. Bryan is doing his best and putting in the effort, despite the shitty situation. The odds are high that he had to self-isolate from his family when he got back home. Hope it was worth it, mate.

Some imposter Doink The Clown is shown hiding behind a chair for some reason. What in the fucking fuck. You can’t just poorly reference something and have that be the joke! That’s incredibly lazy, incredibly shit ‘comedy’ for incredibly dull people. Escapism my fucking arse.

Nia throws Carmella into a random board room where a camera conveniently awaits them. Nia and Shayna then have some sort of stare down, like they’re Hulk and Andre. I can’t imagine how many people were leaping out of their seats with the tease of Nia vs Shayna. Oh wait, there’s a briefcase in the room hanging off the ceiling! The fuck? Brooke leaps onto the table and pulls it down. She’s won!

But here’s Stephanie McMahon filmed in a totally different location, time and dimension to tell her that this is, and I’m not making this up, the MONEY IN THE BANK CONFERENCE ROOM and that briefcase is just part of the room decoration.

Holy shit, how is this company still alive?! It’s like a seedy theme hotel.

“You guys are destroying the building!” Steph bellows! YEAH GUYS, WE PUT YOU HERE IN THIS MATCH TO DUKE IT OUT BUT DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING. For fucks sake, Steph, Great way to diminish your women’s division and keep to that vision of the WWE name being bigger than any wrestler alive. There’s so many layers to this.

“Can you clean that up? Nia is drooling all over the place. It’s gross”. Fuck off, Steph.

Styles is stalking after Rey Mysterio and gets scared by a poster of him. Then he gets scared of a poster of the Undertaker. These guys aren’t real. This life isn’t real. What the fuck am I doing here?

He opens a door to a blue lit room and a casket. Oh Christ. It’s edited with actual flashbacks to the Last Ride match. Styles shits himself, because for some reason this publicly traded, big $$$ corporate head quarters has a room with a casket in it. He’s locked in the room by Black and I hope we’re now slowly eliminating guys and coming to a conclusion.

We cut to Paul E sat at a drab looking buffet table as all the wrestlers rush in. Is that a thing with Paul that’s been pre-established? He loves food? Otis has a fit over a sandwich and proclaims that this is now a FOOD FIGHT as he throws a big dish all over Paul E. All the wrestlers pull exaggerated shocked faces, including Black and Shayna. FUUUCCCKKK.

Then we get an awkward edit as all the wrestlers suddenly join in and have an inter-gender food fight IN THE MIDDLE OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC. Shayna chokes out Rey, Nia powerbombs Carmella through a table and everyone gradually fucks off.

Not before Nia and Otis share a moment together though. Because they’re both larger wrestlers? I don’t get it. Vince must be in fits of laughter at all this. All this, this whole match, is there to appease one man’s low-hanging sense of humour. Christ, imagine going back to work for this company once the world is at some degree of normalcy.

To be perfectly honest, Otis is also (usually) entertaining in this. If the match was full of big characters like that then it would, a) make more sense, and b) be 100 times more fun. Give me Otis, Big E, Montez Ford, Big Show, Kevin Owens, R-Truth and The Miz next time.

Otis stumbles across John Laurinaitis on an electric pushchair (another agent hanging around the gaff) and I go blind with confusion. References without context aren’t funny! All you’re doing is pointing at something from the past whilst shouting “Look! Remember this!! REMEMBER THIS?!?”. Nostalgia from barley ten years ago, literally being rolled out for a 5 second cameo is the laziest shit.

Asuka stops MMA expert Shayna Baszler by lightly chucking a mop in her general direction, and she sells it as Nia and Lacy run by, followed by Brooke who slips and falls on the mop water. They’re not doing her much justice in this one. Someone really has it out for the poor woman.

Nia clobbers everyone in her way, and remember guys; a forearm to the back hurts more when you’re doing it whilst standing on a solid floor as opposed to in the ring. Science is amazing. Ric Flair could learn a thing or two from this.

Bryan and Styles do battle into a room with a massive fuck-off dinosaur’s skull on the wall and it’s Vinnie Mac’s room of course. And he’s in there! Sat at a desk that’s behind his…uh…desk. He stands up and looks like he’s only mere days away from death. He looks like someone who got bitten in a zombie movie and he’s seconds away from turning. Styles and Bryan actually stop fighting when Vince shouts at them, because remember, NO ONE IS BIGGER THAN THE WWE.

“Out!” he shouts, and both guys leave awkwardly but not before straightening the room back like a couple of schoolboys caught fucking around. In what I’m sure was meant to be a nod to what’s actually going on in the outside world, VKM washes his hands with sanitizer before siting back down to his legal paper. He’s probably figuring out who else he can fire to scrimp and save his fortune.

I’m sure Ryan Satin was forcibly laughing through all this, like he’s never seen another comedic performance in his life.

(He did).

Baron takes over like that one bossy backyard wrestler in your backyard fed that no one likes working with (and is only there because we can use his dad’s ladders), and he exclaims “IM GOING TO THE ROOF!” as we’re all too brain-dead by this point to catch onto any plot without awkwardly saying it aloud. Those Kevin Dunn porn rumours are true, I swear.

Nia is already on the roof, sets the ladder up in the ring and now THE MATCH BEYOND BEGINS! It’s just basic stuff from this point on from the ladies. Someone climbs, they get pulled down. That person climbs, she is yoinked off. Repeat ad nauseam. The musak is still playing too, as it has been all through this disaster. Asuka knocks Lacey off, who falls a staggering 3 feet off the ladder onto Nia knocking them both out.

So now Asuka is at the top of the ladder, where there’s two briefcases, and Baron quickly joins her screaming “No! No! No!” and stops her. What, does he want both cases? Or is he just a daft sod? They could both pull down their respective cases and win here, I am so fucking confused. Asuka kicks him off anyway because I guess she wants both too? I can’t comprehend this any more. Anyway, she lifts off the one briefcases as she’s announced as the women’s winner. Ah, Michael Cole is back, as he talks over the replays, sounding dishevelled and depressed. I feel for you, Cole.

Otis is now here, and Asuka and the rest of the women have mysteriously vanished. They do the Big Show gimmick with the steps breaking under his weight and Baron is now alive to stop him. It’s somehow even more awkward now that they’re in the ring and wrestling in front of silence. The BGM makes it feel like a really shit version of the early Smackdown games.

All the lads have now made their way to the roof and BARON THROWS REY OVER THE TOP OF THE ROOF. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK. There’s a splash sound effect too! Did he land in some sort of swimming pool?! What in the actual fuck. He then chucks Black over the roof too! With the sound effect! What the fuck! What the fuck?? Imagine committing double homicide just to get a fucking briefcase. Baron is obviously taking tips on taking out competition from WWE’s deals with the Saudis.

So, lets talk about the finish here.

Corbin and Styles are battling on the top of the ladder and both bring down the case together. They argue a little, Elias runs in and smashes Corbin with a guitar and he falls to the mat. Styles is your winner then, right? Well, no, because he fumbles the case up in the air for some fucking reason and it lands in Otis’s hands and therefore he’s the winner??

THATS NOT HOW LADDER MATCHES WORK. The rules aren’t, “The first person who retrieves the briefcase and stands on the ring mat wins”. No one grabs a briefcase or title belt in a ladder match but aren’t declared the winner until they climb back down with the McGuffin. Styles and Baron brought it down, in their hands, and Corbin fell. At best Styles wins. At worst, it’s a draw between Corbin and Styles. They did a similar finish at WrestleMania but this was, somehow, much worse.

Cole does more lifeless commentary over the replays as we close out.

That was torture. Fucking torture. Of all the 2020 ladder matches so far…Hell of all the matches in 2020 so far…That’s the worse. Possibly of all time.

Fucking wank. And shit. And shit and wank.

To everyone who thought that was funny, please do me a solid; watch something other than wrestling for the love of God. Watch Monty Python’s Life Of Brian. Watch Airplane. Watch Naked Gun. Watch Ghostbusters. Watch This Is Spinal Tap. Watch Blues Brothers. Watch Four Lions. Watch Hot Fuzz. Watch a few episodes of 30 Rock, or Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, or Blackadder series 2/3/4, or Bottom, or Faulty Towers, or Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Then get back and say to me, with a straight face, “WWE Money In The Bank 2020 was good”.


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