Dean Ambrose, winner of the MITB ladder match earlier in the show that gave him the right to challenge the champ at any point in the next year, decided tonight was the night, cashed in, and quickly pinned Rollins to begin his first WWE title reign.
So, there you go. Does anybody else see the main event of SummerSlam being a triple-threat world title match involving the former Shield teammates?
The much-hyped Money in the Bank pay-per-view did what it needed to do in that respect, and it gave us a solid match between John Cena and A.J. Styles, even with the schmozz finish that diminishes the dream match aspect to the meeting between the two.
Styles got the win after his buddies, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, interfered following a late-match ref bump, in a finish that is logical in that it gives Styles, expected to be the champion of the Smackdown brand when the brand split takes effect next month, the push that he needs, and preserves Cena upon his return.
Incidentally, Cena – looked smaller tonight, didn’t he? Which makes sense, given that he was coming off a lengthy rehab of a rotator cuff injury. And don’t get me wrong, he was in good shape, just not Cena shape, and noticeably so.
MITB vs. The Finals
WWE seemed to be booking around the obvious fact that millions of people would be watching Game 7 of the NBA Finals, including most of its fans, even its hardcores. The opening segment at 8 p.m. Eastern, coinciding with the open of the Golden State-Chicago game, featured a way, way, way too long series of mic drops by the participants in the four-way tag-team title match.
The lengthy vignette setting up the MITB ladder match also seemed like filler, as did the Sheamus-Apollo Crews and Baron Corbin-Dolph Ziggler matches.
The last bit of filler was well-timed. The ladder match ended as the Finals game was in a TV timeout with three minutes left and the game tied at 89-89. I’m sure I’m not anywhere near being the only person to flip the channel from WWE Network back to ABC to watch the Finals game play out (I had been watching MITB on the big screen and the NBA Finals game on my iPad).
The game ended, I flipped the TV back to WWE – to see Rusev defending the U.S. title against Titus O’Neil.
You could almost see words floating in the air from the Gorilla position to the ring, OK, fellas, take ‘er home, as Rusev launched the finishing sequence that ended the match by submission.
If you were channel-surfing the two like I was, you didn’t miss a second, even the pre-match vignette, of the main event between Rollins and Reigns.
Column by Chris Graham