Money in the Bank 2020 could have been a trainwreck. It was scheduled to be headlined by two Money in the Bank matches, the men's and the women's happening at the same time. And instead of the usual multi-person ladder match, the contestants were to start at the bottom of WWE's corporate headquarters building and scramble their way to the top. How would this work? Is there any chance it could be good? It didn't seem likely, to me at least.
But like the Boneyard and Firefly Fun House matches before it, this was a pleasant surprise and a lot of fun. Asuka won the women's briefcase, a great decision, and Otis the men's, a questionable decision. Otis is much loved, but it's hard to see his current character in a main-event feud. But we shall see.
Earlier in the show, Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman were both able to defend their world title. McIntyre beat Seth Rollins in a strong match, and Strowman beat Bray Wyatt in a weak one.
The main show was only 2-and-a-half hours long, which hopefully becomes standard for WWE pay-per-views because it's the perfect length. Below is a full recap of Money in the Bank 2020.
Otis and Asuka win Money in the Bank matches
Man, oh man. This. Was. GREAT.
I admittedly had low expectations for this -- Money in the Bank being a race from the bottom of WWE HQ to the very top, with both the women's and men's matches occurring at the same time -- so this was a super pleasant surprise. It was filmed similarly to the Boneyard and Firefly Fun House matches at WrestleMania, only it was (slightly less preposterous).
The guys started in the basement gym. The women started at ground floor. Asuka jumped from a nearby ledge to knock the women down, and then took the lift up several floors. The men had a free for all in the gym, ending with Rey Mysterio trapping AJ Styles under a barbell.
What followed as absolutely ridiculous, but so much fun. AJ Styles saw a poster of the Undertaker and got PTSD flashbacks to their WrestleMania encounter. We got a food fight between the men and the women that, somehow, didn't suck. There were appearances by Brother Love, Doink the Clown and John Laurinaitis.
One of the best parts was AJ and Daniel Bryan brawling into Vince McMahon's office, where he promptly shouted them out. Is it dumb to have two top guys brow beaten by the boss? Yeah. But it's so silly it's hard to be mad.
The women were the first to make it to the top, where Asuka unclipped the first briefcase. The men made it up later. Baron Corbin and AJ were fighting over the other briefcase when Elias appeared, dropping Corbin by smashing him in the back with a guitar. AJ then fumbled the briefcase, which was caught by Otis. Really.
Rating: Go out of your way to watch this. No star rating, since it wasn't a true match.
Drew McIntyre defeats Seth Rollins
Drew McIntyre's first WWE Championship defense is a success. He pinned Seth Rollins after a Claymore Kick. After the match the two shook hands.
These two worked a main-event style match as though they were in an arena with a full crowd. It was certainly hurt by the lack of an audience on account of that, but it all worked up to an excellent final few minutes. Lots of fun counters and stiff kicks, including McIntyre reversing a tree of woe into a top-rop German Suplex, leading up to McIntyre kicking out of a Curb Stomp before getting the win via Claymore.
Rating: 3.75 stars.
Braun Strowman beats Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt came out as Bray Wyatt, not The Fiend. From that point on, it was fairly sure that Strowman would be winning this match.
And what a match it was. This was more like Bray Wyatt versus The Miz than The Fiend versus Daniel Bryan in terms of match quality. That is to say... not good. It was a fine wrestling match punctuated by wacky moments, with puppets from the Firefly Fun House popping up to encourage Wyatt.
Wyatt would get a few near falls, including after a Sister Abigail. Eventually, Strowman put on the old mask he used to wear when he was part of the Wyatt Family. Bray thought this meant a return home, so to speak, but it was a ruse. Strowman surprises him with a powerslam and gets the pin. The story is that Strowman beat Wyatt at his own game, winning mindgames. Lame.
The story is sure to continue with Wyatt taking Strowman on as The Fiend at a future show.
Rating: 1.5 stars. Swing and a miss.
Bayley retains SmackDown Women's Championship
Bayley beat Tamina by countering a Samoan Drop with a Crucifix pin. Tamina had Bayley beat but, being a dumb babyface, decided to chase Sasha Banks around the ring instead of pinning Bayley.
Long match for a weak challenger. Tamina worked hard, but it's hard buy that she'd be the one to end Bayley's long title reign. Highlight of the match was a sweet counter that saw Bayley reverse a superkick into a leglock. The only problem was that Bayley seemingly doesn't know any actual leglocks -- she had Tamina in a weird mix of an ankle lock and a knee bar, with Corey Graves scrambling to explain how the submission isn't really in. But most of the audience won't know better or care, so it was a cool spot.
Rating: 2 stars.
Bobby Lashley pins R-Truth
R-Truth makes his was to the ring rapping his entrance, beckoning the nonexistent crowd to "make some noise." R-Truth is so great.
MVP comes down for their match but, after some bickering between MVP and Truth, Bobby Lashley enters and says he'll take MVP's place.
After a short match, Bobby Lashley kills R-Truth with a spear.
Rating: Squash match. R-Truth doing his entrance with no crowd was fun, though.
New Day retain SmackDown Tag Titles
After a fun match, The New Day successfully defended their gold when Big E pinned Gran Metalik after a Big Ending. It was a fatal four match pitting The New Day against Lucha House Party, The Forgotten Sons and John Morrison and The Miz.
The match had some flaws -- some spots were a touch sloppy, easier to notice with no crowd to distract, and you could sometimes see guys waiting around waiting for their turn in the dance -- but all eight wrestlers worked super hard. The match ended up being entertainingly chaotic, with teams tagging in and out and lots of creative teamwork.
There was a strange moment towards the end when Jaxson Rikker interfered and Michael Cole noted that the ref can't do anything because it's a no disqualification match. Then the ref proceeded to eject Rikker.
Rating: 3 stars.
Kickoff Show results
Jeff Hardy defeated Cesaro with a Swanton Bomb. It's Hardy's first match after returning -- so why was it on the Kickoff Show? Who knows.