Question: Has Money in the Bank 2011 ruined us all for ever?

It’s a question I often ponder. Will anything ever be as exciting as the denouement of the 2011 Money in the Bank PPV?

In fact, the whole show was worked brilliantly – the Smackdown MitB briefcase match was a fantastic opening to the show, and Christian proved his cowardly heel credentials against Randy Orton.

And somehow it doesn’t matter that somewhere between that and Randy Orton v Christian there was Kelly Kelly versus a Bella, the Henry v Show hossfest and a Raw briefcase match whose conclusion was obvious from the start.

What was great about the PPV was REALLY great, and your enduring images of it will be Daniel Bryan sobbing as he clutched the blue briefcase that guarantees him a title shot at some point in the future, and CM Punk high-tailing it out of the building, WWE belt in tow.

The problem is – I think they spoilt us.

Nothing will ever be that good again, will it?

All I remember about SummerSlam was the weird dance that the Divas did with Cee-Lo Green.

Night of Champions was OK, but was stretching the Kelly Kelly credulity thing tighter than her ring outfit, and Triple H’s win over Punk was a foregone conclusion as he continued to prove himself the Worst Boss Ever.

Hell in a Cell was notably mostly for Beth Phoenix finally taking the Divas title, but frankly I fell asleep during the Sin Cara unification match and don’t feel I missed much.

Vengeance I’d completely forgotten about, but THE RING COLLAPSED. That is all. No titles changed hands. Nothing was concluded.

But for all our whining about the PPVs since then, what could they seriously do to improve on the high drama of Money in the Bank?

Well, apart from develop some angles that a) make a bit of sense and b) have the fans invested in them. That really would be revolutionary.

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6 Responses to Question: Has Money in the Bank 2011 ruined us all for ever?

  1. ValkyrieSmudge says:

    Seeing it all laid out like that, I realised that MITB was the last WWE PPV I properly watched. But yes, it kind of makes the guff that’s followed look even worse by comparison

  2. workmancer says:

    I think the Money in the Bank PPV was the only one creatively built this year. Plus it had an interesting dynamic of a heel in his home town getting a title shot under the guise that he’d leave the company with the belt. Its actually sad at the fact people were pumped and interested for a man that was going to leave the company with the belt. That’s kind of like saying the fans don’t really like the company.

    But another thing that PPV means is everything in the WWE (except Mark Henry and Cena) is just a 1 month build. Truth’s title push. Miz’s title run, Punk’s push. Alberto Del Rio.

    One thing they could do to make some high drama is start pushing heels more than 1 month. ADR is booked as a boring jobber with a belt . Miz & Truth are jokes. Dolph loses. Wade and Cody have small pushes, but after 1 month will that push be gone?

    Going into Money in the Bank, Punk had a non title victory the prior month over champion John Cena. Punk had momentum.

    Fans pay to see faces they can get behind, but they get interested when those faces are threatened. Even Superman gets weak, even Terminator gets wrecked.

  3. Mike says:

    Money in the Bank was the undisputed high point of 2011 for WWE. And (shockingly), they failed to capitalise on its success.

    The Smackdown Money In The Bank ladder match was amazingly well put together, each participant had an opportunity to shine, and it was easily the better of the two Money In The Bank matches on the show as a result. It gave new faces an opportunity to shine in an action-packed environment, and with heavy-hitters like Wade Barrett, Sheamus and Cody Rhodes involved, had a finish that came entirely out of left field.

    If DBD winning Money in the Bank was totally unexpected, what’s happened since has been entirely predictable. He’s cut a frustrated figure on air, with an abortive stop-start losing streak on Smackdown and notable losses against the likes of Barrett, Christian, Sin Cara and now the World Champion Mark Henry as WWE appears to tease both uncertainty about his championship credentials and what will likely be the first Money In The Bank winner to fail to win a title.

    In theory, it’s not a bad idea. With the right booking, writing and story progression, being the first Money In The Bank winner to lose a guaranteed title shot could be a career-making moment. Certainly, it could have a much greater impact on character development than some Money In The Bank winners have had through winning (I’m looking at you, Swagger). But do we trust WWE to see it through?

    Bryan has stated repeatedly that he’s a man of his word, that he’s not going to be an opportunist like those who’ve gone before him, that he’s going to live out his dream and challenge for the title at Wrestlemania so if he wins, he will be a worthy champion. It’s noble, it’s honest, it’s characterful and it’s a fine story.

    Having a confidence-shaking run of high-profile defeats is also fine. Pitting him against a dominating champion like Mark Henry has become then coming up short is also fine. But all too often the story appears to be something of an afterthought, rather than a planned and escalating program, as it should be.

    Ideally, this storyline would run and run all the way to Mania. We would see Bryan live up to his word, progress through uncertainty, desperation and frustration to newfound confidence and self-belief to look like a legitimate and credible title threat when the big moment finally comes. And then, should he finally fall at the last hurdle, he can take that heel turn, say how being noble and doing things the right way never got him anywhere, and move on from there with a ton of momentum behind him.

    As it stands though, I can see WWE having him try to cash in at Survivor Series, lose, then forget it ever happened. It’s just the way they tend to do things.

    Take, for example, the Money In The Bank main event. The Cena/Punk feud developed perfectly. Punk’s revelation that his contract was expiring, the escalating build-up and the drama that unfolded during and after the match itself made it the most exciting, engaging and above all PPV-worthy main event of the year. Punk’s promos were spot on, week after week. He told the truth (or at least, the truth that the fans believed and wanted to hear), he made the little in-jokes, broke the fourth wall and played the crowd for everything he’s worth. Cena acted like the hard-done-by hero, doing his best to be liked by all but unable to keep pace with Punk’s growing popularity, unable to be anything but himself. It split the WWE Universe down the middle, with both men having their own very vocal support at every show.

    The finale, in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, had everything on the line. Titles, contracts, careers, pride, the lot. The match itself lived up to the billing. There were lots of little insider touches. Familiar faces were on hand at ringside. (hi, Colt Cabana!) A face was finally put to a much-talked about name in John Lauranitis. The finish was like the Montreal Screwjob meeting Quantum Leap. And it left fans stunned, breathless, enthralled, desperate to find out what happens next.

    Unfortunately, WWE didn’t have the stones to see the story through. The “you’re fired” stip to Cena was (too) quickly brushed under the carpet, a replacement title for the one Punk left with was (too) quickly brought into play and Punk himself was (too) quickly brought back into the fold, witha minimum of fuss. We still haven’t got those ice cream bars, either.

    WWE obviously decided to seperate Punk and Cena, as the cheers for Punk were deflecting attention away from WWE’s Mr Goldenballs. Not that it mattered of course, Cena has continued to pick up heat everywhere he’s been as of late, not just North of the Border in Contraryville, Canada as WWE would like you to believe.

    And so what was an exciting, interesting and engaging feud with tons of potential stuttered its way to an untimely and unsatisfactory end.

    A bit like the rest of the years pay-per-views, really.

    • workmancer says:

      I think they capitalized on it in the wrong way. They capitolized by bringing him back. Rather he make money for the company than stay away and make the company no money.

      Nothing coming out of the PPV was true or of consiquence. Punk came back in 1 week. Cena wasn’t fired, instead McMahon was. And by the end of it all… Punk was the red carpet for HHH’s return. Then Nash’s.

      The sad thing if this was such a great PPV was the low buy rate.

  4. Si says:

    The Punk/Cena match at Summerslam was better than the one at MiTB. There wasn’t the emotion of being in Chicago, but both men performed to a way higher standard at Summerslam.

    • Carrie says:

      But I guess that’s sort of what I’m saying, in a way – it doesn’t really matter if you put on five-star matches if the creativity and storytelling aren’t there. Now I think about it, I did re-watch Punk/Cena’s SummerSlam match because it was on Box Office for a week, and yes, it was well worked. But the MitB match will be something I remember because of the way it was performed and the angle it was part of.

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