Monday Morning Meditation: Money In the Bank 2015
I get leeway here to write about what I want on occasion, because as Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice puts it so eloquently, it's MY blog, and I can write about what I want. This morning, in lieu of anything even remotely constructive, I'm writing about the "meh" show last night that was Money in the Bank 2015, presented to you LIVE on the WWE Network.
I will preface this by saying that last night I put the following (which has been censored a bit for our readership) on Facebook concerning the show, and I want to clarify that statement just a bit:
"WWE Network: Where our "old pay per views" mean nothing so HERE'S ANOTHER THREE HOUR RAW!"
This was not meant to say that the quality of the matches on the show was "Raw worthy" as some of the esteemed guests who came to tell me I was Wrong on the Internet meant. In fact, the Money In the Bank match, the Owens/Cena rematch, and the WWE Title Ladder Match were all great performances and I think they're all (especially Owens/Cena) worth a re-watch. What I meant in that sense is the WWE has taken all the luster out of the "pay per view" model with the WWE Network and left the booking to feel like it's extremely easy to miss. When you do catch it, the moments that are special are few and far between--and now it's very common to find out about ten to fifteen minutes after a plot point hits that--for example--"this guy got screwed, but he will get his rematch at (PPV x) so we'll see what happens there!"
The old booking model was something that allowed the Pay Per View shows to feel as though they were "can't miss" attractions. You would spend a good deal of time building to the Pay Per View, essentially getting "heat" on the show. When you had the show, there were moments that people would be talking about the next day, and the fans who didn't catch the show kicked themselves for not seeing the "must see" moment. Now, we don't have that, and I think it hurts the product as a whole. You don't really have the need to see the shows when they happen, because the moment they end up getting finished they're on the Network for anyone to consume, and they manage to make the shows somewhat neutered as a result.
The MITB match was an example of how the WWE Creative team no longer understands the concept of booking to a finish. Everything would have made sense to put the briefcase with Roman Reigns, and set up a scenario where Ambrose wants to beat the daylights out of Seth Rollins because he thinks it's fun, Reigns has the briefcase so he's a threat at any time, and Lesnar is now the person who Rollins has to fear most because he has a monster chip on his shoulder and wants to make sure that he gets the title stolen from him at Mania back. Now we have Sheamus as the winner, which feels artificial and put in as a "swerve" for the fans expecting a Reigns win. That just doesn't make sense. Sheamus hasn't been in the title picture for a long time, he gets a pass on a new reboot for his character, and he manages in one fell swoop to make sure that he's back in the title picture with no explanation.
Again, no booking to the finish.
The Kevin Owens match was the one that defined the night. Cena is starting to put the younger talent over big, and it's making sense each and every time he does it. I'm glad to see John Cena putting the younger talent in a position where they manage to have great matches with Cena, and it's clear he's looking to pass things on to the younger guard. That's where a veteran with Cena's position should be.
I'm partial as hell to the Ambrose/Rollins ladder match, but it felt flat. I wanted to see Ambrose get a little nod with all the good work he's doing, and he didn't get it. That's a slap in the face to a guy who's worked his ass off for this company since he came in, and now he's been neutered and his push has been neutered. Taking the hope away from talent like that isn't "best for business," it just makes the talent feel as though they've got nothing that will make future plans for Dean make any sense. It's a sad thing, no matter how much Dean works. He's just going to flounder in the mid card for some time.
Don't get me started for the Divas match or the tag match either.
This is what the Network puts out on a free month, they can expect a high churn rate in the coming future.