DVD Review: WWE Money in the Bank 2012

I love the concept of Money in the Bank, and this has definitely become one of the highlight PPVs for the WWE out of the 12 they have to offer. There are only a handful of other PPVs that can all but guarantee four main event caliber matches on a card, and with this not being one of the “big” shows, it’s always exciting to see what the WWE has lined up for Money in the Bank.

This year there was plenty more good than bad, with the Smackdown! Money in the Bank match going the traditional route, with eight participants all vying for the briefcase, while on the RAW side only previous WWE champions could apply for the shot. It was a nice touch to have both sides offering something different, which helped make for an even more unpredictable night.

It’s also another PPV that offers an easy candidate for Match of the Year, and I don’t think you’ll have to think too hard to figure out which bout I’m talking about. The WWE has been putting on some fantastic matches as of late, with some incredibly fun feuds to back them up. It’s a trend that I hope doesn’t fade any time soon.

Let’s move on to the DVD and break down the show and its replay value for a collector, shall we?

The DVD starts with a quick, but awesome montage of past winners cashing in their shots and winning the titles, really pushing the fact that anyone who has cashed in their shot has won their respective World title 100% of the time.

As per usual there is no time wasted as the PPV starts with the Smackdown! Money in the Bank match.

Smackdown! Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Dolph Ziggler Vs. Santino Marella Vs. Christian Vs. Cody Rhodes Vs. Damien Sandow Vs. Tyson Kidd Vs. Sin Cara Vs. Tensai

They introduce the Spanish announce table, as per usual, and it made me wonder for the first time – do the Spanish crowd ever wish their announcers would get involved in some storylines? I mean, they have to sit through Cole pretending to be evil (though he’s been infinitely better since RAW 1000) and wrestlers coming over and talking to us through the English headsets…but do the Spanish announce team have to translate everything? Do they have opinions on the English broadcast team that they express to their audience while matches are going on? Is one of them playing the role of the “bad” announcer who likes all the heels, or are they both neutral? There was a time when I was younger that I honestly believed they were there simply to provide a table for wrestlers to go through, though now I’ve got all these other thoughts going through my head. Ah well, let’s try and focus on the match!

There are eight wrestlers in this one, so the ring is packed to start. This is the type of Money in the Bank match I like, where it’s a mix of veterans, new guys trying to make a name for themselves and underdogs who could still win it even though it’s unlikely. And this match definitely has a mixed pot when it comes to competitors!

There’s lots of back and forth action to start, with a few wrestlers vanishing to the outside after the opening seconds to help free up some room. The pacing these guys keep up is incredibly impressive, as there’s so much going on, and so many people involved that it’s hard to believe some of the spots they’re hitting. Of course, there are a few botched moves midway through the match, with Ziggler losing his footing on the top rope while Sin Cara was setting him up for a suplex, which caused both men to fall awkwardly to the mat. Then, moments later Tensai looked like he was going to powerbomb Santino off the ladder, but when Santino went to hold on, again, both men fell awkwardly. The announcers call out the dangers of the match, and don’t try to hide these missteps at all, which is good, seeing as they’re so obvious. Still, when falls like these happen you can’t help but hold your breath and hope you don’t see anything bend wrong when both men bounce off the mat.

Great action heading into the final portion of this match, with Santino giving one of the best Cobra shots ever to Ziggler (who sells it like he was actually bite by a cobra), then climbing up the ladder only to realize that he’s afraid of heights. Funny stuff. Christian is also getting some great reactions from the crowd, which is nice for a change. I’d actually like to see Christian win one of the Money in the Bank matches next year, as I think he’d be an awesome character to hold on to the briefcase.

Fantastic finish with brutal spots being hit, everyone being laid out (Ziggler gets taken off the ladder by Kidd and hits the mat like he’s dead. Then moments later he’s thrown at the announce table and goes flying into the chairs like a rag doll. Pure awesome. Nobody does it better!) More huge spots, with some close calls and Ziggler pulls out a hugely deserved victory to finally become an eventual main eventer. This match was an amazing way to kick off this PPV, and pretty much already stole the show! This match alone pretty much makes this DVD worth purchasing, let’s see if the rest of the matches can make it a “must have!”

Backstage Segment:

We go backstage and Josh Matthews is talking to Sheamus about his feud with Alberto Del Rio. This is a feud that just never seems to die. Hopefully after Summerslam both men will move on to other, more entertaining things.

Back in the ring:

The Miz comes out to the ring after a two-month absence in all his awesomeness. This is another guy that needs to be in the main event scene, not someone who is left floundering in the midcard position. Even though he is IC champ, he’s already not being used right with a clean loss to Kane on RAW. While a clean loss to Cena doesn’t hurt Bryan at all, Miz losing flat out to Kane just makes him look weak, as the push continues to elude him. He makes the announcement that he’s returned to make an impact, and he will take part in the main event RAW Money in the Bank ladder match.

A promo is shown for Del Rio Vs. Sheamus.

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Alberto Del Rio Vs. Sheamus

These two put on a solid match, but their feud just lacks that spark to make it something to really care about. I mean, they’re trying to pull out all the stops to build up the feud, and Del Rio has been pushed continuously to the main event picture, with injuries usually stopping those stories in their tracks, but it just hasn’t really clicked.

The match is pretty much what you’d expect from the two, with a mix of brawling, slowed down with some technical wrestling from Del Rio. It may also be the fact that Sheamus isn’t really an exciting champion and or character at the moment. He’s a jolly guy who calls himself ugly, and just wants to fight. He works a lot better as a heel, though a lack of strong faces caused him to sway in that direction some time ago. Still, this feud will continue into Summerslam, so hopefully they’ll add some sort of stipulation to at least change things up a bit. Then, since it’s likely Sheamus will retain once again, hopefully someone else will step up to the plate to change the horizon in the Smackdown! World title picture.

Ziggler comes out and tries to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase after Del Rio and Ricardo beat down Sheamus after the match. Of course, Del Rio is upset that Ziggler is trying to capitalize, so he yells at Ziggler, who nails both Del Rio and Ricardo with his briefcase in response. He then turns around and gets nailed with a Brogue Kick, and once again looks dead in the ring. This put a bit of fear in me. No, not that I thought he wasted the shot, I knew he didn’t; however, when Ziggler cashes in and inevitably wins the belt (and he will), will that just leave him to be quick fodder for Sheamus in a rematch at the following PPV? Here’s hoping that’s not the case, as that’d be one of the bigger ball drops in recent WWE history if that does in fact happen.

Backstage Segment:

Matthews is interviewing Daniel Bryan this time around, and Bryan is none too happy about how CM Punk ruined his engagement plans with AJ when he initially proposed on RAW. It’s a fun segment that really shows how awesome and charismatic Bryan is, and how well he works the mic. Short, but sweet.

Back to the ring:

Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth come to the ring, and Booker T and Jerry Lawler make stupid comments about seeing Little Jimmy, and Cole says they’re both crazy.

Tag Team Match
The Primetime Players Vs. Primo and Epico

Since the tag team division doesn’t get much PPV time as of late, and has mainly been designated to the pre-show, most may not know who these guys are. Luckily, with RAW being three hours now, The Primetime Players have been getting a rather big push, which can only help the division. With AW on the outside commentating the match on his microphone headset, there’s a different feel to this match. I’m sure it works a lot better in person, as it’s hard to really hear him over the actual commentators.

This is a solid tag match, with some strong spots, and all men doing a good job here. The Primetime Players are a strong team, with Titus O’Neil being the powerhouse of the duo. This is a guy who will likely be a strong singles competitor down the road, but for now he helps bring some strength (literally) to the tag division. Hopefully the feud between the Players and Kofi and R-Truth will actually get a spot on the SummerSlam PPV, and not just find itself tossed on the pre-show.

I did see, however, on Pulse Wrestling that AW was released from the WWE for his “controversial” comments about Kobe a couple of weeks ago. I’d say that this is a bit drastic, and was basically done because of Linda McMahon running in the upcoming election. I think a suspension would’ve sufficed, and allowed one of the few managers (and a vocal one at that) to remain with the company and continue to help get his team over. Speaking of, without AW the Primetime Players are missing a vital piece of their dominating puzzle, and this could end up hurting what could have been quite an entertaining group.

A Promo for CM Punk Vs. Daniel Bryan is shown. Now THIS promo shows how to make an entertaining title match. You’ve got to have a storyline that gets fans invested. Sure they don’t always work, but it still helps bring something to the table. Though, to be fair, this is/was one of the stronger storylines to come around in a long time thanks to the surprise emergence of AJ and her crazy style.

Backstage Segment:

Matt Striker interviews AJ, and she says that she’s in full control and is ready to be fair in this match. Of course, she says it in a much crazier way that definitely leave things up in the air for what may happen in the upcoming bout. Watching AJ in this promo does show me that she needs to bring a bit more crazy into her role as General Manager of RAW. She’s a little too stable at the moment, and is acting like a normal GM would for the most part. Crazy is what got her over, and crazy is what’s needed to keep her popularity in place.

No Disqualification WWE Championship Match
Daniel Bryan Vs. CM Punk (Special Guest Referee: AJ)

With all this focus on the length of CM Punk’s title reign, I’d have to say that odds are in his favour to hold it until the Royal Rumble against The Rock. Will he win that match? I’d say odds are that he will, in a way that may set up another match for The Rock at WrestleMania. Then again, there are still a handful of PPVs to get through before the Royal Rumble, so anything can happen. Still, unless it’s traded back and forth between Cena, Show and Punk until then, odds are with Punk. Then again, maybe Rock fights someone else, and Punk costs him the match leading to a Punk/Rock WrestleMania match. Time will tell.

Not long after the match begins Bryan shoves Punk into AJ, which causes officials and a doctor to come to ringside to check on her. This takes AJ out of the equation fairly early, but it’s actually a plus, as it takes the focus off of what she’s doing (even though that’s kind of the point of a special referee) and places the focus squarely on these two talented superstars, who immediately start going to town on one another all around the ring.

Lots of back and forth action until a kendo stick comes into play, at which point Bryan just pummels Punk for quite a while. Eventually Punk fights back and the two continue to beat on one another. This is a much more brutal match than their bout at Over the Limit, which is just what was needed for this climactic end to this feud.

After a few more big bumps AJ makes her return and skips around the ring all crazy like while both men are laid out. She then goes outside and grabs a chair and waits for both men to recover before tossing it to them and watching them fight over the weapon. This was just a perfectly executed scenario by AJ. In fact, the entire final act of this match is perfectly done, with AJ toying with both men, leaving the audience to wonder who really will pull off the win.

This started as a slow burn of a match and quickly escalated to an all out brawl, with a simply flawless payoff and a wonderful end to one of the best feuds of the year. This, along with the Smackdown! Money in the Bank match make this a must buy PPV DVD and there’s still another Money in the Bank match to go. I’ll tell you one thing, this will be a hard year to simply choose the Match of the Year candidates, let alone the actual Match of the Year – and we’re just over halfway through 2012.

2 on 1 Handicapped Match
Ryback Vs. Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks

This is weird. Ryback actually has two white eyes? Don’t see that much anymore these days. The match itself is just filler to help break up the major matches and help keep the crowd from burning out. Aside from that, I’m starting to wonder what they’re going to do with Ryback. They keep doing this “Feed me more” stuff, and throwing him in handicapped matches; however, the “Goldberg” chants have been there almost from the beginning, so the more jobbers they “feed” this guy, the stronger those chants will become.

The thing is, with someone like this you really have to have him jump right into the main event picture when he does finally break free of this streak of lower tier superstars or else he’ll quickly lose his steam. There’s no denying the guy is a powerhouse, but his matches are really cut and paste, so here’s hoping they do something big with him by the start of 2013. Part of me was thinking Royal Rumble winner, but I think he’d benefit more by a shocking attack on a face champion over a drawn out Road to WrestleMania type mic feud.

Six Diva Tag-Team Match
Layla, Kaitlyn and Tamina Snuka Vs. Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Eve

This is another crowd cooling match before the big main event, though it’s still nice to get a good chunk of the Divas onto a PPV. The match itself is decent enough, with a few shining moments, though most of those came from the outfits the Divas were wearing. Because they’re shiny. Okay, moving on.

RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Kane Vs. The Miz Vs. John Cena Vs. The Big Show Vs. Chris Jericho

At first I thought the idea of putting only former WWE Champions into this match would hinder it – especially since they only had four competitors initially – but it grew on me over time. While I like the idea of new, fresh blood making a name for themselves, or other superstars finally breaking into the main event (like Ziggler did earlier) this at least mixes it up a bit and helps keep things fresh. Let’s face it, no matter who wins the match, it’s always entertaining to know that they can cash in their title shot at any given moment.

Phoenix is very pro-Cena when he’s first introduced and I’m curious as to whether or not that will hold up throughout. It helps, of course, that everyone else in the match is a heel, but that never stopped the crowd from being split in the past.

Right from the start this match is a much more knockdown-drag out match than the Smackdown! ladder match, though that was to be expected by those involved in this match. Still, it’s got some great spots, as my review now comes full circle in some regards, as the questions I asked about the Spanish announce table during the first match come back in the last match, as Cena nails Big Show with an Attitude Adjustment right through…you guessed it – the Spanish announce table.

The move itself was awesome, as Cena is insanely strong. You can see how much power it took him to do it, but it was so worth it. Miz, Kane and Cena then completely cover Big Show in ladders, which is a nice touch. Lawler says, “Big Show is covered in 5-6-maybe 700 pounds of ladders,” though if I had to guess I’d say that he’s likely off by 5-6-maybe 700 pounds.

There are some great hard hitting spots between Miz, Jericho, Cena and Kane in the ring, as Cena delivers a double Five Knuckle Shuffle to Miz and Jericho on a ladder, and before Kane can chokeslam him after the move, Cena reverses it into an Attitude Adjustment onto Miz. The Miz has a hilarious reaction after Kane falls on him, and really acts like it destroyed his lower midsection.

Ladders are being destroyed left and right due to Big Show, so what does he do? He goes under the ring and pulls out a super heavy-duty ladder that even he has to work to lift. There’s no denying that this is a cool touch to this match and add to just how massive The Big Show is. I will say this though; nobody climbs a ladder slower than the guys who aren’t supposed to win, as Big Show proves here.

The final moments of this match are classic, with some true “Oh no, they aren’t going to do that!” moments, like Cena looking like he’s going to Attitude Adjust Jericho from the top of the ladder, and the likes. There’s also an awesome moment where it looks like Jericho is going to win and all of a sudden he’s face to face with The Big Show who takes him out of the match once and for all. This was a great match that’s definitely worth checking out again. This one doesn’t have any high flying, over the top spots like the Smackdown! match, but it’s got some great spots none the less, and a lot of personality as well.

Overall Money in the Bank 2012 turned out to be quite an awesome show. There was filler where filler was needed, but when three of the four main events hit on all cylinders, and the weaker one still finds a way to entertain, well that makes this DVD worth the purchase without much question.

Like usual for WWE DVD releases, the visual quality of this DVD is solid throughout, and so is the audio portions. As I’ve stated before, the WWE is almost always on the top of their game when it comes to video production, so this should be no surprise to those who collect these DVDs.

Matt Striker Interviews Dolph Ziggler – As with all WWE PPVs, the one special feature is a post-match interview with one of the major players of the night. For Money in the Bank it’s Dolph Ziggler. The bit is just under a minute in length and isn’t anything special.

WWE Home Video presents WWE Money in the Bank. Featuring: John Cena, The Miz, Kane, The Big Show, Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler, Sin Cara, Christian, Tensai, Santino Marella, Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, AJ Lee. Approx. Running Time: 3 Hours. Rating: TV-PG. Released: August 14, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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