WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Nikki A.S.H. cashes in Money in the Bank Contract, Goldberg returns

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CBSSports.com 19 July, 2021 - 10:39pm 23 views

What time does money in the bank kickoff show start?

Start time: 8 p.m. ET (kickoff show starts at 7 p.m.) CBSSports.com2021 WWE Money in the Bank live stream, how to watch online, start time, card, matches

Did John Cena return at Money in the Bank?

But the REAL return of fans in the building came Sunday night at Money in the Bank. And the REAL return became official thanks to another return. When John Cena showed up at the end of the show, the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, exploded. Sports IllustratedAll It Took Was Two Returns for the WWE to Get the Jolt It Needed: TRAINA THOUGHTS

How can I watch money in the bank?

Watch Money in the Bank Streaming Online | Peacock. peacocktv.comWatch Money in the Bank Streaming Online

By Joseph Staszewski

July 19, 2021 | 8:38am | Updated July 19, 2021 | 8:38am

John Cena’s return to WWE at Money in Bank gives the company a chance for everything it needs right now – if done right.

Cena, who was last seen on WWE programming at a fanless WrestleMania 36 last April, confronted Universal champion Roman Reigns after the Tribal Chief defeated Edge in the main event of the Money in the Bank pay-per-view in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday night. The fans delivered an all-timer of a pop when the 16-time world champion’s music hit — adding another one to Cena’s collection. Reigns just stared at Cena with a look of total disgust and a feeling of how dare he steal my spotlight. 

It sets up a likely and epic main event for SummerSlam at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Aug. 21. Cena is one of the biggest movie stars in the world with “F9” out and “The Suicide Squad” on the way. He delivers the immediate name notoriety, headlines and the probable ratings WWE desperately desires now that fans have returned. It’s a signal flare to the world that WWE is back and there are big things happening. Cena already said in a video on WWE’s social media after the show that he will be kicking off “Monday Night Raw.”

It’s only one of the reasons this was the right moment and match for Cena’s return. Yes, WWE gets criticized for leaning too heavily on its past stars when it needs a boost. Cena, however, is a no-brainer. Doing this too often with other talents in the next two to three months will be overkill, though.

So why is this happening at all? Well, Roman Reigns is operating on a level only a handful of people are at right now in pro wrestling. If you’re Cena, you want a piece of that for yourself and try to help WWE continue to build its next potential crossover star. More places and media outlets are going to be talking about and taking a look a Roman Reigns because he’s in a match with Cena — who is also the voice of Honda commercials.   

Think back to when Reigns’ cousin The Rock came back to have a program that lasted two WrestleManias with Cena in 2012-13. There is a similar feel here in star power even with Reigns at a different point in his career than Cena was at that time. Cena was a more established star but at the time he was WWE’s best guy just like Reigns is right now. Cena’s last match in front of fans was in January 2019.

WWE also likely doesn’t get Cena back without a clear story to tell. This one dates back to 2017 when he absolutely embarrassed Reigns during a promo. Back then, Reigns was floundering as the WWE was trying to shove him down the fans’ throat as our classic babyface, including some of the worst-worded promos you will ever hear. Still, Reigns beat Cena in a singles match at the No Mercy pay-per-view that year.

So now you have a returning Cena, one world title win away from breaking Ric Flair’s record, testing to see if Reigns is still the guy he ran word circles around last time they had a program together, trying to find out if Reigns really is as good as the hype that’s now around him. For Reigns, it’s a chance to further cement that he’s not the same guy he was in 2017, to dethrone Cena as the face of WWE and to add him to Daniel Bryan and Edge on the list of heroes he’s cast aside. 

Reigns needs to beat Cena — clean if there are no plans to run this back at WrestleMania 38 in Dallas. There needs to continue to be a feel of if Bryan, Edge, and Cena can’t beat Reigns then who the heck can? It will only make a regular Reigns’ loss or Big E cashing in his Money on the Bank contract to become champion mean that much more.

Cena is back to work with WWE’s biggest name in the biggest storyline at the biggest show this year. Embrace it. Enjoy it. It’s everything WWE needs and everything that makes pro wrestling great — if done correctly.

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Universal Champion Roman Reigns def. Edge; John Cena returns to stand toe-to-toe with Reigns

WWE 20 July, 2021 - 06:01am

The second part first: The Cenation leader, in perhaps the most shocking moment of the year, returned unannounced to WWE for the first time in 15 months to confront Reigns at the conclusion of the title bout. The 16-time World Champion entered Dickies Arena to a thunderous ovation, got right in Reigns’ face and defiantly delivered his “You can’t see me!” hand gesture. Even though no punches were thrown, it was a moment that will live on in the WWE Universe’s collective memory for years to come.

While Cena’s comeback will likely dominate water-cooler talk come Monday morning, not to be overlooked is the epic Universal Title Match that preceded it.

In a fair world, the headline would read: Edge pins Universal Champion Roman Reigns. After all, the WWE Hall of Famer, in search of a fairytale ending to his comeback story, had The Tribal Chief’s shoulders pinned to the mat for three seconds and then some after connecting with a Spear late in the bout. The only problem? There was no referee to administer a count.

To get to that point, Edge indeed manifested the anger he knew he’d need to unseat The Head of the Table. He endured Reigns’ punishing offense — from the Drive-By to the Guillotine — before mounting an incredible rally that was buoyed by a Spear through the ringside barricade. Reigns uncorked a Superman Punch minutes later, and the impact sent Edge hurtling into referee Charles Robinson, taking the official out of commission.

Edge continued fighting, using the leg of a steel chair to lock in a crossface. With no ref in sight, The Usos approached the ring to help their cousin, but they were repelled by the intervening Mysterios. That’s when Rollins, who declared he wanted “next” despite losing the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, ran in through the audience and leveled Edge with a kick to the back of his head.

Edge recovered, hit the second Spear and covered Reigns, while the WWE Universe took it upon themselves to count the three-count. A replacement official raced into the ring, but by then it was too late, and Reigns kicked out at two.

Rollins then struck again, returning to distract Edge long enough for Reigns to hit the match-clinching Spear. After the bell, Rollins and Edge brawled through the WWE Universe, while Reigns took the microphone and said the whole world can now acknowledge him.

Yet, as Cena’s subsequent arrival would suggest, such acknowledgment might come at a higher cost than Reigns bargained for.

The second part first: The Cenation leader, in perhaps the most shocking moment of the year, returned unannounced to WWE for the first time in 15 months to confront Reigns at the conclusion of the title bout. The 16-time World Champion entered Dickies Arena to a thunderous ovation, got right in Reigns’ face and defiantly delivered his “You can’t see me!” hand gesture. Even though no punches were thrown, it was a moment that will live on in the WWE Universe’s collective memory for years to come.

While Cena’s comeback will likely dominate water-cooler talk come Monday morning, not to be overlooked is the epic Universal Title Match that preceded it.

In a fair world, the headline would read: Edge pins Universal Champion Roman Reigns. After all, the WWE Hall of Famer, in search of a fairytale ending to his comeback story, had The Tribal Chief’s shoulders pinned to the mat for three seconds and then some after connecting with a Spear late in the bout. The only problem? There was no referee to administer a count.

To get to that point, Edge indeed manifested the anger he knew he’d need to unseat The Head of the Table. He endured Reigns’ punishing offense — from the Drive-By to the Guillotine — before mounting an incredible rally that was buoyed by a Spear through the ringside barricade. Reigns uncorked a Superman Punch minutes later, and the impact sent Edge hurtling into referee Charles Robinson, taking the official out of commission.

Edge continued fighting, using the leg of a steel chair to lock in a crossface. With no ref in sight, The Usos approached the ring to help their cousin, but they were repelled by the intervening Mysterios. That’s when Rollins, who declared he wanted “next” despite losing the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, ran in through the audience and leveled Edge with a kick to the back of his head.

Edge recovered, hit the second Spear and covered Reigns, while the WWE Universe took it upon themselves to count the three-count. A replacement official raced into the ring, but by then it was too late, and Reigns kicked out at two.

Rollins then struck again, returning to distract Edge long enough for Reigns to hit the match-clinching Spear. After the bell, Rollins and Edge brawled through the WWE Universe, while Reigns took the microphone and said the whole world can now acknowledge him.

Yet, as Cena’s subsequent arrival would suggest, such acknowledgment might come at a higher cost than Reigns bargained for.

Advice to WWE Creative: Navigating the Road to SummerSlam 2021

Bleacher Report 20 July, 2021 - 06:01am

WWE is hot off Sunday's largely successful Money in the Bank pay-per-view, but the wheel never stops turning. Soon enough, the next event will be right around the corner, and SummerSlam will be here before we know it.

The Biggest Party of the Summer is arguably WWE's second-most important show of the year behind WrestleMania. With the return of fans in attendance, it is crucial WWE does not mess this up.

If all goes well, it could be the event that turns things around for WWE and resolves the company's problems. A poor lead-up to it, though, could be disastrous and mark the point of no return for WWE's future.

In the latest edition of Advice to WWE Creative, let's examine some some pitfalls that must be avoided and other directions to ensure the smoothest ride to SummerSlam in August.

Every advice column has this section because it applies to every single problem that is possible in life, let alone just pertaining to WWE Creative.

Generally speaking, the less you plan ahead, the harder it is when time is up and a judgment call has to be made. That leads to rushed decisions and a mess that could have been avoided.

Naturally, it's impossible to have perfect foresight. Nobody knows how the future will play out. For instance, anyone could suffer an injury that causes a change.

However, WWE should have known what the bulk of the SummerSlam card will be prior to Money in the Bank as those actions have consequences that will ripple out over the coming weeks.

A key qualifier in this advice is that most of the matches should be settled upon. There's room for flexibility, but WWE should not have only one or two matches in mind for SummerSlam right now.

Despite how WWE can sell out the arena just from fans starved for a live event experience without knowing any matches, that isn't the same for people watching at home. Those viewers want to watch stories develop over the coming weeks, get invested in them and see the culmination of those feuds at the big show.

Plan over a month in advance, but ideally even more. Plan as much as possible. Make backup plans so if something happens, pivoting won't be so difficult. Make adjustments when necessary, but don't get caught the week of the event having to announce half the card on Twitter and wonder why there isn't more buzz.

WWE desperately needs someone on staff whose job is to make sure the brass doesn't forget about Superstars, storylines, and even championships.

All too often, weeks can go by and it feels as though a belt like the Intercontinental Championship has been completely missing in action for no good reason. Apollo Crews hasn't been properly feuding with anyone for what feels like a month or two. Why is one of the most prominent titles being sidelined instead of prioritized?

Title matches should be a big deal by default and will make SummerSlam feel even more grandiose than if it's filled with generic grudge matches.

If every championship is supposed to be important in WWE, every belt needs to be treated as if it matters.

It's one thing for individual Superstars to be left in a holding pattern with no story, but when championships are left out of the mix, that brings down the reputation and credibility of the champion and the belt itself.

All it should take is a few minutes of discussion during the planning ahead process. Look at a spreadsheet with the roster and ask yourselves who the champions will face at the event.

If there is an obvious answer, move on to crafting the storyline leading up to that match. If there aren't any good answers, your task as a writer is to find the solution and then move on to working on the story.

There are five episodes of Raw and SmackDown before SummerSlam. If that's not enough time to establish all the contenders and have them interact with the champions to build intrigue and tension for an upcoming title match, that's a fault on Creative, not the Superstars.

When WWE waits until the last minute to announce a Fatal 4-Way, fans know this happened because it's a lazy method to cram people into the title hunt. It's the easy answer to what is then viewed as an afterthought, rather than something given any attention. Thus, fans don't care as much about those titles and it makes the champions seem like weak draws.

It's not just the champions that need to be focused on, as now, Nikki A.S.H. and Big E are carrying around the Money in the Bank briefcases.

The moment they grabbed those, two new storylines started. The threat of a cash-in instantly became activated and both could sneak a title victory at any moment for the coming year.

Last year, WWE failed to capitalize on Otis as Mr. Money in the Bank. It was very obvious he was sidelined with an attitude of "don't worry about that for now. We'll get back to that after we take care of the next few things." Then, weeks turned into months and WWE never got around to it, so he lost all his momentum.

This does not mean the title shots need to be used in the next five weeks. Burning through those cash-ins that quickly robs the rest of the year of the tease.

However, both winners should be acknowledged on Raw and SmackDown as having this dangerous weapon at their disposals. The champions should take note that they need to watch their backs. A.S.H. and Big E should tease that they just might cash in before or even at SummerSlam.

The more it feels as though there's a chance something can happen with the Money in the Bank, the more fans will start anticipating when the trigger is pulled and become more invested in watching that unfold.

A major problem in WWE these past few years has been repetition. Constantly, WWE's answer to most problems tends to be to simply rinse and repeat.

Feuds consist of five to 10 matches in a row for the sake of killing time and being an easy copy and paste. Then, WWE tries to craft the narrative that it's an epic rivalry just because of quantity, rather than quality.

Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker had some of the best moments of any feud in WWE history and only fought each other nine times in 27 years, and that includes tag team matches. Mace and T-Bar have fought Lucha House Party seven times since March!

Repetition is boring and will convince fans to not bother watching the TV shows and only tune in to SummerSlam, if even that. After all, they can just get caught up on the good stuff with the video packages on the show.

But this repetition plague also applies to general exposure. Sometimes, less is more for even just referencing a feud.

Edge and Seth Rollins don't need to have three segments dedicated to their feud every edition of SmackDown for the next five weeks, along with recaps telling fans what they missed if they weren't watching the first hour of the show.

One promo or interaction a week is fine. These storylines are never so complicated that they warrant massive screen time.

Drew McIntyre doesn't need to go on MizTV to talk about how Jinder Mahal screwed him over at Money in the Bank just to remind everyone that he's wrestling Veer or Shanky later in the same night.

Overexposure makes fans sick of watching something by the time the pay-per-view comes around.

Leave them wanting to see more, instead of wanting the stories to just end already.

Professional wrestling, like most things, evolves over time. Some things stay the same forever as they're baked into the fabric of the business, like heels insulting the local sports team for cheap heat or referees being total morons who get knocked out when a slight breeze comes their way.

One thing that has overstayed its welcome, though, is the advertisement that two Superstars will have a promo advertising their match.

It doesn't matter if it's under the thinly-veiled disguise of a contract signing or if it's given the distinction of a "face-to-face" confrontation, as if that's anything different from a normal in-ring promo. Everyone who has watched wrestling for more than a few weeks knows how things will play out.

It's become such a trope that people lampshade it and talk down on those segments during those segments! Superstars will reference how it's clear a brawl will start and someone will be put through the table.

Don't do it at all, then, unless there's a hook.

If John Cena is fighting Roman Reigns at SummerSlam and can't get physical, advertise that he'll have a rap battle with The Usos. We don't need The Tribal Chief sitting down with the contract and Paul Heyman by his side exactly how he's done it in the past.

"You're next" is all Goldberg is going to say and it doesn't need to be said more than once. If there's no feud other than looking at his name and his opponent's name on a marquee, don't waste time recycling that same footage and trying to create variants of it with other segments where he stares at his challenger. It's the same thing and people can watch the clip on YouTube if they wanted to see it again.

It's doubtful anyone will tune in to SmackDown solely because of an advertisement stating "Seth Rollins will address his actions from Money in the Bank" as they can look it up online afterward or ask their friend what happened.

Fans know WWE does these things because they require little to no effort and try to capitalize off simply seeing the Superstars making an appearance, but with the internet at our fingertips, people aren't starved for their little taste of each person like they used to be. Now, a segment needs a hook or depth to it to be more intriguing.

                     

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A pair of great, but very different, moments with young fans at Money in the Bank

Cageside Seats 19 July, 2021 - 03:05pm

But these two moments from WWE’s second show on the road in front of a capacity crowd, Sun., July 18’s Money in the Bank from Fort Worth, would be worth talking about even if we’d never lived through the ThunderDome era.

They both come from the end of last night’s PPV. The first is from the main event match itself, and features a young man who had quite a night - it’s the same kid we marked out for the way he marked out for John Cena’s return.

Here, he’s very unhappy with the woman - presumably his mother - who acknowledges Roman Reigns when he goes to get a chair to punish Edge with. Ladies have always loved Big Romey, but little man is not happy this one decided to publicly profess her love for the Tribal Chief. If looks could kill!

Mom risked it all for Roman!!!! pic.twitter.com/7ReWMSRdH8

More wholesome all around is this clip from someone who saw a young fan trying to get as close as possible for his video of Cena’s return. Security asks him to step back, so how did he make it to the barricade? The Chairman’s wife made sure he did.

While people were cheering for @JohnCena I was cheering for you …. You’re my hero @Linda_McMahon #WWE #MoneyInTheBank @StephMcMahon @TripleH @VinceMcMahon @WWE pic.twitter.com/wUCXvJ7PPu

Think what you will of Linda McMahon or her family, but that’s a sweet moment.

Money in the Bank made lots of wrestling fans feel like kids again. Some of that is probably because for the first time in too long, we’re getting to see kids be fans again.

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