The world of professional wrestling is so vast and fast-moving that it’s damn near impossible to keep up. Luckily, your pals at Deadshirt are here to keep an eye on squared circles everywhere, from modest bingo halls to packed football stadiums, and bring you the most notable matches and storylines from throughout the past week. And it’s a good thing, too, because there’s just TOO MUCH WRESTLING!
I Cashed In My Money In the Bank Briefcase And All I Got Was This Lousy Wolf T-Shirt
Smackdown Live (WWE)
August 17, Providence, RI
Go-home shows for major WWE events are often underwhelming. Everything is so set in place by that point and competitors are being so protected for the big day that it can end up being a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Then, in the final moments of the show, SmackDown essentially crossed its arms and asked “What now, smarks?”
The main event was John Cena versus WWE Champion Jinder Mahal in a non-title match. Once Cena had Mahal beaten down, however, the match was interrupted by Money in the Bank briefcase holder Baron Corbin. Corbin blindsided Cena, who he was set to face at SummerSlam, causing a DQ. But then, seeing Mahal laying prone after the match against Cena, Corbin cashed in his MITB contract.
Just as the bell rang to begin the match, a stunned Cena had pulled himself up to the apron. Corbin, rather than take the easy pin on Mahal, turned away just long enough to land one more hit on Cena. But that was enough for Mahal to score a quick roll-up victory over Corbin, causing only the third failed MITB cash in in WWE history.
In that one moment, WWE has made two SummerSlam matches matter even more. Prior to the cash-in, Corbin and Cena’s match felt extraneous. Corbin had even refused the match initially, saying that so long as he had the MITB briefcase nothing else really mattered. The logic of which speaks to the simplicity of Corbin’s character. He is Occam’s Razor in wrestling form, the easiest solution is the best. Why bother with flashy moves when he can just beat you up? Why bother taking a match for honor or to prove some intangible point when he has a guaranteed title shot in his hands? But it isn’t a Braun Strowman-esque “path of destruction” situation. Corbin’s “might makes right” attitude feels far more calculated. Look at how he won Money in the Bank, he allowed the majority of the destruction to be done by the other competitors and then chose his moment to attack and win. He is a strategist, working smarter, not harder, but also he will punch you in the mouth.
It was a momentary lapse in judgement that caused the cash-in failure, but Corbin clearly places the blame purely on Cena for “distracting” him. This means there is now personal stake in their Summerslam match for Corbin, and suggests that Cena’s Summerslam losing streak may continue (also continuing Cena’s new tradition of putting over talent at Summerslam). I’m part of the apparent minority of people who like Corbin, but even I would argue that it was too soon to put a major title on him. But if he does go over Cena at SummerSlam in a solid match, it will do more for him than a rushed and disappointing title run would have.
Beyond that? There were many predictions that challenger Shinksuke Nakamura would defeat Jinder Mahal only to have Corbin attack him and cash in. But with the briefcase out of play, there is genuine excitement that we could be saying the words “WWE Champion Shinsuke Nakamura” on Monday morning.
Which is one hell of an argument for tuning into SummerSlam, right?
Extra High Spots: It continues to thrill me that Naomi is getting such great crowd reactions and that she keeps adding different elements to her entrance. Also, I never talk about this kind of thing, but her eye make-up was beyond on-point.
“Fashion Peaks” ending is proof Breezango knows just when to end a gag. I cannot wait to see what they’ve got lined up next.
– Ashly Nagrant
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