WWE is looking more like 2000-era WCW every day.
Last minute booking changes, and baffling bad ones at that, are becoming more common. Yet, WWE sank to a new low with how they chose to end Money in the Bank 2019.
The shame of all this is that, by in large, the rest of the show was good. There were some botchy moments and questionable decisions, sure – including Samoa Joe being pinned with his shoulders up, or the SmackDown women’s championship being exchanged multiple times in one night.
However, both world champions defended their titles in strong matches. Bayley won the women’s Money in the Bank match and claimed the SmackDown women’s title later that night. It wasn’t a perfect show by any means, but there were good moments.
It’s sad that all fans will remember is the terrible ending to the main event.
Ali, Andrade, Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor, Randy Orton, and Ricochet all put their bodies on the line to battle for a guaranteed world championship match whenever they chose. With Braun Strowman and Sami Zayn having been ousted from the match prior, many wondered if there would be a surprise entrant. Indeed there was.
Sure, fans may have been hoping for Bray Wyatt to debut with his new gimmick. Even seeing AJ Styles or Kevin Owens pull double duty would’ve been a noteworthy swerve. However, it wasn’t nearly as interesting. As Ali climbed the ladder and prepared to make history, Brock Lesnar’s music hit.
The Beast Incarnate rushed down to the ring, knocking Ali off the ladder and claiming the briefcase for himself. It’s this kind of decisions that show exactly why WWE’s ratings are plummeting, and why even their most dedicated diehards are walking off in droves.
For context, the Money in the Bank pay-per-view has become a running tradition. Now on par with the company’s other major shows, it’s become a place where stars are made. Yes, main eventers have won the case before. But, for the most part, the match is about helping developing talents take that next step and launch themselves into main-event territory.
Brock Lesnar’s extended run as Universal Champion embodied everything that’s wrong with WWE’s current booking. The rarely seen part-timer was holding the title hostage more than he was actually defending it. He was seen as someone who was holding back new talent from shining.
So to have him swoop in and win the briefcase that’s supposed to help one promising talent elevate their career to the next level? That’s a new level of terrible, even for WWE. Sure, some may say Lesnar’s inconsistent schedule makes him a great candidate to hold the briefcase – because who knows when he’ll show up?
Others will say this represents WWE playing it safe once more. Even if Lesnar’s retirement from MMA means he could show up on WWE TV more often, we aren’t banking on it. One has to wonder how this decision will affect the company’s ratings crisis.