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WWE Money in the Bank 2016: The Real Story Told in Las Vegas

Sometimes, the simplest story needs to be told. The fact it took me seven hours to figure this out was more because I could not process what had just happened at Money in the Bank rather than finding the words to describe it.

In the simplest terms, WWE took the easiest angle of the night and ran with it. Las Vegas belonged to Dean Ambrose.

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The company I have put little faith in for the past few years did what was best for business and told a story of redemption last night. The fans who hated Roman Reigns and wanted Seth Rollins to return victorious in his first match back from knee surgery got their wish, with a big caveat attached.

Ambrose was coming along for the ride.

In one night, all three former Shield members held WWE’s World Heavyweight Title. Each telling their own story, with Ambrose having the most to say in the end. There were other stories told on Sunday night in Las Vegas, but this one, the one about the third wheel getting enough grease to come out victorious, was most important.

But it wasn’t the only one that made sense. John Cena and AJ Styles told us another story, one many of of weren’t ready to read. The one about how John Cena wasn’t ready to get in a wrestling ring, and AJ Styles and The Club carried him in a lackluster co-main event. While injuries have put the former 15-time world champion on the shelf for the past seven month, there may be some validity to the notion Cena shouldn’t have come back so soon, and maybe his best days are behind him. Regardless of the reason and the outcome that the fans did not want to see, Cena-Styles reminds me why even the best potential confrontations don’t always work out in the end. Here’s a history lesson.

There were many occasions where Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan met in a wrestling ring.

Each time, we were left disappointed. While two colossal giants in professional wrestling met with titles on the line, the fact the two never had chemistry in a ring was one of the many reasons the two never net at a WrestleMania event.

It’s possible the same thing just happened between John Cena and AJ Styles at Money in the Bank on Sunday night. Despite an ending that fans did not deserve – but was predictable – there wasn’t chemistry between the two superstars in the ring. Yes, it helps to create another chapter in the historic confrontation, but WWE may be better off cutting its losses with this one. Cena looked like he wasn’t ready to get in a ring, and Styles had to carry the 15-time world champion, which diminish how solid the former TNA and NJPW Champion is at his craft.

On a day when both men are healthy, this breaks all barriers and becomes the new version of Rock-Cena or Rock-Austin. For this writer, it was nothing more than a huge letdown.

There are so many ways this feud could go – leading to other members of The Club coming out of the back, but WWE’s creative team gave us the easy way out.

There was a reason why there was not physical confrontation at the contract signing last week on Raw. There is a reason Finn Balor did not make his debut on the main roster. For all the heat and the feel of a real fight, it was nothing more than a whimper.

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I could go on for a while about this, but I don’t want to bore you. I could talk about Natalya’s heel turn, which was brilliant (after I thought about it and was coaxed a bit by our very own Sarah Hirsch). The move allows Sasha Banks to make her triumphant return and challenge Charlotte for the supremacy in the Women’s Division. I’m sure there are more stories to tell and more storylines that will come out of Money in the Bank. It was a solid performance. Not show-stopping. But good enough to whet or whistle on the road to SummerSlam.

We shall see what other stories are told this week as we run toward this new era everyone keeps talking about.

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