From Butch to Shinsuke Nakamura – who is even more over after the Lil Uzi Vert song – to Santos Escobar, Damian Priest, Ricochet, LA Knight, and finally Logan Paul, a curious decision indeed, considering their reactions from the crowd on SmackDown, WWE decided to march out seven of their finest Superstars to open up Money in the Bank with a match that has closed out the Premium Live Event more often than not, the Men’s Ladder match for the shiny green briefcase.
But why is this so? Maybe it’s because there wasn’t a women’s championship match on the card – save for the tag team match between Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey versus Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez for the Women’s Tag Team Championship – preventing a Becky Lynch, Zelina Vega, Trish Stratus, or IYO SKY-esque cash-in. Maybe Paul “Triple H” Levesque intended to keep the drama going for the rest of the show, allowing whoever wins to come out during Gunther’s bout against Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins’ match against Finn Balor to put a little extra pressure on the champs to retain?
With bigger fish to fry like The Bloodline Civil War and… Cody Rhodes vs. Dominik Mysterio – a bout that could be the show’s main event – Trips put Money in the Bank first, and it should come as no surprise to fans in the know that the match offered just about everything you could desire from a seven-man Ladder match… save for many of the winner’s fans.
— WWE (@WWE) July 1, 2023
Money in the Bank begins with a fascinating booking decision
The best matches in professional wrestling convey a story. Some are about an underdog ultimately going the distance, some about overcoming adversity, and yet others are about a veteran battling the hands of time just as much as their opponent. The 2023 Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder match was all about Logan Paul and how much the other six members of the field disliked how he handled himself in the contest, from how he qualified for the contest – he just sort of asked for it – to how he talked about his match mates – calling LA Knight the “Megamanager” – to bargaining with performers like Priest to try to form mini-alliances during the match, largely to avoid the sort of beatdown
The fan favorites in the match were clearly Butch, Shinsuke Nakamura, and LA Knight, proving that British wrestling fans clearly know ball, and, for the most part, the powers at be gave the trio plenty of big spots to showcase their strength, with Butch now-famously employing a cricket bat Sandman-style to attack his coworkers and Nakamura proving w
However, it all came down to the “Megastar” as, after clearing the ring, LA Knight fought past challenger after challenger to stand alone in the ring and draw down the briefcase as cartoon Budlights shared the screen with him for a very weird post-match commercial.
… at least, that’s how it appeared. No, in the end, Priest ran up the ladder as well and hit the “Megastar” with what Michael Cole called a Broken Arrow, dropping the former Maximum Male Manager to the ring from about 15 feet up to make way for the “Punishment” of The Judgement Day to become Mr. Money in the Bank, or, as he decided, Seor Money in the Bank.
Was this the correct decision? No, based on the booing from the 18,000-plus fans in the O2 Arena – plus the thousands more online – Priest was one of the least expected Money in the Bank winners, but in the end, maybe Triple H has a plan here. Perhaps he has Finn Balor dethroning Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and wants to write his own “Heist of the Century” involving a Priest cashing in on a faction mate? Still, forsaking LA Knight in favor of offering the open contract to the captain of an apparently extremely popular faction is an intriguing decision, especially if Dominik Mysterios wins against Cody Rhodes later on the evening, with or without the assistance of a certain “Beast Incarnate.”
— WWE (@WWE) July 1, 2023