Pundits and purists saw Carmella’s Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match victory as anything but F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S … but haters gonna hate, right?
Flanked by the man who was instrumental in her victory this past Sunday, James Ellsworth, The Princess of Staten Island said she was unconcerned with tarnishing history or “girl power.” What she cared about was being the first-ever Ms. Money in the Bank and ushering in the “Fabulous Era of Carmella.”
Ms. Money in the Bank made it clear that she believed no action could be taken against her, declaring that the rules implicitly state that the first Superstar in the match to take possession of the briefcase is the victor. She also cited several instances of Superstars winning the briefcase in controversial fashion. Booming with confidence via her interpretation of the law, Carmella stated that no one, not even returning SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan, could take the briefcase away from her.
Following their thrilling, albeit controversial, SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match this past Sunday, The Usos and The New Day squared off again, this time in singles action as Big E faced off against Jimmy Uso.
At the end of a hard-hitting affair, Jimmy attempted to make his exit mid-match, much like he and his brother did during the title bout on Sunday. The Usos’ departure was thwarted when Kofi Kingston leaped off the steps to wipe out Jey Uso, and Xavier Woods blocked Jimmy’s path. Upon begrudgingly re-entering the ring, Jimmy was plastered to the mat by Big E, who delivered an earth-shaking Big Ending for the win.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? Nah, that’d be booty.
Enraged over the way Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers treated his father, WWE Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob Orton, during the WWE Championship Match at WWE Money in the Bank, Randy Orton made it very clear that issues were now personal between he and Mahal. Stating that there was no turning back, The Viper promised to hurt The Modern-Day Maharaja and put The Singh Brothers in the hospital if he so chose. The Apex Predator’s passionate message was very simple — this isn’t over.
Both Shinsuke Nakamura and Dolph Ziggler left WWE Money in the Bank with a lot of “what ifs” to think about, but they each looked to course-correct here on SmackDown LIVE as they rekindled their epic rivalry.
Battling tooth-and-nail in a bout that was as hard-hitting and action-packed as their previous encounters, Ziggler and Nakamura held nothing back, each picking up steam as the contest progressed. The dastardly Ziggler attempted to take out the knee of WWE’s Rockstar and gouged his eye while Nakamura had him in the Cross Armbreaker. However, as he did at WWE Backlash, The King of Strong Style prevailed over his nemesis, defeating The Showoff with a head-ringing Kinshasa.
United States Champion Kevin Owens wanted to reignite the New Face of America Open Challenge for his title on SmackDown LIVE but was quickly surprised when the first challenger out the gate was AJ Styles. The Phenomenal One made it clear that he wanted nothing more than to defeat Owens for the United States Championship, but KO quickly maneuvered his way around Styles’ challenge by stating that the only competitors eligible for the open challenge were those from Dayton, Ohio.
Owens was in store for yet another surprise, though, when Chad Gable of American Alpha answered the call, seemingly claiming that the arena itself was his home. Styles instead moved to the commentary desk as he watched Gable challenge KO.
Refusing to back down, the tenacious Gable gave Owens everything he had and seemed poised to snag both the victory and the championship several times. However, Owens weathered the storm and retained the gold when he planted Gable into the canvas with a devastating Pop-up Powerbomb for three.
04:46 With every Superstar in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match having made her plea throughout the evening, SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan called each competitor to the ring to deliver a decision.
Bryan explained that although there had been interference in prior Money in the Bank Matches, the level of anarchy that occurred on Sunday was especially egregious. Clearly irritated with Bryan’s stance, James Ellsworth tried to interject his thoughts into the proceedings, even suggesting that Bryan had “gone soft” since becoming a dad, but he was quickly shut down when The Beard threatened to fire him if he made another peep. From there, the Superstars argued their case, including Carmella, who still believed that she was lawfully Ms. Money in the Bank, no questions asked.
The “Yes!” Man combatted that claim, however, saying that controversial and unprecedented results fall to the discretion of the General Manager, per the WWE Rulebook, and he refused to allow such an extraordinary and historic match end this way. Therefore, per Bryan, all five Superstars will make history yet again next week, when they compete in the second-ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match on SmackDown LIVE.
In a contest that had a little bit of everything, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal took on Luke Harper in a wild main event on SmackDown LIVE. Looking to claim one of the biggest victories of his career, Harper brought everything in his arsenal against Mahal. Midway through the match, The Modern-Day Maharaja had more than just the contest to worry about, as Mr. Money in the Bank Baron Corbin arrived and lurked around ringside for few moments. The Lone Wolf seemingly considered cashing in, only to exit with a sly smile on his face.
Following the potential anarchy of a Corbin cash-in, Mahal was able to focus and defeat Harper with The Khallas. However, the evening wasn’t quite over for Mahal, as Randy Orton then meticulously attacked both The Singh Brothers and Mahal, hammering away at the WWE Champion and delivering a devastating DDT to the WWE Champion on the outside. The Singh Brothers then attacked The Apex Predator, allowing Mahal to get out of dodge, but the duo paid for their troubles when they each ate RKOs outta nowhere.
The message was clear — The Viper is coming for The Modern-Day Maharaja.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze) & Tye Dillinger defeated Aiden English & The Colons (Epico & Primo)
Other on-screen talent
Carmella states her case
Big E vs. Jimmy Uso
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler
Kevin Owens vs. Chad Gable
Daniel Bryan issues his verdict
Jinder Mahal vs. Luke Harper
- WWE Smackdown Live #931 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WWE Smackdown Live #931 at WWE.com
- [Smackdown #931 on WWE Network]