See our FULL REVIEW of WWE Money in the Bank 2011 at Fightful Select!

Money In The Bank Match
Daniel Bryan Wins, beating Cody Rhodes, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Sin Cara, Sheamus, Wade Barrett in 24:27
6/10

Justin Gabriel's theme was straight ass. So many of these were so generic. For the time, this was so much different than everything else in WWE. Even Heath Slater did a great 360 plancha. The original Sin Cara is in this match, and has maybe his best WWE performance -- the spot of the match was him being powerbombed through a "steel ladder bent in half" (lol, Michael Cole) by Sheamus. Overall, I thought this match went far too long. While I give more leeway to spotfest matches like this, it really did just seem like spot after spot and move after move with not a lot of story. For the era, it worked. Daniel Bryan ended up picking up the win and got a huge reaction as a result.

WWE Divas Championship
Kelly Kelly (c) (w/ Eve Torres) defeated Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella) in 4:54
4/10

The Bella Twins look a lot more like twins back then. Ah crap, Kelly Kelly. She took a really great bump to the floor while she does a handstand on the apron. This was really rough at spots, and Jerry Lawler was Jerry Lawler, which is never good in a match like this. There are a lot of bad looking reversals and transitions. Kelly Kelly needed an NXT badly. She probably would have ended up being decent if she had the benefit of a real, solid program like that to hone craft in. Also, the Bellas shame Kelly Kelly for being anorexic. This was not good. Kelly won with a Rocker Dropper.

Mark Henry defeated The Big Show in 6:00
4.5/10

This was called the "BATTLE OF THE BEHEMOTHS." I remember really enjoying this series of matches at the time. Mark Henry was at his peak as a performer around this point. They're hitting each other hard and heavy, but it's not quite as great as I recall. Big Show -- at one of his biggest points -- does a second rope shoulder block. Mark Henry always had pretty terrible kicks, but it sets up a World's Strongest Slam, that Show kicked out of. Another and two splashes get the job done for Henry. This was nothing special at all, but it was integral in building Mark Henry into the main eventer he would become. Vader Pillmanizes Big Show's ankle with a Vader Bomb for good measure.

Backstage Crappenings

We see Vince McMahon and Johnny Ace talking about Punk's lucrative contract offer that he rejected. This was a really poorly written and executed promo. Vince had his head shaved three years prior and was still rocking the short do.

Money in the Bank match
Alberto Del Rio wins, beating Alex Riley, Rey Mysterio, Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, Miz, R-Truth in 15:54
6/10

Where is everyone now? Jack Swagger is in Bellator. Truth and Kofi getting solid WWE runs now. Del Rio has practically ruined his career. Evan Bourne is a free agent. Alex Riley is nowhere to be seen. The Miz and Rey are still on top of their games. I do not miss Michael Cole as a heel commentator. It got the wrong kind of heat with me. Riley does a pretty wild dive over the top rope. I didn't rememeber or ever imagine him doing that. "START YOUR DVRS NOW!" -- I don't miss that line either. Evan Bourne landed a breathtaking Air Bourne from the top of a ladder onto the pile. There's a FILTHY spot where Miz lands on his knee while falling from the top of the ladder. One of the better spots is R-Truth doing a see saw stomp spot. Rey Mysterio also takes one of the best Stun Gun spots ever. Kofi lands ON SWAGGER'S FACE falling off the ladder -- insane. Miz hobbles back out to eat a sunset flip powerbomb from Rey. The finish is creative and hilarious as Del Rio rips off Rey's mask and pushes him onto another ladder, which tips into his ladder, and they all fall down. He wins.

World Heavyweight Championship
Title Can Change Hands On DQ
Christian defeated Randy Orton (c) via DQ to win the title in 12:20
6.5/10

I remember these two having good chemistry, and also I miss Christian wrestling a lot. He would fit in so well today as the veteran who can still work his ass off. He is shaped like a modern day athlete. Christian gets a diving European uppercut, and a nice spinebuster as well. I'd forgotten that Orton used to use the Thesz press. He catches Christian off the top rope with a filthy dropkick. Orton kicks out of a Killswitch, which means so far Kelly Kelly's finish is the only one to actually finish the match. Christian charges the corner for a spear and eats post after an impressive Orton leapfrog. Orton does his very awesome over the shoulder neckbreaker. Christian pisses off Orton by spitting in his face, leading to Orton kicking him in the balls. That's it! DQ. Christian wins the title. Orton goes off and attacks him, hitting an RKO on the table.

WWE Championship
CM Punk defeated John Cena (c) to become champion in 33:34
7.75/10

The reactions to this match helped made it. The creative leading up to it was good, and CM Punk was the right foil for John Cena. It'd been so long since I'd seen a CM Punk match, I forgot that he was athletic. There were several time in this match these two weren't on the same page, but the highs definitely made up for the lows. Nevertheless, there were about four botches in this one. Cena suplexes Punk to the outside on the floor. Punk has some really excellent strikes, and they told the story of Cena being the favorite and Punk being the underdog. Punk couldn't quite land on his feet on an AA attempt. Punk really cracks Cena with a knee. WWE wisely zooms in and replays this.

This was before so many crazy camera cuts and zooms. It told the story better and painted a picture better. Cena applies two different STFs, but Punk gets out of both, and turns one into an Anaconda Vice. Cena hits an AA, but Punk kicks out, and botch-reverses a diving Fameasser. Another AA can't win it, and Cena is in disbelief. Punk pulls off a super Frankensteiner, knee and a GTS to the ribs. Cena applies an STF and Vince McMahon calls for the bell, but Cena slides out and decks Johnny Ace. Upon returning to the ring, it's GTS and a pin. That's it.

This was nowhere near as good as I remember it, but considering the level of WWE's in-ring at the time, I was over the moon. What would follow is some of the worst WWE storytelling ever. Punk should have held this title until WrestleMania two years later.

Vince McMahon gets on the headset and calls for Alberto Del Rio. ADR comes out and gets kicked in the head and Punk leaves, going away with that famous visual

Other Notes

  • The announced attendance was 14,815.
  • PPV buys were at 195,000.
  • Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov defeated The Nexus (David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty) in the dark match.

Rating guide

10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor

Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5.The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!

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