Money in the Bank (2021)
2021 WWE pay-per-view and WWE Network/Peacock event
|Money in the Bank|
|Date||July 18, 2021|
|City||Fort Worth, Texas|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|Money in the Bank chronology|
Money in the Bank was a professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It took place on July 18, 2021, at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. It was the 12th event in the Money in the Bank chronology and the first to take place in the state of Texas.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE had presented their shows for Raw and SmackDown from a bio-secure bubble called the WWE ThunderDome since August 2020, with the exception of WrestleMania 37 in April 2021, which was the company's first major event to have live ticketed fans since the pandemic began in mid-March 2020. With the decline of cases and the development of vaccines, WWE announced that they would be leaving the ThunderDome and returning to a live touring schedule in mid-July 2021 with Money in the Bank being the first pay-per-view on this initial 25-city tour. This was the WWE's first pay-per-view held outside of the state of Florida since Elimination Chamber in March 2020.
Seven matches were contested at the event, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. In the main event, Roman Reigns defeated Edge to retain the Universal Championship. Additionally, Big E and Nikki A.S.H. won their respective men's and women's Money in the Bank ladder matches. In other prominent matches, Bobby Lashley defeated Kofi Kingston by submission to retain the WWE Championship and Charlotte Flair defeated Rhea Ripley by submission to win her record-tying fifth Raw Women's Championship and 13th overall singles championship in the women's division. The event also saw the surprise return of John Cena, appearing for the first time since WrestleMania 36 in April 2020.
Money in the Bank is an annual gimmick pay-per-view (PPV) and WWE Network event produced by WWE since 2010, generally held between May and July. The concept of the show comes from WWE's established Money in the Bank ladder match, in which multiple wrestlers use ladders to retrieve a briefcase hanging above the ring. The briefcase contains a contract that guarantees the winner a match for a world championship of their choosing at any time within the next year. The 2021 event featured wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands; male wrestlers competed for a contract to grant them a match for either Raw's WWE Championship or SmackDown's Universal Championship, while female wrestlers competed for a Raw Women's Championship or SmackDown Women's Championship match contract. While the previous year's event had featured a "Corporate Ladder" gimmick, which took place at WWE's Titan Towers headquarters and had only six competitors in each match due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 event reverted to the standard version of the titular ladder match as well as returning to having eight competitors for both matches, evenly divided between the two brands. It was the 12th event in the Money in the Bank chronology and the first to be held in July since the 2013 event.
The 2021 event was initially scheduled for May 16, however, it switched dates with WrestleMania Backlash and was to take place on June 20 until Hell in a Cell was announced for that date with Money in the Bank pushed back to July 18, which had originally been reported as the date for Extreme Rules. It was also reported that Money in the Bank would be held with live ticketed fans in attendance. Since August 2020, WWE had presented Raw and SmackDown's shows from a bio-secure bubble called the WWE ThunderDome due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With cases declining and vaccines available to most American citizens, the company announced that they would be leaving the ThunderDome and returning to live touring, starting with a 25-city tour beginning with the July 16, 2021, episode of SmackDown in Houston, Texas. Money in the Bank was in turn announced to take place at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas on July 18, thus it was the first WWE pay-per-view held outside of Florida since Elimination Chamber on March 8, 2020, and the first pay-per-view held following the end of the ThunderDome Era.
The show comprised seven matches, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
Qualifying matches for the men's Money in the Bank ladder match began on the June 21 episode of Raw. Ricochet, John Morrison, and Riddle qualified by defeating AJ Styles, Randy Orton, and Drew McIntyre, respectively. Raw's final spot was determined in a triple threat match the following week, which was originally scheduled to be between Styles, Orton, and McIntyre; however, Orton was unable to compete for unknown reasons. A battle royal was held to fill Orton's spot in the triple threat match. Orton's RKBro tag team partner Riddle convinced WWE officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville to allow him to compete in the battle royal where if he won, he would represent Orton in the triple threat match. Although Riddle won the battle royal, McIntyre won the triple threat match to earn Raw's final spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match. SmackDown's first spot was filled by Big E, who qualified by defeating Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews on the June 25 episode of SmackDown. The following week, Kevin Owens qualified by defeating Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing match, which was a rematch from Hell in a Cell that Zayn had won. SmackDown's last two spots were filled on the July 9 episode: Seth Rollins defeated Cesaro, which was another rematch from Hell in a Cell that Rollins had also won, and King Nakamura defeated Baron Corbin, previously King Corbin before he lost his King of the Ring crown to Shinsuke Nakamura, who took on the king moniker.
Qualifying matches for the women's Money in the Bank ladder match also began on the June 21 episode of Raw. The brand's four participants were determined by two tag team matches in which the members of the winning teams qualified. Asuka and Naomi qualified by defeating the team of Eva Marie and Doudrop (formerly Piper Niven in NXT UK) and later, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, the latter incorporating a superhero gimmick and a new nickname of Nikki A.S.H. (short for Almost a Super Hero), qualified by defeating the team of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. On the June 25 episode of SmackDown, WWE official Sonya Deville named two-time Money in the Bank winner Carmella as the first of SmackDown's four participants. Liv Morgan, who had been feuding with Carmella and defeated her the previous week, took issue as Carmella did not compete in a qualifier match to earn her spot. Deville then had Morgan face Carmella to prove she deserved to be in the match and Morgan subsequently defeated Carmella; however, Deville did not add her to the ladder match. The following week, Deville named Zelina Vega, who made her return to WWE after her release in November 2020, as the second SmackDown entrant in the match. Morgan again confronted Deville about Vega not having to qualify. She also pointed out the fact that she proved herself by defeating Carmella and was not added, but would prove herself again in a match against Vega. Morgan subsequently defeated Vega, but was still not added. On the July 9 episode, Carmella was removed from the match as she was named as Bayley's replacement in the SmackDown Women's Championship match against Bianca Belair due to Bayley suffering an injury. Morgan once again confronted Deville about her giving Carmella an opportunity despite not earning one; although annoyed at Morgan's interruption, Deville named Morgan as Carmella's replacement in the Money in the Bank ladder match. WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Natalya and Tamina were announced as SmackDown's last two participants on July 12 and July 15, respectively, via Twitter.
On the June 21 episode of Raw, as WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and his manager MVP were celebrating Lashley's win over Drew McIntyre at Hell in a Cell the previous night, they were interrupted by The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods). Kingston reminded Lashley that he had defeated him in a non-title match on the May 17 episode of Raw and that he had also never received a rematch for the title after he lost the championship at SmackDown's 20th Anniversary in October 2019. Kingston then challenged Lashley for the title. Lashley accepted and the match was scheduled for Money in the Bank.
At Hell in a Cell, Charlotte Flair defeated Raw Women's Champion Rhea Ripley by disqualification after Ripley attacked Flair with the top cover of the announce table; however, since titles do not change hands via disqualification unless stipulated, Flair did not win the title. The following night on Raw, Flair claimed she was "proud" of Ripley and told Ripley that she had never seen her as a "strategic champion". WWE official Sonya Deville then scheduled a rematch between the two for the title at Money in the Bank.
At WrestleMania 37 in April, Roman Reigns defeated Edge and Daniel Bryan in a triple threat match to retain the Universal Championship. On the June 25 episode of SmackDown, Reigns and his special counsel Paul Heyman had a Universal Championship address. Heyman stated that Reigns had defeated all of SmackDown's top contenders and that there was no one left to challenge Reigns. Edge then made a surprise return after a two-month hiatus and attacked Reigns and also took out Jimmy Uso, who had come to Reigns' aid. On Talking Smack the next day, it was revealed that Edge had confronted WWE officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville and demanded a one-on-one match against Reigns for the title at Money in the Bank, which he was originally supposed to have at WrestleMania before Bryan worked his way into the match. Pearce then granted him the match. The following week, Edge explained that the loss at WrestleMania affected him mentally, which is why he had taken the past two months off.
At Hell in a Cell, Bianca Belair defeated Bayley in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship. On the following episode of SmackDown, both were involved in a mixed tag team match in which Bayley pinned Belair. The following week, Bayley claimed that Belair's Hell in a Cell victory was a fluke, citing her own victory over Belair in the mixed tag team match. Belair then came out and challenged Bayley to an "I quit" match with the title on the line at Money in the Bank and Bayley accepted. On July 9, however, WWE announced that Bayley suffered a legitimate injury while training that would sideline her for up to nine months; this was followed by an announcement that a replacement for Bayley would be revealed on that night's SmackDown. Carmella was revealed as the replacement and the match was changed to a regular singles match that would instead occur on the July 16 episode of SmackDown, where Belair retained.
|English commentators||Michael Cole (SmackDown)|
|Pat McAfee (SmackDown)|
|Jimmy Smith (Raw)|
|Corey Graves (Raw)|
|Byron Saxton (Raw)|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|Ring announcers||Greg Hamilton (SmackDown)|
|Mike Rome (Raw)|
|Pre-show panel||Kayla Braxton|
|John "Bradshaw" Layfield|
On the Money in the Bank Kickoff pre-show, Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso). In the end, Jey caught Rey with a Superkick in mid-air and then performed the Superfly Splash on Rey, but got a nearfall. Rey went for the 619 on Jey, but Jimmy jumped on the apron to take the hit and protect Jey. Shortly after, Jey rolled up Rey with an assist from Jimmy to win the titles for the fifth time, and their seventh overall tag team championship in WWE.
The event opened with the women's Money in the Bank ladder match, featuring Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Naomi, and Nikki A.S.H. from Raw, and Liv Morgan, Zelina Vega, and WWE Women's Tag Team Champions, Natalya and Tamina, from SmackDown. As all of the other women were fighting outsde the ring to get ladders, Bliss tried to use her supernatural powers to lower the contract into her hands, but she was stopped by Vega. Later atop a ladder, Bliss put Vega in a trance. During the match, Natalya and Tamina dominated and they, along with the other competitors, eventually buried Bliss under a pile of ladders, taking Bliss out for the rest of the match. With three ladders positioned under the briefcase, Asuka, Naomi, Morgan, Vega, Natalya, and Tamina all fought atop of the three ladders. Nikki, who had been down outside the ring, used the opportunity to quickly climb the middle ladder and reach over the other distracted women to unhook the briefcase and win the match.
Next, AJ Styles and Omos defended the Raw Tag Team Championship against The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar). In the end, Erik and Ivar had Omos down out of the ring and hit The Viking Experience on Styles, but Omos got on the apron and shoved Erik into Ivar to break up the count. Omos delivered a Two-Handed Chokeslam on Erik to win the match to retain the titles.
Then, Bobby Lashley (accompanied by MVP) defended the WWE Championship against Kofi Kingston. At the start of the match, Kingston delivered a Double Stomp on Lashley's chest for a nearfall. The remainder was a squash match, in which Lashley completely dominated Kingston. After Kingston refused to submit to the Hurt Lock, Lashley performed the Dominator three times on Kingston before applying the Hurt Lock again, forcing Kingston to submit and retain the title.
In the fourth match, Rhea Ripley defended the Raw Women's Championship against Charlotte Flair. After a well contested match, Ripley went for the Riptide, but Flair countered into a DDT. Flair jumped off the second rope to hit the Natural Selection on Ripley for a nearfall. Ripley hit a German Suplex with Flair hitting the back of her head and rolling out of the ring. As Ripley tried to continue the action, Flair rammed Ripley's head in the turnbuckle and trapped her leg in between the steel steps and the corner post and kicked it multiple times. Flair then forced Ripley to submit to the Figure Eight Leglock to win the title for a record-tying fifth time, and her 13th overall singles championship in WWE, and 14th title overall.
The penultimate match was the men's Money in the Bank ladder match, featuring Drew McIntyre, John Morrison, Ricochet, and Riddle from Raw, and Big E, Kevin Owens, King Nakamura, and Seth Rollins from SmackDown. In the end, as McIntyre was about to win the match, he was attacked by Jinder Mahal with a steel chair and was carried off by Mahal's henchmen Shanky and Veer—continuing a feud that had recently begun on Raw. As Ricochet climbed the ladder, Riddle pushed the ladder over and Ricochet jumped onto the other competitors. Riddle hit the RKO on the competitors while Owens delivered the Stunner to everyone. Rollins hit The Stomp on Nakamura. As Owens climbed the ladder, Rollins pulled Owens off, performing a Powerbomb on Owens through a ladder that was laid between the apron and announce table. Rollins climbed the ladder, but Big E stopped him and performed the Big Ending on Rollins off the ladder. Big E then ascended the ladder and unhooked the briefcase to win the match.
In the main event, Roman Reigns (accompanied by Paul Heyman) defended the Universal Championship against Edge. In the climax, Reigns went for the Spear on the outside but Edge moved and Reigns went through the barricade. Edge then hit a Spear on Reigns through the remainder of the barricade. Reigns hit the Superman Punch on Edge, who fell on the referee. With the referee down, Reigns tried to use a broken piece of a chair to put Edge in a Crossface, but Edge reversed and applied the submission on Reigns instead. The Usos tried to interfere but were stopped by Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio. Seth Rollins then came out and hit a Superkick on Edge—frustrated that he lost the Money in the Bank ladder match and also that Edge received the title match over himself. As Reigns went for the Spear, Edge hit a Spear of his own for a nearfall when another referee ran to the ring. Rollins returned to the ring, but Edge kicked him off the apron. This brief distraction allowed Reigns to hit a Spear on Edge and retain the title. Afterwards, Reigns and Rollins had a stare down, but Edge attacked Rollins and they brawled into the crowd. Reigns got a microphone and said that everyone needed to acknowledge him. John Cena then made a surprise return and entered the ring and had a brief stare down with Reigns before doing his "You Can't See Me" taunt.
Though the event itself was well received and the return of a live crowd was enthuisiastically welcomed, there was a massive amount of online criticism directed at Peacock due to significant technical difficulties (including major lag and buffering) occurring throughout the show's live stream in the United States (mainly the entrances and initial portion of the men's Money in the Bank ladder match). Some viewers called for WWE to cancel their partnership with Peacock.
- Laboon, Jeff (June 10, 2018). "The complete history of the Money in the Bank contract". WWE. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
- WWE.com Staff (April 17, 2020). "WWE Superstars will climb the corporate ladder at WWE Money In The Bank". WWE. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Powell, Jason (June 21, 2021). "6/21 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of Drew McIntyre vs. Riddle, Ricochet vs. AJ Styles, Randy Orton vs. John Morrison, Asuka and Naomi vs. Eva Marie and Doudrop, and Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in Money in the Bank ladder match qualifiers". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
- Guzzo, Gisberto (May 16, 2021). "WWE Announces Date For Hell In A Cell 2021, MITB Reportedly Scheduled With Fans". Fightful. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
- Otterson, Joe (May 21, 2021). "WWE to Return to Live Touring in July". Variety. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
- Currier, Joseph (May 21, 2021). "WWE RETURNING TO TOURING THIS JULY, FIRST THREE EVENTS ANNOUNCED". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
- Defelice, Robert (May 21, 2021). "WWE To Resume Touring Starting In Texas On July 16; 25-City Tour Planned To Run Through Labor Day". Fightful. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
- Laboon, Jeff (May 21, 2021). "WWE returns to Live Events with 25-city tour beginning July 16". WWE. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
- Grabianowski, Ed. "How Pro Wrestling Works". HowStuffWorks. Discovery Communications. Archived from the original on November 18, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- "Live & Televised Entertainment". WWE. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Steinberg, Brian (May 25, 2016). "WWE's 'Smackdown' Will Move To Live Broadcast On USA (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on May 26, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- Powell, Jason (June 28, 2021). "6/28 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles vs. a battle royal winner in a Money in the Bank qualifying match, Rhea Ripley, Mandy Rose, and Dana Brooke vs. Charlotte Flair, Natalya, and Tamina, Jaxson Ryker vs. Elias in a strap match, Kofi Kingston and MVP meet face-to-face". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- Powell, Jason (June 25, 2021). "6/25 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of Roman Reigns' victory celebration, Apollo Crews vs. Big E in a Money in the Bank qualifier, Bianca Belair and Cesaro vs. Bayley and Seth Rollins in a mixed tag match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
- Powell, Jason (July 2, 2021). "7/2 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of Edge addressing Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing match to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
- Barnett, Jake (July 9, 2021). "7/9 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Barnett's review of Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin in Money in the Bank ladder match qualifiers, final Smackdown from the ThunderDome set". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
- Lambert, Jeremy (July 12, 2021). "Sonya Deville Announces Seventh Competitor In Women's Money In The Bank Ladder Match". Fightful. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
- Lambert, Jeremy (July 15, 2021). "Final Competitor Announced For Women's Money In The Bank Ladder Match". Fightful. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
- Powell, Jason (June 20, 2021). "WWE Hell in a Cell results: Powell's live review of Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre in an HIAC match for the WWE Championship, Bianca Belair vs. Bayley in an HIAC match for the Smackdown Women's Championship, Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women's Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
- Powell, Jason (April 11, 2021). "WrestleMania 37 results: Powell's live review of night two with Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan in a Triple Threat for the WWE Universal Championship, Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley for the Raw Women's Championship, Big E vs. Apollo Crews in a Nigerian Drum Fight for the IC Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
- Guzzo, Gisberto (June 26, 2021). "Edge Set To Challenge Roman Reigns For Universal Championship At WWE Money In The Bank". Fightful. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
- "Bayley out approximately nine months after sustaining injury while training". WWE. July 9, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
- Lambert, Jeremy (July 9, 2021). "Bayley Suffers Injury, Out Approximately Nine Months". Fightful. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
- Powell, Jason (July 16, 2021). "7/16 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of the return of fans for the MITB go-home show featuring Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, and Jimmy Uso vs. Edge, Rey Mysterio, and Dominik Mysterio, Bianca Belair vs. Carmella for the Smackdown Women's Championship, Seth Rollins vs. Big E vs. Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a four-way". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
- Powell, Jason (July 18, 2020). "WWE Money in the Bank Kickoff Show report: Powell's live review of Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso for the Smackdown Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
- Powell, Jason (July 18, 2020). "WWE Money in the Bank results: Powell's review of the MITB ladder matches, Roman Reigns vs. Edge for the WWE Universal Championship, Bobby Lashley vs. Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship, Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women's Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
- Van Boom, Daniel (July 19, 2021). "WWE Money in the Bank 2021: Results, John Cena return, match ratings and analysis". CNET. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
- Valentine, Evan (July 18, 2021). "WWE Fans Freak Out Thanks To Money In The Bank Peacock Technical Difficulties". ComicBook. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
- Clapp, John (July 18, 2021). "The Usos def. Rey & Dominik Mysterio to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (Kickoff Match)". WWE. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
- Clapp, John (July 18, 2021). "Nikki A.S.H. won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match". WWE. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
- Clapp, John (July 18, 2021). "Raw Tag Team Champions AJ Styles & Omos def. The Viking Raiders". WWE. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
- Clapp, John (July 18, 2021). "WWE Champion Bobby Lashley def. Kofi Kingston". WWE. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
- Clapp, John (July 18, 2021). "Charlotte Flair def. Rhea Ripley to win the Raw Women's Championship". WWE. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
- Clapp, John (July 18, 2021). "Big E won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match". WWE. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
- Clapp, John (July 18, 2021). "Universal Champion Roman Reigns def. Edge; John Cena returns to stand toe-to-toe with Reigns". WWE. Retrieved July 18, 2021.