Money in the Bank 2020 will be another test of the boundaries of WWE’s creativity. After their first crowdless pay-per-view, WrestleMania 36, drew its biggest praise for a pair of outside the box matches cinematically produced away from the confines of the Performance Center in Orlando, WWE is taking the same leap for one of their most celebrated matches of the year.
The six men and six women involved in their respective Money in the Bank ladder matches will have concurrent matches in which they must battle from the ground floor of WWE headquarters to the roof, where both briefcases containing guaranteed title matches will hang from scaffolding.
Newly crowned champions Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre will each defend the world titles they won at WrestleMania against challengers who can’t afford to lose (Bray Wyatt and Seth Rollins, respectively), while Bayley faces a SmackDown women’s title challenge from Tamina. A Fatal 4-Way match for the New Day’s SmackDown tag team championships rounds out the title match offering.
Marc Raimondi, Tim Fiorvanti and Sean Coyle will be breaking down each match throughout the night as they happen, with Coyle rating each match on his customized scale of 0-5.
Fatal 4-way for the SmackDown tag team championships: The New Day (c) vs. Forgotten Sons vs. The Miz & John Morrison vs. Lucha House Party
Match in progress.
Cesaro def. Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy defeated Cesaro on the Money in the Bank kickoff show. WWE
Jeff Hardy is back on WWE TV and is in the midst of a rivalry with Sheamus, but for some reason it wasn’t Sheamus he battled tonight. Cesaro, Sheamus’ old tag team partner, got the nod and it was a bit of an odd match-up considering there was no build whatsoever and Sheamus was nowhere to be found.
Solid kickoff show match between the two veterans. Cesaro was impressive, as always, and Hardy looked to be in great ring shape. The match never truly caught fire, but it was a fine effort.
Match psychology: 0.50
After trading a few advantages, Cesaro landed the first big move of the match. As Hardy charged towards Cesaro outside of the ring and catapulted himself into the air using the steel steps, Cesaro caught him in mid air and dropped him, gut-first, on the barricade.
Cesaro maintained control throughout many of the ensuing sequences which included slamming Hardy repeatedly into the LED board and landing a second rope leg drop. But given the push he’s been given lately, the Hardy comeback was inevitable. Cesaro attempted a gutwrench suplex from the top rope, but Hardy knocked him backward and landed a Whisper in the Wind, then a Twist of Fate.
That wasn’t enough to put away Cesaro, but a Swanton bomb was and Hardy secured the victory after a lengthy kickoff show match that was aimed to showcase what the veteran can still do in the ring.
What’s next: The Hardy-Sheamus rivalry will undoubtedly pick back up in the coming weeks on SmackDown. As for Cesaro, it’s anyone’s guess. Hopefully he finds himself in a meaningful program down the road. He hasn’t seen much along those lines lately.
Still to come:
Men’s Money in the Bank match: AJ Styles vs. Aleister Black vs. Daniel Bryan vs. King Corbin vs. Otis vs. Rey Mysterio
Women’s Money in the Bank match: Asuka vs. Carmella vs. Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans vs. Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler
WWE Universal championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins
WWE championship: Braun Strowman (c) vs. Bray Wyatt
SmackDown women’s championship: Bayley (c) vs. Tamina