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    Tuesday, July 20, 2021

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Money in the Bank 2021

    Edge and Roman Reigns at WWE Money in the Bank 2021

    As the live crowd triumphantly returns to WWE after one and a half years, the company's work was completely cut out for them: just do things that the crowd would love. Book everything the right way. In the case of this year's Money in the Bank, do what I would do.

    Now it's safe to say that they gave us (almost) all of that and a little more. Sure, there were some results I would've done differently, but they hit all the big beats I had in mind. Stars were made as Nikki ASH and Big E won their respective Money in the Bank briefcases, the Usos became the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Roman Reigns retained his title, and Bobby Lashley reclaimed his beastly form in a storybook match versus Kofi Kingston.

    All WWE had to do was hit those notes, and the crowd would be theirs in the palm of their hand. The wrestlers would take care of the rest—it's long been established that the roster is good enough to make the most of their minutes, so the booking would have to back them up.

    Then they delivered a surprise that no one saw coming (at least, not for that night): John Cena was back.

    The crowd's energy is infectious—the atmosphere it creates highly influences what we think (or are supposed to think) about what's going on in front of us, so even something bad could seem good as long as the crowd is into it, and something good could fall flat if the crowd doesn't return that same response. That's why the piped-in noises of the ThunderDome really helped the perception of these COVID-era shows, no matter what people think of fake crowd sounds. WWE knew that as long as you keep the crowd roaring, it's going to translate into a good experience for all.

    The bar may not have been set that high for WWE, but they leapt all the way over it. Money in the Bank wasn't just the crowd's triumphant return; it was also the victorious comeback of pro wrestling, and the good kind, at that. Even if it stubbornly never really left.

    Money in the Bank 2021 Rating: A

    Match of the Night

    I wanted to come away from the show with Roman Reigns vs. Edge as the match of the night, but it didn't do enough for me. It'll be remembered more for Cena's return than being a barn-burner match, so the honors go to the men's Money in the Bank ladder match. It had everything from great action, memorable high spots, and a satisfying payoff.

    Photo from WWE

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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Money in the Bank 2021 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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