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Thursday, June 1, 2017

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Eyes On MITB: The 5 Best 1 On 1 Matches At The MITB PPV

By @TrueGodImmortal 

Now that the WWE has decided to turn the Money In The Bank PPV into a Smackdown only PPV, we decided it was only right to take a look back at the best matches that DIDN'T involve the briefcase at the event. What are the best non MITB/1 on 1 matches at the PPV? Let's take a look at the 5 greatest.

5. CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan 
WWE Championship 
Money In the Bank 2012

-This match was a continuation of the feud between Punk, Bryan, and AJ Lee. AJ Lee was the special guest referee, and Bryan and Punk would go at it in a really solid contest that saw both men get more aggressive than usual. With a No Disqualification stipulation, this wasn't your average technical classic like we saw at Over The Limit 2012, but this was different. Tables and weapons got involved, AJ got involved, and Punk walked away with the 1-2-3 victory to retain the WWE Championship. I feel like this match is honestly forgotten, but it was a truly entertaining contest that might have been even better and higher on this list IF AJ Lee was never involved.

4. Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins 
WWE Championship 
Money In The Bank 2016

-Initially, I wasn't excited about this match, but I know Seth and Roman have good chemistry, much like Seth and Dean do (Seth and Dean had a great match in 2015 that just missed the list). This match went a bit too long, and started off slow as it was Seth's first big singles match since his return from injury. However, once the pace picked up, both Reigns and Rollins went at it with vigor and a fire, giving each other everything they had to get a hold of that WWE Championship. Reigns was the defending champion, and the belief that Rollins had his number. Sure enough, Rollins DID have his number and as Reigns went for a big spear, Rollins countered it into a Pedigree and picked up the clean pinfall victory. Now, after the match, Ambrose ended up cashing in his briefcase and walking away with the big time victory, but Reigns vs Rollins really didn't disappoint and Rollins getting the huge victory meant a lot to his comeback.

3. Kevin Owens vs John Cena 
US Championship 
Money In The Bank 2015

-I'm more partial to their classic match at Elimination Chamber, but if I can be honest, this was just as good, if not more exciting at times than that contest. However, when you're trying to outdo one of the best matches of the year already, it can be quite the challenge. Luckily for us as viewers, both Cena and Owens were willing to put it all on the line. After 20 plus minutes of great action, Cena would pick up the victory and get his win back from the previous contest, but Owens looked great even in a loss, a rare occurrence where WWE made a truly concise decision booking wise that hurt neither one of the participants in the match. While I would have rather witnessed Owens win, Cena won in a fashion that seemed to hint at a rematch. Sure enough, we got one the following PPV.

2. AJ Styles vs John Cena 
Money In The Bank 2016

-It was surprising that AJ Styles made his way to WWE, but it was even more of a surprise when WWE gave us Cena vs Styles just a few months after his arrival and right when Cena returned from injury. This match was built well with AJ turning heel to kick off the feud, and the actual match itself didn't disappoint. Styles and Cena went back and forth giving each other everything that they had, and it would take some slick interference from Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to help turn the match in Styles' favor. Styles would pick up the 1-2-3, and walk away with the biggest victory of his career in a true classic. Styles vs Cena is without a doubt a great feud and this was the match that kicked off their epic run.

1. CM Punk vs John Cena 
WWE Championship 
Money In The Bank 2011 

-This is one of the greatest matches in WWE history. The build for it was epic, Punk was extremely over, and Cena was ready for the challenge. With the thought of Cena possibly losing his job if he didn't defeat Punk, along with the possibility of Punk leaving the WWE with the championship and going elsewhere, this match had so much riding on it. It was a true big fight feel and sure enough, Punk and Cena delivered. For nearly 40 minutes, the two biggest stars of the last two eras went back and forth until something had to give. Punk would end up getting the upper hand and hitting the GTS for a clean pinfall victory, one of the few times that happened on WWE PPV or TV. Punk winning was the right call and after he won, the image of him leaving with the WWE Title is one of the most iconic moments of the last 10 years in wrestling and because of that, there's no way you can put any other match from this short PPV history above it. This is the best match in MITB history period.



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