In 2020, WWE’s Money in the Bank event was held without any fans in attendance. Naturally, the WWE Superstars were in no hurry to break their bones doing the usual dangerous high spots in an empty Performance Center.
Instead, this match would take place at WWE Headquarters, with both male and female Superstars simultaneously battling to get up to the roof and grab their respective Money in the Bank briefcases. And instead of emphasizing death-defying stunts, the match would be played almost entirely for comedy. Now, Money in the Bank matches typically don’t provide any laughter…
…and neither would this one. But what it would provide was WWE Comedy™. If you’d been following the company for a while, you knew what to expect.
For years, WWE’s go-to source for yuks was to trot out a fat oily guy in a thong.
Then, for years after that, they’d just stick a bunch of supposedly zany characters in a room backstage and then have Ron Simmons show up and say, “Damn!”
And so for the evening’s main event, Michael Cole and Corey Graves sat at their announce desk in Orlando, introduced the match, and basically washed their hands of the proceedings.
Despite the match taking place in an office building, the wrestlers all made their entrances as they would for a normal match. The highlight of these was Baron Corbin’s entrance – the image of a grown man dressed (poorly) as a king, entering a weight room, was perhaps the only genuinely funny thing to happen in this entire match…
…and it was probably unintentional.
As the wrestlers entered, the men stood facing one another in the famous Titan Tower gym…
…while the women stood in a line in the lobby.
That’s why none of them saw Asuka, who dove onto all of them, then ran into an elevator.
The other women made a mad dash to the elevator, but the door closed on them. That left only one other option:
Run up the stairs, which were right past those two other elevators nobody was using.
They’d need to run fast; Asuka would reach the roof in about 32 seconds.
Over in the gym, Otis dropped a barbell over AJ Styles, who got “stuck” and gasped for air.
The men (minus AJ) all rushed past a restroom on the next floor, at which point Brother Love made a cameo appearance.
Rey gave him a quick smile, which is a normal reaction to someone popping out of a bathroom stall to tell you he loves you.
Unbelievably, a bunch of guys also got into an elevator, having thought of such a strategy independently of Asuka. They spilled out on the very next floor, where the women were brawling.
Asuka then snuck out of her elevator for some reason (possibly because it was so slow that she’d only climbed two floors in three and a half minutes). Shayna Baszler, seeing an empty elevator wide open… chased after Asuka instead of entering it.
Now, this third floor elevator lobby had a mock wrestling ring, and Baron Corbin’s dumb ass somehow got tied up in it.
With the rest of the male competitors distracted, and three elevators right in front of him, Aleister Black used his brains to… run for the stairs.
Daniel Bryan headed out, as well, while Otis and Corbin were winded. This paved the way for the second and dumbest cameo of the match, a blink-or-you’ll-wished-you’d-missed-it appearance if there ever was one. From behind a leather reclining chair popped up some loser in a half-assed Doink costume: Doink wig, Doink makeup…
…dress shirt? Whoever he was, he didn’t even get the right circus music.
By now, it was obvious that half the jokes in this match required multiple participants to be complete idiots, including the viewer.
Case in point: Dana Brooke caught up with Shayna and demanded she tell her where the briefcase was. Now… just… huh?
It was on the roof. This wasn’t supposed to be an Easter egg hunt.
After some brawling in a conference room, Dana took down *a* Money in the Bank briefcase hanging in an office, even though WWE had advertised for weeks that it’d be on the roof. It was right there on the poster:
Dana’s celebration was cut short by Stephanie McMahon, filmed on a cell phone, who reminded her that the briefcase was on the roof, you stupid idiot. At least Dana got to keep the cash, right?
AJ Styles, now free from barbell purgatory, roamed the halls until he got spooked by…
….a poster of the Undertaker. If AJ practically wet his pants at the sight of a mere picture of The Dead Man, imagine what would happen if he encountered – you guessed it –
— an Undertaker-themed room.
Next, Paul Heyman was sitting down to a gigantic meal all for himself. Because he’s… fat? Lives at WWE Headquarters? Before he could enjoy the smorgasbord, the men and the women both arrived in the room and started arguing.
Sure, why not?
Otis yelled, “Food fight” and threw a big plate of pasta salad at Heyman.
In the ensuing chaos, Shayna put Rey, who wasn’t even in the same match, in the Kirifuda clutch.
Otis went to the kitchen for pie – yes, pie. You could see where this was headed. And just like that, The Rock showed up.
Kidding. Dwayne Johnson wasn’t touching this trash with a ten-foot pole.
This was a cinematic match alright, but the genre was the Friedberg-Seltzer parody (Epic Movie, etc.). You know the formula: a recognizable character simply shows up for a moment, says a catch phrase, then, say, gets pied in the face.
It was John Laurinaitis, for the record.
Asuka asked a janitor how to get to the roof – even though English wasn’t her first language, she still understood the rules better than Dana Brooke.
Speaking of whom, after all the other women chased Asuka, Dana slipped on the wet floor, sidelining her for the rest of the match.
AJ and Bryan brawled in what turned out to be Vince’s office.
The ancient chairman ordered them out…
…where Baron Corbin ambushed both men, declaring, “I’m going to the roof!” No kidding.
Asuka, Lacey, and Nia were the only women to make it to the roof. When the dust settled, Asuka appeared to have the match won…
…until Baron Corbin rushed up the other side of the ladder and tried to stop her from grabbing the women’s MITB briefcase.
Some time in the weeks leading up to the match, Corbin had forgotten how the match worked.
Asuka booted Corbin off the ladder and claimed her contract.
Michael Cole, who had been silent the entire match, now had to offer some post-match analysis. Understandably, he glossed over the confounding finish and all the other nonsensical crap that viewers had to make sense of all on their own.
Of course, the match wasn’t completely over; everyone but Baron Corbin knew that the men’s briefcase was still up for grabs. Otis arrived to climb the ladder, but his progress was thwarted by a broken rung and King Corbin, who was now up to speed on the rules.
Rey and Aleister arrived on the roof, too, but Corbin casually and remorselessly threw each man off the roof and, seemingly, to their deaths.
Eagle-eyed viewers would have noticed that there was a lower level to the roof where both men could land.
Even eagler-eyed viewers would have noticed the mats set up where both men did land.
With the arrival of Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles, all surviving male participants were now on the roof. AJ and Corbin unhooked the briefcase together and struggled over it…
…until Elias made a surprise appearance and struck Corbin with a guitar. How did he get up to the roof so fast? Must have taken the elevator…
AJ bobbled the briefcase, which fell into the warm, cuddly embrace of Otis, the least likely Money in the Bank winner ever.
So at least there was a happy ending – and who wasn’t excited for the big plans WWE had for Otis?
In a WWE first, neither winner ending up cashing in their contract. Asuka traded her briefcase directly for Becky Lynch’s belt, leaving that night’s Raw as champion while the former champion left to have a baby.
And Otis… Well, somehow or another The Miz got to wrestle Otis for the contract…
…which Otis lost after being betrayed by his Heavy Machinery partner, Tucker. Even worse, he couldn’t even get his revenge on his now former friend, as the two men had just been drafted to different brands.
Tucker was then turned into a jobber and quickly released from the company.
Oh, and Otis and Mandy were also split up unceremoniously by the draft. So in a matter of days, Otis went from having the MITB contract, a girlfriend, and a tag team partner…
…to having none of those things. The only person who benefitted at all from the Men’s Money in the Bank match was The Miz, who wasn’t even in the original match.
He would fail to cash in…
…get his contract back on a technicality…
…and then hold the WWE title for eight whole days before being knocked right back down the card.