From comedy midcard character to main event winner on one of the biggest pay-per-view shows of the year, Otis is the 2020 Mr. Money in the Bank. With Otis earning the MITB briefcase, he can cash it in for a title shot of his choosing any time he wants. It marks a big step up for the character who has thrived for most of this year.
The match was previously taped at WWE's Titan Towers headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. The men's Money in the Bank match and the women's Money in the Bank match aired at the same time, almost as if they were one big match. The competitors on each side had to find their way to the roof of the building, where a ring and ladders were set up. To win, a wrestler had to climb the ladder and secure one of the briefcases hanging from part of the set above the ring.
Otis' victory came in a unique fashion. AJ Styles and Baron Corbin were fighting over the briefcase on top of the ladder and removed off its hook with both Styles and Corbin with it in their grasp. Elias, who was not in the match, then came in and broke a guitar over Corbin's back, supposedly in storyline payback for what Corbin did to him over WrestleMania weekend. Corbin let go of the briefcase, Styles fumbled it and the case fell right into the waiting arms of Otis.
The men's match started in a Titan Tower workout room, presumably on the bottom floor. Corbin tried throwing a weight at Daniel Bryan, who ducked. The weight went through mirrored glass and stunned Corbin momentarily. Otis subdued Styles by putting a heavy bar with weights on it on top of Styles who took a previous bump on the squat rack.
With Styles stuck, everyone fled the room. Rey Mysterio was last out, and Styles begged him for help. Mysterio didn't oblige. He peeled out of the room, too, and passed a bathroom that Brother Love (SmackDown head Bruce Prichard) was leaving.
Some of the group got on an elevator, which emptied out onto another floor with a unique lobby that had ring ropes along the wall. Bryan trapped Corbin in the ropes and landed "Yes!" kicks while Otis cheered him on. Then Bryan turned to Otis and landed "Yes!" kicks on him as well. As the wrestlers fled the area, someone dressed up like the old Doink the Clown character popped up from behind a chair.
The action turned to Styles alone trying to find everyone. He gets spooked by a photo on the wall of The Undertaker. Styles who was "buried" by Taker at WrestleMania last month, busted into a room with a coffin, smoke and eerie purple lighting. Aleister Black came up from behind him and kicked Styles into the room.
Both groups -- the men and women -- ran into each other in a dining room where Paul Heyman was apparently sitting down about to partake in some dinner. Otis freaked out at the sight of the food and threw a giant plate in Heyman's face. The men and women then started brawling. Shayna Baszler choked out Mysterio, and Nia Jax and Otis sandwiched him with a pair of splashes.
Moments later, Otis found the cafeteria area with more food. He threw some potato chips in his face, then picked up a pie. John Laurinaitis drove by on a scooter, and Otis sent the pie into his face.
Styles and Bryan brawl into an executive office -- WWE CEO Vince McMahon's office, to be exact. McMahon screams "Out!" and apologetically, Bryan and Styles fix the chairs they displaced and leave the room. McMahon pumps some hand sanitizer into his hands and rubs them together, then turns back to his yellow legal pad.
Corbin made his way to the roof first. With Asuka trying to grab the briefcase on a ladder, Corbin climbs up with her, and a confrontation ensues. Both could have won their respective matches, but instead, Asuka kicked Corbin off the ladder to secure the women's briefcase, finishing that match.
Otis then enters and, continuing with what started to be told on SmackDown -- the idea that the ladders won't hold his weight -- breaks the first rung of the ladder as he tries to climb up. Black swoops in and lands the Black Mass on Otis. Mysterio lands a splash from the top rope on Otis right after. Black and Mysterio attempt to climb up either side of the ladder, but they get knocked off by Styles. Corbin then tossed Mysterio and Black off the set, which actually looked like he was throwing them off the building. That led directly to the finishing sequence.
What's next: Plenty can be done with Otis having Money in the Bank. This is a big -- and well-deserved -- push for the character. Otis' storyline with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville has been one of the best on WWE television. But now it appears Otis is making his way out of the midcard. Winning Money in the Bank is no small deal. An Otis title reign on SmackDown would be incredibly interesting. Him having the briefcase alone could make for some fascinating twists.
As for the rest, it seems like a Styles-Mysterio program could be an easy one coming out of this match. Perhaps Black could factor into that as well. Corbin and Bryan have interacted on SmackDown already quite a bit, but there was some activity between them here. Then, of course, there's the continuation of the Elias-Corbin program, which seemed to be done at WrestleMania.
Women's Money in the Bank match: Asuka def. Carmella, Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
The women's Money in the Bank ladder match began in the lobby of WWE headquarters, and as soon as the bell rang, Asuka launched herself off a balcony onto the rest of the field. She made her way to an elevator as the other superstars raced up the stairs, battling all the way up. When they made it to the next level, they ran into chaos ensuing from the men's match.
Baszler, Brooke, Carmella and Nia Jax battled into a conference room where Brooke seemingly won as she held a Money in the Bank briefcase over her head, but as she celebrated, Stephanie McMahon made a cameo and informed her that the real briefcase was on the roof.
The men's and women's competitors merged again at a catering table where Paul Heyman was seated. A food fight ensued, and Heyman took the worst of it. As the group continued to fight, Nia Jax had her moment in the spotlight and powerbombed Carmella through a table.
Finally, Asuka appeared again, this time on another floor in the building. However, the rest of the crew had caught up to her and the race to the top continued. Once the competitors reached the rooftop area, where there was a ring and plenty of ladders, a sense of normalcy began to develop.
Nia Jax was the first superstar to bring a ladder into the ring, but Asuka prevented her from getting more than a few steps up and unleashed a fury of strikes. Asuka continued to wreak havoc and slammed a ladder on top of her.
Lacey Evans entered the ring, and she battled with Asuka up the ladder. Asuka again fought off her foe and sent Evans packing, knocking her to the ground. At that point, Baron Corbin arrived and ascended the other side of the ladder, but Asuka kicked him down as well. That allowed her to retrieve the briefcase and become Ms. Money in the Bank.
What's next? It was advertised that Raw women's champion Becky Lynch would confront the women's Money in the Bank winner, so it appears we'll be revisiting the compelling Lynch-Asuka saga.
WWE championship: Drew McIntyre (c) def. Seth Rollins
For all of his rhetoric in the lead-up to their WWE championship match, Seth Rollins once again fell short in a world title challenge when he ultimately stepped into the ring with Drew McIntyre.
But while Rollins once again played the fool to a seemingly indestructible opponent, as he did against "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt on his way to losing the Universal championship, the post-match exchanging of pleasantries was an unusual wrinkle in a story that might eventually lead somewhere unexpected.
Rollins entered the Performance Center to new generic music, and while it's not a bad fit for his messianic approach, its shelf life might not be as kind if the character continues to evolve.
After a slow start, in which McIntyre imposed his strength and will as Rollins tried to find an angle, it settled into a familiar pattern. Rollins eventually fought his way back by utilizing several suicide dives to take McIntyre off his feet. He added running knees from three different platforms -- the apron, the barrier and the commentary table.
Rollins focused on McIntyre's knee as the match went on, but in several near-fall attempts, including a stomp, McIntyre kicked out with ease. Neither a Superplex/Falcon Arrow combination nor a stomp could put McIntyre away, but McIntyre's Future Shock DDT was equally ineffective in finishing off the match.
The match finally wound down to an entertaining finish, with a Glasgow kiss sending Rollins reeling back into the ropes, only for Rollins to hit a superkick. McIntyre similarly bounced back off the ropes and set himself up for a Claymore and a pinfall victory.
Considering their bad blood, it's hard to say what part of the post-match interaction was more surprising -- that McIntyre cast aside his instinct to go back for seconds or thirds on his Claymores, or that Rollins accepted his handshake despite a bemused look on his face.
What's next: Despite seemingly coming to a peaceful conclusion, it's likely Rollins and McIntyre will both have a little something more to explain in regards to this handshake. An alliance seems unlikely, but there's certain to be some kind of twist come Monday night.
WWE Universal championship: Braun Strowman (c) def. Bray Wyatt
The setup has been a pretty solid job of telling the story between the two men, going back to Strowman's time in the Wyatt Family. Tonight, it was not The Fiend version of Wyatt's character, just plain old, red-sweater wearing Wyatt.
The finish came when Strowman emerged from a bump outside the ring wearing his old black sheep mask, the one he wore when he was aligned with Wyatt a few years ago. Strowman entered the ring with Wyatt thinking he had convinced Strowman to join him. Strowman tore off his shirt and kneeled in front of Wyatt. The two embraced. That was short-lived.
Strowman pulled the mask off his face, tossed it to the ground and stepped on it. Wyatt tried to talk him out of going down that path, but Strowman grabbed him, hoisted him up on his shoulder and planted Wyatt into the mat with this running powerslam finisher.
Strowman left the ring with the belt. Wyatt remained slumped in the corner as the screen flickered and The Fiend appeared quickly.
The match went a bit longer than expected, and some of the sequences dragged. Wyatt had some sustained offense, including a two-count after a Sister Abigail. Strowman was able to come back with a chokeslam and a running shoulder block that sent Wyatt into the barricade. Wyatt was able to subdue Strowman outside the ring, leading into the finishing sequence.
What's next: This program will likely continue. It seems a given that Strowman will have to defend the title next against The Fiend. Just beating Wyatt will not be enough. This is an ongoing story and one that remains intriguing. The Fiend will probably have to ultimately win the Universal title back to regain the character's momentum.
While it appeared teased tension between SmackDown women's champion Bayley and ally Sasha Banks would lead to a potential match between the two, it was Tamina who stepped up and snagged the opportunity with a win over Banks. The Bayley-Banks alliance remained intact, for now, as Tamina looked to capture her first women's championship in the WWE.
After some early trash talking by the champ, Tamina lashed out and illustrated her dominance, particularly in the strength department. It was only a matter of time, however, before Bayley chopped her larger opponent down. She attacked the right knee of Tamina and inflicted damage while continuing to berate her, a staple of heel Bayley.
The injured challenger battled valiantly and was on the verge of connecting with one of her patented super kicks, but Bayley caught the leg and turned it into a knee bar. Bayley was in control to this point but began to get cocky when she tossed water into the face of her opponent.
An angry Tamina snapped and tossed Bayley into the ring apron, into the barricade and over the announcers table. Back inside the ring, she finally caught Bayley with a super kick and followed it up with a Samoan drop, but Banks, who was ringside, caused a distraction and prevented her from attempting a pinfall. When Tamina looked for another Samoan drop, Bayley reversed it into a crucifix pin for the win.
What's next: One has to think that the end game here is a Bayley-Banks collision, but with the two on the same page at the moment, that seems a ways away -- maybe SummerSlam? For now, it's time for a new challenger to step up to the plate.
Bobby Lashley def. R-Truth
MVP came out and had an exchange on the mic with Truth. That was supposed to be the match, but then Lashley entered and told MVP to take the night off. A two-minute squash match later, Lashley offered up a showcase that could seem as if he's getting positioned for a future big spot. Truth and MVP put Lashley over well as he starts on his next run.
What's next: Seemingly a major push for Lashley, and that's a long time coming. Lashley hasn't been utilized correctly since coming back to WWE in 2018. The run with Lio Rush was solid at points, but Lashley as a stoic, dominant MMA heavyweight fighter is bankable. Now just stick him with American Top Team owner Dan Lambert as a heel manager, like that terrific TNA angle, and you have a main event star.
Fatal 4-way for the SmackDown tag team championships: The New Day (c) def. Forgotten Sons, The Miz & John Morrison and Lucha House Party
The SmackDown tag team division has been an ongoing, chaotic, multi-team battle since Elimination Chamber. While Money in the Bank was more of the same story, Sunday's four-way match finally offered some continuity at the top and opened the door to a more nuanced story going forward.
With eight people involved in the match -- nine including the Forgotten Sons' Jaxson Ryker -- it was consistent chaos from start to finish. As was the case inside the Elimination Chamber, the Lucha House Party stole a lot of the attention with some flashy moves.
The match reached its first peak when Gran Metalik hit a top rope Spanish Fly on John Morrison as they crashed and burned onto everyone else in the match standing on the floor. The Forgotten Sons got plenty of moments to shine along the way, utilizing their man advantage with Ryker. However, late in the match, Ryker was dismissed from ringside by the referee.
Each team had a moment where it looked like they could win, most convincingly when The Miz hit a skull-crushing finale and Morrison followed with Starship Pain, but that got broken up in a hurry. Lucha House Party hit everything up to and including a handspring rebound stunner, step-up head scissors and stereo springboard splashes, but they'd ultimately take the pinfall.
Big E caught Metalik and showed impressive flexibility as he held onto Metalik and rolled through backward, ultimately hitting a Big Ending and a three-count while Kofi Kingston simultaneously nailed Lince Dorado with Trouble in Paradise.
What's next: The Forgotten Sons will likely not go quietly into the night after Ryker was kicked out from ringside, and they make natural foils to The New Day.
Jeff Hardy def. Cesaro
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 matchup considering there was no build whatsoever and Sheamus was nowhere to be found.
After trading a few advantages, Cesaro landed the first big move of the match. As Hardy charged toward Cesaro outside of the ring and catapulted himself into the air using the steel steps, Cesaro caught him in midair 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 has 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.