There’s certainly no denying that social media plays a large role in today’s professional wrestling scene. It’s a valuable tool for advancing storyline, promotion and just overall interaction with fans, being used to gauge interest when it comes to what’s currently happening with the product. The WWE can take into account the opinions of the WWE Universe, allowing them to take a sharp left on a current angle even when plans call for it to veer to the right. Sometimes it can correct mistakes or bad booking decisions, but then you have times when the company should just stick to the plan and ignore the white noise from those who refer to themselves as “smarks”. The happenings of Money In The Bank, in my opinion, is a perfect example of the latter.
The evolution of women’s wrestling has continued with the female Superstars gaining more opportunities, which includes the chance to compete in main events and gimmick matches such as Hell In A Cell, Tables and Steel Cage matches as we’ve seen over the past year. So when it was announced that the SmackDown Live Women’s Division would be getting their own Money In The Bank Ladder match, the fans were very receptive and eager to see what would go down. However, when James Ellsworth literally handed the victory to Carmella, those “smarks” went into an unmitigated uproar. A lot of people felt as if the match was “tainted” and less important after a man turned the tide in a history-making match for the females, putting up a major stink on social media and blasting the decision. Well played, WWE.
Was this the first time we’ve seen interference in a Money In The Bank Ladder match? Of course not, Kane allowed Seth Rollins to win the briefcase in 2014, plus other cases such as Lita helping Edge to retain his MITB contract when he put it on the line against Matt Hardy on RAW back in 2005. I agree that it was a different circumstance and many were looking for the women of the blue brand to set the bar for future Women’s Money In The Bank matches, but I would argue that even a clean win by Carmella would have fallen short of that mark. Go back and rewatch that match, then tell me what was so memorable about it outside of the fact that it was the first of its kind. Were there any death-defying stunts like we see in the men’s matches? Any innovative spots that I must have missed? Nothing about the contest screamed out, “You’re going to remember this one for years to come”, except for one moment. The one moment all the “smarks” complained about and that’s Ellsworth’s involvement.
The goal of a match is to tell a story and Ellsworth gifting the MITB contract to Carmella did just that, while giving us the memorable moment from the first-ever Women’s Money In The Bank match. Do I understand why people were upset? Of course, I totally get it, but at the same time, you were SUPPOSED to be upset about it. That was the point! By having the match finish in that manner, it made everyone talk about it which is only a good thing in the long run. That was your memorable moment and it was exactly the reaction WWE was looking for to garner heat for ‘The Princess of Staten Island’ and give her momentum for when she does cash in. Just based off the outrage on social media over the finish, it worked to perfection, but I’d argue it almost worked too well.
Perhaps WWE underestimated just how sensitive we are in this day-and-age when you can’t say anything without hurting someone’s feelings. I believe supporters of our current President of the United States would refer to these types of people as “snowflakes”, crybabies from a generation that I’m often ashamed to be associated with because of their ability to piss and moan over seemingly any and everything. Face it, WWE accomplished what they wanted with the Women’s Money In The Bank, however the backlash was so much that they went ahead and stripped Carmella of the briefcase only to basically give us a “do-over” on SmackDown Live last week. Of course, Carmella would regain possession of the briefcase in an even more forgettable match, leading to more whining and complaining. In my opinion, just shut up sometimes.
There was no need to have the match again, but I’m glad ‘The Princess of Staten Island’ walked out victorious and the WWE didn’t make a change to their plans based off the spoiled opinion of some. Like rotten kids pounding on the dinner table because they don’t like what was cooked for them. If you were one of the fans who had an issue with Ellsworth’s involvement, then I say congratulations because your complaints changed absolutely nothing, gave you a less-than-memorable rematch and then you still complained about it. You got worked so hard by the WWE that it’s not even funny, yet most won’t admit it. The finish of the original MITB match was fresh, garnered massive heat for who will undoubtedly be a future SmackDown Women’s Champion and got everyone talking about the females. It worked perfectly…almost too perfectly.
The only thing I will blame WWE for is not just sticking with their guns. They should have just left well-enough alone, kept the briefcase on Carmella from the beginning and withstood the heat from the original finish, but I don’t blame them for trying to rectify the situation, so the blame is also on you as a fan. You’re not a “smark” just because you know what you’re watching is scripted and has a predetermined outcome if you fell for it. I think we need a new term for those that can’t understand the booking and got severely offended by it. You’re not a “smart mark”, but a “stupid mark”. You’re a “stark”.