May 8 (UPI) — The first round of qualifying bouts to be entered into the upcoming Money in the Bank Ladder Match took place Monday on Raw, starting with Braun Strowman taking on Kevin Owens.
The annual Money in the Bank Ladder Match grants the winner a briefcase which contains a contract that guarantees a world championship match anytime, anywhere. Raw general manager Kurt Angle announced that there would be four Money in the Bank matches this year, one for men and women on both Raw and Smackdown.
Owens was pitted against Strowman after he complained about his loss to The Monster Among Men at Backlash which he called illegitimate due to not being the legal man during their Tag Team Match that also involved Sami Zayn and Bobby Lashley.
Owens, who felt that he should be entered into the Money in the Bank match automatically, put up a valiant effort against Strowman who weathered Owens’ attacks including a failed Pop-Up Powerbomb attempt before delivering a Running Powerslam for the victory.
In the women’s division, Sasha Banks, Ember Moon and Ruby Riott competed for a Money in the Bank Ladder Match spot in a Triple Threat Match. As Banks began to take over the bout, The Riott Squad consisting of Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan interfered to take out The Boss Out before Bayley came to the rescue.
Moon, as Banks put Riott into position to deliver the Backstabber, reappeared with an Eclipse that caught both women and allowed The War Goddess to pin Riott for the vcitory.
In the main event, Roman Reigns, Finn Balor and Zayn met in a Triple Threat Match for entry into Money in the Bank that ended in controversy.
Balor and Zayn ended up teaming up against Reigns as the brawl spilled out into the audience. The Big Dog was left incapacitated after Zayn delivered a Helluva Kick followed by Balor using his Coup de Grace.
As Balor and Zayn battled themselves for a while, Reigns returned and made a dramatic entrance as he began to beat down both men. Reigns, back inside the ring, delivered a Superman Punch to Balor and was getting ready to use the Spear when suddenly, Jinder Mahal appeared and proceeded to trip Reigns from the outside.
The distraction allowed Zayn to hit Reigns with another Helluva Kick. Balor then sent Zayn to the ground and attacked him with Coup de Grace for the victory. Mahal’s motivations seem to be related to The Modern Day Maharaja being denied entry into the match by Angle.
Other moments from Raw included Baron Corbin and The Revival defeating No Way Jose and Titus Worldwide; Mahal defeating Chad Gable; Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre defeating Heath Slater and Rhyno; Bobby Roode defeating Elias; Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollings defeating Mojo Rawley during an open challenge; and Raw Tag Team Champions Woken Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt defeating Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas.