Carmella won the first-ever women’s Money in the Bank ladder match at Sunday’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view to earn a SmackDown Women’s Championship match at a time of her choosing.
WWE captured Carmella’s reaction:
Amidst a ton of controversy, @realellsworth has announced @CarmellaWWE the FIRST Ms. MONEY IN THE BANK! #MITB https://t.co/7h0gfi1czL
The match wasn’t without controversy, as James Ellsworth was the one to climb the ladder and ensure Carmella received the briefcase:
SmackDown Live GM Daniel Bryan and Commissioner Shane McMahon were quick to provide their thoughts on Twitter:
Daniel Bryan @WWEDanielBryan
Absolutely unacceptable and cheap. The circumstances surrounding the Women’s #MITB match will be the FIRST thing addressed on #SDLive.
Shane McMahon @shanemcmahon
This is not what I had envisioned for the FIRST EVER Women’s #MITB match. @realellsworth and @CarmellaWWE just robbed the #WWE Universe.
Charlotte, Natalya and Bekcy Lynch all sounded off after the match, while Ellsworth celebrated and Carmella explained why she deserved to win:
Charlotte Flair @MsCharlotteWWE
I didn’t come to #SDLive to play games. I’m here to be the best & represent a brand. @realellsworth is a joke and so is that win. #MITB
I grew up in this business. I gave my life to this business. I’m not letting some no-chin freak take my #MITB opportunity away.
Becky Lynch @BeckyLynchWWE
If @realellsworth wants to compete in the #SDLive women’s division, he can step through the ropes anytime. I’ll be happy to break his arm.
James Ellsworth @realellsworth
SHE DID IT! The first ever Ms. #MITB issssssss @CarmellaWWE
It was a no disqualification match. Read the rules of the contract, ladies! This briefcase, the contract, & the win are MINE. #MITB
As expected, the reaction on social media was mixed:
Ryan Glasspiegel @sportsrapport
Ellsworth stealing Money in the Bank for Carmela is the best writing WWE has had in a long time
Bryan Alvarez @bryanalvarez
They stole my finish from the YWF in 1995 but it was 100 times worse here. #MITB
Aaron Oster @TheAOster
The optics of that are horrendous when you’re touting the historical nature of this match. #MITB
Brandon Stroud @MrBrandonStroud
shout-out to WWE having a man win the first ever women’s Money in the Bank match
Chris Mueller @BR_Doctor
On the plus side, we might finally see @BeckyLynchWWE snap and destroy Ellsworth to get revenge #MITB
Vaughn Johnson @VaughnMJohnson
I hear people saying Carmella winning like that is cool because she’s a heel. I guess Rollins, Edge Miz had someone grab their case, too?
SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon announced the revolutionary match a couple of weeks ago when what was supposed to be a Fatal 5-Way for the No. 1 contendership between Charlotte Flair, Lynch, Carmella, Natalya and Tamina devolved into chaos.
Before the referee could signal for the bell, the five Superstars engaged in a massive brawl that saw Charlotte execute a moonsault and then powerbomb Nattie through the announce table.
Shane-O-Mac was impressed with the aggressiveness and decided to give them an opportunity that has long been discussed and hoped for by the WWE Universe.
All five combatants appeared on Talking Smack following the announcement, and Tamina expressed her belief that it was a long time coming, according to WWE Network:
WWE Network @WWENetwork
“We DESERVE to have this!” @TaminaSnuka says of the first-ever Women’s #MITB #LadderMatch! #TalkingSmack https://t.co/zpk8bZ5vq9
With women’s wrestling entering the spotlight more so than ever before in WWE over the past few years, these types of firsts have become commonplace.
Charlotte and Sasha Banks had the first-ever Iron Man match, Hell in a Cell match and pay-per-view main event match between women on the main roster as part of Raw.
SmackDown has lagged behind a bit in terms of breaking down barriers for the women, but Sunday’s ladder match was a step in the right direction, Ellsworth controversy notwithstanding.
In addition to what the match means when it comes to advancing women’s wrestling, it is significant from the perspective of providing the SmackDown women’s division with a fresh and intriguing storyline.
Things are always a bit more interesting when a potential Money in the Bank cash-in is looming, and that is something current titleholder Naomi must now be aware of.
Since joining forces with Ellsworth, Carmella has essentially been relegated to a heel comedy act, but hidden among that is the fact that she is a talented performer, especially from a promo perspective.
With Naomi as champion, a strong heel rival is ideal, and Carmella could develop into precisely that if she is handled correctly in the wake of her big win.
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