Photo credit: WWE.com.
Roman Reigns defeated Jinder Mahal in a grudge match at Money in the Bank on Sunday night.
Even having Sunil Singh ringside wasn’t enough for Mahal to get the win. Singh rode to the ring in a wheelchair but showed the whole spectacle was a ruse in order to get a sneak attack on Reigns:
What a MIRACULOUS recovery from Sunil @SinghBrosWWE as he pushes #TheBigDog @WWERomanReigns into the ring post! #MITB @JinderMahal https://t.co/eMbuljBR1k
Mahal enjoyed a brief advantage over Reigns, but eventually Reigns was too much. He incapacitated Singh on the outside with a Spear and then gave another to Mahal to pick up the three-count:
In the battle of SPEAR vs. KHALLAS, SPEAR WINS. @WWERomanReigns protects the yard at #MITB! https://t.co/xOyhOQMaVe
More than anything Reigns and Mahal did in the ring, the focus was more so on what was a clearly disinterested crowd:
Scott Fishman @smFISHMAN
Jinder Mahal and Roman Reigns almost fed into the Chicago crowd with the pace of this match. Nothing they really could have done though to win them over. Fans had their mind made up before the bell even sounded. #WWE #MITB
Chants so far during Reigns/Mahal: CM Punk NXT This is awful Rusev Day Johnny Wrestling Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks (?) #MITB
John Canton @johnreport
Roman Reigns defeated Jinder Mahal after about 17 minutes. It went too long. The crowd didn’t care about any of it and they chanted a lot of different things that had nothing to do with the match. #MITB
Bryan Alvarez @bryanalvarez
So, seriously, Vince thinks Roman vs. Brock at SummerSlam in New York City is going to get anything other than this exact same reaction? Get outta town. #MITB
Reigns defeats Mahal with the Spear. The match itself really wasn’t that bad, but the crowd wanted nothing to do with it. How did YOU feel about it? Were you interested in it or did you feel the same way the crowd did? #WWE #MITB
The rivalry between the pair began several weeks ago on Raw when The Modern Day Maharaja prevented Reigns from qualifying for the Money in the Bank ladder match.
During a Triple Threat qualifying match between Reigns, Finn Balor and Sami Zayn, Mahal pulled The Big Dog out of the ring and cost him a chance to go after the contract.
That led to a backstage altercation the following week between Reigns and Mahal, with the former ultimately gaining the upper hand and making the Maharaja pay for his actions.
Reigns and Mahal were then booked in a match for Money in the Bank, with both Superstars looking to regain some of the momentum they had lost since WrestleMania.
Mahal won the United States Championship at The Showcase of the Immortals by beating Randy Orton, Rusev and Bobby Roode in a Fatal 4-Way, but he dropped it to Jeff Hardy shortly after and lost to Hardy in a rematch at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
Reigns lost to Brock Lesnar in a Universal Championship match at WrestleMania, and he fell short in a rematch at the Greatest Royal Rumble, as it was controversially ruled that The Beast Incarnate touched the floor first in a steel cage match.
With Lesnar away, Reigns has continued to be positioned as the face of Raw, while Mahal has been trending toward a top heel spot.
Although Mahal’s run as WWE champion on SmackDown Live was largely viewed as a failure, the lack of credible heels on the red brand has made him an important figure.
While neither Reigns nor Mahal were placed in the Money in the Bank ladder match, it can be argued they were given a greater spotlight by competing in a singles bout.
Both Superstars needed a win in order to get on the right track during the build toward SummerSlam on August 19, but it was Reigns who prevailed.
Reigns’ victory suggests he will continue to be in a top spot in the coming months, while Mahal is at something of a crossroads because of his recent lack of in-ring success.
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