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Money in the Bank 2021 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It took place on July 18, 2021 at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. It was the 12th event in the Money in the Bank chronology.

Production

Background

Money in the Bank (MITB) is an annual gimmick pay-per-view (PPV) and WWE Network event produced by WWE since 2010 and generally held between May and July. The concept of the show comes from WWE's established Money in the Bank ladder match, in which multiple wrestlers use ladders to retrieve a briefcase hanging above the ring. The briefcase contains a contract that guarantees the winner a match for a world championship of their choosing at any time within the next year. The 2021 event will feature wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands, with male wrestlers competing for a contract to grant them a match for either Raw's WWE Championship or SmackDown's Universal Championship, while female wrestlers will compete for a Raw Women's Championship or SmackDown Women's Championship match contract. The 2021 event will take place on May 16 and will be the 12th event in the Money in the Bank chronology.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE had to present the majority of its programming for Raw and SmackDown from a behind closed doors set at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida beginning mid-March 2020, although in late May, the promotion began using Performance Center trainees to serve as the live audience, which was further expanded to friends and family members of the wrestlers in mid-June. On August 17, WWE announced that all future shows and pay-per-views would be held at Orlando's Amway Center for the "foreseeable future," beginning with the August 21 episode of SmackDown. Furthermore, the shows now feature a new fan viewing experience called the "ThunderDome," which utilizes drones, lasers, pyro, smoke, and projections. Approximately 1,000 LED boards were installed to allow fans to virtually attend the events for free and be seen on the rows and rows of LED boards. Arena audio is also mixed with that of the virtual fans so that chants from the fans can be heard. After their contract with the Amway Center expired, WWE relocated the ThunderDome to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida in December. The ThunderDome was then relocated to the Yuengling Center, located on the campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa, beginning with the April 12 episode of Raw. As such, the 2021 Money in the Bank event will be WWE's first PPV produced from the WWE ThunderDome at the Yuengling Center.

Storylines

The show included matches that result from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results are predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.

Qualifying matches for the men's Money in the Bank ladder match began on the June 21 episode of Raw. Ricochet, John Morrison, and Riddle qualified by defeating AJ Styles, Randy Orton, and Drew McIntyre, respectively. Raw's final spot was determined in a triple threat match the following week, which had originally been scheduled to be between Styles, Orton, and McIntyre; however, Orton was unable to compete for unknown reasons. A battle royal was held to fill Orton's spot in the triple threat match. Orton's RKBro tag team partner Riddle convinced WWE officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville to allow him to compete in the battle royal where if he won, he would represent Orton in the triple threat match. Riddle won the battle royal, however, McIntyre won the triple threat match to earn Raw's final spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match. SmackDown's first spot was filled by Big E, who qualified by defeating Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews on the June 25 episode of SmackDown. The following week, Kevin Owens qualified by defeating Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing match, which was also a rematch between the two from Hell in a Cell that Zayn had won. SmackDown's last two spots will be filled on the July 9 episode. In another rematch from Hell in a Cell, which Seth Rollins had won, Rollins will face Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura will face Baron Corbin—after being known as King Corbin since winning the King of the Ring tournament in September 2019, Corbin reverted to his original ring name after he lost his crown to Nakamura, who gained the nickname of Kingsuke Nakamura or King Nakamura, on a previous episode of SmackDown.

Qualifying matches for the women's Money in the Bank ladder match also began on the June 21 episode of Raw. Two tag team matches were scheduled to determine the four participants from Raw. Asuka and Naomi qualified by defeating the team of Eva Marie and Doudrop (formerly Piper Niven in NXT UK) and later, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, the latter dawning a new super hero gimmick, qualified by defeating the team of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. On the June 25 episode of SmackDown, WWE official Sonya Deville named two-time Money in the Bank winner Carmella as the first of SmackDown's four participants. Liv Morgan, who had been feuding with Carmella and defeated her the previous week, took issue as Carmella did not compete in a qualifier match to earn her spot. Deville then had Morgan face Carmella to prove she deserved to be in the match and Morgan subsequently defeated Carmella, but Deville did not add her to the ladder match. The following week, Deville named Zelina Vega, who made her return to WWE after her release in November 2020, as the second SmackDown entrant in the match. Morgan again confronted Deville about Vega not having to qualify. She also pointed out the fact that she proved herself by defeating Carmella and was not added, but would prove herself again in a match against Vega; Morgan subsequently defeated Vega but was still not added to the match.

On the June 21 episode of Raw, as WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and his manager MVP were celebrating Lashley's win over Drew McIntyre at Hell in a Cell the previous night, they were interrupted by The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods). Kingston reminded Lashley that he had defeated him in a non-title match on the May 17 episode of Raw and that he had also never received a rematch for the title after he lost the championship at SmackDown's 20th Anniversary in October 2019. Kingston then challenged Lashley for the title. Lashley accepted and the match was scheduled for Money in the Bank.

At Hell in a Cell, Charlotte Flair defeated Raw Women's Champion Rhea Ripley by disqualification after Ripley attacked Flair with the top cover of the announce table; however, since titles do not change hands via disqualification unless stipulated, Flair did not win the title. The following night on Raw, Flair claimed she was "proud" of Ripley and told Ripley that she had never seen her as a "strategic champion". WWE official Sonya Deville then scheduled a rematch between the two for the title at Money in the Bank.

At WrestleMania 37 in April, Roman Reigns defeated Edge and Daniel Bryan to retain the Universal Championship. On the June 25 episode of SmackDown, Reigns and his special counsel Paul Heyman had a Universal Championship address. Heyman stated that Reigns had defeated all of SmackDown's top contenders and that there was no one left to challenge Reigns. Edge then made a surprise return after a two-month hiatus and attacked Reigns and also took out Jimmy Uso, who had come to Reigns' aid. On Talking Smack the next day, it was revealed that Edge had confronted WWE officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville and demanded a one-on-one match against Reigns for the title at Money in the Bank, which he was originally supposed to have at WrestleMania before Bryan worked his way into the match. Pearce then granted him the match.

Canceled match

At Hell in a Cell, Bianca Belair defeated Bayley in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship. On the following episode of SmackDown, Belair and Bayley were involved in a mixed tag team match in which Bayley pinned Belair. The following week, Bayley claimed that Belair's Hell in a Cell victory was a fluke, citing her own victory over Belair in the mixed tag team match. Belair then came out and challenged Bayley to an "I Quit" match with the title on the line at Money in the Bank and Bayley accepted.

Match Preview

Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match Preview
Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match Preview
Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair Preview
Roman Reigns vs. Edge Preview
Bobby Lashley vs. Kofi Kingston Preview
Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio (c) vs. The Usos Preview
AJ Styles & Omos vs. The Viking Raiders Preview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Pre-show Panel
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Referees

See also

DVD release

External links

Money in the Bank 2021 previews

Women's Money in the Bank Ladder MatchMen's Money in the Bank Ladder MatchRhea Ripley v Charlotte FlairRoman Reigns v EdgeBobby Lashley v Kofi KingstonRey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio v The UsosAJ Styles & Omos v The Viking Raiders

Money in the Bank
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2021 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views

Royal RumbleTakeOver: Vengeance DayElimination ChamberFastlaneTakeOver: Stand & DeliverWrestleMania 37WrestleMania BacklashNXT: In Your HouseHell in a CellMoney in the BankSummerSlamTakeOver 36Extreme RulesClash of ChampionsTakeOver Dublin