UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match has only just begun to take shape, but there may already be a frontrunner. Braun Strowman became the first Superstar to punch his ticket to the make-or-break bout, defeating Kevin Owens in a qualifying bout that stemmed from a confrontation between the two Superstars in Raw’s opening moments.
In Owens’ defense, he came to Monday night with a legitimate gripe — apparently, he wasn’t legal when he was pinned by Strowman in a tag team match at WWE Backlash — but KO overplayed his hand when he tried to strong-arm Raw General Manager Kurt Angle into automatically placing him into the Money in the Bank Match as a make-good.
Angle sanctioned the qualifier instead, and Owens, realizing he was in over his head, twice attempted to finagle a count-out victory to send himself to Money in the Bank. He even stayed competitive after The Monster Among Men caught wise to KO’s strategy. But when his last best shot — a Frog Splash — came up empty, Owens got desperate, and Strowman got comfortable. The Gift of Destruction’s second wind carried him through Owens’ defenses (literally — he trucked KO three times outside the ring) and culminated in a Running Powerslam for the victory.