The first ever Women’s Money in the Bank match ended in controversy. After an opening promo explaining the importance of this match and how these women are following in the footsteps of great female wrestlers who paved the way before them, the Money in the Bank briefcase was unhooked by a man. And not just any man. James Ellsworth’s character is a man who is infamously weak and obnoxious. So by such a man climbing the ladder, unhooking the briefcase, and dropping it into the waiting arms of Carmella; James Ellsworth forever tarnished the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match. With such a finish, WWE had to have anticipated the backlash from the reactionary twittersphere. Afterall, a man just won a historic women’s division match. Typical sexism in wrestling, right?
Well, it all depends on how you look at it. If we’re really looking at the relationship of Carmellsworth, the man is certainly not the one wearing the pants. This is precisely the potential that Carmella saw in Ellsworth after noticing how he the jobber had been so easily used by Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles in their previous storyline. Carmella saw a fickle tool in Ellsworth and decided she could use him to her advantage as well. A delusional dolt like Ellsworth wouldn’t dare question the motives of a beautiful woman suddenly falling head over heels for him. And on Sunday, that’s how Carmella became the first ever Ms. Money in the Bank. Sure, one way of looking at it is that a man had to do all the work and win the briefcase for his girlfriend. But the correct way of looking at it is that Carmella manipulated a submissive man into being her insurance policy. Ellsworth may be more of a joker in the hole than an ace, but he’s still a reliable wild card factor. Carmella was completely in charge.
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Consider James Ellsworth’s current role. It’s not as if he’s benefitted from this scenario. He is a pathetic servant praying to the altar of Carmella. If she’s Dracula, then Ellsworth is her Renfield. He is not her manager or advocate or any other position where he would financially invested in her success. Ellsworth is merely Carmella’s beta male toadie, and she’ll continue to play him like a fiddle as long as she keeps winning.
Whether you think that’s empowering to women or the most sexist moment in WWE since Vince McMahon made Trish Stratus bark like a dog, it generates a ton of heat for Carmella. This stunt gives her just the right amount or rocket fuel to be a top heel in the women’s division. But alas, on this week’s Smackdown, General Manager Daniel Bryan called for a do-over. And next week will mark the second ever Women’s Money in the Bank match on Smackdown. It makes one wonder if there was so much controversy for WWE that they had to go into damage control mode. Because Carmella’s explanation was spot on. The match is no disqualification and there had been outside interference to win the Money in the Bank briefcase before.
The excuse given by Bryan to vacate the briefcase once more what that this particular situation was unprecedented, since there had never been someone outside of the match to take possession of the case and hand it over to a participant. So, this would set a precedent that doing so is now illegal in Money in the Bank. That is, if WWE ever really cared about upholding their own rules. So, expect to see this happen again, unless of course some people on the internet don’t like the outcome.
Nathan Burke is a standup comedian based in Boston. He hosts the comedy podcast, “So Now I’m the Asshole” on Fans.FM and can be found on Twitter @IamNathanBurke