Money In The Bank Win Raises Carmella’s Stock

Note: This is a column I wrote for Creators.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Carmella and James Ellsworth being paired together on “Smackdown Live,” when it first happened in January.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan Carmella’s ever since I saw her in NXT. When she was drafted to Smackdown Live, I thought it was a bit too soon but she’s grown as a performer in the last year. Putting her with Ellsworth didn’t make sense to me for awhile. I thought she had a good run with Nikki Bella and was coming along on her own that she didn’t really need a heater. But since they’ve been together, she’s had some big moments on the blue brand, including mixing it up with John Cena and Bella and pinning women’s champion Naomi twice.

Then I watched tonight’s Money in the Bank pay per view where Carmella won the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match – a first in WWE history – after Ellsworth climbed the ladder, grabbed the briefcase and unceremoniously dropped it in her hands.

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Carmella continues to shine in NXT

Hours before the 2016 Royal Rumble I caught up on NXT. One of the episodes featured a battle royal to crown a new No. 1 contender for Bayley’s NXT women’s title. When the dust was settled, one of the most unlikely challengers emerged – Carmella, who eliminated Eva Marie to win the match.

The next week there was a tag team match between Bayley and Carmella – dubbed Baymella – vs. Emma and Alexa Bliss. Bayley and Emma did a lot of the work but once Carmella got the hot tag, it was all her, forcing Bliss to tap with a new submission maneuver. The match helped Carmella build some momentum before her title tilt with Bayley, as did her encounter with tag team champions Dash and Dawson.

The title match between Carmella and Bayley already happened on the recent NXT tapings so I won’t spoil it. What I will do is reflect on Carmella’s growth as a sports entertainer/wrestler since she came to NXT.

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