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.
Folks were upset at the finish. Obviously Carmella didn’t win the briefcase in the most honorable way – but it’s wrestling and heels cheat to win whether it’s by using an illegal object, distracting the referee or in this case, outside interference.
Storyline wise, the wrestlers from the match, as well as officials seemed just as angry at Ellsworth actions. In fact, Smackdown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan said he would address the situation on Tuesday so Carmella’s status as Ms. Money in the Bank may be up in the air.
Beyond the ring, fans are peeved because they felt this historical moment was tainted because Ellsworth, who is not a woman, retrieved the briefcase, seemingly robbing Carmella of her moment.
I would have loved to see Carmella climb up the ladder, unlock the briefcase and hoist that baby in the air, but this finish worked for me for a few different reasons.
Again, we’ve established Carmella is a heel and Ellsworth is her heater. Unlike the typical male-female wrestler pairing Ellsworth is not this imposing figure that will use brute force to win matches for his lady. He’s a manservant who will do Carmella’s bidding. We’ve seen heels get help from their valets or managers to win big matches – look at The Miz and Maryse.
To read the rest of the column, follow the link.