The 5 biggest takeaways from WWE's Money in the Bank

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NEW YORK, NY - August 21 : Brock Lesnar battles Randy Orton at WWE SummerSlam 2016 at the Barclays Center on August 21 , 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. Photo Credit: John Palmer/ MediaPunch/IPX
NEW YORK, NY - August 21 : Brock Lesnar battles Randy Orton at WWE SummerSlam 2016 at the Barclays Center on August 21 , 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. Photo Credit: John Palmer/ MediaPunch/IPX

The “Money in the Bank” pay-per-view is one that can drastically alter the WWE landscape, with two superstars winning the right to request a championship opportunity at any time. Sunday’s event lived up to that billing, featuring more twists and turns than the “Game of Thrones” series finale.

In a night where five championships were on the line, there were 3 title changes, including one stunning “Money in the Bank” cash-in.

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Here are the five biggest takeaways from the night and a look at what may be coming next.

Bayley wins the Money in the Bank ladder match, cashes in on Charlotte Flair to win Smackdown Women’s Championship

Despite many fans expecting a hinted-at heel turn, the babyface got one of the biggest moments of her career on Sunday night, seizing the briefcase in a match that set the stage for the rest of the evening. Not only did Bayley outlast a sizable chunk of the women’s division, but she wasted no time in capitalizing on her opportunity.

After Flair pinned Becky Lynch and tried to add insult to injury alongside Lacey Evans (more on this later), Bayley came to her fellow Four Horsewoman’s rescue. In the aftermath of her run-in, Bayley cashed in her briefcase before hitting a big elbow off the top rope and capturing the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

Thanks to the cash-in, Bayley immediately goes to the top of the Smackdown women’s division and should enter a program with Flair. Lynch will likely set her sights on a chance to become “Becky Two Belts” again at some point in the future, but she’ll have to square things away with Evans on “Raw” first.

Look for a possible triple-threat match between Bayley, Lynch and Flair to headline SummerSlam.

Becky Lynch defeats Lacey Evans to retain the Raw Women’s Championship

In what was the better of the two women’s championship matches, Lynch and Evans both looked strong. A bit of intrigue was added to the rivalry during the match as it appeared as if the referee failed to immediately begin the three count when Evans rolled Lynch up as part of the match’s final sequence.

Despite tapping out to the Dis-Arm-Her, Evans has a legitimate beef with how the match ended and after she interfered to cost Lynch the Smackdown Women’s Championship, these two don’t appear close to finished with each other.

The outcome of this match along with Lynch losing her Smackdown title puts her firmly onto “Raw.” (Wild Card Rule notwithstanding).

Brock Lesnar wins the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match

Just when WWE fans thought they had officially broken up with Lesnar, the Beast Incarnate surprised everyone by running into the match at the last minute and stealing the briefcase from Ali’s grasps.

After earlier events left Sami Zayn unable to compete in the match and forcing Braun Strowman away from the arena, there were a mystery as to who the eighth wrestler in the match would be.

A stunningly destructive display led to Ali atop the ladder attempting to unhook the briefcase before Lesnar’s music hit and he immediately thrust himself back into the championship picture.

Despite Michael Cole suggesting Seth Rollins would be the one Lesnar would attempt to cash in on in the coming days, weeks or months, it’s worth noting that with Smackdown heading to Fox this fall and the Wild Card Rule in place, Lesnar — one of WWE’s biggest mainstream draws — could go for either Rollins or Kofi Kingston’s championships.

Seth Rollins defeats A.J. Styles to retain WWE Universal Championship

One of the night’s most anticipated matches from a technical perspective did not let the legions of “smarks” down.

Rollins and Styles put on an early contender for match of the year as two of the best in the world put their entire repertoire on display and it led to some truly jaw-dropping sequences.

Shortly after Rollins won, Styles returned to the ring and the two shared a brief stare-down before ultimately shaking hands.

Both stars were working face during this match and they will remain that way for their immediate futures in WWE. Rollins appears as if he may be headed toward another showdown with Lesnar while Styles’ next program is a bit more nebulous. Regardless, this was an absolute gem of a match and both Rollins and Styles should be focal points of WWE in the coming months.

Kofi Kingston defeats Kevin Owens to retain WWE Championship

Kingston and Owens were put in a bit of a difficult spot, having to follow up Rollins and Styles, but they did a decent job of doing so.

While their match won’t go down as one of the greatest in WWE lore, Kingston retaining the title over Owens was the right move here. Kingston was able to pick up the win without the help of Xavier Woods and further showed he is just as talented and charismatic as a singles performer as he is with the New Day.

Owens will remain one of the top heels on Smackdown Live, and with Daniel Bryan currently tied up in the tag-team picture and with there being no clear top contender emerging from the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match (assuming Lesnar goes to “Raw”), it’s likely that we haven’t seen the end of the Kingston-Owens feud just yet.

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