The Money In The Bank ladder match, in which multiple Superstars fight to climb a ladder to retrieve a briefcase that contains a contract allowing them to challenge one of the two world champions to a match at any time, was always one of the matches which I looked forward to the most at Wrestlemania each year. When the WWE decided to take the match off the Wrestlemania card and make it its own pay-per-view, I was disappointed that I would not get to see the match live every year but excited that more focus was being put on this match. In my mind, the match is the perfect opportunity for a mid-card Superstar to catapult himself into the main event as every single MITB winner except for one (John Cena last year when his match was interrupted by Big Show) has gone on successfully cash in the contract and become a world champion. In years past, the WWE Championship MITB match participants have all been former world champions, main event Superstars or, in the case of this year’s match, “all-stars,” which I think slightly defeats the purpose of the match but still creates an intriguing scenario nonetheless. So, without further ado, here are my predictions for tomorrow night’s PPV:
Of all the potential challengers to face John Cena for the WWE Championship during this title reign this one is certainly as interesting as they come. Granted, we have seen this matchup before and there is no way John Cena loses, but the fake retirement speech that Mark Henry gave on Raw a few weeks ago to kick off this feud was more than enough to make me interested going into this match. While I always have an ABC (Anyone But Cena) approach to his championship matches, I would be okay with Cena winning this match and retaining the title but only because of the potential matchup for SummerSlam next month….
The biggest story going into this match is the in-ring return of Rob Van Dam to the WWE. Just the fact that he is coming back is huge news and a welcome return in my eyes, but the fact that his debut return match is taking place in Philadelphia means that the crowd is going to roar for RVD just as loudly as the Chicago crowd did last month for CM Punk. A more recent storyline going into this match is The Wyatt Family’s attack on Kane last week on Raw, which gave him a “concussion” and has forced him out of the match. The big question is whether Kane will be replaced, but frankly I hope the match is left where it is because it is supposed to be an “all-stars” match and there is no one on the roster not already booked for a match that fits that bill. As for the winner, the sentimental pick is RVD and the dark horse pick is Randy Orton or Christian, but I am going with Daniel Bryan. Yes, WWE has practically telegraphed that outcome on Raw by having the show end with Bryan on top of the ladder with the briefcase, but Smackdown ended with Orton doing the same. Plus, a Cena/Bryan feud for the WWE Championship practically rights itself, not to mention that each one is dating one of the Bella Twins in real life.
I was extremely disappointed with how Dolph Ziggler was treated during his most recent world title reign, holding the title for a little over a month but spending three weeks of that at home with a real concussion. Upon his return, he promptly lost to Alberto Del Rio, albeit in a very good match that saw a double face/heel turn from both Superstars. Now that he is a real face, and not just a heel that the fans love to cheer, I would really like to see Ziggler win this match and go on to be the World Heavyweight Champion for as long as possible, but I predict that Del Rio is going to win and retain his title.
This match is exactly what a Money In The Bank match should be – seven Superstars, all of whom find themselves currently on the mid-card and (with the exception of a forgettable reign from Jack Swagger via a MITB contract) have never held a world title but who all have the potential to both be in the main event and be a world champion. The intriguing thing about this match is, despite the fact that we all love to cheer for Dean Ambrose and Fandango and most live crowds scream “We The People” along with Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro, every Superstar in this match is technically a heel. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see who the crowd in Philadelphia gets behind. As for a winner, I don’t think it will be Ambrose since he is already the United States Champion and Fandango has not yet earned the win. My dark horse pick is Wade Barrett or Antonio Cesaro but my money is on Jack Swagger. With Alberto Del Rio retaining the World Heavyweight Championship Swagger winning the MITB contract makes sense since the feud between them has already been established.
The fact that the Intercontinental Championship is being held by a legitimately good Superstar, that said Superstar is being managed by Paul Heyman, the title is being defended on a major PPV and the challenger is a solid contender with the chance to win all makes me extremely happy. Curtis Axel is definitely going to retain the title, and I hope break his father’s streak for an IC title reign, but I’m just happy to see the title being given so much focus and prestige at this time.
One of the best feuds/storylines taking place in all of WWE, believe it or not, involves the Divas. And for once, it is not about an ex-boyfriend or something stupid like that, but the Divas Championship. AJ Lee and Kaitlyn play their parts perfectly and are living, breathing proof that with the right storyline and enough time to tell the story, the fans can become invested in the Divas. Heck, there was even the first in-ring contract signing for a women’s title in the entire history of the company last night on Smackdown. I really, really want to see Kaitlyn win the match, but I think the storyline is better served to have AJ win by nefarious means and have Kaitlyn continue to chase her.
If Chris Jericho is good at one thing these days it’s putting over other Superstars. At this point in his career, Jericho does not even need a title, let alone a win, to be over with the fans as he has already cemented his legacy and is no doubt a first-ballot Hall of Famer. On the other side of the ring is Ryback, who has not won a PPV match in a very long time and now has a gimmick where he calls off matches due to minor injuries, runs away from his opponent and whines all the time. If all that had not been the case I would have picked Ryback to win, but given the direction his character is going, I see this as a complete burial of him as both a Superstar and a character. I think Jericho wins the match and we see the beginning of the end of Ryback in the WWE.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it fall, does it really fall? Similarly, if a match takes place but no one sees it, does the outcome really matter? On the one hand, at least the Tag Team Championships are being defended. On the other hand, the team challenging for the title only just started actually winning matches three weeks ago when they became the #1 contenders and the match itself is online before the actual PPV starts. The Shield obviously win this match and retain their titles and hopefully the future holds more formidable and legitimate contenders.