It’s Money in the Bank time folks! In a sea of gimmick PPVs, this is the one I actually quite like. I even class 2011’s edition as one of my favourite PPVs of ALL time. So will this year’s MitB live up to the ridiculous hype I tend to put on this event? God I hope so…
So what the hell is up with this year’s briefcase matches? One’s all faces and the other is all heels? That’s a bit weird isn’t it? Ah well, if WWE is moving more towards a “shades of grey” (and no, not 50, so get your mind out of the gutter) approach rather than the clear cut “heel and face” dynamic, then personally I’m all for it.
I honestly don’t know quite what to think about tonight. On the one hand lots of cool things could potentially happen. A lot of the IWC’s favourite guys are in positions tonight that could push them even higher up the card, but there’s also the very distinct possibility that WWE will do what they always do and just continue on their bullheaded path of “Cena wins, Sheamus wins, Dolph loses LOL”. We could literally go either way tonight, but I prefer to remember the glorious year of Punk winning the title and Bryan winning the briefcase. I’d like another one like that please WWE…
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Shield Members Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns © vs. The Usos
2 consecutive pre-shows without The Miz?! HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?!
Seriously though, The Shield defending the Tag Titles only gets a Kickoff spot? Come on now WWE, play the game (which you’ve just lost, incidentally). Like I’ve said before, I understand that WWE want a “great” match to use for the pre-show to get the crowd pumped, but surely this is not it? Why not just wheel out Tonnes of Funk and Rhodes Scholars for a quick 7 minute match to get the crowd involved and leave the title matches for the actual PPV?
Surely ensuring the titles are defended on the PPV itself makes them seem more important immediately? Don’t even get me started on Ambrose not defending his belt on the show. Jeez.
But for all the faults in the card placement, I’m actually excited for this match. I’m really looking forward to finally getting to see Rollins and Reigns go at it with Jimmy and Jey, and in my humble opinion this push for the Usos should have happened a loooong time ago. Like, around the same time Awesome Truth were champions. That’s how long ago.
So I guess because it’s the pre-show (and it may be their only chance to shine before being relegated again) Jimmy and Jey need to wrestle out of their skins tonight. We already know that Rollins and Reigns can put on a damn entertaining match, so now we need The Usos to prove they can hold up their end of the bargain. I think they’re more than capable.
Who I want to win: I totally wouldn’t be against an Usos win here, just for The Shield to regain the hunger they had before they won the titles. Maybe now’s a good time to have them rest on their laurels and get caught napping?
Who I think will win: I’m pretty sure The Shield are going over here, I just hope it doesn’t immediately bump The Usos out of the Tag Title picture.
Chris Jericho vs. Ryback
I have to write about another Ryback match? WHY?! HE’S SO…BLEH!!
Really, I’m done with Ryback, I’m done with the ridunkadunkulous booking he’s been lumbered with, I’m done with him being a heel who thinks he’s the devil, I’m done with him p*ssying out of matches, I’m just done with him, period. I can think of literally no way they can possibly redeem Ryback in my eyes, and to be honest I’m a bit fed up with Jericho right now too. So as you can imagine I’m completely enraptured at the thought of having to sit through a match between these two. Feel my tangible enthusiasm. 🙄
I’m gonna stop talking about Ryback now, because ranting about how cr*p he is seems to be the forte of Dean on the TWO Podcasts (every damn week) so I’ll leave that to him. I want to spend a little time talking about Chris Jericho. I know this isn’t a very popular opinion, but I’m not buying into Jericho as this guy who’s trying to put the younger guys over.
Look back at what’s happened with guys like Fandango. Jericho hasn’t so much “put the new guy over but rather he’s just wrestled his approximation of a match that he thinks will put a new guy over. A “heel heat by numbers” if you will, which in my opinion isn’t working. It didn’t work for Fandango, and I can’t help but feel that it won’t help Ryback either. Jericho is selling himself as the guy to work the youngsters to show them the ropes, but the matches he’s putting them through aren’t exactly setting the world on fire. In fact at some points during the Fandango feud I felt pretty sure that Jericho wasn’t putting Fandango over, but rather just making it look like he’s carrying everything for this guy while trying to get him over. To me that’s just as detrimental as not trying to help the guy get over in the first place.
It’s not getting to Dwayne Johnson-esque levels, but there’s already grumblings within my mind that want Jericho to just stick to being a rockstar and leave the wrestling alone.
Like I say, it’s not a popular opinion, but it’s mine and that’s why you’re reading this article. 😛
Who I want to win: Jericho, by virtue of being the person who annoys me least in this match.
Who I think will win: Probably Jericho, because it’s starting to look a lot like Ryback’s upset someone in high places.
WWE Divas Championship Match
AJ Lee © vs. Kaitlyn
I still don’t think this match should be happening yet. I’m totally behind the idea Magic and Maxx came up with of AJ winding Kaitlyn up while simultaneously dodging her and refusing Kaitlyn a rematch. In fact, exactly what I said would happen kinda has. WWE has rushed what could have been a good 8 weeks of build into 4 weeks worth of shows. They’re just running through this feud entirely too fast.
We all saw how Kaitlyn ended the last PPV didn’t we? On her knees in tears, as Chicago showed literally NO sympathy (the cold hearted bast*rds) to the poor girl. She broke down after weeks of being taunted by AJ…yet two weeks later she’s fine?! Are you completely sh*tting me? Where’s the long road to redemption? Where’s Kaitlyn finally learning she doesn’t need to listen to the jibes of people like AJ and she can do this thanks to her internal strength? Quite frankly folks, the fact this is most likely being spaffed up the wall within a month of starting shows just how little faith WWE have in long term booking. 4 weeks is NOT long term (although when you rewrite shows hours before they’re broadcast, I guess it kinda is, which is worrying in and of itself).
I don’t know, maybe they’re going to have AJ go over here by nefarious means to lead to another match further down the line? As has been said before, I’d be totally down for AJ vs. Kaitlyn with some kind of stipulation at SummerSlam, but I guess that all hinges on what happens here?
Who I want to win: AJ by screwy finish. Something to maybe keep this feud going before the strap ends up on a Bella ready for the launch of their new show.
Who I think will win: Most likely AJ, unless either Bella is getting the title in the next 30 days, then Kaitlyn could walk out of here as champion and they could blow the feud off completely. The fools.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Curtis Axel © vs. The Miz
Damn it, who let you out of the pre-show Miz?! What are you doing stinking up the mid-card on a PPV when The Shield have to languish on YouTube and the WWE App?!
There’s not much for me to say here other than I hope the title stays on Curtis Axel. I could really do without another failed Miz Intercontinental Title reign, and hey, at least Curtis Axel has cool ring music, right?
On the subject of Axel, they really need to settle him down to just one finisher. I think so far I’ve seen him hit at least 3 or 4 different potential finishers, all of which have been kicked out of at some point. They need to get a finishing move on him quick, and then have him win consistently with it. Not even the Perfect Plex either, let him save that for special occasions, or if he ever gets a face run. Just a nice neat impact finisher, that he can use to knock some folks out and get some wins under his belt. Especially if you want ANYONE to take him seriously as Intercontinental Champion.
How about having him start tonight by knocking Miz’s block off? Pweeeease?
Who I want to win: Axel. But please, please do something with him worthwhile off the back of a solid title defence. Please.
Who I think will win: Jeez. God knows. Hopefully Heyman can be the deciding factor here and Axel will win, but I wouldn’t be overly surprised to see them put the strap on Miz yet again. And then watch everyone fail to give a rat’s a*s. Yet again.
World Heavyweight Title Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Fandango vs. Damien Sandow vs. Wade Barrett vs. Jack Swagger vs. Antonio Cesaro
“Rising Stars”? Sweet Jiminy Cricket, how long does it take to become a star these days then? Jack Swagger’s been Heavyweight Champion before, but nope, his star’s just rising. Cody Rhodes has been on WWE TV for the last 6 years. Think about that folks. Cody’s been around for 6 YEARS. But nope, he’s a “rising star”. I call bull-hooey on you, WWE. Don’t p*ss on me and tell me it’s raining. These people aren’t rising stars. Fandango? Are you being serious?
As far as I’m concerned Cody Rhodes should already be a star, and he’s woefully underused and underrated. Wade Barrett has proved with the IC Title that he’s not really anything special when wearing a title, he just doesn’t give off that aura of a champion. Jack Swagger is…well I don’t really rate him, and he’s certainly not an up & comer in the WWE. Fandango has just kinda failed with the dancing gimmick, and unless he can find some way to turn this round to really get under people’s skin, he’s going nowhere fast.
The only “rising stars” (and I’m using the term as loosely as possible) that I consider to be participating in the match are Sandow, Cesaro, and Ambrose. All 3 of these guys have been ridiculously entertaining recently, working across all shows on WWE television and still bringing quality matches regardless of the show they’re on or the opponent they’re working. That’s why my fingers are ridiculously crossed that one of these three guys pick up the briefcase.
Or they could troll us all and give Fandango the shot. Yeesh. I’m not gonna make a straight up prediction here, I’m just going to say that WWE could do something sensible for a guy who needs it here, rather than blow the briefcase on someone who the fans don’t give a good god damn about.
WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Christian vs. Rob Van Dam
Word has it that Kane won’t be participating in this match, after his assault on Monday by The Wyatt Family (which was amaaaaaaazing…follow the buzzards), so things are a little up in the air at the moment as to whether there will be a replacement, or if this match will just be the 6 guys vying for the guaranteed title shot. I just hope to high heaven that they’re not gonna throw Bray Wyatt in there just for the hell of it. I don’t think they will for a second, but jeez, if they do…grrr.
So what to say about this, there’s plenty of ways this whole match could go down, but again the result will be a good indicator if WWE intend to stay with the same familiar route they always take (which in this instance would probably equate to Sheamus winning) or whether they are prepared to go with something a little different and try something new (which equates to someone like…say…DANIEL FREAKIN’ BRYAN winning).
But then we all know how WWE like to change things up just to spite us, even if we’re saying how good they’re likely to be. Look at Sheamus’ Rumble win, when we were all so sure that Chris Jericho was returning to win the Royal Rumble and face Punk. It really would not surprise me to find out that WWE switch this to “Sheamus wins lol” just because we’re all hyped about a possible Daniel Bryan win.
Hey, how about this. They announce a surprise entrant to take Kane’s place. Match time rolls around, everyone’s made their entrances and we’re waiting for the mystery entrant to appear. And then Brock happens. I know it’d possibly overshadow the return of RVD a little, or y’know, it could go the other way and send hype levels in the audience into overdrive. Don’t tell me you don’t want to see a little sequence between RVD and Brock at Money in the Bank? It’d help build towards the upcoming Brock/Punk SummerSlam match, and y’know, it’s BROCK LESNAR WITH A LADDER. If you don’t want to see that, you have no soul.
Either way, I’m expecting RVD to be the MVP of this match. Expect an energised, enthusiastic, focused Rob Van Dam, and just sit back and enjoy the show. This could really be something special.
Again, I’m not gonna make a straight up prediction here, I’ll just say that I hope Bryan walks out the winner (or if not him, then Punk) and if Bryan doesn’t win this, then he better win the damn Royal Rumble come January.
World Heavyweight Championship Match
Alberto Del Rio © vs. Dolph Ziggler
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m heavily invested in a wrestling angle involving Alberto Del Rio. This whole angle between Ziggler and Del Rio has been pretty damn cool to sit back and enjoy, and I’ve loved each twist in the tale. The subtle double turn at the last PPV was beautifully done and I’d like to congratulate whoever it was who worked Dolph’s concussion into this so seamlessly. I now feel emotionally connected to Ziggler after watching him take the beating of his life at the hands of Del Rio, and I’m completely sold on Dolph Ziggler’s grand revenge storyline.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m starting to get a sense that they’re trying to bring Ziggler across as some kind of next generation Shawn Michaels/Mr Perfect/Ric Flair mash-up in as much as he’s not the biggest man in the fight, but he’ll use his speed and wits to get the job done. The little segment 2 Raws back, where Ziggles outmanoeuvred and outsmarted the 3MB kinda confirmed it for me. They’ve also started to sow the seeds of Ziggler turning over a new leaf during a (yeugh, can’t believe I’m saying this) WWE App exclusive where Ziggler kinda chastises AJ for how she’s treating Kaitlyn now she has the Divas Title. Ziggler’s interesting right now, he has the crowd behind him, and he’s prime placed to make a leap to becoming one of the company’s top guys. Well, if you ask me he is, anyways.
So what am I expecting here? I’m expecting Dolph to go over and become champion, but at least this time be given a fair crack of the whip. His last title reign was taken from him by injury, so let’s see exactly how much the Show Off can impress us all with a proper title reign, shall we?
Who I want to win: Ziggler. Preferably by a superkick. 😀
Who I think will win: I honestly think they’re gonna pull the trigger on Dolph. He’s got momentum and crowd favour on his side, WWE really should go with that as much as possible.
WWE Championship Match
John Cena © vs. Mark Henry
Somebody gon’ get they a*s kicked! Somebody gon’ get their wig split! Well…hopefully at least.
Awwwww hell. Every time I look at a John Cena title defence on paper a Pinky and the Brain-esque scene plays out in my head.
“How’s the PPV going to end tonight, Brain?”
“The same way it always ends, Pinky. CENA WINS!! CENA WINS!! CENA WINS!!”
But indulge yourself for a second and ask yourself what if. What if Mark Henry did the unthinkable and beat John Cena to become WWE Champion? I dunno about you, but just entertaining that thought kinda gives me warm fuzzy feelings. I mean, it’s not completely outside the realms of possibility, is it? There’s a precedent here. The last time Mark Henry was on a hot streak he came up against Randy Orton at Night of champions 2011. And crushed him. Could we potentially see that happen to John Cena tonight? Gosh I sure hope so.
If anything I’d like to see it happen just to break the cycle of John Cena overcoming all odds. Mark Henry just beating John Cena cleanly in the centre of the ring could be a phenomenal end to this PPV, but I don’t know if WWE have the stones to make their golden boy take the fall for Henry? Personally I’d love to see Mark win the strap, if only for a month, just to round out his career. His epic retirement fake out had an element of truth to it in as much as Henry’s career is winding down now.
Sure it’ll just be a “thank you” reign, but why the hell not? Mark Henry has earned a month as WWE Champion, hasn’t he? Besides, someone needs to remind the audience John Cena isn’t invincible, and I’d much rather it be someone like Mark Henry over a guy like Ryback any day of the week.
Oh, and I feel it’d be remiss of me not to mention how awesome Mark Henry was faking Cena out after the Cena/Del Rio match on Raw. Just the little smirk on his face when he realises Cena’s flinched first, and Cena realising “oh sh*t, this guy’s just playing with me…for now” was awesome. Put the title on Mark Henry WWE, you won’t be disappointed and neither will the fans.
Who I want to win: Mark Henry. Because THAT WHAT HE DOOOOOOO!!
Who I think will win: My head tells me Cena, but my heart wants it be Henry soooo much.
And there you have it. By the end of tonight two superstars are going to be proud possessors of a guaranteed title shot, as well as a nice new briefcase to wallop people with. We could even have John Cena being inducted into the Hall of Pain, and our new World Heavyweight Champion could be a show-off on the verge of becoming a showstopper. I don’t know which way it’s gonna go, I’m either gonna be wildly elated or woefully disappointed, but half the fun is finding out, isn’t it?
So if you’ve got some time to kill before the show starts, then why not leave your own thoughts in the comments below? You might even win some cold, hard cash for it, and who doesn’t like cash? Then when you’ve done that, don’t forget to tune in to the TWO Podcast crew at 9pm GMT for their rundown of tonight’s event, the ever present threat of a Pat Patterson visit, and Dean no doubt getting his predictions wrong whilst getting overly angry about Ryback. #DamnitDean
Until next time!