It’s almost time for the PPV that has quickly become a “big five” show. Money in the Bank has essentially replaced King of the Ring, not only on the calendar but also by improving on the concept in every conceivable way. King of the Ring had a tournament every year, and those are fun ideas on paper, but in execution, it usually amounted to filler matches on Raw for the month leading up to the show. It wasn’t until the PPV itself that fans got to enjoy the real drama and stakes of the tournament finals. So once you take that novelty away what does KOTR offer? Novelty crowns? A sometimes-SummerSlam title opportunity?
Money in the Bank swaps out the bloated and wasted tournament for a one-match spectacle ladder match. The goofy crown and scepter are replaced by a slick briefcase. The occasional SummerSlam title opportunity is dropped in favor of a one-time 24/7 rule, where any moment can suddenly turn into a title match.
It’s the perfect successor to an outdated concept and it’s helped some (some!) blossom into main-event talent and helped some (some!) others kick off fun title feuds. It’s not been a perfect run (Mr. Kennedy, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Damian Sandow, Baron Corbin) but the highs have been very high (Edge’s first, Ziggler, Daniel Bryan).
Looking at this year’s crop there is great potential for either a midcarder to step up or a main-eventer to take off.
There are a lot of great candidates to win this year—too many, in fact—but if you ask me…
THE MIZ SHOULD WIN MONEY IN THE BANK
As someone who thought he was the worst WWE Champion in a decade (and, at the time, he was) the Miz has had quite the turnaround. He has completely slipped past the realm of annoyance, past indifference, past mild interest, past amusement, past like, past love, to now it’s a near zen-like feeling when I think about the work he’s doing. And what’s even more remarkable is that Miz has yet to peak.
Think about it, has there ever been a year where he didn’t improve some aspect of his work over the year previous? He just continues climbing the mountain, reaching greater and greater heights. And though he’ll never reach the level of a Steve Austin or even a John Cena, that’s not really the mountain he’s climbing. He’s not scaling Mt. Hogan, he’s climbing Mt. Piper. And when it comes to smarmy heels you love to hate, no one today is doing it better than Miz.
It’s often said, “talent like that doesn’t need the belt.” But that’s funny because those people also say “the man makes the belt.” If you ask me, a talent like Miz deserves a World Title either the WWE or the Universal Championship would do well to wrap around his awesome waist.
Setting aside how deserving he is, a win would potentially set up a Daniel Bryan WWE Title feud. And if that doesn’t get your salivating you’re not a fan of pro wrestling.
NO WAIT…NEW DAY SHOULD WIN MONEY IN THE BANK
As of right now, the trio has yet to say which of the three will enter and represent the group, but…why pick? A ladder match is no-disqualification. Sure it’d be a heel move but just have the trio take over the match and then Freebird-rule the briefcase and eventual title reign.
That’s right: Give all of New Day a WWE Title run. I’ve been saying it for years: When you have an act as popular as they are, who have dominated their division for as long as they have, while also being great ambassadors for the WWE, with clean records and good respect among their peers…what is that, if not a foundation for a main-event push? How many single superstars have checked those boxes and not gotten a run with the top belt, at least in the time following the era of one babyface holding the belt for years at a time? It’s not many. Superstars for the past twenty years that have been popular, respected, clean (and sometimes not even) and totally accomplished in the midcard, almost always moved up and received a run in the main-event, and usually received at least a token run with the top belt.
The only difference with New Day is you’re dealing with three remarkable talents instead of one. But just because there’s three of them shouldn’t stop WWE from putting the belt on them. If anything it’d add an extra layer of intrigue. As much as WWE loves to have “history-making” moments, that’d be a big one. A three-man champ and a trio of African-American champs? That’s a lot of headlines.
There’s also the debate as to whether Kofi Kingston should get the WWE Title run as a “thanks for paying your dues” sort of win, or if Big E should win it as a “here’s a young guy who can carry the company” sort of win. Why not both (and Xavier too)?
NO WAIT…NO, FINN BALOR SHOULD WIN MONEY IN THE BANK
For one thing, Finn never got his big title run a couple years ago, having it derailed by injury only one day after winning it. It was a momentum-killer he’s yet to recover from. For another thing, there’s the fact that his character, while certainly over, is lacking the spark that he had when he first debuted. His babyface character is really stale and he’s basically “smiling guy with abs who does the sling-blade.”
You can fix both problems with a MITB win. Balor wins the contest as a babyface, cashes-in on a babyface champ, turns heel and get his mojo back. Bing, bang, boom. As a capper, I’d have him cash-in on AJ Styles and use that as an opportunity to jump to SmackDown where he can complete the reset with a new cast of characters to work with. Win-Win all around.
So there. That’s who should win.
Or Samoa Joe.
Rusev’d be fun too.
Goodness knows Bobby Roode could use a reset.
Hmm, Kevin Owens?
And let’s not forget Braun Strowman…