SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
So it’s possible, even likely, that I’m going to get all of these wrong.
1. Hype Bros vs. The Colons (Pre-show?)
This was a late addition and a much needed one given how empty these cards have been. With so much attention given to the 2 Money in the Bank matches, a lot of wrestlers have been afterthoughts. The biggest exception has been The Fashion Police, who have been pushed heavily but do not feature on this card. Once again I have to say, you can have tag matches between multiple teams who are not split in heel vs. face. You can have Breezango vs. Hype Bros vs. The Colons. Have The Colons get a pin over Breezango in questionable circumstances, then give Hype Bros the win.
Obviously with the Hype Bros just returning, the only way they’re going to lose is if one of them double crosses the other. Now while I can see that happening on the basis of Ryder needed protection as he returns from injury and both of them needing a feud, I don’t see it happening on the pre-show.
Would be good though, wouldn’t it? Rawley’s offence would suit being a heel and Ryder has immense fan support behind him already. If only.
Winner: Hype Bros
2. The Usos vs. The New Day (Smackdown Tag Team Championships)
I do not want either team to lose this. The Usos have been great at the top of the tag team tree and it’s no coincidence how much things have improved in that division since they won the titles.
On the other hand, The New Day are one of the top draws in the company right now. It would add more momentum to the tag division if they were to win it.
Last month I said that The Usos would beat Breezango so that they could then lose them to The New Day. Now I’m not so sure. With the Hype Bros coming back and a lack of quality heels in the division it makes more sense for The Usos to keep the belts until at least Summerslam.
Winner: The Usos
3. AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Men‘s Money in the Bank)
Last month I said that the loser of the Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin match would win this match. At the time I thought Zayn would lose. Instead, Corbin lost, and lost again last week on Smackdown.
Baron Corbin’s momentum has ground to a halt but he is one of the few cases in which this has been a good thing. He’s suffered a few losses and shown a few weaknesses – which is always an important part of a character. Given how heavily he was pushed after his debut it’s always good to have little periods without prominence so as to avoid becoming victim to the Reigns effect.
There are 3 people here who definitely do not need the briefcase and clearly have other things to be getting on with. Those 3 people are Kevin Owens, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. Owens and Styles have unfinished business and all 3 of them are too big to not have a program going into Summerslam. Ziggler is a maybe but given his past with the briefcase and the fact that he’s a precious main event level heel he will also be needed elsewhere come Summerslam. This leaves Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin as clear favourites.
The annoying thing is that they both deserve it, and both could do great things with it. That said, this match should be a tremendous showcase for Corbin, in much the same way that the chairs match at TLC was. He is an attitude era hardcore street fighting mother shut your mouth.
Winner: Baron Corbin
4. Naomi vs. Lana (Smackdown Women’s Championship)
Naomi desperately needs a win. Desperately. Last week was her first win as champion since beating Alexa Bliss 2 nights after Wrestlemania. She has to win this one.
It’s been clear since the shake up that Natalya and Naomi were the focus for the first few months so that the division isn’t all horsewomen. Both women have been rewarded with plenty of prominence but Naomi has been the only one laying down at every opportunity to make Carmella a credible threat.
So what about Lana? Lana effectively joined the Welcoming Committee last week. This is good because in a division of 7, a group of 4 is simply too big and is thus guaranteed to splinter. Her chances of winning this match though? Slim to none. To my knowledge, Russia is not an emerging market. If Lana wins we’re almost guaranteed to have a cash in before the night is out.
5. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya Neidhart vs. Tamina Snuka (Women‘s Money in the Bank)
As I said before, Naomi and Natalya have been pushed in the hope of drawing them level with Becky and Charlotte at the top of the card. This has worked, though the job isn’t quite done. With this in mind, I expect Natalya to be the next women’s champion. She doesn’t need the briefcase to do this. She is yet to wrestle Naomi and I completely believe that she will win it from her the second she does.
Tamina is too fresh to this for me. It’s also a match that doesn’t favour heavy hitters. Do they see a future for her? I’m not sure. She hasn’t been given much of anything to do so far so she can’t really be blamed for not doing much of anything herself. It seems like it would suit her to continue as the heel enforcer to Natalya, leaving Carmella and Lana to team up elsewhere.
Imagine Rusev and James Ellesworth on the same team. Yes, it will be hilarious.
Of course, this leaves us wondering where the future of the division is. The briefcase is usually the answer to that. I stand by my original belief that it is now Carmella’s turn to rise up the card. She’s comfortable in her position and dumping James Ellesworth would instantly transition her to face. Her loyalties haven’t been fully fleshed out, meaning that she could pin Naomi or Natalya without either seeming out of character.
For me, it’s all Carmella.
6. Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship)
Eurgh. I do not want to see any more of this feud. I know that the rumour is that we’ll see Cena take the belt from Mahal at Summerslam and thus break the championship record but I personally would rather see Cena come back and take the US title from Owens.
That said, I never saw Mahal coming. I don’t know.
Summerslam is always built on big draw matches. That means your Lesnars, your Cenas, your Reigns and your Jericho. I’m sure Mahal will get a big match at Summerslam, but maybe not this one. Just, you know, not this one.
Winner: Randy Orton
I’ll see you for another live Twitter session during Money in the Bank 2017.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS PPV PREVIEW ARTICLE: PPV OUTCOMES & IMPLICATIONS – WWE MONEY IN THE BANK: Orton vs. Jinder, MITB ladder matches, Usos vs. New Day, Naomi vs. Lana