SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
On Tuesday’s night Smackdown Live, Carmella retained her Money in the Bank briefcase in a re-do of the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. James Ellsworth gifted Carmella the briefcase at the PPV, so naturally, Smackdown law-and-order Daniel Bryan wanted a more definitive winner. He got it…and it was Carmella. Again.
So now, we’re right back where we started at the MITB PPV. But there’s another way WWE could’ve taken this. Rather than reinforce that Carmella is the rightful owner of the MITB contract, they could’ve used this do-over to, you know, actually do over the result. If there had been any justice in the WWE Universe, it would’ve been Becky Lynch who had walked out of Smackdown the winner.
It was Lynch who, the week before, asked Bryan in a backstage segment, “is doing the right thing really that complicated?” in reference to booking a possible rematch. It was Lynch who always seems to get jerked around, first by Charlotte before the roster split, then by Alexa Bliss after. She’s the Smackdown version of Bayley, standing for all that’s good in the world, even if it means constantly being dealt a losing hand.
Carmella did a great job in her Smackdown promos the last few weeks. I thought she was the obvious choice to win at MTIB, giving her something to do and a reason for the fans to care about her. I don’t think she gained anything, though, but winning the rematch. If anything, she lost the ability to whine about unfair treatment at the hands of the Smackdown GM. She and Ellsworth both. Losing would’ve also given her a ready-made feud with the new MITB contract holder, Lynch. That would go on while Naomi would continue her conquest of Lana, or Natalya, or whoever would be next for the champ.
Lynch would get the briefcase, giving a payoff to Bryan opting to do the right thing. Some say holding the MITB briefcase is more of a heel thing, but as Lance Storm recently pointed out on Twitter, the cash-in, if a surprise, always gets a babyface reaction anyway. Lynch cashing in unexpectedly would be her simply taking advantage of the rules of the game, something her Raw doppelganger couldn’t do at Extreme Rules, and a booking choice from which she’s still recovering. Every title in the WWE Universe is held by a heel right now, save for the Smackdown Women’s Title, so giving the briefcase to a babyface would give some hope that good can conquer evil.
I certainly don’t think Carmella holding the briefcase right now is a bad move. But it would’ve opened up so many more possibilities had someone else, namely Lynch, won it on Tuesday. Instead, it was a way for WWE to further pad out television by, in the end, treading water.
(Greg Parks joins Wade Keller on the PWTorch Livecast a couple times a month, usually after WWE Smackdown. Read additional columns from him at PWTorchVIP.com. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.)