So it’s possible, even likely, that I’m going to get all of these wrong.
1. The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The Good Brothers (Smackdown Tag Team Championships, Pre-Show)
The Smackdown tag team division last year was basically just The Usos and The New Day. Now we have the Bludgeons on the build, Sheamus and Cesaro raring to go and the Good Brothers with a point to prove. Sadly, especially with Sanity coming in soon too, six teams is too many. The Usos and Sheamus and Cesaro didn’t even make the pre-show in the dual brand era.
At this time of year a lot of talent get minor pushes that they won’t get come Summerslam once your part timers return to action. See The B Team. Over on Smackdown, it’s the Good Brothers.
Winner: Bludgeon Brothers
2. Seth Rollins vs. Elias (Intercontinental Championship)
Even with everything else lined up, this has the potential to be match of the night.
Both Rollins and Elias are on fire at the moment, with Elias being a great example of someone getting over without racking up many actual wins. His catchphrases resonate beautifully and he clearly has a lot of in ring talent.
This match will help build Elias’ obvious star power but it is not yet his time to be the Intercontinental Championship. We still live in the age of Monday Night Rollins.
Winner: Seth Rollins
3. Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn
Boring. This feud has been lacklustre but to be fair it’s only happening at all to establish Bobby Lashley.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Carmella vs. Asuka (Smackdown Women‘s Championship
As a technical master class this match is going to fall far short. As a piece of storytelling it’s going to be great.
Asuka and Carmella have an almost confusing amount of history. Way back at Survivor Series Carmella established a character trait that she is literally terrified of Asuka. She runs away from Asuka in the same way that Bliss would always placate, run and hide from Nia Jax.
I want to say Asuka because I love Asuka. Unfortunately it’s getting very hard to ignore those James Ellsworth rumours, isn’t it? And if there’s one thing that makes sense, it’s that Ellsworth would help Carmella.
Winner: Asuka via DQ
4. Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass
This feud can’t continue to be exactly the same as it has been. That means something’s got to change and there’s one obvious potential change. Cass could take a win.
That would lead them into yet another feud and another match to act as decider but given that the whole point of this feud is to establish Cass as a big deal and a recognisable name against someone with big draw value. If Cass doesn’t get any wins then there’s surely not much point in having the feud at all.
Winner: Big Cass
5. Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks vs. Ember Moon vs. Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Naomi vs. Lana (Women‘s Money In The Bank)
This match has the potential to be total chaos.
Good stories could come from practically any of the potential winners, which is everyone. My prediction is based on the direction that the company seem to be taking the Raw Woman’s Championship and, particularly, the fact that Jax vs. Rousey will be happening on the same night. With that I have to go with Natalya.
Natalya is a veteran and one of the most experienced and capable in ring performers on the WWE roster. WWE and myself are confident that a feud between Natalya and Rousey will get the best out of both. How do you trigger that? Have one as champion and one with the briefcase.
6. Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal
This is assuming that this match isn’t the main event, of course.
Chicago is going to cheer the hell out of Jinder Mahal. That’s a given at this point. It’s going to look very good on TV in India because Mahal is going to look like an absolute hero.
I don’t know where either of these men go after this, so I’m assuming that this feud will be carried on leading into Summerslam. Now, as much as Roman Reigns is always supposed to win, and as much as I get upset when he doesn’t (my fourteen kids always cry, you see) my money’s on Jinder for this one.
Jinder has spent the last year as the most pushed wrestler in the company, even higher than Strowman or Rollins. That push isn’t over. There’s a reason I predicted his move in the shakeup and his first feud. Now, Jinder has made some interesting comments recently about a storm coming. Does he mean James Storm?
Let’s be fair, he probably means Khali again, but I can definitely see some shenanigans in a finish that sees Reigns pinned.
Winner: Jinder Mahal
7. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship, Last Man Standing)
This match should be the main event and, of course, it could be.
We’ve seen a lot of different iterations of this match. All in all this will be their fifth one on one encounter in just over two months. While the match quality has been higher, we know these men can do better.
Styles always excels in a no DQ environment. His TLC match against Ambrose and his time in the Elimination Chamber is proof of that. He’s both amazing in the ring and tremendous at getting beaten up. This match should suit both men in this regard. The question is where next. For me, Samoa Joe should still be the next challenger.
For that story to work, AJ Styles would retain and Shinsuke Nakamura, his star infinitely brighter, will drop down from the top heel spot into the US title division.
Winner: AJ Styles
8. Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Roode vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz vs. Rusev vs. Samoa Joe vs. a New Day member (Men‘s Money In The Bank)
I would say that there are less likely winners in this match than in the women’s match. Bobby Roode, as an example, has no chance of winning this match.
I think it’s safe to eliminate every Raw competitor with the exception of Braun Strowman simply because none of them would be believeable to beat Brock Lesnar even if they cashed in on a broken, bleeding and bruised Lesnar. It’s Lesnar, that don’t work.
Meanwhile on the other side you can eliminate New Day, despite how excited I am by the concept of Styles vs. Kofi or Woods. I would also expect Joe to be in the title picture with no briefcase involved because they need someone of his talent and stature in that position.
For me, one story can and will trump all potential others. The Miz cashing in on Daniel Bryan.
Winner: The Miz
9. Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey (Raw Women‘s Championship)
Nia Jax has not had a good title run. She was treated as a big deal for one hot tag but since then she’s barely even been involved. This feud was put together terribly. It all seemed very last minute, undercooked and poorly planned.
Which, to me, suggests that WWE want the title off of Jax. Rousey should not lose her first match, for the title or not, especially if the plan is for her to lead the division.
I expected her next match after mania to be in a team with Natalya against James and Bliss. That would then lead into a feud with Natalya, who has essentially been put with Rousey to train and coach. If this is what’s happening then something has changed and changed drastically backstage.
As such, I see Rousey taking it.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
I’ll see you on Twitter @Colohue for another live tweet session of Money In The Bank 2018.