SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
At this point, I’d say WWE Money in the Bank has elevated itself into the big four events of the year, finally outlasting the pesky Survivor Series brand vs. brand abomination every year.
It’s fact, but I’m not sure WWE knows it yet. This is a quiet card that makes clear why the move out of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and into a smaller “intimate” venue was made. The Money in the Bank ladder matches are leading the focus of the show and outside of those, a couple women’s championship matches and a tag team match anchor the undercard.
As I said, quiet, but quiet doesn’t necessarily mean bad. The build to this event hasn’t been as quiet as the card itself. For the first time since the pandemic, it appears we have the Money in the Bank matches meaningful and serious enough to be worthy of the stakes at hand. In both the men’s and women’s matches, the majority of competitors have a story going with the world championship at the center.
The undercard? That’s a little rough. Both the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championship matches have had paint by numbers builds and carry zero drama in terms of an outcome. Plus, the United States Championship match between Theory and Bobby Lashley is rooted in rogue baby oil being sprayed around like a sprinkler. The Usos vs. The Street Profits had a nice little feud that should culminate in a match of the night contender, so all good on that front.
Call this a preview, a calm look into the distant future, or a gaze into a wondrous crystal ball; just don’t hold me to anything, ok?
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, Asuka, Becky Lynch, Shotzi, Raquel Rodriguez vs. Lacey Evans
You can make the argument that a handful of these women could reasonably win the Money in the Bank briefcase during this match and that is a good position to be in if you’re WWE. The only two women without legit credibility behind them at this point are Alexa Bliss and Shotzi. The world championship has been central to this build and that emphasis makes things infinitely more interesting. Becky Lynch is the hot pick, but I’ll take Lacey Evans. She’s been given a ton of time on television and a story rooted in winning. Evans losing here would be wasteful even by WWE standards.
Theory vs. Bobby Lashley – WWE United States Championship
All this because of a few sprays of baby oil? Good grief. The United States Championship itself hasn’t been nearly enough of a focus throughout this build, which tells me we’re unlikely to see it change hands. Theory is Vince McMahon’s shiny new toy, so he takes this and secures the biggest win of his career to this point.
The Usos vs. The Street Profits – WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championship
The best built match on the show. Both teams feel like the biggest tag teams in the company and they are clashing for the biggest prize that the company offer them. The Usos are becoming an act that is almost impossible to fair negatively against and The Street Profits have been able to capitalize on that reality. The Profits have shown a strict tone of seriousness since becoming top contenders for these titles and it’s played nicely instead of the hype guys that they’ve previously been. A match of the night contender here and one that The Usos lock down to retain their championships.
Bianca Belair vs. Carmella – WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Not the original planned match, so not much of a build. Carmella isn’t a credible challenger at this point, so look for Belair to win decisively.
Ronda Rousey vs. Natalya – WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Ohhhh dear. These days Rousey matches feel like such a chore. Don’t get me wrong, she’s unique and intriguing to watch in the ring, but her stories are regularly backward due to the fact that she comes across so negatively as a babyface. They are trying to make the audience believe Nattie will tap Rousey out and well, she just won’t. Very hard to believe. Good try, WWE, but Rousey takes this by submission.
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus, vs. Madcap Moss, vs. Riddle vs. Sami Zayn vs. Omos
Good build. Like the women’s match, the title has mattered a lot throughout this, which again, simply the makes the match lineup smoothly with the stakes at hand. The Cody Rhodes interview appearance makes the match tough to predict. After seeing that, Rollins would be a smart pick due to Cody’s inevitable return and quest for the title that the MITB briefcase may allow Rollins to get. So, Rollins is a safe choice. However, if WWE knows that Rollins is the safe choice, they maybe go McIntyre, so he can call his shot and cash in at the UK stadium show against Roman Reigns. There are stories elsewhere in this match, but those are most relevant. I like the Rollins route, if he’s going to be foil for Cody upon his return, solid wins are important along the way.