LONDON—As we move closer toward this year’s big Money in the Bank event (which is made even bigger now by having it contested across both brands) it’s a great time to take a quick look at the WWE’s championship and midcard scenes.
Money in the Bank has largely been used as a way to propel deserving up-and-comers up to the main event, usually testing the waters on whether they fit as champions. Sometimes, on rarer occasions, they’re given to more established veterans as a backup “in,” a quick fix to the championship scene when necessary. Quickly looking at the developing Money in the Bank matches across both the men and women, we see that it’ll likely be another midcarder boosted to the main event.
I know the match lineups haven’t been finalized yet, but I figured we could already rank which among the confirmed participants need the briefcase the most. And since there are still some empty spots, I’ll also pitch in a few unconfirmed people who need to be competing for Money in the Bank. Let’s begin:
The illnesses of Rusev with this current creative team are too many to mention, but if you want a quick fix for the deserving Lion of Bulgaria, Money in the Bank is it. Rusev’s the kind of guy they just can’t seem to always have any ideas for, so perhaps he might be better off lurking in the shadows with the briefcase in hand. Besides, it’ll be fun to watch his charismatic self keep teasing the cash-in after every big match AJ Styles (or Shinsuke Nakamura, as the case may be) is involved in.
2. Becky Lynch
Over on the women’s side of things, Lynch is the counterpart to Rusev—always there, able to put on good shows, but not always having something to go on. There’s way more room to speculate over on the women’s divisions, but as of now, I’d want Lynch to be the next Ms. Money in the Bank (as I wanted her to be last year, when it was first on SmackDown Live).
3. Kofi Kingston
The New Day gets to send one member to the Money in the Bank match after this week’s episode of SmackDown Live, and honestly, I see this to be the angle that gets their inevitable breakup going. Kingston is the most deserving of the three, being the 10+ year veteran and biggest name among them. But don’t discount…
4. Big E
If the New Day is ever slated to win this and it’s not Kofi, I’m giving it to Big E. Big E better fits the so-called “championship material” mold of Vince McMahon, and his personality and work have developed enough since he was first called up to the main roster to justify a Big E singles run.
5. Kevin Owens
I assume Sami Zayn will find his way into the match as well, but I think Owens could use the leverage of having the briefcase with him. RAW needs more new main eventers when they’re finally done with Brock Lesnar, and what better guy than the second-ever WWE Universal Champion in Owens? Reestablish him really quick and have him tease cash-ins.
6. Bobby Roode
I’m putting Roode high up here because the only important reason he has for being Mr. Money in the Bank is to facilitate a long-awaited heel turn. That’s it, really.
7. The Miz
Many have been calling for another Miz championship run after his stellar work in the midcard over the past two years, and I agree with them. That said, I actually don’t think Miz needs the briefcase—given the shallow pools over on SmackDown Live, especially once AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura are finished with each other, he could easily make the jump to the world title scene. He is entertaining with the briefcase, though.
8. Finn Balor
As with Bobby Roode, I’m only advocating a Balor Money in the Bank run if it means he’s turning heel too. Though I do think he could be the guy to make a good face run with the briefcase, which is something we don’t see very often.
9. Alexa Bliss
Little Miss Bliss could use the briefcase, especially after Carmella’s success with it over the past year, but as with the Miz, I think the RAW women’s division is shallow enough for her to find her way back in without the contract.
10. Xavier Woods
I think Woods is just fine in the midcard right now, and I don’t envision a big singles run for him yet. He won’t need this win this year.
11. Ember Moon
The newcomer to the RAW women’s division is supposed to be this badass, take-no-prisoners athlete, so I don’t think she’ll jive well right now with the briefcase—unless they plan for a nice face run with it to boost her profile. She’ll definitely be a dark horse contender for the contract.
12. Charlotte Flair
See Alexa Bliss and the Miz. Really, what for? She’s always on top of the SmackDown women’s division, and she’ll be sharing that spot with Asuka and current SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella.
13. Braun Strowman
Why would you need to give Braun Strowman a briefcase? In the same words Daniel Bryan once told Big Cass, why would a guy who’s seven foot tall need to sneak up on someone?
People who need to be competing for the contract
The midcard’s pretty much covered by the men’s match, so if they want a true wildcard, they’ll put in Elias from RAW.
Something tells me that Owens’s inclusion means Zayn isn’t far behind as well. I mean, what else would he do (other than feuding with Lashley)?
Can you imagine the threat of Samoa Joe looming in every title match, though? I’d be scared if I were any of the two world champs.
There are 4 spots left in the women’s ladder match, so I expect Banks to be in this.
Wherever Banks goes, I expect Bayley to follow as well, as with Zayn and Owens.
We’re still looking for two more ladies from SmackDown, so I think only one member of the Iiconics gets in.
Why would you leave out one of the better parts of the first-ever women’s Money in the Bank match though?
Who are your picks and predictions? Let’s talk about it!
Do you listen to podcasts? Would you want to listen to a local podcast about pro wrestling? If the answers to those questions – especially that last one – are yes, then you should check out the cleverly-named Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast, featuring PWR General Manager Stan Sy, wrestling writer and Wrestling God Romeo Moran, and all-around multimedia person and former voice of PWR Raf Camus! On this week’s episode, the boys speak with PWR president Jake de Leon in the home stretch of this year’s biggest PWR show, Wrevolution X! Listen to it here! – Rappler.com