We discuss the top three matches in our Money In The Bank preview.
Money In The Bank has become one of WWE’s go-to events. While the Money In The Bank match goes all the way back to WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles, the initial PPV wasn’t until 2010. On that show in 2010, Kane won the first Money In The Bank match of the evening, and then cashed it in on Rey Mysterio after Mysterio beat Jack Swagger to defend his World Heavyweight Championship. The Miz won the second one, setting up his title run.
Why is that important? I just realized that with the upcoming brand split, we may be back to two Money In The Bank matches on this show again.
For this show, it’s one of the strongest lineups they’ve ever had. You’d have to go back to the 2011 show after CM Punk’s infamous pipe bomb promo to find one that’s as anticipated as this show.
And why? Well, because it has three super strong matches that are all seen as main events.
AJ Styles vs John Cena is probably the most looked-forward to match of the night because it’s their first ever matchup and the build-up has been strong.
The Money In The Bank ladder match is generally a strong match and with some of the best wrestlers in the company in the match, the expectation is that it could be one of the best multi-man ladder matches in company history.
Seth Rollins trying to get back a championship he never lost should be a great storyline, but it’s not so far. Rollins has been flat ever since his return and it’s not even his fault. He’s in a feud with a flat champion and the crowd doesn’t want him to be in the role he’s in. Sounds familiar.
I asked some of the crew to give their thoughts and predictions for the top three matches on the show.
Seth Rollins Vs Roman Reigns
Big D’s prediction: Rollins by DQ (probably)
This feud is JUST getting started and I think we’re in for a series, likely to be blown off at SummerSlam. I think the psychology is all wrong here as Seth will continued to be cheered and Roman will continue to be booed. I never felt these two had THAT much chemistry, but Seth will make it work. Since this is just chapter 1, I predict a non-finish; a DQ or something like that in favor of Seth.
GG’s prediction: Rollins
I think Rollins needs to win the belt. I know that some think that after all this time, Roman should get a nice run because of how long he’s failed before. But with the brand split coming, he could get the second belt if it’s necessary. But I think that Roman, even in not being all that strong anyway, will be strongest in continuing to chase the belt.
It should be a bit of a screwy finish, maybe aligning Seth with a new Shield-type group. But if they’re waiting for Roman to take off, beating Seth clean in the middle won’t be the way to do it. The fans just don’t want to see it.
Money In The Bank Ladder Match
GG’s prediction: Kevin Owens
Originally, I saw Dean Ambrose as the guy to win the match, and I think I’d have him second on my list. Just a few months ago, it seemed like he was a good bet to win this match. He was facing Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania after being in the main event picture. But his match with Lesnar left him worse off than before and the feud with Chris Jericho didn’t really help him much.
During that same timeframe, Owens has been the opposite. He’s been hot. He’s had more time to perfect his heel character coming off much more polished than he was just last year, especially with his promos. The only part of me that wonders if he wins this match is simply how Vince McMahon feels about him. Based on how he’s booked, I don’t gather that McMahon likes him too much. That doesn’t generally stop non-McMahon favs from winning this match as guys like Damien Sandow and Daniel Bryan have won it before. I just wonder how much they’re really and truly into him.
Personally, I’d love to see a guy like Cesaro win. But we know that’s not happening.
Duan’s prediction: Dean Ambrose
This is one of the more interesting money in the bank lineups of recent memory. With 4 of the 6 guys having never held the title previously, I think we’re probably going to see WWE put their weight behind somebody new here. The two re-threads (Jericho and Del Rio) look to be there to make up the numbers and I’d be stunned if either was to leave with the briefcase. Cesaro seems unlikely and it’s too early for Zayn. That leaves two. My choice would be Owens. He’s been WWE’s best big match performer and most consistent allrounder in 2016. Knowing the way the company works though, it will be Ambrose. It’s his turn.
AJ Styles Vs John Cena
Alan’s prediction: AJ Styles
This really has the feeling of some classic Cena matches of the past – vs Owens in 2015, Danielson in 2013 and Punk in 2011. The simple story of Cena vs beloved indy god in a big PPV spot always seems to deliver. The only question mark here is ring rust. I think the match will be kept pretty clean and it will be given a ton of time, so the opportunity will be theirs to have a classic. If Cena is the same Cena who was having tons of great matches last year, and there’s no major ring rust well then look out because we might have a MOTY on our hands. We know what we’re going to get from AJ. At this point he’s one of the biggest sure things in wrestling.
Alex’s prediction: AJ Styles
I think people should take a moment and really understand the context surrounding this match. I grew up watching AJ Styles on America One network wrestling for a small independent promotion in Georgia called NWA-Wildside. Wildside will likely never get the credit it deserves for producing AJ, Abyss, and a lot of others who have been seen over the years in TNA. Wildside didn’t apologize for being a southern promotion and in the post WWF expansion world, many promotions have shied away from that approach. He had a cup of coffee with WCW which no one remembers, then signed with TNA. He was known for having good matches, but everything changed after the signing of Kurt Angle. It seemed like a moment where AJ went to college, and I think his programs and matches with Kurt prepared him well for where he is today.
John Cena was developed in UPW, which was a feeder system for the WWE. John had no reason to develop independent bonafides, because at that time it was seen as a hindrance. Things have changed where many guys see it as a foot in the door, but that is fairly recent phenomenon. CM Punk, who is given credit for opening the company’s eyes to the indy scene, spent many years in their system before he was given the ball. Now, guys are fast tracked into primetime playing positions.
John then spent some time in Ohio Valley Wrestling (another feeder system) before he was called up to the big time. His super hero looks and his ability to think on his feet saved him his job, and is what led him to be the top guy of this generation.
John Cena has no reason to endorse this new way of thought. It isn’t the system that created him, and he would have an incentive to protect the way he came up. It would validate him as a top guy. Yet, he gives his legitimacy to the new breed of talent. I don’t think at anytime in pro wrestling history would a top guy feel the need to do this. That is what makes John Cena different.
It isn’t yet known if moving forward high level independent wrestlers will make up the main events of WWE programming. This phase could be cut off easily, or maybe there is already a recognition that the future stars need this type of development. AJ vs Cena will be exciting and if AJ is validated, it will mean a lot for him and everyone who follows.