They used to call Bob Backlund a creepy Howdy Doody. Now we get The Wyatt Family. Although their debut on Raw was not as big of an impact one could hope for, they got the point across, attacking Kane and possibly storyline-injuring him to the point of not being able to compete at Money in the Bank. Maybe one of the Wyatts will join the match. Or Paul London. I miss him.
I missed the mark on Wade Barrett possibly joining the Patriots of Zeb Colter. I thought for sure Barrett, who was on the biggest losing streak of his life while Intercontinental Champion, was set to be the next Patriot in the group. After Colter taunted Barrett and his foreign accent, it seems my hopes have been broken. No matter, the seven challengers for the World Title Money in the Bank contract, Wade Barrett, Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Dean Ambrose and Fandango are all top-notch mid-carders who will benefit greatly from holding the briefcase. My top three for this are Sandow, Ambrose, and Barrett. It has happened before where a mid-card titleholder (United States or Intercontinental Champion) has held the contract and the title simultaneously. Ambrose being boosted to main event seems like an easy ascension. For guys like Sandow and Barrett, being a main event could mean a major push and a major title run. The puzzling thing about this, as the only singles match involving World Title MITB challengers took place on SmackDown, with Barrett losing (surprise surprise) to Fandango.
Two points could be made two answer why only the challengers for the WWE Championship MITB match get more singles matches than the World Heavyweight one? First, perhaps WWE recognizes face vs. face matches actually get crowd interest, while heel vs. heel does not. True fact. Or, could it be the World Title contenders just are not drawing right now? Either point is a valid argument. I would hope the former is true, only because it makes more sense, and less of a behind-the-scenes belief of WWE Creative.
Sin Cara just sucks. WHY is he still around? He has a contract, and WWE probably does not want to pay him to sit at home and eat chips. Ziggler went up against Cesaro on Main Event, winning by DQ when Swagger interfered. Pulling triple-duty, Ziggler played a game of switcheroo, as it appeared he dressed up as Sin Cara to beat up Del Rio. Sin Cara should consider than an improvement. Sin Cara looked better when he wasn’t even Sin Cara?
I miss Shelton Benjamin. John Morrison too. When I think Money in the Bank, I think of these guys flying like circus acrobats on speed. They should replace Kane.
Randy Orton and Sheamus went at it on SmackDown, while Daniel Bryan handed Christian yet another loss. The conclusion of the show sees Orton with the MITB briefcase. Makes you wonder why Bryan got the spotlight on RAW, while Orton got it on SmackDown.
Time to break down the PPV lineup
Pre-show – WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos challenge Rollins & Reigns of The Shield for the titles. The Usos have gotten a lot of sudden push attempts in the past, but this is the biggest to-date. I hope Jimmy and Jey have a good showing, regardless whether they win the titles or not. It will also show what WWE has planned for the tag team division. Should the Usos lose, and then in a week The Colons or Tons of Funk start challenging, then we know the tag teams of WWE are going to be mere cannon fodder for The Shield, which would be disappointing. Yes, Rollins and Reigns are a dominant team, but it should not signify the burial of other pairings.
Intercontinental Championship – Miz vs. Curtis Axel
I do not see Axel losing. Their feud has been very short, and the whole idea is to get Axel over as a serious wrestler and not some one-shot wonder. Miz, sadly as a former WWE Champion makes a great stepping stone for Axel, and unless we see a major shift for The Awesome One, I fear Miz is nearing the end of his main event career, and inevitable stagnation in mid-card hell.
Cruiserweight Championship – Michael Dworkis vs. Zack Ryder
World Heavyweight Championship – Dolph Ziggler challenges Alberto del Rio
As I said earlier, Ziggler is getting the big face-push, but he is lacking one major item. A major championship. In order for Ziggler to finally be a serious main-eventer, he has to beat Del Rio and take home the gold. Now, if it just is not in the cards, then something crazy needs to happen, and by crazy, I mean AJ and Big E. Langston. I can see AJ fully heeling over Ziggler, costing him his match and the title. Ziggler gets a short feud with Langston before finally taking the title at SummerSlam. To be honest, this scenario does seem likely, in order to fully separate Ziggler from AJ, but I would much rather see Ziggler capture the championship, and then defend it against Big E. Langston. It would be smarter for WWE to put the belt back on Dolph Ziggler. Otherwise, he would have to go back as a heel, or continue to make squishy squashy out of 3MB. Ziggler is the next big thing WWE has in its arsenal, and the time is way overdue for them to give him the big push. He got injured, they got the belt off him. Fine. Time to put it back on. Just do it!
WWE Championship – Mark Henry vs. John Cena
The whole idea is Henry is tired of pandering and waiting and being the good loyal employee. He wants gold, and will get it by knocking everyone out of the way. Give him a hunting hat and a vest with a skull on it and he could be impersonating “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Except he is not, and this is a whole other gimmick. Henry took the heel route, something he is very good at, and runs with the notion he deserves the WWE Title because he was the good boy of the company for nearly 20 years, and now time for him to be recognized as the champion he is. The funny thing is, I agree. Remember when he won the World Heavyweight Championship about two years ago, it was a big deal because it was his FIRST World Championship in WWE! No, the ECW belt does not count. Gimmicks and storyline aside, Mark Henry might actually retire soon, and as someone who has been loyal to the McMahon family for almost 20 years, I think he deserves just one reign as WWE Champion. Even if he will have to drop the belt back to Cena or possibly the Money in the Bank winner in a few months. I believe Henry should be champion. Truth is, I do not know how much longer Henry intends to stick around, but if he has retirement on the brain, then my plan would be really workable for him. Maybe at the PPV itself. Henry should give the ultimatum, saying if he does not win the belt, he will retire. Career vs. Title Match. He beats Cena, but then loses to someone cashing in. Therefore Henry does not have the belt anymore, and thus retires. It would be a short and pathetically short one and only title run, but it gets the job done. It sounds silly, but this is WWE we are talking about here. I have doubts whether Henry really will win the big one, but I think after nearly 20 years with WWE, he deserves just one WWE Championship title reign.
Chris Jericho vs. Ryback
This could be a good match. It could also be terrible. WHY is this a match? Jericho poked fun at the Hungry Hippo? Waaah waaah waaaah. Ryback hugged Vickie. Storyline or not, it is bad for your career, and health.
Divas Title – Kaitlyn vs. AJ
This will break down into some sort of chaotic match. Kaitlyn has the tools to be a powerhouse Diva for years, but hopefully gimmicks and scripts do not hinder that. The Bellas are proving to be more annoying than ever. Normally being antagonists get you over as heels, except they are doing it to promote the project with E! for the reality show Total Divas. Funny, when you consider a reality show is being produced by a company which scripts fiction.
Money in the Bank Contract for the World Heavyweight Championship
It is a tough call. A lot of good talent will be in the ring, and I hope fans do not dismiss the match simply because it is full of scripted heels. It is important to remember, regardless of face or heel status, their in-ring ability largely remains unchanged. All seven participants: Cesaro, Sandow, Rhodes, Swagger, Barrett, Fandango, and Ambrose are all great ring workers. Ambrose will likely be the favorite, but it may not be a surprise if he does not win.
Money in the Bank Contract for the WWE Championship
What can be said? What more can be said? CM Punk. Rob Van Dam. Daniel Bryan. Three names. Big name. In one ladder match. We might get some ROH chants along with the inevitable EC-Dub ones. Sheamus, Orton, Kane, and Christian round out the challengers, and we know all seven excel in this type of match. Any one of these guys could walk away with the contract, but keep in mind a few things. Punk will face Lesnar at SummerSlam. Do not forget about Brock attacking Punk. Kane just got taken out by the Wyatts, he might not even be in the match at all. Rob Van Dam is a wild card, for sure.
I cannot tell you who will win, but I can tell you Money in the Bank will be damn exciting to watch this Sunday on Pay-Per-View.