WrestleMania 31 Preview: Two Days To Go

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In case you were wondering, since WWE was not going to do Money in the Bank at WrestleMania anymore, we get a massive ladder match. Really, just sub out the briefcase and put in a belt. Same difference. Same awesome.

If you look at it close, you can see this is a very Money in the Bank situation. Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan, Luke Harper, R-Truth, Stardust, and Wade Barrett are all easy picks for a Money in the Bank match. Come July, do not be shocked if we see this exact match again, but with a briefcase instead of a title.

 

Question here becomes, Que Bono? Who benefits?

R-Truth and Wade Barrett, sadly, the answer is: Not at all. Barrett and the Intercontinental Championship are a curse. Separately they each seem to be respected, together, treated like complete trash. Am I wrong? Barrett when was the last time Barrett won as champion? I don’t, and that pisses me off. He has the right tools, but for whatever reason, something just flopped. R-Truth, he could win the title, he’s been a singles champ before, but he’ll be treated like a placeholder for the next titleholder. Although lately his antics have gotten laughs from live audiences and the fans at home, the shtick wears off, unless he brings Little Jimmy back. Now imagine Little Jimmy somehow assisting Truth with winning. There is no doubt the guy has a funny character and can amuse the crowd, so it is not a stretch to say he could win, it is more of a matter of where he can go from there.

 

Who might benefit? Daniel Bryan and Luke Harper:

Luke Harper could benefit from another reign because he’s the big tree everyone wants a shot to chop down. He will be big and tough, and to push someone, you need it to be against someone who can be perceived as able to beat anyone, but be defeated as well. Harper fits that role, as a big bad boss at the end of a level for a new mid-tier hero to defeat.

Daniel Bryan. I’m going to get hate mail for this, but right now there is nowhere else for him to go. He could potentially benefit simply by being recognized as champion, and feuding with another high profile mid-tier talent such as Dolph Ziggler or Dean Ambrose. To be honest, the IC title would merely MacGuffin material, in other words, the excuse Bryan/Ziggler/Ambrose/insert other mid-tier guy who we want main eventing, would need to start a feud. Bryan is main event material, and so are Ziggler and Ambrose, but right now there is no room for them until Reigns and Lesnar finish their feud.

 

Who will benefit? Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Stardust:

Call me crazy, but Stardust could benefit the most. Right now after splitting from his brother, no one in the audience knows where he will end up. A championship reign keeps him relevant, and a feud, with the title, with his brother could turn very interesting. Ziggler and Ambrose are the obvious best choices because they both have a huge fan following right now, and would certainly appease the live crowd to see either one of them win. Question becomes, what happens next? Well, Ambrose can finish his feud with Barrett, retaining the title one would think, or Ziggler can be touted as following in the footsteps of either Chris Jericho or Shawn Michaels by racking up the IC title reigns. Ziggler + belt = money. Ambrose + belt = money.

How about that wildcard I threw in there? Mr. Stardust. Since his brother Goldust is in the Andre the Giant Memorial, it is not a stretch for Stardust to eliminate his brother, or for Goldust to exact a measure of revenge during the ladder match. Or, nothing may happen at all and the brother vs. brother angle is completely dropped. Stardust does not have much to go on right now, where everyone else involved in this feud can go anywhere post-Mania. A title win for Starry would be unexpected, shocking, but yet likely welcomed and cheered. Remember the Money in the Bank from two years ago? Cody Rhodes stole the match, even though he lost, but wound up being put into some high-profile feuds with The Authority which ultimately brought The Dusts together in the first place. Cody-dust has potential, it is a matter of whether it is time to bring it back out.

To sum this up, I have no clue who will win. Anyone could be perceived as a potential championship winner here. I believe what matters most is how each one comes out of the match and their next steps. Will losers fade into obscurity? Will the winner continue this Barry Horowitz-like trend? There is no doubt in my mind the match will be intense and absolutely show-stealing.