Hustle Is Posting Right Now - Money In The Bank Predictions
Jul 12, 2013 - 9:46:06 AM
Writer's Note: When Money In The Bank is over, join LoP Radio for our live post-show, where we break down what happened during the show, look ahead to Raw, and interact with our listeners. No matter what happens during the pay-per-view, there's going to be plenty to discuss. Save this link..
Money In The Bank Post-Show
"I got money in the bank.. shawty, what ya drank.."
Oh, hey, it's another pay-per-view. You know what that means.. it's time to make some predictions. As always, along with my outright predictions, I'll also discuss the results that I would book if I was in charge of things. Sometimes the answers will be the same. Sometimes they won't be. That's all part of the fun. No more wasting time, though. I have a lot to discuss, so let's get on with it.
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns VS The Usos - WWE Tag Team Title Match (Pre-Show)
I won't talk about how the mighty have fallen, but damn, it's really weird to see any members of The Shield competing on a pay-per-view pre-show after the scorching hot start to their WWE careers, but.. here we are. This is a weird match, in my opinion. The Usos are the title contenders that people have been waiting to see for years now. There were a few times that it looked like they would be pushed, and then the pushes disappeared. They're clearly the underdogs here, going up against two-thirds of a stable that has beaten and/or beaten up the likes of John Cena, The Undertaker, The Rock, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Big Show, Kane, and so on. At face value, it doesn't look good. However, if you look a little deeper, you could make an argument that The Usos should be bigger threats. With all of the current and former World/WWE/WWF/WCW/ECW Champions that The Shield have mowed through, it's usually random singles wrestlers thrown together. On top of that, it's occasionally singles wrestlers who were feuding with each other as they entered the matches. In the world of kayfabe, it's difficult to have the proper chemistry to win matches when you're just thrown in with partners who you aren't used to, especially against The Shield, who have been booked to be so fluid.. so machine-like.. so perfect in their in-ring chemistry. Now, they're facing off against an actual team, consisting of twin brothers that have obviously been together all their lives. I think Jimmy and Jey are going to surprise a lot of people, in one of the biggest matches of their careers. Mind you, I don't think they're going to win, nor should they, but this is their opportunity to prove to the WWE Universe that they do belong in the title picture. If they perform well under this type of spotlight, expect big things from them in the future.
Who Will Win: The Shield (Still Champions)
Who Should Win: The Shield
Chris Jericho VS Ryback - Singles Match
Yuck. I'm not looking forward to this one. I don't think it will be terrible. In fact, I don't even think it will be bad. As overrated as I've said Chris Jericho is, I have no doubt that he will do the damn thang, as the saying goes, and help to carry Ryback to something decent here. I just think the feud that has led up to the match is stupid. I'm not one to defend the Ryback heel character, but holy shit, they went from booking him to be a monster to booking him to be "Cryback", quitting matches because of injuries, and it happened nearly overnight. If you look at both men, one thing a piece is what stands out. For Jericho, you have the constant breaks that he takes to deal with the other ventures in his life. For Ryback, you have the rumors of him possibly gaining Vickie Guerrero as a manager/mouthpiece (the fact that it took this long for management to realize Ryback shouldn't be cutting his own promos blows my mind). You really can't push Ryback much farther down the proverbial totem pole, can you? He's one step away from losing in dark matches and on Superstars. If he loses here.. he hasn't won a match on pay-per-view since last year's Money In The Bank event.. what's the point in giving him any sort of manager? You'd be better off releasing him at that point. As I've said time and time again, Jericho is a bit of a "Teflon Guy" at this stage in his career. He can lose to this guy, lose to that guy, lose in this manner, lose in that fashion.. but he'll remain over, and he can be inserted into a top-tier match/feud with no real problem at all. He doesn't need this win. Ryback damn sure does.
Who Will Win: Ryback
Who Should Win: Ryback
Curtis Axel VS The Miz - Singles Match for the Intercontinental Title
Yuck, part deux. I just want The Miz to go away. That isn't asking for too much, is it? It really is a chore to get through his work these days, whether it's a match, a promo, a segment or commentary. Compared to Miz, Axel's level of being interesting is through the roof. The day of Money In The Bank will be Axel's 28th day as the Intercontinental Champion. Regardless of what you think of the Axel character, or even of Axel's in-ring work, is this too soon to take the title off of him after everything that has gone into putting him in this spot in the first place? I'm thinking it is. The man's in-ring work is getting better (he wasn't exactly bad to begin with, mind you), so, as long as they keep him the fuck away from live microphones and let Paul Heyman actually do his job, I think they could have quite the solid midcard guy. Do I think The Miz goes away forever with a loss here? Of course not. It still wouldn't surprise me if he's the one to take the title from Axel at some point. I just don't think it happens here.
Who Will Win: Curtis Axel (Still Champion)
Who Should Win: Curtis Axel
AJ Lee VS Kaitlyn - Singles Match for the Divas Ttitle
This is more like it. A feud that has entertained me. A match that will feature two people I don't mind looking at. A match that has multiple directions the outcome could take us, involving turns, swerves, etc. From everything that I've seen, the "popular" pick is Kaitlyn winning the match and getting the Divas Title back. I've seen it happen via a variety of ways..
- Big E Langston turning on AJ, showing that he had feelings for Kaitlyn all along
- Dolph Ziggler coming out and accidentally distracting AJ
- Dolph turning on AJ, basically as "revenge" for her not listening to advice about Kaitlyn recently
- Big E having interference backfire on him, which will lead to the split between the trio
Among others. I don't think I've seen anyone call for a clean pinfall victory, without any shenaniganery, for Kaitlyn.
However, if we look at the other side of the coin, we have rumors that Layla will be the person to turn, and she will cost Kaitlyn the match, or at least attack her when the match is over. If that happens, you'd have to expect Kaitlyn to commit suicide on live television, seeing as how close to a full-fledged breakdown after losing the Divas Title. If she was unsuccessful in getting the title back and she lost her only true remaining friend, she'd lose it and lose it completely. Like Curtis Axel, the day of Money In The Bank will be AJ Lee's 28th day as champion, and I think it's too soon to take the title from her. For everything she's done to get people to pay attention to the Divas division and actually care about what was going on, to give her a Divas Title reign of less than a full month would be a crime. Personally, I think there's money to be made in giving her a title reign where she continues to escape with win after win, only to have a new challenger (*cough*Paige*cough*) become a star by taking the belt from her down the road. I'm just saying.
Who Will Win: AJ Lee (Still Champion)
Who Should Win: AJ Lee
Dean Ambrose, Antonio Cesaro, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Jack Swagger, Fandango - World Title Money In The Bank
Save the "this is bad booking because they're all heels" drama for your mamas, ladies and gentlemen. The people complaining about this, and the all-face lineup in the WWE Title Money In The Bank, are forgetting that Philadelphia is the host city of the event. This is a city that doesn't give a fuck about "heels" and "faces". They cheer who they want. They boo who they want. In this match alone, you have people like Ambrose and Cesaro who are probably going to be crazy over as "faces", and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Rhodes and maybe even Sandow get a favorable crowd reaction. Stop being concerned with things that won't matter, folks.
This is a match that features seven competitors, all of whom I can legitimately see winning, for one reason or another. Even someone like Fandango, who has seen his push and crowd reaction die down a lot, could pull this off because of the beauty that is Money In The Bank.. the winner has a full 365 days before they have to cash in. That means a winner doesn't have to be at World/WWE Title level at the time of their victory. As we've seen countless times in the history of pro wrestling, a wrestler can easily.. easily.. go from being viewed as a midcarder to a solid main eventer in a year's time. People always seem to forget that when it comes to picking MITB winners. They act as though the winner needs to cash in later that night or something.
I'm actually picking this match on the fly. I've narrowed it down to three people.. Ambrose, Cesaro and Rhodes. I'm going to keep thinking that WWE has given up on making Barrett a main event guy, so I eliminated him. Sandow is an intriguing choice, as the company clearly sees something in him, with all of the mic time he gets, win or lose, but that's just it.. I think they feel he can do a good job with the company, even without having to win and be pushed to the top, so I eliminated him. Swagger would have been a good pick, but he gets in his own way with his outside-the-ring activities, and I'm not sure the company will ever fully trust him again. At least not for a while, so I eliminated him. With Fandango, it's clear that someone in management likes him (rumors are that Vince McMahon himself is a fan of the gimmick), but I just think it's a case of other people being ahead of him on the list of names to push in this manner, so I eliminated him.
Cody is an interesting pick, as some people feel he's three or four years overdue for a main event run, while others feel his best chances to be pushed towards the top have come and gone. I think he can, very easily, be a main event guy. There's no doubt about it. I do think some prime opportunities have been missed to do it, but it isn't too late. He might need to break away from Damien Sandow, though. With Sandow's character, mic skills and charisma, Cody could win the briefcase and still, for all intents and purposes, be in his tag partner's shadow. Because we haven't seen any rumors of a possible split, I had no choice but to eliminate Cody.
Dean Ambrose. Antonio Cesaro.
Antonio Cesaro. Dean Ambrose.
I don't think you can go wrong with either choice. Of everyone in the match, it appears that Ambrose has more people choosing him to win than anyone else, and I can see why. It would give The Shield some of the momentum they've lost in recent weeks, and Ambrose seems to be the member of the group that most people think will get the first main event push, anyway. He has everything working for him, and has every quality that a WWE main event wrestler needs to have. I just have a hunch that it isn't quite his time yet. His time is coming, and will be coming sooner than later, but I think this is Cesaro's time.
He remains one of the better in-ring workers on the roster, and now that he has aligned with Zeb Colter, he has someone that can be more of a heat-drawing mouthpiece for him. This is a solid combination. A solid combination that was working for Jack Swagger, until he decided that his little vices were more important to him than his career. I think Cesaro will step up and fill the shoes that Swagger was going to wear heading into WrestleMania, and if it's done right, it could certainly lead to a Cesaro VS Swagger feud down the road, with in-fighting and jealousy splitting the group up. For the time being, it's all about We The People once again, and the artist formerly known as Claudio Castagnoli wins Money In The Bank.
Who Will Win: Antonio Cesaro
Who Should Win: Dean Ambrose, because I think better television and storylines can come from this particular winner.
Warning: The following section contains a spoiler that is revealed during Smackdown, so you might want to skip ahead if you don't want anything ruined for you. You've been warned, just like how you weren't warned when the spoiler flat out appeared in the title of a news article a little while ago.
CM Punk, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Rob Van Dam, Christian - WWE Title Money In The Bank
As you can see by the match lineup, there's no Kane listed. As it was revealed on Smackdown, Kane is officially out of the match after being attacked by the Wyatt Family on Raw, but no word on if anyone will replace him in the match (rumor is that it could be Bray Wyatt himself), if anyone will replace him at all. I'm going ahead with the idea of only six men competing in the match.
First and foremost, let's go ahead and eliminate Christian. WWE waited way too long in bringing him back after his injury, and then did so in such a piss-poor manner, that I think it has killed his crowd buzz. Live crowds don't seem to care much about him at all these days, and he's a few months away from turning 40. His dream of "one more match" might never come to fruition. I think he's coming towards the end of his career, at least as a relevant name.
Rob Van Dam's crowd pop in Philly is going to be banana cream pie. That much, we know. Is it too early to give him the briefcase, though? This will be his first night back. His first WWE match in over four years. How crazy would it be to give him the Money In The Bank briefcase on his first night back, where he could very well cash in and become the WWE Champion before the night is even over? I know the company has been hyping his return like crazy, but taking it that far, without even knowing anything about his ring rust, how much he has left in the tank, etc? That's bonkers. He's 42 years old, and he has pretty much taken the last few months off. How unfortunate would it be to book him to win the match, only to watch as he goes out there, botches spots left and right, and ends up being gassed early on? Let him do his thing in this match, and watch him closely, to see if he'll be bumped up to a main event spot in the future. I'll eliminate RVD for the time being.
That leaves a tough choice, with four top-level names that could easily win the match. Of the remaining names, I think Punk is the easiest to eliminate, simply based on his feud with Paul Heyman's crew that is underway already. He might be tied up for the next few months, and I think the briefcase should be the focus for someone, and not just a "I'm feuding with this guy, and I'll be feuding with that guy, too, but, by the way, I also have this briefcase" type of deal. Punk is a made man, so to speak. Even without the briefcase, he can enter the WWE Title picture whenever he wants, and all it will take is one single episode of Raw to do it. He'll be fine, but he's eliminated.
Sheamus is in an interesting situation right now. Nobody on the WWE roster has won more matches in 2013 than he has, but does that make him too obvious as a winning pick? That seems to happen in WWE a lot. Other than John Cena winning, the "obvious" pick to win a match seems to be a bit of a swerve. Does Sheamus need the win here? No, he doesn't need it. Like Punk, Sheamus is in a position where he can be feuding for a title just about whenever he wants, with no real rhyme or reasoning behind it. Giving him the win here would be like overkill. Eliminated.
A lot of people are picking Randy Orton for one particular reason.. he lost the World Title on September 18th, 2011, and he hasn't had a title since. Nothing. Not a single one. Nearly two years of running in place. Yes, two months in that time span were wasted after he had a Wellness Policy violation, and another month was spent with him on the shelf after suffering a concussion, but that's still a really long time for a top talent to be away from championships in the world of WWE. The reports that WWE management may have lost their trust in Orton could be true. It would make sense, all things considered. Whether the reports are true or not, though, Orton is in a similar position as the last two people I've mentioned. It would take little-to-no effort at all to have Orton feuding for the WWE or World Title, so I have to eliminate him here.
That leaves one man, and one man only. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times.. this is WWE's opportunity to capitalize on the 100% organic rise of Daniel Bryan. The company did just about everything in their power to "bury" Bryan and make him an afterthought, but live crowds all over the world just weren't having it. They wanted to cheer for the man, and gosh darnit all to heck, cheer for him is what they did. Doesn't matter if it's a "YES" chant, a "NO" chant, or just making noise.. crowds go nuts for the man. There isn't a wrestler on the roster that gets the kind of reactions Daniel Bryan does on a week in, week out basis. Not any of the men competing with him in this match, not John Cena, not Triple H, not Brock Lesnar, and so on. Nobody. WWE has stumbled upon something very special, and they've done so as a complete accident. I've tweeted it, but it's time to say it in column form.. if Daniel Bryan doesn't win Money In The Bank, WWE has shot themselves in the foot, and if he isn't involved in the WWE Title picture soon thereafter (preferably before the NFL returns), they will have shot themselves in the other foot. This.. is.. it. Fans have been struggling to find reasons to keep watching the WWE product, and they're just hanging on to this man from Aberdeen, Washington to be their savior. This is going to sound melodramatic, but I'm going to physically hurt if Bryan doesn't win this match. I mean it. The second anyone else unhooks the briefcase and pulls it down, I will feel so deflated, and it will be one of those match results that hits you like a ton of bricks. I'm not going to be one of those people who say I'll stop watching if things don't go "my" way, but I certainly won't be thrilled for the rest of the card if it doesn't. WWE.. please.. kick start your product heading into SummerSlam, before the NFL returns and destroys everything in its path like a tidal wave.
Who Will Win: Daniel Bryan
Who Should Win: Daniel Bryan, and it isn't even fucking close.
This is where the spoiler section ends.
Alberto Del Rio VS Dolph Ziggler - Singles Match for the World Title
Think back to earlier in this column, when I listed some of the reasons I've seen listed as people predicted Kaitlyn to win the Divas Title back from AJ Lee. A lot of the reasons have to do with the triumvirate I like to call Zig E, Big E & Sex E (shut up, just run with it) and the rumors of their split. Well, some very similar outcomes have been predicted for this match. Some people think AJ will cost Dolph the match, either accidentally or on purpose, which would lead to the split. Some say that Big E will cost Dolph the match, again either accidentally or on purpose, and that would lead to the split. Others feel Dolph will lose the match without interference from his side, and the loss is what will lead to AJ and Big E turning on him. No matter how you slice it, the focus is on the love birds and their weird black friend.
Personally, I think it's too early to have the split take place here. By "too early", I don't mean it should happen months down the road. I just mean I think it should happen after Money In The Bank, even if that means the following night on Raw. With Dolph venturing out on his own more these days, it isn't difficult to imagine him telling AJ & Big E that he wants to win the match on his own, and asking them to stay backstage. With a distracted ref, I see Del Rio retaining his title here. It isn't the outcome I want, nor the one I deserve, but it's the one I think we're going to get. This would then lead AJ and Big E to feel Dolph is something of a "loser", and how he can't accomplish anything without them by his side. The split would, at the very least, get underway the following night, but it might be something that drags out for a while.
Who Will Win: Alberto Del Rio (Still Champion)
Who Should Win: Dolph Ziggler. Lord knows we need to get ADR away from having a title around his waist.
John Cena VS Mark Henry - Singles Match for the WWE Title
Before I get into this prediction, I have a legit question to ask, especially to those of you who feel both Cena and Henry aren't any good in the ring..
John Cena participates in many entertaining matches, and his detractors are quick to say that his opponents carried him to passable performances. Mark Henry delivers good, memorable promos, and his detractors are quick to say that he still can't wrestle. Let's say that this match ends up being good.. who gets the credit? If Cena can only be in good matches with opponents who can carry him, and if Henry can't wrestle, who will people look to as the reason the match was worthwhile? As I said, this is a legit question. If you aren't a fan of either man, let me know who you'll give credit to if the match ends up being good. Now, on to the prediction itself.
With one single segment, and an acting job that could win awards, Henry has positioned himself as someone who many people feel should win the WWE Title here. His remaining time with the company is dwindling down. He's 42, and his body has shown signs of breaking down in recent years. This could be his last big run, and many feel he should be rewarded for his performance during his "retirement ceremony" and be given the WWE Title (the only major title he hasn't won during his time with the company) before it's too late.
I've been a supporter of Mark Henry for years, and have championed his cause in my columns for a couple years now. He's been on a roll, back throughout the entire "Hall Of Pain" gimmick. Beautiful stuff. As much as I love his work in recent years, I just don't think he's going to take the WWE Title on this particular night. I just see too much money to be made in a John Cena VS Daniel Bryan program. At this point, I think WWE sees that, as well, and I even think Cena himself sees it. There's only two outcomes I can see here, neither of which feature ol' Mizark taking the title..
- Cena wins outright.
- Cena wins by Countout
Just for the sake of being different, I'm going to take the second scenario, but I'm going to add to it a bit. I'm going to predict that Cena beats Henry by Countout, but after the match, Henry destroys Cena with a chair and multiple World's Strongest Slams. As he's leaving, Daniel Bryan's music hits, and the Wells Fargo Center blows the roof off of the building. Bryan cashes his newly-won Money In The Bank briefcase in, and after some tense moments, he hits a knockout blow to Cena's head, rendering him unconscious..
We have a new WWE Champion.
This accomplishes a few things..
- With the upcoming premiere of the Total Divas reality show, Cena and Bryan will be featured prominently due to their relationships with the Bella Twins, and this will put them together in a storyline a mere two weeks before the premiere.
- With Henry losing the match, but not being pinned or submitted, it would keep him in the title picture, and he would have extra motivation because Bryan ran out and "stole his title".
- It provides some huge talking points for Raw the next night. How loud will the Brooklyn crowd be for the new WWE Champion? What will John Cena's reaction be to having his title taken away from him? Just how fucking pissed off will Henry be? Will Bryan be a face or a heel? Why is Jadakiss as hard as it gets?
Give us Bryan VS Cena VS Henry in a Triple Threat at SummerSlam, and there's your real test of how serious the company is about Bryan. If he drops the title, even if it's just to Henry, but especially if it's back to Cena, then it was all for nothing, and you can say hello to some awful ratings for Raw once football is back in our lives on Monday nights. If he retains the title.. well..
Who Will Win: John Cena (Still Champion), Daniel Bryan (New Champion)
Who Should Win: John Cena, Daniel Bryan
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