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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier (June 25-26) Former WWE Champ MITB Match thoughts (and NuNXT review)
By pen15
Jun 25, 2012 - 11:30:21 PM

June 26 - Fomrer WWE Champ MITB Match thoughts

June 25 - NuNXT Review

WWE Title - Money in the Bank Contenders (and title thoughts)

Before we get too crazy, I want to say that I like the direction for the new system for Money in the Bank. I find it tremendous how the WWE Title MITB match is for only former WWE Champions. I know many are screaming and ranting about how it doesn’t help elevate the new talent. It seems like a lot of sand is in a lot of vaginas. At this point, it’s quite clear that the WWE Title and the World Heavyweight Title are showcased as equal in some ways, but in other ways, not. Whichever title is on Raw gets to be the true center of attention, and for a majority of the brand split, that title has been the WWE Title. Therefore, I have no problem with the stipulation that the only people allowed to compete for the bigger and more prestigious title are former champions. It makes for a much bigger match. No matter who is put in the World Title ladder match, there’s no combination of stars bigger than Big Show, Kane, John Cena and Chris Jericho. ****, let HHH and Undertaker return, and that World Title MITB match still isn’t a bigger deal. This is being marketed and booked as the best MITB build up ever, no doubt. And it is a smart direction to take.

And, if the WWE Title is only former WWE Champions, it leaves the World Title open for anyone else. And let’s face it, the World Title is the establishing title at this point, just like Smackdown is the establishing brand. I won’t say I agree with this formula 100% (I do feel WHC is treated like a midcard title this way, but it’s honestly rather forgivable if there’s consistency like there’s been for a few years), but if the brand split is set up as is with the lines being perforated rather than bolded, then let the championships represent the different levels of main event. The Intercontinental Title was never as high on the ladder in the WWF as the World Title is today. It could have been, it was sometimes very close, but it wasn’t. The World Title is a main event title. You can argue it all you like, but WWE hypes it up as one, and that’s honestly the only argument I need to prove I’m right on this one. I’ll agree that it shouldn’t be, but to the majority of the fans, it is. And again, whether I agree or not, the best way to accept it is to set up the title with different levels of contenders.

The Smackdown/World Title and roster in general is about breaking out to becoming a superstar. CM Punk is on top of the world right now as WWE Champion. But it’s hard to argue that his experimental runs in the main event over the World Title on Smackdown didn’t prepare him for this. He main evented PPVs on the blue brand with the big gold belt. But he wasn’t near the top of the card. Now, he is. Let his challengers reflect that. He’s on Raw, with the WWE championship, let him get the *1A challengers. Let Sheamus and the Smackdown/World Title be surrounded by *1B contenders.

It’s not perfect, but it’s working at this point.

Besides, it’s not like the World Title MITB match can’t be for former World Champions only, meaning Ziggler, Swagger, Bryan, Christian, Orton and Mysterio could all be eligible. Lots of jumping the gun in terms of ranting. This is a good move, and makes this match (and therefore entire PPV event) much more important.

Also, if it’s so important for someone new to challenge for the main event titles, it’s not hard to have Ziggler challenge John Cena at Summerslam for the briefcase, and win. That would be bigger than a random ladder match victory. The doors are still open, and it makes the eventual cash in all the more impressive and important. Genius move.


Let’s discuss the 4 entrants for the WWE Title MITB Ladder Match, and what I think of their possibilities as being Mr. Money in the Bank.

Big Show

The first name to enter the fray was Big Show. Honestly, I like the idea of having him win the briefcase. I would love to see him win, and still be a top level heel proclaiming his giant status with the contract in hand. He could come out to challenge CM Punk for the title with a promo saying: “I don’t need the surprise cash-in advantage, I am the advantage. I’m cashing this in next month at the PPV because I’m a true giant, and you’re no giant killer. Just look at last year’s SummerSlam.”

This would be a great way to build up a rather uninspiring match with savvy. A full month of watching Big Show dominate Punk on Raw, showcasing how Punk has never defeated a man his size, and then a SummerSlam championship main event with Brock vs HHH on the same card? Not too bad. Not the best option, but that would be a great way to have the contract mean something, and giving Big Show a great angle. Also, in the end, Punk wins. Which is even more awesome.

At least, he would if I booked it.


There’s obviously no way this will happen. Even if the plan is to give us something shocking, Kane isn’t interesting enough to be shocking. He’s battled Punk and Cena over the last year, and no one else is really in a position to be champion while Kane cashes in except for those 2. Sorry Big Red Monster, you had you awesome cash-in 2 summers ago. Not this time.

John Cena

I am a bit perplexed on this one. There’s SOOOOOOOOOOOO much WWE can do with Cena with the briefcase, but there’s no way they’d ever pull through. The only rational option that WWE would honestly go through with would be if he held on to the contract for months until The Rock wins the WWE title as planned, and for Cena to cash in on the prone “Great One.” It would be rather huge, but also rather tedious. It’s too obvious in a way. Once Rock would be booked for a WWE title match, you know the electricity would be in the air for the obvious rematch. So, it’s not the best plan, but merely the best plan I can logically expect WWE to go through with.

The other option, which I’m sure will be more popular, would be for him to cash it in during a heel turn. Now, I mention Cena turning heel a lot, and I don’t want to be confused with the type of fan who ONLY enjoys Cena as heel. I think he’s a great face character, but the character is a bit exhausted. I really don’t think there’s any risk at this point to losing the top baby face to a heel turn. I am sure we could all think of 184 ways for Cena to use the contract and turn heel. I’ll let you tell me the best ways, as long as you accept it’ll never ****ing happen.

Chris Jericho

My pick to win the contract. I would much rather someone with even less routine appearances pull this off (Rock or Brock), but Jericho will do just fine.

I want Jericho to win the briefcase, and then disappear for a while. We know he’ll need to tour or record with Fozzy at some point, so we can watch him leave with the briefcase with nothing but anticipation for his return.

See, whenever any one previously has won a briefcase, there was often a buzz before they cashed it in. We knew Edge (x2), CM Punk (x2), Swagger, Kane, The Miz, Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio were in the building the night they cashed in. We weren’t always expecting it to happen (Punk’s first cash-in is still one of my favorite surprise moments ever), but we had the inkling.

With Jericho taking frequent sabbaticals, it would be a great SURPRISE cash in if he was gone for months before it happened. Let’s say he leaves after SummerSlam, and we see nothing but PR of him on tour, holding the briefcase for interviews with Revolver magazine, or whatever he does. Let a couple of reminders show on WWE TV, much like they have with the Rock (pre taped interviews), and keep the fans guessing. Then, he can cash it in out of nowhere on a level that Money in the Bank never has before, let’s say around Rumble time. That’s a good 4-5 months of no Jericho in the ring and suddenly becoming WWE Champion to the shock of everyone.

I think this is the best way to go. It would provide the shock factor, be on someone who could use the contract in a logical manner, can be cashed-in with either a face or heel turn with someone who can deliver with both, and be a true credible champion unlike most original MITB cash-ins winners.

And on that note, peace out.

Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

Welcome to NXT V.2.0 (or is it 6.0?)

I was very excited to see the new NXT. In general, I’m a fan of anything that helps develop new stars. While FCW may have been the worst promotion I’ve ever watched in my lifetime, there’s no arguing that WWE has some talents in the developmental territory. The problem was the showcase itself. Even when brought up to NXT for WWE TV, the talents never really had the correct connection with the audience. NXT was recorded before Raw or Smackdown, in front of fans waiting for Cena and Orton, not Watson and McGillicutty. The reactions for NXT matches never impressed, which translates to the audience at home. And after the first season of NXT, the talent pool seemed to dry up quickly. Season 5 had no new talents at all.

So, WWE knew well enough to reinvent the NXT wheel. This week, the WWE Universe outside of the USA (or Americans with interneting abilities) were witness to the new NXT, recorded by college interns at Full Sail University. It seems to be HHH’s baby, which is nothing but a good thing. Knock the on-screen character and the abuse of power the man who portrays him uses, but when it does not involve the HHH persona, Mr. Levesque seems to have a great wrestling mind. He also has enough of Vinny Mac’s blessing to be given such leeway to operate the program with such freedom. This could be a sign that Vince is accepting he’s a bit out of touch, and this could succeed even without his constant input. If so, delegating more could be in the future.

It may seem like I’m putting a lot of stock on NXT, but there’s good reason. Not only are we seeing the new generation of in ring talent on display, but it’s also a window into the man who will be taking over from Vince when that time arrives. This NXT is the future of WWE in more ways than any developmental program or territory we’ve ever seen.

Let’s take a look at how the first episode came off.


”Welcome Home” by Coheed and Cambria. I’m not a huge fan of the band, but I can’t think of a song better for a show about introducing these rising stars to the WWE Universe. Welcome Home kids. The electricity it creates to start the show is much better than Wild and Young. Great start.

Video Packages/Segments

One complaint I had about every season of NXT is that there was never enough insight into the characters of the wrestlers. That’s a complaint I have for all the WWE stars outside of the main event caliber guys, but it is even more vital when trying to get the fans hooked into a new star. A single sit down interview, replayed a dozen times, is not the way to introduce CM Punk fans into Titus O’Neil. It took 2 seasons of NXT, a heel turn, and a combination with Darren Young (who had a similar path to success) to really find his way to the main roster. It isn’t to say it’s a failure that it took this long, but it’s a sign that not enough work was being put into the NXT stars.

We had 3 vignettes for stars “coming soon.” We may have already seen Antonio Cesaro on Smackdown, or Husky Harris in several TV and PPV appearances before becoming Bray Wyatt, but these vignettes already did more than anything seen on Monday or Friday nights for them. Seth Rollins had his own promo video as well, which helped add some interest into his debut. Lots of work was done to let the viewer know to tune in weekly for more.

The backstage segment between Johnny Curtis and Derrick Bateman did something WWE has not done in years. When was the last time 2 stars who did not have a match that night, have a backstage segment to build up a match the next week? It was unbelievable. I understand that it might have been shocking for anyone who’s never seen these guys before, but I LOVED how they kept their previous history alive, instead of erasing it completely.

Lots of hype for next week, and in the future for other talent who were not in the ring this week.


Welcome Home squash matches. I’ve long since felt they’ve needed to return to WWE programming without any real competition to fight for buyrates against. With that freedom, more time displaying your talents is key. Bo Dallas and the Ascension both looked great in their matches, and if they are booked for an NXT main event match in the future, fans who will remember these squashes will be even more interested.

There’s a reason people cheer signature moves for their favorite stars. When Orton gets the opponents feet on the 2nd rope while holding their head in a front facelock, the tension rises because we know the DDT is coming. How come the electricity builds this easily? Because we’ve seen him do the move over and over again. In squash matches, we get the opportunity to see signature moves in a shorter time frame. Bo Dallas has a decent looking spear (though it still shouldn’t be a finisher for anyone under 250 lbs) and the Ascension has a good combination for a tag team finishing move, and the more we see it on guys who can afford to lose to these new stars, the more impact it will have when they connect with it on the Usos, or the Prime Time Playas.

NXT should feature a weekly squash. In fact, I’d be fine with the current format where only the main event is up in the air for picking the winner, with the first 45 minutes being nothing but a spotlight for new stars.

Main Event

I loved the main event. It was probably the best wrestling match I saw this week. I’ll let Romeo link you up (if he chooses this as the best match you didn’t watch), but for my opinion, it beats out anything we saw on Raw or Smackdown. And if most NXT main events are this strong, WWE will still have 4 solid weekly programs for good wrestling. The difference is that it felt like a bigger deal for Tyson to defeat Perfect Jr this week. I can’t put my finger on why, other than perhaps there was more reason to tune into this new version of NXT. Either way, Tyson Kidd and McGillicutty had a chance to perform on a new level, and delivered.

And that means it was a great start for the new NXT.

And on that note, peace out.

Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

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