Everything is up for grabs on Sunday night in Boston, Massachusetts at the WWE’s annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view. One man will leave as the new World Heavyweight Champion, and another will leave with a briefcase that says he can have a shot at that title whenever he wants.
Matt Addie and The Reno bros. (not to be confused with Stardust and Goldust) are more than happy to share their opinions, ramblings and picks with you as we prepare for another Sunday night WWE extravaganza.
• Traditional MITB Ladder Match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract: Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Bad News Barrett vs. Jack Swagger
Matt Addie: Pick – Dolph Ziggler (hear me out). Bad News Barrett was my pick; hell, I wrote an entire piece on it this week. Then, in the blink of an eye, a shoulder was separated and my dreams were crushed. The extremely miniscule silver lining is that I have no idea who the favorite is now. The “anything could happen” element always makes for a better show. Kofi, Swagger and RVD likely don’t have any prayer of winning, but I’m often wrong. Even with limiting the choices to Rollins, Ambrose or Ziggler, I really don’t know where to go. Screw it; I’m going with Dolph Ziggler. Yes, he’s been “buried” and has lost to everyone still employed by WWE (and some that aren’t). He does, however, have a couple of things going for him. First, WWE knows he will be over with that briefcase, even if the eventual plan isn’t for him to carry the title. Last time, Dolph had that case for over 200 days, and it clearly was the high point of his career. Second, Triple H acknowledged on RAW what internet marks often say: people think Hunter doesn’t appreciate the Show Off’s talent. Usually, when something is acknowledged on screen, it becomes part of the story (see: Bryan, Daniel). Rollins and Ambrose are doing fine in their own feud, and really don’t need the MITB case right now. They could continue their feud, have an awesome match at Summerslam and we’d all be happy.
Alex Reno: I feel like everyone thinks that this one is surely between Ambrose and Rollins, but let me remind you of Sandow shocking us last year. If the WWE has proved anything about their MITB PPVs, it’s that anything can happen. I would love to see someone like Dolph Ziggler shock the world and get the briefcase once again, only this time he’d take the belt and not get kicked in the face by Del Rio leading to a concussion. Anyway, I’ll play it safe and stick with Seth Rollins here.
Dave Reno: This one is going to be fun. The WWE delivered with both ladder matches last year, but I really felt like the first one had the better spots. It’ll be the same this year. I’m really looking forward to this match and this PPV in general. I gotta stick with Ambrose taking the briefcase. I like Ambrose as the lunatic with the upper hand with Rollins angry and chasing as a disappointed HHH barks out orders to him, wondering if he made the wrong choice.This is the way to do it. Ambrose-Rollins is sure to be the hottest rivalry of the summer.
• Tag Team Title Match: The Usos (C) vs. The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan)
Matt Addie: Pick – The Usos. I want the Wyatts to win, but I think The Usos will. Similar to Paige, I don’t think The Usos own any memorable moments specific to their title reign. Their spots in the John Cena/Bray Wyatt matches have been spectacular, but those have nothing to do with these belts. Unless the Wyatts win and feud with Stardust & Goldust immediately following, I see The Usos retaining to add a little more to their time as champs. On a related note, I am a big fan of Harper & Rowan’s new music; I think it could work.
Alex Reno: My gut is telling me Harper and Rowan will take this one, but my heart wants the Usos to keep their belts. The Usos consistently put on the most exciting matches on RAW and PPVs, but they haven’t really had much of a storyline to go with it.
Dave Reno: All signs point to Harper and Rowan taking this one and going on a run. The Usos were great champions but I just feel like they never met their full potential with the straps around their waist. They’ll be just fine with out the belts. It’s time to give Harper and Rowan a chance to be the top dogs. I mean, who plays their character better than Luke Harper? This guy is a gem. I applaud the WWE for putting this guy on television every Monday night. He’s a throwback to the good old days.
• Summer Rae vs. Layla (with special guest referee Fandango)
Addie: Pick – Summer Rae. Damnit, I have her theme song stuck in my head now. Considering I forget each week that Layla is on the WWE roster, I have to pick Summer Rae. I kind of wish there was a “N/A” choice to be honest, but Summer it is.
A. Reno: Not a fan of this storyline. Layla cannot dance, and Summer Rae is batshit insane. Instead of counting, Fandango is embarrassed to be near either of these Divas and walks out. Fandango wins.
D. Reno: I really liked the idea of Summer Rae and Fandango going off on their own. Hopefully this is the end of this storyline. Outside of Emma, Summer would be the best adversary for Paige right now. If Layla wasn’t signed on for Total Divas season 3, I would’ve thought she’d be going the way of Aksana sooner rather than later. I gotta give this match to Summer. I still believe she has a bright future in the WWE.
• Big E vs. Rusev
Addie: Pick – Rusev. I think it’s about time for Rusev to have a real match against a real opponent. While I think Big E could have been that person at one point, he’s clearly not there right now. I think this match will be a better showing from Big E, but in the end, Rusev’s streak continues. I would absolutely love to see Bo Dallas get into this mix, starting an angle with his “9 and Bo” undefeated streak on the line against Rusev’s streak. I think that would be sort of fun, even if it’s quite obvious they’d put Rusev over.
A. Reno: Rusev is the clear winner here. No one is legitimately interested in this pretend rivarly. WWE needs to give Rusev a real opponent and possibly make Ryback turn face again and split from Rybaxel. Or perhaps a return from the World’s Strongest Man?
D. Reno: Big E is slowly becoming the “World’s Biggest Jobber”. This guy is in need of a total makeover. The talent is there and I swear he has some mic talent. He certainly wasn’t displaying it this past Monday night. He has a great sense of humor as well. I’m going to go ahead and assume this is all the writers fault. That said, he’s the perfect guy to get crushed by Rusev right now.
• Rybaxel vs. Goldust and Stardust
Addie: Pick – Stardust/Goldust. Stardust! Yes! I didn’t care how it happened; I just wanted Stardust on this card. Thank you, WWE. Clearly, Rybaxel isn’t winning, so if there’s a betting line on this match, go ahead and put your rent money on the Rhodes brothers. The Stardust/Goldust backstage promo on RAW was so fantastic; it kept their momentum going without even having a match.
A. Reno: The Stardust gimmick is silly but I like it anyway. The Rhodes brothers needed a small push because losing to Rybaxel should never happen. Goldust and Stardust win.
D. Reno: Cody..errr…Stardust and Goldust actually found away to stay interesting without turning on each other. As far as I’m concerned, and I’m not very concerned, it’s working. Hell, it may even end up getting them another shot at the tag titles. This is about as much of a lock as you can get. Dusty’s boys win. Aren’t we due for another appearance from “The American Dream”?
• Divas Championship Match: Paige (C) vs. Naomi
Addie: I have Paige winning, with Cameron screwing Naomi out of the title. While Naomi absolutely deserves that title soon, it would be somewhat of a waste to just take it from Paige this early. She really hasn’t been given much in terms of character development or growth. If the most memorable moment of a title reign is Jerry Lawler getting himself a sneaky look at your ass, it’s probably bad news (moment of silence for Barrett’s shoulder).
A. Reno: Naomi has been impressive in the ring as of late. I think this match will be more about the Funkadactyls splitting up than it being an actual match. Paige will retain her title and Naomi and Cameron will have a falling out.
D. Reno: Paige will have the best seat in the house for the Funkadactyls inevitable implosion. I never thought I’d say this but the Divas division really needs A.J. Lee back. And/or Emma. What happened to Emma??
• Vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Addie: Pick – John Cena, and I’m not even that angry about it. Look, I would mark out if Bray, Cesaro or Reigns grabbed the championship, but we need to think bigger than that. If Daniel Bryan comes back and immediately chases the belt, who should be holding it? It needs to be someone we’d want Bryan to take it from. It needs to be a heel, or John Cena. With Cena holding the title, WWE has a lot of flexibility. If Bryan comes back sooner rather than later, he can take it from Cena and head onto the rumored feud with Brock Lesnar. If Bryan needs a little more time, they can go with Cena vs. Lesnar at Summerslam (backed up by that recently leaked poster). Honestly, I thought Cena was the right choice even before the Summerslam poster was leaked on Amazon. Cena vs. Lesnar would be a decent placeholder until Bryan returns to chase Lesnar. Del Rio is really the only one I absolutely cannot see winning, something the entire WWE Universe probably agrees with. This match should be great.
A. Reno: Everyone was probably wondering the same thing when they saw all of the participants for this match. Why the hell is Alberto Del Rio on this match? Last year, the WWE trolled us all with Randy Orton taking the belt. Even though he was at the very top of the ladder with no one even close to stopping him, I still was 100% sure that Orton couldn’t win. Even after he took the briefcase I thought “no way did that just happen”. MITB is such a great event because of its unpredictability. I’ll play it safe again and go with Roman Reigns, but don’t be surprised to see something crazy happen.
D. Reno: So many options! And they all make so much sense. I don’t think anyone really knows who’s going to win this match and that’s what makes it so great. This is all about the near future of the company though. You have to think of Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan while making your pick for the next champion. The easiest way for me to do this is go one by one.
Del Rio is probably at the bottom of the list for good reason. I can’t think of anyway you could piss off the B-Mass crowd more. He’s a great filler guy for this match. No more, no less.
Sheamus makes sense as the top face while Bryan is gone but the Universe seems to be not so over with him since his return. He’s already the U.S. Champion so that makes him a long shot as well.
Outside of Sheamus and Del Rio, I feel like the remaining five guys have a legit shot. Cesaro was the favorite a couple of weeks when the field only consisted of four men. When you consider the return of Brock, Cesaro seems to be a great choice. Plus, you can never go wrong with a Heyman guy. The WWE loves the element of surprise and right now they’d like to have us think that Orton, Reigns and Cena are the top three options to take the titles at the end of the night. Cesaro winning wouldn’t be an upset by any means, I just don’t see it right now.
Kane is being sold to us right now as The Authority’s lackey. He’s been inserted into this match to help Randy Orton leave with those titles. Will Kane turn on The Authority? Does he still have a soft spot for his old Team Hell No partner? Doubtful. Whomever wins will have to get by Kane and Orton to walk out of the TD Garden as the new face of the company.
Roman Reigns is the hot pick right now. He has the look of a guy that could be the next big thing for the WWE. The Shield is living on through him and him only. Ambrose and Rollins have had to alter their looks, change their theme music and abandon their old entrance through the live audience. Reigns has kept it all. Unlike Wyatt and Cesaro though, I just can’t remember any stand out matches from Reigns. Is it really his time? Maybe. I don’t feel comfortable picking him though.
John Cena. Why not. He’s the top guy whether you like it or not until the day he hangs up that disgustingly bright shirt. Daniel Bryan becoming the “goat” face of the company wasn’t due solely to his ability to win over the hearts of the fans. A big part of it was that he had Cena’s blessing. Bryan embodies “Hustle, Loyalty and Respect”. Cena is the likely choice to be champion until Bryan comes back. He’s not my pick though.
The odds are in Randy Orton’s favor heading into this unprecedented ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He has Kane on his side while everyone else will have to fend for themselves. I just don’t see how you can give the straps back to Randy though? The WWE already wore out the Bryan-Orton feud last year. Lesnar seems to be destined for either Cena or Cesaro upon his immediate return. Orton will come close, but no cigar will be lit.
Bray Wyatt is my pick to leave Boston as your new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He’s proven time and time again since being brought up from NXT that he’s ready to carry this company if needed. Inside and outside of the ring – the guy is that A+ heel the WWE needs. It’s time to give him his run as champion until Daniel Bryan is ready to return. He can hang with any of the top faces at any time. Cena, Bryan, Reigns, Sheamus; pair him up with any of these guys and it’s must see programming.
Money in the Bank closes with Wyatt, Rowan and Harper all leaving the arena with the gold. One big happy family with the whole world in their hands.
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