Written by Bill Bodkin & Michael Dworkis
Before we get to the predictions panel for tonight’s WWE Money in the Bank event, we should address the stunning news this week, regarding Jerry “The King” Lawler, recently arrested for alleged domestic abuse. I’m not going get into the details which can be read on both mainstream media and dirtsheet outlets. I will say, it is a shame his career is likely over in a tragic abysmal way. He had chance after chance to call it quits and go out with some dignity. It is no secret his health has been a problem and many thought he should have stepped away from the announce team to either a more behind-the-scenes position or just call it a career. Granted, it is hard to give up something one is passionate for, but sadly, this may tarnish many memories fans have.
I hope things improve and some sort of resolution will be found.
Tonight, we have the WWE Money in the Bank special event. This might be the best ever. The undercard looks phenomenal, and the proper MITB match might be one of the craziest to date. What is shocking, is the WWE Championship match seems to have been very much downplayed for this one. Sure, we did get the tease of a possible Dean Ambrose win, which could lead to the “Shield Reunion” match we have been dying to see. However, with the fanbase of Roman Reigns at an all time low (despite what Vince McMahon believes), and Seth Rollins hopefully back to peak potential, we could see a great match, or we could get some convoluted match which leaves us all confused.
The pre-show matches, actually are deserving of the pre-show spots. Title matches should NEVER be on the preshow. It just demeans them.
Lucha Dragons vs. The Dudley Boyz
Michael: Talk about being demoted. The Dudleys were squashed by Enzo and Cass, and now they open the show against the Lucha Dragons. Nothing against the Dragons, but man, this just feels like a main event of Superstars. I’ll take Lucha Dragons on this one.
Bill: The Dudleys are filling the role they were signed for. They’re there to help the younger teams, and when WWE needs them they can immediately place them in the title picture, or an important angle. They will never be jobbers. Yet, with that being said, the WWE’s fascination with always keeping the Lucha Dragons somewhat relevant, will lead the masked duo to victory. Winners: Lucha Dragons
Febreezo vs. Golden Truth
Michael: I don’t think I have ever bashed a gimmick for Goldust. But this is horrible. It tries too hard to be funny, and I’m not sure whose fault it is. Goldust can naturally switch to comedy mode, and even R-Truth has been able to show a humorous side. But this is screaming to die. The shark has jumped, the horse is beaten to death. I don’t want to talk about Fanbreezeo or whatever the hell their name is. I don’t want it. No more. Winners: Concession Stands
Bill: The Goldust/R-Truth angle has gone on for what seems like a year plus, and it has literally lead us nowhere. It’s awful, and that’s why tonight, after weeks of losing, The Golden Truth will score the win over Tyler Breeze and Fandango. Now, if WWE were smart they’d book Breeze & ‘Dango to win, because there’s this weird chemistry between these two that if developed could lead to an entertaining heel team. Winners: The Golden Truth
Getting to the main show, we have some interesting matches. The undercard has a number of shrug-worthy matches, and some which may raise a few eyebrows.
“We really have nothing better for these guys to do” match, Dolph Ziggler faces Bacon Rorbin.
Michael: Until he sounds better on the mic and doesn’t come off as some boot-dragging goon, I’m sticking with calling him Bacon. I’m stupidly tired of seeing this match. I cared the first time, I sort of cared the second time, but third, fourth, and twelfth, I just don’t. I’ll just say Dolph Ziggler because clearly winning the Andre the Giant Memorial is completely worthless.
Bill: Please stop insulting my favorite pork product by associating it with Baron Corbin. This feud is literally continuing because 1.) The WWE has nothing for either guy to do and 2.) They are stalling to the draft. I never cared for this feud because you’ve got a guy in Corbin who is still not ready for prime time. His movies is so limited, and Ziggler oversells way too much for the big guy. He sells so much that he makes himself weak. Also, the mere fact Ziggler isn’t even sniffing the actual MITB match speaks volumes. Winner: Corbin – he needs to come out on top of this feud, and needs to move on to something else.
Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus
Michael: Something is wrong. I want to care about this match. But I don’t. The build was awful, and Crews is a Bobbly Lashley lite. He smiles way too much, and not enough personality showing. He has some fantastic skills in the ring, but something is missing. Maybe he needs a corner man or something. I’m probably going against the majority of the fans, but I’m picking Sheamus.
Bill: Crews needs to lose this match. He needs to get screwed out of the win. Why? We need to see him fired up. We need to see him motivated. We need to see a mean streak in him. I think Crews has a world of potential, even more than Bobby Lashley (who let’s face it was Roman Reigns before Roman Reigns), but the crowd needs to get behind him. And you know who everyone hates? Seamus. Seriously, everyone hates the guy. So, why not build a program where Sheamus gets the win, keeps ducking Crews, and then Crews finally gets Sheamus, and gets the well-needed win one year after his debut at Summerslam. Winner: Sheamus
The Fatal-Four Way match for the W…W…E… World… Tag… Team… Championships is going to be insane. Vaudevillians, The Club, Enzo/Cass, and The New Day. It does not look good for the New Day to come out with the WWE Tag Team Championships, but you never know, surprises may happen.
Michael: Good grief, I hate picking this. I would like to see the titles on any one of these teams. I really, really want to see the New Day retain. Under Fatal Four rules, and it has been known to change, whether they do an elimination-style or one-fall-finish. My pick goes to the New Day to retain.
Bill: This match is all about The Club. The WWE needs to put the rocket on Gallows and Anderson’s back, and what better way than to have them win this match. If they do a one-fall finish, it’s plausible The Club could steal the win, or end up pinning Enzo. The money is in New Day chasing The Club to regain the titles. This should be a fun match. Winner: The Club
AJ Styles vs. John Cena. They even admit on live television this should have been a WrestleMania match. This could be the start of something big, or if Cena wins, the end of Styles’ main-event run.
Michael: I’m going with AJ Styles, but it won’t be clean. Interference, count-out, or something will leave us wanting another match, and I just have to believe this will not be a one-time deal, but something to be built for one of the “Big Four” events, SummerSlam.
Bill: I will be on the edge of my seat for this match. I do not want them to have Cena win this match. Styles has been programmed in main event feuds, but he’s lost every match (despite looking amazing in every single match). He needs the win here, because if he keeps losing the audience is going to start doubting he’s worthy of a main event spot. Cena will undoubtedly win the blow-off in this feud, but there’s more money to be made with Styles winning, and Cena looking to regain his shine than having Styles challenge Cena again and try to steal a win. Winner: AJ Styles
United States Championship Match: Titus O’Neal vs. Rusev;
Michael: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I’m a putz. You know who I am rooting for. He might have the U.S. Championship, but John Cena won’t be making any Lex Luger-like patriot trips across America to rally the fans. This will be time for Titus O’Neal. Rusev is not the man he was, the intimidation factor is gone, since all he does is beat up on lightweights like Sin Cara and Zack Ryder. Titus O’Neal will win. He has to. I will cry if he doesn’t. Wade Barrett left me. I have nothing.
Bill: Ugh. This is going to be such a sloppy, punch-kick match. Titus has all the charisma in the world, but his in-ring work is just not there. I always thought Rusev was destined to clash with Cena, but with he and AJ programmed, I can see this feud with Titus extending itself to Summerslam. If WWE actually believes in Titus, then make this one than just a one-off match. Let’s have Lana cost Titus the match. Let Titus go get a corner woman to neutralize Lana (hey, Titus is often on Total Divas, it can happen). Let’s give this feud some legs. I mean it’s going to be lousy feud, but hey it’s better than Ziggler/Corbin. Winner: Rusev.
Women’s Division Tag Team Match: Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Natalya & Becky Lynch
Michael: Ehhh, I’m not sure what to think here. Charlotte is doing the whole “I’m mean to everyone, even my friends” bit, while Natalya is the challenger who keeps on challenging. Lynch is likely eyeballing a title match, and we just had Paige come back and maul Charlotte too. Natalya and Lynch get the win.
Bill: This has the potential to be a good match. Sadly, it probably won’t be. This’ll be more about Dana/Charlotte at odds (it’s way too early for this by the way), then the actual match. I’m over Nattie/Charlotte too, let’s move elsewhere. I think we’ll see some dissension between Team Flair (which means they’ll separate Charlotte & Dana in the draft), and Team Becktalya wins. Winner: Becky & Natalya
Finally, we have the Money in the Bank match. Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn, Chris Jericho, Cesaro, and Alberto del Rio. This might be the craziest MITB match. We already got a slight preview with most of these wrestlers in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder match at WrestleMania. This one is too close to call, so this time, we have something different!
Top Pick: Cesaro – He’s been getting the slow build, and by crowd reactions, is quite over. I could say the same for Zayn and Ambrose, but Cesaro I can see as the guy who can cash in, storyline-free. He has the fit right now to be the unpredictable WWE Champion.
2) Kevin Owens – Ring skills. Mic skills. All skills. The guy can wreck and rule in any situation, giving the unstable Owens the MITB briefcase makes him the most unstable, unpredictable holder since Edge won the first MITB match. The banter and teasing from him would be priceless.
3) Dean Ambrose – Having him win, only sets up the storyline with him against Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to tease the Shield reunion match. Problem is, they could do this without wasting the briefcase as the way in. Just make Ambrose #1 contender, make it a triple threat at SummerSlam and call it day. Don’t waste the case on a storyline.
4) Chris Jericho – I feel his swan song may be near, and a final run as champion, despite it likely being a short run, I could see it as a possibility to be a transitional champion.
5) Alberto del Rio – It could happen. He’s an unpredictable one too, but there really isn’t room for him on the main event scene, and I feel the briefcase will likely go to one of the younger wrestlers in the match.
6) Sami Zayn – Oh, I’m probably going to be hated for putting him last. But face truth, he’s not the one to cash in on Reigns, or Rollins, or hell, even Lesnar. It’s just not his time yet. Maybe next year.
Bill: The draft REALLY makes things weird. If there are two champions again, then I could see the MITB holder cashing in, and being the face of whatever show Roman Reigns isn’t on. However, until I know that for a fact, I’ll base it on the traditional MITB Rules.
1. Kevin Owens: He absolutely must win this match. Why? Because he’s the most entertaining human being in WWE right now. Imagine all the promos with the briefcase? Imagine all the guest commentary with KO calling Byron a douche, and wearing JBL’s cowboy hat? And when he cashes in — the place will absolutely will absolutely ignite.
2. Alberto del Rio: Listen, perro. ADR needs something, anything. I think the brand split will benefit him greatly, and we know he can easily be over as a heel or face. In fact, how much of a babyface pop does he get with the “Si! Si! Si!” chant. And imagine if they ever pull the trigger on a storyline with him and real-life GF Paige in his corner. They could be the new Edge/Lita in terms of heat (the promos will never on the same level though).
3. Dean Ambrose: It’ll be great when they pull the damn trigger on an Ambrose title reign. Of course, it’d be Tommy Dreamer in ECW-esque run. He wins, then immediately loses the belt to the MITB winner. Could I also see him winning and we get the SHIELD scenario Mike mentioned? Absolutely.
4. Chris Jericho: Only a stupid idiot would rule out Y2J winning.
5. Cesaro: Super-over. His matches are great. The promo work has improved dramatically. Not winning though.
6. Sami Zayn: He’s an underdog for a reason.
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns – WWE Title
Bill: Prediction: Shenanigans will abound! Could we see Seth winning and ending Roman’s third not-so-long title run? Sure! Could we see it ending inconclusively? Absolutely.
Michael: There has been so little hype for this, I feel it will end with a whimper, only to be built a bit stronger towards SummerSlam. There will probably be some sort of interference, resulting in a confusing conclusion. Does it mean Reigns will retain? Not necessarily. Rollins could win, sending us all in shock. However, I feel Roman Reigns will keep the WWE Championship. Right now, fans would be overjoyed if Seth Rollins wins the title. Maybe that is why this match has little hype, so we don’t get our hopes up? If this is the final match of the night, it will be a bummer.