Well, we’re still here; the WWE managed to keep themselves on the air and working even though every other sport and facet of entertainment has shut down by throwing a load of money at the problem. As a result, despite the fact that there is never a better time to suspend weekly WWE programming than after WrestleMania, the WWE has not only continued to put on shows in empty arenas but even gone back to live programming.
Perhaps as a result of that, and Vince McMahon’s latest attempt to get the XFL off the ground going tits-up, we saw a whole slew of names and legends released (or placed on “furloughs”) in recent weeks. Nevertheless, Raw and SmackDown have limped along, containing their storylines, and building towards what looks to be their latest effort in “cinematic wrestling” with the annual Money in the Bank even if it doesn’t seem the smartest or most moral thing to do so let’s get into some predictions for this year’s Money in the Bank…
Yeah, you read that right: Tamina. Tamina. A woman who has been absent from the WWE for so long that I completely forgot that she even worked there! Amidst all these layoffs and furloughs, Tamina is…somehow…still employed and getting title shots!
Anyway, there’s no way Tamina is winning this match as the real build is still clearly on an eventual clash between Bayley and Sasha Banks. I could maybe see Banks screwing Bayley out of the championship but that seems like it’d be more trouble than it’s worth if she wants to capture the belt herself.
My prediction: Bayley by pin fall, championship retained.
To build towards this match, the WWE put on something that almost resembled a tournament to decide the entrants, which has been a nice breath of fresh air in recent weeks. Yet, I feel like there are only two potential winners here: Shayna Baszler or Sasha Banks, as no other competitor really has any momentum behind them. Because I have a personal basis against Sasha (and I feel her feud with Bayley doesn’t really need the briefcase), I’m going to go with Shayna here just to set-up what has always been her inevitable WrestleMania rematch with Becky Lynch at SummerSlam.
My prediction: Shayna Baszler by retrieving the briefcase.
So, it’s also worth noting that, apparently, the WWE plans to have both of these cinematic matches take place at the same time so I’m sure that will result in a chaotic presentation, to say the least. Again, I like that the WWE put on a kind of tournament in the weeks leading up to the pay-per-view to decide who earned a spot in the match but why did Baron Corbin get a shot when he lost at WrestleMania? And why is the WWE so insistent on pushing Otis as a singles guy when their tag team division is so lame? The WWE even originally had Apollo Crews in this match, which was random enough, but he was “injured” right as it looked like they were putting some effort behind him and replaced with AJ Styles.
Yet, there are some fresh faces in here and that is a good thing. The post-WrestleMania season has often been about pushing new faces into the spotlight, especially in recent years, and there are some names here who have either never had a shot at a World Championship or haven’t for a long time. Because of that, I think the WWE should take a shot with Aleister Black; have him win the briefcase and then stalk Drew McIntyre on and off for a few months, laying him out with the briefcase and the Black Mass until he’s ready to cash in. whether he’ll be successful, however, is another story entirely.
My prediction: Aleister Black by retrieving the briefcase.
Yeah, we’re back with the New Day as the champions again but, at the very least, it looks as though every member of each of these teams will actually be competing at Money in the Bank so, hopefully, we’re past the Tag Team Championships being decided in matches only featuring one team member. We’ve even got a couple of new teams here: The Lucha House Party, randomly, and NXT’s newest call-ups, the Forgotten Sons. From what I’ve heard, the Forgotten Sons didn’t really do much in NXT but, since coming to Friday Night SmackDown, they’ve been pushed as a credible threat and even got a pinfall victory over the New Day…so I expect the New Day to retain and drop the belts to them in a proper two-on-two tag team match at SummerSlam.
My prediction: The New Day by pin fall, championship retained.
So, in the build up to WrestleMania, I pushed that the only storyline that made sense was to have Bray Wyatt’s former protégé, Braun Strowman, earn himself a Universal Championship match and dethrone the Fiend on the grandest stage of them all.
Instead, the WWE screwed Wyatt over and had him be decimated by Goldberg; then, when Roman Reigns pulled out of WrestleMania over health concerns, Strowman stepped in and, despite having just lost the Intercontinental Championship and having zero momentum and languished for way too long, defeated Goldberg to finally capture his first World Championship.
Rather than build Wyatt back up a bit towards a title shot by having he rack up some wins, the WWE finally had him get a big WrestleMania win (over John Cena, no less) and we’re already having this match. I would have much preferred to see both men destroy a few other competitors first to build towards an epic clash between mentor and student but, instead, we’re most likely going to see Strowman flatten Wyatt into a pancake and a rematch later down the line where Wyatt will unleash the Fiend…to much the same result, I’m sure.
My prediction: Braun Strowman by pin fall, championship retained.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen this happen but I still find it very confusing: Seth Rollins lost at WrestleMania and, yet, he gets a shot at the WWE Championship. I get why (because the WWE doesn’t like face vs. face matches) but this really should have been Kevin Owens, or at least involved him. Both Owens and McIntyre could walk the line between heel and face and been cool tweeners in the build, and maybe that will still happen but, given that Owens isn’t even on the Money in the Bank card (and my prediction for the men’s ladder match), it doesn’t look like he’ll be getting a title shot any time soon.
Either way, this should be a decent match; Rollins has done some good work as this delusional heel and having the Authors of Pain in his corner should help stack the odds against McIntyre. This is why I think we’ll see Rollins win by disqualification; either he (or his cronies) will do something to get that result or maybe McIntyre will be pushed too far but, whatever the case, I think well see a controversial finish here to pad this out for, at least, another month.
My prediction: Seth Rollins by disqualification, championship retained.
What is your level of excitement for this year’s Money in the Bank? Who do you think will grab those briefcases? What are your thoughts on the ruling that the WWE is an “essential business”? Leave a comment and pop back on Monday for my follow-up post where I’ll run through the results of the pay-per-view.