WWE is all set to kick off its annual Money in the Bank (MITB) pay-per-view (PPV) event this Sunday night (June 29, 2014) inside the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, airing live on the promotion's digital network in addition to traditional outlets.
Notice anything unusual?
MITB 2014 is doing things a little differently this time out, thanks to an untimely injury to WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan, who was forced to cough up the strap after emergency neck surgery. Therefore, we have a championship ladder match, as well as the traditional briefcase bonanza (with some golden filling in between).
Let's see how it all shakes out.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match
Participants: Alberto Del Rio, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, John Cena, Kane, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Sheamus
Who should win: John Cena
Who will win: Kane
Lame duck: Kane
Dark horse: Bray Wyatt
It was hard to type the words "John Cena should win," because he's done enough winning to last him the rest of his career. However, I'm playing fantasy booker and I think the best case scenario is having LOLCENAWINS just so he can have that big money (re)match against Brock Lesnar and drop the strap.
That sets up another improbable run at the title from a returning Daniel Bryan, which culminates at SummerSlam.
Unfortunately, the only available intel has Kane winning, so that he can finish up his protracted program with D-Bry and send the champ into SummerSlam opposite the one in 21-1. I suppose as long as we get Lesnar vs. Bryan, it shouldn't matter how we get there, but for my money, Cena > Kane.
As for Roman Reigns?
I can't pick him as the showstopper because he's got to contend with Cesaro. I think Reigns will be too busy with his power moves and spears while the Swiss destroyer is uppercutting fools left and right. Still, it's hard to count out Bray Wyatt at this stage of the game.
Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton will likely get lost in the shuffle.
MITB Ladder Match For WWE World Heavyweight Championship Contract
Participants: Bad News Barrett, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, Rob Van Dam, Seth Rollins
Who should win: Seth Rollins
Who will win: Seth Rollins
Showstopper: Kofi Kingston
Lame duck: Jack Swagger
Dark horse: Dean Ambrose
This is the Seth Rollins show and rightly so. He's still got plenty of sizzle since The Shield imploded and this type of chaotic free-for-all of a match plays to his strengths. He should -- and will -- win the briefcase because it belongs in the hands of a heel with Daniel Bryan coming back in a few short weeks.
Hopefully, Swagger doesn't kill him with a ladder.
Don't be surprised to see Rollins spend a majority of his time under the spotlight with Dean Ambrose. Not only does it make sense stylistically, it fits well within the construct of the current storyline. I wanted to give the former "Architect" the label of showstopper, too, but I have a feeling Kofi Kingston is going for broke this weekend in "Beantown."
Speaking of things that are broke...
Wade Barrett is still day-to-day, but I would not be surprised to see him get replaced by Big E. or Rusev, which is a win/win in my book. And we still have showstopper runner-up Dolph Ziggler to sell death every five minutes, which means this organized clusterfuck is probably going to be match of the night.
By a mile.
Jimmy & Jey Uso vs. Wyatt Family's Luke Harper & Erick Rowan For WWE Tag Team Championship
I know, I know, it's crazy talk, but remember when The Shield won three titles at Extreme Rules back in May 2013? How awesome would it be if Bray Wyatt walked out of the TD Garden as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, with Rowan & Harper dragging the Tag Team straps behind them?
Too bad, because you can loosely tie Bray Wyatt to Daniel Bryan after their brief stint earlier this year. And there's no easier way to have Bray go face than a feud with THE BUZZARD INCARNATE. Instead, the Usos are assigned to the "give them something to do" match on this card.
Could Rowan & Harper leave as champs?
I just don't see a reason for it. They can be just as formidable without the belts and I think we're at a point now where Creative is trying to figure out what to do next. The Cena feud is winding down and Abigail's baby brother needs a new face to latch onto.
'Doze titles tho...
Paige vs. Naomi For WWE Divas Championship
Having Naomi win the WWE Divas championship wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, since it would give Paige a new look and freshen things up a bit. Unfortunately for the talented Funkadactyl, the timing just isn't right, because we aren't mired in another season of Total Divas, which still remains a guilty pleasure for some wrasslin' fans (like me).
That brings us to the break up.
It looks like splitsville for Naomi and Cameron, which means Naomi isn't getting the gold, because there is no way WWE is putting Cameron in a series of title matches. I also doubt Creative would keep the champ tied up with recurring bomb.com promos every week.
Losing AJ Lee, then Tamina Snuka and Brie Bella, puts the Divas champ in a tough spot. I mean, it's not like they have a talented blonde Aussie at their disposal, who just so happened to work a bunch of all-star matches with Paige in NXT. Shit, if only there was someone like that on the roster.
Meh, they'd probably just waste her on something stupid anyway.