Ladder Match for a contract for WWE World Heavyweight Championship match
Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose
This is the match that has enabled this pay-per-view to usurp Survivor Series as a 'Big Four' show. Put a bunch of talented workers in a ring with a bunch of ladders. Give them something immensely valuable in kayfabe over which to fight. Sit back and watch magic happen.
It almost looked like we wouldn't get a battle for the briefcase this year. With the focus on the WWE World Heavyweight Championship having been vacated due to Daniel Bryan's injury, the concept was co-opted for a match where the belts would be suspended above the ring instead of a briefcase containing a contract for a shot at those belts.
But the storytelling possibilities opened up by someone stalking the champ who can call for a referee and try to pin him at any time (usually shortly after he's been beaten senseless) were too much to pass up. So with time running out before Sunday, June 29th, Triple H announced that there would be a second ladder match. Six men were named to join his new recruit Seth Rollins, and here we are.
The Road to Money in the Bank
Let's check in on each competitor individually and see what they've been up to, shall we?
Nothing much. Just betrayed one of the most successful factions in pro wrestling history by attacked Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose from behind with a steel chair and aligned himself with Triple H and The Authority - breaking a million mark hearts with each swing.
Claimed to be the brains behind everything The Shield accomplished and declared both of his former partners worthless without him. Has been working with Randy Orton and Kane to do The Game's bidding, and was rewarded by being the first man entered into this match. Also got his wishes with regards to...
Has kind of snapped since the break-up of his old trio, but he was pretty bent even when they were together. Dean's made it his mission to rearrange Seth's face, and wasn't about to let him earn a title shot in peace (in fact, he wasn't going to let anyone earn a title shot until he'd gotten his hands on his old partner). A win would make a lot of people happy, and force Hunter to explain to the missus why a scumbag has a title shot.
Rob Van Dam
The first of several former holders of the briefcase, and each one in this bout successfully cashed in the contract in for a run with one of the two big belts. RVD lost a qualifying match to Cesaro that would have put him in the other ladder match on the PPV. He's put over the Swiss Superman in their interactions, and now he's being asked to do the same for Rollins.
Immediately after having been announced for this match, Triple H mocked his chances, and The Whole F'n Show took exception in his own laid back way. That lead to a solid match with Seth that ended in disqualification due to Dean Ambrose's crazy ass, but it still sets the stage for some interesting interaction in the match...and possibly beyond...between the ECW veteran and the traitor.
Bad News Barrett The reigning Intercontinental champion is finally getting over with a gimmick started on YouTube Never mind. While there's been no official announcement, the bump that caused his injury did not look good. It's presumed that WWE will go with a six-man match instead of the originally scheduled seven.
Has won the briefcase before and used it to become World Heavyweight Champion (WHC) before his run was derailed by a concussion. One of the knocks on him is that he's injury prone, and that he whines a lot. The second one seems to be getting better, so he's actually been on the receiving end of a small push heading into to Sunday's PPV.
Sure, he's only got one win in the last few weeks, but that was over the Intercontinental champ. Triple H said his name, and in terms of television time - that and his matches against golden boy Rollins are pretty valuable. To really make an impression, he'll need to make it through this match without getting hurt. Which features a man that Dolph (and now Wade) knows makes that a challenge...
For whatever reasons, guys who are in the middle of pushes and wrestle The Real American have a higher probability of ending up on the shelf than guys who are in the middle of pushes who don't wrestle The Real American. Barrett is the latest to run into this particular brand of voodoo.
It hasn't resulted in any overt punishment for the former MitB winner and WHC, but it has resulted in losing a feud with Adam Rose and just basically doing a lot of work with comedy babyfaces while still being deprived of an animal mascot of his own (no, Zeb Colter doesn't count).
The only person in this one (provided Barrett is indeed scratched) who has been in a Money in the Bank ladder match before but never held the briefcase. And the odds of him winning here are on the 'none' side of 'between slim and ...'
The Wildcat is in this contest to do something crazy and amazing, like lacing his boots up around a pair of ladders and using them as stilts, or springboarding from the ropes to a ladder that then falls to the barricade which he then tightrope walks to hit an enziguri on a guy climbing another ladder, or something. After that he'll probably disappear while the guys with ongoing storylines do stuff.
It kind of sucks, but it's his job. And it beats working at Wal-Mart.
What's at Stake?
A part in the championship story for the next few months, or up to a year. It's not a sure thing that the winner of this match will be able to convert it into WWE gold anymore, but the odds are still in his favor.
What happens in this match will either give us a glimpse into the company's plans for the top titles, or reveal just how seat of the pants all of their booking is right now. Most think that Rollins' ascent continues tonight, but Ambrose is a favored son as well. Ziggler or RVD would shock a lot of people, but would also provide decent fodder for a champ like Brock Lesnar should they decide to go with another part-time titleholder. Swagger or Kingston co-, I mean they mig- BWAHAHAHA...sorry, guys, I tried.
Cageside Seats is the place to find out what's next for WWE and the winner of tonight's briefcase...stay with us!