UPDATE: This was written before WWE announced “how” Apollo’s replacement would be determined. Read about that here. Their announcement doesn’t significantly impact our discussion of the “who” though. Continue on for that.
Apollo Crews was having one of, if not the best night of his WWE career on Raw Monday night (April 27).
In a trios match he was a part of because he’d already qualified for this year’s Money in the Bank ladder match, Crews pinned United States champion Andrade. That led to a match for the red, white, and blue belt. Apollo didn’t win, but he was protected from having to be pinned or submitted himself by an injury angle (which may be covering for a real injury). That seemed poised to give him some good old-fashioned babyface sympathy heading into the May 10 PPV... until WWE announced he was out of the battle for the briefcase.
That creates an opening in the six man match. Someone will take Crews’ spot and compete against Rey Mysterio, Aleister Black, Daniel Bryan, King Corbin, and the winner of Friday’s Dolph Ziggler/Otis match. You’d think Apollo’s replacement would come from the red brand, but as we were reminded with last year’s men’s Money in the Bank match, WWE will adjust the rules as needed to tell the story they want to tell.
So, who do we think gets the nod? These are the possibilities who seem to be mentioned the most...
Hey, he did the injuring - at least in kayfabe. Have his business associate Zelina Vega lobby for his inclusion and voila! Vega’s trio has been way too prominent on Raw this month to sit out the May 10 PPV entirely, which based on the card as it’s currently constructed, they would.
Plus, the men’s Money in the Bank match needs more heels (Corbin’s the only heel in the mix). Babyfaces don’t work as well with the briefcase, and both brand’s champs are currently good guys. Who doesn’t want to see Zelina show up in various outfits with her equally ridiculously attractive squad to stalk Drew McIntyre for a few months?
We were informed of the Modern Day Maharajah’s championship pedigree way too much during his return on Monday night for it not to be leading somewhere. The somewhere everyone expects it to lead is a 3MB reunion gone wrong against McIntyre. The briefcase is an easy way to get there. Just putting him in the match gives WWE another way to tie him to the WWE title scene.
Between the “Climb The Corporate Ladder” theme of this year’s Money in the Bank, and WWE’s ongoing celebration of The Game’s 25th anniversary with the company, fans have been hoping/dreading Haitch would be added to the field on May 10. Now there’s an opening... anticipation/fear intensifies.
It would throw off the balance of red and blue brand entrants, and do nothing to address the face heavy line-up. But all those videos are leading to something big for the Charismatic Enigma. And if Bray Wyatt makes Braun Strowman’s Universal title reign a short one, Brother Nero makes a more compelling opponent for The Fiend than running back the Daniel Bryan feud.
Raw has been short a lot of big names lately. AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, or Randy Orton are all main event players, if they opt to work during the pandemic (or stop selling the damage they took at WrestleMania, whichever it is). A part-timer like Edge, Undertaker or Brock Lesnar (again) could show up on Mother’s Day.
It’s all misdirection! Apollo’s fine, but will show up at Titan Towers to limp his way through the match. He’ll probably come up short, but hopefully continue to make a name for himself via the power of fighting spirit!
Are we missing anybody? Let us know in the comments below. That’s also where you should justify whatever prediction you make via this here poll...
Who will replace Apollo Crews in the 2020 Money in the Bank ladder match?
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