Patriot readers got a bit of a wrestling break this month, as a rather lackluster Extreme Rules card (minus the main event) really didn’t leave too much to talk about, before or after the show.
However, one of my personal favorite (if not my absolute favorite) pay-per-views of the year – Money in the Bank – is upon us, and the card looks to have the potential to live up to the hype surrounding the briefcase that will be suspended above the ring.
Jinder Mahal (c) (with The Singh Brothers) vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship
I usually end with the championship match out of respect to the championship, but who am I kidding?
WWE went from a boring champion to a boring champion with an anti-American gimmick. Jinder is only slightly more entertaining as champion than Orton was, and the Singh brothers are still just the evil henchmen that flip-between getting in the way and getting slapped around.
I’ll give this one to Jinder, only to say that maybe the WWE is still giving him a shot to grow and develop as champion.
Prediction: Jinder Mahal retains
The Usos (c) vs The New Day for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
We haven’t seen The New Day since they were traded to Smackdown during the Superstar Shake-up. However, part of their triumphant return includes a shot at the tag champs.
The Uso’s reign has been refreshing since the lackluster debacle that was the American Alpha. They’ve done a lot to bring some prestige back to the titles and the tag division itself.
I definitely feel that Jimmy and Jey will be dropping the titles to the Unicorn Stampede, however I don’t think that it will be happening just yet.
Prediction: The Usos retains
Naomi (c) vs Lana for the Smackdown Women’s Championship
It wasn’t too long ago that the Smackdown Women’s Championship meant something.
Yeah, I went there.
The blue brand’s women’s division seems to have fallen in a bit of an identity crisis as of late, which is unfortunate considering the wealth of talent in the division.
As exciting as many were to see Naomi win the title, her reign has seemed a bit scatter brained and uneventful; she didn’t even defend the title at the last Smackdown PPV.
Then there’s Lana, who up until recently has been the manager to her real life husband Rusev. Now – and quite randomly – she finds herself away from her husband in a wrestling role, and for the title no less.
This match screams red herring to me. I think Lana will put on a convincing performance in a losing effort, leaving a victorious Naomi battered and beaten. Then another woman’s – the winner of the women’s Money in the Bank match – music will hit.
Predictable? Yeah. Done before? Multiple times. But Naomi isn’t leaving with her title, and maybe it will bring some freshness and direction back to the Women’s Championship picture.
Prediction: Naomi wins, but gets “cashed in” on by MitB winner
Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella (with James Ellsworth) in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
In a word: history.
History will be made this Sunday, as for the first time ever the women of WWE will have the opportunity to ascend a ladder and grab a hold of their destiny in the form o a briefcase.
Because this is a “first time ever” sort of deal it’s a little hard to try and call. But here’s my take.
- Carmella is good, but she isn’t quite “there” to be a champion yet. She brings an awesome dynamic into the match with James Ellsworth, who I guarantee will try to climb the ladder for his special lady. Ellsworth should provide at least one extremely entertaining, high-risk bump.
- Tamina still needs some developing. Many – myself included – still don’t see her as much more than a glorified body guard type for another superstar.
- My poor Becky Lynch…WWE has been there, done that. She’s been kind of lost in the shuffle as of late anyways.
That leaves Natalya and Charlotte, both extraordinarily gifted athletes from a generational family of wrestlers.
While I’m sure many would put their money on Charlotte out of the two, I’m giving it to Natalya. Charlotte is still pretty over even without a title, and Natalya would be more the sneaky type to pull off the action I alluded to in my Women’s title prediction.
AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Any of these men would be a great person to hold the briefcase and be the next “Mr. Money in the Bank.” With such a star studded group of wrestlers, this easily is going to be a fast paced, high action spectacle.
Ziggler is the only one to ever win the briefcase before, but I don’t see him winning it again this time around. More than likely, he’s just in for some added flash.
Sami Zayn is the underdog from the underground. I still say he’ll eventually see his day, but like Ziggler I just think he’s some flash power.
It just makes sense to have the Phenomenal One in this match. AJ Styles tends to bring the best out of every match and opponent. He doesn’t need the title nor the briefcase, but man am I happy he’s in the match anyways.
I have long said that Kevin Owens and the Money in the Bank briefcase were made for each other. The problem is that he currently holds the US Title, and while the US Champion has won the briefcase before (Miz did it in 2010), he’s flourishing as “The New Face of America” and the briefcase may get in the way of that.
I thought Nakamura might be winning this match right up until he climbed the ladder during this week’s Smackdown and grabbed the briefcase to end the show. That puts a lot of eyes on Shinsuke (If they weren’t already on him) and opens the possibility for a surprise winner.
Baron Corbin has done well establishing himself as a “big man” and getting himself established in the main event scene. I still feel like he has a bit more to go before he’s championship caliber, however in my gut I feel like Corbin will be the one to stand victorious atop the ladder at the end.
Prediction: Baron Corbin