WWE Money in the Bank 2011 is finally here and will be live Sunday night from Chicago. Anticipation is high for CM Punk’s final night in the WWE and whether he leaves the company with the WWE championship or will John Cena keep his job and disappoint Punk’s legion of followers?
Other than WrestleMania 27, I can’t remember a pay per view with this much excitement going in. The intrigue of Punk leaving with the WWE title and the number of scenarios possible have had fans buzzing for three weeks about the big event. Well the wait is over, it is finally here, so let’s make some predictions and pick some winners.
CM Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE championship – For those of you that may have been living under a rock the last three weeks, this one has a real interesting story. CM Punk is leaving the WWE. Punk’s contract is up and he signed an extension which will keep him with the company until midnight Sunday night/Monday morning. In other words, if Punk wins he is leaving as champion. Vince McMahon has also deemed that John Cena will be fired if Punk leaves the building as WWE champion. It doesn’t get much better than this!
I actually wrote a real lengthy blog about the CM Punk vs. John Cena scenarios which I would ask you to check out for a more detailed look at the match. However, I am going to look at this from two different points of view. One, I will take a look at the match assuming Punk is really leaving. Two, I will take a look at the match assuming Punk has re-signed in secrecy.
[adinserter block=”2″]As of this writing Punk is leaving, so let’s go with that. There have been subtle hints all along about the Montreal Screwjob without outright saying it. I think that is where this thing is going.
I think Vince McMahon comes down to ringside early playing off of the Montreal Survivor Series finish. I look for Punk and Cena to have a competitive match for awhile. About 15-20 minutes into the match I think Cena has Punk in the STF and guess what happens next? Vince orders the time keeper to ring the bell and award Cena the match, ala: Montreal Screwjob.
But unlike the 1997 Survivor Series, John Cena doesn’t just grab the belt and run to the back (although it would be awesome if he did and set up a heel turn). I think Cena grabs the mic, calls Vince out on his bogus finish, and demands that the match continues. Vince foams at the mouth but eventually whether it be through Vince or the Anonymous G.M., the match restarts.
Ten minutes later Cena comes back from the depths of defeat and miraculously pulls out the win. Cena puts over Punk, Punk shakes his hand, they hug, and Punk leaves as a babyface, while Cena earns the respect of the hostile New York crowd. But wait a second! You don’t screw with the boss, especially if you are Vince McMahon!
I think Vince orders the Money in the Bank winner to the ring, Cena loses, and we have ourselves a new WWE champion after all. This sets up a full-fledged return by Vince McMahon as a lead heel and Cena’s enemy and a new feud for the rest of the summer between Cena and the MITB winner.
Now let’s assume that Punk re-signs in secrecy and stays with the WWE. I see a similar scenario of the competitive match but this time I see interference throughout the match from Luke Gallows and Colt Cabana from the crowd. One of these incidents leads to the finish and we have ourselves a brand new WWE champion. The hometown boy wins the title in Chicago and is taking it home. Not so fast!
Vince McMahon comes out, tells Punk he will never leave with the title, and orders security to escort Gallows and Cabana out of the ring. Just as they leave the SmackDown MITB winner hits the ring to cash in, a quick match later Punk pulls out the win. But it still isn’t over for Punk. The RAW MITB winner hits the ring, cashes in, and Punk…still wins the match! Finally Vince orders Alberto Del Rio to the ring, deems him the number one contender since Alberto won a #1 contender’s match on RAW, and makes the match telling Del Rio it is his only shot before the title leaves the company. Finally we have a new WWE champion in Alberto Del Rio. CM Punk leaves as a huge babyface but will return in a few months with a vengeance!
Randy Orton vs. Christian for the WWE world heavyweight championship with the DQ rule waived – Welcome back to the Christian vs. Orton show. Christian and Orton will do battle for the fourth time, third on pay per view with an added wrinkle at Money in the Bank. The DQ rule will be waived meaning that Orton will lose the title if he is disqualified. This was an old gimmick used regularly back in the N.W.A. during Ric Flair’s days as champion and has Dusty Rhodes’ finger prints all over it.
I don’t know what more I can say about these guys that I haven’t already said. I love this feud, their matches, and this entire storyline. I wouldn’t have a problem if we saw three more matches in the next two months. Yet at some point something has to give here and either Christian has to go over or you need to move on.
I think this is the night. I think this is the night Christian goes over for a number of reasons. One, Punk is not walking out of Chicago with the WWE title. Putting Christian over will be something of a consolation prize to those fans. Two, the SmackDown ratings have been terrible lately and maybe the company takes a shot in the dark here with a new champion. Three, I think the WWE would love to culminate this feud at SummerSlam, so having Orton win again makes little reason for a fifth match at the August event.
I think this one comes down to the disqualification rule. I think something happens where a referee is bumped, Christian brings a chair or the belt in the ring, ref wakes up seeing Orton with the weapon, disqualifies him and awards Christian the title. Regardless of who wins, I expect a great match as usual out of this rivalry on Sunday night.
Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Alex Riley vs. R-Truth vs. The Miz vs. Evan Bourne vs. Jack Swagger RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match – I did a lengthy preview by the odds last week on the blog so I won’t rehash too much of it here. But I think the winner is obvious…almost a little too obvious.
Alberto Del Rio is the clear favorite here. There have been reports out for months about a planned Del Rio vs. Cena SummerSlam match and feud. Del Rio is hot right now and is coming off the #1 contender’s win. It just makes sense. Unfortunately when it comes to the WWE, the easy answer is usually the wrong answer.
Going back to the CM Punk vs. John Cena match and looking at the scenario of Punk re-signing, I would have to predict another winner. The winner would also have to be someone who would go out later as a sacrificial lamb to Punk. Del Rio is not that guy. I am going to go with a long shot in that scenario and pick Evan Bourne.
Evan Bourne can come out as the reluctant babyface ordered by Vince McMahon to cash in his Money in the Bank opportunity now. Bourne and Punk can have a real exciting match for a few minutes which ends with Punk winning. Maybe it is me but it appears that they are pushing Bourne a lot harder than usual lately. I think Bourne wins this one…if Punk is staying and my above scenario plays out.
If not I will go with Del Rio for the safe choice. I think this turns out to be a pretty good match but not nearly as exciting as the SmackDown MITB match. Other than Bourne and Rey Mysterio, you don’t have any real daredevils in this one as opposed to the other brand’s match. I would be shocked to see Miz, Riley, Swagger, or Truth take this one. I think Del Rio tosses Bourne off the ladder to win or vice versa if Punk stays and the above scenario plays out.
Daniel Bryan vs. Heath Slater vs. Kane vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Sheamus vs. Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Talk about a match that has a ton of potential right here! I did a lengthy preview by the odds last week on the blog so I won’t rehash too much of it here other than a quick rundown.
Sheamus is clearly being positioned as the favorite in this one. Sheamus has probably benefited more than anyone from the 2011 WWE Draft and has found new life on SmackDown as a top heel. A win here would really solidify his comeback and breathe new life into his chase for the title.
[adinserter block=”1″]Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes are two guys that fit the mold of past Money in the Bank winners. In the past, the MITB contract was used to elevate a young guy that was ready to move up to the next level. I think both of these men fit that bill. I lean a little more towards Cody with Bryan being about a year away before getting this kind of push.
As for the match I have huge expectations here. You have a heck of a collection of great athletes and high flyers here. If Sin Cara was ever going to make some noise in the WWE, this is the time to do it. Speaking of which, will this match be in the dark? Anyway, I look for a potential Match of the Year candidate here (sorry Cena), and a win from the Celtic Warrior.
Big Show vs. Mark Henry – I have to admit, I am a little excited about this one. I have to give the WWE a lot of props for their booking here. They took a match on paper that most would have groaned about two months ago and turned it into a match that people are highly interested in watching.
Like Sheamus, Henry is clearly being positioned as the top heel on SmackDown. As a matter of a fact I think that unless Christian wins, Henry is wrestling Randy Orton at SummerSlam for the title. So I would be shocked if Henry doesn’t beat the Big Show here. Not only do I think Henry beats him, I think Henry lays him out when this one is over.
I just hope it’s short.
Full 2011 WWE Money in the Bank card…
John Cena vs. CM Punk for the WWE championship
Randy Orton vs. Christian for the WWE world heavyweight championship (DQ rule waived)
Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Alex Riley vs. R-Truth vs. The Miz vs. Evan Bourne vs. Jack Swagger RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Heath Slater vs. Kane vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Sheamus vs. Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Kelly Kelly vs. Brie Bella for the WWE Divas title
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