The WWE returns to the network and PPV this Sunday with Money in the Bank. The annual climb for the ladder is being promoted as the biggest MITB in event history and while that may not be true, the match could wind up as one of the most memorable of all-time.
Calling an event the biggest in history before the show takes place is nothing more than hyperbole in my opinion. Candidly, in regards to importance I don’t know that any events coming out of the show will have the lasting impact of previous MITB shows. However, the top matchups have the potential to lock down MITB as the best show of 2016 or at least thus far.
With the draft and brand split coming in just a few weeks, the reality is that this show is a lame duck show. Whatever happens in the WWE world title match will mean less with the introduction of a second world title. Whatever happens in the MITB match will mean less with the introduction of a second world title and brand. AJ Styles and John Cena will likely anchor each brand, making the consequences of their feud minimal. But hey, if you want to see some great matches, I don’t know that the WWE has offered a better lineup at the top all year long so at least watching the show will be worth your while.
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE world title
This is the match the company was banking on carrying the brand when Rollins returned. The match is an easy sell and is very logical on all fronts. The only disappointment is that Rollins didn’t return fast enough to fast-track this match to WrestleMania.
I am sure this will be a great match. Both guys have a lot to prove here and want to tear the house down. What happens at the end is the big question. A lot of people may disagree with the decision but I think Reigns retains the belt here. I do think the finish is open-ended to allow the company to rematch the two on the next event. The company has obviously made a big commitment to Reigns and a great way to solidify him as champion is to beat the guy who never lost the belt. Will it be a clean pin? Again, I doubt it. I could see these guys wrestling one more time with some kind of gimmick attached to it. I just firmly believe at the end of the day that this company continues to be all-in on Reigns which will disappoint those looking for a second Rollins title reign.
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Cesaro in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match
On paper this may be the strongest Money in the Bank match the company has booked in years. Unlike previous years where you had a weak spot or two or three, I don’t see one weak spot in the lineup. I am looking at a lineup that features of six of arguably the best workers in the company and six guys that are hungry to go out there and tear the house down. In other words, I am pumped for this match!
I typically do a light-hearted blog annually breaking down the Money in the Bank entrants and their odds to win the match. I started doing that this year when it dawned on me that every single guy in this match has a legitimate shot of winning. Everyone from Ambrose to Cesaro winning would make sense logically. While some of these guys are currently positioned stronger than others, this match has also been used to launch guys into the next tier. There is no reason Zayn or Cesaro can’t win and use this as a springboard to the next level.
However, if I was going to look at this objectively and logically pick a winner I think there is only really one guy. There is only one guy who fits into the main-event given what the future looks like of the WWE world championship. There is only one guy who would have an intriguing storyline from the start if he were to win this match. The guy who makes the most sense to win the match is Dean Ambrose.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I want him to win the match. I am just saying that logically, it makes sense to put Ambrose over. Once Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns runs its course what do you have? You have Roman Reigns as world champion without any real strong challengers in the pipeline. It is also obvious that the WWE writers still love to play with the Shield and this fits their needs. Ambrose winning the match and teasing tension between he and Reigns, not knowing when Ambrose will cash-in could lead to some interesting television.
Most are expecting Kevin Owens to win due to his recent string of losses. I don’t see it, it’s too easy. I think Zayn could be interesting but I think the company is a year away from pulling the trigger on that one. Even Del Rio could be greatly rejuvenated with a win but again, it’s not the time. I think it’s Ambrose’s to win and this leads to a fun summer with Ambrose and Reigns.
AJ Styles vs. John Cena
John Cena says this match is fifteen years in the making, yet that would have started the buzz when Cena was in UPW and I don’t think anyone was begging for this match then or even now for that matter. It’s hard to position this as something special when Styles is coming off of three straight PPV losses. Yet the WWE are doing their best to present this match as some kind of dream match.
That said, one thing I will say is that I think this match will be great. Cena had the best all-around year inside of the ring of his entire career last year. Styles got two classics out of Roman Reigns so getting the best out of Cena should be a walk in the park. I don’t expect the WWE to bring Cena back and have him lose in his big return match. I think these guys tear it up but at the end of the day I think we have the same old Cena situation where he wrestles a promising star several times and beats him 75% of the time.
Full WWE Money in the Bank 2016 card and matches…
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match contract
AJ Styles vs. John Cena…Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are banned from ring side
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and/or Xavier Woods) (c) vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) in a Fatal 4-Way tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Rusev (c) (with Lana) vs. Titus O’Neil for the WWE United States Championship
Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Becky Lynch