Friday, June 27, 2014

Money in the Bank Predictions!!

Welcome everyone to another edition of WWE PPV predictions.  Today we'll cover this Sunday's Money in the Bank PPV.

I'm gonna start by saying how disappointing the overall direction of WWE has been since WrestleMania and the night after.  As of April 7th it really felt like the whole company was gearing up for the future, pushing new stars, keeping things simple, and presenting fresh, compelling storylines.  It appeared we'd see a massive spring/summer feud of The Authority vs. Daniel Bryan & The Shield.  Inexplicably the company decided to take the weakest member of Triple H's faction, the exceedingly damaged 47-year-old Kane, and have him feud with the hottest star and WWE Champion Daniel Bryan.  They had one good match at Extreme Rules but the feud itself was asinine.

Then everything got royally screwed up when Bryan unexpectedly had to get neck surgery, which has forced him to the sidelines indefinitely, sadly resulting in his being stripped of the WWE Title.  Worse timing in wrestling I cannot remember.  This would be like Austin getting the infamous Owen Hart tombstone a month after winning the WWF Title at WrestleMania XIV.  It really just sucks.

So now we have the main event of MITB designed to fill the vacated Title, and the company presented a series of qualifying matches to determine the participants.  This is a great idea to build up the importance of the match and weed out the less deserving contenders.  Of course that all got thrown out the window when they announced a secondary MITB match for the good ol' Briefcase, and didn't make anyone in this match qualify for it.  And almost all of the secondary match participants are guys who couldn't qualify for the primary match.  So there was a series of matches to earn a shot at the Championship, but if you lost your match that's okay because you'll still get a shot at the briefcase that guarantees you a shot at the Championship.  Oh, and here's the best part: that last qualifying match between John Cena and Kane?  Both guys are in the primary MITB match anyway.  Kane didn't qualify for the Title match, yet he's in the Title match.  So congratulations WWE, you've wasted everyone's time with three weeks of qualifying matches and officially made them meaningless.  Super.

That being said, both MITB matches should be good.  But if I'm being honest I'd rather see a series of singles midcard matches than a secondary MITB match.

On to the predictions.  As of now Justin leads Dan in overall correct predictions, with a score of 18/22 vs. 15/22.

Yeah I know this is a Payback graphic, I couldn't find one for MITB.
Screw it, it's the same match with the same result.

Rusev vs. Big E. - Same shit, different month.  Or, actually same shit, same month.  These guys fought on June 1st, and this match will have the same result as that one.

Justin's pick: Rusev
Dan's pick: Also going with the big Russian, Bulgarian, whatever he is.

WWE Divas Title Match: Paige vs. Naomi - Remember how exciting Paige's debut was?  Now she's basically just another Diva with no real character traits.  Incidentally if you want to see how good women's wrestling can actually be, watch NXT.  They actually give a shit about the Divas there (Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya at NXT Takeover was incredible).

Justin's pick: Paige
Dan's pick: Yea, sure. I don’t care. Paige

Goldust/Stardust vs. Rybaxel - These two teams are capable of solid work, so if given enough time this could be a fine undercard match.  I have little interest in it other than that.  Our friend Scott however will lose his mind if Rybaxel wins.

Justin's pick: The 'Dusts
Dan's pick: Gotta go with Dusty’s boys riding some momentum here.

WWE Tag Team Title Match: Usos vs. Harper & Rowan - This should be a very good tag match.  The Usos have been pushed pretty well as Tag Champs and despite the shrinking division the Titles are still worth something.  But I gotta think the Wyatt henchmen will finally win the belts and go on a reign of terror.

Justin's pick: Harper & Rowan
Dan's pick: Buzzards

Traditional Money in the Bank Match: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Wade Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam - As I said before I think the idea of this match sucks.  I'm horribly tired of the MITB concept because hardly anyone benefits from it anymore.  The surprise cash-in after the Champion has just wrestled a match or been knocked out lost its charm years ago, and it allows the company to push the Briefcase holder as a total chump (unless his name is Randy Orton in which case he's made to look like a chump only after winning the Title).  Whereas if they altered the rule so the Briefcase guy had to call his shot a month in advance, they'd be forced to actually, ya know, push him like a strong contender, and if he won the Title it would mean something.

Anyway this match should be a lot of fun given the talent involved.  Seth Rollins is the obvious choice but I gotta think he and Ambrose will cancel each other out, leading to a series of blistering singles matches.  I've got some Bad News for everyone....

Justin's pick: Wade Barrett*
Dan's pick: Ambrose

*Barrett sustained a separated shoulder at this week's Smackdown tapings, so his status is uncertain right now.  If he's out of the match I'll go with Rollins.

WWE Championship Money in the Bank match: John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Kane - This should also be a good match which will hopefully allow the three future main eventers (Reigns, Cesaro and Wyatt) a chance to shine.  I'm honestly pleased at how unpredictable this one is.  There are several guys who could conceivably win here, so I'll have to eliminate the options one by one.

Del Rio hasn't been relevant all year and could be leaving the company when his contract expires, so he's out.  I'd love to see Sheamus take the belts, turn heel, and defend against Daniel Bryan when he returns, but I don't see that happening here.  Cesaro is on the cusp of great things, and a future Cesaro-Bryan Title match would be off the charts, but it's too soon for Tony to headline a PPV at this point.  Reigns is obviously going to be Champion one day, but I see it happening at next year's WrestleMania, after Reigns wins the Rumble.  Wyatt is a dark horse who will also be a future Champ, but he needs to hold it long-term, which I don't think is in the cards right now.  Randy Orton's recent Title run was a total bust and he was portrayed as little more than Hunter's lapdog.  I don't see him regaining it.  That leaves two options, and each would indicate where Daniel Bryan is in his recovery.  Bryan's scheduled to appear on the pre-show so maybe he'll announce a return date.  We'll see.

If Kane wins the belt on Sunday, that would seem to indicate that Bryan's health is improving and he'll be ready to go for BattleGround next month, to regain the Title and move on to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.

If John Cena wins, it likely means Bryan won't be ready for BattleGround but there's an outside chance we could see Cena vs. Bryan again at SummerSlam, or even Cena vs. Bryan vs. Lesnar.  But more likely it means that Bryan's status is still up in the air and we'll see John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.  I hate the idea of yet another Cena reign, but given that the SS main event needs to be a big match, Cena going in as Champion makes the most sense from a buyrate standpoint, if Bryan won't be there.

I'm going with the safer option and picking Cena.  Yawn.

Justin's pick: John Cena
Dan's pick:  I too will have to pick West Newbury, Massachusetts’ favorite son, John Cena. It’s the option that makes the most sense for WWE right now.

And there you have it.  I'm sure we'll see one or two throwaway matches added to the card.  Anyway, this show looks decent on paper, I'm just not emotionally invested in the product right now.  Hopefully the summer (usually one of the high points of the WWE calendar) can be salvaged.

Enjoy the show!

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