WWE is finally back on the road in front of live audiences! What's great about this is we no longer have to pretend the ThunderDome audience enjoys the drivel they're being fed. You're on notice Vince, this Alexa Bliss bullcrap is about to backfire spectacularly when real fans reject the shit out of it.
This Sunday is Money in the Bank, the first WWE PPV held before a live crowd since Elimination Chamber 2020. For that reason alone this show should be a fun watch. Pro wrestling in front of no audience is a tough sell at best, but a hot crowd that's happy to be in the building can make a mediocre show soar. On top of that, this card looks to be pretty solid. It's unfortunate the Bianca-Bayley match is off, thanks to a training injury that put Bayley on the shelf (The fuck kinda training were they making her do?), but there are numerous other potentially good bouts lined up. Let's take a look.
RAW Tag Team Championship: AJ Styles & Omos vs. Viking Raiders
Man, where have the Raiders been? I feel like they were off TV the entire pandemic. Good to see them being used again. I don't think I see them winning the straps here since AJ and Omos have barely done anything since winning them, but stranger things have happened. Should be a solid piece of business regardless.
Pick: AJ & Omos retain for now
Women's Money in the Bank: Asuka vs. Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki ASH vs. Liv Morgan vs. Zelina Vega vs. Natalya vs. TBD
Alexa is in this match, so it's gonna be pure garbage. Seriously, this character and the Fiend character need to go the fuck away and never come back. Everything they touch turns to shit. Imagine being stuck in the women's division on the same show as Alexa. "Welp, I'm not doing anything good this month..." Also the Nikki Almost Super Hero character is stupid. Also Zelina Vega going back to WWE is stupid, particularly considering her husband got the fuck out and so did the guy she used to manage. Also I hope TBD is Becky Lynch and she wins.
Pick: If TBD = Becky, then Becky = winner. If not, fuckin' hell, it's probably Alexa.
RAW Women's Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
It's Rhea vs. Charlotte in front of a crowd, at last. I missed their match last month, but it sounded like it was just eh. But now they'll have the crowd energy to play off of, and I presume this is the blowoff? I don't see any reason to take the belt off Ripley yet, so hopefully they won't.
Pick: Rhea Ripley retains, really.
WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley vs. Kofi Kingston
I'm amazed Kofi is actually getting a WWE Title match on PPV after being dumped back into the tag ranks following Brock squashing him for the belt. What a pointless end to his big push. Sadly because of how he was demoted, Kofi has zero credibility as a title challenger for the monster that is Lashley.
Pick: Lashley retains
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Edge
So this is it, huh folks? Roman steamrolls all the full-time guys and now we're left with part-timer Edge failing to win the belt a second time, and next month it'll be semi-retiree John Cena, since there's no interest in actually building up a proper babyface challenger? What a great recipe for continued success - an unbeatable heel champion with no real contenders. Obviously Reigns is keeping the belt here on his way to the rumored match with Cena. Christ....
Pick: Roman Reigns retains, ready?
Men's Money in the Bank: Ricochet vs. John Morrison vs. Matt Riddle vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Big E vs. Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins
I don't think I've ever seen a Money in the Bank field as loaded with talent as this one. Goddamn there's a lot of good wrestlers here. Between Ric and JoMo we have the high spot quotient covered, Owens, Drew and Big E are the big bruiser guys, Nak and Riddle are the legit MMA dudes, and Big Match Seth is always game. Drew seems the most likely to win this, as Seth has already had this briefcase, Nakamura is apparently the King now (I'm sure he's thrilled...), Owens got beaten like a drum by Roman earlier this year, Ric and JoMo are solidly in the midcard, Riddle is busy with Randy, and that just leaves Big E as the #2 guy. Eh, I guess I'll go with the E to finally take that next step since Drew's been in the title picture nonstop for the last 18 months.
Pick: Big E
Between the fairly strong match lineup and the fact that a live crowd will actually be present, I may sit down and watch this one. First WWE show for me since Backlash. Hopefully they'll deliver and at least get back to producing enjoyable PPV events.
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