Whew! What a month May was! While there was some great stuff out there, it’s hard to not feel a little fatigued with the PPV overload that we received over the course of last month. Factor in an (unfortunately) botch-filled Elimination Chamber, and it’s starting to look like everyone is breaking down a little bit. Money in the Bank always makes for a great show, though, so maybe this’ll get everyone back on track. WWE has kept the Network free for another month, so if you haven’t jumped on board yet Justin can show you how right here.
Tag-Team Championship Match: The New Day vs. The Prime Time Players
Admittedly, I’m a little torn on this one. I’m a fan of both teams, but while I may appreciate Titus and Young as athletes, I haven’t seen enough from them on a character-building level to justify them pulling the upset on this one. The New Day is one of most interesting elements of the Tag Team bracket, and until something more interesting comes along (I’m looking at you, Meta Powers!) they should probably just keep headlining the division. Furthermore, I can’t help but feel that The Prime Time Players, talented though they may be, only got the #1 Contender nod because Samoa Joe broke Tyson Kidd in half a few weeks ago during a dark match, making this more of a scramble play.
What I think will happen: The New Day will maintain their dominance of the Tag-Team Bracket.
What I hope happens: Rowan and Harper are pushed as next in line for the straps. The Wyatt Family still stands, in my opinion, as the most interesting and unique team in competition right now.
Intercontinental Championship: Ryback vs. The Big Show
As you may recall from my last article, I did not pick The Big Guy to be The Guy with the strap. I’m still not sure if I see it, but a humble Ryback is certainly making progress in winning me over. Big Show has been used as a means of putting over the other guys for a while now (it was Roman Reigns just a few weeks ago), so it’s likely that he’ll just keep doing the J.O.B. here. The problem with this is that we’ve gone to that well too many times. I know that it’s not really fair to compare Big Show to Andre, but when Andre lost it meant something whereas with Big Show it’s almost the opposite. Honestly, I would be blown away by Creative pulling a swerve here and letting Big Show run with the Intercontinental title for a little while.
What I think will happen: Ryback will use Big Show as a stepping stone to legitimize himself as the Intercontinental champion.
What I hope happens: Creative breaks trend and gives The Big Show a run with the title. Putting the belt on that monster could have a similar “who can beat this guy?” feel as the Brock Lesnar run from last year, except that we can see this one play out every week.
Divas Championship Match: Nikki Bella vs. Paige
Maybe this time Paige gets the belt? Honestly, I’m not even sure anymore. After Elimination Chamber, I asked around to try to better understand why Nikki is still holding the belt. The answers we came to were 1: John Cena has something to do with it (which I doubt), and 2: The Bellas are big business with the E! Network (which seems more justifiable to me). However, Steph and Hunter have both come out and said that they want to improve Women’s wrestling for the better in the very near future, and keeping the belt on Nikki really doesn’t help that cause. Between the upcoming Diva Search and Tough Enough the floodgates are certainly opening for a recruiting run, so maybe they might be waiting to pull that trigger. To me, this match boils down to a question of selling out (keeping Nikki as champ to appease the E! crowd) or buying in (giving Paige the belt to promote “real” women’s wrestling).
What I think will happen: I’m still calling Paige on this one, although it’s definitely a close race.
What I hope happens: Paige and Naomi get to match up together for a while. Between Paige’s technical skills and Naomi’s athleticism, they may be the formula that Steph and Hunter are looking for.
Champion vs. Champion Rematch: John Cena vs. Kevin Owens
I’ll be the first to admit that I did not see this one making it to a part 2. Kudos to creative for proving me wrong and shooting Owens (who really really really impressed me) into the stratosphere. My call for this is for a Cena win because we’re probably looking at a three-month feud at this point, so we need that one-to-one ratio to sell the rubber-match. Also, with Owens clearly moving up to the main roster, he’s going to need to drop the NXT belt. Likely it’ll be at the upcoming Tokyo show when he matches up with Finn Balor, since he’s practically royalty over there (HA! Get it?) and would get a hug pop. That way, Cena vs Owens 3 would be for the U.S. Championship.
What I think will happen: Cena will even the score in order to build up Cena vs. Owens 3
What I hope happens: Owens keeps pulling tricks out of his sleeve. His offensive move-set has been the most interesting part of his matches and totally blew me away, so I’d love to see that momentum keep rolling.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus vs. Neville vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Kane
This is probably the toughest one to call. There is no hyperbole in JBL’s statement that this is, quite possibly, the most star-studded MitB match we’ve ever seen. Almost all of the competitors are top tier (or at least high-mid-card) guys, and almost all of them are valid options for a title run even without the briefcase. Neville seems like the least likely to me just on the basis of how much more established everyone else is. Make no mistake, the guy is legit, but jumping from NXT champion to “best in the world” seems a little far-fetched. Possible, but farfetched. Kofi is likely out, too, since he’s got way too much heat in the Tag-Team bracket to leave The New Day behind to go solo. The other five guys are practically on even footing and I could see it going either way, but if I had to pick one I’d go against the grain and pick Kane purely for storytelling purposes. Assuming that Rollins retains his championship, it would make for great T.V. for Kane to have that briefcase literally looming over Rollins’ head, especially considering the very subtle feud they’ve been having since Wrestlemania.
What I think will happen: It’s definitely a long-shot, but I think Kane will be the guy to grab the case.
What I hope happens: Brock Lesnar runs in, wrecks everyone and takes the briefcase. Now that would be a shocker.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
At this point, is there any type of match that Ambrose and Rollins haven’t had? I think that’s what I like the most about their feuds: It may be the same (very talented) guys, but it’s always a new show. Calling the Spots on this one is mindboggling. I sit and I consider all of the possibilities from a storytelling standpoint: We’ve been building Rollins as kind of a sneaky, underhanded and useless kind of champion, so this is the point where we either a: Justify this casting by having him lose or B: He proves his value and wins. Personally, I’m pulling for him to win. Rollins is a great performer and I think he deserves to win clean once in a while. That being said, Ambrose getting the belt would get a huge reaction from the crowd (just look at what happened when he stole it!), so we could just let that momentum roll. It really just comes down to Brock, and while I would love to see a storyline where Brock has to choose between winning the belt and getting revenge on Rollins, I think for simplicity’s sake Rollins is the safe bet. It’s a 60/40 split, but I’m giving him the nod on this one.
What I think will happen: Rollins gets to validate himself as a champion by winning clean over Ambrose.
What I hope happens: The MitB cash in takes place right after the match to steal the belt from both guys.