MITB 2018: Will There Be Three Ladder Matches?

Money in the Bank, Money in the Bank 2017, Money in the Bank contract

With Money in the Bank 2018 rapidly approaching, the details surrounding the event have begun to fall into place. The match card is nearly set, with the only remaining question mark being which member of The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods) will compete in the men’s ladder match. Given the attempts at keeping that a secret on SmackDown Live, however, its likely we will have to wait until the event to find out.

Another pressing question regarding the ladder match is just how many there are scheduled to be. A promotional image for the PPV was released in May clearly showed different colored three briefcases, which would suggest that this year’s event will host not two, but three Money in the Bank matches.

This would be a historic move on the part of the WWE. Since its inception as an PPV event in 2010, Money in the Bank has featured two ladder matches: one for RAW competitors and one for SmackDown. The rules were changed slightly in 2014, when there was only one ladder match per event, but it was changed back in 2017 when WWE introduced the women’s Money in the Bank match.

WWE has teased a third ladder match option for tag teams

Dave Meltzer, a journalist for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, suggested that the third ladder match could possibly be designated for tag-teams, which would make sense given the match card for Money in the Bank 2018 includes popular tag-teams like The Bludgeon Brothers, and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. “You know they’re going to do a men, they’re going to do a women, they may do a tag”, Meltzer told Wrestling Observer Radio, “If there is a third one that’s what it’s going to be.”

The rumors were compounded when Mike Johnson of PWInsider Elite Audio talked about circumstantial evidence on RAW and SmackDown Live that supported the idea of a third ladder. Despite the fact that Kurt Angle announced there would only be two ladder matches, several tag teams, including Ascension and Breezango, were shown talking about the PPV event. “There were multiple instances on this show where tag teams were talking about Money in the Bank?”, Johnson pointed out, “I think we’re getting a Tag Team Money in the Bank.”

From a business perspective, adding a third ladder match would make a lot of sense. WWE earned praise for introducing the women’s ladder match in 2017, and the storyline that it provided, regarding James Ellsworth and Carmella’s controversial win, was one of the more popular during last year’s event. Adding a third ladder match would be a surefire way of topping last year, and giving ring time to popular tag teams like the aforementioned Ascension and The Bludgeon Brothers.

On May 17th, YouTube wrestling channel Cultaholic reported that the third ladder match had been scrapped by the WWE due to the fact that one of the members of The New Day qualified for the men’s singles ladder match, thus removing them from competing in a tag-team match. The channel suggested that due to the exclusion of such a popular trio, WWE has likely scrapped the idea. Watch the video above.

WWE has neither confirmed nor denied the rumor. It appears we will have to wait until Money in the Bank 2018 to find out for sure.