Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE has been forced to think outside the box when it comes to presenting its in-ring product.
For the past few weeks, Vinnie Mac and the powers that be have allowed their rosters to perform in the ring within the WWE Performance Center with nothing but a ref, a cameraman and ringside commentators nearby. Even WrestleMania 36 was forced to emanate from the Performance Center with no fans in attendance! For this year’s Money in the Bank installment, WWE has chosen to do something completely out of the box for its main attractions. For the two MITB ladder matches, participants for both matches will kickoff their multi-person brawl at the ground level of WWE’s global headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Then they’ll need to fight their way to the very top of the building and climb the “corporate ladder” in order to grab their associated prize.
Let’s break down every confirmed match for this show and predict who’ll be walking away from MITB with that lauded title shot granting briefcase.
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) vs. John Morrison and The Miz vs. The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler, Jaxson Ryker and/or Wesley Blake) vs. The Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) (Tag Team 4-Way Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: This situation is pretty unique. The New Day just took the Blue Brand’s tag team titles from John Morrison and The Miz, which I thought wasn’t going to happen for a good while. Miz & Morrison as the SD tag team champions had plenty of juice left in the tank, but their run was cut short for some reason. Now they’ll be joined by two other duos for a Fatal 4-Way situation – the oft-ignored Lucha House Party and the NXT graduates known as The Forgotten Sons. Seeing the former NXT stable act get the main roster call-up was quite random and unexpected, but I’m willing to see how far they go now that they seem to be doing much better on the Blue Brand.
Since WWE seems to be in the mood for switching the SD tag team titles on a whim these days, I think they’re going to give the belts to The Forgotten Sons here. It’s obvious that The New Day claimed the tag team titles once again just so they could add an extra digit to the number of combined title reigns they’ve accomplished. So a loss here won’t hurt them in the slightest. With such a fresh act in the title picture, I think they’ll end up claiming the belts in a bid to further legitimize them on the main roster. This quick championship switch-up will be a means to an end for the Blue Brand newcomers.
Bayley (c) vs. Tamina (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that I have little to no interest in the going’s on concerning SmackDown’s Women’s division. Bayley as the brand’s women’s champion has been a complete snoozefest, while her challengers have been uninspired and far from credible as a serious threat. The fact that Tamina is getting a women’s championship opportunity in 2020 is more proof that WWE’s women’s division over on the blue brand is a complete wreck. So here we are – boring old Bayley will be defending her Smackdown Women’s Championship against one of the worst wrestlers on the roster. Yay…
This match will suck…hard. That should come as no surprise considering who’s going to war here. And the winner is so damn easy to predict. Bayley’s not dropping her title to someone who’s not at all relevant in 2020. Tamina is just being placed in this position as a flavor of the month challenger for the champ. WWE is doing everything they can to make her look like she’s too much of a force to be reckoned with, but we can all see through that lame facade. Tamina’s going to dominate Bayley for the majority of this bout, but she’ll eventually succumb to Bayley’s heel tactics and take the L. Then she’ll disappear into the abyss of WWE and come back for another random push 5 years from now.
Braun Strowman (c) vs. Bray Wyatt (WWE Universal Championship)
Predictions & Winner: My what a turn of events the Universal Championship has been through. So “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt captured the title from Seth Rollins and looked like a beast while he held onto it for a few months. Then he came up against Goldberg at Super ShowDown 2020 and shockingly lost! Fast forward to WrestleMania 36 and the planned matchup between Goldberg and Roman Reigns never came to pass due to Reigns pulling out of the match because of COVID-19 concerns. Braun Strowman ended up taking his spot and managed to smash Goldberg with three Powerslams in order to claim the Universal Championship he should have won when he was still worth caring about.
So now Bray Wyatt has stepped back into the Universal Championship scene and has targeted his former Wyatt Family soldier for destruction. This makes for an interesting storyline since both men once wreaked havoc across the WWE during their cult stablemate days. Once they finally lock up, I think we’re going to get a whole bunch of in-ring mind games to sift through. And that mind trip will come courtesy of WWE’s newfound fascination with cinematic match presentations. Bruan will certainly get his licks in here and there, but Bray’s psychological warfare and switch to “The Fiend” persona will ultimately overcome the “Beast Among Men.” Bray will finally get his title back (the one he shouldn’t have lost in the first place, I might add) and hold it until Roman makes his eventual comeback. And then we’ll get the title match that should have happened here at some point later in the year.
Daniel Bryan vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Aleister Black vs. King Corbin vs. Otis vs. AJ Styles (Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Championship Match Contract)
Predictions & Winner: Now the field is finally set. The Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder match features a lineup of Superstars who are all viable enough to be taken seriously should they prevail here. Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, and AJ Styles stand out as the babyface veterans who would do well to enjoy another major championship victory via a MITB cash-in. Aleister Black and Otis are the new blood who have the chance to reach the next plateau of their career by becoming the latest holder of the sought after golden briefcase. And as much as I despise King Corbin, he’s a major heel who’d be able to piss off the WWE Universe even more if he happened to sneak away with an underhanded victory here. This gathering of MITB match competitors is completely stacked!
I’m going to hitch my wagon to the man who found a way to rise from the “grave” Undertaker stuffed him in and make his way into this match – AJ Styles. “The Phenomenal One” is coming off of a huge ‘Mania matchup that was received warmly by plenty of fans and wrestlers alike. His long hiatus has been building up to him coming back stronger than ever before. His Gauntlet Match performance is proof of him still being at the top of his game and now the time is right for him to add another accolade to his WWE career – “Mr. Money in the Bank.” AJ’s going to find a way to navigate WWE HQ and come out the end of it with the briefcase in hand. I envision a hot summer for AJ that will culminate with him challenging Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship at this year’s SummerSlam.
Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax vs. Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans vs. Carmella (Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a Women’s Championship Match Contract)
Predictions & Winner: So the women will actually be causing mayhem within the confines of WWE’s Connecticut headquarters right alongside the fellas. The cinematic theme that WWE adopted for two of their biggest matchups at WrestleMania 36 was a success, which is why they’re going that route with this major matchup. If Sasha Banks ended up qualifying for this bout, she would have easily been my pick for the winner here. It just made too sense for her to claim the briefcase and eventually cash in on her best bud Bayley at some point in a cool swerve moment. But shockingly, Lacey Evans overcame her and ended up notching herself a spot in this race to the golden briefcase.
Off gate, I know Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans, and Carmella can be left out of the conversation when it comes to predictable winners. They’re just providing extra bodies for all this ladder mayhem. As for the other three women, Asuka, Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax are clearly the most likely to attain the big victory here. Asuka is immensely entertaining in her current role as the loud-mouthed madwoman, but I think her moment as an intriguing singles champion on the main roster has passed.
Nia Jax has been built up even stronger than ever, which is why I think she can go without the MITB briefcase at this time. The final entree here and my pick for the winner is Shayna Baszler. After losing in such a disappointing fashion to Becky Lynch at ‘Mania 36, I can totally envision Shayna claiming the briefcase to challenge Becky once again. But the current queen of MMA in the WWE won’t pull off a sudden run-in after Becky just took a beating – Shayna will do it the honorable way and announce her cash-in beforehand.
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship)
Predictions & Winner: If you’re an NJPW fan, then this title match situation should feel way too familiar to you. The same night that Tetsuya Naito finally claimed the IWGP Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 14, KENTA came out to attack the newly crowned champion during his victory speech. That moment set up KENTA as Naito’s next challenger even though the Bullet Club member lost his match earlier in the evening. You’d think a huge loss at the company’s biggest event would keep you from vying for a major title so soon, but it seems like jumping the champ from behind is all it takes to get said title shot. Apply all that nonsensical storytelling to Seth Rollins challenging Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship and you’ll quickly notice the parallels between the two title pictures.
Seth Rollins was defeated by Kevin Owens in arguably the best match of WWE’s two-day extravaganza. You’d presume that after winning in such an impressive fashion, Owens would be next up to take on the newly crowned WWE Champion. But sadly, that result hasn’t come to pass. Instead, the loser of that match is first up to take on Raw’s top titleholder. While the reasoning behind this match is puzzling, I can’t complain too much since I always enjoy watching Seth and Drew lock up. This is obviously a flavor of the month type of challenge for Drew, so it’s pretty obvious that he’s going over here. This match and the subsequent victory that will come from it for Drew will do a fine job of making the WWE Champion look even more credible in fans’ eyes.