I did a post last year looking at the chances for each individual involved the Money In The Bank Ladder Matches, and I’m back to do the same again this year! This post will be for the WWE Championship MITB, or as it has been dubbed this time around, the “All-Star” match. I’ll have another one up in the next day or two for the World Heavyweight Championship – or as I would call it, the “Next Generation” MITB match, though that may be too similar to NXT. The reason I’m doing them in this order is because I find the All-Star MITB much easier to judge.
There are going to be 4 categories I’m using: Possible – for those I think have a chance of winning; and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, Unlikely – for those that have an outside chance of winning but won’t, None – for those who really don’t have a realistic chance, and of course Winner – for the man who I would expect to win. So let’s get right into it, and why not start with the only man to have won the match twice!
So the best in the world is back, and he’s a face! Right now he’s building towards a match with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam, so it could be argued that he’s only in this match to give him something to do until the proper build for that can start. However, I think he can win for one simple reason – what’s next for Punk? The feud with Lesnar will likely only last until Summerslam, is there anybody else for him to feud with? Surely one of the few things Punk can be doing is gunning for the WWE Championship, and the simplest way to do that? Money In The Bank. Punk doesn’t need it, but let’s be honest, nobody really needs it in this match, they could all… well, most of them wouldn’t need the briefcase to become viable contenders for a World Championship. Allegedly, Punk’s contract is expiring in the next year and WWE wanted another big face run from him. If they want to get the most money out of him as they possibly can, he needs to be the face of the company – he needs to be WWE Champion. Money In The Bank is a simple way to get him back in the hunt. As it is, I don’t think he will win, but I do see a scenario where Punk is at the top of the ladder on his own when Lesnar’s music hits, distracting Punk, likely. It would further the feud, make it more personal, and Punk could always go back to how he had it won when his focus returns to the belt.
Chances of Winning: Possible
So Captain Charisma is back, and he’s a face! Woah, déjà vu. The general feeling is that he has been injury-free for a while now, but WWE just didn’t know what to do with him. Now he’s back, you would have to presume that there are plans for him. It looked at one point that he was going to be in a feud with Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship, but that at least looks to be on the backburner for now. Long term though, I think that will be Christian’s level. I can’t see him reaching World Title level again, apart from maybe a “thank you” run with the World Heavyweight Championship in a year or two. In this match, Christian is here so that the commentators can say something along the lines of “this man built his reputation on ladder matches”. In other words, he’s only there because of his history in ladder matches (TLC, to be more specific) and they can play up his experience.
Chances of Winning: None
The Celtic Warrior has been on somewhat of a downward spiral at the minute. I would even go as far as to say he has been eclipsed by Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler in a rank of WWE’s top faces. It is amazing to think he hasn’t even been regularly featured on PPV, considering at the start of the year you could put him second behind John Cena. Now, it’s possible that winning a briefcase could re-ignite his career. But I do suspect that his feud with Damien Sandow is the start of something – whether that be a change for Sheamus or a push for Sandow I’m not sure, but for a throwaway feud that seems to be a filler it has gotten a lot of TV time. It will be interesting to see him in a ladder match format, this being only his second foray into the MITB environment. Will he walk away with the briefcase? It’s not completely unfathomable, but he’s not one of my favourites.
Chances of Winning: Unlikely
I was surprised to see that Kane has been in the most Money In The Bank Ladder matches out of anyone. In the kayfabe land of the WWE, he should be the favourite, you know, being an unstoppable monster, having the most experience in these matches and having already proven he can win it and all. However, realistically, Kane’s time has come and gone. I believe his last World Title run, where he lost it to Edge, was his thank you run, and the best role for Kane going forward is essentially as an enhancement talent. He has already been used to get The Shield over as Tag Team Champions, and I would like to see a feud with the upcoming Wyatt Family.
Chances of Winning: None
If Orton were to win, I think you would have to turn him heel. I can’t remember anybody actually turning through cashing in a briefcase (Punk on Jeff Hardy comes closest, but if I remember rightly that was merely the start of a slow heel turn, not an outright turn in itself). I would also like to see it played up that Orton lost his last WWE Championship to The Miz when Miz cashed in a briefcase – it would be a circular story. Orton arguably stands the most to gain from winning here, just because he has been going through the motions for well over a year now, not really putting much passion into his work. The thing about Orton is, when he’s on fire, he really is one of the best in the business. Winning Money In The Bank and turning heel would give him a new lease of life that he so desperately needs. The thing here is, he doesn’t need to win to turn heel, but if he does it’s kind of the only option. In fact, losing and not getting a WWE Championship opportunity for a while could be an easier story to tell for a heel turn. It’s for that reason that I’m putting him in the same category as Punk
Chances of Winning: Possible
Rob Van Dam
He’s baaack! Mr Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/etc Night! And where better to make his first WWE appearance in four and a half years than Philadelphia, the original home of ECW! Seriously, either WWE was always planning Punk’s return last month in Chicago and this one here or they got extremely lucky with how things worked out. Personally, I’m looking forward to his return because I know he can put on great matches, and great ladder matches! Some of the most memorable matches for me in the early 2000s were Rob Van Dam vs Jeff Hardy, so I have absolutely no problem with him being back. His role will be similar to that of Christian and Kane – he’s in this match to provide some memorable spots, but after this he will essentially be an enhancement talent. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a role that every veteran wrestler eventually gets. Plus the fact that he’s a fresh face having not been on WWE TV for years, and the possibility of feuds with, well, anybody in the other MITB match and I’m excited. Will he win here? No. But he could very easily steal the show, and will probably get the biggest reaction of the night. Now, where is that Jeff Hardy return I’ve been waiting for…
Chances of Winning: None
By process of elimination you should be able to work out my guess for Daniel Bryan. I really cannot stress enough how much potential Daniel Bryan has right now – he can easily rise to John Cena’s level in the next few months if he’s booked right. He has the charisma that Cena has, a more universal fanbase, better technical skills than Cena will ever have, and he is naturally the plucky underdog that the WWE keeps trying so hard to portray Cena as. His smaller stature helps with this, as has comments made by Vince McMahon himself on national TV. And to top it all off, his current character can naturally evolve into that Cena role. Right now Bryan is trying to love that he isn’t a “weak link”. If he is, he shouldn’t have a chance in this match. So what better way to prove you are not a weak link than by winning the All-Star Money In The Bank match? Well, he could announce that he will cash it in a couple of weeks beforehand, all the while picking a gruelling stipulation like an iron man match. And then beating John Cena at Summerslam (or dare I say it, Wrestlemania?) to win the WWE Championship. It would be compelling TV to see somebody overcome their own internal conflict to become the best in the business, possibly becoming the biggest star in the business (goodbye inferiority complex!) all the while actually putting on entertaining matches and promos. I suppose it’s kind of the story that we were being sold with Cena at the start of the year going into Wrestlemania, only this time we will buy it. I feel relatively confident with this pick, and Bryan will become the second man to win two Money In The Bank ladder matches.
Chances of Winning: YES! YES! YES! WINNER!
Sorry, I couldn’t resist. This should be an excellent match. Punk, Bryan, Orton, Christian and Rob Van Dam can put on top quality ladder matches, and we all know how well Kane can play the role of destructive big man. My only doubt as to the quality of this match comes in the form of Sheamus, but with so much talent around him it won’t impact the match overall.
Needless to say at this point, I’m looking forward to it. As I said at the start of this post, my assessment of the next generation money in the bank match will be up in the next day or two. It is a much tougher one to call I think, a much more even playing field. Until then, let me know if you agree with my assessments for the All-Star match either by commenting below it by emailing us. And as always, like, share, tweet, whatever if you liked this post.