Money in the Bank Preview: Who leaves Titan Tower with the prop briefcases?
The Money in the Bank briefcases are the best props ever conceived, even better than wrestling championship belts, because of what they portend.
It’s the allure of a title shot, at any moment, for the person holding it, that gets WWE through the doldrums of late spring into the summer toward SummerSlam.
The briefcases are so good at adding verve to shows that the only thing that’s bad about them is that they inevitably have to be cashed in, and therefore go away.
But, until the cash-in, we have them, and for the winners, it’s almost a guarantee that a world title is in the offing.
The “Raw” announce team related this week that 82 percent of MITB briefcase holders have gone on to win world titles, and we’ll go with that as we break down the fields for Sunday’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view (WWE Network, 7 p.m.).
First, the women’s match, which includes Nia Jax, Asuka, Shayna Baszler, Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans and Carmella.
To me, the briefcase most enhances the career of Baszler, a former NXT champ who has seemed destined for a top spot on the main roster since she signed following a stellar MMA career.
The image of Baszler stalking the company’s women’s champs with the briefcase is too much to pass up.
Next in line for me would be Evans, who we’re told is a favorite of WWE head honcho Vince McMahon, and then maybe Jax, who has gotten some mainstream cred of late for taking on Ronda Rousey on social media.
I’m going to stick with Baszler, though, as my winner, and await her next steps in terms of who she will eventually challenge.
Now, to the men: Daniel Bryan, Aleister Black, Rey Mysterio, King Corbin, Otis, A.J. Styles.
The fans’ choice might be Otis, but I’m assuming Otis doesn’t need an MITB briefcase to get over, and that’s at its core what the MITB briefcase thing is all about, getting a guy who needs a little something-something to that next level.
Which is why I’d go with Aleister Black here in this grouping.
He hasn’t exactly been getting the best, most consistent, push since moving up to the main roster, but fortunately for him, he hasn’t been buried, either, not yet, anyway.
The image in my head of Black, briefcase in hand, standing on the ramp, staring out at a fallen champ, teasing the cash-in, is one that sells, to me.
None of the others make any sense in this role.
Neither Bryan, Mysterio or Styles need a briefcase to be legit title contenders.
And then Corbin. He’s had the briefcase, then had it taken away.
I’m surprised Corbin still gets any kind of push, based on the go-home heat that he gets from fans.
The rest of the card
The Drew McIntyre-Seth Rollins match for the WWE title would bring down the house in front of a live crowd. I don’t see any logic to taking the belt off McIntyre one month after his win at WrestleMania. I do expect a helluva match, fans in the arena or not.
Braun Strowman defends the Universal title against Bray Wyatt. Yawn. Time to refresh the popcorn and catch up on social media. My sentimental pick is Wyatt, just to get the belt off Strowman.
Bayley will defend the Smackdown women’s title against Tamina. Tamina has never gotten over at the top level. I don’t see her breaking through here.
The Smackdown tag-team title schmoz has like 20 teams. Doesn’t matter who wins. Nobody cares, including the participants.
Story by Chris Graham