WWE Money in the Bank is coming up this Sunday from Hartford, Connecticut, on the WWE Network. Over the last few years, Money in the Bank has replaced King of the Ring as the kickoff event for the summer.
The history of the Money in the Bank ladder match itself and its knack for making new champions (with some exceptions) makes it a can’t-miss event.
The card is loaded and features 11 matches with seven titles up for grabs. Here are our predictions for WWE Money in the Bank.
Universal Championship – Seth Rollins (C) vs. AJ Styles
Seth Rollins kicked off WWE WrestleMania 35 in historic fashion by defeating Brock Lesnar for the Universal title. Since that time, WWE hasn’t done him many favors with their booking.
He hasn’t looked like a particularly strong champion, barely factoring in to the angle with challenger Styles. While Styles featured prominently in the first week for the “wild card” experiment on SmackDown Live, the champ has pretty much been an afterthought.
While Styles appeared on SmackDown to challenge for the WWE Championship, Rollins ate the pin in a tag team match on the previous night’s Monday Night Raw when he lost to Baron Corbin. No seriously, that happened on television.
Despite the bumps in the road for Rollins, I don’t see him dropping the title this early. Historically, Styles is the guy WWE puts in the way of the new top star as an instant credibility-builder. Plus, AJ Styles was WWE Champion for nearly a year and has proven to be an evergreen talent in terms of staying over with the fans.
And considering he lost to Baron f’n Corbin, Rollins needs this win.
Winner and still champion – Seth Rollins
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch (C) vs. Charlotte Flair
I feel like I’ve seen this one before. About 78 times.
Anyway, Becky Two-Belts will pull double duty at Money in the Bank. She will defend both the Raw and Smackdown titles, putting the blue belt up for grabs against her old nemesis: Charlotte Flair.
This is a match that could go either way, but I don’t feel like the company has anything to gain at this point by putting the title back on Flair. Lynch is going to be strong no matter what, but there’s a business reason to keep the SmackDown strap around her waist: Fox.
Fans haven’t shown signs of Becky-fatigue yet, and assuming she stays hot, Fox is going to want WWE’s biggest “home grown” attraction on SmackDown when it debuts on the network this fall. And having the championship in tow certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Winner and still champion – Becky Lynch
On the other hand …
Raw Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch (C) vs. Lacey Evans
In the last month, Lacey Evans has gone from wandering out onto the entrance ramp and just wandering back to being a bona fide ass-kicker.
Evans made it clear the night after WrestleMania 35 that she wanted a shot at Lynch, interrupting The Man’s post-Mania celebration. The Lady of WWE made a big splash as the first entrant in the 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble match and held her own against Charlotte Flair.
She has the look, she has the moves, and she has the most important fan in the wrestling world in Vince McMahon. The chairman has taken on making Evans a star as one of his major projects, and this would be as good a time as any to strap the rocket on her.
As mentioned earlier, Lynch is still white-hot and can afford to drop one of her titles while Evans is primed to become one of the top acts on Raw.
Winner and NEW Raw Women’s Champion – Lacey Evans
WWE Championship – Kofi Kingston (C) vs. Kevin Owens
Kofi-Mania is still running wild in WWE.
Kevin Owens (because he’s an evil bastard) wormed his way into a title shot against Kofi Kingston by “joining” the New Day in the absence of Big E, only to turn on the group the next week.
I wouldn’t be opposed to Owens taking the title. At all. I’m a huge Kevin Owens mark. But now is not the time to end the Kofi experiment.
Kingston opened the night after WrestleMania by challenging Seth Rollins to a “winner takes all” match for both the WWE and Universal Championships. And he’s defended the WWE title successfully on SmackDown twice.
Some fans have complained that the company has booked Kofi to be too strong. But his story leading up to WrestleMania 35 was all about him waiting 11 years for the opportunity. It would just be bad storytelling for him to look like a joke as the champion.
Plus, it’s dawned on WWE what they have with Kofi. I think the champ will retain, but that the feud with Owens will continue, as the two have good chemistry together both in the ring and on the mic. SummerSlam rematch, maybe?
Winner and still champion – Kofi Kingston
Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Ricochet vs. Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton vs. Andrade vs. Ali vs. Finn Balor vs. (sigh) Baron Corbin
So. Let’s start with who’s definitely not going to win.
Sami Zayn is long overdue for a serious push in WWE, but all signs point to the company just not being willing to get behind him. His recent “bitter-promo-of-the-week” schtick has been entertaining, but it doesn’t equate to a real program. Considering the fact that he’s prone to injury works against him winning such a high profile match, too.
Finn Balor has the Intercontinental Championship. That’s not to say he couldn’t also be a contender for one of the company’s top titles, but WWE has had ample opportunities to put him on top and passed them by.
Ricochet would be an excellent Mr. Money In The Bank, and his presence in the match is sure to make it a fantastic bout. But he’s cooled off a bit since being split from Aleister Black (why, WWE? Why?). I think he’ll factor heavily in the finish, but I don’t think he’ll pull down the briefcase.
If Baron Corbin wins, people will set things on fire. WWE doesn’t want to be on the hook for having to replace burned things in Hartford. As for Randy Orton, he’s been there and done that.
That leaves Ali, Andrade, and Drew McIntyre as the favorites, and I think this is the moment that they get serious with McIntyre. They missed the opportunity to put him over Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 35, but without the need to keep a “top guy” strong in this match, now’s the time.
Winner and NEW Mr. Money In The Bank – Drew McIntyre
Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Nikki vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Mandy Rose vs. Ember Moon vs. Carmella vs. Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
Last year’s winner, Alexa Bliss, was arguably the biggest star in the match, but a last-minute injury resulted in her being replaced by Nikki Cross.
Cross has benefited from a slight repackaging, and the company seems to be treating her seriously, but this isn’t her night.
Naomi and Natalya are essentially legacy competitors for the match to give it a little extra credibility (see above, one Randall Keith Orton). And WWE hasn’t taken Bayley seriously since she was in NXT.
That leaves the likely winners as Rose, Moon, or (surprisingly) Dana Brooke.
Brooke is definitely the dark horse in the match, and with the men’s match packed with eight conceivably legit picks, WWE might want to throw a curveball in the women’s bout. If Brooke claims the briefcase, it would certainly be a “Whoa, what just happened?!” moment. But I don’t think it’s in the cards.
The match is going to come down to Moon and Rose. Ember Moon had a strong showing in the Royal Rumble match in January, but WWE has been very start-stop-start-stop with her push.
Mandy Rose, though, was pushed as a credible challenger to Asuka before the decision was made to put the SmackDown women’s title on Charlotte Flair in the WrestleMania 35 lead-up. Of all the women on the roster not named Lynch, Flair, Evans, or Rousey, Mandy Rose seems to be the next golden child in the women’s division.
Expect the winner of this match to at least tease a cash-in before the show closes out.
Winner and NEW Ms. Money In The Bank – Mandy Rose
Roman Reigns vs. Elias
Winner – Roman Reigns
Steel Cage Match – The Miz vs. Shane McMahon
Okay, so I got this one pretty wrong last time around.
Shane defeated Miz almost by accident at WrestleMania 35 after a death-defying stunt (copyright Shane McMahon) resulted in Shane basically falling on top of Miz.
The steel cage stipulation gives us a number of things with this match. For one thing, it’s an opportunity for Shane to jump off of high things, and we do like to keep the younger McMahon happy. And it offers Miz a chance to beat him pillar to post with no quarter and no escape.
For reasons I do not understand this remains the best written storyline in the company right now, and there’s room for another match between the two at SummerSlam. A rubber match, if you will.
But for it to be a rubber match, Miz needs to even the score. And so …
Winner – The Miz
United States Championship – Samoa Joe (C) vs. Rey Mysterio
A last-minute injury to Mysterio cost these guys a chance to go all-out in their match at WrestleMania 35.
Joe dispatched Mysterio with ease in that match, and while I don’t think it’s going to be as quick as that match, the result will likely remain the same.
The feud between the two has become pretty personal with Joe threatening Mysterio’s son, Dominick, on the May 6 episode of Raw.
Also, WWE already gave away a Mysterio win over Joe for free the week before, and since WWE can’t seem to grasp that 50-50 booking doesn’t work, expect Joe to retain at Money In The Bank.
Winner and still champion – Samoa Joe
Cruiserweight Championship Match – Tony Nese (C) vs. Ariya Daivari
Nese dethroned long-time Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy on the WrestleMania 35 kickoff show in April. Considering how long Murphy held the title, it’s doubtful that WWE would follow it up with a flash-in-the-pan title reign for Nese.
This match will likely also find itself on the kickoff show, which is a shame considering the immense talent of both Nese and Daivari.
Daivari has been in action in prominent spots for the past several weeks on 205 Live, so the company is making sure to make him look like a formidable challenger. But I still think Nese is leaving WWE Money In The Bank with the purple belt.
Winner and still champion – Tony Nese
SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Daniel Bryan and Rowan (C) vs. The Usos
Shane McMahon intended to simply award the titles to Bryan and Rowan after the Hardy Boyz were forced to relinquish the titles due to injury. But the Usos took advantage of the wild card rule to appear on SmackDown to make a proper challenge for the belts.
Bryan and Rowan won the match handily, and I don’t see them dropping the belts so quickly. Given the injury-prone nature of Bryan, tag team wrestling is probably the safest route for him to go, and I think the blue-and-nickel belts would benefit from a strong heel team holding them.
Winners and still champions – Daniel Bryan and Rowan
We’ll find out just how right or wrong we are this Sunday, when WWE Money In The Bank streams live on the WWE Network. The kickoff show starts at 6 p.m. ET with the event proper beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
All images courtesy of WWE.