Shore's 2014 WWE Money in the Bank preview and Predictions: Who will leave as WWE World Heavyweight Champion? Who will leave with a chance at the same title? Will there be any other new champions?
Our WWE Money in the Bank coverage begins with the Kickoff show at 6:30 p.m. CT. Dot Net Members will have access to the exclusive audio review that Jason Powell and I will record later tonight.
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton in an MITB match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship: WWE doesn't always make the championship match the most intriguing anymore, but they have managed to do just that with this match. The only person I dismiss out of hand is Alberto Del Rio. He has no chance to win this match. Outside of him, I believe anyone of these guys can sit atop the ladder tonight.
That doesn’t mean ant of these guys should sit atop the ladder. Sheamus and Randy Orton are no goes because they don't make any sense moving forward. Orton needs to go away for a little while. He has burned up all of his good will with the audience and I struggle to remember a time when he has meant less. Sheamus has fought off the "boo-birds" successfully and is getting good babyface pops again, but he's also bland right now. Cesaro and Bray Wyatt are good choices, but only in a short-term role. Neither is in a real position to carry to company right now based on their place on the roster.
Roman Reigns is the new kid in town and is a popular choice, but I agree with Jason Powell that it's the wrong choice. When Reigns wins the title, he needs a good, lengthy run. But more importantly than that, he needs a good chase to really cement his position at the top of the card. Putting the title on him now would put too much pressure on him, especially if the idea is to get the title on Brock Lesnar.
That leaves John Cena, my least favorite pick in the general, but like most things, the context of the situation changes things. If the idea is to put the title on Brock Lesnar, Cena is the obvious choice. Brock still "needs" to get his win back against Cena, and Cena can absorb the title loss better than anyone else in the match. I don't know if WWE gave away the SummerSlam matchup or not with the DVD cover release. Regardless, Cena is the right choice here. And while I think there is a small chance they split the titles again, I think Orton's removal of the entire belt bracket on Smackdown foreshadows that not happening.
John Cena wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Bad News Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Dolph Ziggler in an MITB contract match: It's the Seth and Dean show here. Everybody else is there to make those two, and the match, look good. And while Ambrose would be a fun pick, the only move that makes sense is putting the briefcase on Rollins. Otherwise, why make him the focus of the split? This should be the flashy ladder match of the night, with guys like Kofi and Ziggler taking the big spots. I wouldn't be surprised if Barrett is back for this based on seeing his injury Friday night, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they just keep him out without a replacement.
Seth Rollins wins the MITB contract.
The Uso Brothers vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Harper and Rowan winning here does a couple of things. It gives a jolt to the tag division, which it needs again, but it also foreshadows the possibility of the Wyatt family leaving with all the gold here tonight. Again, I don't think that happens, but the storyline is worth setting up that way.
Harper and Rowan win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Paige vs. Naomi for the WWE Divas Championship: This could be a good match if given time because Paige can flat go and Naomi is a hell of an athlete. Sadly, I think too much time will be spent trying to get uncharismatic, poor wrestling Cameron over. Paige wins and gets attacked by Cameron, just to have Naomi break it up and Cameron turn on Naomi. See if this doesn't end up as a triole threat down the road to cover fro Cameron's in-ring skills.
Paige retains the WWE Divas Championship.
Rusev vs. Big E: I want a slightly longer match than last time. I don't need a 20 minute thriller, or even a 15-minute classic. But 10 solid minutes before "RUSEV CRUSH!" would do a lot to give Rusev some more credibility, and protect Big E in the process.
Summer Rae vs. Layla with Fandango as special referee: Heel Diva vs. kind-of, sort-of heel Diva with heel man as special referee. Boy, this match doesn't have an easy road to connecting with the fans. I think the "cat fight" nature of it will hook most people, but they need to deliver a good story in the ring. Sadly, I think this Divas match, which arguably has the better workers on the whole (Naomi is still pretty green) will be spent using silly gimmicked and contrived spots with Fandango more than wrestling. I guess Summer Rae wins here because why would Layla?
Summer Rae wins.
Goldust and Stardust vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel: Stardust is not clicking for me. It's not a bad character or even a bad idea, but I don't think it's working. Of course I didn't think the Goldust character worked for a long time either so I'm willing to admit upfront I may be off on this one. I still think they win because they are trying to get this character over, and Rybaxel gains nothing from a win here.
Goldust and Stardust win.
Daniel Bryan appears on the Kickoff show: If Daniel Bryan is going to be out an extended period, then this is a huge mistake. He should just go away and recover, and then his return pops a big moment. That's so painfully obvious I can't imagine WWE would mess this up (I know, I know). His appearing on this show says he is returning at least before SummerSlam, and possibly before the next PPV. And I think that is what he says here. What else he says to play into that storyline is anyone's guess.
Daniel Bryan announces his approximate return date.
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