By Jason Powell
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: I have repeatedly mentioned the possibility of this match ending with a finish that splits the championship just in time for the WWE roster split. However, it remains to be seen when the actual split will take place. If WWE is going to split the titles (and I hope they stick with one champion), then I assume these are the two men who will hold the championships. One way or another, I would be surprised to see a clean finish. It’s too early in the feud if they are going to have a full length program together, and there’s no reason to make either man look weak if they are going to end up on opposite brands. I’m not sure how they get there, but I don’t see Reigns leaving the match without the title (or at least a share of it).
Prediction: Roman Reigns retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles: This has to be AJ’s night. He failed to win the Royal Rumble, lost at WrestleMania to Chris Jericho, and then lost both times he faced Roman Reigns for the title. And if you don’t believe me, just ask John Cena, who pointed out most of this during a promo on the penultimate edition of Raw before MITB. To the credit of Cena, he delivered a much stronger promo that built up Styles in a big way on Monday’s go-home show. I am very curious to see how they get to the finish. Is it as simple as Styles goes over clean and the broadcast team plays up the idea that this was Cena’s first (televised) singles match back from major surgery? Is there a new Club member who interferes on behalf of Styles (insert monthly Finn Balor speculation here)? One way or another, this should be AJ’s night to win.
Prediction: AJ Styles wins.
Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Chris Jericho vs. Sami Zayn in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match: I have the participants listed in the order of my confidence ranking. In other words, I see Ambrose as the most likely to win and Jericho as the least likely. Owens would be a great MITB contract holder, so I would be happy to be wrong about this one. However, I can’t help but wonder if the titles will be split and we end up with Ambrose winning this match and then having his choice of cashing in on either Reigns or Rollins once the roster split occurs. I just hope that Vince McMahon doesn’t attempt to use this match to make Del Rio matter again. As much as I’d like to see them do something with ADR, I have no desire to see him win the contract. One of the many reasons that Sheamus winning last year felt so flat is that he’s been a world champion before. It’s much more exciting when a wrestler who has never held the world title before wins the contract. A Del Rio win would lead to more immediate apathy than anything even if it worked out better for him in the long run. By the way, if there is a controversial split title finish, then there’s no way the MITB winner can cash in, but that doesn’t mean they can’t foreshadow a Triple Threat by having all three Shield members in the ring to close the show.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins the Money in the Bank contract.
New Day vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows vs. The Vaudevillains in a Four-Way for the WWE Tag Team Championship: The four-way format strikes me as being about more than just getting everyone on the show. This is The Club’s night. Styles will defeat Cena, and I’m going with his stablemates capturing the tag titles.
Prediction: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Rusev vs. Titus O’Neil for the United States Championship: The Father of the Year getting his first singles title shot on Father’s Day. A quickie title change with the strap going back to Rusev as early as Raw? Let Titus settle for the bad necktie and macaroni art like the rest of the dads. Rusev should be a higher priority and he doesn’t need yet another bump in the road.
Prediction: Rusev retains the United States Championship.
Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Becky Lynch: Speaking of Father’s Day, are Charlotte and Dana having issues because WWE wants to reintroduce Ric Flair already? Or could he actually cost his daughter the match on Father’s Day? Perhaps that explains why they are having Charlotte work a tag match she can lose rather than defending her title. I hope the match is more about setting up Charlotte’s next challenger. Natalya had several chances and the feud never gained any sense of momentum and even lost again on Smackdown. As much as I would like to see Natalya pushed properly, this isn’t her time. Lynch also had a run with Charlotte, but some time has passed. This may be all about time – as in passing time for Charlotte until she works against Sasha Banks at SummerSlam. Thus, I’ll go with Lynch getting the win for her team to set up a one-off title match in July.
Prediction: Becky Lynch and Natalya win.
Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews: The initial beatdown angle was well done. Sheamus was cast as the bitter veteran who seemed threatened and took out his frustrations on Crews. Unfortunately, the followup to that angle has been forgettable and didn’t even warrant a final push on Smackdown. I am intrigued by this match for the simple fact that it’s a fresh matchup and I want to see how they work together. The outcome is tough to predict in that they could give the heel a cheap win to continue the program, but they could just as easily have Crews win and then have Sheamus destroy him after the match or on Raw to set up the need for another match. Flip a coin. Heads.
Prediction: Sheamus gets the win.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin: Triple H has stated numerous times that he wants there to be a six month creative plan for wrestlers who are called up from NXT. Apparently, creative’s plan for Corbin was feuding him with Ziggler for what feels like six months (it’s only been a couple months). This has to be the end.
Prediction: Baron Corbin wins.
The Lucha Dragons vs. The Dudley Boyz: Babyfaces typically win on the Kickoff Shows. It’s a bit different this month because there are two Kickoff Show matches. I don’t feel strongly about this outcome, but I don’t think the babyface duo will win the other Kickoff Show match, so I’m going with the Dragons in this one.
Prediction: The Lucha Dragons win.
Goldust and R-Truth vs. Fandango and Tyler Breeze: Goldust and R-Truth are on a quest for their first big win as a team. That seems like something you build up to rather than give away in a match that was announced just two days before the event.
Prediction: Fandango and Tyler Breeze win.
Powell’s Bold Predictions for WWE Money in the Bank
-The Club will be drafted to separate brands. However, Styles, Anderson, and Gallows will tell WWE officials to go screw themselves and show up wherever and whenever they want. That’s not so much a prediction as it is a suggestion, as it would give the group a sense of danger and rebellion that is currently missing. If WWE cares about being true to the brand split, then have the general managers of the brands quickly work out a trade that appeases the faction by putting them together on the same brand.
-The John Cena vs. AJ Styles match ends when R-Truth thinks he won the MITB match and then tries to cash in on Cena even though he isn’t the champion. Perhaps I shouldn’t give them any ideas.
-WWE will make Money in the Bank a fixture in Las Vegas. Sin City is my favorite vacation spot, but MITB will not become a destination event like the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania because temps soar well north of 100 degrees in July. Monday’s high will be 115 f’n degrees!!! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas unless it involves herpes or heat stroke (I am happy to report that I have avoided both). Book an annual live special in Vegas in September or October and then we’ll talk. If WWE does go with an annual event in Vegas, it would be nice if they would work with the Cauliflower Alley Club Convention so organizers could host their annual event the same weekend.
-I will be the greatest guest on Jim Ross’s “Ross Report” podcast this week. Fine, it’s a safe prediction considering it’s a weekly show. Our discussion regarding the MITB event will drop on Tuesday night, so be sure to check it out at Podcastone.com/The-Ross-Report.