The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Gallows and Anderson – Smackdown Tag Team Championships
I wish this felt like a more even matchup, but it really doesn’t. In brother(s) vs. brother(s) combat, I have a feeling the Good Brothers are gonna look Not-So-Good. It’s a real tragedy, the state of Gallows and Anderson. Am I the only one who straight up forgets they’re former RAW tag champs?
I’d love a cocky GB reign where they get more time to show off their natural charisma and talent, but absolutely none of the pieces are in place for that yet. My boys are Harper Chow. (I even like Harper and Rowan quite a lot, but man has the tag division fallen apart since their reign started.)
Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal
I mean, who cares, but I have to think this goes to Roman. I could see Jinder winning via shenanigans, but this feels more like one-month filler than two-month filler. Next PPV cycle will probably start gearing Roman up for his summer plans, so I’m betting that even cheating won’t hand Jinder this victory and prolong the feud.
Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn
I can’t picture a universe in which Sami wins this without Kevin Owens coming out for the interference, and even then I doubt they as a unit would be booked stronger than Bobby Lashley, a Lesnar/Strowman-level beast. Also, I’m a Sami mark forever, but in-character after the embarrassing/transphobic why-do-I-even-watch-wrestling mess that was the “Lashley’s sisters” segment, the underdog from the underground kind of needs to lose this one.
Sami and Lashley both have absolutely no direction right now, so you might as well go with the fairly straightforward choice. Lashley still needs some building and it would be weird for Heel Sami to suddenly start winning now.
Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass
Really, every match on this card that isn’t explicitly for some kind of prize feels really straightforward, booking-wise. The story has never been that Cass is good. It’s that he’s big and a jerk. Now that there are no more sneak-attacks or shenanigans to be had, Bryan is going to annihilate Cass and make him tap. It’ll be classic David and Goliath, maybe the greatest of wrestling archetypes.
Similarly to the Roman logic above, I have to assume there’s some plan for Bryan at Summerslam. (Or maybe I just have to hope.) It’s time to get Daniel Bryan ready and strong for his first Summerslam back and put an end to the Big Cass storyline.
Seth Rollins vs. Elias – Intercontinental Championship
Seth Rollins’ current Intercontinental Championship reign has really made his face run something special after its rocky start. That’s why it’s weird that I both expect and hope for it to come to a sudden end at Money in the Bank.
I can’t shake the feeling that both Rollins and Elias are ready for something new, and wouldn’t you know it, a title change kills two birds with one stone. Seth getting new storylines for the summer is one thing. Elias getting to sing douchey songs about his shiny, fancy new title that means he’s better than everybody? The way things have been lately, that might end up being the best thing on WWE programming.
It just feels so, so strongly like it’s time. Elias for President – uh, Intercontinental Champion – 2018.
Carmella vs. Asuka – Smackdown Women’s Championship
“Asuka wins” is never a hot take unless you’re talking about Wrestlemania ten minutes too early, but I don’t think that even cheating could save Carmella unless she starts a faction with the IIconics, which, now that I type it, seems pretty likely. But I’d also buy Carmella as a transitional champ to get the belt from Charlotte to Asuka, especially now that the Money in the Bank briefcase is back in the game.
Without that wild card, an Asuka reign couldn’t possibly have any suspense behind it. With the briefcase? Anything could happen. Long reign Asuka. Maybe we’ll see the first failed women’s cash-in his year.
Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey – RAW Women’s Championship
I don’t think Ronda Rousey becomes your new RAW Women’s Champion just yet. It feels too obvious, somehow, even as a big fan of how well she’s transitioned into wrestling. (Wrestlemania MOTN, as far as my opinion goes.) WWE also doesn’t feel ready to kill the myth of Monster Nia Jax yet. I’m feeling an interference finish; it obviously keeps Rousey strong and busy with someone else and sells that Nia isn’t afraid of anybody… except one.
It’ll probably be Natalya, the way things seem. And while I complain all the time that it’s hard to care too much about Nattie, a nice YAAAAAAAY always makes me laugh my ass off, so I’ll take it.
I definitely want a Rousey reign. I just don’t think it happens yet.
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE Championship, Last Man Standing
This Styles/Nakamura feud has been… weird. And not because of all the dick-punching– in fact, I’ve rather enjoyed that element of it, despite the lack of cups after a certain point making both of them look like doofuses. But this match is finally the moment of truth: if Nakamura can’t win it here, that’s gotta be it. I’m not one to be dramatic and say he’s ruined, but losing four title matches in a row and winning a non-title clean makes you look kind of outclassed and out of place.
Especially now that there’ll be a Money in the Bank holder in the mix, it feels like the perfect time for a new champ. AJ can afford to lose this one; I hate to say it, but Nakamura really can’t. It won’t just feel like AJ has his number, which would be interesting. It’ll feel like he’s some chump who just can’t win the big one. I think Nakamura walks out champ this Sunday.
Ember Moon vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Lana vs. Sasha Banks – Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
With no James Ellsworth in sight – replaced by Ember Moon, which even as an Ellsworth fan is a straight-up promotion – we’re in for a good clean Money in the Bank this year. (Somehow I can’t picture the equivalent, which is Rusev breaking Becky Lynch in half for the Lana win.)
I’m torn on this one. Both of my picks are on RAW and both feel equally likely for different reasons.
Alexa Bliss is the perennial women’s division’s fallback plan and would get major heat for an eventual slimy title win off inevitable champ Ronda Rousey.
On the other hand, a Money in the Bank win could give Sasha Banks’ feud with Bayley a nice shot in the arm. Plus, just imagine the slide back into the NXT Boss character with the briefcase as backup. Maybe this option is wishful thinking, but it definitely feels plausible.
Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz vs. Rusev vs. Bobby Roode vs. Kevin Owens vs. Samoa Joe vs. Unspecified New Day Member – Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
This is the first Money in the Bank in a while in which I can see pretty much everybody winning. (Sorry, Bobby Roode. I love you, but you’re not there yet.) I don’t think Braun needs it; I don’t think it would fit Finn right now; I think Samoa Joe has made a strong case for himself without it. Roode’s not ready. Rusev seems busy with whatever the hell’s going on with Rusev Day. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are doing… something that wouldn’t fit cashing in on Brock Lesnar.
It’s possible that the rumors of a Big E push are true, and I’d love love love to see The New Day’s Misters Money in the Bank tomfoolery.
But my money’s on The Miz. He was a great briefcase holder back in 2011 and would be an absolutely incredible one now that his character has become somehow even more of a narcissist. Imagine him cashing in on Styles or Nakamura. Imagine him having to contend with Samoa Joe. Or, in the dream scenario, maybe we reignite Miz/Bryan with a cash-in, which would instantly become the hottest angle in the company – and the one with the most backstory.
Honestly, there’s nobody who could win this and leave me disappointed in the slightest. But in the reality I choose to live in, it’s Big E, Kofi, or Miz, with preference for the latter.
And, given the match, a preference for the ladder.
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