Liam Hoofe with his predictions for this Sunday’s WWE Money in the Bank event…
Another week, another WWE PPV. Since the brand split, these things seem to roll around ridiculously often and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up, but that’s for another article.
This weekend’s PPV – Money in the Bank – is often one of the most exciting events of the year though, as fans wait in eager anticipation to see who is going to climb that ladder and claim their future title opportunity.
This year’s card currently only has five matches, so expect at least one more to be chucked in, perhaps between The Colons and Breezango. Each match has the potential to be great though, and as is usual with SmackDown, it looks to be a case of quality over quantity.
Here are my predictions for this Sunday’s events
The Usos Vs The New Day – Tag Team Championship
One of the more difficult matches to call on the card. The title match between The Usos and The New Day could go either-way as the company is likely to want to slap the titles on The New Day in the coming months.
That being said, The New Day will, for the time being anyway, work better as the faces chasing the champions. A big victory for them at SummerSlam would be a much better payoff than just giving them the belts at their first attempt. I’m giving this one to The Usos, who will likely pick up the win through some sort of shenanigans.
Prediction: The Usos retain, for now
Naomi Vs Lana – Women’s Championship
The logic behind putting Lana into a title match while the other women on the roster have to do battle in a Money in the Bank match seems odd to me – but who am I to question the WWE’s booking.
The real question here is whether Lana can put on a decent performance or not. She remains largely untested in a WWE ring and a title match on your brand debut is always a big move.
I can’t see anything but a Naomi win here, as giving the belt to Lana would be a silly move. There is the possibility of a post-match cash in -especially if a heel wins the briefcase – setting up a feud for the summer, but I expect them to hold out with that for a while, at least.
Prediction: Naomi retains
Jinder Mahal Vs Randy Orton – WWE Championship
Jinder Mahal’s title reign has already fizzled out for me. His initial run as number one contender was intriguing, admittedly, but he has really not captured the imagination as WWE champion.
On the other side of things, though, he is more interesting than Randy Orton, whose recent title reign was one of the most forgettable of his career.
A match with John Cena at SummerSlam looms for Jinder Mahal, so expect him to walk away with the belt intact this Sunday night.
Prediction: Jinder Mahal retains
Charlotte Vs Tamina Snuka Vs Natalya Vs Carmella Vs Becky Lynch – Money in the Bank Ladder Match
I can see the WWE going down one of two routes with this match-up. The first route would see this match take place early in the night and the winner then cash in on Naomi after her title defense. The second is that the victor will carry the briefcase for quite some time and utilise it as part of their gimmick to get them over. If they go down the former, then expect Charlotte or Natalya to walk away with the briefcase – setting up a big feud with Naomi over the summer. If they go down the latter, then expect Carmella to walk away as the victor.
Of all the competitors in this match, the only one I really can’t see winning under any circumstances is Tamina. She has been treated very badly since her return to the roster and is pretty much there to make up the numbers. The other four competitors all have a reasonable chance here but the one who would benefit the most is Carmella.
Her character is just starting to grow and unlike the others, she needs a reason to challenge for the belt. Charlotte, Becky and Natalya are all former champions who could enter a feud whenever it is needed, while Carmella needs that little extra push to get there, so I’m giving this one to her.
Prediction: Carmella wins
Dolph Ziggler Vs Sami Zayn Vs Kevin Owens Vs AJ Styles Vs Shinsuke Nakamura Vs Baron Corbin – Money in the Bank Ladder Match
The main Money in the Bank of the night is often the highlight of these PPVs (well, except for 2011) and this year’s match has not only the potential to be the match of the night, but also the match of the year. Seriously, all six men involved here are pretty awesome and if given enough time they could give us one of the best Money in the Bank matches of all time.
Every man in this match, apart from maybe Ziggler, has a realistic shot at winning the briefcase but as I broke down in an article a few weeks ago, Baron Corbin seems the most likely to walk away with the title shot in the bank. The difference between Corbin, and say, Owens or Styles, is that he needs this to give him the push to that top level.
The same could be said for Sami Zayn, but I feel the WWE don’t have faith in him as a main eventer sadly, while Shinsuke Nakamura really doesn’t need this to establish himself, as the guy is ridiculously over.
Prediction: Baron Corbin wins
Who do you think will win this Sunday? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter @liamhoofe