Liam Hoofe with his predictions for this Sunday’s WWE Money in the Bank event…
What a nice break it’s been since Backlash. The WWE’s last PPV was six whole weeks ago and the dropping of single-branded PPVs finally means that fans can get a chance to breathe between events.
Sadly, the WWE has made a right pig’s ear of the build for Money in the Bank, and the card is playing host to some of the worst booked feuds in recent memory.
Fortunately, the card is also host to the titular Money in the Bank ladder matches, which are some of the most exciting matches of the year. Since becoming a PPV in 2010, the Money in the Bank event has always provided fans with at least one memorable moment, and most fans will be expecting the same from this year’s show, even if the card really doesn’t look great.
Kick-off show: Bludgeon Brothers Vs Gallows and Anderson
This match feels like it exists just to keep The Bludgeons on television while they figure out what team they can line up as actual challengers to their belts. With Sanity presumably debuting after the event, this match feels like a foregone conclusion already.
Prediction: The Bludgeon Brothers Win
Daniel Bryan Vs Big Cass
The feud between Big Cass and Daniel Bryan has not been one of the strongest on SmackDown this last month, and like at Backlash, it’s a tricky one to call. Bryan picked up the submission victory over Cass at Backlash, and Cass just managed to maintain a modicum of momentum then. Another defeat for Cass, especially if he taps, will do him no favours. Cass, though, is also reportedly in trouble backstage thanks to going off-script a couple of months ago, and the WWE may want to continue to make him look weak as a punishment.
Bryan should be moving into the title picture over the Summer, and the only reason he is not competing in Money in the Bank is to protect him. I’m going to give this one to Cass though, I think the two men will have a rubber match at Extreme Rules, which will set Bryan up for a title match at SummerSlam.
Prediction: Big Cass Wins
Bobby Lashley Vs Sami Zayn
Bobby Lashley’s return to the WWE has, thus far, been a total disaster. He returned looking like an absolute beast but his do-gooder gimmick has destroyed any credibility he had at all. If that wasn’t enough, the WWE has given us embarrassing segment after embarrassing segment over the past month, making him look even goofier in the eyes of fans. Sami Zayn has also suffered as a result of his feud and this really needs to be a one and done deal. Both men deserve better than this, and they should both move on to pastures new once this has finished. Lashley should pick up the convincing win on Sunday and the WWE should do their utmost to make him look strong in the process.
Prediction: Bobby Lashley Wins
Carmella Vs Asuka
Carmella’s reign as SmackDown’s Women’s Champion has been interesting. While she is not great in the ring, she is super entertaining on the mic, and she has made for amusing viewing on several occasions. That being said, SummerSlam is a matter of months away, and the WWE could put on a much more entertaining bout with Asuka as the champion.
The former NXT Women’s Champion has struggled a little since losing to Charlotte at Mania, and having her lose back to back PPV’s would not be the smartest of ideas. With Carmella tapping out to Asuka on this week’s SmackDown, however, questions have been raised as to whether to not the Empress of Tomorrow will pick up the victory this Sunday night.
There are plenty of ways Carmella could defeat Asuka, with an interruption from the Iiconics being the most obvious option. Whatever happens, I don’t see Carmella winning, though, the option of her retaining as a result of a disqualification or count-out seems fairly likely.
Prediction: Asuka Wins Via DQ or Count-Out
Jinder Mahal Vs Roman Reigns
Vince McMahon will not know what to do with himself Sunday night while this match is playing. A meeting of this generation’s two most forced superstars will take place and frankly, most fans couldn’t really care less.
Oddly enough, though, I think this match may surprise us all. Reigns is nothing if not consistent in the ring, and Jinder has been improving somewhat on television lately. This won’t be spectacular, but it will probably be given long enough to produce something half decent. Either way, Reigns should pick up the victory here.
Prediction: Roman Reigns Wins
Seth Rollins Vs Elias
I’m looking forward to this match, and it’s good to see Elias finally given an actual feud on the main roster. Rollins has been Raw’s MVP since WrestleMania, and he will no doubt deliver a top notch bout once again at Money in the Bank. With many fans speculating that Rollins will move back into the Universal Title picture over the Summer, Elias would be a great candidate for him to drop the belt to. I think they may wait just a little longer though, and have Rollins retain on Sunday night.
Prediction: Seth Rollins Retains
Women’s Money in the Bank Match – Ember Moon Vs Natalya Vs Sasha Banks Vs Lana Vs Naomi Vs Charlotte Vs Becky Lynch Vs Alexa Bliss
This year’s women’s Money in the Bank ladder match is very stacked. There are six former champions competing in the bout and a former NXT Champion in Ember Moon. There is an argument to be made for all eight of the women winning this match, but realistically, there are only a few who are likely to walk away with the briefcase on Sunday night. Former champion, Alexa Bliss, is in with a shout, and the briefcase would perfectly suit her heel persona, while Charlotte Flair can never be counted out of any big match.
Ember Moon, who has been impressive since her post-Mania debut, stands an outside chance at picking up the victory as well,with the company utilising the briefcase to give her that final push towards the women’s title. The most obvious candidate for victory, though, is Natalya. Her storyline with Ronda Rousey means we could get a cash in later in the night, and that’s what I think will happen here.
Prediction: Natalya Wins
Ronda Rousey Vs Nia Jax
This match is one of the most intriguing of the night, with former UFC star Ronda Rousey making her singles debut in the bout. Rousey looked impressive in her tag-team performance at WrestleMania, but fans are a little concerned that she has been instantly elevated to a title shot in her first singles match.
Jax is not the most complete performer in the ring either, and there is every chance that this match could be quite difficult to watch at times. It has also placed the WWE in a bit of a predicament booking-wise, and I can’t see this match ending without some sort of interruption. Stephanie McMahon intervening on Nia’s behalf, setting up a singles bout with Rousey at SummerSlam is a possibility, but no-one wants to see that. Instead, I think Rousey will pick up the victory, only to have her moment stolen from her by Natalya and her briefcase.
Prediction: Ronda Rousey Wins, Natalya Cashes in and becomes Champion
AJ Styles Vs Shinsuke Nakamura- Last Man Standing Match
Like most fans, I’ve fancied Shinsuke Nakamura in each of his encounters with AJ Styles in the past, but as the event draws closer, I’m really unsure as to which way this is going to go. My worry is that we see another terrible finish here, leading to the two men having some sort of decisive match stipulation at Extreme Rules, like a two out of three falls, or an iron-man match.
The two men have not delivered the match we have all wanted in their last three encounters, so I’m hoping that now, with much lower expectations, the two men can finally deliver on Sunday. I’m really unsure as to the result- AJ has been a great champion, and a title defence at SummerSlam would be a nice reward, while Shinsuke really needs to win the title in this feud because if not, his chances of winning the belt are very slim. I’m flipping a coin on this one and giving it to Shinsuke.
Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura Wins the Belt
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match- Samoa Joe Vs The Miz Vs Rusev Vs Braun Strowman Vs Kevin Owens Vs Finn Balor Vs Bobby Roode Vs A Member of the New Day
After last year’s botched cash in with Baron Corbin, the WWE will want to get things right with this year’s Money in the Bank. Like the women’s match, a case could be made for each of these men to win this bout, but like the women’s match, there is also one clear favourite to win the briefcase from a storyline perspective. Fans have been desperate to see Daniel Bryan get his hands on The Miz since he announced his in-ring return before WrestleMania, and a cash-in would be the perfect way to set that up.
Fans would love to see Bryan climb the mountain in the WWE once again, and watching him have that stolen from him by arch-nemesis, The Miz, would be one hell of a blow.
Of course, you shouldn’t count out any of the other competitors. Samoa Joe has grown into one of the best heels in the WWE as of late, while fans would love to see Braun Strowman get his hands on the case. Kevin Owens has also snuck his way back into the main event scene on Raw over the last month or so, and fans would love to see Rusev celebrate a happy Rusev Day as well.
Bobby Roode, and a member of The New Day, most likely Big-E, remain outsiders in the bout, but with rumours of character changes for all of these men,this could be the perfect time to pull the trigger on a turn, and eventual push.
I’m sticking with my first thought on this one, though, and giving it to The Miz. The A-lister has been exceptional for the last two years, and he is more than deserving of a run with the WWE championship. Bryan Vs The Miz is money, and the WWE should start putting the wheels for that in motion on Sunday.
Prediction: The Miz Wins