It’s Money in the Bank time once again. For a minor Pay-Per-View, Money in the Bank feels as close to a major event as it can get. In a match style that could be considered the last bastion of carnage in the post-PG era, this ladder match never disappoints our wrestling fan lizard brain. And this year we are welcoming the Women’s division into the fray. For men and women, this is a significant match in anyone’s career. Winning the briefcase can jump start one’s career if utilized properly, and it usually results in a championship title.
Not only is the match itself one of the best stipulations in the WWE, but the aftermath looms over the roster for as long as the winner desires. Since there are two MITB matches tonight, we may even see an immediate cash in. But most of the fun coming out of this event is the anticipating and speculation of when the victor will cash in.
If there’s ever a cash in opportunity, it would be if Lana miraculously defeats Naomi in her in-ring debut/Championship match. Considering Lana received this title match through sheer instigation, the WWE Universe could be shocked once more by the unforeseen outcome of the Ravishing Russian surviving and becoming the new champ. IF she wins, it would be a perfect opportunity for whoever won MITB earlier on (in the instance that that’s how the card shapes up). Could Charlotte take back her throne as Queen of the WWE? Or might a contender like Becky Lynch take advantage of the moment? It would also make for some excellent segments if Carmella, with James Ellsworth in tow, won the Money in the Bank briefcase, holding it over the Women’s division for the majority of the year. But most importantly, whoever wins will be able to hold claim as the first ever Ms. Money in the Bank and make WWE history.
The Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder match includes some of the best performers on either roster. Aj Styles, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, and Dolph Ziggler are all viable briefcase winners. After Jinder Mahal won the Heavyweight Championship, it set a precedent that anyone can win, regardless of star power. This presents a positive atmosphere for Baron Corbin or Sami Zayn to win, since they’re the least likely out of these six to win. The WWE has been doing their best to pull a fast one on the audience as of late, giving big pushes to some of the more unestablished Superstars. Since last Smackdown ended with Shinsuke Nakamura scaling the ladder (probably for the first time in his career) and grabbing the briefcase, this actually decreases the likelihood that the King of Strong Style will become Mr. Money in the Bank. It’s more common to give it to the guy the audience least suspects. And while Dolph Ziggler is a former Mr. MITB, Styles and Owens sure would wear that moniker well. In such a talented, there’s bound to be some innovative ladder usage.
Creativity is the name of the game when it comes to the Money in the Bank ladder match (second longest match name next to the “Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal”), and between the heavy hitters in the Men’s match and the unprecedented nature of the Women’s match, expect them to go all out. You’re going to see a lot of dangerous spots you’ve never seen before. It’s also an odd sense of empowerment for the women. It’s a counterintuitive progressive thought process of, “Women can do anything a man can do...including hurl themselves off a ladder onto another ladder,” but here we are.
Even though it’s a brand exclusive Pay-Per-View, Money in the Bank has major Pay-Per-View results. In a match that was formerly only held at WrestleMania, it may have as much influence on future storylines as the Royal Rumble does. So be sure not to miss this historic Money in the Bank event.
Nathan Burke is a standup comedian based in Boston and can be found on Twitter @IamNathanBurke