WWE’s yearly PPV event that is built around a former Wrestlemania match that was used to pit guys with no interesting feuds against each other is this weekend. Crazy, right? If you are like me you still follow wrestling but your DVR gets jammed up once in a while with a few weeks of WWE events. Probably because Raw is so unbelievably long and because Smackdown was on your skip list for so many years.
Regardless, there are some good things coming at Money in the Bank 2013, so Gary LaPlante and myself are here to give you the lowdown on each and every match on the card so that you feel adequately prepared for MITB.
The Shield vs The Usos
Why is this match on the youtube portion of the show? The Shield is arguably outside of Daniel Bryan and The Wyatt Family the hottest angle that the WWE has currently. It’s understandable to an extent, they are stuck in limbo, with no real baby face tag teams to go up against they have to settle for the Usos. Who are both good workers in their own right, it’s just they are the “it” factor, your eyes aren’t drawn to them. Expect The Shield to retain their titles, BELIEVE IN THE THE SHIELD!
The Shield went from being one of the red hot gimmicks in the WWE to being on a YouTube pre show. There is a very good reason for this, though, this is just what WWE does to all of their hot new superstars. They punish them for being good. I guess that it makes sense that if it is against the Usos it doesn’t belong on the PPV proper. The WWE tag division is always kind of like this, we knew this would happen. I’m still stoked that Dean Ambrose gets a spot on the PPV, though, as he has always been the “star” of the group.
WWE Diva’s Championship: AJ Lee (C) vs. Kaitlyn
I’ll be honest this is the first time I can remember that I genuinely enjoyed a build up to a divas match. I’m glad that they have added some depth to AJ’s character, her being paranoid about Kaitlyn and running to Big E for help is priceless. They’ve actually acknowledge the fact that AJ Lee and Ziggler haven’t been on screen that much, which is cool, instead of doing what the WWE usually does which is completely ignore that fact. I’m happy the divas are getting some time on screen, my expectations for the match aren’t high, but it should be somewhat fun.
AJ Lee Gary
I have such low expectations for this because neither one is that good at what they do. This will probably be the obligatory piss break match that comes before the main event. We all miss the days of Trish Stratus actually knowing how to wrestle, right?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Curtis Axel (C) vs. The Miz
I really want to like Curtis Axel, he’s a new guy up on the roster, getting a big push with Paul Heyman who you could argue has been the performer of the year. I’m trying really hard to, really really hard, but I just can’t. He’s so boring, in the ring he isn’t bad, he’s just boring, but he’s getting a push and he’s with Paul Heyman so things could be worse. Well… they could, if The Miz wins the title. So for my sanity, I’m going with Curtis Axel.
Curtis Axel Gary
You know, for some reason I don’t mind The Miz. I think it has to do with the fact that he has worked so hard to become a decent wrestler and to really be the best that he can. Not many guys do that anymore, never mind a guy who was known as a reality TV star. Curtis Axel was always one of the blandest dudes on the NXT roster and now he’s one of the blandest dudes on the RAW roster. Hooray. I don’t know if they keep up this whole thing or just hot potato the title back to the Miz, but these midcard titles are so worthless and have been for years.
WWE World Heavyweight Title Money in the Bank: Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow vs. Fandango vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Jack Swagger vs. Antonio Cesaro
Well we have one MiTB match that is stacked with former champions. This one is well… to put it nicely, not so stacked. Wade Barrett is, well I don’t know what he is, he’s some british dude who was a bare knuckle brawler or something. He’s been given the Intercontinental numerous times with each reign being just as forgettable as the last one. Fandango’s heat has been killed from his untimely concussion, he probably would’ve had the Intercontinental title if he didn’t get that concussion actually. If Jack Swagger wins, he’ll just injure Dolph Ziggler again and if that happens, I’m going to eat my own farts. Damien Sandow has been absolute gold, when given time on the mic, he has killed it, but for whatever reason I don’t feel like the people backstage feel the same way. Antonio Cesaro might have my favorite moveset in the WWE right now, every time he lands that gutwrench suplex, I mark out, I doubt he wins and I hope that he gets away from Jack Swagger, soon. I could picture Dean Ambrose winning it, having him hold it for a few months with The Shield just toying with whoever the World Heavyweight champion is, would be the best, but seeing as he is already holding the US title, I can’t picture him winning it. That leads me to the winner for the World Heavyweight MiTB winner, Cody Rhodes, yes Cody Rhodes, they have teased at him becoming a face as of late, making small remarks to his “best friend” Damien Sandow on the go home episode of RAW. I see him winning the MiTB and then turning face, as someone who has enjoyed his work, this would be pretty cool.
Cody Rhodes Gary
See, this is your legitimate midcarders battling for a shot at the legitimate midcard championship. In the 90’s this would be for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship. Most of these guys are pretty good, some are a bit unremarkable. I don’t think that this match involves one legitimate face, so I’m not sure who will be the guy to take the crazy bumps. Maybe Cody Rhodes does? Barrett and Swagger aren’t. Ambrose might take a few bumps here and there, Fandango probably won’t. I dunno. If they want to keep pushing the Swagger vs. Ziggler thing then I suspect that Swagger gets a legitimate shot at the title next, so he doesn’t win this. Ambrose has the United States Championship, Rhodes and Sandow are definitely not winning, either. I think that Fandango or Barrett walk away the winner, as Barrett could easily transition into a Sheamus-like role.
Chris Jericho vs. Ryback
Remember when Ryback’s gimmick was a monster who was undefeated? Yea, about that whole thing, Ryback to this date has never legitimately won a match on PPV. Sure he’s had a few wins vs. “local athletes” but he has never won a match vs. any wrestler that has actually spent time on RAW/Smackdown for more than 2 weeks. In fact his last PPV win was at Money In The Bank last year vs.Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. With Chris Jericho going on tour with his band in the upcoming weeks, Ryback should finally break his PPV winless streak and pick up a W here.
Ryback just shows how little of an attention span the WWE has towards making angles work. WCW did the Goldberg streak for so long before pulling the trigger on him against upper level talent, partially because they were still training him. Ryback needs that training and his streak ended because they booked themselves into a corner when Cena was injured and Punk wasn’t losing the title. They should just change Ryback’s gimmick a bit to him being a womanizer who says “FEED ME WHORES.” He’s from Las Vegas, after all, why not? Maybe he could be like one of those guys handing out prostitute cards on the street? Jericho will work hard to get the best out of Ryback here and it will still be an absolute mess.
WWE Championship Money in the Bank: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Christian vs. Sheamus
Man year in and year out MiTB is probably my favorite PPV outside of WrestleMania. I grew up with those Hardy Boyz, Dudley Boyz and Edge/Christian TLC matches as my favorite. So this match makes me giddy. I am way too excited for RVD’s comeback to the WWE, he’s always be a super fun guy, he’s probably just going to do a frog splash off of a ladder but it’s going to be amazing. Much like Walsh, I hate Sheamus, I hate him so much, I’ll leave it at that, if I continue, I’ll end up writing 1,000 words about why I hate him so much. CM Punk’s face turn has been.., mediocre, I hated CM Punk as a babyface, as a heel, no one surpasses him. I get they want to do it so they can have Brock vs. Punk at Summerslam, but eh, I’m more excited about the match then I am about the build up. Christian is just some guy at this point, as is Orton who is still super over because people love super sick skull tattoos. So that leaves the man, the myth the legend. The best worker in the WWE right now, my boy D-BRY! He’s going to murder everyone single person in this match then beat the livin’ hell out of every cop that tries to arrest him with the MiTB briefcase. Book it.
Daniel Bryan Gary
Dear god, this match is pretty stacked full of crazy talent. The return of RVD is really cool, but he’s 42 so I expect him to hit a few of his signature spots and maybe take a bump or two, but he’s just there as set dressing. I hate Sheamus, I mean really hate Sheamus, but he’ll play the role of the “monster” in the match and do a few feats of strength and get some pops from the kiddies. Bryan, Punk and Christian are all going to be ping pong balls who take the crazy bumps throughout the match, probably less so Christian who is coming back off of a long injury layoff. I really expect to see Daniel Bryan take this so he can challenge Cena for the belt at Summerslam, but nothing would shock me in this one.
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Alberto Del Rio has come a long way since being Dos Caras Jr in Pride. They did a great double turn at Payback, with Dolph becoming a sympathetic face with them running an angle about his concussion. The thing I love about Alberto Del Rio the most is Ricardo Rodriguez, he unfortunately has been suspended for breaking the WWE’s wellness policy. Without him, Del Rio is just some boring smarmy heel.
Dolph Ziggler Gary
A lot of this match depends on how healthy Ziggler is. He has looked fine over the last few weeks, but has still been on light duty. Del Rio’s face turn was kind of a flop so I guess now he goes back to having no legitimate offense other than going for the armbar a lot and doing that heel kick thing. I think that as long as Ziggler holds up, they’ll put the title back on him and continue with whatever they were planning to do with him in the first place with the promotion’s B-title.
WWE Championship: John Cena (C) vs. Mark Henry
Seriously, Mark Henry’s swerve was unreal. That performance might be the best of the year so far. Like Walsh said, Mark Henry made the title matter that day, he made it more than just a prop, much like CM Punk during his reign, he made it feel important. In saying this, they ruined the angle for me this past week with John Cena not being able to pick up Mark Henry. We’ve seen John Cena do an AA to the Big Show and Edge at the same time, so I’m suppose to believe that Cena can’t lift up Mark Henry? At least this will headline the show so I can do more important things like make peanut butter cup s’mores, while Super Cena does his thing.
John Cena Gary
Let’s all give it up for Mark Henry, whose performance a few weeks ago immediately put him in the title picture and it was completely believable. That is a rare thing in the WWE, where usually guys get shotgunned into “in between” PPV feuds without a rhyme or reason. John Cena’s best matches have all been against some bigger guys, with one of the best matches of his career being against Umaga. I think that Henry is perfectly capable of getting a good match out of John Cena as long as Cena does face-in-peril a lot.