We continue with the bizarro world of Professional Wrestling in 2020 with a preview of the 2020 Money in the Bank PPV – taking place (at least in part) at Titan Towers. The fact that the show will start with an ‘tour’ of WWE’s HQ is one of the more interesting parts of this show as we’ve seen few detailed journeys through Titan Towers since the “Attitude, Get It?” promo of the late 90s.
Let’s see what the rest of the show has to offer shall we?
Men’s Money in the Bank Match
Daniel Bryan vs Aleister Black vs Rey Mysterio vs King Corbin vs Otis vs AJ Styles
If you’d asked me 24 hours ago (this preview is being typed on Tuesday afternoon) then I’d have said that the favourite of the match is the Dutch Destroyer – one Aleister Black. I’ve been a big fan of Black for many years (since watching him and the late Kris Travis batter each other at a HXC show in Manchester) and WWE has clearly been high on him since his arrival. He’s been very rarely beaten, has looked consistently strong and has a gothic / super-natural aura which (for better or worse) WWE has a long history in being fans of. It’s hard to see how TAFKA Tommy End makes his next step up the ladder (I’d predicted a US Title feud with Almas pre-Mania which I still think is a good idea) but perhaps he takes a bigger step up here and becomes ‘Mr Money in Bank’.
My prediction of Black was in part based around the other runners and riders in the match. Corbin has won it before and whilst there have been 2-time winners before, it’s hard to see that King Corbin either needs or is likely to win. Otis is busy with Ziggler and – to be honest – the MITB has always been better in the hands of evil than good. It is a bit like the King of the Ring in that sense, it just makes more sense for a bad guy to win it. As such, with Otis busy with Ziggler, Rey seeming a very odd pick and Bryan also having won it previously, I don’t see a more obvious winning than Black who – admittedly is a face – could still do something interesting with the briefcase due to his more ‘grey’ persona in a land of black and white.
That was – of course – until Monday evening when AJ Styles returned to the WWE having survived a *literal* burial at the hands of the Undertaker and having now lost his OC buddies in Gallows & Anderson. Styles is fresh off what is arguably the best WWE “Cinematic” matches of all time and with Money in the Bank likely to take a similar feel, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Styles win here: rewarding him and rehabbing him from the match with Taker and having a clear heel with the briefcase. With the recent title changes, I don’t see an immediate Styles cash-in, but him holding the brief case for several months (similar to Ziggler) could be a lot of fun. Expect him to win via screwing over Bryan or Black to win.
Prediction: AJ Styles Wins
Women’s Money in the Bank
Asuka vs Shayna Baszler vs Nia Jax vs Dana Brooke vs Lacey Evans vs Carmella
Wrestlemania came and went with some pretty obvious title changes to the men’s belts at Mania, but some slightly surprising results with both women’s champions retaining their belts. Becky’s now year long + reign continued with a strong with over Baszler and Bayley escaped a Mania Scramble match to keep the Smackdown Women’s Title. Because of that, both women are very suspectable to a Money in the Bank Cash-in.
I think it’s a very interesting to note that WWE have announced that both the men’s and women’s matches are taking place at the same time. If there was a more obvious “pair” then I’d say this was an absolute lock that we’d get a “Mr & Mrs” scenario where a team win both briefcases. Perhaps we see a union of Asuka and Styles forming here (with both having recently lost their own partners)
I mention Asuka here as she’s my pick to win here. I think we can immediately discount Dana Brooke & Carmella… I think Nia would be a rather uninspired choice at this point and both Baszler and Evans have literally just lost against the two champs at Mania when they were favourites to win. For them to *now* take the titles in a cheap way like MITB doesn’t help the persona of either Baszler or Evans for different reasons.
Asuka however feels *ideal* for Money in the Bank and I have a sneaking suspicion that someone who is as experienced in bonkers matches as Asuka is may thrive in the cinematic universe which this match is going to create. Also, with Sane now seemingly gone from the company, this is a good opportunity relaunch Asuka as a singles competitor – even though she already has boundless credibility.
Got with an Asuka win, and keep an eye on what her and Styles are both doing as a long shot…
Prediction: Asuka Wins
WWE Universal Title
Braun Strowman (c) vs Bray Wyatt
You know what? It is potentially going to knacker Braun, but I’ve got a real feeling that Bray wins the title back here. For a few different reasons, but bear with me…
I think WWE are unfairly lambasted for poor stories – I do it myself – when in fact, it wouldn’t shock me if it transpired the issue was more one about ‘adjusting mid-flow’. Creating stories is hard. Changing your story and keeping it as good is even harder. It is why the series endings of HIMYM and Game of Thrones didn’t land. Now do all of that with someone as contrary as Vince McMahon in charge.
The point I am getting at here is that “The Fiend” seemed to be on course until he hit a large Goldberg. Maybe Vince wanted a title change. Maybe Goldberg did. Maybe the Saudi princes did. But regardless, it happened, and Goldberg beat The Fiend. Now imagine that Goldberg – a man renowned for his lack of wackiness – doesn’t want to lose (or even engage with) the ‘spooky’ Fiend. So, what do you do?
Well, I think we saw what they did. We got this whole Strowman / Goldy / Fiendy situation and I think it’s just a side-route to get them back on track – that track being the very marketable, visually impressive Bray Wyatt as champion. The Firefly Fun House at Mania (which was just odd) showed that WWE hasn’t lost faith in Wyatt and there’s plans for him – and I think those plans continue with him taking the belt from his former protégé Strowman.
Braun is a strange one. His size makes him an immediate threat, but WWE has constantly run hot and cold on him. I don’t think he loses much from a – presumably ‘mystical’ – loss to The Fiend as Strowman operates on this seeming constant undercurrent of being ‘there’ without being the man.
I think Bray wins here… Braun possibly returning to Bray’s control and then goes on a bit of a tear until Roman (who they actually wanted to beat Bray) returns once the whole corona nonsense is out of the way
Prediction: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt Wins
Smackdown Women’s Title
Bayley (c) vs Tamina
Booking Tamina in this match really feels like they’re screaming “Tamina ain’t winning… but could really help someone looking to cash-in”. Were it not for the positioning of some of the matches on this card, I’d say that it was all but a shoe in that the Women’s Money in the Bank winner cashes in here.
The only issue – and what I mean by “the positioning on the card” is that I’d have assumed the multi-camera nonsense of MITB is going to be headlining the show? Surely? If so, then the MITB cannot cash in or Bayley (or Tamina) is they’ve not won it yet. As such, they might have to wait until the next week on Smackdown or Raw. Given the length of Bayley’s reign (good, but not SO long – like Becky’s – it would feel cheapened by a successful cash-in) I think the MITB winner goes after the Smackdown champ.
HOWEVER, if the MITB match isn’t on last (say McIntyre / Rollins headlines) then expect a cash-in on the night.
I think for this match, Bayley is winning either way. Tamina winning – and then being cashed in on – doesn’t really have the pathos that similar stories (Big Show, Jeff Hardy etc) have had… the interesting thing comes from Bayley beating Tamina here – getting a kicking in the process and then the MITB winner takes the scalp to end things.
Prediction: Bayley Wins
Drew McIntyre (c) vs Seth Rollins
I mean, imagine if after all of this. ALL of it. After The Chosen One. After the IC Title. After Teddy Long. After 3MB. After being released. After ICW. After The Hydro. After dancing at Evolve. After the NXT Title. After being Lesnar. For the Title. At Mania. After ALL of that… IMAGINE IF THEY HAD ROLLINS BEAT HIM HERE
It is actually a positive sign of the investment that WWE has in McIntyre that his first opponent out of the gate is Rollins; an experienced WWE Champion and proven headliner who is still very much at the top of the card. Rolling out Kane as the first challenger or… Ziggler… would have been a bit worrying. (I almost put Sheamus there, but Sheamus / McIntyre could be quite fun and would be a fun match to put on a UK show in the future)
All depending on the match order, we could even get a MITB tease, but I don’t see McIntyre dropping the title so quickly. Maybe Drew beats Rollins and then Styles (or whoever has won the briefcase) comes out at the end as a ‘threat’.
Not sure where Rollins goes next after this, maybe continue the feud for a bit longer, but hopefully this is just the first stage of a fun title reign for Mr McIntyre.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre Wins
Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (c) vs The Miz & John Morrison vs The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler, Jaxson Ryker and/or Wesley Blake) vs Lucha House Party (Gran Metallik & Lince Dorado)
Sometimes the performer makes the title and sometimes the title makes the performer. What that means is that sometimes a wrestling company will give a title reign to a performer (often very early in their career) as a way to give an immediate level of credibility to them. Think Okada winning the IWGP the first time as opposed to his more recent win.
Another example of this happened with the NXT Tag Title containing a member of this actual match. Blake & Murphy seemingly came from nowhere to win the NXT Tag Title and helped establish the team (and Alexa Bliss) in what was a stacked Tag Title scene at the time.
And I think they’re going to do it again.
By taking the titles off Morrison & Miz and straight back to The New Day feels like a move with the *next* title reign in mind. By beating the New Day (as opposed to Miz / Morrison) for the titles, The Forgotten Sons are not only established as a threat, but antagonists. I mean, Steve Cutler hasn’t got a Wikipedia page. They need a boost here.
The New Day *may* retain here (Miz & Morrison aren’t getting it back straight away and Lucha House Party are there for the gifs) but I think we’re getting a bit of a shock here – especially with the Freebird Advantage.
Prediction: The Forgotten Sons Win
Those are our predictions, what are yours? Please leave them in the comments below.