Gutteridge's "Man vs. Machine" WWE Money in the Bank 2014 Predictions: Who will be crowned the new WWE Champion? Will anyone care about the battle for Fandango?
By Darren Gutteridge
Unfortunately readers, as I write this, I have been essentially kidnapped and taken to Wales on a day trip. So this will be an express version of my usual predictions. Last time out, I edged the contest between man and machine by 7 correct guesses to 5. What is more noticeable is that I put together back to back perfect predictions! I want my hat-trick come Sunday night.
Rusev vs. Big E: After Rusev's pretty comprehensive win at the last PPV, I'm surprised to see a rematch. Then again, they had an enjoyable, frenetic brawl, and it's clear Rusev is being held in a holding pattern before a title push on some level, so I'm not opposed to a second match. The outcome is still not in doubt though - the ex-pat Bulgarian will pick up the win.
Prediction: Rusev defeats Big E
WWE 2K14: Big E defeated Rusev
Summer Rae vs. Layla: Who is the good guy here? Fandango broke up with Summer Rae before getting with Layla, so he did nothing wrong. The Total Divas side stories they keep showing portray Summer as the alpha-bitch, so it's not her. So is it Layla? I've spent more time thinking about this than they have, so I'll cut to the chase - Summer wins.
Prediction: Summer Rae defeats Layla
WWE 2K14: Summer defeated Layla
Goldust and Stardust vs. RybAxel: Everytime Cody Rhodes has a gimmick change, I sigh. Doesn't matter if it's good or bad - all it means to me is its another 6 months before he'll receive anything like a main event push, which I think he could make work. I think Stardust will be a temporary road bump though, as the gimmick has no real legs other than being "Diet Goldust". Expect to see the act pick up a win in what will hopefully be the first of very few PPV appearances.
Prediction: Goldust and Stardust defeat RybAxel
WWE 2K14: RybAxel defeated Goldust and Stardust
Paige vs. Naomi for the WWE Divas Title: WWE stopped the bleeding for now by shifting focus off of Alicia Fox and putting in back on Paige, but I'm not entirely sure that too much damage has already been sustained. Paige was so important to this division's future, but in a few short months, she has gone from being a hot act to being no different than the token Divas that held the title before her. I hope I'm wrong, but I think I'll be proven right should they have her drop the title here. Naomi can be a player in the future, but not right now.
Prediction: Paige defeats Naomi to retain the WWE Divas Title
WWE 2K14: Paige defeated Naomi
The Usos vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan for the WWE Tag Team Titles: Now we start hitting the matches that make me excited for this PPV, which is usually in my top 3 come year's end. The two teams met a few times on NXT, and had fine brawls, but both are stronger teams now, so this should be fun. I'd be OK if they make it an all out war by adding a no DQ stip, but only if the Usos are retaining. If not, I'd have the Wyatt's go over and have the rematch be the slobber knocker. I like that option more actually, so it's the one I'll predict.
Prediction: Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeat The Usos to win the WWE Tag Team Titles
WWE 2K14: Harper and Rowan defeated The Usos
The Money in the Bank Ladder match
The following are my confidence picks for the MITB match
No. 6 - RVD: RVD can be a good holding pattern for a heel champion, but he's not championship material right now.
No. 5, 4 and 3 - Swagger, Kingston and Ziggler: Barrett would have been in here too had he not sustained his injury. They will make for a spot fest of a MITB, but all three are perennial jobbers to the stars, and I don't see that changing any time soon.
No. 2 - Dean Ambrose: I'm pretty much even on Ambrose and Rollins at this point. You can make a case for either being the better choice as the contract holder, but if I was a betting man, I'd give the slight edge to Rollins. Ambrose has main event potential, but I think The Authority will want a card up their sleeve come nights end, and with Orton a no-hoper in the ladder match, that can only mean one thing. . .
No. 1 - Seth Rollins: And I think it will do him the world of good. He has unexpectedly hit the ground running as a heel (although I am not a fan of the new gear), and this will cement him as someone to take seriously throughout the year, even if his former Shield partners start to get pushed in front of him.
Prediction: Seth Rollins wins the Money in the Bank ladder match
WWE 2K14: Rollins won the MITB ladder match
The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder match
No. 8 - Alberto Del Rio: Del Rio is a none entity, who the WWE still feels the need to heat up when it comes time for multi man matches for some reason.
No. 7 - Sheamus: Mid card titles immediately exclude their holders from contention.
No. 6 - Kane: Kane with the WWE title in 2014? Pfft. Next!
No. 5 - Randy Orton: Orton has more storyline relevance than most on this list, but his last title run was so ho-hum that I refuse to believe they'll put it back on him.
No. 4 - Cesaro: I think this opportunity has come a year too soon for Cesaro. Or perhaps he's two months too late, as his "young upstart dark horse" tag has now gone to Reigns. But either man holding the title right now isn't right, so it may be a blessing in disguise if patience prevails here.
No. 3 - Roman Reigns: As above really. I could see it happening, but I'd rather it not. They are positioning Reigns as a star, so I think a jilting right at the end of the match can help him save face and momentum.
No. 2 - Bray Wyatt: If sanity hadn't of won out, Wyatt would be No. 1. I don't think a long term title run would suit him, but it would certainly be a shakeup WWE could milk for a few months before Bryan arrives. The promo work would be excellent in the aftermath, and he has a nice potential storyline with Bryan when be comes back, as Wyatt beat him clean at the Royal Rumble.
No. 1 - John Cena: Never bet against Cena. He would have been my first choice before the leaked Summerslam poster, but that all but confirmed that we will see a return to the age old status quo of Cena on top.
Prediction: John Cena becomes the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion
WWE 2K14: Cena won a 6 man ladder match, which excluded Kane and Del Rio
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