Kester's WWE Money in the Bank Preview and Predictions: John Cena vs. Mark Henry, Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler, Both Money in the Bank matches, and more
By Ryan Kester
Check back tonight for Jason Powell and Chris Shore's live coverage reviews of the 2013 WWE Money in the Bank. Dot Net Members can look forward to an exclusive MITB audio review with Jason and Chris after the show. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up now via the Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
John Cena vs. Mark Henry for the WWE Championship: The build for this match has been enjoyable. Mark Henry delivered the best mic work of his career, and John Cena played his part well and sold Henry's intimidating stature with his caution. I normally would not be as excited for a match between these two as I find I am here; the story alone makes me want to watch.
Now, the smart money with this match would be to give Cena the win and move on. He is very early in his title run and SummerSlam looms just over the horizon. However, much has been made about Mark Henry's need to capture the belt to validate his career, and it was emphasized so heavily that it's given me a great deal of pause. I'm going out on a limb and predicting that Henry will win the championship and go on to attack Cena after the match, ending in a successful cash in from the babyface that wins the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match (more on that later).
Now, if the expected comes to pass with Cena retaining his championship, Henry could still get in an attack to gain some heat back. The Raw winner comes out, shows he could win the title in that way, and decides not to pull the trigger. No matter what happens, I don't expect this to be the typical Cena dominant win and celebration to close the show; I'm expecting the build for Cena's SummerSlam to start tonight.
Prediction: Mark Henry defeats John Cena to briefly hold the WWE Championship.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship: The last thing I expected to be writing about these two men is that I am more interested in Alberto Del Rio than I am in Dolph Ziggler. Yet with how back and forth WWE has been with the Ziggler character since Payback, Del Rio is simply the stronger act at the moment. He's really taken the heel turn opportunity and ran with it, and the viciousness he's displayed in the ring has given him and edge he was sorely lacking in his heel runs with the WWE Championship.
Ziggler, on the other hand, is trying to find a way to balance a heel girlfriend, a very heel "Showoff" gimmick, and an old look and music that identifies him as a heel with his new role as a babyface. It simply hasn't been working because fans have been given no reason to cheer for him outside of his concussion issues at Payback. His turn made for a great moment, but there's been nothing in the follow up to establish Ziggler as a babyface that the fans should rally behind.
That's what I am expecting tonight. Ziggler will lose his match with Alberto Del Rio in some fashion that facilitates his breakup with AJ and moving on from Langston, and his chase will renew once he's had some proper build with a fresh character.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio retains the World Heavyweight Championship
Chris Jericho vs. Ryback: This build has left a lot to be desired. One has to hope that WWE has a plan for the Ryback character either tonight or tomorrow that gives him some of his claws back because the "Cryback" gimmick simply does nothing for the character. It's no secret that Chris Jericho is about to go on tour with his band, so I'm predicting a very decisive Ryback win and a quick exit for the latest run of Y2J.
Prediction: Ryback defeats Chris Jericho.
A.J. Lee vs. Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship: The direction this feud took since Payback was unfortunate. WWE resorted to its old bag of tricks in calling a muscular woman fat and having a heel that actually had a good character behind her turn into a Mean Girls ripoff. Kaitlyn's hysterical reaction to the silly shenanigans did her no favors, either, and the result is the first interesting women's feud WWE had in years becoming as forgettable as all the others. I'm predicting AJ to retain.
Prediction: AJ defeats Kaitlyn to retain her championship.
Raw All Stars Money in the Bank Match for the WWE Championship Contract (CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Christian, Rob Van Dam, and a possible Kane replacement): The build for this match has been a lot of fun. Many great matches, many characters giving solid promos about their hunger for the shot at the WWE Championship, and the RVD hype videos were more than enough to make even new fans that have no recollection of the man excited to see what he can accomplish tonight.
The only two men I see with a viable chance of walking out with the Money in the Bank contract are Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan. Both men have been getting monster reactions lately and WWE likes to use the more established stars winning one of these contracts as a fast track towards the title picture. Of the two men, I am going with Daniel Bryan. He's been white hot as of late, and WWE has been noticing enough to have him open most of their big shows to get the live crowds into a frenzy. I'm expecting them to capitalize on that momentum and return Daniel Bryan to the main event.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan wins the WWE Championship Money in the Bank contract.
Rising Stars Money in the Bank match for the World Heavyweight Championship Contract (Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger, Dean Ambrose, Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett and Fandango): Unlike the Raw MitB build, this match's hype has left a lot to be desired. I find I am more excited to see which act WWE is going to be investing in once the match is done than I am watching the match itself. Make no mistake, I'm sure these men will put on a show, but WWE just hasn't done enough with the participants recently to get me excited.
The three men I could realistically see walking away with the contract are Dean Ambrose, Damien Sandow, and Wade Barrett. Dean Ambrose because he's part of Creative's latest pet project and the MitB contract would bring The Shield right back to the forefront of viewer's minds. The Shield's dangerous nature threatening every World Heavyweight Champion for months writes itself. Damien Sandow because WWE has already experimented with having him face a perennial main eventer and he has a character that can translate well to the upper aspects of the card. Wade Barrett simply because WWE has a habit of coming back to his character and trying to find a good rhythm for the man. He gets jobbed out when they have other things to focus on, but Barrett has a solid set of skills that cater to WWE's usual formula for main event talent.
The intriguing aspect of the match is that I have no real idea who will win. Any of them are a potential victor to win the thing due to the lack of proper build the match received and all participants' relative low standing on the card. The three men I focused on are only gut calls at best. I'm going with Dean Ambrose to win the match, mainly due to The Shield and the story WWE can go with the group having the contract in their grasp.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank contract.
The Shield's Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs. The Uso Brothers for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I'm still enjoying The Shield has a whole, but much like what happened when WrestleMania came around, The Shield became background players while creative focused on the established stars and bigger matches. That's ok, honestly, I'm sure WWE will have little issue getting back to the group and giving them proper focus beyond a PPV that revolves around two huge ladder matches. As far as this match goes, The Usos have been given a good build, but WWE still seems much more focused on The Shield and what they can get out of the group than they are on the Usos. As much as I'd like to see a more fleshed out tag division with The Usos given a good story, I'm not expecting that to happen tonight.
Prediction: Romans Reigns and Seth Rollins retain their Tag team Championships.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter.
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