By Haydn Gleed
I will be providing my rankings on the build-up, as well as my interest for the actual matches on a 1-10 scale. I have no idea who's going to win the matches, these thoughts are based solely on my opinion.
Pre-Show: Daniel Bryan speak
Not a match, but appears to be the main selling point for the pre-show, and it's certainly going to be interesting. I certainly think we will get a better idea of where things stand in terms of his recovery and what the intentions are for the future.
I'm expecting and hoping that he comes out fired up and lets out the frustration that he should be feeling after being stripped of the title. I really hope we don't get a "happy go lucky" promo, where he comes out and says it's not great he got stripped but he will get it back eventually. We really need the promo where he shows he truly belongs to be the Champion and we are left desperate for him to come back and take back what is rightfully his.
If he's due back soon, I'm expecting whoever his challenger is going to be to come out and make an appearance during Bryan's promo. I think at that point we will probably know which direction they are going with Daniel when he comes back. I'll predict that Bray Wyatt will come out and you'll see why I think that later.
WWE Diva's Championship Paige vs. Naomi
Two months ago in my Extreme Rules preview, I stressed that I believe the future of the Diva's division was now with Paige holding the belt. She could really set fire to the division and bring back fan's interest in watching women's wrestling. Two months on and I give up, I really do.
We know nothing about Paige apart from she is the champion. Before every PPV, we find out the challenger of the month and WWE spend more time giving the opponent a personality than the champion. I don't understand it. Paige could be the female role model that bring back a whole audience of women who were sick of the T&A of WWE. Instead last month they focused on Alicia Fox and this month Naomi.
Also, last month the focus of the match was how Alicia Fox would react at the end of the match, this month is whether Cameron is going to turn on Naomi. Where is the focus on the champion?
As much as I like Paige, in a strange way, I kind of wish she would lose the belt. That way she would be in chase mode, and perhaps WWE might give her a personality and a character we can get behind. But I don't think we will see a change here, and to be honest, I'll continue to not care about the Diva's division as a result until they do something to showcase Paige the way she deserves to be.
WWE Tag Team Title Match: The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family
This has had a nice no nonsense buildup. It's simply two teams who want the belts, and along the way both teams want to beat the hell out of the other. Feuds don't have to be complicated to be compelling, and this match proves it.
Both teams have been putting on good matches, so I expect this match to be at the level we would expect. There is added intrigue that the Wyatt's could leave Money In The Bank with both the Tag Team titles and the WWE Championship, which would be an interesting scenario.
Saying that, on the go home show of Raw, The Wyatt's got the better of the Uso's despite losing their matches, and WWE booking 101 dictates that the Uso's win this one. I did enjoy their promo on Smackdown, even though it didn't really make much sense, and the spectacle of both men flying over the top rope onto their opponents is amazing.
As much as I would enjoy the dynamic of the Wyatt's becoming champion, especially the intrigue it would create for Bray in the Championship match later, the crowd are really loving the Uso's and I think it would be a shame to take the belts off them.
Prediction: The Uso's win to retain the belts
Big E vs. Rusev
Although this is a replay from the last PPV, I think this has been built a lot better and I am intrigued by this. Big E's promo on Smackdown was what was needed, in terms of giving him real fire as to why he wants to beat Rusev, and getting the crowd behind him in the process. He also delivered it well, although it did sound a bit daytime TV preacher rather than passionate for my taste.
Rusev has been fed most if not all the undercard guys by this point so you would expect him to start making his way up the ladder of opponents. I think if Big E beats him here, that is the end of the character. I don't see them doing that, as I believe we are heading for Rusev against John Cena at some point in the next 6 months, as the big payoff to the last few months. If Big E was to win, it would ruin all the equity that squashing the undercard guys has built up for the Bulgarian....uh.....I mean Russian.
Prediction: Rusev crushes
Summer Rae vs. Layla with Fandango as the special guess referee
I have no interest in watching this match, and in fact I'll probably go and do some chores while this is on and make it back in time for the finish. I've just completely tuned out this feud, although I will admit it had been built well from a reality show storyline standpoint, but it really doesn't appeal to me. Neither diva comes across as likeable, Fandango just seems emasculated by the whole thing, and I just want to see it end for the sake of Johnny Curtis so he can become more of a serious character.
As for a winner? Oh I don't know, Summer Rae, because I suppose she's the person who sort of deserves a happy moment.
Prediction: Summer Rae
Goldust and Stardust vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback
So what do you do with a young mid carder who has lost his way? You put facepaint on him, weird ass contacts and get him speaking in riddles if you are WWE I guess. I get he's supposed to be some kind of rebirth of his older brother, but I'm just not into the character at the moment.
Saying that, I did get a kick out of the chemistry between Goldust and Stardust in their backstage promo on Smackdown, and it will be a fun mid card tag team with comedy relief sprinkled in the middle of it. That would be fine if Cody was just debuting, but Goldust and Cody were a fantastic and entertaining tag team in their own right before WWE cooled off on them for some reason. They proved they could put on highly entertaining straight down the line matches so my philosophy would have been, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
This should be a fun match, and it will be a chance to see the Rhodes brothers in a PPV match against decent opponents. I do worry about Rybaxel at this point, as they do seem in tailspin towards future endeavours. Axel has never peaked my interest beyond being part of one of my favourite wrestling families, and Ryback has been so misused at this point, I don't see anyway he can come back from it.
Prediction: Goldust and Stardust
Money In The Bank Contract Match: Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Bad News Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam, Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger.
The buildup could have been better, simply because this feels that it was rushed and thrown together at the last second. Some people say it's because of circumstances, but I have argued previously they should have backup plans at all times, but I digress.
Saying that, I am very excited about this match, as the wrestlers in the match have the ability to put on a hell of a ladder match. I could even listen to the argument that the personnel in this match are more suited to this type of match than the main event.
Kofi Kingston is only in the match to provide some spectacular moments and bump around in the match. It really is a shame that he is reduced to this, because at one point he could have been more. In my opinion he is a lost cause now and no push will ever help him recover from where he is right now. Which is a damn shame. Jack Swagger's ability has never been in doubt, there has always been a question mark over his maturity, so I don't think he will win the contract. Those are the two who I don't believe have any chance of winning.
In the middle group, of people who I think have a chance of winning but I don't think will you have Rob Van Dam, Dolph Ziggler and Bad News Barrett, if he is fit enough to compete that is. Rob Van Dam is not the performer he once was, but he will get himself up for this match, I have no doubt about it. This type of match is made for him, and I'm sure we will get some impressive if slightly dangerous spots from him.
Dolph is Dolph. The human babyface bump machine who lacks a likeable personality. As a result, although he has a chance of winning the briefcase, I hope he doesn't, goes away and comes back with less of a Billy Gunn light character. I really hope Barrett is able to compete and get past his injury, as he was really starting to get some momentum. Being from the UK, obviously I'm going to be biased, but Barrett has been one of the reasons I enjoy the product at the moment. We will see Sunday if they go with him, take it down to 6 men in the match or find a replacement. If they go with a replacement, I'll say it'll be Damien Sandow.
Then in the group of two who I think will win, we have the former shield members, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. I've been surprised with how quickly they transitioned from the heel turn of Rollins to Ambrose and Reigns going their own ways, but I kind of like it. Ambrose has been showing some great fire both on the mic, which should be no surprise to anyone, and in the ring. On Smackdown his never give up fight with Swagger was fantastic and established the character well. I don't think he will win the briefcase, but I think his feud with Rollins will continue beyond this match.
Of course Seth Rollins will win this match, otherwise his heel turn will make no sense, and it will knock him down a level when he needs to be built up. I think there will be some interference from the authority that will aid Rollins, but ultimately Rollins should be made to look strong during the match before this, to show that he can hack it by himself.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
Money In The Bank Championship Match: Kane, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, John Cena and Sheamus
Given the time they have had since they decided to go with this, they have done a really good job of making everyone looking strong going into the match. The only exception being Kane who we found out on Smackdown, has only been put into this match to help Randy Orton, so even that makes sense. Del Rio and Orton were the two, who looked the weakest going into the Smackdown, but Del Rio got the win for his team and we learned Orton was going to be helped by Kane during the match for the authority. However, I still think we can safely assume that none of these three will win.
At one point I really thought Cesaro would be one of the top contenders, but the way he's booked in the last couple of weeks, seems to rule that out. His day will come, but I think they will be smart to keep his first title run until it will really matter. I see Sheamus as being Daniel Bryan's dance partner as a heel leading into WrestleMania next year, so I don't think he's in the title picture full time anytime soon. The most interesting thing about this match, is that as I'm typing this out, I'm doubting myself and thinking but he could really do well as Champion, and have some interesting feuds, they should give him the Championship. This is why this ladder match is to me the most interesting ladder match in years.
If WWE give Roman Reigns the Championship, I can see the logic in it, but I also agree with JR that it is too soon. A babyface's first Championship run should be spectacular and a huge moment. Climbing up a ladder and taking the title on a non-main PPV is not that. There is a long term plan here for Roman and I hope they don't panic and they stick to it. Short term pain for long term gain.
Over the last 7 days, there has been a lot of buzz about the "leaked" poster of Cena and Brock Lesner, and it doesn't change my opinion that Cena won't win the belt. It doesn't say anywhere on the poster that the match, if it is in fact a match, is for any title. As a promotional tool, it shows your two biggest stars and part of the company's focus going into Summerslam, so the poster doesn't change my mind. I firmly believe that Bray Wyatt will win the match.
It makes far too much sense in my head that Bray will win and gloat over Daniel Bryan. Hell, you can even point back to the abandoned angle from earlier in the year when Bryan joined the Wyatt's and he can tell Bryan, you left the family to go on your own and look where we are 6 months later. You have a broken neck and I've got the whole world in my hands. I'm going to go into fantasy booking mode here so bear with me. After Wyatt wins the belt, Bryan is determined to come back from his injury better than ever. We see weekly or bi-weekly videos of Bryan in the gym pounding on the treadmill and the weights. Bryan makes his triumphant return to the ring at SummerSlam and wins the belt back from Bray. He then goes until the Royal Rumble defending the title against everyone and anyone, proving that he can hack it as the Champion against all comers, very much in the mold of Bret Hart from 1992.
Saying all that Cena could win and the wrestling world will let out a collective groan. Still, I have more faith in WWE right now than I've had in a long time, that they realise just because something is obvious is not a reason to not go with it. So I'm sticking to Wyatt winning the title and standing on the top of the ladder to end the PPV, singing he's got the whole world in his hands.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
Think I've lost my mind and you want to vent at me? Or you think I'm onto something, hit me up on twitter @haydngleed or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Always happy to have a convo even if you disagree with me.