Our WWE Money in the Bank coverage begins with the Kickoff show at 6:30 p.m. CT. Dot Net Members will have access to the exclusive audio review that Chris Shore and I will record later tonight. Join us on the ad-free version of the website (and access a special members' section of the free iPhone and Android apps) by signing up for membership today via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton in an MITB match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Did WWE tip their hand by releasing the SummerSlam poster/DVD cover that features John Cena and Brock Lesnar? Maybe. The cover said nothing about the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and it's not like Cena vs. Lesnar needs the title to be the featured match on the show, but Cena winning here makes a lot of sense if the idea is to get the title onto Lesnar. There's no need to put the title on Reigns only to have him lose it quickly to Lesnar, and I don't see a point in having Sheamus play the transitional champion. The fans seem to be getting behind Sheamus again. I fear that putting the title on him now as a babyface would lead to some level of rejection rather than more fans rallying behind him.
I do believe it's possible that the titles will be split again even though I'm not an advocate for the move. The reason it feels at least possible is that Lesnar works a part-time schedule, and if they want to get a title on him in August, then there would seemingly be several months between then and WrestleMania 31 when there would not be a title match on the pay-per-views let alone the house shows if there were only one champion. If there are two champions, then I like the idea of going with Cena with the WWE Championship and Bray Wyatt with the World Heavyweight Championship, though Cesaro would also make a fine WHC. Cena feels like the most likely candidate to win if there's only one champion.
Of course, we can't rule out the possibility that they go with a short-term transitional champion before Cena if the company fears that the DVD cover made it too obvious. In that case, I like Wyatt because he seems like a great candidate to be a transitional champion because he gain something with the run and talk his way into regaining his heat if he loses. As you can probably tell by now, I don't feel strongly about the winner because of all the possibilities, but I really like that mystery. Here's my order of most likely to least likely to win: Cena, Wyatt, Cesaro, Reigns, Sheamus, Kane, Orton, and Del Rio. I love the upside of Reigns, but I hope they don't hot shot.
John Cena wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Bad News Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Dolph Ziggler in an MITB contract match: This feels like the match is all about Rollins and Ambrose. Sure, they could give a real boost to Kingston or Ziggler by giving them a win, but is there any reason to think that creative is suddenly going to get behind one of those acts? I'd like to see it, but I won't hold my breath. Rollins feels like the obvious candidate to win, but sometimes going with the obvious is the right approach. Once again, here's my list of most likely to win down to least likely to win: Rollins, Ambrose, Barrett (if healthy), Ziggler, RVD, Kingston, Swagger.
Seth Rollins wins the MITB contract.
The Uso Brothers vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan for the WWE Tag Team Championship: I suspect we will get a title change here so that they can play up the possibility of The Wyatt Family walking away with all the major gold in one night leading into the MITB championship match. I'd love to see The Wyatt Family do just that, so this might be wishful thinking on my part. That said, the Uso Brothers have already run out of challengers in the depleted tag team division, whereas Harper and Rowan could work with them in rematches and eventually Goldust and Stardust.
Harper and Rowan win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Paige vs. Naomi for the WWE Divas Championship: The match was set up by Naomi beating Page in a good non-title match on WWE Main Event. Unfortunately the focus of the story is on Cameron's recent heel antics, which are likely to play a big part in the finish. I suppose we can't rule out the possibility that Naomi will also go heel and benefit from Cameron's interference and win the gold, but it seems like they are on the verge of breaking up The Funkadactyls.
Paige retains the WWE Divas Championship, Cameron turns on Naomi.
Rusev vs. Big E: Crush! It's a question of when rather than if. They had a strong outing at WWE Payback and hopefully they can deliver another short but impressive performance.
Summer Rae vs. Layla with Fandango as special referee: I have no idea what viewers are supposed to be hoping for. I guess Summer is kind of a babyface because she's teamed with babyface men in handicap matches against Layla and Fandango, but she's the least likable person on Total Divas and it's not like she ever turned babyface. I could see Vince McMahon getting a rise out of having Fandango enter the match with two women chasing him only to leave the match with both women slapping him. I have no idea which woman goes over or ends up with Fandango, but I do believe he has more chemistry with Summer Rae, so i'll just go with that.
Summer Rae wins.
Goldust and Stardust vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel: The heel duo actually challenged Dusty's deranged children to this match after losing to them once before. Goldust and Stardust need a heel duo to feud with and a win here reinforces their superiority, but they are still in the mode where they are showcasing the new Stardust character.
Goldust and Stardust win.
Daniel Bryan appears on the Kickoff show: I want this to be a hot segment where Bryan announces to the world that he's ready to compete and is exercising his rematch clause to enter the main event MITB match. Of course, that would require Bryan to be healthy and if that were the case there would only be one MITB match on this show and we'd be watching him do his best to carry Kane to a good stretcher match. I'm not sure what Bryan will say, but I fear that it won't be all that newsworthy or they would have saved it for Raw. I hope I'm wrong.
Daniel Bryan announces he's the new lead singer of Velvet Revolver (or not).