Craig Wilson, Brian Damage and Jamie Lithgow
It’s Money in the Bank time and we find out who the WWE want to carry the briefcase in either the short or long time. Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn, Chris Jerico and Alberto Del Rio will fight it out for a title shot at their chosen time. Elsewhere, Seth Rollins faces Roman Reigns for the WWE titles, the tag titles are on the line in a fatal four way and more. Today we share our thoughts and predictions.
Kick-off Show Match: Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
Craig: Jesus, is this still a thing? I certainly wish it wasn’t. I don’t normally really care about the kick-off show and this match and the subsequent one do nothing to change that opinion. Oh, a prediction? A Corbin win.
Winner: Baron Corbin.
Brian: I guess we just need to accept that Dolph Ziggler has become a glorified jobber now. While I like this little feud for Baron Corbin’s sake, I think Ziggler is just being used to sell Corbin’s move set.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Jamie: I mocked this match last month, so I don’t quite know what to say now. Is that three PPV pre-shows in a row? I guess everyone has to start somewhere, but I’m not sure why Corbin has to repeatedly face the same opponent. The argument could be that Corbin is still on the learning curve and Ziggler is helping him, but if Corbin needs to be booked against the same opponent for three months solid then I’d suggest he isn’t ready for the main roster. Either that, or WWE have thought of precisely zero ideas for both these guys.
Winner: Baron Corbin, surely?
Kick-off Show Match: Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews
Craig: Things are looking grim these days for Sheamus eh? What a difference a year makes. It’s one of those matches that neither can afford to really lose… Big test for Triple H this one: the guy he promoted from NXT taking on the guy he works out with…
Winner: Apollo Crews
Brian: Hardly any build up to this match at all. I couldn’t be any less interested in a particular match.
Winner: Apollo Crews
Jamie: Apollo Crews; another guy brought up from NXT for no apparent reason. It’s so transparent, I feel sorry for him. WWE obviously needed an extra body on the main roster, but had no specific plans for them. Thus, rather than waste a solid prospect like Finn Balor or Samoa Joe, the expendable Crews got the call. For that reason, I think Sheamus will win.
US Title Match
Rusev (c) vs. Titus O’Neil
Craig: Good to see the company use Titus O’Neill and this has been quite an entertaining short programme. It’s pretty positive to see these kind of short midcard feuds. Not convinced there’s much longevity in this or that O’Neil is a viable contender to defeat Rusev but gives everyone something to do, nonetheless.
Brian: Now wrestling logic dictates that the wrestler who gains the upper hand in a segment before a big match…usually loses. I like Titus, but I just don’t see him winning the title here.
Jamie: Having not watched Raw in weeks this has totally gone under my radar. I like Titus but he’s been around so long and done so little that I don’t take him, or his chances of winning a match, seriously.
Fatal 4-Way for the WWE Tag Team Titles
The New Day (c) vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs The Vaudevillains
Craig: New Day vs the new era here. I’m looking forward to this as, unsurprisingly for regular readers, I’m enjoying the focus on new tag teams in the WWE at the moment. With the New Day surpassing Paul London and Brian Kendrick’s run with the tag gold and becoming the longest running WWE tag team champions, I wonder if it’s now time that the belts went somewhere else. Really all three teams could win here. My pick? Probably Gallows & Anderson.
Winners: And new WWE Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
Brian: Should be good and I hope it is. It makes sense to put the titles on the Club as they continue their push up the card.
Winners: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Jamie: This sounds cool. A fatal four way sounds like the ideal opportunity for New Day to drop the tag titles, but be protected by not actually being pinned. Contrary to both Craig and Brian though, I see this as a way of protecting Anderson and Gallows too. I reckon The Vaudevillains might win, by pinning Enzo.
Winners, and new tag team champions: The Vaudevillains
Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Becky Lynch
Craig: The women’s segment this week on Raw was the worst part of an otherwise solid show which didn’t do much to increase excitement in this one. Charlotte vs Natalya was interesting and it’s clear that they are trying to keep that going by adding a few extra character to it. Still, this doesn’t do a terrible amount for me.
Winners: Natalya and Becky
Brian: Ugh, a meaningless tag team match that could’ve been done on Smackdown. It could still be decent; I just don’t think I’ll have a rooting interest in it.
Winners: Natalya and Becky Lynch
Jamie: Some ‘revolution’, still just one women’s feud on the go at a time. It’s a logical match, but for Raw or Smackdown, not a PPV. It’s kind of shocking that despite the talent on their books, WWE cannot promote a PPV calibre women’s match each month, let alone two or three.
Winners: Charlotte and Dana Brooke
John Cena vs. AJ Styles
Craig: There’s certainly been a lot of time on Raw dedicated to getting this feud going. I like AJ Styles but not sure what the long term gain for him in a programme with John Cena. Really not sure about this match at all…
Winner: Got to be AJ Styles, right?
Brian: Could be the sleeper match of the night. And by sleep, I mean really, really good. AJ Styles can get a good match out of just about anyone and the heat for this should be good to make it more enjoyable.
Winner: AJ Styles
Jamie: I’ve been down this road before, thus I’m not getting carried away. Could this finally be Styles’ breakthrough in WWE, his big moment? Nope, he’s facing John Cena who will defeat him, but probably still feud with him until around SummerSlam. Don’t get me wrong, I want AJ to win, he should win, he needs to win, but he’s facing John Cena. Whichever way it goes though; this should be a corker.
Winner: John Cena
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Dean Ambrose
Craig: We discussed this in more depth in last week’s Sunday Sermon and there was a lot of back and forth over who is likely to win this one. I’m still thinking it’s going to be Kevin Owens that leaves with the briefcase. This has everything needed, though, to be a very good match indeed.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Brian: The match of the night in more ways than none. It should be a classic considering all the able bodies in it at the same time. Alberto Del Rio and Y2J are just filler in my opinion. The real dark horse should be Cesaro, but I’m putting my money on Kevin Owens.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Jamie: This should be excellent. I’m not a fan of the multi-person ladder match due it’s over use, but I can make my peace with it when these guys are involved. Kevin Owens is the logical favourite here; he would be a perfect fit. However, WWE have a habit of avoiding what seems obvious to their older fans. I am therefore backing the second most logical/interesting option; Dean Ambrose. With his former Shield brothers contesting the title in the main event we could be introduced to an interesting little sub-plot…
Winner: Dean Ambrose
WWE Heavyweight Title match
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Craig: I am very curious about this match too. Will Rollins get a good match? Are the WWE wise setting up a match that’ll result in the heel being cheered and vice versa? I think we know it’s unlikely this’ll be the end of Shield themed matches of the WWE title so it’ll be interesting to see how this goes down. Can I see Rollins winning? I can but I’d be very, very surprised. McMahon is too stubborn for that, right?
Winner: Romans to retain
Brian: Another potential good match candidate. It’ll be interesting to see if there is any ring rust on Seth Rollins after months of inactivity. I think it is too early for Roman to lose the title.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Jamie: Common sense and traditional logic will go out the window here, with the despised babyface champion defending against a heel who never lost the title to begin with, and who will likely receive a hero’s welcome. As I am picking Ambrose to win the briefcase, I think we could see a plot twist that may protect golden boy Reigns and the returning Rollins from doing a clean job. Either way, I don’t envisage a clean finish and I don’t envisage Reigns dropping the belt to Rollins. I think a bigger story will unfold after the match, whether it involves Ambrose or not.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Craig: Quite the mixed bag. MiTB match should be good as should the tag team titles match. Curious to see what sort of a match Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins can have as well. Should be enough here to make this a perfectly acceptable show.
Brian: Well, they are hyping this show as a sort of WrestleMania type card. I have my doubts about that, but remain optimistic that it’ll be pretty good.
Jamie: I’ve not been following WWE of late, so cannot claim to be excited for this show. However, I’m a glutton for punishment when it comes to John Cena matches. The slim chance that someone might actually beat him always works on me. Also, the main draw is the MiTB ladder match. Assuming we discount ADR and Jericho – and most people seem to be – we are guaranteed a fresh face holding what is seen as a golden pass to the WWE Title. The fatal four way tag match sounds fun too.