Brian Damage, Earl Marx, Benjamin Trecroci and Craig Wilson
Tonight WWE Smackdown Live hosts its exclusive ‘Money in the Bank 2017’ event. This year, in addition to the men’s ladder match there is the historic first ever women’s MiTB contract match. Today on the blog we preview those two matches and the entire card.
Pre-show tag team match
The Colons vs the Hype Bros
Brian: At first, I thought this would be an easy pick, and it may be, but I’m thinking outside the box. I think the Hype Bros will win, but if they don’t, I see a heel turn and a break-up. I think Mojo Rawley turns heel on Zack Ryder. So with that…
Winners: The Colons
Craig: Brian’s made an interesting point, actually. Mojo Rawley has been aimless, like so many, for a while and has somehow managed to maintain his cool regardless. I expect the Colons win this and afterwards, Rawley turns on Zack Ryder and they have a programme no one gives a monkey’s about. Standard.
Winners: The Colons
Tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Usos (c) vs. The New Day
Brian: I think a lot of fans will pick the New Day to win the tag titles here, but I just don’t see that. The Usos I feel will retain the belts for now. To be honest, the New Day no longer need the titles to justify themselves as they are a merchandise machine. I think this will just set up a rematch at Summerslam.
Winners: The Usos
Earl: I knew this feud was coming and predictability is not always a bad thing, so long as execution lives up to the plan. The New Day is regaining some steam and I actually don’t think the act is growing tired at this point. With this in mind, I am not going to be so quick to get these titles off of The Usos. I think they will have a trick up the “Day One Ish” hoodie and pull it out.
Winner: The Usos (c)
Benjamin: This should be a really good match. This seems like a new-ish matchup as they haven’t had too many matches in a while. Feel like Breezango will get involved in this in some fun way. Thinking that The Usos will keep the titles this time around. New Day haven’t been back long enough to get the titles back just yet.
Winners: The Usos
Craig: Well, it looks like I’m going to go against the grain here. I think it’ll be the New Day that’ll leave Money in the Bank with the tag gold. Whilst I agree with Brian that they don’t need the tag titles to get them over, the WWE love passing tag titles about and I anticipate they’ll do just that this time around.
Winners: and new tag team champions, The New Day
Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship match contract
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Carmella (with James Ellsworth)
Brian: Originally, I was picking Charlotte to win the Mitb briefcase here. I think though since these matches are pretty unpredictable and since she really hasn’t had her “moment” yet, I will pick Carmella in an upset due to some interference from James Ellsworth.
Earl: The first Women’s MITB match. We will be looking at history here. I am not even sure where to start. I will say this – I am not sure, but I REALLY enjoy James Ellsworf in this role. DUH! Ha! It gives me comedic relief. The build up to this one has been…passable in my book. I actually think the outcome of this match is linked to the outcome of the Women’s Championship match. I could be wrong here, but I am going to go with Carmella, even though my heart feel like Nattie should win it
Benjamin: Think that this match kicks off the show and gets the crowd pumped up right away and the women won’t have to follow the men’s MITB match. Ellsworth will probably get involved in this match, but hopefully he doesn’t become the focal point and take away from this first-ever women’s MITB match. Go back and forth on this one but going with Carmella winning in an upset win. She’s the least experienced competitor but probably needs a major win to get his career going. Hopefully this ends that Welcoming Committee group.
Craig: I also expect this will start the show, get it off to a bang. It’s historic right enough and the women’s division have worked hard to get themselves into this position and I’m expecting this will be really good. The build-up here has been fun and all eyes point to Carmella winning, as my dear colleagues have gone with as well. I think Charlotte will win, however, and tangle with the new heel champions Lana. Still, like I say, this’ll be very good and I’m looking forward to it.
Singles match for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Naomi (c) vs. Lana
Brian: This just might be a train wreck of a match. I have confidence in Naomi as holding her own but don’t know what Lana will bring to the match. Despite that, I am intrigued to watch it. I expect the fans to go all out and cheer for Lana in this match.
Earl: So, I went with a heel winning the MITB. That means I will be going with a face here. So, who’s the face? When Lana re-debuted, I thought she got a face reaction. The next week, it seemed like she was doing heel like mannerisms. I think Lana will get her hands on the belt, but not yet. Naomi “snatches” her, whatever that means in this PG era.
Winner: Naomi (c)
Benjamin: Since Jinder Mahal won the title, they have really made Smackdown the land of opportunity and now it’s Lana’s time! Don’t think this will be a 6.25 out of 5 Star match, but could see Lana really surprise people and put on a good show. Naomi has really discounted Lana so could see something wild here. Could see a returning Rusev interfere or the MITB winner try to cash in, but feel like Lana becomes champion, if only for a couple minutes.
Craig: Naomi’s run as WWE champion has been completely flat, although that’s not her fault. The company have somehow managed to lose her in the shuffle of crowning the number one contender…TO HER TITLE. That aside, the return of Lana has created a bit of a buzz and the company have quickly positioned her as a contender and avoided looking like it’s come from nowhere. I anticipate they’ll keep that momentum going by shifting the title to being around Lana’s waist.
Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE Championship match contract
Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Brian: This should be the match of the evening. You have the some of the WWE’s very best in the ring at the same time. I think it is a little too early for Shinsuke Nakamura to win the Mitb match but I wouldn’t be too shocked either. While Nakamura is new to the main roster, I believe he is already in his mid-thirties, so with that in mind, I am guessing there’s no time like the present.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Earl: This is the match that is pretty much selling this PPV. When I look at the line-up, it looks pretty solid…with the exception of Dolph Ziggler. Hey – raise your hand if you know who is NOT going to win! Yes – Dolph Ziggler!! If I go down the list, I just don’t see a need for KO or AJ to win. Corbin doesn’t need a briefcase to get a win. I think that leaves Naka or Sami. I know Naka was teased to win this past Tues, but I am going in a different direction for the guy who could use a MITB win.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Benjamin: This is a really great group and could see anyone, well maybe not Ziggler win. Wish that Luke Harper was taking the place of Kevin Owens but that’s for another day. Zayn and KO always put on a good show together. AJ and Nakamura will probably have a major teaser to hopefully a future feud. Ziggler will do his thing like he always does but he can’t win, we’ve been there done that with him. So that’s leaves Baron Corbin. When you think about it, he’s probably one of more successful NXT alumni members. He’s really improved since coming to the main roster and think he’s going to walk (hopefully not too slow) away with the MITB briefcase.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Craig: I wanted Nakamura to win this but going by the way that the WWE books things, by virtue of Smackdown ending with Nakamura atop a ladder holding the briefcase, then we can rule him out as the winner. Which, on some levels, makes sense. After all, if he wins, can they afford to have Jinder beat him? After all, Jinder ain’t dropping his gold for a wee while yet, is he? My heart says Sami Zayn but my head, much like Benjamin, expects Baron Corbin to walk away with the briefcase.
Singles match for the WWE Championship
Jinder Mahal (c) (with The Singh Brothers) vs. Randy Orton
Brian: Does anyone truly believe that Orton has a shot of regaining the title in this match? I certainly don’t. This is Jinder Mahal’s time and I believe that Jinder will be WWE champion to at least Summerslam if not longer. At least until the WWE does their tour of India.
Winner: Jinder Mahal
Earl: I have NOT liked the build to this rematch. Orton is on this “I won’t say anything” kick. Mahal has channeled his inner 2002 Triple H with his slow, menacing promos. Mahal isn’t strong enough yet to carry a feud by himself. The Jinder Experiment continues and I don’t think we stop here. Jinder needs more heat. What a way to get it by defeating Randy in his hometown in front of his father? And if Jinder wants more heat, I say he disrespects Randy’s father…on Father’s Day. Ooooh…
Winner: Jinder Mahal (c)
Benjamin: Is it weird that I almost forgot about this match? Really tried to give Jinder Mahal a shot at being champion but he’s such an afterthought on this show. Jinder will keep his title in Randy’s hometown and maybe Cowboy Bob gets involved as Randy has dropped his family’s name lately. They need to either have Jinder lose or move away from this feud (AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA)
Winner: Jinder Mahal
Craig: The build-up to this has been crap and has done nothing to get me interested in this match. Due to the two involved, I was never going to have high expectations for this one and the build-up has done nowt to change that for me. I literally don’t care about this. Way to go WWE, way to go.
Winner: Jinder Mahal.
Brian: Not too many matches on this card and that should be a good thing. It will allow the matches to have enough time, especially the Money in the Bank matches. I am really looking forward to this show as MITB has become my second favorite show of the year. (Right behind the Royal Rumble) This should be a really good show.
Earl: This might be the second SD Live ppv in a row that is not necessarily piquing my interest. It’s not that I won’t watch it (maybe that’s what the WWE counts on) but I will keep expectations low. I feel like…we should get better booking on a lot of different fronts, but maybe the action will make up for my lack of build. I will say this – if 3 out of 5 matches are good, I think I win. Ha! PS – I just noticed I selected all champs to retain. If there is any change, I think it’ll be the Women’s title.
Benjamin: Actually, pretty excited for this show. The MITB matches will be out of control, hopefully they don’t pull the reins on the women’s match and let them tell a story out there. Seeing Lana in a match is new and interesting. The New Day and Usos match has potential to steal the show.
Craig: Again, against the grain of my dear colleagues, I’m not that fussed about this. Looking forward to the women’s match and I’ll undoubtedly watch the men’s one but I’m not that fussed about the rest of the card. It’s all to do with the overkill of so, so much WWE product on at the moment.