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Money in the Bank 2017 comes to you live from the Scottrade Centre in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Ladder match is what makes this event a must-see show, and I actually rank Money in the Bank to be one of the big five events of the year (the other four being Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, although I would list MITB higher than Survivor Series).
Money in the Bank 2017 will make history by having the first ever Women’s MITB match. A long overdue match, in my opinion. The men’s match might just be the most loaded MITB match for quite a while, and I fully expect the women’s side to deliver as they attempt to overshadow their male counterparts with their piece of history. (And, rest assured, they have the guns in that match to do it.)
The Hype Bros vs. The Colons
Chalk up a victory for the Hype Bros. They should win since Ryder has been on the shelve for six months after an unfortunate knee injury. I think in the next few months they might have Ryder turn heel when they don’t manage to win the Tag Team Titles. Just a guess there. No need to do it yet.
Winners: The Hype Bros
WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Lana vs. Naomi ©
While I’m excited about the Women’s ladder match, the same can’t be said here.
The great thing about Smackdown being the “land of opportunity” (a phrase they say all the time) is that when somebody like Lana gets a Women’s Title match despite not wrestling a single match on television, people are okay with it. That’s because the story made sense with Lana feeling embarrassed by Naomi laughing at her and then Lana got revenge by tripping Naomi during a tag match. Naomi, the champion, asked for a match, Shane McMahon said no because Lana didn’t deserve it and Naomi said she didn’t care because she wanted it. Shane only made the match because Naomi wanted it. See what I mean about how a story makes sense? It’s easy to follow that. On Raw, it’s just not the same, especially with their women’s division.
Listen, I have a soft spot for Naomi. She’s a talented girl who has a gimmick that’s over and that she believes in and some of the fun elements of her entrance are exactly what isn’t working for Bayley of late.
I think Naomi retaining makes more sense while they can use this match to try to convince the fans that Lana is a serious threat to the title. If she looks bad and the match is remembered for being terrible then that doesn’t help either woman. That’s okay because somebody will be looming with the Money in the Bank briefcase as well.
Winner and STILL WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion: Naomi
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The New Day vs. The Usos ©
It’s amazing how a few weeks off and a different coat of paint by switching brands has made The New Day feel fresh again. I enjoy Heel Usos more than I’ve ever had before. Much like with the New Day, turning Usos heel has really made them seem fresh again. The difference in the two tag team’s ideologies and general dispositions are night and day. The Usos are the serious, aggressive guys, whiles The New Day are the fun, happy go lucky, light-hearted babyfaces.
This style contrast could lead to something fun.
I can’t see New Day winning. It doesn’t make much sense to do so as there’s a lack of depth on the heel side of the Smackdown tag team roster. With The Usos as champs, there are more opponents for them to face like New Day, American Alpha, Breezango and maybe even The Hype Bros as well. Give them 20 minutes and it will be one of the better tag matches of the year. If they get less than that then that’s okay too because they’re too good not to do well.
Winners and STILL WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The Usos
Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship match contract
Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Tamina
Nervous yet excited is the way I would sum up my anticipation for this one. First off, kudos to these women. It takes a lot of courage to step up to the plate to be the first to attempt a match of this magnitude with the type of stigma it has behind it. Clearly from their in-ring work since the match was announced (and even the week it was when Charlotte power bombed Nattie through the table) these ladies are clearly motivated and want to steal the show. However… can they live up to the hype? That’s where my nervousness kicks in.
There’s a real fear about someone *cough*CHARLOTTE*cough* could do something risky to prove that they deserve this opportunity. Jeff Hardy does a Swanton off the ladder, what’s going to stop Charlotte from trying her moonsault off the ladder? Or Tamina doing a Superfly Splash from the top of the ladder. Thoughts like that put me on edge. If I was them, I would limit the bumps with the ladder and make the match more about the climb. I’d hate for someone to catch a ladder to the face and get busted open or anything along those lines. I’m sure they’re going all out and more power to them for it. I just hope everyone comes out safely and they accomplish their goal of stealing the show. I hope the crowd gives them their full support as well. They all deserve it.
I like Carmella’s heel act with James Ellsworth. I can actually see Ellsworth getting involved, perhaps cost Becky Lynch in some way. As a winner, I can’t see that happening. She’s the weakest in-ring performer in this match so I’d avoid giving her the win.
I would love to see Natalya win it. However, I’m going with a heel in the men’s MITB match, so picking two heels to win seems off especially when I pick a heel in another big match on the show as well.
Charlotte Flair is the ‘chosen one’ amongst WWE’s women’s wrestlers. The crowd have bought into her as a face. That reaction she got when she power bombed Natalya through the table on Smackdown! Bloody hell. I think the next step in making her a bigger star as a face is to have her win this match. Listen to WWE’s ladies as they say the phrase “making history” all the time. She’s the one that will continue to do it in this match by becoming the first Miss Money in the Bank.
I’m going with Charlotte Flair winning because I think she is the woman they want to build the division around. She won the first Hell in a Cell match and now she’s going to win the first Money in the Bank match too. When making this prediction, I should note that I have went back and forth between her and Natalya.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE World Championship match contract
AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
I went back and looked at every MITB match that WWE has done and for my money, this is the most loaded and talented group of wrestlers in an MITB match ever.
There is so much potential for greatness with these six men. The best part about this match is that there is no clear-cut favorite. Everyone has a case to win and everyone if they were to win, I don’t think anyone would complain.
AJ Style has a lot of credibility as the best wrestler in WWE and would be a great pick to win. Ask yourself this, does he need the briefcase? You could say the same about Kevin Owens, although I’m sure he’ll have some killer material for his promos as Mr. Money in the Bank.
Dolph Ziggler is a former winner of MITB and is a consistently solid performer. In this case, he is here to put on a good match.
Nakamura is a wildcard in the match. He is undefeated on the main roster. He ended the last Smackdown holding the briefcase, which could be seen as a bad sign going into the match. Think about Extreme Rules, though. Samoa Joe won multiple TV matches leading up to that and then won the PPV match. Perhaps they’ll go that same route with Nakamura.
I’d love to see Zayn win because I think they are slowly starting to book him better on Smackdown and maybe winning the briefcase would help him a lot. However, I don’t think WWE views him as a main event talent right now. As much as I love Sami, I think WWE view him as a solid mid-card guy that gets the push now and then.
Corbin is the guy I targeted as Money in the Bank winner for a long time because the idea of the briefcase is to elevate somebody that hasn’t been a main eventer and to help them get to that main event level. He’s a heel that has gone through developmental, had a decent run in NXT and a start/stop push on the main roster. A lot of fans think he wins a lot, but he really doesn’t. I think that was by design. I think WWE knew he was getting the briefcase and figured he didn’t need to be booked strongly in the last few months. It’s not how I would book it, but that’s how WWE operates. They don’t want the average fan to think about Corbin as a threat so that when he does those fans will act surprised.
Winner: Baron Corbin
WWE World Championship
Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal ©
This is the dullest championship feud I can remember. I really can’t remember two more bland characters vying for the most cherished and valued prize in the WWE. I’m sorry but I just can’t take Jinder Mahal seriously as a champion. I always think of him as the 3MB jobber guy. It’s like trying to take David Schwimmer seriously in Band of Brothers. All I see is Ross Geller prancing around in an army uniform.
The only reason the crowd may not completely shit on it is because it’s in Orton’s hometown of St. Louis. Mahal should take advantage of that by cheating as much as possible and coming off as a cheap heel with the Singh Brothers cheating as much as possible.
Not a massive Orton fan, he does have his highlights at times, but this is his second straight boring feud. The Wyatt feud was the worst of the year so far. I hope that something happens later in the year that ignites a fire under Randy so that he can become great again because this feud is just very basic, which is disappointing when the WWE Title is up for grabs. I feel like Orton may be paired up with Baron Corbin (who should have the Money in the Bank briefcase) and they can use Orton to put him over.
I can see them going around 12 minutes with Mahal winning after something controversial like a shove to Randy’s dad Bob Orton Jr. at ringside leading to Orton losing his cool. Even a disqualification ending is possible since they could do this match for a third time. I feel pretty confident in picking Mahal because I believe WWE wants to see what he can do for at least three or four months before they take the title off him. Then again, if ratings continue to drop then management may decide to act sooner than that.
Winner and STILL WWE World Champion: Jinder Mahal
Feel free to post your predictions in the comment section below, and I’ll be back on Monday with my Random Thoughts on Money in the Bank.