WWE Money in the Bank: No clear favorite for briefcase winners in 2021

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ESPN 16 July, 2021 - 07:37am 6 views

Who won the Money in the Bank 2021?

(short for Almost a Super Hero), qualified by defeating the team of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. On the June 25 episode of SmackDown, WWE official Sonya Deville named two-time Money in the Bank winner Carmella as the first of SmackDown's four participants. wikipedia.orgMoney in the Bank (2021)

When Monday Night Raw emanated from Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., on March 9, 2020, the idea that it would be the last WWE show in an arena with fans for 494 days wasn't remotely on anybody's mind.

With the exception of two nights of WrestleMania 37 action held at an outdoor football stadium, the only fan interaction that the stars of Raw and SmackDown have had since has come via virtual screens inside the WWE Thunderdome, which was put into place in August 2020 and moved around the state of Florida.

But finally, on Friday night's edition of SmackDown at Toyota Center in Houston, WWE fans will be back in the building. SmackDown kicks off a weekend of shows that marks WWE's full-time return to the road that peaks on Sunday, with the Money in the Bank pay-per-view at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sunday's card is sure to shape the trajectory of both Raw and SmackDown for the rest of 2021, especially with August's SummerSlam supershow on the horizon, and the opportunity is high for several new stars to break out.

The match itself was one of the highlights of WrestleMania weekend, with chaotic energy and the kind of uncertainty about the result that's been somewhat lacking in Reigns' title defenses of late. That Reigns has been able to stay red hot despite the somewhat predictable nature of his rivalries is all the more impressive. But at the moment in that match where his Universal championship seemed most at peril, Reigns stacked up both of his challengers and defiantly left Tampa with his title intact.

Edge disappeared from WWE TV, and Bryan made his final push towards the title alone, and was then sent packing himself. Cesaro made a frustratingly brief step into the spotlight, only to similarly fall short, and then Edge made his triumphant return, ready to get his one-on-one opportunity.

The energy and animosity has crackled in the air inside of the WWE Thunderdome, and the injection of a full live audience will likely set a match to the fuse of this powder keg on Friday's go-home SmackDown. By the time they square off at Money in the Bank on Sunday, anticipation for an absolute classic will be sky-high.

How it's most likely to play out: Reigns gets by with the narrowest of margins, thanks to The Usos getting involved in their cousins' business yet again.

Looking ahead to SummerSlam: If Edge ends Reigns' run with the title at 320 days, it would build up to an even bigger rematch at SummerSlam. A loss would leave Edge without a clear dance partner, but his recent interaction with Seth Rollins could be laying the breadcrumbs to a big showcase match. If Reigns wins, the Money in the Bank winner could immediately come into play, but a match against a returning legend -- perhaps one with a major DC comics movie releasing in August -- would be a suitably major opportunity for WWE's biggest star of the moment.

The theme of this rivalry seems to be, "Anything you can do, I can do better." The conflict between Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair dates back a year and a half, to when Flair won the 2020 Royal Rumble and challenged Ripley, then the NXT women's champion. Flair won that match, and hung around NXT for a few months, participating in a handful of follow-up matches.

But things got more heated after Ripley won the Raw women's championship from Asuka at WrestleMania 37. Ripley and Flair met at WrestleMania Backlash, and Flair's win by DQ worked to further elevate tensions. Ripley has started to channel her inner Flair by discovering new and creative ways to steal victories -- new to her, of course, but not to Flair.

A turn towards her darker tendencies has set up an interesting clash at Money in the Bank, between two women ostensibly fighting to prove who the bigger and better villain is. Flair has long proven herself to be a standout baddie, elevating the hero of the moment and making them feel more important with her presence and performance. But this is a different job entirely, as she drags Ripley into deeper and darker waters. While the evolution has been a bit choppy at times, Ripley has shown flashes back to her time as NXT U.K. women's champion and her ability to be the villain, which should suit her well as she works to get her legs more firmly underneath her on the main roster.

How it's most likely to play out: Ripley impresses Flair with her ability to cut corners and squeaks out a successful title defense. Perhaps, as two villains, their similarities could lead to a partnership down the line.

Looking ahead to SummerSlam: If Flair wins, Ripley is unlikely to go away any time soon. It could come down to who fills the final women's Money in the Bank slot. While there's a chance of a same-night cash-in, the women's Money in the Bank briefcase could be used to instead build some tension in the long-term. If that's the case, we could see a multi-way match featuring Flair, Asuka and any number of other potential contenders.

"I am going DISMANTLE you."#WWERaw #WWETitle #MITB @fightbobby @TrueKofi pic.twitter.com/rkuuiAZaK9

Bobby Lashley was arguably the biggest winner of all at WrestleMania 37. Most had Drew McIntyre penciled in to win, but Lashley won a definitive victory over McIntyre, and then continued to persevere through each and every challenge.

The sudden dissolution of The Hurt Business was a head-scratcher at best, but it did feed into the story that's driven Lashley into his current moment of doubt. MVP, who was a key figure in getting Lashley to the top as WWE champion, had now surrounded Lashley with all of the comforts of success, which led to diminishing performances in the ring.

First it was a tag team loss to Kingston and Xavier Woods. Then, in the final Monday Night Raw leading up to Money in the Bank, Lashley lost to Woods clean in a non-title match. It led Lashley to do some soul-searching, and then he tore up the MVP Lounge and pledged to shed all of the distractions that had been dragging him down.

Kingston has played the perpetual underdog for the majority of his WWE career, and has served as the perfect foil for Lashley's mental journey.

How it's most likely to play out: Given how the WWE has presented Kingston since he lost the WWE championship to Brock Lesnar, it's hard to imagine him having even the slightest chance of walking out of Texas as a two-time WWE champion. Lashley gets pushed, briefly, but clears his head and marches on.

Looking ahead to SummerSlam: WWE wants to make a big splash as live crowds return. One look at the men's Money in the Bank ladder match lineup shows at least five potential winners who could turn around and instantly cash in on Lashley, including a long-time rival hoping to return to the title conversation in a flash. Putting McIntyre right back on top feels like a mistake, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. Ideally, Lashley would get something fresh to sink his teeth into -- and there's a potential winner of the men's Money in the Bank ladder match who would be a very interesting dovetail into his current conflict.

Literally speechless 😱 @KingRicochet @TheRealMorrison #WWERaw pic.twitter.com/2YNhnvWgyC

The men's Money in the Bank match is as level a field as we've seen in recent years, making this one of the most unpredictable dynamics we've seen at this PPV. Drew McIntyre is the only one of the bunch who's been directly in a world title picture of late, and any of the eight could be reasonably plugged into a variety of stories on either Raw or SmackDown

How it's likely to play out: McIntyre represents the only boring, uncreative option among the bunch. He has carried an unbelievable amount of weight during the WWE's pandemic era, and he would do well to take a breather outside the world title picture that he's occupied for more than 18 months. His recent spat with Jinder Mahal thankfully points towards such a shift.

The other former world champions in the bunch make interesting cases. Rollins has been nibbling around the edges of a renewal of tensions with Reigns, but after his face-to-face moment backstage with Edge on Friday, it seems like he'll be taking the long way around. Owens made a point during a moment on the commentary desk Friday that he hasn't really been a serious title contender since 2017, and with his rivalry against Sami Zayn seemingly settled, he could reasonably carve a direct path towards either champion or sit on the briefcase and bide his time. But at the moment, it doesn't seem like WWE views Owens in that light.

Matt Riddle briefly got involved in John Morrison and Ricochet's falls count anywhere match on Monday, and it's probably fair for these three to be connected. Riddle might have the slightest of chances as an outside the box pick, but these three all feel a long way from true world title contention. That doesn't mean you should take your eyes off any of these three during the match itself, because they will certainly have the most eye-popping moments among the bunch.

That leaves the two most compelling candidates of all. Shinsuke Nakamura has regained his crown and his swagger over the last month, at the direct expense of Baron Corbin. Nakamura had a brief flirtation with a conflict with Reigns, and he'd be a fresh face for Reigns to clash with among the current roster of talent. His entrance with Rick Boogs shredding on electric guitar will be incredible, at the very least.

Then there's Big E. He's never had a world title match, but he's seemingly been on the precipice of such elevation for a long time. This feels like it could be a now-or-never moment, in terms of moving towards giving Big E a chance to be a superstar. He has a seemingly unending supply of charisma and a firm grasp of how to squeeze the most out of every moment. Big E also slots in well against either current champion, or as a long-term carrier of the MITB briefcase.

Final prediction: Big E gets his breakthrough moment. The world is his oyster, and the possibilities are vast.

A wrinkle was thrown into this match with the injury to Bayley, as Carmella was replaced by Liv Morgan and placed directly into a title shot against Bianca Belair, which will now take place on Friday, rather than Sunday.

Here's how the field breaks down:

How it's likely to play out: Tamina was hastily announced as the final participant in the match on Thursday evening, as rumors of a returning star began to bubble to the surface on social media. With a window to make a big splash on Friday or Sunday, let's work under the assumption that the field of eight isn't as locked in as it currently seems.

Sasha Banks, who has been off of TV since WrestleMania, could easily claim a spot with a dramatic return on Friday. She would be an instant favorite, especially considering some unfinished business with Belair.

One of three newcomers to the SmackDown women's roster -- Tegan Nox, Shotzi and Toni Storm -- could also step in. In that case, one of them could come through with a shock win. Morgan and Cross have also been lined up for a win in recent weeks on SmackDown and Raw, respectively. But the likeliest winner in this scenario is Bliss, followed by Asuka.

Finally, there's an outside the box possibility, given WWE's likely desire to make a big splash with the return of live crowds: Becky Lynch. Lynch and Rollins welcomed a child in December 2020, and the drumbeat for Lynch's return will only grow louder until it finally happens.

Final prediction: Banks returns, claims the final spot and takes down the briefcase.

Beyond the absolutely stunning outcomes of one-on-one matches between AJ Styles and Ivar, and Omos and Erik (both won by the Viking Raiders), this appears to be a very standard tag team title defense.

After winning a tag team battle royal on Raw over a month ago, they were seemingly set up as future challengers. Now they'll get their chance.

How it's most likely to play out: My heart hopes the Viking Raiders can become a cornerstone for a new surge in the tag team division by winning on Sunday. That would also free Styles to pursue some true dream matches, and stop wasting significant stretches of his prime standing mostly idle. My head says WWE isn't nearly done pushing this unusual tag team as champions, and Styles and Omos will likely retain.

Looking ahead to SummerSlam: The WWE has a hard time focusing on more than one story in the tag team division at once, so it's anyone's guess what happens next.

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WWE: Top 5 Money in the Bank cash-ins of all time

Daily DDT 17 July, 2021 - 04:00am

WWE, Seth Rollins (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

Since its inception in 2005, the Money in the Bank cash-in has become one of the most exciting aspects of World Wrestling Entertainment programming in the subsequent 16 years.

In that time, 24 superstars have captured the prestigious briefcase. The likes of Carmella, Brock Lesnar, Kane, and Sheamus are part of the 20 who have won titles, while John Cena, Baron Corbin, Damien Sandow, and Braun Strowman are the four men who failed to take advantage of their opportunity to become champion. Women have a 100 percent success rate when it comes to cashing in.

The fact that the contract expires within a year builds anticipation. The WWE Universe know they can witness history at any time, on any show.

Kane capitalized on a weakened champion on the night he won Money in the Bank, while Carmella waited 287 days, the longest time holding the briefcase, to have her crowning moment.

This Sunday marks the second WWE pay-per-view where fans have been allowed into arenas since the pandemic began. It would not be surprising if the company give the live audience a memorable evening, with someone cashing in on the night itself.

Last year, WWE made a mess with the men’s briefcase. Otis and The Miz turned it into a joke with silly court sketches and Tucker turning heel with no pay-off. However, instances like that are few and far between. WWE usually gets this scenario right, more than wrong.

The best Money in the Bank cash-ins are the ones you never see coming. That was certainly the case when Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan at “The Biggest Party of the Summer” to win his seventh WWE Title.

Bryan had just torn the house down with John Cena, beating the “Face That Runs The Place” clean in the middle of the ring to capture the richest prize in the company.

As the leader of the “Yes Movement” celebrated, Orton’s music hit. He teased walking to the ring a few times but was hesitant to do so. As “The Viper” looked like he was heading backstage, Triple H, who officiated Bryan’s battle with Cena, hit the newly crowned champion with a Pedigree. The crowd gasped. Orton slivered into the ring, handed his briefcase to his former Evolution stable-mate, and covered Bryan for the win.

The angle was perfect. Orton lived up to his nickname and Bryan drew even more sympathy from the fans; he became one of the most beloved superstars in the industry after being robbed of the title he had just won.

This was the beginning of The Authority storyline, where Bryan was branded a “B+ player” by Triple H and culminated with the master of the Yes Lock becoming World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania 30.

Other cash-ins were more spectacular, but not many had the wide-ranging impact this one did.

The beauty of the briefcase is that the contract inside can be deposited at any time within a year. Some superstars wait months, others wait minutes. Dean Ambrose is in the latter category; he waited for 57, to be precise.

The 2016 Money in the Bank took place in Las Vegas, where he currently resides, and the “Lunatic Fringe” wanted to mark the occasion by doing something special. He did just that by becoming WWE Champion for the first time.

After Seth Rollins beat Roman Reigns to win the title for the second time, Ambrose’s music hit but he was nowhere to be seen. A few seconds later, he suddenly appeared from behind Rollins, striking him with the gold briefcase. Rollins had competed for 26 minutes; he was exhausted and Ambrose took advantage of the situation. As Rollins struggled to his feet, Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds, and that was it. The T-Mobile Arena erupted. Rollins’ reign lasted less than two minutes; it was a case of what goes around comes around for “The Architect”.

Ambrose became the last man in The Shield to win the big one in WWE, on the night they all held the title. The fact alone makes this one of the best cash-ins of all time.

Several unforgettable moments in WWE history have occurred on the Raw after WrestleMania. Dolph Ziggler pinning Alberto Del Rio to win the World Heavyweight Championship is one of them.

Ziggler captured the Money in the Bank briefcase in July 2012 and held it for 267 days before deciding to use it in on Del Rio, who had defeated Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter in a Handicap Match. The champion put up a fight but was unable to kick out of the Zig-Zag, and after nine long years, Ziggler was finally, properly, world champion.

Ziggler received a gigantic pop from the New Jersey crowd; he was so over. This should have been his breakout moment, but the Kent State graduate lost the title 69 days later. WWE should have struck a rocket to his back, and sent him to the moon, but they never had faith in him. He has not won a world title since.

Even if he never holds another world title, nobody can take this epic win away from “The Showstealer”.

Edge was on the cusp of greatness as a singles star in 2006. All he needed was a moment to solidify his spot in the main event. That moment came in January of that year when he became the first man to cash in the Money in the Bank contract, nine months after becoming the inaugural winner of the contract.

John Cena had retained his WWE Championship, surviving five other men inside Elimination Chamber. Then, Vince McMahon’s music hit. The chairman, who was feuding with Cena at the time, announced Edge was cashing in.

The leader of the “Chain Gang” was in no condition to wrestle, having just endured a grueling chamber match that left him beaten and bloodied. Despite being worse for wear, Cena kicked out of Edge’s first Spear. However, a second was too much for him to overcome. The Toronto native had dethroned the company’s top guy. His childhood dream of holding the richest prize in the industry had come true.

This night was the birth of Edge’s “Ultimate Opportunist” nickname. After this historic victory, he earned that moniker.

Seth Rollins became the first man to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase during a match, turning Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship defense against Roman Reigns into a Triple Threat on “The Grantest Stage of Them All” in 2015.

As “The Beast Incarnate” and Reigns were laid flat out in the middle of the ring, having gone to war with each other, Rollins’ music played and he came running down the entrance ramp with the briefcase he won nine months earlier in hand.

Rollins gave his briefcase to referee Mike Chioda, then took aim at Lesnar, hitting the champion with The Stomp. The former Shield member attempted to hit the move again but was countered into an F-5. Before Lesnar could hit his finisher, though, “The Big Dog” struck him with a Spear, that distraction lead to Rollins hitting a match-winning Stomp on his old tag team partner, sealing a stunning win.

The pop for the title change was insane: Rollins had arrived in WWE. The show ended with Michael Cole’s “heist of the century” line, a perfect description of the events that had unfolded.

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Money in the Bank predictions

Cageside Seats 17 July, 2021 - 12:00am

Luckily for you Cagesiders, our staff of learned wrestling blowhards is here to help figure out just how the event is going to play out with predictions for each match on the card.

Geno Mrosko: Edge is great and all but he’s not going to be the guy to take the title off Reigns. That title is sticking with the Tribal Chief for a long time. Pick: Roman Reigns

Sean Rueter: Edge did put him the deal on SmackDown. And he just might do it again on Sunday. But some form of shenanigans will keep that from ending the match, and then he and everyone will have to acknowledge you know who. Pick: Roman Reigns

Kyle Decker: The time to dethrone Reigns is not the moment he gets to work this character in front of live crowds every week. Plus, Seth and Edge have an obvious date in the future. Pick: Roman Reigns

Claire Elizabeth: I can’t say for sure whether Edge is going to win the title in this comeback run, I gotta think it’s more likely than not, but it’s not on SmackDown, as a babyface, against this version of Roman Reigns, after having been effortlessly tapped as a 2-for-1 at WrestleMania. Pick: Roman Reigns

Cain A. Knight: Seth Rollins isn’t happy about being passed over for the Universal title shot, and he’s going to be irate after losing the men’s ladder match. Edge is only fueling the fire with his recent mocking of Rollins. Seth is going to screw Edge over, setting up their match for SummerSlam. Pick: Roman Reigns

Stella Cheeks: Head of the Table Roman Reigns needs to be booed by live audiences for at least a month before he loses his title. The boos give him strength. Pick: Roman Reigns

Geno Mrosko: They messed around and made this a really interesting story but it’s going to end with the bad guy conquering all. Pick: Bobby Lashley

Sean Rueter: Bob’s gonna do Kofi like he did the VIP Lounge. Pick: Bobby Lashley

Kyle Decker: Even though this is likely a transitional feud, it’s been really great. But the chances of it ended with Kofi as champ again right now are very slim. Should be a great match though. Pick: Bobby Lashley

Claire Elizabeth: I just want this to be as good as it should be and for it to get a decent amount of time. Kofi’s always great, Bob has stepped up and been the champion I know he can be, and this could be an instant classic, but there’s only one way it ends. Pick: Bobby Lashley

Cain A. Knight: After being one of the most protected stars on the roster over the last year, Bob Lashley isn’t getting pinned twice in one week by Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston. Pick: Bobby Lashley

Stella Cheeks: Bobby Lashley is 100% going over. Especially after his meltdown on RAW. But no way is Kofi going down easy! Lashley is going to have to fight for that win. Pick: Bobby Lashley

Geno Mrosko: I can see this going either way, actually. I think Ripley is a legitimate star who needs a good long push to really cement that by giving her enough time to grow into who she is going to be on the main roster but it’s hard to imagine they keep beating Charlotte on PPV. Pick: Charlotte Flair

Sean Rueter: My opinions on this feud haven’t changed since Hell in a Cell. I’m still hopeful Ripley will get a chance to work in front of crowds as champ for a while, though. Maybe they’ll even give fans a character we’ll want to cheer while they’re at it? Pick: Rhea Ripley

Kyle Decker: I don’t know nor care with these two any more. Let’s say Ripley. Pick: Rhea Ripley

Claire Elizabeth: Charlotte’s done a whole lot of not losing in this feud and I have to assume that, being Charlotte Flair, she will continue to not lose. Pick: Charlotte Flair

Cain A. Knight: I’m assuming that Becky Lynch will be back for SummerSlam and defeat either one of these women (or both of them) for the title. Pick: Rhea Ripley

Stella Cheeks: Honestly, I just want Charlotte to win so we can stop this feud. They have exactly negative chemistry together. Pick: Charlotte Flair

Geno Mrosko: The way they’ve pushed Omos, there’s just no way they book them to lose the titles here with the setup they had for this match. Pick: AJ Styles & Omos

Sean Rueter: No idea what the endgame is for the champs, but this is yet another “why change it up now?” See how the monster build for Omos goes with the crowd before ending their run. Pick: AJ Styles & Omos

Kyle Decker: The question is what’s the end game with the makeshift Styles/Omos team. I would assume it’s to build Omos until he can be a singles competitor. He’s not there yet so the team continues. Pick: AJ Styles & Omos

Claire Elizabeth: Styles and Omos have actually turned out to be about as decent as WWE tag teams not named New Day or the Usos go, but I mean... the joke has to end eventually, right? Viking Raiders don’t have a lot of juice, but... right? Pick: Viking Raiders

Cain A. Knight: I guess AJ Styles is lucky to have Omos as his tag partner, because he’s a pretty big loser without him these days. Pick: AJ Styles & Omos

Stella Cheeks: Look. I unironically love Omos. He’s great. But the RAW tag titles are a joke right now. An actual tag team could theoretically fix that situation. Pick: The Viking Raiders

Geno Mrosko: My fear is they go with Drew McIntyre. My hope is they go with Big E. My belief is they’ll to with Drew McIntyre. Pick: Drew McIntyre

Sean Rueter: Not sure I like any of these guys chances to cash in successfully. But I’m most intrigued by the tension between Shield Bros that a Rollins win would create. It could be a busy night for The Drip Master, too. He’s someone I could see being part of the Universal title shenanigans I mentioned above as a way to further his issue with Edge. Pick: Seth Rollins

Kyle Decker: Given I’m picking someone who hasn’t held a title for the women, I think they go with someone who has here. They often like to put the briefcase on someone who absolutely doesn’t need it. I think in this case, that’s a motorcycle busting, sword wielding Scotsman. Pick: Drew McIntyre

Claire Elizabeth: I really, really, really, really want it to be Big E. Really. I’d take smarmy Seth Rollins winning the thing as a decent silver medal. Ricochet’s fallen dramatically in my estimation from his glory days, but I’ve still got a soft spot for the guy and I’d love to see him win the briefcase. But, with Randy Orton missing in action and his star on the rise, I can’t help but think they’re gonna put the case in Riddle’s hands, loathe as I am to see it. Pick: Matt Riddle

Cain A. Knight: The Otis/Miz debacle last year means that anybody can win, even Ricochet or Morrison, because WWE has very little long term booking and can just move the briefcase onto someone else whenever they figure out what to do with it. That being said, the two favorites here appear to be either Riddle or McIntyre. Riddle’s relationship with Orton provides the best potential story for it, whereas McIntyre can use the contract to go after Roman Reigns once part-timers Edge and Cena disappear again following SummerSlam. Jinder will probably hinder Drew’s chance to win, though. Pick: Riddle

Stella Cheeks: GIVE ME A BIG E MAIN TITLE RUN YOU COWARDS Pick: Big E

Geno Mrosko: I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave this to Zelina Vega here. The briefcase tends to work better in the hands of a heel and the options are Vega or Alexa Bliss. I can see Bliss winning too — I guess she would carry her doll around in the briefcase? — but I’m going to go with Vince McMahon wanting something fresh. Pick: Zelina Vega

Sean Rueter: It’s definitely gonna be a blond, and I don’t mean Nattie. Liv’s story’s been great, but it could (stop me if you’ve heard this before) benefit from more time with crowds to really build to a Daniel Bryan-esque moment when she wins. The other option has supernatural powers, and issues with Rhea Ripley that go back to Royal Rumble. Pick: Alexa Bliss

Kyle Decker: I think they’re going to go with someone new here and let Liv get a chance with the case. Even though they had to rush the reveal because of Bayley’s injury, it was clear she was always going to be in this match. They seem to be lighting her up and I think they go through with it. Pick: Liv Morgan

Claire Elizabeth: Well I picked a Raw superstar for the men’s side, so that means SmackDown gets the women’s briefcase. I don’t think you put it on the tag champs and I don’t think they’re really interested in pushing Zelina Vega so... Liv Morgan checks all the boxes, why not? Pick: Liv Morgan

Cain A. Knight: Zelina Vega lost her first match back. Naomi is a jobber. Natalya is a tag team champion. Asuka won it last year. Tamina is Tamina. That leaves Liv, Nikki, or Alexa as the most likely winners. I guess the briefcase is going voodoo this year. Pick: Alexa Bliss

Stella Cheeks: MITB should be about giving a deserving, but underdog competitor a chance to prove themselves as a main event player and no one fits that bill better than Liv Morgan. She’s busted ass and deserves a push like this. I mean, they didn’t release her for a reason, right? Pick: Liv Morgan

Geno Mrosko: The babyface team is going over on the pre-show. Pick: The Mysterios

Sean Rueter: I bet even if they win Roman will still find a way to tell them they suck. But I don’t think they’re gonna win (Dom, crowds, etc, etc). Pick The Mysterios

Kyle Decker: The pre-show aspect kind of choreographs this. A loss here would also feed into the drama within the Family. Pick: The Mysterios

Claire Elizabeth: The Usos bring home the gold and the Bloodline will stand triumphant and unified, at least for a little while. Pick: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)

Cain A. Knight: Main event Jey Uso is wrestling on the pre-show?! The Usos will eventually win the titles, but this is WWE, so it will happen on one of the four upcoming rematches on television. Pick: The Mysterios

Stella Cheeks: The Mysterios win and The Usos continue to be a disappointment to the Tribal Chief. Pick: The Mysterios

That’s how we see the card playing out.

Spoiler: ANOTHER Major Name Rumoured For Imminent WWE Return

WhatCulture 16 July, 2021 - 04:08pm

Becky Lynch is set to attend the WWE Money In The Bank pay-per-view.

"Attend," not "appear at" - PWInsider was sure to make the distinction, possibly because Lynch heavily teased appearing at WrestleMania night one via some acrostic tweets that turned out to be a mischievous spot of fun.

Was Becky playing the long-term double bluff to guarantee a few more decibels for the surprise pop?

She's one of pro wrestling's more intelligent players, and rumours surfaced a few weeks back that she was training with former NXT Women's Tag Team Champion Indi Hartwell ahead of a prospective return.

For many WWE fans despairing at the sheer, abject state of both main roster women's divisions - in addition to the prevailing vibe of inessential, repetitive tedium - such a development would be welcomed. Worryingly, even if Lynch does return to action on Sunday, the crisis is such that there few if any fresh, top-level heels positioned to work anything resembling a major programme with her.

Rhea Ripley is the RAW Women's Champion, but her creative direction has torpedoed her credibility. Beyond that, there's Charlotte Flair, which counts as fresh only when measured against WWE's curve.

Becky Lynch Vs, Toni Storm would probably rule, mind.

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!

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