Yes, you read the headline right.
No, I’m not crazy.
While it may appear like a foregone conclusion that John Cena will win the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, what happens after he wins could make for some very interesting television.
Most of us know the history of the MITB match and how carrying the briefcase usually leads to superstardom (with apologies to Jack Swagger). We also know that, with the exception of Rob Van Dam back in 2006, every winner has chosen to “cash in” his world title opportunity at the most opportunistic time.
Now, I don’t for one second believe that if John Cena wins he will capitalize on a fallen opponent and simply claim the WWE title. That’s not his style, and the WWE has spent seven years ingraining the idea that Cena will always do the right thing and rise above hate and all of those other good ol'-fashioned morals.
So we know he will announce when and where he will be cashing his title opportunity (most likely Raw’s 1,000th episode or SummerSlam).
Another aspect about the MITB winners is that they have all successfully won their championship match. Yes, as of this writing there is a 100 percent success rate when you win that ladder match. Win the match, win the title. Seems like a simple formula.
What happens if the man who has dominated the industry for nearly a decade, won every conceivable title and accolade, was to be the first person not to successfully parlay his MITB win into championship gold?
How powerful of a message would that send that WWE’s golden boy was unable to do even what Jack Swagger (sorry, I know I’m picking on Swagger) could and hoist the championship belt over his shoulder?
This would have huge ramifications throughout the WWE.
For years now, superstars and fans alike always assume the MITB winner(s) would ultimately win the title at some point, but if Cena failed, there is a huge cloud of doubt now.
And then there are the effects it would have on John Cena.
Cena gets persecuted (myself included) on a daily basis because of his Superman type booking, but what happens if Superman failed? Make no mistake, this is not a “let’s turn Cena heel” article, because it doesn’t seem like the WWE will ever pull the trigger on that move.
However, what if there were doubts about Cena’s abilities now that he was the first man to fail to successfully cash in the MITB briefcase? Maybe Cena starts going on a losing streak over the next couple of months, and he isn’t simply just able to overcome the odds.
This was the story I thought the WWE was building towards after Cena lost to the Rock at WrestleMania, but quickly dissolved once Cena beat Brock Lesnar and Big Show at consecutive PPVs.
If Cena is going to continue to be the WWE’s leading man for the foreseeable future, we need to see a more complex and frustrated hero.
Have Cena show some layers and some vulnerability.
With many fans already skeptical about John Cena’s inclusion in the Money in the Bank match, it’s time to show everyone that even heroes can fail.
I personally always preferred the conflicted, brooding Batman to the invincible Superman.