WWE has a habit of making Money In the Bank one of its best pay-per-views of the year. It is, by its very nature, an easy event to make good because of the two ladder matches and two championship matches.
This year's show has a very different feel to it. Gimmick pay-per-views have lost their luster because they are so played out. WWE is using any momentum it has right now to build the 1,000th Raw on July 23.
It is sad that this event has almost got lost in the shuffle, but that is not going to prevent it from being one of the best of the year. To get you ready for it, here are our best predictions for the top matches at Money In the Bank.
(Note: I excluded the World Title Match since WWE seemed to have no interest in building it up on Raw, other than to have Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio say they were both going to win the match.)
World Title Championship Contract Ladder Match
(Damien Sandow vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Christian vs. Santino Marella vs. Tensai vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sin Cara)
Eight performers might be too much for a match like this, though I suspect a couple of wrestlers will be taken out early and the real contenders will be left to do their thing.
To me, the only real contenders are Rhodes and Ziggler. Tensai's stock has slid so much since his debut. Sandow is on the rise, but not someone the fans want to see yet. Kidd's inclusion is a good thing, though I don't see him lasting very long.
Rhodes has enough clout to be a factor in this match. At the end of the day, though, I see this as being Ziggler's match. He is one of the two best wrestlers in WWE today—Daniel Bryan being the other. Even though he has received no push for this match, Ziggler is someone WWE likes to use in title matches because he is such a good wrestler.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler Wins
WWE Championship Contract Ladder Match
(John Cena vs. Kane vs. Big Show vs. Chris Jericho)
If the other ladder match has too many bodies, this one has a lot of wrong bodies. Jericho and Cena should be fine, but Kane and Big Show are not going to add anything good to this match.
Unless Vince McMahon has his memory completely erased and forgets who Cena is in the booking meetings, I can't imagine how he doesn't win this match.
Kane is what he is—a name who the audience knows, but is nothing special in the ring. Big Show had his chance against Cena last month and WWE couldn't put him over in that match.
Jericho has already had a title program this year, and no one knows when he will leave to go on tour with Fozzy full-time.
Cena hasn't been in a championship program since last October. That is about as long an interval as you will get in WWE, so expect a lot more of Cena in championship matches over the summer.
Prediction: John Cena Wins
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan For WWE Championship w/ AJ as Special Referee
If this match was just Punk and Bryan, it would have my complete and undivided attention. Those two had one of the best WWE matches of the year at Over The Limit. Their chemistry was as good as anything that you will see from this company in 2012.
When you make A.J. and who she is going to align herself with the focus of the match—and thereby telling us that nothing matters until she makes her decision—the focus wanes greatly.
I do think the 15-18 minutes that are just Punk and Bryan will be spectacular. Everything after that will be a cluster of garbage.
I think Bryan and A.J. is the better pairing, but since I don't see Bryan being given the championship, I have to think Punk is going to live up to his gimmick of digging crazy chicks.
Prediction: Punk Retains The Championship