On Raw 1000, John Cena became the first person to cash in a Money in the Bank briefcase and not win the title.
Although this came as a result due to outside interference from the Big Show, in less than two weeks, Cena has lost the briefcase and failed to claim the title.
Cena will likely get his rematch at SummerSlam, but briefcase or no briefcase, the Cenation leader is WWE’s "main event." He could have easily earned these title matches without a special contract.
A No. 1 contender’s match could easily have placed Cena against CM Punk on Raw 1000, leaving the Money in the Bank briefcase open for much more potential.
The Miz inserted himself into the former WWE Champion ladder match at Money in the Bank, and the Rock should have, too.
The Rock also should have won.
How is it that the Rock is just given a WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble? Sure, he is the Great One and his past work for the company does grant him some entitlements, but that shouldn’t include title matches on demand.
Just like everyone from Dolph Ziggler to John Cena himself, every major title opportunity should be earned, both within kayfabe and behind the scenes. The Rock is no exception.
Had the Rock claimed the Money in the Bank briefcase, his announcement on Raw 1000 would have made much more sense. He could have simply revealed that he will cash in the briefcase at the Royal Rumble.
Should the Rock have won the Money in the Bank contract instead of John Cena?
Given that the Rock did not win the contract at Money in the Bank, his next opportunity should have been to enter the Royal Rumble match and earn the title opportunity.
First and foremost, to hand the Rock a straight-up shot at the belt implies that Dwayne Johnson won’t be as dedicated to the company as a champion should be. If he doesn’t have the time to earn a title shot—even if it is just one match—he doesn’t deserve the title.
Secondly, handing the Rock a freebie undermines any possibility for a triumphant story of the Rock working his way back to the top of the mountain. Instead, Vince’s private jet is dropping him off several feet from the mountain’s top.
When the Rock does eventually win another WWE Championship, it should not be in a match he is freely given without any explanation and effort.
Amongst the missed opportunities of the Rock participating in Money in the Bank or the Royal Rumble, it’s hard to determine where the line is between bad booking and severe backstage bias.
2013’s Royal Rumble match is best won by an up-and-coming talent, but the Money in the Bank briefcase that Cena has already wasted was the perfect key to the Rock’s return into the championship picture.
Instead, we just have to accept that what the Rock wants, the Rock gets.