As we inch closer and closer to the 25th edition of the sports entertainment spectacle known as Wrestlemania, the picture is getting more and more clear.
Hence, it’s time now to analyze and give opinions on the creative decisions made so far heading into the industry’s biggest event of the year.
Wrestlemania is not only the biggest event of the WWF/E, but of the entire industry. This’s because it is without any competition since Starrcade faded away in 2001. At present, no other event exists in this industry that can be truly called an annual mega event.
Even the biggest annual event of the only known competitor (TNA), Bound For Glory, has not attained a size worthy enough to be called a competing event and it only seems to be a future big event in the making.
Now considering that Wrestlemania is the one event that instantly strikes the mind every time the word sports entertainment is heard, it’s an event that represents the entire industry before the world. Therefore, its performance is to affect the future of the whole industry because it gives a direct indication on where the industry is heading.
In this context, there are a few essential points to keep in mind. One of them is that pro wrestling no longer dominates the pay-per-view buy rates. MMA and boxing events have surpassed pro-wrestling views. Wrestlemania and Mania buy rates, which used to cross 1 million regularly, have now come down to around 700,000. This indeed is a matter of concern.
Looking at the rivalries building up towards Wrestlemania, the one that has gained major attention is the Triple H-Orton feud, which seems to have attained a never-before magnitude, although both men have rivaled each other more than once in the past.
So, then, this should be the feud that is given maximum dedication by the WWE creative team because, as we all know, with such great intensity comes great expectations. It must not flop out in the end.
The sad part is that the Intercontinental and US titles are not being concentrated on, as usual. This has been the case for a while now, and it’s surprising that WWE is paying such less attention to these titles.
Now, apart from all these matches, there is one that is always interesting, one that is among my personal favorites. It is this match that strikes the minds of every person who loves high flying and risk taking. It is called “Money in the Bank,” and it’s a ladder match that takes place annually at Wrestlemania.
The winner of the match gets a contract for a guaranteed title shot at one of the three world titles in the WWE. This concept was introduced in 2005 and has been among the most anticipated matches in the company ever since.
Looking at this year’s MITB line up, there are a few surprises. This year’s match has eight participants instead of six. Contrary to expectations, this year’s match seems to be one designed to be a clash of styles, as three of the participants do not suit the normal style.
As we all know by now, the participants for this year’s match are Kane, Mark Henry, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, Finlay, Kofi Kingston, CM Punk, and Christian. All the names are known to the average WWE fan, but it is not too hard to choose between them and decide the winner of this year’s match. Only three of them are strong contenders, and among them the choice for winner is obvious.
So here is my choice for Mr. Money in the Bank 2009. It’s Captain Charisma, the Instant Classic, Christian Cage.
My logic is simple. I think he’s going to have a heel turn at some point this year and a Money in the Bank victory will give him some real credibility to be put in the title picture straight away. This’s because there are people who still doubt his abilities as a performer even after the decorated TNA run;l many of them think he doesn’t have "it" in him.
"Mr. Money in the Bank" is the best title that can be given to Christian’s character if he is to have a future heel run, because an opportunistic win of the world title is also the best possible way to be catapulted as a mega heel. Of course, as an admirer, I want him to win the match and establish himself as a singles performer.
Besides all these, Christian deserves his Wrestlemania moment and is worth it. Until his time in TNA, he was never even seriously considered as a worthy singles wrestler and his glory days in the WWF/E have always been in tag wrestling. Again, Vince has never been a big fan of Christian at any point in his career, which is a strong factor that stands against him.
But the fact that he has an equally strong backing of the lead writers in the company is in his favor. He deserves his share of time worth remembering at the grandest stage in sports entertainment, and I sure hope he gets it.
Other possible contenders to win the MITB match are Shelton Benjamin and MVP. However, WWE creative and management have never really placed their faith on Shelton Benjamin, despite his phenomenal in-ring abilities.
The thing that stands against MVP’s victory is his own criminal background during his teens. Because of this, he won’t be able to take part in several international tours and related programs, and it’ll be a disinvestment from WWE’s point of view if he is chosen.
Another option is Kofi Kingston, but I think is too early in his career to win such a match. CM Punk is also unlikely, considering that he won last year. The other guys are unlikely to be booked as victors, considering their age and push factors.
Overall, there are three options that are strong enough to be called Mr. Money in the Bank 2009. Considering his experience and the age factor, I say, just give it to Christian.
Because, just like Austin with his entire face bleeding and Foley walking out with a bloody smile after going through a flaming table, the Instant Classic deserves his Wrestlemania moment.