WWE Money in the Bank 2013: Projecting Main Events, Undercard and Winners
While Money in the Bank is not branded as one of the WWE's "Big Four" pay-per-views, it has routinely been among the best shows of the year since its inception. With two world title matches as well as two Money in the Bank ladder matches essentially guaranteed, it's tough to imagine things being any different this year.
Coming off a surprisingly strong Payback pay-per-view, the WWE has a golden opportunity to keep the positive momentum moving toward SummerSlam. Thanks to the return of CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio's heel turn, a fresh feud between John Cena and Mark Henry and even the scheduled return of Rob Van Dam, Money in the Bank promises to be spectacular.
Since it is unclear how the Money in the Bank ladder matches will be divided and how many superstars will be in each, it is anyone's guess how things will shake out. Aside from the Royal Rumble, though, Money in the Bank may be the most fun event of the year to predict.
With that said, here is a full slate of predictions for each and every Money in the Bank match, including winners and a breakdown of how things will play out.
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Mark Henry
Many believed that Mark Henry was set to retire from the Raw after Payback, as he had sent out some cryptic tweets and the WWE essentially advertised his retirement as well. Henry interrupted John Cena's promo, but instead of immediately attacking the WWE Champion, he gave a seemingly heartfelt speech.
Henry talked about how it was time for him to hang up the boots and spend time with his family. The World's Strongest Man even went so far as to cry.
Cena fully bought in and attempted to hug Henry, but he was met with a World's Strongest Slam instead. Henry yelled that he still has a lot left in the tank and it was later announced that he would receive a title shot at Money in the Bank.
Henry hadn't been seen since losing to Sheamus at Extreme Rules, but he certainly made a huge impact upon returning. Cena's feud with Ryback was decent from a match quality perspective, but it fell flat otherwise. Henry has proven capable of cutting a great promo, so the build toward their match should be much better.
The bout itself won't be a technical masterpiece by any means, but Cena is used to working with monster heel types, so he should be able to get plenty out of Henry. As much as some fans may not want to hear it, this match has all the makings of Cena overcoming the odds again by beating the bigger, more vicious man to retain the title.
Look for Cena to beat Henry by managing to get him on his shoulders for the Attitude Adjustment. During Cena's celebration, however, Henry will get back up and assault the WWE Champion. This will result in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank winner, who will be revealed on the next slide, successfully cashing in to become the new champion.
Prediction: Cena retains via pinfall; loses via Money in the Bank cash-in
WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match
In what very well may be the most anticipated match on the entire card, several superstars will do battle for a chance to secure the WWE Championship Money in the Bank briefcase.
The amount of superstars involved varies on a yearly basis. Five competed in it last year, while eight did the year before. Since the WWE seems to have a great deal of depth right now, eight superstars seems like a strong possibility.
The WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match generally features more main-event talent than the World Heavyweight Championship version, so this should be a star-studded affair. Look for CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Randy Orton, Ryback, Big Show, Jack Swagger and a returning Rob Van Dam to vie for the contract in this one.
Brock Lesnar attacked Punk on Raw, but that seems like a match that will be saved for SummerSlam, so he fits here. Bryan, Kane and Orton have been at odds for the past several weeks and their feud will add another dimension to the match. Ryback, Big Show and Swagger add some much-needed size to the contest as they can toss some of the smaller guys around.
Big Show hasn't been seen since Extreme Rules, nor has Swagger, but they don't appear to be legitimately injured, so they can be brought back to add even more credibility to the match as former world champions.
Perhaps the most exciting addition is RVD, as he hasn't been on the WWE roster in several years. There isn't a one-on-one feud in the cards quite yet, so he definitely fits in this match.
A few possibilities include Bryan and Kane costing each other the match, which can finally lead to a contest between them at SummerSlam. Also, an RVD heel turn resulting in Punk also falling short of the win would be great in front of the Philadelphia crowd.
That could lead to an entire stable of Heyman guys feuding with Punk throughout the summer.
When the dust finally settles, though, The Viper will secure the briefcase. A heel turn has been teased quite often lately and Orton will finally complete it later in the night as he cashes in on a prone Cena by punting him in the skull.
Prediction: Orton wins WWE Championship Money in the Bank and successfully cashes in
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
There have been a lot of surprises in the WWE in recent days, but perhaps the most shocking among them was Alberto Del Rio's heel turn at Payback.
It seemed to come from out of nowhere as Del Rio focused on Dolph Ziggler's head injury and became the new World Heavyweight Champion by any means necessary. All signs point to a rematch between them at Money in the Bank.
Ziggler attacked Del Rio following Del Rio's countout loss on Raw to Punk, but he didn't actually get on the mic and address his status. Conventional wisdom would seem to suggest that Ziggler is now a face, or at least on the verge of becoming one. That is definitely an angle worth monitoring as Money in the Bank approaches, though.
Rather than making a complete turn prior to Money in the Bank, Ziggler will probably tease turning by disagreeing with the tactics of AJ Lee and Big E Langston. The match at Money in the Bank will feature a full-fledged heel in Del Rio facing a tweener with fan support in the form of Ziggler. That fan support will grow as the match goes on and it will ultimately result in Ziggler's official turn.
Though as great as it would be to see Ziggler recapture the belt at Money in the Bank, there are bigger plans at work.
Del Rio will retain, but it will be due to botched interference on the part of AJ and Big E. Ziggler will then walk out on them and break up with AJ the next night on Raw. Ziggler will then find a way to get another rematch at SummerSlam and have his breakthrough moment by beating Del Rio on his own to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Prediction: Del Rio retains via pinfall through botched AJ and Langston interference
World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match
As is often the case, the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match is quite interesting as there are tons of candidates who could potentially come away with the briefcase.
Although the creative team will likely place some established star power in the match, most of the superstars involved will be up-and-comers who would benefit greatly from securing the contract.
This ladder match looks to involve eight superstars like the WWE Championship version and those superstars will be Antonio Cesaro, Big E Langston, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Dean Ambrose, Sheamus, Sin Cara and a returning Rey Mysterio. While the heel-to-face ratio is a bit out of whack at five against three, it would be a really nice mix in terms of style.
Cesaro, Langston, Sandow and Ambrose in particular are potential future main-eventers who could all realistically win this match. Rhodes has been in that position in the past, so his inclusion makes sense as well. Sheamus doesn't really need to win Money in the Bank, but he has been a world champion before and brings some credibility to the table.
Sin Cara and Mysterio wouldn't be factors; however, it's always great to see some high flyers in these types of matches as they produce some great spots. There hasn't been any indication that Mysterio will return by Money in the Bank, but he said that he would be returning soon last month, according to Raj Giri of WrestlingInc.com, so it's certainly possible.
There are plenty of options that fans likely would be fine with, but Ambrose definitely seems like the best bet. He is part of the best stable in wrestling, he is incredibly advanced on the mic and he is arguably the best in-ring seller as well. Ambrose will win the match if he is involved and begin a very interesting angle moving forward in order to keep The Shield relevant.
Prediction: Ambrose wins World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank contract
Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. Chris Jericho and Christian
As great as Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are as the Tag Team Champions, they have reached a difficult point in their title run already. With Team Hell No presumably broken up for good, they must now find another team to feud with.
The issue is that there aren't many legitimate face teams on the roster.
The Usos and Tons of Funk are possibilities, but in order to keep The Shield at a main-event level in terms of importance, they must face main-event level talent.
No such teams exist currently, but a reprisal of Chris Jericho and Christian as a tag team would be quite logical. Not only have they teamed before, but they are veteran guys who have nothing to do from a singles perspective right now. Jericho lost to CM Punk at Payback and is currently in flux, while Christian returned on Raw after about a year off due to injury.
Rather than having Christian and Jericho take part in useless mid-card feuds, they can be used to put over two of the brightest young stars in the business. Jericho did take on The Shield along with Sheamus and Ryback the night after Elimination Chamber, but he is one of the few top stars in the company who hasn't really engaged in a true feud with them.
Both Jericho and Christian are incredible in-ring workers, so they'll inevitably make Rollins and Reigns look good. Also, while Rollins and Reigns have held their own on the mic thus far, Jericho and Christian are good enough in that regard to guide them. All the pieces are in place, so the writers simply have to make it happen.
If it does, there is little doubt that Rollins and Reigns will win the match and retain their titles. More importantly, though, they will do so against two of the most popular and successful superstars in wrestling today.
Prediction: Rollins and Reigns retain via pinfall
Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel vs. The Miz
After several years of toiling in mediocrity, Curtis Axel finally achieved some relevancy in the WWE at Payback as he defeated Wade Barrett and The Miz in a triple threat to become the new Intercontinental Champion. Axel faced Sin Cara the next night on Raw and only The Miz was at ringside to observe, so look for Barrett to be dropped from the feud and for Axel vs. Miz to proceed as a singles angle.
The Miz is a great first feud for Axel as he is a former WWE Champion who main-evented WrestleMania and has teetered on the brink of being a top guy for quite some time. Beating a guy like The Miz would give Axel instant credibility despite his obvious shortcomings on the mic and in terms of overall charisma.
Miz may not be as good on the mic as he was during his heel days, but he is still more than adequate. Paul Heyman is clearly one of the best when it comes to cutting a promo, so he and Miz can do the heavy lifting while Axel lets his in-ring work do the talking.
As difficult as it is to watch The Miz continue to toil in the mid-card and lose matches knowing how much potential he has, there is no way he wins this bout.
For better or worse, the creative team seems committed to making Axel into something. He absolutely must retain against The Miz at Money in the Bank and he will. In order to prevent Miz from looking too weak, Heyman will most likely interfere, which will allow Axel to capitalize with a roll-up from behind to steal the win.
Prediction: Axel retains via pinfall
Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn
WWE's Divas division has been down in the dumps for a very long time, but its vital signs are suddenly looking much better thanks to the emergence of AJ Lee.
AJ finally got her title match at Payback and she made it count as she defeated Kaitlyn to become the new Divas Champion. Their feud is far from over, though, and they will almost certainly build toward a rematch at Money in the Bank.
It has been a long time since the Divas have been given a good angle to work with, but the AJ vs. Kaitlyn feud has been a long time in the making. Now that it has finally come to a head, the results have been fantastic. AJ is thriving on the mic like few Divas ever have and she is putting on some great matches to boot.
AJ and Kaitlyn work so well together because AJ is a smaller, high-flying Diva while Kaitlyn is more muscular and has a powerful move set. They were given nearly 10 minutes at Payback and the creative team certainly didn't regret it. That match is a tough act to follow, but as long as AJ continues to cut great promos, the fans will be interested.
Since AJ appears to be the top Diva in the company now, it's tough to imagine her dropping the belt back to Kaitlyn. In order to foreshadow Ziggler's face turn later in the night, perhaps he can try to prevent Langston from interfering or at the very least look disappointed when it ultimately happens.
Whatever the case, AJ will once again beat Kaitlyn and retain her new title.
Prediction: AJ retains via submission
World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Qualification Battle Royal
With the WWE seemingly committed to a pre-show for every pay-per-view, Money in the Bank will most likely have one as well.
In order to truly pique the interest of fans, the writers would be wise to leave one spot open in the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match so that a qualification battle royal can be held on the pre-show.
This can involve most of the mid- to low-card superstars on the roster who aren't already on the card. Wade Barrett will be billed as the odds-on favorite until Rey Mysterio makes a surprise return. This is a tactic that WWE has employed before as Christian returned to win a battle royal at Over the Limit last year.
Not only would getting Mysterio in the Money in the Bank ladder match be good from a match quality perspective, but perhaps seeing a star like Mysterio return on the pre-show will compel some people to order the pay-per-view when they wouldn't have otherwise.
It has been a while since the WWE has done a pre-show battle royal, but Money in the Bank presents a great opportunity.
If Mysterio doesn't come back, then the battle royal concept is still valid and someone else can win whether it's Barrett, Justin Gabriel or any number of different superstars. I'm going out on a limb with the Mysterio return, though, as the WWE attempts to get the fans excited before the show.
Prediction: Mysterio wins and qualifies for World Heavyweight Championship MITB ladder match
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