Money in the Bank has become one of the WWE’s most anticipated pay-per-views of the year because of the long-term booking implications associated with this event, and the 2013 edition is heating up with big news and red-hot rumors.
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
When: Sunday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Watch: Pay-per-view (local cable providers)
Live Stream: WWE.com
Not only will both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships be on the line, two Money in the Bank ladder matches will ensure that wrestling fans will see which two stars will be pushed to the main event level over the coming year.
With so much on the line for the future of the WWE, this show’s importance makes it one of the most exciting on the company’s schedule.
Add in the return of wrestling legend Rob Van Dam in the city of Philadelphia, and this year’s Money in the Bank PPV will be one of the best in the history of the event.
The excitement surrounding Money in the Bank is through the roof, and there is much anticipation about the WWE Championship match between John Cena and Mark Henry.
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., the outcome of this match was settled weeks ago:
For what it's worth, the plan two weeks ago was for John Cena to retain the WWE Title over Mark Henry at tonight's Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Obviously plans could have changed.
This is the match result most WWE fans already expected. Despite Henry cutting the greatest promo of his career during the fake-retirement speech, there was never really a question that Cena would retain his title one way or another.
There is a vocal contingent that believes the WWE Championship Money in the Bank briefcase winner would cash in Sunday, but if Henry were to win outright and walk away with the title, most fans would believe the 17-year veteran deserves the opportunity.
There is no doubt that Sunday’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view will be extremely exciting, but the latest report from F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc. is that the WWE is setting the stage for an epic episode of Raw on Monday:
As of Saturday, there haven't been any major script changes to Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view event. F4Wonline.com is reporting that whatever goes down tonight, is expected to help build Monday's RAW, as there is concern about the Home Run Derby hurting the ratings. WWE is also heading into SummerSlam season, so big things are expected for Monday's show.
There were already reports that Brock Lesnar would be on Raw after Money in the Bank, per Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc., which could indicate a possible appearance at Sunday’s PPV.
With the company’s desire to get fans to tune into Raw instead of the MLB Home Run Derby, blowing out Sunday’s PPV with huge surprises will force the WWE Universe to watch on Monday.
“Following the ambush, Kane is now doubtful to compete in the Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder Match, sources told WWE.com Tuesday afternoon.”
UPDATE: Saturday, July 13, 7:21 a.m. ET by Donald Wood
The WWE has confirmed that Kane will not be in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match Sunday, but the company has gone ahead with teasing a possible replacement being named before or during the event, per WWE.com:
After days of speculation, it’s now official. The Big Red Monster Kane will not compete in this Sunday’s Money in the Bank All-Stars Match, according to WWE.com sources… Kane’s absence leaves a hole in perhaps the highest stakes match of the year. Will another Superstar get the opportunity to compete? As of Friday, WWE.com was unable to find out if a replacement will be named…
Not only does Kane’s removal from the match make the attack from the Wyatt family look incredibly strong, but the void could also possibly be filled by Bray Wyatt after orchestrating the attack on The Big Red Monster.
Another option would be having Brock Lesnar as the seventh man and allow him to attack CM Punk, giving the former WWE champion an excuse for losing while still furthering the company’s top storyline heading into SummerSlam.
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UPDATE: Wednesday, July 10, 12:01 p.m. ET by Donald Wood
The latest report from F4Wonline via Wrestling Inc. is that Kane will likely not be involved in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match Sunday, and could possibly be replaced by the man that orchestrated his attack, Bray Wyatt:
F4Wonline.com reports that word going around WWE on Tuesday was that Kane would be pulled from the Money in the Bank Ladder Match on Sunday, possibly being replaced by Bray Wyatt. This would be to sell the attack from The Wyatt Family on RAW and keep the feud going. There was no announcement at last night's SmackDown tapings so we'll see what happens this weekend.
There are several options for the company if Kane is unable to partake in the ladder match, including Wyatt or possibly even Brock Lesnar. With the WWE not announcing its plans at this time, it allows for the last-second swerve that could rock the Philadelphia crowd.
This PPV gets more interesting by the day.
---End of update---
While not having a Money in the Bank veteran like Kane in the match will drop the prestige, this could end up being the most interesting aspect of the entire PPV.
There is no doubt that he will be replaced in the bout if he can’t work Sunday.
The WWE would have many different options, but the possibility that the seventh member of the match could be Lesnar (scheduled to appear on the Raw after the PPV, per Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc.) would result in possibly the greatest ladder match of all time.
Instead of allowing Lesnar to come out and try to win the briefcase, the Beast Incarnate could hit the ring as a surprise, put CM Punk through a ladder and cause him not to factor into the outcome of the bout.
With Lesnar attacking Punk and not showing an ounce of care about the Money in the Bank briefcase, this would make for a great PPV moment.
United States Champion Dean Ambrose is set to take part in the World Heavyweight Championship contract Money in the Bank ladder match on Sunday and he is considered to be among the top contenders. Ambrose has been involved in a mini feud with Christian in recent weeks, however, so the rising star has a lot on his plate.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via WrestlingInc.com), Ambrose was originally scheduled to defend his title against Christian on the July 15 edition of Raw. It is now being reported that those plans have been scrapped, though, as the Ambrose vs. Christian feud wasn't furthered this week.
It's difficult to say how accurate this report is, but it could potentially give some insight into the plans for Money in the Bank. While it wouldn't be unheard of for Ambrose to carry the United States Championship and the briefcase at the same time since The Miz has done it before, maybe the original plan called for Ambrose to win Money in the Bank and then drop the title to Christian the next night on Raw.
That doesn't mean that Ambrose won't win Money in the Bank anyway, but it's definitely something worth considering. The World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank match features plenty of up-and-coming talent, but Ambrose is clearly the best choice to go over. Hopefully the WWE's about face regarding a title match against Christian doesn't affect its booking plans for Sunday.
*Update courtesy of Mike Chiari
Ryback could never capture the WWE Championship despite an otherwise monster push. One of the main reasons he struggled to get to the next level was his poor work on the mic, which lacked the necessary natural tone and charisma.
He could get some help moving forward. Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc. reports the plan is for Ryback to defeat Chris Jericho at Money in the Bank and then make Vickie Guerrero his new manager and mouthpiece in the near future.
It would be a perfect move. Guerrero had run her course as Raw general manager, but still generates the type of heat Ryback needs. Add in the fact she can help cover up his promo issues and it's a potential decision that could get him back on track.
In recent times, no superstar has received a bigger reaction than CM Punk when he walks into a venue in Chicago. The crowd erupts the moment his music hits and remains hot throughout the match, making for a tremendous atmosphere.
Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc. reports backstage officials are expecting a similar reaction when Rob Van Dam makes his return at Money in the Bank in Philadelphia. They hope he will receive the same type of hero treatment.
Obviously, Van Dam has built a pretty large fanbase throughout his extended wrestling career. His return should provide a nice boost to the WWE Championship ladder match. That said, matching the reaction Punk gets in Chicago will be extremely difficult.
Monday’s edition of WWE Raw was surprisingly action-packed for a go-home episode of the show, but the company has set the stage for a wild run toward SummerSlam.
After Monday’s Raw, this is the final card for Sunday’s Money in the Bank PPV:
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Mark Henry.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler.
Money in the Bank All-Stars.
World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel vs. The Miz.
Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn.
Chris Jericho vs. Ryback.
WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. The Usos (Kickoff Match).
The WWE has done a great job building to Sunday’s show, but Raw’s booking may have revealed some of the future plans for the company.
The wrestling business is all about making stars look strong to the casual fans, and the WWE is notorious for making the wrestlers scheduled to lose in their PPV matches look strong the week before the event.
If Cena is going to retain his title, it makes sense that the company made Henry look strong Monday night on Raw. The same can be said for Daniel Bryan who is a favorite to win the Money in the Bank ladder match, but after standing on the ladder with the briefcase, it’s clear that he will not win.
Add in the fact that Jericho beat Axel—likely indicating that both Ryback and Axel would get the win over Jericho and The Miz respectively—and it’s clear that the WWE has a decisive plan that will set the stage for August’s SummerSlam PPV.
Daniel Bryan is the hottest star in the WWE right now, and after rumors surfaced last month that he would fight John Cena at Money in the Bank for the WWE Championship, per Wrestling Inc., the monster push being reported could be coming to fruition at Money in the Bank.
While the WWE could have Bryan just earn a title shot after Henry loses, winning the Money in the Bank briefcase and cashing it in at SummerSlam as a face would be the smartest plan for the company.
According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter via Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc., this is a very real possibility:
Almost everyone within WWE says Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena is a lock for SummerSlam and that it won't be pulled like it was at Money in the Bank. There are forces within the company pushing for Bryan to win the WWE Title from Cena.
There was some talk that Bryan would be turning heel to square off against Cena for the championship, but with the in-ring master getting ovations from the crowd unlike anyone else in the business right now, keeping him as a good guy is the only real option.
Whether the WWE gives him the title or not is an entirely different question, though.
Former WWE champion CM Punk is a serious favorite to win the ladder match, but with an obvious matchup against Brock Lesnar brewing heading into SummerSlam, how Punk loses at Money in the Bank is very important.
There is always a possibility that Lesnar costs Punk the victory, and according to Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc., the former UFC champion is scheduled to be in Brooklyn for the Raw following the PPV:
Brock Lesnar, Rob Van Dam, Vince McMahon and Triple H are all scheduled for the post-Money In The Bank RAW on July 15th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The advertised dark match is John Cena vs. Mark Henry.
The WWE could just simply have Lesnar appear on Monday without making an impact at the PPV, but what better way to explain Punk’s lose in the match and build even more bad blood than by having the Beast Incarnate influence the match outcome?
As if Philadelphia needed another reason to explode, watching Lesnar F’5 Punk would be unforgettable.
As opposed to many other PPVs, Sunday’s card for the Money in the Bank event has already been decided. Monday’s go-home edition of Raw will be about putting the finishing touches on the company’s storylines.
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Mark Henry
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
WWE Championship Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder Match
World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn
Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel vs. The Miz
Chris Jericho vs. Ryback
WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. The Usos (Kickoff Match)
It’s great to see the WWE planning ahead for this event, but this is all about setting the groundwork for August's SummerSlam PPV. The company invests so much into that show, and Money in the Bank is the perfect appetizer for the main course.
Not only will the direction of the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships be determined in the ladder matches, the possibilities for swerves in each title bout makes this the perfect opportunity for the company to posture for the following PPV.
This show will be flat-out amazing.
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