Money in the Bank: Is Kane to Be Replaced?
The Wyatt Family made their debut last night and the brutality was clear from the off.
They came, they saw and they quickly conquered Kane, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper viciously assaulting the Big Red Machine as Bray Wyatt watched on.
The impact of this move will become clear in the coming weeks, but what will the effect be on the All-Stars Money in the Bank match this Sunday at the PPV?
An update on his condition from WWE.com said:
"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."
“Due to the head and neck trauma suffered by Kane, we precautiously immobilized his cervical spine with a cervical collar. He’s been transported to a local trauma facility and is currently undergoing further evaluation.”
The short term repercussions of this look simple: Kane is unlikely to compete on Sunday.
If we assume this information is to be taken on face value (a dangerous trait with this product, I grant you) then what is WWE's next move? You would expect a replacement, maybe a big name for new Raw General Manager Brad Maddox to announce the night of the PPV.
This is all mere speculation, just something to get the mind going, but it is the kind of thing WWE does.
With a title like All-Stars, who could be considered to take the spot left by Kane?
Well, Well It's the Big Show
As you can see from the above picture, the Big Show is no stranger to a ladder match, especially a Money in the Bank ladder match.
The WWE have often reveled in the moment Big Show has to pull out one of his ludicrously large, purpose-built ladders, too large a man to climb the standard issue.
This usually gives us a minute of Big Show showing off his strength and then spots involving how damaging that big ladder is.
And whilst the Big Show is probably not a major star for most people, he definitely fits the All-Star criteria with multiple titles and a great history in the company.
A torn labrum (wiki says that's a shoulder issue) injury has him sidelined at the moment, but he may be fit enough to make the match, or at least fit enough to be involved in a few spots before taking another break to rest again after the night ends.
The giant would not really be a great fit in the contest, the event filled with popular faces, but he would fill Kane's "big man" void and does provide easy alternative reasons for superstars to be sidelined during the match with his knockout punch and the brutality of his size in such an arena.
It seems unlikely, but so did Fandango getting over.
S.O.S. Call for Kofi
Another man who has been out with injury recently, but a man who should always be in the picture come this time of year.
Really, ladder matches and Kofi Kingston are staples of the calendar year, the perfect man to fly from structures and get the fans off their seats.
Kofi was taken out a week before June's Payback PPV. We saw Kofi decimated by Ryback, giving the high-flier a chance to recuperate from elbow surgery and spend time with his newborn child.
The recovery time was expected, according to this WWE.com article, to be around four to eight weeks.
As we all know, wrestlers are miraculous at recovering from injuries, and no superstar likes a prolonged period of time out of the ring.
Should Kofi return, you know full well that he and RVD will be competing for most unnecessary fall from a ladder.
A third option is that Bray Wyatt can work his way into the match.
Such an unknown quantity, this would give Bray a chance to make a huge debut and also protect his ring-work from being shown in entirety to his new audience as the match is so stop and start for every competitor.
There would be no bigger shock than Wyatt taking the briefcase, and his pursuit of the title would be undoubtedly creepy.
With his two family members in Rowan and Harper at his disposal, the match could end in chaos.
The problems here are that it would take a Brad Maddox decision of some notoriety for Wyatt to make the match, and he would surely need to win to keep a strong momentum.
Other than that, he could merely wipe out Christian, RVD or even Sheamus to start a problem with one of those, before regarding the match as unnecessary, the kind of thing such an oddball character might do.
Speculative, but not impossible.
Or, Simply, No One
Of course, once the fun (and it was fun!) of speculation has died down then the simple answer is no-one will replace Kane.
Either the Big Red Machine will use his powers of recovery to return for the match, likely distracted at some point by a dimming of the lights and a lantern shining bright.
Kane could easily just come in hurt and be an infrequent threat, he was certainly never likely to win the match anyway.
Equally, the injury could last and Kane may leave his spot vacant.
The six men in the match are far more suited to the contest anyway and, while still a great competitor, Kane is unlikely to be a highlight of such a show. It could well add to the drama and at least adds to the beginning of this story between the Wyatt clan and the veteran.
Other unlikely options are a double shift for someone like Dolph Ziggler or Alberto Del Rio, both past winners, or even Chris Jericho, who of course is quite pivotal to these matches.
Whatever happens, this match looks quite incredible, on a card so good that The Shield have to defend their titles on the pre-show.
Enjoy Sunday, I know I will!