Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view provided plenty of exciting action as expected, and it produced some intriguing results as well. With Randy Orton and Damien Sandow both securing Money in the Bank contracts, the product figures to feel new and exciting moving forward, but not everyone came away from Money in the Bank so lucky.
There almost always has to be a winner and a loser in professional wrestling, and while some Superstars are perfectly capable of moving past a loss without issue, others were severely damaged on Sunday night. Those wrestlers will have to move on to another meaningful storyline quickly or else they risk losing momentum.
Here are the three Superstars who desperately needed a victory at Money in the Bank, but came out on the losing side, and now face a long road back to recovery.
It can be argued that Mark Henry was doing the best work of his career as a heel entering his WWE Championship match against John Cena at Money in the Bank. Henry's mic work has been impeccable as of late, particularly his fake retirement speech a few weeks ago. Despite that, it was fairly obvious that Henry wasn't going to beat Cena at Money in the Bank. There are bigger plans for Cena, as evidenced by the fact that he is set to face Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, so the creative team can't be blamed for having Cena go over.
There are ways to lose while still looking strong, though, and that wasn't the case with Henry. He was dominant throughout the match as he tossed Cena around and controlled the pace, but Cena kicked out of the World's Strongest Slam and then proceeded to force Henry to tap out to the STF. The WWE worked hard to build up Henry as the toughest monster heel around, yet he submitted to a maneuver that doesn't even look like it hurts.
The WWE likely wanted the match to be decisive so that Henry didn't have grounds for a rematch, but Cena could have simply won the match by pinfall, which would have sufficed. Henry's loss was followed up by an attack at the hands of The Shield on Raw. That would seem to suggest that Henry is destined to turn face. Henry has been getting some good crowd reactions lately, so he wouldn't be a bad no-nonsense face, but he was arguably the best heel in wrestling prior to Sunday night, and that was effectively ruined.
Perhaps no wrestler has been used and abused worse than The Miz over the past couple years. He may not be the greatest in-ring worker around, but he has improved considerably in that area since he came into the business, and he is also one of the most confident mic workers the WWE has to offer. Miz seemed to be destined for great things when he turned face late last year; however, it simply hasn't translated to main-event success.
Miz was doomed to fail heading into Money in the Bank as he was put up against intercontinental champion Curtis Axel. It remains to be seen if Axel can be a star in the WWE, but the company has been building him as a future player, so a win on pay-per-view was obvious. Miz was made to look even worse than he had to, though. If Paul Heyman had helped Axel win that would have been one thing, but Heyman was ejected and Axel defeated Miz cleanly.
The Miz's stock is unbelievably low right now, and it's difficult to envision where he goes from here. world heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio doesn't have much going currently, but it may be tough to justify Miz as a contender after what happened on Sunday. Miz has the ability to be a main-eventer, and he has been before, but the manner in which he has been booked simply won't allow it.
Many fans considered Wade Barrett to be the favorite heading into Sunday's World Heavyweight Championship contract Money in the Bank ladder match. That, of course, was unrealistic since Barrett has been little more than a glorified jobber in recent weeks and months. Even so, his loss knocks him even further down the totem pole as he was a virtual non-factor, and then he wasn't even utilized on the ensuing episode of Raw.
Perhaps nobody on the roster right now has less direction than the former bare-knuckle champion. It's certainly a shame as Barrett is one of the best talents on the roster. He can cut a smooth and believable promo, he's solid in the ring for a guy his size and he has experience operating at the main-event level. Most figured that he would have been a world champion by now, but it hasn't happened, and it isn't on the verge of happening.
Barrett seems to have been surpassed by a myriad of performers in the pecking order, particularly Sandow. He has already held the Intercontinental Championship and did nothing with it, so there is nowhere for Barrett to turn. On a roster as big and talented as the WWE's, some guys are bound to get left out in the cold. Unfortunately, Barrett is in that situation right now.
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