WWE Payback 2014 was a night of rematches, but Money in the Bank need only offer two sequels.
While many of the matches from WWE's latest pay-per-view served as rivalry closers, two meetings of bruisers should be revisited. Pitting Rusev against Big E and Cesaro against Sheamus once more would guarantee WWE two compelling, physical bouts on the next card.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt has gone on long enough. Although the story ended in a way that will frustrate many fans, there's no energy left to tap into between them. It's tough to escalate a feud that has featured both a cage match and a Last Man Standing match anyway.
The Shield's second consecutive win against Evolution was fantastic.
There's no doubt that Round 3 of this battle would be as thrilling as the first two, but WWE has already done what it needed to do with the feud—elevate The Shield by letting them knock off the old guard. No need to go 3-0 against them to accomplish that.
It's the undercard collisions between four of the most hard-hitting wrestlers on the roster that would be most wise to showcase at Money in the Bank.
Rusev vs. Big E
Rusev stumbled, fell and had to rise from his knees to continue his battle against Big E at Payback. Those were sights fans have not seen since Rusev debuted.
He has steamrolled over WWE's lesser stars, dominating the likes of Zack Ryder and Xavier Woods.
Against Big E, Rusev was more intriguing than he has been so far. Watching a monster tear through the weak has a certain appeal, but there's a reason they made Godzilla vs. Mothra and not a Godzilla vs. A Lesser Creature With No Chance Against Him. Rivals on a more level playing field creates suspense and excitement.
We saw flashes of that when Big E knocked "The Bulgarian Brute" back.
Having them crash into each other again has great potential. Let them duke it out longer. Let Big E push Rusev even more.
Rusev still needs to convince us of his dominance. Surviving a tougher test and earning his second victory against Big E would be a big step toward doing just that.
If WWE is indeed using Umaga's career as a template for Rusev, he will soon be facing the company's top-tier stars. Besting Big E in a match where he has to overcome greater adversity will help make him worthy of that move toward the top.
With just a few minutes allotted for their match, Rusev and Big E delivered plenty of intensity and violence to savor. Giving them a rematch and more time in the ring would be a smart move.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus
As they did on the Main Event from May 13, Cesaro and Sheamus delivered a slobberknocker at Payback.
It's not surprising that the two men work so well together. Each has a hammering in-ring style and thrive when the action turns fierce.
They set a great tone for Payback in an opening bout that featured both wrestlers swinging their best weapons. Cesaro's uppercut and Sheamus' Beats of the Bodhran complemented each other perfectly.
The match ended in non-definitive fashion, with Sheamus rolling up Cesaro for the win.
That's hardly worthy of a final chapter between these enemies. The increasing heat of their feud begs for something more violent to follow.
A rematch, though, would leave both Cesaro and Sheamus out of the Money in the Bank Ladder match. Some will clamor for Cesaro to enter and win that bout, but with just one world title contract up for grabs, it's going to be tougher to get in.
WWE is likely to add established stars like Randy Orton, Cena and perhaps Alberto Del Rio. The company will have to leave some emerging talents like Cesaro out this time around. If it goes with Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and others in those spots instead, the United States Championship benefits greatly.
The title will get featured on two straight pay-per-views for the first time since SummerSlam and Night of Champions 2013, nearly a full year ago. Cesaro's continued pursuit of the belt makes it feel more significant as well.
Booking him against Sheamus would give Money in the Bank an instant classic on the undercard.
The event can be far more than the signature Ladder match. It can be the arena where four gladiators clang swords in a pair of memorable encores.
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