Momentum is key in any sport. It can propel an individual or team to the forefront of fan consciousness and create a tidal wave of support and energy heading into the most important games or matches of the year.
Recently, the sporting world has seen countless Super Bowls won by teams who got hot at the right moment and rode a tidal wave of momentum into the playoffs.
Since its inception in 2010, the Money in the Bank pay-per-view has become one of the most popular and important on the WWE calendar. Coming out of Sunday's Payback show, there are several Superstars who find themselves with momentum at their back and limitless possibilities as they prepare for the June 29 spectacular.
The leader of the Cenation defeated Bray Wyatt in a Match of the Year candidate at Payback and, with the proverbial monkey off his back, Cena can focus his attention back on the top prize in the industry: the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
With titleholder Daniel Bryan sidelined thanks to a neck injury, it is unlikely that Cena will receive a title opportunity anytime soon. But Cena could very well ride the wave of momentum into Money in the Bank and become only the second man to win two Money in the Bank matches, thus guaranteeing him a shot at the championship whenever he so chooses.
That booking strategy may not be the most popular among hardcore wrestling fans, but Cena is a marquee guy and has spent most of 2014 on the outside looking in when it comes to the title picture.
With so many deserving young stars that could benefit from winning the briefcase and the title shot that comes with it, Cena would most certainly be a controversial choice. At the very least, he could look to continue his hot streak with another show-stealing match.
Either way, Cena is hitting that point in the year where he generally thrives. With Bryan sidelined, Batista off to promote Guardians of the Galaxy and no official word on how long Triple H will stick around as an in-ring competitor, the company needs all the star power it can get. And there is no star bigger or brighter than Cena.
For Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns not to ride momentum into Money in the Bank would be a colossal blunder on the part of the creative team.
One does not simply get put over any stronger than The Shield was last month at Extreme Rules and Sunday night at Payback. They defeated Evolution twice and established their dominance in doing so.
Former WWE and World Heavyweight champions Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista went above-and-beyond to make The Shield legitimate main event stars, something they do not do regularly. They really have no choice but to maintain momentum heading into Money in the Bank.
Otherwise, two months of work by three all-time greats and three young stars rapidly establishing themselves as the best of their generation will have been for naught.
A lack of time severely hurt what should have been a far better match between Paige and Alicia Fox Sunday night, but the silver lining is that WWE opted to stay the course with Paige. Paige who has proved herself to be a talented worker but has not necessarily made the all-important connection with the audience yet.
With so many of the top male talents involved in ladder matches come June 29, Paige will almost certainly have the opportunity to continue adding to her championship legacy. Who she does so against remains a mystery, but one has to believe she has not seen the end of the unstable, unpredictable Fox.
The Bulgarian Brute turned in his best performance to date in a fairly competitive match against former Intercontinental champion Big E at Payback. More importantly, his act has finally started to connect with audiences, thanks in large part to the promos of his so-called "social ambassador," Lana.
As a breakout star of NXT, it is clear that there are big plans for Rusev. He is rarely allowed to look weak, and he has steamrolled the competition to this point in his WWE career.
Could Money in the Bank present him with the first legitimate threat to his dominance, or will he find himself forcing another tapout from a talented midcard star trapped in the clutches of the Accolade?
Regardless of who is standing across the ring from him in Boston, expect him to pick up another win as he continues his meteoric rise up the ranks in WWE.