WWE Money in the Bank 2014: Projecting Full Ladder Match Field
Expect some European flavor in the field for the Ladder match at WWE Money in the Bank 2014.
Cesaro, "The King of Swing," is poised to join Alberto Del Rio in a match that either gives one Superstar a contract-filled briefcase or the WWE World Heavyweight Championship itself. If Daniel Bryan can't make it back to action by the time the pay-per-view arrives, the world title will be forfeited and hanging above the ring on June 29.
Men like Cesaro who are at or near top-tier status will leave battered bodies and bent ladders in their wake in pursuit of either prize.
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose will be too busy looking for vengeance against Seth Rollins to enter this match. Randy Orton will likely be involved in that collision as well.
That leaves a number of former champions and rising stars as WWE's options for the coming Ladder match. Analyzing Superstars' position with the company, star power, current storyline and recent momentum reveals a likely field for that bout.
Cesaro has stumbled against Sheamus in the last few weeks, but the momentum he built before that will still carry him to higher rungs.
WWE selected him for the WWE title Elimination Chamber match back in February. Before that, he bested then-champ Randy Orton and afterward claimed a victory in the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Those are clear signs of how highly the company regards him at the moment.
His alliance with Paul Heyman only ups his chances of getting into the Money in the Bank Ladder match. It is a bout that has to rely on both the established and the emerging now that the two world titles are one.
Having some dark horses who have never won the title in this race adds excitement to it. Cesaro is a perfect candidate for that, what with the strong year he has had thus far and crowd reaction to him increasing.
The biggest reason to doubt his entry is WWE's latest hint that he will instead go after Bad News Barrett. Those two have recently crossed paths with violent results, leading fans to wonder if Cesaro will instead be in contention for the Intercontinental Championship.
The Money in the Bank Ladder match needs star power and a favorite. John Cena provides both.
He won his last appearance in this match, beating out Kane, Big Show and Company in 2012. He then failed to win the WWE title after cashing in his contract, something that gives Cena added motivation here. Another redemption story is available for the telling.
On June 2, he beat (by disqualification) the man who is currently scheduled to face Daniel Bryan for the world title at Payback.
Championships were central to Cena and Stephanie McMahon's discussion on the June 2 edition of Raw, likely a hint of his return to contention in the coming weeks.
Big Show continually hovers around the title picture.
He battled for either the WWE title or World Heavyweight Championship several times in the last three years, including bouts against Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Mark Henry and Alberto Del Rio in 2011 and 2012. That trend continued into 2013.
In the midst of Daniel Bryan's feud with The Authority, Big Show stepped in to challenge Randy Orton at last year's Survivor Series.
The lesson from glancing back at this history is that "The World's Largest Athlete" remains a go-to challenger for WWE's top titles. Even if he has done little lately, it's easy to imagine WWE inserting him into the mix here.
He was a part of the "All-Star" Money in the Bank Ladder match last year and still has the championship pedigree to be considered for this year's bout.
Old rivals aplenty await Sheamus in the Money in the Bank Ladder match.
If John Cena, Big Show and Cesaro all join Alberto Del Rio in the hunt for either a briefcase or a glittering belt, "The Celtic Warrior" will have no shortage of animosity in this match. His recent clashes with Cesaro would make his entry more interesting.
He also has the championship pedigree to get the call here.
Last year, the former world titleholder was one of five men who lost to Randy Orton in the WWE title Ladder match. That's where he suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out of the ring for months. That's a smart angle for WWE to give the bruiser this year, ashe looks to write a much different narrative in the matchup that put him out of action.
He would also continue a longstanding trend of midcard titleholders entering this match. Dean Ambrose was after the Money in the Bank briefcase last year as U.S. champ. The Miz wore that title when he became Mr. Money in the Bank in 2010.
Where do you go after tangling with someone of John Cena's caliber?
Bray Wyatt may have lost two out of three of his matches against the top-tier star, but their feud elevated him. He was a prominent part of WWE programming for months as both a speaker and a fighter. It still feels as if he is on the rise, not destined to slide back down the card.
The Money in the Bank Ladder match can be used to push him further, even if he doesn't win.
He will join Cesaro as one of two emerging stars to enter the field. This bout is an opportunity to make both men look like they belong on the main eventers' level.
As a bonus, any confrontation between Wyatt and Cena here will have the benefit of all the animosity they have built.
It is also an ideal launching point for his next feud. A collision with Sheamus or Big Show in the chaos of the Ladder match could be the catalyst for a new battle.