WWE Money in the Bank 2014: Undercard Matches Fans Deserve to See
On the June 9 episode of Monday Night Raw, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon stripped Daniel Bryan of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and announced that the title would be up for grabs at Money in the Bank in a Ladder match featuring seven of the top stars in World Wrestling Entertainment.
Randy Orton was handed a spot in that match thanks to his relationship with the COO, while Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus and Cesaro all qualified over the last two weeks.
With major stars such as John Cena, Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns likely to join those gentlemen in the main event of the June 29 pay-per-view, several spots open up elsewhere on the card for hungry talent to showcase their skills and potentially steal the show.
The show's undercard is a mystery at this point as WWE Creative continues to maneuver talent around to create the matches fans deserve from one of the most popular and fun shows on the entire roster.
But what matches do fans deserve to see from the Money in the Bank undercard? Who should be involved?
Take a look for yourself.
No. 1 Contender Money in the Bank Ladder Match
It has already been established that the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will be on the line in one Money in the Bank Ladder match. What has not been announced is a second Ladder match with the coveted guaranteed title shot on the line.
Money in the Bank was created with the promise of a Superstar being able to earn a championship opportunity he can cash in at any point over the course of the year. To not have one of those matches on a show that exists solely because of the popularity of that gimmick would be a travesty.
With a stacked roster full of deserving young talent, it would not be difficult to fill six or seven more slots. Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger and The Miz are six Superstars who have experience in ladder matches and could be significantly rehabilitated with a guaranteed title shot in their possession.
As an opening match, it could pop the Boston crowd and set the bar for the rest of the night's action.
Ziggler has already lost a qualifying match but could easily be interjected in the mix with a win in a "Last Chance" Battle Royal. Swagger and Kingston have played jobber to newcomers in recent weeks, but both have built up enough history with the WWE Universe that a few wins could legitimize their spots in the match.
Rhodes is involved in a storyline in which he grew frustrated with being the weak link in his team with brother Goldust and broke up the duo. What better way to initiate a heel turn than by having the second-generation star win a title shot on his own and then rub it in the face of the brother he split from?
Ryback would serve as the dominant competitor, the muscle of the match responsible for delivering the power-based offense that pops the crowd and makes him look like an unstoppable force.
The Miz is the dark horse of the match. With The Marine 4 in post-production and the company likely to put him in a prominent position on Raw and SmackDown, there is an opportunity to rehab a former WWE Champion desperately in need of it.
He does not have to become the first man to win two briefcases since CM Punk, but a strong performance and an adequate follow-up push would bring some luster back to a character once considered a breakout star for World Wrestling Entertainment.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos vs. Luke Harper and Eric Rowan
The Wyatt Family's victory over WWE tag team champions Jimmy and Jey Uso in a non-title match on the June 2 episode of Raw positioned them as the top contenders. That both teams were integral parts of the John Cena-Bray Wyatt saga only strengthens the case for a major pay-per-view title match between them.
Harper and Rowan provided an adequate roadblock for the twin champions. Big, strong and absolutely ruthless, their bruising style is the perfect complement to the fast-paced and dynamic style utilized by the champions.
The teams have shown strong chemistry in their matches to this point. Competing with high stakes on a major stage such as a WWE pay-per-view should only build upon the groundwork they have laid to this point.
Increased time and hype will lend legitimacy to a match fans have seen countless times in the past. Determination of the competitors to steal the show out from underneath the hyped Ladder matches and in front of a hot Boston crowd would only enhance it.
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Given the television exposure Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have enjoyed in recent months, it is difficult to classify a match between the two at Money in the Bank as an undercard one. Since neither man looks likely to compete in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder match and seeds were planted on Monday night for a showdown between them, that appears to be the case.
Ambrose spoke about disfiguring, dismantling and maiming Rollins if they ever meet one-on-one. That promo alone added all the hype necessary to sell a potential singles bout to fans. That Ambrose turned in one of the finest in-ring performances of his career later in the June 9 episode of Raw only added to the desire to see the Lunatic Fringe unleashed on his former best friend.
Rollins has done a solid job of explaining why he turned on Ambrose and Reigns but has not quite done enough to make fans hate him to the point that they want to see him get his comeuppance. A strong promo on an upcoming Raw and SmackDown could be the final ingredient needed for one of the most anticipated matches of the show.
Ambrose would be unlikely to knock off Rollins following his recent turn, but the match itself would likely continue their pay-per-view hot streak.
Summer Rae vs. Layla
There are no contenders strong enough outside of Alicia Fox to challenge Paige for the Divas title at Money in the Bank. Fans have been exposed to Paige vs. Fox so many times in recent months that it would hardly be worth taking a slot on the pay-per-view card away from a fresh match.
Summer Rae vs. Layla is not necessarily anyone's idea of a great match, but it does have a story behind it and has been getting some television time as of late. As long as WWE Creative can come up with ways to keep the fans interested and the match itself does not try to be anything more than a catfight, it has a chance to be a fairly entertaining way to blow off the program.
If it tries to be a wrestling match, it will fail miserably and the Boston crowd will turn on it.
That is, if they are not already using it as an opportunity for a bathroom break.
Mark Henry vs. Rusev
To this point in his young WWE career, Rusev has torn through some talented individuals, but he is still looking for that one win to make fans sit up and take notice of the punishing Bulgarian Brute.
Former world heavyweight champion Mark Henry has done absolutely nothing of note since losing to John Cena at last year's Money in the Bank pay-per-view and is in desperate need of something to reinvigorate his career. Or what is left of it.
A match against Rusev at Money in the Bank, which could easily be booked over the course of a single Raw or SmackDown, would at least get him back into the consciousness of the WWE Universe and keep him busy for a bit.
For Rusev, a win over someone with the reputation of Henry would serve as validation for his reign of dominance to this point. Henry is a former champion at the highest level in WWE and has competed against every top star in the industry. His strength alone would provide Rusev with an interesting challenge.
The landscape of WWE is changing. Young stars are being put in prime positions, and the established performers remaining on the roster are expected to put the next generation of stars over. Henry's best days are clearly behind him, and doing something selfless such as putting Rusev over will only add to his Hall of Fame legacy.