WWE Money in the Bank 2014: 10 Stars That Deserve a Midcard Ladder Match
With the changes to the card, the 2014 WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view may end up not actually having a briefcase title shot involved at all.
While it is interesting to see what will happen with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line, there is still a degree of pessimism.
No true Money in the Bank match means that the fans will be deprived of one of the most entertaining aspects of the wrestling calendar: anticipating the inevitable cash in.
It would be a shame if the event did not have a match to go with its namesake and instead just skipped right to the chase with a new champion.
To have their cake and eat it, too, some fans have suggested a second ladder match take place for the title shot.
The problem with this is that there aren't too many names left who are worthy of contending for the world title.
All in all, this situation is messy. However, there is a potential remedy.
What if WWE were to have a true Money in the Bank ladder match, but the title shot was for either the intercontinental or United States belts instead?
Who could compete in that match to make it fun and exciting as well as make sense to build up someone's future in the company?
Let's take a look at some midcarders who deserve to be given that spotlight.
Honorable Mention: Sami Zayn
For argument's sake, let's just say that WWE would be willing to showcase someone from the pool of NXT stars.
It's clear that Sami Zayn not only has talent, but also a bright future in WWE with the way he's been booked as of late as a fan favorite who is worthy of the admiration.
Giving him a spot in the match would get all of his fans to pay significant attention and hope that he would come out on top.
However, there's virtually no chance that this will end up happening.
With the relatively recent additions of Rusev, Adam Rose and Bo Dallas on the main roster, it's unlikely that WWE would bring Zayn up and have something meaningful for him to do.
Nonetheless, if it were to happen, it would be interesting to see.
10. Bo Dallas
Perhaps it is a little too soon, but the fans are reacting well enough to Bo Dallas that he seems to be going places.
Now might be the perfect time to capitalize and strap a rocket to him by proving that if someone truly "bolieves," they can accomplish anything—even winning Money in the Bank as a rookie.
Fans are always suspicious that the shiny new toy on the roster is going to win every match that they are in, so WWE can play into those thoughts.
The flexibility of the Money in the Bank means that Dallas wouldn't have to become a champion any time soon or even at all, but the possibility would be looming.
With each passing week, the specter of his cash-in could haunt the WWE Universe and really turn a lot of heads his way.
People pay a lot more attention to the random matches that someone has if they are the briefcase holder, so that could be the difference-maker and catalyst for his future stardom.
9. Big E
Having been the person who dropped the WWE Intercontinental Championship to Bad News Barrett, isn't Big E almost entitled to a spot in this type of match by default?
For whatever reason, it appears as though Big E's stock has dropped over the past few months.
He's gone from being booked as a star on a path to the top to more of an afterthought who tends to lose quite often.
Unless there are some egregious problems that caused this treatment, Big E is not someone who should be tossed to the wolves and given up on just yet.
8. Santino Marella
Santino Marella is a popular star who has not only been a midcard champion multiple times in the past, but someone who has even had sporadic tastes of the main event scene.
Whether he was a potential winner of the Royal Rumble or participating in the Elimination Chamber in 2012, Marella has experience in some important gimmick matches.
He is more than capable of providing the comedic role in the match, and he could probably think of at least two funny spots that would make his inclusion in the bout worth the while.
On top of this, if Marella were to win, he could always cash in his title shot and lose—nobody would think any less of him.
7. Sin Cara
If WWE is sticking true to the Sin Cara persona and wants it to succeed, then he needs to show up more often and be taken more seriously.
Kids aren't going to buy masks when the wrestler wearing them is a loser who they can't get behind.
What's more, nobody would be willing to buy merchandise in general if they were unaware that the character still exists.
The less that Sin Cara appears on television, the less of a purpose the character has.
Getting him on a pay-per-view card where he doesn't have to be squashed by someone like Rusev would only help him, even if he still came out on the losing end of things.
All it takes it a few high-flying spots to wow the crowd and, suddenly, WWE's shop has a few more sales and the midcard scene has a new challenger.
6. Titus O'Neil
Titus O'Neil has improved greatly since his time on NXT, but he has seemingly gone nowhere despite this.
His work in the Prime Time Players was obviously good enough to make WWE notice him, yet the team did not win the tag team titles.
This was followed by a split that should have gone somewhere, but, sadly, did not.
Since going solo, Darren Young has done nothing but sit at home with an injury and O'Neil has become fodder for people on Superstars and Main Event.
If WWE wants to get him back on track and salvage his career, now is the time to do it.
O'Neil is not ready for a main event title or a feud of that caliber, but the next step is to make him a meaningful member of the midcard.
That way, if he were to ever challenge for the United States or Intercontinental Championship, it wouldn't seem as though he wasn't at that level.
Big E is still fresh enough to have more chances coming up, Santino has the comedic appeal and Sin Cara can be pushed for merchandise purposes. What does O'Neil have going for him?
He is exactly the type of person that needs this match more than this match needs him.
5. Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger is one of the most consistent wrestlers in the midcard and it would almost seem like a slap in the face if he were not involved in this hypothetical match.
He could be one of the anchors that helps keep it balanced and not just a spot-fest.
As an added bonus, Swagger being accompanied by Zeb Colter and challenging for the United States Championship is a storyline that writes itself.
He is a former Money in the Bank winner who cashed in and defeated Chris Jericho to become the WWE World Heavyweight champion, so his credibility should not be in question.
At the very least, he is someone who can act as proper filler and lose the match without WWE having to worry about damaging his worth all that much.
While the fans may not be going nuts over him like they were last year, Fandango still has a ton of potential.
It can be argued that the WWE is at fault for the dip in his popularity: Has he had any meaningful feuds? Has WWE put him in any interesting storylines for the most part?
Although he seemed poised for a run with the intercontinental title, it was snatched away by Curtis Axel, who promptly did nothing with it and also fell off the face of the earth.
Having dropped the ball with Fandango in the past is no excuse to continue pushing him aside for the future.
While it's too soon to give him that A+ position that Triple H alluded to earlier this year, Fandango would easily be accepted by the WWE Universe as a midcard champion. It could do wonders for his career.
3. Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston is just about the best transitional champion for the midcard titles that there has ever been in WWE history.
It feels as though every time WWE doesn't know exactly what to do with either title, Kingston ends up getting one of them for a few weeks.
He is a staple of the midcard scene and one of the most entertaining performers in ladder matches.
In past Money in the Bank bouts, Kingston has pulled out some ridiculously impressive stunts that ended up being highlights of the entire pay-per-view.
Allowing him to do the same for this event could make up for the lack of Daniel Bryan and convince the audience that the show was worth the money.
2. Dolph Ziggler
He rarely gets the chance to show off, but when he does, Dolph Ziggler can put on a better match than almost anyone else on the roster.
Does this seem to amount to anything? Sadly, no, it doesn't.
WWE has a track record of ignoring Ziggler for some reason. This year, he was passed over once again in favor of Alberto Del Rio.
It's hard to argue against the idea that Del Rio is only seen as a more valuable star because WWE wants to view him as that, as opposed to actually being viewed that way by the fans.
Still, as the card currently stands, Ziggler is without a match and Del Rio has a shot at winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, even though he's done nothing to justify putting him at that level for months.
Because of this oversight, if there were to be another Money in the Bank match, Ziggler should not be ignored yet again.
One of the most underutilized talents on the roster, Ziggler can put on a great match and proven it with his previous Money in the Bank victory.
If WWE does not view him as a main event star, it would be interesting to hear the excuse for him to not be in a midcard ladder match as an alternative option.
The other names on this list can be ignored from time to time, but Ziggler's exclusion here would definitely be felt.
1. Damien Sandow
Above everyone else, the one wrestler who deserves a Money in the Bank win and a shot at a midcard championship is Damien Sandow.
His situation as of late is not only unfortunate, but needlessly disappointing.
Sandow's Money in the Bank victory last year was an utter waste of time that consisted of him putting over Cody Rhodes and then losing his cash in.
Many fans expected this injustice to be fixed afterward, to no avail.
WWE's logic frequently seems to be that someone should be beaten down before they are built back up.
Despite his losses, Sandow was never rewarded. Instead, the embarrassments would continue.
One year later, he has still not recovered and may even be even lower on the hierarchy, jobbing out as a silly loser in funny outfits.
It will be a long time before WWE can think about giving Sandow a serious world title shot due to the damage they've done since his previous briefcase win.
As compensation, the first steps in the healing process should be a future intercontinental or United States title reign that starts with Sandow successfully cashing in his contract and making up for last year's fiasco.
If WWE were to make a midcard Money in the Bank match, who would you like to see compete in it?
Tell us your booking ideas in the comments below.
Anthony Mango is the owner-operator of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment as well as the host of its podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.