WWE Money in the Bank 2014: Ranking Most Likely Swerves at Marquee PPV
With the world title on the line at WWE Money in the Bank 2014, descents into villainy, the return of a monster and a championship being split in half are all possibilities.
The upcoming pay-per-view is one that has upped its prestige aplenty in its short history. It has featured a number of huge, surprising moments such as Alberto Del Rio's failed cash-in, Kane stealing the world title from Rey Mysterio and Paul Heyman turning on CM Punk.
What swerve awaits fans this year?
The following is a look at possible scenarios ranked in order of plausibility. The more involved they are and the more they require WWE to shift things around, the lower they rank. The top swerve isn't as shocking as the others, but is the safest bet, as it's centered around something commonplace in wrestling.
4. Brock Lesnar Steals Someone's Spot, Wins World Title
The most thrilling but least likely scenario on this list involves Brock Lesnar walking away with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship despite not being announced for the event.
There's plenty in terms of circumstances that make this seem like more than just a fantasy booker's dream. Firstly, a Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan match has been rumored to be "one of the long-term plans" for SummerSlam's main event, per Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via PWMania.com. Lesnar making a surprise return also possibly adds tension between him and Paul Heyman's other client Cesaro.
According to F4WOnline, via Josh Isenberg of Wrestle Zone, a match between those two is rumored to be a possibility for next year's WrestleMania. There are a number of ways to plant some seeds at Money in the Bank for that possible clash.
A Lesnar win adds star power to the event but not the kind WWE can market beforehand. That's one of the biggest reasons to doubt this swerve playing out.
"The Beast Incarnate" works a limited schedule, and using up one of those without WWE even being able to advertise that he'll be around isn't great business.
3. The Shield Gets a New Member
It's not yet clear if Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns will take part in a ladder match at Money in the Bank or seek out vengeance against Seth Rollins. Either way, speculation is abound regarding whether The Shield will go from duo to trio once more.
WWE itself has created much of that.
UFC fighter Ronda Rousey is apparently interested in joining, an idea that Reigns is down with.
NXT offers options for a new member of The Shield, including Sami Zayn, who fits in terms of being a high-flyer like Rollins but seems too boyish to be a perfect match. That makes this scenario more likely than reworking Brock Lesnar's deal, as Zayn or any other prospect would be happy to align himself with "The Hounds of Justice." Lesnar, on the other hand, may balk at the idea of a ladder match.
The current backstage word points to Ambrose and Reigns staying as they are, though. Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via PWMania.com, reports "there are currently no plans to bring a new member into the group with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose."
Should those plans change, there's an exciting option on the table to have The Shield expand and for WWE to introduce a new member to the roster.
2. Two Titles, Two Winners
Although it's referred to as a singular title, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is comprised of two belts, both of which will be hanging above the ring at Money in the Bank.
A match that is supposed to crown a new champ could just as easily crown two. WWE would find itself in the thick of a contentious storyline were it to have two different Superstars each pull down one of the titles.
SummerSlam would get a unification title bout of sorts. Two wrestlers would get the boost of victory.
This swerve requires no coaxing a part-time star to rearrange his schedule and doesn't need any added parts. It's the simplest of those scenarios in that way.
The biggest reason to doubt it happening is that WWE just unified the belts in December. Splitting them apart already is a step backward.
If WWE doesn't believe Daniel Bryan will be back in time to collide with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, this remains a detour it could take—one that would have Money in the Bank end with a cliffhanger.
1. Sheamus Turns, Begins Feud with John Cena
The most likely swerve that fans will see at Money in the Bank doesn't require any new faces or adjusting the world championship. It is built on something that occurs frequently in the WWE world—a turn.
Sheamus' character puttered as a fun-loving babyface beginning in 2012. After returning from injury,
"The Celtic Warrior" has been more focused and serious. It's easy to imagine WWE going a few steps further and making him a heel.
Many fans feel that villainy is a natural fit on him.
A turn at Money in the Bank is easy to write. Driven by the desire to win the WWE title ladder match, he resorts to vicious and underhanded techniques not befitting a fan favorite. He could prevent John Cena from winning, sparking a renewed rivalry between them.
WWE would have a marquee feud for SummerSlam's undercard and a worthy foe for Cena.
One reason for doubt to creep up here is that Sheamus is still the U.S. champ. Cena isn't going to feud for a midcard title, so it would likely be a collision that begins in earnest once Sheamus is sans title.
A low supply of top faces also makes this something not worth betting big on. Daniel Bryan is injured, and Roman Reigns is not quite at headliner status, making Sheamus a viable part of the booking puzzle on the good side.
Cesaro and Bray Wyatt are both emerging stars getting increasingly big reactions often reserved for babyfaces. With that in mind, WWE is more likely to go with Sheamus turning, giving the Irishman momentum with the character shift.