WWE Money in the Bank 2014 won't be without a briefcase, as a congregation of hungry Superstars battle in a second Ladder match at the pay-per-view.
While seven wrestlers vie for the vacant world title, a brute, a bruiser, a show-off and others will get their own opportunity at the TD Garden in Boston. Momentum, current storylines and recent history provide insight into who will be among that field of combatants.
Seth Rollins announced the new addition to the card on Tuesday's Main Event.
Grinning, he also told fans that he was the first official entrant for the traditional Money in the Bank Ladder match. It pays to be in Triple H's good graces, it seems.
Who will join the former member of The Shield in that ladder-centered showdown? There is one obvious answer: the man who had Rollins on the mat tasting punches after his announcement Tuesday.
Ambrose and Rollins have spent the majority of their time onscreen together lately locked in brawls. His partner betraying him has made Ambrose even more of a loose cannon.
On Monday's Raw, he charged into Rollins' matchup with Dolph Ziggler, tagging him with right hands.
The two former comrades clashed again during John Cena and Kane's Stretcher match. WWE is clearly signaling that this feud is going to continue and be a major focus. There's no way then that the company doesn't stick Ambrose in this match to make use of these enemies' hatred.
Ziggler has had a few moments to celebrate as of late, from a win against Fandango last month to a victory over Titus O'Neil on June 12. Otherwise, he's battled hard but fallen to the likes of Batista, Rollins and Alberto Del Rio.
Still, the fact that he's facing names like these is a sign of a spot higher on the card than many of his peers.
Bo Dallas isn't facing competition on that level yet. Damien Sandow is stuck in gimmick hell. Ziggler enters this as a former winner, former world champ and a man looking to prove himself. His struggles can be used as great fodder for his promos leading up to this.
It helps that he has recent bad blood with Rollins and has already shown he can shine in this kind of match.
Rusev is on the rise.
He has yet to lose a singles match and has seen little opposition along the way. In the Battle Royal on Monday's Raw, he outlasted everyone but Roman Reigns. "The Bulgarian Brute" floored him at one point, seemingly destined to earn a chance at the WWE title.
Getting second place in that bout is a great sign for WWE's confidence in him. The company also had to notice how charged up the Cleveland fans got when it was just Rusev and Reigns left in the ring. There was an electricity in the air that night, something WWE will want to tap into.
The Money in the Bank Ladder match can be his showcase even if he loses.
Having him throw a foe onto a ladder or kicking someone off a high rung is going to add to his perception as a destroyer. Besides, he may have an enemy waiting for him in Boston.
Including Big E adds another set of rivals to the contest.
He and Rusev have collided several times, including at Payback when Big E gave Lana's client his toughest test to date. It's smart to have them meet in this match as well, the two rhinos clanging horns once more.
Big E has cooled off somewhat since losing the Intercontinental Championship, but he has a good share of momentum in recent weeks. He is coming off a win against Jack Swagger on last Friday's SmackDown, has piled up victories against O'Neil lately and was one of the last four men in the Battle Royal on Monday's Raw.
His inclusion would also add to the number of men in the field who have yet to compete in a Money in the Bank Ladder match. This infusion of new blood is a part of what makes that bout special.
Bad News Barrett
Before he went into hibernation last year and emerged with his current gimmick, Barrett was acting as an enforcer for the McMahons. It looked as if he returned to that role on Monday's Raw.
Triple H sent Barrett out to punish Ambrose that night.
This positive relationship with the COO is likely to get Barrett an opportunity in the Money in the Bank Ladder match, perhaps even without earning it a la Randy Orton in the WWE title bout. Barrett's inclusion helps The Authority make sure Ambrose or the oft-critical Ziggler doesn't win.
It also allows him to swing his Bull Hammer at a man he thinks little of.
Rob Van Dam
Van Dam would bring a veteran's presence to a match heavy on rising stars. That's the role Jack Swagger played in last year's world title Money in the Bank Ladder match and Christian did in the year before that.
These kind of matches most often feature a high-flyer as well.
Sin Cara, Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston and Justin Gabriel have all received opportunities in these bouts, largely so they could deliver a breathtaking spot or two. Van Dam doesn't soar like he used to, but he would be a valuable addition to the match for big moments. We all know what he can do with a ladder in the ring.
Adding Van Dam allows WWE to play up his animosity with Barrett as well.
Like Ziggler, he's been on the cusp of championships and qualifying for title chances lately. Cesaro ruined his chances at dethroning Barrett on the Main Event from June 3, and Van Dam fell just short in a Triple Threat IC title match a few days later. He also failed to qualify for the WWE title Ladder match thanks to Cesaro.
This second Ladder match gives WWE a chance to sell a story of him seeking redemption, of him hunting for one last title opportunity as his career winds down. That opportunity is also in Barrett, Ambrose, Rollins and Rusev's sights.
Those men will face veterans and up-and-comers, allies and enemies as they look to become the next Mr. Money in the Bank.
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