Monday on Raw, Seth Rollins suffered his first clean singles loss since aligning with The Authority—to Heath Slater.
Nothing against Slater, but this is a wrestler who spent much of 2012 losing to every retired WWE legend who answered a phone call from Stamford. The former member of the tongue-in-cheek enhancement talent stable 3MB has an unmistakable southern charm that has led to longevity.
Still, he has no business beating Rollins.
Rollins' loss was booked in a way to negate how bad it looked on paper. Rival Dean Ambrose had provided significant distraction, and Rollins had a cocky demeanor early in the match after The Authority called Slater off the bench—or, in this case out of a locker room—to replace more staunch competition in RVD.
Besides, Slater earned a much-deserved win in a classic David vs. Goliath-style match. At least Rollins got to play the giant.
It can't happen again, though. Like, ever.
WWE seems to have adopted a theory that a Money in the Bank holder can take consistent losses while still being seen as a potential threat. While this may be true, it is a dangerous game to play based on what has become of recent Money in the Bank winners.
Former winner Dolph Ziggler was booked to lose often during his Money in the Bank reign. In fact, the night before he cashed in, Ziggler took a pinfall loss in the WWE Tag Team Championship match against Team Hell No at WrestleMania 29.
His eventual championship win on the post-WrestleMania Raw may serve as his career peak. The problem is, he still has a lot of his career left.
Ziggler's run as World Heavyweight Champion proved to be brief and snake-bitten. Following an ill-timed concussion and subsequent title loss to fellow lukewarm Money in the Bank alum Alberto Del Rio, Ziggler has failed to regain the world title to this day.
Perhaps WWE was content with letting him return to his losing ways. After all, that's just about all he was doing while he had the briefcase. Ziggler's odyssey of strange feuds since dropping the World Heavyweight Championship includes one against Damien Sandow, who offers a similar, more depressing case study.
Sandow's tenure with the Money in the Bank briefcase was also filled with losses. By the time he cashed it in, he had no momentum and his opponent was John Cena. Sandow would become the first Money in the Bank winner to suffer a loss following a cash-in attempt.
He hasn't been the same since. Seriously, he's a different dude every week.
If WWE expressed more discipline in booking Money in the Bank winners, it would be more difficult for them to discard these talents post-briefcase.
How will Seth Rollins' Money in the Bank reign end?
Allowing them to win matches against quality opponents on their way up the ranks will keep them there, while allowing the promotion to create and retain new stars.
After a hot start to a concept that still remains important, WWE's recent track record for Money in the Bank winners is not a good one.
With careful booking of the current Money in the Bank winner, this is a trend that can easily be reversed.