The undeniable success of the Money in the Bank ladder match culminated in its own PPV last year, leading us to wonder whether it will still be included on the card at this year's WrestleMania.
Originally conceived on screen by Chris Jericho in 2005, not only has such a bout allowed for incredible viewing at WrestleMania, it also means that six lucky, midcard-wrestlers get their egos fed on the biggest stage of all.
The WWE has an embarrassment of riches for its WrestleMania card this year; the return of The Rock, the potential involvement of Shawn Michaels and the long-awaited uniting of the Undertaker and Triple H all make us salivate. That's before you consider that we're going to be entertained by Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio, John Cena vs. Miz, Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes, presumably Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus, another token Divas match and potentially a bizarre and totally needless Jerry "The King" Lawler and Michael Cole match.
Where does that leave Superstars like Kane, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, John Morrison, R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Ted DiBiase and, of course, the rejuvenated Christian?
If you also consider that we have two large splinter groups in The Corre and The New Nexus, the WWE leaves themself with a rather big headache. The answer seems to be (partly) solved by the inclusion of the MITB match, but will still leave many Superstars without a role in the largest event of the year.
Some pushes over the last 12 months now seem to have been moved to the back of a hugely-shuffled deck.
Wade Barrett is a case in point. After winning NXT, he was thrust into immediate main-event status and was widely considered as an option for the Undertaker's opponent at this very event. However, after several defeats and the disbandment of his Nexus, he was hurriedly moved to SmackDown and seems to have fallen out of the spotlight and favour.
Dolph Ziggler, although currently (kayfabe) fired, is a wonderful talent and another wrestler who has been given a huge push this year. Not only did he have a long run as Intercontinental Champion, but he has also been on the fringe of main-event status, culminating in his loss to Edge for the World Heavyweight Title on SmackDown last week. After months of headlining, it seems odd that he shouldn't be among the card at WM27.
Jack Swagger, who won the MITB ladder match last year—and had a subsequent title run—saw himself humiliated weekly with an idiotic, feathered Chavo Guerrero and was only deemed worthy of Superstars performances or Intercontinental Title shots on episodes of SmackDown. He, Drew McIntyre, Kane and John Morrison must all feel that they are worth more than they have been given of late. The answer may well be the ladder match, but it will still leave many wrestlers disappointed.
We can only hope that the MITB match is kept despite its new role as a PPV event in itself. It will certainly solve the current roster-vs-card booking issues but you have to wonder whether, given so much continual change, people will be on their way out of the WWE before too long. The trend seems to be to build them up just to knock them down at the moment and it must be a concern for all Superstars.
MVP walked out December for this very reason and you have to feel for him—it must be hard looking out at every PPV event to see your spot being taken by Big Show or Mark Henry because they are "fan favourites" when all you want is a push.
The roster sizes are certainly an issue. The expansion of last month's Royal Rumble is no coincidence and it makes us wonder whether this sort of expansion should take place at WM27. Two MITB ladder matches—one for each brand—would seem too derivative of the MITB PPV event itself, while it would certainly solve a problem and create excellent drama.
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