School’s out, the beaches are open, and WWE’s second biggest pay-per-view of the year is on the horizon. Yes, that can only mean that summer has arrived!
And while most throughout the country will use Memorial Day, The Fourth of July and Labor Day as the season’s milestones, wrestling fans will look to the Capitol Punishment, Money in the Bank and SummerSlam pay-per-views to mark the time.
With one of those events already out of the way and another already taking shape, let’s look at how things might just play out from now until the August 14 event in Los Angeles.
One thing WWE has gotten right lately is capitalizing on the popularity of the Money in the Bank match, the most innovative and exciting concept since the Elimination Chamber. Like the Chamber, this specialty match has now been given its own pay-per-view and has been ingeniously positioned as the last checkpoint before SummerSlam. This succeeds in catapulting fresh faces (like The Miz last year) to the main event picture just before one of the year’s most prestigious events.
Heading into this year’s SummerSlam season, WWE has its two world titles on its two most popular wrestlers; John Cena is WWE Champion while Randy Orton holds the World Heavyweight Championship. The two biggest questions of the day are whether or not anyone can take the title off Cena before his WrestleMania showdown with The Rock, and if Christian can finally overcome The Viper and get another chance to run with the strap.
With both title matches set for the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, the third question that has arisen is which superstars will claim briefcases next month and be inserted into the world title picture. In the past, Money in the Bank matches have produced not only new world champions but new superstars like Edge, CM Punk, and The Miz. Every MITB winner has gone on to claim a championship via the infamous “cash-in.”
So who will be this year’s winners, and therefore, the two superstars most likely to make the jump to the next level?
Raw Money in the Bank Winner: Alberto Del Rio
With CM Punk apparently halfway out the door and The Miz entrenched in a feud with former protégé Alex Riley, the time is right for the Mexican Aristocrat to step up as the top heel on WWE’s flagship show. Many thought this was Del Rio’s “destiny” when he was drafted to Raw in the first place, and now is the time for it to come to fruition.
Destiny has been the theme of Del Rio’s promos for six solid months now. WWE should capitalize on this hubris by doing something that has only been done once in the history of Money in the Bank: have Del Rio announce when and where he will fight Cena for the WWE Championship.
This, of course, sets up your SummerSlam main event. Del Rio is so cocky and confident that it’s his destiny to win the WWE Championship, so he announces he is cashing in his briefcase at the SummerSlam main event.
This sets up a scenario that is even rarer. In fact, it has never happened before. I would book Del Rio to lose his championship match to Cena.
Now before you throw your laptop out the window, hear me out. For those of us that enjoy a good slow build, a loss in this match could be a building block to an even bigger moment. Del Rio can continue talking about destiny, show a mean streak, and exemplify greater determination to finally achieve championship glory.
He may lose another title bout or two, looking strong so as not to undermine his character. He guarantees another Royal Rumble victory, but comes up short. Finally, he wins an Elimination Chamber match to become the other number one contender. At long last, he wins one of the two world titles at WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami with its sizable Latino population.
That’s a 12 month build with a huge payoff. Sound good? Ok, let’s move on to the blue show.
Smackdown Money in the Bank Winner: Ted Dibiase
Yes, you read that right.
But wait, do you mean the same Ted Dibiase who has wallowed at the bottom of the midcard for the past year? Isn’t his dad still more worthy of winning this match? Again, here’s where the “creative” part of creative writing comes into play.
At the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, both Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase take part in the Smackdown ladder match. The announcers talk up how it’s a huge advantage for Rhodes to have his partner and friend in the match with him. They play up Rhodes as a favorite to claim the prize.
By the end of the match, it looks like Rhodes will win, but at the last second, he’s knocked off the ladder by Ted, who claims the briefcase as his own, completing a quick face turn in the process. Over the next month, Rhodes and Dibiase feud, leading to a match at SummerSlam with the briefcase on the line.
Ok, now you see where this is going. Cody Rhodes has propelled himself to upper midcard status with his latest gimmick, but one more solid feud is needed to really put him over the top. That feud can be with his former Legacy mate and would culminate with Rhodes winning the battle and the briefcase at SummerSlam.
From there, Rhodes can engage in a solid feud with Randy Orton over the World Heavyweight Championship. Rhodes, who has shown unexpectedly great skill on the mic, can say he knows Orton better than anyone and sees right through him. Rhodes can go on to say that while he may be grotesque on the outside, he knows from their Legacy days that Orton’s ugliness lies within and that Orton is the true monster. Eventually, Rhodes can cash in the briefcase the old fashioned way and win his first major championship.
So there you have it. That’s how This Guy would book the two Money in the Bank ladder matches next month and the subsequent storylines that could emerge from those results.
Of course, this is all one man’s idea, and I have no doubt that the Bleacher Creatures, let alone WWE Creative, have plenty of their own thoughts. Fortunately, we have a comment section for you to sound off! So have it!
Who would you like to see standing atop the ladder in July? Who will truly fulfill his destiny at Money in the Bank?