This is the first edition of my new, hopefully weekly article. The concept is simple: I have created four characters (face, face/heel, heel/face, heel) that will answer questions about WWE. The catch is that the article will treat WWE, and professional wrestling as a whole, as if it were 100 percent real. That means no talk about pushes, backstage politics, heels, faces or anything else that would suggest that wrestling is scripted.
Was it smart or dumb for Randy Orton to sign the contract?
Dave: This was all-time dumb on the part of Randy Orton. He’s the champion; he doesn’t have to play by Christian’s rules. Christian has to play by his rules. There are just too many stipulations in there that are out of Randy’s control. I don’t understand him, but then again I’m not sure I’ve ever understood Randy Orton.
John: It doesn’t really matter to me. I think it was smart because I think Orton will win and, when he does, he can tell Christian that no matter how many stipulations there are to the match, he is still better. The only stipulation that is really out of his control is the “bad officiating” stipulation, and who is the judge of that? If the ref misses one minor call in the match, is that going to get Christian the title? Somehow I doubt that’s going to be the case.
Who walks out of Chicago with the World Heavyweight Title?
John: Orton. I don’t think anyone will interfere. There isn’t really anyone that would unless Sheamus loses the Money in the Bank match and decides to screw over Orton but, after Friday when Christian interrupted his match, it seems like he has just as much of a problem with Christian as he does with Orton. That leaves us with the bad refereeing stipulating which I doubt will come into play. Mistakes happen, but not often enough that they would happen twice in a row. Orton retains at Money in the Bank.
Dave: I’m going to have to say Christian. Christian has proven he can run with Orton, maybe not beat him one-on-one, but at least run with him and, with all these stipulations, he doesn’t even have to win to walk out of Chicago with the World Heavyweight Title. I just think there is too much Orton has to overcome in order to retain the title.
Are you excited for the match between Mark Henry and Big Show?
Dave: Of course I am. How could I not be excited? Did you see Henry slam Big Show through the steel cage wall? That was insane! These are easily the two strongest guys in the WWE going head-to-head. It is going to be colossal. I’m not sure the ring can handle it. They may need to specially reinforce it or something.
John: I can’t say I’m too excited. Their feud has been great and has produced many great spots. Henry is looking destructive but I can’t get past the fact that this is going to be the slowest match ever. This is going to be like a five hour-long baseball game. There’s not going to be much in the way of electrifying moves and innovative spots. This is going to be “I run into you, you run into me.” Maybe there’s a slam or two in there but for the most part these two men are going to punch and stomp and clothesline their way through this match. Not my cup of tea.
Who wins Smackdown's Money in the Bank ladder match?
Dave: I’m picking Sheamus. The man is on an absolute mission. There are a lot of newbies when it comes to ladder matches on the Smackdown card. I’d take Barrett but I think Gabrielle and Slater will make sure he doesn’t end up with it. Sheamus will clean the house and do whatever it takes to get that briefcase so he can get his shot at Orton or Christian.
John: I’m taking Sin Cara. I think the guy could probably just jump up and get it; he has such huge ups. Speed and coordination are factors when it comes to climbing the ladder and Sin Cara certainly has those two things. I think he’ll be able to scamper up the ladder faster than anyone and pull down the briefcase.
John: This one is tougher for me. Two veterans have won Money in the Bank matches before. I’m going a different route, though, and taking Kofi Kingston. I think the same things I said about Sin Cara can be applied to Kofi. He is extremely athletic and coordinated. I’m expecting a big spot from him where someone knocks him off the ladder only for Kofi to land on his feet, knock the guy back off and take the briefcase. That might be too specific for such an unpredictable match, but I think Kofi has the best chances.
Dave: I’m also not going to go with experience and take Alberto Del Rio. I mean, it is his destiny, you know. Like you said, there are two former Money in the Bank winners but I don’t think MIZ is focused enough to win this match. He has been on a slight downward spiral since losing his title to Cena and having Alex Riley turn on him. I think he might be a little too preoccupied with keeping Riley from winning for him to win it himself.
Swagger might be a darkhorse since he needs this in order to prove he belongs in the top tier of wrestlers like he believes he does, but I think Del Rio is athletic, coordinated and, most importantly, smart enough to win. Del Rio knows when to capitalize in matches and that is key with the Money in the Bank ladder match.
John: You don’t think Mysterio will get in his way?
Dave: He might try but I don’t think it will be enough. Like I said, I think Del Rio is smart enough to try to avoid Mysterio as much as possible.
Do you like the concept of the Money in the Bank ladder match?
John: I have a huge problem with it. There are eight men in each match—16 total—who each have a legitimate chance at winning the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship. We made our picks regarding who will win but, let's be honest, the thing is pretty much a crapshoot. Any one of those guys could win that match, meaning in less then a week someone like Heath Slater, Evan Bourne, Justin Gabrielle, or R-Truth could be the WWE or World Heavyweight Champion. Does that sound ridiculous to anyone else? Do the NFL, NHL, NBA or MLB do anything like this? Of course not. It's silly and devalues the titles that guys like Brett Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Hulk Hogan have actually earned.
Dave: What would you do instead? It's obviously an exciting match.
John: I think it should be like the Royal Rumble. If you win you get a title shot, but maybe there's a week's notice. You announce on RAW or Smackdown that on the next week's RAW or Smackdown, you want to challenge for the WWE or World Heavyweight Title. Then at least if you win, you've earned it.
Dave: Well I love the match. It's easily the most exciting match of the year, in my opinion. There are so many high-flying, crazy stunts that it's just brilliant to watch. I think you take away what those guys did in order to win the match. There is strategy involved. These guys are risking their lives at points to reach not only a briefcase, but a dream. Seeing what some people will do in order to achieve that dream is what makes it so special.
Who is going to walk out of Chicago with the WWE Championship?
Dave: The million dollar question. I’m taking John Cena. There’s all this fuss about CM Punk leaving with the title that people forget he has to beat John Cena first. That’s not easy to do, especially when Cena has something to fight for. Cena is fighting for the company he has loved and worked so hard for and I just don’t think he will let Punk beat him. He’s the better wrestler and he has something huge to fight for.
John: CM Punk has something to fight for too.
Dave: Yeah, but Cena is defending something; Punk is trying to conquer it. When’s the last time someone tried to ruin WWE? The Nexus? What’s happened to them? Cena conquered them.
John: I think it will be Cena or the winner of the Money in the Bank ladder match. Cena is the better wrestler, but Punk is going to do anything and everything to win that title. We haven’t heard from Nexus to get their thoughts on this but I don’t think they will get involved.
If Punk somehow pulls off the victory, the Money in the Bank winner has to cash in. Think about it. You have a contract for a WWE title shot at any time. You have the ability to achieve a dream that you have had since you were a kid, but how are you going to win the WWE title when there is no WWE title for you to win? If Punk pulls off the victory, it is up to the Money in the Bank winner to make sure that, for his sake, not Cena’s, Punk doesn’t leave with the title.
What will happen if Punk leaves with the WWE Championship?
John: Man, that’s a good question. I don’t think any other organization would honor the Money in the Bank contract, so whoever wins wouldn’t follow Punk to cash in somewhere then bring it back. Cena would be fired, so he could follow Punk around to try and get it, back but who knows how successful he’d be? I think they’d have to create another belt, which would hurt the company big-time. WWE is the best of the best, and if someone is parading around with your World Title, you are going to look very, very silly.
Dave: It would be devastating because not only would you lose the WWE title, you would lose the best wrestler in the world on top of that when Vince fires John Cena. I’m not sure how well the WWE could recover from such a blow. Like you said, the WWE is the best of the best and if the WWE Title, which symbolizes the best of the best, and John Cena who is the best of the best wrestlers in the world is no longer with your company, people are going to start looking at the WWE as a lesser company.