Early Predictions For WWE Money in the Bank 2022 Match Card
The fallout from Hell in a Cell hasn't settled yet, but it's already time to look ahead to the next WWE pay-per-view, with Money in the Bank right around the corner on July 2.
Only one match has been announced for the card to date, but others have been hinted at.
Before all the puzzle pieces come together, let's toss out some early predictions and try to guess what the match card will look like when WWE heads to MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Raw Women's Championship: Bianca Belair vs. Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley won a Fatal 4-Way match against Liv Morgan, Doudrop and Alexa Bliss on Monday to earn a shot at the Raw Women's Championship at Money in the Bank.
Her victory in the main event of the show followed Finn Balor joining her and Damian Priest in The Judgment Day and the excommunication of Edge from the faction. And now The Nightmare has more momentum on her side than she's had in some time.
Ripley's newfound confidence and grittier edge should service her well, but beating Bianca Belair won't be an easy task. The EST of WWE has the title for a reason and isn't going to let go of it without a fight.
Look for Belair to retain, though a Ripley victory isn't beyond the realm of possibility.
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Riddle
Riddle has been embroiled in a feud with The Bloodline since just after WrestleMania 38, largely revolving around The Usos taking on him and Randy Orton.
However, with RK-Bro losing the Raw Tag Team Championships, Orton being injured and his own attempt to get the belts back with Shinsuke Nakamura being a failed effort, The Original Bro has shifted his focus to Roman Reigns.
On Monday's Raw, Riddle cut a promo about how he is going after The Tribal Chief and wants an opportunity to fight him for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
Reigns has yet to respond, but WWE rarely has someone put forth a challenge like that only to bypass it completely and do something else. If the dual titleholder is going to appear on this card, it will be in a match against Riddle.
The Tribal Chief would retain the belts, too. Drew McIntyre has already called his shot for a match at Clash at the Castle on September 3, and most people expect Reigns to hold the titles until at least WrestleMania 39 and a dream match against The Rock.
If Riddle does get a shot, though, maybe Orton will return in time for a follow-up opportunity against Reigns at SummerSlam on July 30 to fill in the gaps until McIntyre's title tilt in Cardiff, Wales.
WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos vs. The Street Profits
Even though it was by count-out, The Street Profits managed to beat The Usos in a Champion's Contender's Match on Raw, meaning they have a future shot at the unified tag team titles in the near future.
Nothing is stopping WWE from having this contest on Raw or SmackDown in the coming weeks, but title matches and pay-per-views are supposed to be special, so it makes sense to put it on the bigger stage.
Jimmy and Jey Uso will likely have singles matches against Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins over the next few weeks to build hype.
However, The Usos will be the favorites to retain based on their recent successes.
United States Championship: Theory vs. Bobby Lashley
Why did Theory interrupt Bobby Lashley's promo just to complain that he was taking up some of the spotlight? A foolish move like that has just put him and the United States Championship in The All Mighty's sights.
Lashley could have moved on from his feud with Omos and MVP in any number of directions, but he's already challenged Theory to put the title on the line against him.
WWE has a tendency to do these midcard title matches on television rather than PPV, but Theory did just retain the belt against Mustafa Ali at Hell in a Cell.
As Mr. McMahon's protege, the 24-year-old is being treated as a bigger priority, and having Lashley as an opponent certainly makes this worthy of a PPV.
Don't be surprised if Theory manages to find a way to retain, by hook or by crook.
SmackDown Women's Championship: Ronda Rousey vs. Natalya
Natalya stole a victory from Raquel Rodriguez on Friday's SmackDown to earn herself a shot at the SmackDown Women's Championship.
At the time, WWE only specified the match against titleholder Ronda Rousey would happen at some point in the future, as opposed to stating it would go down at Money in the Bank.
Whenever it does take place, bet the house on Rousey retaining. Natalya is a well-respected veteran with several title reigns to her name, but she's nowhere near the level WWE treats the SmackDown women's champion.
Rousey is holding the belt until WrestleMania 39 next year at least. The Queen of Harts is just a stepping stone along the way.
Money in the Bank Ladder Matches
Obviously, it wouldn't be Money in the Bank without the men's and women's same-titled ladder matches.
It's likely there will be four Raw and four SmackDown Superstars in each contest.
On the women's side, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Alexa Bliss and either Liv Morgan or Carmella could be in contention for Raw, though Doudrop may also be in the mix. Lacey Evans, Raquel Rodriguez, Shayna Baszler and a returning Charlotte Flair would make sense for SmackDown. If not The Queen, then take your pick from Aliyah, Xia Li and Shotzi.
For the men's match, it is even harder to narrow down possible contenders. However, keep your eyes on AJ Styles, Kevin Owens or Ezekiel, The Miz, Ciampa and Seth Rollins from Raw. Madcap Moss, Drew McIntyre, Sami Zayn and possibly a member of The New Day could be the names from SmackDown.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, Spotify and everywhere you find podcasts. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.