WWE Money in the Bank 2015: Final Picks, Predictions for All Bouts on the Card
The Money in the Bank pay-per-view is typically one of the most popular shows presented by WWE, thanks in large part to the titular match.
Sunday night, seven Superstars will vie for the opportunity to possess the golden briefcase that will ultimately earn them a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Who possesses that title by night's end is another topic of hot debate. Fans will find out the answer to that question when Dean Ambrose battles Seth Rollins in a ladder match.
The Architect has been without his championship for nearly a month now, and only a victory in the night's main event will reunite him with the gold.
The New Day could have a monumental evening, what with Kofi Kingston competing in the Money in the Bank match and Xavier Woods and Big E defending the tag titles against The Prime Time Players. Will they be successful in their determination to prove that "New Day rocks" or will fans gleefully greet their defeats with chants of "New Day sucks?"
In the night's most anticipated bout, WWE United States champion John Cena looks for redemption as he battles Kevin Owens in a rematch from their instant classic at Elimination Chamber.
Can the never-give-up, never-say-die babyface avenge the last loss and deal Owens his first defeat, or will Owens stun the world and defeat Cena for the second consecutive live special?
Fans will get their answers for sure come Sunday night at 11:00 p.m. ET, but until then, get ready for the 2015 edition of Money in the Bank with these final picks and predictions.
Kickoff Show Match: R-Truth vs. Bad News Barrett
Rather than partaking in the Money in the Bank ladder match, King Barrett finds himself stuck in the Kickoff show contest battling R-Truth, who somehow remains visible despite being irrelevant since WrestleMania.
The buildup to this one has been lacking tremendously, with the announcement of the contest coming just this past Monday night.
Barrett has lost more than he has won of late, leaving some to wonder why he was given the cape and crown as the 2015 King of the Ring.
Truth remains one of the most ridiculous characters on WWE television.
Prediction: King Barrett
Barrett has more upside at this point, though only slightly.
Both guys have been beaten so often that their usefulness and effectiveness have certainly been hindered. And Sunday night, one of them will again suffer defeat, further hurting the chances that they will ever be taken seriously as a threat to any championship ever again.
As poorly as he has been booked thus far, the King of the Ring title will prove the difference and propel Barrett past Truth.
But do not be surprised if the outcome goes the other way, as WWE Creative and Vince McMahon both have a love for the babyface Truth that the fans and critics alike simply do not.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Prime Time Players vs. The New Day
At Elimination Chamber, The Prime Time Players exploded back into title contention with a brilliant performance that saw them defeat The Ascension and Tyson Kidd and Cesaro before falling just shy of capturing the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Since that night some two weeks ago, Titus O'Neil and Darren Young have been rolling toward Money in the Bank, gaining momentum with every passing show as they attempt to take the gold away from The New Day.
Big E, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston have been on the roll of a lifetime, appearing all over Raw and SmackDown while simultaneously developing into one of the most effective acts on the roster.
Big E's victory over O'Neil on Monday's Raw gave the champions the edge heading into their huge title defense Sunday night.
Prediction: The New Day
Despite making the most of their recent push, The Prime Time Players have never felt like anything more than placeholder contenders to the New Day's title.
Their entrance generates a pop, but they have not accomplished enough inside the squared circle at this point to convince fans to throw their complete support behind them.
The New Day is the hotter act and, as heels, can serve as the centerpiece of the tag team division for months to come. Or at least until WWE Creative can develop a team worthy of dethroning them.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Ryback vs. Big Show
The Elimination Chamber match for the vacant intercontinental championship may not have been a classic match by any stretch of the imagination, but it did result in Ryback winning his first championship in WWE.
After years of hard work, determination and the ability to overcome a disappointing run in 2013, he finally accomplished his dream of holding gold.
Just 24 hours after the greatest moment of his career, Ryback was slated to defend against The Miz when Big Show returned, knocked out WWE's resident A-Lister and made it clear that he had his sights set on the IC title.
On the June 11 episode of SmackDown, Ryback exorcised the demon that was The Miz and then listened from the squared circle as Big Show once again verbally threatened his title reign, just three days before the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
Prediction: Ryback by disqualification
This feels very much like the first chapter in a story, and as such, one should not expect a clean finish.
Ryback's title reign is still in its infancy, and beating him would kill every ounce of momentum he has built to this point. Big Show, on the other hand, is coming off a loss to Roman Reigns at May's Extreme Rules pay-per-view and would have his credibility as a challenger erased if he were to lose clean Sunday night.
Thus, a disqualification finish in which Big Show leaves the champion lying, reestablishing himself as one of the most dangerous stars on the roster, would make the most sense.
Especially if the feud is intended to continue past Money in the Bank.
WWE Divas Championship Match: Paige vs. Nikki Bella
Paige returned to WWE after the Payback pay-per-view and instantly reestablished herself as the top contender to the Divas Championship, held by Nikki Bella.
At Elimination Chamber, Bella retained her title over Paige and Naomi in a Triple Threat match, pinning Naomi. Just 24 hours later, she again held onto her title, this time conspiring with sister Brie to use a little Twin Magic to fuel them to victory.
Frustrated, Paige spoke with Renee Young about the need for change in the Divas division and about the Bella Twins holding down the other women on the roster.
Nikki responded, calling the Divas division "the Bellas' World."
Both women scored impressive singles victories just days away from Money in the Bank, with Nikki defeating Summer Rae and Paige forcing a tapout from Alicia Fox.
Prediction: Nikki Bella
If WWE were going to switch the title, this would be the time to do it.
Nikki has been a solid champion, but the title scene is growing stale at this point. Switching the title would provide a spark, even if the new titleholder would be embarking on her third run with the strap in just over a year.
With that said, WWE Creative appears hellbent on having the champion surpass the record reign enjoyed by AJ Lee from June 2013 until April 2014. Taking that into consideration, expect to see Nikki retain her title by hook or by crook come Sunday night.
John Cena vs. Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens' monumental victory over John Cena shook the wrestling world to its core.
Many expected him to beat Cena to begin his main-roster career, but few thought he would do it as cleanly and decisively as he did. After all, beating Cena clean was virtually unheard of, with only CM Punk, Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan getting the honor of doing such a thing in recent years.
Almost immediately, a rematch was booked for Money in the Bank. The tensions between the two stars have only intensified in the weeks since their bout.
Owens sent a very clear message to Cena on the June 4 episode of SmackDown, demolishing the U.S. champion's friend Zack Ryder in an NXT Championship Open match.
With the dislike between the two growing, their rivalry will come to a head when they clash Sunday night in one of the show's most anticipated contests.
Prediction: Kevin Owens
All signs seem to point either to a Cena win or a screwy finish in which Owens cheats or gets himself disqualified. While that would fit in line with what fans have come to expect from WWE, do not be surprised to see management take the outcome of this match in a different direction.
WWE Creative has done everything in its power to put Owens over as an elite star on the roster. Having him drop the rematch to Cena makes him no different than Rusev or Bray Wyatt or any other midcard heel who was built up only to be knocked down by the company's resident superhero.
This feels different. The way Owens has been treated to this point feels like WWE is trying to legitimately push him to the top of the industry, filling the role of lead villain at a time when the company is hurting for them.
While the threat of an unsatisfactory finish hangs over the match, as does a clean Cena win, do not be surprised to see Owens stun the world for a second time by beating the biggest star in the industry in the center of the ring.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
At Elimination Chamber, the six competitors who would make up the initial field for the Money in the Bank ladder match were revealed. Roman Reigns, Neville, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston would battle for the right to raise the coveted briefcase, the possessor of a guaranteed championship opportunity.
Then, on the June 4 episode of SmackDown, Kane revealed that he would join the field, injecting the bout with an Authority presence.
Since then, the competitors have competed in singles and tag team bouts with and against each other, no one man standing head and shoulders above the rest of the competition more than Roman Reigns, the clear favorite to win the contest.
That is, until Neville wiped out his fellow Money in the Bank competitors Thursday night on SmackDown and stood atop the ladder, briefcase in hand, as if to say that he was the man who would leave Ohio with a championship shot in his back pocket.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
There is no other Superstar in a better position to win this match than Roman Reigns.
The second-generation performer has bid his time, sitting back and watching as Dean Ambrose challenges Seth Rollins for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship that should be his.
Sunday night at Money in the Bank, he will defeat his opponents and capture the briefcase that will allow him to finally capture the gold he has chased for the last year.
Ladder Match for the WWE Title: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
At Elimination Chamber, Dean Ambrose pinned Seth Rollins and was announced as the new WWE World Heavyweight champion.
Controversy reigned supreme when the original referee, who had been knocked out mid-match, reversed the decision and disqualified Rollins for intentionally pulling him into harm's way.
The Lunatic Fringe refused to hand the title over, delivering Dirty Deeds to Rollins and escaping with the title he felt was rightfully his.
In the two weeks that followed, the title eluded Rollins, Ambrose doing just enough to keep it out of the hands of the Architect and The Authority.
In the process, Rollins' relationships with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Kane and J&J Security have become more and more strained.
Can the current champion prove his doubters wrong, winning on his own and regaining possession of his title?
Or will Ambrose prove to the world that his win over his former tag team partner was not a fluke and that he is the rightful champion?
Prediction: Seth Rollins
This entire feud has felt like a backdrop for Rollins' maturation as a main event character. For as many months as he has spent at the top of the card, headlining pay-per-views as the most hated full-time worker on the roster, he has always had the safety net of The Authority backing him up.
Sunday, that is unlikely to be case, at least based on the booking of the program thus far.
Rollins will have to win on his own, defeating the most unpredictable (and popular) babyface on the roster.
And he will, setting up the biggest match of his career at SummerSlam against Brock Lesnar.