WWE Money in the Bank 2018 Matches: Final Picks and Predictions for Entire Card

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2018

WWE Money in the Bank 2018 Matches: Final Picks and Predictions for Entire Card

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    Credit: WWE.com

    It's almost time for the 2018 Money in the Bank pay-per-view, kicking off with a pre-show scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on the WWE Network.

    Eight men and women from the Raw and SmackDown rosters will battle it out for two Money in the Bank briefcases Sunday in the hopes of cashing them in for future title reigns at some point over the next year.

    The WWE Championship will also be defended as AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura settle the score once and for all in a Last Man Standing match.

    Ronda Rousey is set for her first singles match, facing Nia Jax for the Raw Women's Championship.

    Anything can happen in WWE, but with some educated guesswork, we can try to predict who will walk out of the Allstate Arena victorious.

    Let's gaze into our crystal balls and give one final round of picks for the matches set to take place at Money in the Bank 2018.

Kickoff: SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match

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    Credit: WWE.com

    With the co-branded pay-per-view structure, the tag team division in WWE hasn't received much love. Thankfully, at least the SmackDown Tag Team Championship titles will be defended here, even if they have been relegated to the pre-show.

    That in itself should tell you what is happening here, if you couldn't already make the assumption based off the competitors' track records.

    The Good Brothers haven't accomplished much, whereas The Bludgeon Brothers have been booked as nearly unstoppable.

    Those trends are likely to continue, as Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows don't have much of a chance to upset Harper and Rowan.

    Even if they were the chosen duo to dethrone the champions, it wouldn't happen on the kickoff, so this should be a relatively easy win for Harper and Rowan.

    Final Pick: The Bludgeon Brothers retain the titles.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass

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    Credit: WWE.com

    In their previous encounter, Daniel Bryan was able to overcome the height advantage Big Cass had over him with a submission victory. He has promised to do the same in their second fight.

    However, there is no reason to book a sequel match between these two if it is just a repeat, so something else has to happen.

    A Big Cass win could drag this out even further—something WWE absolutely loves to do—with a gimmick match at Extreme Rules, as that's the next pay-per-view in the pipeline.

    Whether he wins by pinfall or he breaks out a submission hold of his own, Cass must score the victory. Another loss will seal his fate as a lost cause going forward on SmackDown.

    Final Pick: Big Cass evens things with a win.

Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins vs. Elias

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    Credit: WWE.com

    There's little to no argument against calling Seth Rollins the most over person on Monday Night Raw at the moment.

    He's been on fire, and his performances aren't losing any steam, so while Brock Lesnar has been holding the Universal Championship hostage, Rollins has been doing the Intercontinental Championship justice.

    Keeping the belt around his waist is crucial to continuing this momentum, which puts Elias in an unfortunate situation.

    As great as Elias can be, he can't disrupt the great run Rollins is having by snatching the title away from him.

    The fans support him, but the crowds are also so hot for Rollins that WWE would risk diminishing that pop by crowning a new champion.

    These two can have a tough contest that puts them both over as worthy of the title, but in the end, Rollins has to get the pin.

    Final Pick: Seth Rollins retains the championship.

Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn

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    Credit: WWE.com

    You would think the WWE Creative team, Bobby Lashley and Sami Zayn have been trying to earn the "worst feud of the year" distinction with the way this storyline has gone down.

    It has been awful from the start and doesn't seem to be heading in any other direction anytime soon, so we should all pray this match signals the end of this rivalry.

    The match itself may be decent, if not even possibly good, but it's hard to put any faith in that based on the horrendous build.

    Even if the in-ring action is solid, there won't be enough goodwill mustered up to justify continuing this story any further, meaning it needs some resolution.

    The only way to achieve that goal is for Lashley to put Zayn down, allowing both of them to move on to feud with other people.

    When factoring in Lashley's size and strength advantage, along with his status as the babyface of the program, there's no other realistic outcome that can finish things swiftly.

    Final Pick: Bobby Lashley is victorious.

Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Sometimes, judging a book by its cover yields easy predictions, with Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal one of those cases.

    Reigns only loses when WWE wants to paint him as an underdog in the hopes the fans will get behind him.

    That never seems to happen, though, and whenever that fails, WWE defaults to having him beat people in order to look more dominant and credible again, offsetting those losses.

    Since he's come up short a few times recently against Brock Lesnar and failed to qualify for the Money in the Bank match, there's been a concerted effort to have Reigns beat down Mahal to illustrate his dominance.

    This will continue here, as there's no reason to have Mahal come out on top other than to stretch this to an Extreme Rules match that nobody would be invested in.

    Seeing as how that could still continue even with a Reigns win, as Mahal could simply attack him on next week's Raw to keep this going, WWE assuredly will not risk painting The Big Dog in a negative light with a loss at Money in the Bank.

    Look out for boos and an uninterested audience as Reigns hits his signature Superman Punch and spear for the win.

    Final Pick: Roman Reigns is victorious.

SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella vs. Asuka

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    Credit: WWE.com

    When she still had her undefeated streak in tact, Asuka's matches were the easiest to predict. Now that she's lost that, the SmackDown Women's Championship match is actually one of the hardest to call.

    It would still seem like having Asuka win the title would be the most logical conclusion, but it's no longer a sure thing.

    In particular, interference from The IIconics or Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville could get in the The Empress of Tomorrow's way.

    Those four women have nothing scheduled for this event and have all had run-ins with Asuka recently, while teaming up alongside Carmella.

    If the champion is going to retain, she won't do it alone, and she could call upon these women to help her through a distraction or actual physicality.

    Also, WWE frequently books the Superstar who is going to lose at the pay-per-view to look strong on the go-home television episode. Asuka forced Carmella to tap out on SmackDown, so we should assume there is a reversal of fortune to come.

    Final Pick: Carmella retains the championship.

Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey

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    Credit: WWE.com

    After months of building up Nia Jax to turn face with her body-positive, anti-bully attitude, along with setting her up for a title reign, WWE opted to throw that all away by booking her into this feud with Ronda Rousey.

    Now, Jax is essentially heel again against the popular Rousey.

    Also, despite her size advantage over every single woman in the company, Jax is being positioned as the less dangerous threat of the two, tapping immediately to Rousey's armbar.

    Undoubtedly, WWE will try to convince the crowd that none of that happened, making this a match where Jax dominates and overpowers Rousey, only for the challenger to fire up and overcome in the end.

    This is Rousey's second match and first singles match, so it's impossible to imagine her losing, if only because WWE tends to avoid making pet projects look weak.

    Whether she's ready for the responsibility of a title reign is something we'll find out after Money in the Bank, but the first step toward that failure or success will be a win over Jax here.

    However, keep an eye out for Natalya to snatch that title away if she wins the briefcase before this match happens.

    Final Pick: Ronda Rousey wins the Raw Women's Championship.

Last Man Standing Match: WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

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    Credit: WWE.com

    After failing so many times to capture the WWE Championship during this feud, a title reign for Shinsuke Nakamura at this point would start with almost negative momentum.

    There isn't enough heat between these two to justify having Nakamura take the title and for AJ Styles to declare his rematch for Extreme Rules. Instead, this simply needs to end.

    The only way to do so without ignoring the rematch clause is for Styles to retain, putting the score between the two as two wins for him, one for Nakamura and two draws.

    If WWE wishes to really put the finishing touch on this storyline, Styles should win with a low blow, as that has been Nakamura's signature for this whole feud.

    Be it a kick below the belt or something more grandiose, The Phenomenal One needs to keep the WWE Championship, as he's the bigger star heading into SummerSlam and SmackDown will struggle with Nakamura as champion.

    Final Pick: AJ Styles retains the championship.

Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Not knowing the potential plans WWE might have for the Raw and SmackDown Women's Championships makes calling the winner of the women's Money in the Bank ladder match rather difficult.

    Sometimes, the company tries to stir up interest by giving the briefcase to an underdog, even if there is no great plan in place once that person wins.

    If that were to happen this year, Lana could defy the odds, or rookie Ember Moon could have luck on her side.

    However, if WWE has something in mind already, it's smarter to lean toward the more bankable stars like Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch.

    The Superstar who somewhat fulfills both of those aspects is Natalya—a veteran who is going into the match with an injury that should paint her as the least likely to win.

    Also working in her favor is her relationship with Ronda Rousey, who may take the Raw Women's Championship away from Nia Jax at this event.

    Having Natalya turn heel on her friend, cash in the contract and either disrupt that title match before it finishes or steal the championship away from Rousey post-win seems far too juicy for WWE's writers to be able to resist.

    That can only happen if Natalya is the winner of this match, so if this goes on before the Raw Women's Championship bout, she should be at the top of everyone's predictions.

    Final Pick: Natalya wins the briefcase.

Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Nearly all of the men in the Money in the Bank ladder match have a solid chance of winning, save for whichever member of The New Day competes, but there are a few who stand out.

    Braun Strowman is the biggest of the bunch and has been prioritized as the favorite, which essentially hurts his chances of winning. WWE likes to swerve the audience from the most obvious pick, so this rules him out.

    Rusev has his followers, but the company can't decide on whether to push him as a babyface or a heel. That makes it hard to put a lot of faith in him coming out on top.

    Finn Balor and Kevin Owens would have been sorely missed if they weren't in this match, but their roles will likely be that of workhorses to keep the flow going instead of potential winners.

    For the most part, this comes down to Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe and The Miz.

    Ideally, the two briefcases should be split between Raw and SmackDown, so if Natalya takes the women's, a man from SmackDown should win, eliminating Roode from the mix.

    The Glorious One hasn't accomplished much on Monday nights since the Superstar Shake-up anyway, so he doesn't have the momentum to make him a favorite here.

    That leaves us with Joe and The Miz—both of whom could do this gimmick justice. Between the two, though, The Miz needs the extra advantage that comes with the briefcase.

    Joe is more physically imposing and could simply pick a fight with AJ Styles to enter the title hunt. He's more of a fighter and less of a weasel, so cashing in while a champion is down suits The Miz much better, as he did the exact thing with his only world title reign so far.

    With the potential of this setting up a match between The Miz and Daniel Bryan in the future as the headlining act for SmackDown, it's too good to pass up. If WWE goes in a different direction, let's hope it's just as good, if not better.

    Final Pick: The Miz wins the Money in the Bank ladder match. 

                                                   

    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.

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