WWE Money in the Bank 2019: Full Card Breakdown, Bold Predictions, More
As one of the most anticipated events on the WWE calendar every year, Money in the Bank 2019 is sure to be a night filled with exceptional in-ring action, memorable moments and an exciting swerve or two. After all, the pay-per-view has hosted a handful of them since its inception in 2010, and this year's installment will likely be no exception.
It helps that the show boasts a star-studded lineup, headlined by a blockbuster bout between Seth Rollins and AJ Styles for the Universal Championship. The WWE Championship will also be up for grabs when Kofi Kingston defends against Kevin Owens.
Of course, the men's and women's Money in the Bank Ladder Matches will play an important role in the success of the shows. The matchups themselves rarely disappoint, but the key will be the company booking the right stars to go over in each outing.
Then again, the same can be said for the rest of the card as well. WWE has made a number of mind-boggling decisions lately between the introduction of the Wild Card Rule and the aftermath of the Superstar Shake-up, so it's far from a guarantee that they'll give fans what they want.
WWE programming hasn't been this consistently dull in several years, but a standout Money in the Bank event might be enough to get Raw and SmackDown Live out of the doldrums. In addition to a breakdown of the complete card, here are some bold predictions.
Kickoff: Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. the Usos
Daniel Bryan's leave of absence following his loss of the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35 had fans wondering where he had ventured off to and when he'd be back, but thankfully, it wasn't long before he resurfaced on SmackDown Live and clinched the SmackDown Tag Team Championship alongside Rowan.
Although Bryan and Rowan aren't a regular tag team, they were easily the best choice for WWE to run with as the new SmackDown tag champs in the wake of Jeff Hardy's injury, which saw The Hardy Boyz relinquish the belts. No other tandem currently on the blue brand is nearly as notable as they are.
There's no telling what would have happened had The Usos captured the championship instead since they are now members of the Raw roster. Bryan and Rowan defeated The Usos decisively the last time they clashed, so it makes sense for the belts to not be on the line in their rematch at Money in the Bank.
The Usos have been embroiled in a heated rivalry with The Revival in recent weeks on Raw, so it's possible The Revival avenge the embarrassment they've suffered by costing them this contest. That would protect The Usos in defeat and give fans a reason to dislike The Revival.
A victory from The Usos shouldn't be ruled out if the company wishes to prolong this program, but there's no reason for it to continue, which is why Bryan and Rowan must win.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan and Rowan win.
Tony Nese vs. Ariya Daivari (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Tony Nese has been a constant in the cruiserweight division since its relaunch in September 2016, but it wasn't until WrestleMania 35 that he finally broke through the proverbial glass ceiling and became the cruiserweight champion.
There wasn't anything out of the ordinary about Nese years ago, but he's truly come into his own as a babyface as of late. He's had great match after great match and continues to prove himself as the best on 205 Live today.
Ariya Daivari, on the other hand, has been undefeated since returning from injury many months ago and will be getting a crack at the cruiserweight title at Money in the Bank. Despite stacking up several notable victories recently, he still appears a fairly bland performer.
Hopefully Nese will be able to carry Daivari to a competent contest, but regardless of its quality, this will end with Nese successfully retaining his title. It's far too soon for him to be dropping the strap, not to mention that Daivari is the wrong person to beat him for the belt.
Following Money in the Bank, it would be exciting to see Nese move on to other challengers such as Oney Lorcan, Akira Tozawa and Humberto Carrillo. As for Daivari, this is probably as close as he'll come to championship gold in WWE.
Prediction: Tony Nese retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio (United States Championship)
Although the buildup to the bout was virtually nonexistent, fans had high expectations for Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania 35. Unfortunately, their contest was cut short (likely because of time constraints) and ended abruptly with Joe choking out Mysterio to retain his United States Championship.
Their feud was allowed to continue when both men were moved to Raw in the Superstar Shake-up, and Mysterio avenged his loss by beating Joe in non-title action April 29.
It should be noted that Dominick, Mysterio's son, has been present in most segments involving these two in recent months. That must mean he's bound to play some sort of a role in their match at Money in the Bank.
Mysterio could rebound from his WrestleMania loss by beating Joe for the belt Sunday, but Joe should be given a longer reign with the title. He hasn't done much with it so far, and there is a handful of fresh faces waiting in the wings to challenge him.
Joe will once again find himself on the winning end at Money in the Bank, thanks to inadvertent interference from Dominick.
Prediction: Samoa Joe retains the United States Championship.
Roman Reigns vs. Elias
Roman Reigns wasted no time in targeting Elias upon his arrival on SmackDown Live as part of the Superstar Shake-up. Unfortunately, the program peaked there.
Needless to say, this will be the biggest match of Elias' career. He's won on pay-per-view only a handful of times over the years and hasn't been given too many chances to shine, but a strong showing against a former world champion in Reigns would do wonders for his career.
It would be amazing if this was designed to be a showcase for Elias, who has been on the brink of super stardom for a while now. Rather, Reigns will likely run through Elias with ease before he sets his sights on the WWE Championship in time for SummerSlam.
It couldn't be more obvious that the real rivalry here is between Reigns and Shane McMahon, not Reigns and Elias. Help from Shane and his cronies could lead to an upset victory for Elias at Money in the Bank, but even that feels far-fetched.
These two previously went one-on-one on an episode of Raw in November 2017, and although they had an entertaining encounter that night, this will be more one-sided in Reigns' favor and therefore pale in comparison.
Prediction: Roman Reigns wins.
The Miz vs. Shane McMahon (Steel Cage Match)
The Miz and Shane McMahon's rivalry reached new heights (both literally and figuratively) at WrestleMania 35 when Shane won in a wild Falls Count Anywhere match. It would have been foolish of WWE to end their feud there and not allow The Awesome One to avenge that loss.
Similar to Reigns vs. Elias, there is very little buzz surrounding this Steel Cage match. Miz attacking Shane out of nowhere on Raw and SmackDown in recent weeks has been fun, but their program also peaked a while back, and it's high time Miz moved on to bigger and better things.
As previously noted, Shane appears to be headed for a feud with Reigns, so Shane scoring a second straight victory over Miz isn't out of the realm of possibility. That said, building up the McMahon family scion at the expense of Miz would be outrageously asinine.
Miz has made for a better babyface than anyone could have expected, and WWE should look to keep his momentum rolling with a win over Shane on Sunday. It's unknown where he goes from there aside from potentially entering the United States Championship scene, however.
The Steel Cage stipulation should add to fans' enjoyment of this outing, but there are way bigger attractions on this loaded card.
Prediction: The Miz wins.
Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans (Raw Women's Championship)
One night removed from her historic victory in the main event of WrestleMania 35, newly crowned Raw and SmackDown women's champion Becky Lynch was confronted by Lacey Evans, who has been making her presence known on WWE programming for months without ever stepping in the ring (aside from the Royal Rumble).
Evans never competed on an NXT TakeOver special, yet she will be challenging for the Raw Women's Championship in her first major pay-per-view match at Money in the Bank. To her credit, she has held her own on the mic with Lynch lately and has a shot of walking away with the title.
Lynch will be defending her SmackDown Women's Championship against Charlotte Flair on this same show, and there has been no confirmation which bout will go on first. The match order will be crucial to the outcome of this, because if it precedes Lynch vs. Flair, a win for The Man is virtually guaranteed.
Between Flair and Evans, Flair has a better chance of knocking off Lynch given how many times she has fallen short in the past. It may be too soon for Evans to lead the Raw women's division as its champion, but all that matters is that she looks credible in defeat.
The Sassy Southern Belle will be champion one day, but not at Money in the Bank. Look for Lynch to escape this battle with her title.
Prediction: Becky Lynch retains the Raw Women's Championship.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women's Championship)
Whenever Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair are sharing the ring, you can expect excellence, no matter how many times they've faced off on pay-per-view since the summer of 2018.
Most fans are ready for this rivalry to wrap up given how long it's gone on for, but at least their matches never fail to deliver. Their upcoming clash for the SmackDown Women's Championship at Money in the Bank should be another gem, but the outcome could go either way.
Lynch beating her longtime foe to retain her title and put this rivalry to rest once and for all would make the most sense. However, Flair has brought up several times recently how she has yet to score a meaningful victory over Lynch on pay-per-view and how Money in the Bank could be her night.
Flair briefly held the gold before WrestleMania 35, and as exceptional of a heel as she is, there's no need for her to have another title run any time soon. That said, SmackDown Live's women's division is stacked enough that it doesn't need The Man anymore, so between the two belts she hols, she will likely lose the SmackDown women's title first.
Although Lynch is my pick to win here, she won't be SmackDown women's champ for much longer. In fact, there is a strong possibility that whoever wins the women's Money in the Bank Ladder will cash in and take that title off Lynch's hands.
Prediction: Becky Lynch retains the SmackDown Women's Championship.
Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Not only is there plenty of talent in this year's women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match, but half of the competitors have a legitimate chance of coming out on top.
Dana Brooke, Natalya and even Naomi feel like filler in this bout. Naomi probably has the best shot of emerging victorious of that bunch, but unless the briefcase were to match her glowing gear, the idea of her as Ms. Money in the Bank isn't terribly exciting.
On SmackDown Live, Bayley, Ember Moon and Mandy Rose should be considered front-runners to win. Moon would benefit hugely from becoming Ms. Money in the Bank, though WWE has shown no signs of pushing her since her move to the blue brand.
Rose, on the other hand, has recently teased tension with Sonya Deville, and that could continue if she were to win Money in the Bank. While Rose has improved immensely over the past year and can eventually be groomed for a run with the title, Bayley is the most logical choice of this crop of competitors.
Bayley has been down on her luck lately and should be in line for a heel turn sooner rather than later. Having her capture the contract and cash in on the uber-popular Becky Lynch immediately following her successful back-to-back title defenses on this show would be the perfect way to achieve that.
Prediction: Bayley wins the women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Sami Zayn taking Braun Strowman's spot in the men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match this past week on Raw made the field even more interesting than it already was. With the change, a lot like the women, there are a handful of Superstars who could walk away the new Mr. Money in the Bank.
Despite how aggressively he's been pushed since WrestleMania 35, Braun Strowman will not be winning the briefcase for a second time. Fellow former winner Randy Orton also has no business capturing the contract again.
Meanwhile, Ali and Ricochet will fare well and be the biggest highlights of this bout but will not emerge victorious. Finn Balor re-entering the main event scene is inevitable, but him holding both the briefcase and the Intercontinental Championship simultaneously seems like a long shot.
That leaves Zayn, Drew McIntyre and Andrade as potential winners. Zayn would be the most entertaining of those three to hold the briefcase, but WWE has made it clear that it does not view him as a main event player.
As for Andrade, he has been floundering on the main roster since debuting a year ago, whereas McIntyre has been primed for a world title run for many months. He is the safe choice to win here and is arguably the best one.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre wins the men's Money in the Bank Ladder match.
Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens (WWE Championship)
Kofi Kingston has done exceptionally well as WWE champion since taking the title from Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 35. Over the past month, he has set back challenges from the likes of Bryan, AJ Styles and Sami Zayn, but Kevin Owens has been the biggest thorn in his side to date.
Owens has claimed that Kingston isn't world title material and that his run on top is set to come to an abrupt end at Money in the Bank. Kingston retaining his title is the most obvious outcome because of how early he is into his reign, but all the bad booking Owens has endured lately means he needs the victory significantly more.
Plus, Owens knocking off Kingston for the belt would both prolong the program and give fans another reason to want to rally behind Kingston. Seeing as how he was at his best while chasing the title prior to 'Mania, he'd be able to reclaim some of that magic if he was challenging for the championship again as opposed to defending it.
There would be a ton of outrage from fans over Kingston dropping the strap so soon, but it would make Owens that much more hated. The promos he could cut about how he was right about Kingston all along would be glorious, and he also has a ready-made feud with Big E once he's cleared to return.
Another potential outcome to this contest is Kingston reaching his breaking point and getting himself accidentally disqualified, therefore awarding Owens the victory but not the title. In order for Owens to cement himself as SmackDown Live's lead heel, however, he must go over in convincing fashion and become champion.
Prediction: Kevin Owens wins the WWE Championship.
Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles (Universal Championship)
Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles can only be described as a dream match. They are undoubtedly two of the best in all of WWE right now, and the Universal Championship being up for grabs gives them high stakes worth fighting for.
The tease of Styles turning heel has also been intriguing and has caused fans to question whether WWE will officially flip the switch with his character at Money in the Bank. Although reuniting him with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson would help rejuvenate his character, Raw already has a full slate of solid heels right now in Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and Samoa Joe.
Regardless of what happens with Styles at or after the event, it's too soon for Rollins to relinquish his hold on the gold. There are a number of names he has yet to work with, and the time doesn't feel right for the title to be transitioned onto someone else.
The Phenomenal One will be universal champion before long, but his anticipated title victory should come a little later on in the feud. It's way more likely that this encounter will end in controversy or a non-finish of some sort to ensure that both men are protected in defeat.
Fans have been buzzing about Bray Wyatt for weeks, and if there was ever a perfect time for him to resurface and make an immediate impact, it would be during this marquee main event.
Prediction: Seth Rollins retains the Universal Championship.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.