Final Picks for Roman Reigns vs. Edge and WWE Money in the Bank 2021 Card
Two briefcases will hang high once more at WWE Money in the Bank on Sunday, when 16 Superstars attempt to climb the ladder to earn future title shots, valid any time over the next year.
On top of that, Roman Reigns is set to defend the Universal Championship against Edge, Kofi Kingston tries again to take down Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship and Rhea Ripley puts her Raw Women's Championship on the line against Charlotte Flair.
This is normally one of the most important events of the year, and with fans back in attendance, anything could happen.
What surprises are in store, and who will walk out with the titles and briefcases?
Before the event kicks off, let's go through one final round of picks and predictions for WWE Money in the Bank 2021.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
While The Mysterios haven't had a long or storied title reign, that won't stop WWE from taking the belts from them. The bigger story is for The Usos to hold the championships alongside their cousin, Roman Reigns.
Of note, this is the Kickoff. This will be the first match in front of fans since WrestleMania in April, so WWE will undoubtedly want to start hot.
The crowd will be pumped because of the level of talent involved, but to ensure attendees keep the energy level high for the rest of the night, a title change is needed.
By hook or by crook, Jimmy and Jey are beating Dominik and Rey.
Prediction: The Usos win the titles.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: AJ Styles and Omos vs. the Viking Raiders
The feud between The Viking Raiders and the Raw tag team champions, AJ Styles and Omos, has been as textbook as can get. Erik and Ivar won a No. 1 contenders' match in June to earn the title shot, and the teams have been getting on each other's nerves ever since.
There's been trash talking and outside interference to cost each other matches. Both teams are confident they will take care of the other and walk away with the belts Sunday.
Beyond that, there isn't much to it. Omos and Styles haven't had too many matches together, with the former only having a few matches at all so far in his career. But the combination of The Phenomenal One's skills and Omos' size makes them an imposing team.
The Viking Raiders are no slouches, having held tag team gold before—on both Raw and NXT, as well as numerous times in other companies. However, they still aren't the team most prominently featured on Monday nights.
That distinction goes to RK-Bro, who have managed to attract more air time than the rest of the tag team division even with Randy Orton missing in action. Riddle alone appears on multiple segments throughout the night.
The Viking Raiders have been set up to lose so Styles and Omos are a more decorated team heading into SummerSlam, where they will undoubtedly face RK-Bro and their reign will be in jeopardy.
Prediction: Styles and Omos retain.
WWE Championship Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Kofi Kingston
As great as Kofi Kingston is, this won't be the second phase of KofiMania. He's not recapturing the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank.
This is a holdover feud. WWE randomly brought Kingston into the title hunt so that Drew McIntyre wouldn't wrestle Bobby Lashley yet again—particularly after the stipulation in their most recent match that he would get no more opportunities.
The goal here isn't to put over Kingston or even to give Lashley another victory over a fellow former WWE champion. It's to kill time at a lesser event before a bigger match takes place at SummerSlam.
It should be a fun bout that is the easiest to predict at this whole event.
Prediction: Lashley retains the title.
Raw Women's Championship Match: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
Every time Charlotte Flair is in a match, no matter the circumstances, she's the favorite to win. WWE has shown its favoritism time and time again, even if it's at the expense of a rising star like Rhea Ripley.
The way The Nightmare boasted and challenged The Queen to a match at WrestleMania 36, just to tap out and cry buckets afterward before spending the next year failing to regain her momentum is proof positive to never count out Flair.
It's not a certainty, but with fans returning, WWE may be in the mood to make a change merely for the sake of it and put the title back on a more proven commodity rather than risk a quieter reaction for the newer Superstar.
Hopefully this isn't the case and Ripley isn't pushed aside with the philosophy that she's young and there's time to rebuild her. Ideally, she will retain and keep fighting to establish herself as a dominant force.
However, it's just not a smart bet that, after all these attempts to win the title, Flair's not going to succeed this time.
Prediction: Flair wins the belt.
Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Given how poorly WWE executed the men's Money in the Bank match last year by setting up Otis to fail, you can't go into this contest expecting any kind of logic. Anybody can win, and WWE might have the mentality of "We'll figure it out later. Even if we don't. Who cares?"
With that being said, it's impossible to toss out predictions for pure chaos, so let's try to apply some logic—despite history proving that may be foolish.
Out of this list, it's unlikely Ricochet wins, as he's yet to get a solid push on the main roster that lasts more than a handful of weeks.
Shinsuke Nakamura recently won the King of the Ring crown from Baron Corbin. That's good enough to keep him busy.
Kevin Owens has no momentum on his side. Nor does John Morrison. They are fantastic, but that doesn't mean they will win this particular match based on legacy goodwill.
The other half of the field is open to interpretation and has its pros and cons.
Seth Rollins has held it before and could do it again, but nothing is pointing in his direction.
Drew McIntyre stands a great chance to win. However, running back the Lashley feud isn't the most dynamic option. Also, The Scottish Warrior is feuding with Jinder Mahal, who could easily interfere here and cost McIntyre the match.
This is down to Riddle and Big E. The former is an up-and-comer who has been dominating a lot of air time on Raw lately. Don't count him out.
Big E would make for a great challenger for Lashley to get vengeance upon The All Mighty after Kofi Kingston is disposed of. He could even call his shot ahead of time and challenge for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam.
Then again, Fightful Select is reporting that Goldberg is in the mix for the SummerSlam match against Lashley (h/t Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc). If that's the case, it effectively rules out Big E's chances to pull that gambit.
This has become an unpredictable scenario. We can only hope WWE has a plan in mind.
Prediction: Big E or Riddle wins, with an ever-so-slight edge to Big E.
Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Clearly, this was not the lineup WWE had in mind for the women's ladder match, but Bayley's injury caused some adjustments.
It's not like this is a disaster, though. While it feels like this may be the weakest group of contenders for this briefcase since its introduction in 2017, that's not because of a lack of talent but more of a creatively bankrupt division.
Not one of these Superstars is in a good position to win this and look like she's about to be elevated. Sure, it will look good on paper to hold the briefcase, but there's a strong chance WWE has nothing in mind for how this will play out and will just give it to someone random.
If WWE wants to put in the effort, some great things can come out of this. Naomi could win and be forced by Roman Reigns to abandon her morals and cash in on Bianca Belair, for example.
Natalya and Tamina stand no chance. They already have the tag team titles and might not have been involved in the first place had Carmella not been pulled to replace Bayley.
Asuka won last year and still couldn't be the featured woman on Raw, even as champion. She's not winning this.
Zelina Vega could have some renewed vigor after being re-signed. Then again, losing on her return doesn't build much confidence in that.
Liv Morgan and Nikki A.S.H. have the underdog babyface angle going for them. A.S.H. may have enough going on with her superhero gimmick that the briefcase would be too much at once, though.
Morgan fought her way to get into the match, and the fans would pop if she won it. She's among the most likely options to win.
Alexa Bliss may be the smartest bet, though. WWE seems in love with having her play the Bray Wyatt character and appears to always have something for her to do, even if she's stepping on the toes of other feuds.
If WWE has no idea of how to use this briefcase, Bliss is the fallback option it will rely on. She's always a priority, and she can turn the briefcase itself into something gimmicky to fit her character. If anything, that could happen just to try to sell some merchandise.
That sounds disheartening, but it's hard to trust WWE to have a goal to take a Superstar to the next level with a well-planned creative storyline that will unfold over the coming months.
Prediction: Bliss wins.
Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns vs. Edge
Edge's position as a part-time performer greatly hinders his chances to win the most prominent championship because he could never be the figurehead of the brand by only competing a few times per year.
That doesn't mean he won't put up a good fight, though. In fact, he will likely have Roman Reigns down for the count at some point with the referee distracted or some kind of similar scenario that will cast doubt on The Tribal Chief's inevitable victory.
Too much has been put into Reigns and this new version of his character to throw it away just yet. While he's held the title nearly a year, it still doesn't feel like it's been all that long.
It's likely Reigns could surpass Brock Lesnar's 503-day reign. Even if that isn't in the cards, he will keep the belt until at least SummerSlam, as that's the bigger show.
Prediction: Reigns retains the title.
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.