Fantasy Booking WWE Money in the Bank 2019: NXT Ladder Matches


Every year, when Money in the Bank rolls along, I find it fun to play the game of “What If” in regards to how other brands and briefcases would play out if WWE decided to really expand the concept to the other divisions.

This is just an interesting little exercise in taking a theoretical concept and trying to apply it to the current roster, with a bit of analysis and fantasy booking in the mix.


This year, I’ll be doing a four-part series breaking down my thoughts on the rosters for NXT, NXT UK, 205 Live and the tag teams of Raw and SmackDown, starting first with everyone’s favorite yellow brand, NXT.

As such, I present to you my breakdown of how I personally think this would go down, and I invite you to do the same in the comments below!

Let’s get started with the women’s division.

Women’s Division – List of Competitors

I tried to keep this to the same number WWE has for this year’s ladder matches, which is eight competitors. Originally, I started off with a list of about a dozen and had to narrow it down to the following list.

  • Aliyah — While she’s been on the sidelines for a long while, she’s getting back in the swing of things now.
  • Bianca Belair — The top of the food chain for this list, essentially.
  • Candice LeRae — Candice Wrestling has to be in here, 100%.
  • Io Shirai — I was thinking of ruling Shirai out on the grounds that she would be the No. 1 contender at the time fighting for the title. If that’s the case, put Taynara Conti in her spot.
  • Kacy Catanzaro — She now seems to be part of the NXT roster proper and she’s been impressive so far. Great babyface to root for.
  • Mia Yim — She’s awesome and would be a major player in this.
  • Vanessa Borne — While I won’t tout her as being the best in-ring performer, I do think she has a lot of upsides to her.
  • Xia Li — I remain impressed at Xia Li’s progression from the original Mae Young Classic and I’m totally a fan of her now.

The ones who didn’t make the cut were Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir (rationality being that they shouldn’t want to compete against Shayna Baszler), Deonna Purrazzo (she hasn’t been really featured lately) and Taynara Conti (just didn’t value her as much as the others, when push came to shove).

With that being the field of competitors in the match, which one of them would more than likely walk out with the briefcase?

Winner and Plans

Aliyah and Vanessa Borne are out immediately. They stand no chance. Taynara Conti, if she were in it instead of Io Shirai, would be in that same regard. I would even rule out Xia Li, who hasn’t had much to really sink her teeth into yet.

It’s far too early for Catanzaro, and even though it would be super tempting to have her pull some Ninja Warrior stunt to retrieve the briefcase, I think I’d have to hold off on that one until next year.

I’m working under the assumption that Shirai is the No. 1 contender or hovering around those parts, I think she’s an illogical choice, as that’s doubling up.

Basically, this boils down to Belair, LeRae and Yim. All three are fantastic candidates and I could make a case that any of them would deserve this type of honor and could do something great with it.

The choice rests in how WWE wants to go about taking the title off Baszler, and when. If they want a babyface to legitimately beat her, it has to be LeRae, Yim, or Shirai, and they can’t win the belt through a cash-in, which would mean Belair has to win to be able to steal it off them down the line.

Likewise, if they’re looking for an out to keep Baszler looking strong, I feel like a cheap cash-in is the way to go. Baszler retains the title over someone like Shirai and then Belair swoops in and steals it.

Ultimately, this goes to Belair.

Men’s Division – List of Competitors

When it comes to the men of NXT, I was really tempted to put some surprises out there like Eric Bugenhagen and even maybe Kona Reeves, but I went with what I feel is a pretty standardized list, given the roster.

  • Adam Cole — No explanation needed.
  • Dominik Dijakovic — This guy is great and I think he has an insanely bright future.
  • Keith Lee — If he’s injured, replace him with one of the next two names.
  • Killian Dain or Tyler Breeze — This is a bit of a cop out, Breeze has been wrestling in NXT quite a bit recently and there are rumors that Dain will go back there, so it’s worth a possibility in this imaginary scenario.
  • Kushida — He’s a big name and it would do him good to be thrown into the big picture very quickly.
  • Matt Riddle — It would be stupid not to put him in this match. There’s literally no reason why he shouldn’t be in it.
  • Roderick Strong — In-fighting with Cole and a tease that they could turn on each other. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish are otherwise accounted for in the tag team side of these ladder matches.
  • Velveteen Dream — If Finn Balor can hold the Intercontinental Championship and be in the match, and plenty of other midcard title-holders have done the same, there’s nothing stopping Velveteen Dream from holding the North American title and fighting for the briefcase.

With that being the field of competitors in the match, which one of them would more than likely walk out with the briefcase?

Winner and Plans

I’m going to go with probably a surprise on this one and say Roderick Strong wins this…for Adam Cole. Having Strong join The Undisputed ERA was the best thing for his career and I don’t know if I would trust his chances on his own—at least, not yet.

I think it would be a fun thing to play around with the fans by having Strong standing on the ladder at the end of the match, ready to win it for himself, only to look down and see Cole and decide that his allegiance is still with the stable. In a moment of weakness and self-doubt, he would either take the briefcase down and hand it to Cole, who would be declared the official winner, or he would help Cole climb and win it.

Dijakovic is too big. He doesn’t need the briefcase. Lee, Kushida, Riddle and Dream are babyfaces, so that clashes with Johnny Gargano as champion. Breeze and Dain are outsiders and the real money here is seeing Cole beat Gargano and take his title in an underhanded way, or at least try.

Those are my thoughts on the issue, but how would you imagine WWE would do this if it were to happen? Tell us your fantasy booking scenario in the comments section below!

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