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.
The first of this two-parter will focus on NXT 2.0 with part two surrounding the idea of a tag team Money in the Bank ladder match. Stay tuned and check that out in a few days.
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
Since last year’s ladder matches are consisting of eight competitors, I’ll be keeping my picks to just eight women here, too.
Obviously, Mandy Rose sits this out as champion, as do the injured stars like Nikkita Lyons (who would have been a favorite to win this), Zoey Stark and Io Shirai.
I would rule out about half the roster immediately due to them just not being high enough on the totem pole to make the cut. Erica Yan, Valentina Feroz, Yulisa Leon, Brooklyn Barlow and so on. The same for many of the others in the Breakout Tournament who haven’t quite gotten a foothold yet, like Sloane Jacobs, Tatum Paxley, Kiana James and Arianna Grace. Sofia Cromwell hasn’t wrestled yet, so she’s nixed, too.
A few others I’d remove from the equation would be Katana Chance and Kayden Carter (better as a tag act and nobody would expect them to win), Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne (why would they fight for a shot at their partner’s belt?), Elektra Lopez (she’s outclassed), Amari Miller (bigger names take priority) and newbie Thea Hail.
That leaves a group of 10 to work with, and I’d ultimately have to take 2 out. Ultimately, either Sarray or Wendy Choo would be one of those. Sarray just hasn’t had momentum on her side and Choo is more comedic. But go ahead and pick which one you’d prefer. The other is a tougher call, but I would actually choose Roxanne Perez for one of those; the pretense being that she’s already No. 1 contender and I don’t want her and Cora Jade fighting against each other.
That leaves the field with this:
- Alba Fyre
- Cora Jade
- Fallon Henley
- Indi Hartwell
- Ivy Nile
- Lash Legend
- Sarray or Wendy Choo
- Tiffany Stratton
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
Money in the Bank works significantly better if a heel wins it and can utilize the cash-in. However, we have a heel champion. It is rare WWE is willing to pull the “heel cashes in on a heel and both stay heel going forward” routine. Given this crop, there aren’t any current heels I would want to turn babyface, nor replace Rose as champion just for the sake of it, nor would I want Rose to turn face. That means I’m ruling out Lash Legend and Tiffany Stratton from winning.
Alba Fyre would be a waste. She’s not winning the title. Sorry. Sarray and Choo, as previously expressed, would also waste the briefcase.
Ultimately, I want Cora Jade and Roxanne Perez to win the tag titles, so I would avoid giving the briefcase to Jade. Plus, she’s already had multiple shots at Rose and failed.
That leaves Henley, Hartwell and Nile. I like all three, but Henley is definitely the one I think fans would be least likely to believe could capture the title at this particular moment, so I’d rule her out.
Between Hartwell and Nile, both could work. Hartwell would be my preferred option, but I actually think she’d be better off going straight to the main roster sometime soon, like the 2022 WWE Draft. So as to not have her either win the title or come up short and look dumb, I’m stepping aside from Hartwell and would give this to Nile.
Obviously, the best case scenario would be Lyons, who would have been in the Sarray/Choo spot and just outright won this and the belt. But if we can’t have her involved, Nile is the most interesting next best option I’d like to see have a character shift. We’ve seen her in a more babyface role as of late, and she’s still being taken seriously, but not in an unbeatable fashion. She came up short against Meiko Satomura, for example, and it hasn’t hurt her.
Likewise, I would put a storyline together where Roderick Strong wants Nile to capitalize on cashing in and stealing it, but Nile’s of the Creed Brothers mentality that they don’t want to win in a cheap fashion. Nile challenges in advance, wanting a true title match with no excuses. Toxic Attraction can talk trash about how Nile is too focused on training and such to doll herself up to look like they do (typical mean girl “No matter what, I’m going to twist this into saying you’re ugly even if that’s not true and has no bearing on this situation” mentality bullying). Then, we’ve got a fresh face to fight Rose in the meantime while Lyons heals that can also keep the split of Diamond Mine story at the forefront with Nile not getting lost in the shuffle. Nile fails her title shot due to some kind of Toxic Attraction shenanigans, naturally.
Men’s Division – List of Competitors
The same as the women’s division, I’m keeping this at eight. Since there are far more people to talk about, I’ll keep it short and say I narrowed this full list down to just 16 possible options.
One of them is a bit of a risk, with Jordan Devlin. Since he lost his last match, he was booted out of NXT UK. There’s no telling if that means he’s gone from WWE as a whole, just taking time off, or he’ll be transitioned to NXT USA, Raw or SmackDown. I still think he’s going to be repackaged as Rip Fowler and go to NXT. But since that hasn’t happened, I think we can count him out and stick to the other 15.
Let’s remove Sanga from the equation, too. He’d be a great qualifying match person, though, for someone like Xyon Quinn to beat to get a spot in the ladder match.