Piggybacking off my previous edition of this same topic and continuing from there, in a world where the NXT brand had its own Money in the Bank ladder matches, how would the women’s division fair and what would happen with those superstars?
As mentioned before, keep in mind that this doesn’t factor in the current plans for TakeOver: Chicago, nor is this my personal preference of what would happen, but, rather, how I imagine WWE would go about doing things.
Let’s get started with the men’s division.
List of Competitors
While the men’s division has around 30 people to pick from, the women’s division isn’t nearly as spacious, with only 10 women on the true roster at the moment.
The live event crew essentially doubles that, but for no reason in a situation like this, as there’s no way someone like Jessie Elaban or Xia Li would get one of the 8 spots over the people on the main roster.
Also, since we’re excluding 2 women from the mix to get down to the 8, the most logical way to do that is to make Shayna Baszler exempt, as she’s already the champion, and to take out whoever her challenger would be.
Since this is all theoretical, that other person is up for speculation and manipulation, but it’s safe to say that with recent booking, it would likely be either Dakota Kai or Nikki Cross, and since Cross is getting the match at TakeOver: Chicago, I’m going to assume she takes up that other spot, leaving us with our field of 8 to examine:
- Aliyah — She should be happy to just get the invite, cause let’s face it, she’s ranked at the bottom of the barrel in this division. Any semblance of a push she’s ever had faded away a long time ago and she wouldn’t stand a chance.
- Bianca Belair — The EST would be the strongest woman in this match, for sure. She’s been turning a lot of heads, including her own with that whip-like braid, and it seems like she’s getting closer and closer to booming.
- Candice LeRae — Just being associated with Johnny Gargano has strapped a rocket to Candice LeRae, but she’s been able to start proving herself beyond her husband, too. Already, she’s being positioned as one of the top babyfaces on the brand without needing some kind of undefeated streak or anything of the sort. In a lot of ways, she could be the fan favorite of this contest.
- Dakota Kai — Despite her current gimmick being a complete wimp in the face of Shayna Baszler, when not confronted with her, Kai seems to have no problem trying to make a name for herself. Since The Queen of Spades is not in this match, we would be seeing a normal Captain of Team Kick fighting with all she’s got.
- Kairi Sane — There’s no way the winner of the Mae Young Classic would be forgotten about in a scenario like this, and she’d arguably be the favorite to win the whole thing without even finishing the list of participants just because of that accolade. She’s popular, a top babyface in the women’s division, and surely someone the company values quite a bit.
- Lacey Evans — I’ve been consistently impressed by Lacey Evans, who I originally sold short at first. I still think she needs to pick a style instead of mixing a bunch together, but that’s just me. She’s someone I think has a HUGE future in WWE and will eventually be a champion down the line not just in NXT, but on the main roster as well.
- Taynara Conti — To be perfectly honest, I don’t see all that much to go crazy about with Taynara Conti in any regard whatsoever, but she’d certainly be more of a worthwhile inclusion in this match than people who are lesser known, and this could be the start of proving me wrong.
- Vanessa Borne — While she isn’t quite there yet in a lot of ways, I think there’s a big upside to Vanessa Borne we’re only seeing glimpses of right now. She’s a knockout who seems to be having fun with her character, so I dig that quite a big.
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
We have somewhat of an even playing field as far as heels and faces, with Belair, Evans, Conti and Borne as the heels and LeRae, Kai and Sane as faces with Aliyah leaning more in that direction, too.
Money in the Bank has had both heels and faces win in the past, with both moralities cashing in at opportune times, or in some cases, calling their shot well ahead of time like John Cena and RVD.
When I look at this crop, I think I can not only rule out Aliyah for being inconsequential, Conti for being too fresh, and Kai for being more of a pushover, but also, oddly enough, Sane for being someone who already carries something to the ring. It would be a little awkward for The Pirate Princess to hold both a wheel and a briefcase, wouldn’t it?
That splits the list in half, with Belair, LeRae, Evans and Borne remaining.
If I’m going pure looks—in the sense of someone I could see carrying a briefcase to the ring all the time—I’m giving the edge to Belair. LeRae is more on the bubbly side, Evans has her whole “ladylike” shtick that it would clash with, and Borne is like some sort of dominatrix cheerleader, so the briefcase would get in the way of all of them, while Belair just has flair and twirls her hair—and I don’t know why I turned into Dr. Seuss in this sentence.
For the most part, I think Candice could be eliminated also because of her status as a babyface. Money in the Bank always seems to work better with a heel holding it, and LeRae strikes me as being someone we should be rooting for as an underdog, like Johnny Gargano, more so than thinking that she has a near-guaranteed title waiting for her.
Until something happens that proves otherwise, I’ve been working under the assumption that WWE’s plan for the NXT Women’s Championship is for Baszler to go through Kai, then Cross, then Sane at Brooklyn and drop the title to LeRae at Los Angeles, and if I keep that projection going, I can see Evans being a great first opponent for LeRae.
That would be a feud for her to conquer, though, as it’s rare someone loses their title on their first defense. After that point, there could be one, two or even three more people to pair her up with, but Evans strikes me as the first that could be ready to step in and work a program, which effectively rules her out, as that would mean she’d be unsuccessful in her cash-in, and nobody likes that.