We’ve already taken care of the superstars missing from WWE Money in the Bank 2017, but who are the lucky few who will not only perform, but likely steal the show in some capacity?
Whether it’s in a scripted or a non-kayfabe sense by factoring in everything from wins/losses, how much of an emphasis WWE puts on that superstar, their momentum heading into the next television episode, match performance and everything between, here’s the shortlist for who I think will be coveting the most of the spotlight:
Mr. Money in the Bank
With Kevin Owens holding the United States Championship, I have to rule him out. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility for him to also take the briefcase, but I just don’t think that’s the case this year.
Likewise, I feel like it’s almost a waste to give it to AJ Styles, who could at any point just challenge for the title and the fans would mark out and accept it, even if it didn’t make any sense in a kayfabe ruling with wins and loss records.
Dolph Ziggler’s time for this type of thing has passed and Sami Zayn just isn’t quite at that level yet to me, so this really comes down to Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin.
Between those two options, I’m leaning towards Baron Corbin winning the Money in the Bank. Nakamura strikes me as more of a United States champion for the next few months, dethroning Owens at SummerSlam. Plus, he’s too obvious of a pick, as he ended this week’s SmackDown as the man above all, posing with the briefcase. With Corbin, I can definitely see him facing Randy Orton or John Cena for the WWE Championship somewhere along the line in the fall (more on that later).
I don’t think we’ll be seeing him cash in his title opportunity just yet, though, so while this will be a big win for him, it isn’t going to be the big win.
Ms. Money in the Bank
I’ll just cut to the chase on this one: I think the winner of this match is going to be Carmella.
With Naomi as champion, I don’t think Becky Lynch stands a chance. The Money in the Bank gimmick doesn’t favor babyfaces who can opt for title matches against other babyfaces unless they turn heel in the process, and I think we’re a long way off from Becky turning into a villain.
As mentioned with AJ Styles, it’s too much of a waste to give this to Charlotte. She’s perpetually spoken of and revered as the top of the division even without the title, so why give her a title shot when she gets handed them left and right to begin with?
Tamina, sadly, is just not important. In all her years in WWE, she’s never amounted to anything but untapped potential. This is a shame, as Naomi and Tamina could have some good fights, but can you really see WWE investing all that in her? I don’t.
Lastly, Natalya is the mouthpiece who talks the most out of The Welcoming Committee and for the better part of what feels like two years now, every promo she cuts is about how she deserves a title opportunity. I don’t think that’s going to change, and if she had the means to just do it any time and any place, she’d stop cutting those promos and just do it.
Carmella, on the other hand, is the underdog. She’s the one with the least experience of the bunch and she’s the smallest fighter, too. Her character is the most obnoxious when it comes to how easily she could tote the briefcase around—or, rather, James Ellsworth would be carrying it for her—and there were rumors she was in line to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania just to drop it soon after to Naomi.
Things may have flipped around with Carmella now being slated to be the one to beat Naomi for the belt, only to drop it soon after to somebody else like Charlotte or Becky.
Randy Orton / Jinder Mahal
I’m about 60% thinking The Viper is going to take the title back at Money in the Bank in his home town, but there’s one major hurdle that he needs to get over in order for that to happen, and it isn’t Jinder Mahal, it’s John Cena.
We know Cena is set to return on July 4th, but we don’t know in what capacity. The way I see it, there are three potential options for how this will go down:
- Orton wins the title from Mahal and they have a rematch at Battleground. Meanwhile, Cena starts a feud with Rusev, Corbin, Owens or Ziggler.
- Orton wins the title from Mahal and moves on to fight someone else. Meanwhile, Cena picks up a feud with Mahal.
- Mahal retains the title and moves on to a feud with Cena, while Orton starts something with Rusev, Corbin, or the others.
Since Battleground isn’t as important as SummerSlam, I think the most likely scenario is for Orton to win the title at Money in the Bank and then for he and Mahal to have their rubber match at Battleground where the feud ends. Then, they can both move on to fight other people.
However, there’s certainly a major possibility that Cena’s All American image clashing with Jinder Mahal is something WWE wants to do with the championship on the line as opposed to just a regular feud.
It’s going to happen somehow, that’s for sure, but as far as the title being involved is the biggest determining factor of whether it’s Randy Orton or Jinder Mahal who walks out of Money in the Bank with the win.
Basically, this boils down to an if/then. If the plan is for Cena to challenge Mahal for the WWE Championship, then by all means, Mahal is going to leave with the glory and the title. If the belt is not on the line for their feud, or if Cena is going to fight anybody else other than Mahal at Battleground, then the title goes back to Randy Orton.
At the moment, I’m thinking Orton wins the WWE Championship back, as a rematch against Mahal, a new feud with Rusev, and a potential cash-in from Corbin are all lingering options for the future of the title.
We just had a shocker title win with Jinder Mahal defeating Randy Orton, so I don’t think there’s any chance Lana is able to overthrow Naomi to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
In the same regard, I don’t think we’ll see a cash-in for this title, either, as that briefcase is far too brand new and the idea of a Ms. Money in the Bank shouldn’t be killed off within the course of an hour or two after the first-ever woman to achieve that goal does so.