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It’s time for WWE Money in the Bank with two MITB Contract Ladder Matches and several titles on the line as well.
John: I am a fan of the Money in the Bank PPV most years. With that said, I think WWE could have done a better job with some aspects of it this year. We are posting this on Friday afternoon because it’s a Saturday night show, so we want to give our readers time to read this. As of our posting time, we don’t know the seventh and final man in the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. I think it’s lazy of WWE to not have announced anything for that spot yet. I don’t mind that the card has “only” six matches because it means they’re all going to get a lot of time, especially the two Money in the Bank Ladder Matches. The card is hurt by the absence of Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, who had a great match against Riddle a few weeks ago and now he doesn’t have a title defense until the next Brock Lesnar match at SummerSlam on July 30. We’re here run down the card and offer up some sensible (or so we think) predictions as usual.
Joining me for the preview are TJRWrestling writers Joel McIntyre, Matthew Fowler, Alex Podgorski and Kelly Dishnow.
Alex: The year 2022 hasn’t been the best year for any wrestling promotion, including WWE. Even with restrictions lifting and the world returning to (relative) normal, things are anything but normal in wrestling. There are injuries everywhere which is causing panic booking and a lack of organic excitement in just as many promotions. That brings us to Money in the Bank, a show with a line-up that’s really feeling the sting of most favorites being injured or otherwise preoccupied. Because of that, unfortunately, I don’t have high hopes for this show. I think WWE in general has run out of ideas, especially since there’s a limit on new ideas you can add to a multi-person ladder match. Then again, I hope to be proven wrong on this point. If there was ever a time when someone lower on the card in WWE needed to step up and deliver, it’s now. With so many main-eventers injured and away, the current crop of men and women need to show the world that they’re not just faceless cogs in a machine. That’s a very tall order, but maybe they’ll achieve it on this show.
(Note: All graphics are from WWE.)
Joel: The story has been lackluster. I enjoy both talents, but I don’t see how they get out of this without somebody looking weak. Bobby Lashley can’t really lose right now as he is one of the top 2 or 3 most protected guys in the company. Theory just won the title recently so I can’t see him losing it right now, especially if the plan is him and Cena at Summerslam. Realistically, it’ll probably be a DQ finish. Since I gotta pick somebody, I’m going with Theory.
Matthew: This match features two competitors who seem to be on the rise in the WWE. Theory is clearly being pushed for big things, and likely will be facing John Cena at SummerSlam later this month. On the other hand, Lashley has been dominant lately and seems to be destined for a main event spot once again. Picking a winner for this one is tough then, as neither wrestler should lose right now. Since I have to pick a winner however, I will go with Theory getting the win via cheap fashion to keep the title.
Kelly: Theory has a date with John Cena at some point down the road although it may not be at SummerSlam. The US title is not needed for Theory/Cena. I’m not too sure it is time to take the title off of Theory. Lashley, on the other hand, really needs to get out of the midcard and back into the main event scene. I think that this will be a really good match, but Theory will find a way to win it.
Alex: Theory is being pushed up the card, and nowhere was this more obvious than with his interactions with John Cena. There’s a clear plan to elevate him into a new star. Unfortunately, in WWE, elevating someone means discarding titles that have long been rendered insignificant. In Theory’s case, his rising up the card means losing the US title. Apparently, the company can’t elevate both Theory and the title at the same time, especially since Lashley is challenging for it. Thus to elevate Theory and maintain some positive momentum on Lashley, I predict a ten-minute back-and-forth match with Lashley taking the win. It won’t be the most exciting match by any means, but then again that’s what happens when title matches aren’t hyped up or are repeated so often that they lose meaning and any sense of importance.
Winner and NEW United States Champion: Bobby Lashley
John: There’s a big age gap here with Lashley about 20 years older than Theory, so I think it’s a case of WWE wanting the younger guy to learn from the veteran. I think this is the kind of feud that might last another PPV, so we could see Theory get disqualified or win in a cheap manner with like feet on the ropes or using some weapon to get the win. Then Lashley will come after him again. That could lead to a rematch at SummerSlam since there are reports that John Cena is likely not a part of SummerSlam. I’ll pick Theory to win in a cheap manner, but it could be a Lashley win by DQ to keep the feud going.
Joel: Bianca just hasn’t had any luck with Money in the Bank opponents. This is the second year in a row she’s faced Carmella for the Title and both times, she was scheduled to face somebody else until they got injured weeks before the show. Hopefully Rhea Ripley comes back soon. Bianca is probably the top babyface, male or female, in the company right now so I can’t see her losing here. She’s probably in for a lengthy reign.
Matthew: This match was originally supposed to see Rhea Ripley challenging Belair for the title, before Ripley was unfortunately pulled from the match due to injury. Honestly, Ripley and Belair would have been a more intriguing matchup, with me personally hoping we see it at SummerSlam. As for Carmella, I don’t see her having much chance of capturing the title here. I expect Belair to get the win here and continue her dominance.
Kelly: We all know why Carmella is in this match, to take the loss. Let’s just hope that Mella can make Belair look good while doing so.
Alex: This should be a squash match for Bianca. Carmella just isn’t on the champ’s level and hasn’t done much to convince people otherwise. Bianca should have no trouble pummeling Carmella; and yet I don’t think this will be as easy a win for the champion as it should be. I think there’s a trend in many wrestling companies right now to make title matches long just to make them ‘competitive’, but not every challenger deserves that treatment, to be honest. Longer and more competitive matches should be saved for the most credible challengers and unfortunately, Carmella isn’t one of them. If it were my call, I’d have Belair smash Carmella in less than five minutes to show she means business. Alas, I think this match will drag on longer than necessary by going around twelve minutes. That will do more harm to Bianca since she shouldn’t sell for someone so far beneath her. Unfortunately, few people actually put thought into things like this, especially since the company’s philosophy these days is to just put out ‘content’, no matter how bland it might be.
Winner and STILL RAW Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair
John: This was supposed to be Belair vs. Rhea Ripley, who is out with a concussion, but hopefully they can get back to that as a feud and do the match soon. Carmella is somebody that Belair beat many times when they were on Smackdown together, so there is some familiarity there. I think Carmella will come close to winning maybe once or twice. However, this should be a clean win for Belair.
Joel: These two teams always put on bangers. They’ve faced each other a lot but the matches always deliver. Montez Ford is gonna be a star when he gets that singles push. I don’t think it is coming yet. The Usos, unlike Roman, are not invincible. They can lose without it really hurting them. They’ve been Tag Champions for a year now so I’m going with The Usos since they just unified the titles and WWE wants that visual of The Bloodline with all the gold so far. They’ll likely run this back at Summerslam.
Matthew: The Usos are on one of the greatest runs in tag team wrestling history, with them holding the Smackdown Tag Team Championships for almost a year now. The Street Profits on the other hand have been mostly forgotten about recently when they were suddenly pushed into the title picture. I do not see The Usos losing here. They should get the win after having a good match.
Kelly: This match should be off the hook fantastic. Neither The Usos or Street Profits have a bad match and this will be no exception. This should be the opener instead of the Women’s Money in the Bank match. Sadly, it is not yet time for The Bloodline to stop hogging the titles.
Alex: Have we seen this before? I get the feeling that we’ve all seen this before. Because of that, I don’t have the highest hopes for this match. Not because it’ll be bad or anything, but because it’ll be repetitive. WWE is pretty bad at building up new tag teams; so bad, in fact, that there are only three credible tag teams in the company active right now, two of which are in this match And because these two teams have fought each other before, I don’t expect anything new or fresh from either side. It’ll be the same slightly-above-average spot-fest match with lots of dives, superkicks, and trash-talking. We’ve all seen this before, and since this match lacks a stipulation, I don’t expect anything unique here. This’ll go twelve minutes max with the champions retaining? Why? Because it’s as I said; there are no other credible teams right now and a title change right now doesn’t make sense. WWE is hell-bent on making the Usos into the Roman Reigns of tag teams, which means dominant runs and few losses. It’ll be a while before credible challengers emerge, so expect the two sons of Rikishi to have their hands raised.
Winners and STILL Undisputed Tag Team Champions: The Usos
John: I think they might have the match of the night and one of the best WWE tag team matches this year. It wouldn’t surprise me, but it might surprise some fans that sleep on the quality of the matches that The Usos have on a consistent basis. They know how to put on a good match while The Street Profits are more than capable of keeping up with them in a long match. This one could get up to 15-20 minutes with a lot of nearfalls for both sides. One thing to keep in mind is the next WWE Draft is coming in October (or maybe September) and I think when that comes, we’ll see The Street Profits broken up as a team, so I doubt they win the titles again. I think Montez Ford is going to be a big singles star in the years ahead. Anyway, I’m going with the champions to retain in what should be competitive, entertaining and fun match to watch.
Joel: This is a pretty stacked field. I don’t think Shotzi has a chance. Or Asuka. Alexa Bliss is always a possibility if they want to heat her up as a babyface again. Raquel is the upstart who could take this contract. Lacey just got back, and they have spent A LOT of time trying to make her a sympathetic babyface. Liv Morgan probably deserves this more than anybody in this match. She has been heavily featured pretty much all year to the delight of everybody and she’s delivered. Becky is an obvious choice as the biggest name in the match, but she can get a title shot without the briefcase and since the rumor is her and Bianca at Summerslam, I’m not going to pick her. I’m going with Liv Morgan. Don’t screw this up, WWE.
Matthew: The Women’s Money in the Bank Briefcase has been diluted in recent years, with the winner often cashing in the case within 24 hours of winning it. This year I hope who ever wins the case will hold on to it for a considerable amount of time, and build anticipation for the eventual cash-in. As for who I think will be that person, I honestly could make a case for any of the women in this match winning. I will go with Liv Morgan however, with the hopes that this is the thing that catapults her into true main event status.
Kelly: This will likely be the opener. There’s only three people that realistically have a shot here; Raquel Rodriguez, Liv Morgan, and Becky Lynch. Rodriguez feels like she is getting a fairly decent push with her main roster promotion but it might be a little bit too much too soon. We’ve seen what happens to MITB winners that win the title too soon. Yes, she’s a former NXT Women’s Champion but I still think it is a little too soon for her, maybe next year. As for Liv Morgan, I’ve had her pegged as Miss Money in the Bank since Survivor Series last year. I still go back to that face off Morgan and Belair had in the lead up to last year’s show and I think that was intentional. It’s something that will be revisited. I think that Becky Lynch is in this to play the John Cena role, be the first person to not successfully cash in their opportunity. It would be a waste of a cash in but it would not hurt Lynch like it would any of the others. Remember, the Women’s MITB contract has a 100% success rate. Who will win? I’m sticking with my original pick.
Alex: This one is a bit harder to predict since one can make a compelling argument for each woman. Only two women have won the MITB before (Asuka and Alexa), and yet either of them could conceivably win a second time. And yet, I don’t think this is the time for a repeat winner. Of MITB is supposed to elevate lower-card wrestlers into more credible stars, then it makes sense to have someone in desperate need of such elevation win the match. And right now, I can’t think of anyone more fitting of than Liv Morgan.
While I don’t want this to come across as a ‘better late than never’ pick, WWE needs to do something to make people want to watch title matches. Challengers need to be built up and be made into believable winners. If an easier pick (Lynch, Asuka, Bliss) were to win, then how does that help WWE in the long run? MITB briefcase winners have the easiest booking parameters in the world to work with. So why not take someone that just needs a slight nudge in the right direction and get them over as future challenger?
John: This should be a pretty good match. I think there’s a good mix of talent in here to make it interesting and there isn’t an obvious winner either. I like to break this down in order of least likely winner to most likely.
Shotzi – It’s a big match for her since she’s relatively new on Smackdown. I think she’ll take a few risky bumps to try to stand out, but I don’t see her as a threat to win.
Asuka – A talented veteran that makes everybody around her better. Asuka really doesn’t “need” MITB to get pushed. I think she’s there to add credibility. I don’t think she has a viable chance to win.
Alexa Bliss – Similar to Asuka in a lot of ways in terms of being a veteran that’s been champion many times. They could use MITB to try to elevate Bliss again since her character has been “restarted” so to speak.
Raquel Rodriguez – The talented newcomer on Smackdown is the tallest woman in the match, so I would expect her to overpower her competitors and have some big spots in the match. She’ll impress, but I doubt she wins. It’s possible, though.
Becky Lynch – “Big Time Becks” doesn’t need to win since she always gets title shots anyway, but it would be fun if she did just because of all the promo time she gets and being a heel that could challenge Belair or even Rousey. I think Becky winning is very possible.
Liv Morgan – Obviously Liv is a popular pick as a babyface that has been close to the title picture and even got to challenge Lynch, but she has yet to win a title. Maybe Money in the Bank is what she needs to get to that level. If Liv wins, I think “Wrestling Twitter” will actually be happy for a few minutes! Rare! She is loved by a lot of people with women appreciating her feisty attitude while men think she’s the adorable girl next door type.
Lacy Evans – I understand the love for Liv Morgan, who I like a lot as well, but I think WWE really wants to push Lacey Evans. She came close to being a champion before she left to have baby number two. Since she’s been back, they have clearly gotten behind her again and I think making Lacey the Money in the Bank briefcase holder is going to elevate her a bit. I just get the sense that WWE wants to push her as this American Hero type of character and maybe even turn her heel again because she’s better in that role.
Joel: I never thought I would be interested in a Natalya/Ronda Rousey feud but here we are. They’ve done a good job so far and Ronda has gotten better in her promos. Natalya is a ring general so I know the match will be good. Hopefully, they get time, but I don’t see Ronda losing that title anytime soon.
Matthew: After a rocky start, Ronda Rousey is starting to find her footing again in the WWE. A big reason for this, is she has gotten to feud with a true professional and seasoned veteran in Natalya. Natalya’s job in this match will be to make Rousey look good, and help her get over more with the WWE Universe. I expect Natalya to do exactly that, in what will likely be one of Rousey’s best matches of her career.
Kelly: Rousey had the promo of her life last week on Smackdown. It was so good and you could tell that they are friends for the low blows that Rousey took on Natalya. Natalya is also only in this match to put Rousey over, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Rousey could use a few solid wins to build her up.
Alex: I’m glad that Natalya’s getting a title shot, but let’s not kid ourselves here. She’s the Hirooki Goto of WWE: the nearlyman (nearlywoman?) that gets opportunities here and there but always chokes when it matters most. There’s no denying Natalya’s talent and tenacity. But Rousey is in a league of her own right now and is considered by WWE to be something akin to a special draw. With SummerSlam around the corner, that much bigger show is way more likely to host a title change than a B-level PLE like MITB. Because of that, this title match comes across as a placeholder match. It’s filler, a contractual obligation to defend the title in some arbitrary window of time. I can see Natalya trying to show Rousey that she actually has skill, but Rousey will still mop the floor with her because, duh, it’s Ronda Rousey. This’ll go around fifteen minutes and Natalya will get the obligatory Pavlovian reaction when she inevitably locks in the Sharpshooter. But not even that will save her from Rousey, who will make her tap out soon afterwards to retain her title.
Winner and STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey
John: I think it’s well known that Natalya is one of my favorite women in WWE and I’m happy she’s in the title picture again even though the result of this match is likely pretty obvious. They have done a nice job of firing some personal shots at eachother in promos on Smackdown and even taken it to social media. Ronda took a shot at Natalya for wearing outfits with her “rack out” and so Natalya embraced that by posting a bikini photo with her sister on Twitter. I just want to thank Ronda for what she said to inspire that photo. Damn! Anyway, it should be a very good match full of submission attempts, counters, nearfalls and lots of action. I think Rousey should win here. If she doesn’t, I’ll be surprised. I think this will be the better of the two women’s matches on the show.
As an aside, I wonder if Charlotte Flair’s return will come before SummerSlam or SummerSlam itself because that’s a stadium show in Nashville and they are going to want their “big stars” on hand for it.
Joel: This should be good. I don’t see Sheamus winning. We are in Vegas, Riddle’s hometown, so I suppose they could end the show with that feel good moment but WWE isn’t really known for giving stars hometown feel good moments. I don’t see Omos winning. He’s just a big guy there to throw people around. I suppose Sami could win to add intrigue to the Bloodline angle, but I don’t see that. It’s really down to two people. I suppose they could leave the seventh spot open and Cody Rhodes comes out at the last minute and steals the briefcase but that’s a pretty heelish move so I don’t see them going that route.
Seth Rollins has lost pretty much every big match this year so they could and probably should reward him with the briefcase here. However, Drew McIntyre is the one I see walking out with the briefcase. I see him using that to do the babyface thing and challenge for the WWE World Title at Clash of the Castle since it’s in the UK, he’s from the UK and the fans will absolutely love it.
Matthew: Just like the Women’s Briefcase, the Men’s case has been diluted in recent years due to disappointing winners and quick cash-ins. The seventh spot in the match was supposed to be decided this past Monday on Raw, in a match between Kevin Owens and Ezekiel. That match had to be cancelled however, with it not being known as if this writing who will be the final competitor.
I hope they go ahead with the Owens and Ezekiel match tonight on Smackdown, as Owens is always good in these kinds of matches and should be on this show. As for who wins, I would be fine with anyone of these guys besides Omos (please don’t let it be Omos!) I will go with Sami Zayn getting the win, as the segments with him and the Bloodline would be great.
Kelly: We don’t yet know who the seventh person will be (as of our Friday morning deadline) and unless it is Ezekiel, it doesn’t really matter. If Ezekiel is in, he might have a chance to win. Otherwise, it’ll boil down to McIntyre, Rollins, or Riddle. McIntyre would use the cash in at The Clash at the Castle and likely win the title there. Rollins or Riddle could pick up the briefcase and try to use it during or after the SummerSlam Last Man Standing match between Reigns and Lesnar. This one really could go any way and it’s tough to pick a winner.
I think Riddle is a main event star in the making and this could push him over that line. It would also be interesting to see how they handle the briefcase vs. his title match stipulation.
Alex: Looking at this field of competitors from a business perspective doesn’t fill me with hope. WWE wants to make money by having big matches that draw in big crowds and tons of subscribers. But the problem is that the title scene right now is in limbo. Reigns is making fewer appearances, which does nothing but artificially pad his title reign. He has yet another match with Lesnar scheduled for SummerSlam and I don’t think any of these entrants is dumb enough to either join that match or attack Reigns after he inevitably beats Lesnar again. So really, picking a winner here depends on who’d they be cashing in on. And since Reigns will likely remain champion for a long time (most likely until WrestleMania 39), I honestly don’t see any of these announced participants winning.
Rollins already faced Reigns earlier this year and lost, and WWE likely still want him booked strongly so he won’t lose yet another high-profile show either here or on a subsequent cash-in. Omos isn’t ready for such a big match. Zayn is a placeholder that fills in the numbers. Same for Sheamus, who is just another guy that appears in title matches from time to time. That leaves Riddle, Drew, and the mystery man. Riddle got punked by Reigns not too long ago so noone will buy him as credible enough to beat Reigns anytime soon. As for Drew, Reigns has beaten him many times either on TV or on the house show circuit. And while some might argue house shows don’t count, any fan that saw such a result live won’t pay money to see the same result again just on a ‘nicer’ show.
That leaves the mystery man. And honestly, I’m just throwing a random name out there by picking Edge. He was announced as being injured recently but no one has confirmed if said injury is real or storyline. I’m going to assume it’s storyline and he makes a surprise appearance here to win it and re-live his ultimate opportunist persona from years ago, but with a babyface twist.
John: I don’t know who the seventh guy will be, but they have a lot of options. Anyway, I think the winner is already a part of the match. Here’s my breakdwon from least likely to most likely.
Omos – The big man is a “threat” to win since he’s a big guy that barely has to climb a ladder to reach the briefcase above the ring. I just think he’s limited in what he can do and they aren’t going to push him that much.
Sheamus – A veteran with credibility. I hope he doesn’t take too many crazy bumps due to some previous injuries the neck/back he has had, but I think he’ll be a big part of the match in terms of using his power to throw people around.
Riddle – A good option for sure. After Riddle lost to Roman Reigns a few weeks ago, they said he can’t challenge Reigns for the title again. That makes me think that Riddle winning is a possibility. The fans are behind Riddle and I think if he wins, the fans are going to love it. I just think there are better options.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins – I think you could make the case that Seth is the best overall wrestler in WWE right now. He’s also the guy that could use a big win since he lost three times to Cody Rhodes earlier this year, he lost that feud to Edge last year and it just seems like he could use a boost. I realize we could also say that he doesn’t “need” it as a main event talent, but I think it would be fun to see him as Mr. MITB as a heel threat to cash in the briefcase at any time.
Sami Zayn – My favorite choice in terms of guys that have never been a WWE Champion in the past. The problem is they don’t book him like a serious threat often enough. I think that’s why he should win, though. He can have a “fluke” win here and then hold the briefcase while promising that he’ll never try to cash in on his “buddy” Roman Reigns, but then you can tease it so many times. I would love to see Sami win.
Drew McIntyre – The reason Drew is my pick is because he’s been on Smackdown since last October, he hasn’t lost a singles match since being on there, yet somehow he’s unable to get a WWE or Universal Title match. You can say he doesn’t need it, but I just provided factual evidence that he has yet to get a title shot on Smackdown over the last nine months. I think Drew should win and then declare that he’s cashing in at Clash at the Castle in Wales in September. Drew is from the UK and it’s a show in the UK. I think Drew should beat Roman Reigns as well. This is his way to get there. I think it’s going to happen.
I think it’s going to be an excellent match. It’s definitely my most anticipated match on this show.
The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most
Joel: Men’s Money in the Bank.
Matthew: Men’s Money in the Bank match.
Alex: Men’s Money in the Bank ladder match.
John: Men’s Money in the Bank match.
The Match I Care About The Least
Matthew: Bianca Belair vs. Carmella.
Alex: The Usos vs. The Street Profits.
John: Bianca Belair vs. Carmella.
Joel: Men’s Money in the Bank.
Matthew: Men’s Money in the Bank Match.
Kelly: Men’s Money in the Bank Match.
Alex: Men’s Money In the Bank Ladder Match.
John: Men’s Money in the Bank Match. Probably around 20-25 minutes.
Joel: Ronda Rousey vs Natalya.
Matthew: Theory vs. Bobby Lashley.
Kelly: Bianca Belair vs. Carmella.
Alex: Theory vs. Bobby Lashley.
John: Bianca Belair vs. Carmella.
Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)
Joel: 6.5 – I like some of the stories they’ve built but some could be better. No Roman Reigns or Cody Rhodes on this show hurts but I think the Money in the Bank matches will carry it. It should be a good show. I just wish some things were built better.
Matthew: 7 – The lack of a Men’s World Championship Match hurts the show for me. Never less I am a big fan of the Money in the Bank concept and the matches, and am hopeful they will both be good this year. The rest of the card should be good, but not great as the ladder matches are going to make or break this show.
Kelly: I’m going to give this a 6. The two MITB matches have the most intrigue with who are they going to have win and what direction will that lead.
Alex: 4 – The lineup for this show really isn’t that interesting. WWE is plagued by repetition and a lack of fresh faces being pushed. I’m really hoping for some nice surprises on this show, but with so many people injured, I wouldn’t be surprised if WWE booked all the safest and easiest decisions just to maintain what little status quo they have left.
John: It’s a 7 for me. I love the Money in the Bank matches and seeing who WWE puts over big in those matches. I think the four title matches are all predictable with the champions retaining their titles, so that hurts them a bit. I also think the absence of Roman Reigns hurts because you’re without the most important titles in the company and the most pushed wrestler of the last two years. I don’t see there being a bad match, though, so that’s a positive. I think it should be satisfying from an in-ring standpoint just like WrestleMania Backlash and Hell in a Cell were even though those cards weren’t stacked from top to bottom.
John: I’ll be back with a review of WWE Money in the Bank on TJRWrestling.net on Sunday, so check that out live or any time after it’s over.
You can also tweet me @johnreport, Joel is @GiftedMoney, Matthew is @fowlerwrestlin1, Kelly is @ciscowebwiz76 and Alex is not on twitter with any comments as well.
If you want to send an email, send it to me at email@example.com as well. Thanks for reading.