Money In The Bank 2018 looks set to be a HUGE show! Not only with 2 ladder matches and a Last Man Standing WWE Title match on the card but given the nature of the show, and how much build-up it has received, it seems to me as if this event will set the tone for the rest of 2018 in terms of story’s and who comes out of the show as the top stars and in the top spots, and who more importantly are the two people that leave the event with a shiny new briefcase (not that it’s a given that they’ll take the briefcase beyond the event, as Dean Ambrose showed in 2016…). So ahead of a defining event in the WWE calendar here are my thoughts and predictions on all the matches that will go down in Chicago on Sunday night…
KICK OFF SHOW – Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) (C) v Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
2 tag teams here with the potential to run the division, but whilst Harper and Rowan in their current format have been pushed to the moon, and they’ve made this gimmick get over, Gallows and Anderson seem to have become ‘just another team’ as their WWE run has gone on. Some highlights for sure and whilst they’re one of my favourite teams personally they don’t or haven’t been given the chance to standout for any length that they deserve. The match I imagine wont be a classic but still should be fine for what it is, the result here seems very obvious though with the champions retaining, as the SANITY size shadow lays in the background of the Smackdown tag division.
Prediction = Bludgeon Brothers
Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Ember Moon v Charlotte Flair v Alexa Bliss v Becky Lynch v Lana v Naomi v Natalya v Sasha Banks
Not going to lie, but I have not a clue who is going to win this match. If you look at the two women’s champions at the moment, as I’ve mentioned I don’t really see Carmella dropping her title anytime soon given the time they’ve given to her character recently, and Ronda will have her title sewn up for some time surely. We COULD have Rousey’s “friend” Natalya win and turn on her friend with a future cash-in, we COULD have a Charlotte or Becky win and heel turn to follow, who knows!? Last year’s inaugural Women’s MITB was concluded with controversy when A MAN grabbed the briefcase, but it was used as a launchpad for Carmella and she used it to her advantage for the following 10 months or so, so expect whoever does take the briefcase to be a HUGE part of WWE women’s division going forward. This is my joint (as I’ll get on to) least confident prediction of the entire card. One thing I should say is the inclusion of Lana in this match absolutely terrifies me for a number of reasons, I hope none of them come to happen.
Prediction = Natalya
Daniel Bryan v Big Cass
So yes we have another Big Cass vs Daniel Bryan match, where Cass will move around at a near lethargic-pace and Bryan will work his absolute hardest to try and make this match into something passable. Look… here’s the thing… Daniel Bryan is Daniel Bryan, he’s great and everyone loves him… but this is a LONG term story for him (it’ll end well TRUST ME) so for now people just have to accept his spot at the moment, and they’ve put him against Big Cass, a guy they clearly have a lot of faith in (it’s another matter on how guided or not that is) in order for Bryan (as an ultra-babyface) to help get Cass over as a top heel. It seems at the moment to be a tough job for Bryan as Cass… well… just watch him in the ring and watch his promos and you’ll understand. I’m not saying he’s terrible but I also don’t see him as a top guy or someone you could have as a top end heel anytime soon. He’s 30 so there’s still time but… he needs to get better soon if he wants to be the main event guy he is being set up to be. So accept this match and feud for now people, and what comes after for both will be better I’ve no doubt, because this big man vs little man story they’re ramming to death SUCKS. And NOTHING involving Daniel Bryan ever sucks so that’s saying a lot.
Prediction = Daniel Bryan
Bobby Lashley v Sami Zayn
It seems to me as if they are trying to make Lashley into a star, but people just aren’t in to him. Sami has been set out to be the sacrificial lamb here, and whilst he’s a thoroughly entertaining heel the segment with Bobby’s “sisters” the other week on Raw was among the worst WWE segments in history, and why Sami did his best he’ll be too associated with it. A very much nothing feud, but I’m sure the match itself will be fine. Result wise I’m in no doubt Lashley will win, unless Zayn does something underhand to sneak one and continue the feud (which will be to the delight of nobody).
Prediction = Bobby Lashley
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Carmella (C) v Asuka
This is a match where for different reasons I cannot see how either can or should lose. Carmella has been given a real good spotlight recently, and taking the title from her so soon after winning it would kill a bit of her current momentum. Asuka… well she’s Asuka… obviously no longer undefeated and she hasn’t been the same star she was going into Wrestlemania since (neither has Charlotte tbh), but nonetheless I don’t see Carmella beating her clean. Yes. I know she did to Charlotte but even then it wasn’t entirely regular, so we could have a brutal Asuka kick or submission and the Empress reigns, or Carmella escapes and the feud continues. As it stands I’m more leaning towards that I see Carmella as more likely to keep the belt than to lose it, maybe The IIconics get involved somehow? There has even been strong talk about a certain former accomplice of The Princess of Staten Island making a shocking return to the company and getting involved in this match somehow, who knows… Expect shenanigans of some form but don’t be surprised if Asuka wins either.
Prediction = Carmella to retain
Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins (C) v Elias
This should be a real fun match. Seth Rollins has had some of the best matches of his WWE career in recent months, and has without doubt been the underrated star of 2018 (he’s rated sure, just not enough imo). As for Elias he has one of the best gimmicks in the company right now, and will surely be a great foil to the heroic Rollins. Rollins is more than capable of getting a fun to good match out of a frankly average in-ring worker like Elias (he had a great match with Miz recently so it’s possible) so as a contest it should be really good. As for the result I could see either one, and I’d be fine with either one in all honesty. Rollins has been spoken as a possible Summerslam opponent for Lesnar, so perhaps losing the title to Elias will allow him to do that soon enough, and Elias would be great with and for the IC title. And if not, then obviously the superbly-talented Rollins will surely continue to raise the profile of the belt as its holder.
Prediction = Seth Rollins
Jinder Mahal v Roman Reigns
Oh boy… so a year on since winning the WWE Championship in the same arena Jinder Mahal is the one chosen as the food for the Big Dog (“big dog” my ASS). I can’t even imagine the reaction from the Chicago crowd that Reigns will get, and I too cannot see them caring much for this match. But providing this is somewhere in the middle of the card I have no issues here, at this point I no longer care about Roman and am just biding time before he finally has his day against Lesnar. Possibly lock of the night this one result wise.
Prediction = Roman Reigns
WWE Championship: AJ Styles (C) v Shinsuke Nakamura – Last Man Standing Match
This COULD have been the best feud in the history of WWE. It has not been. The in-ring stuff has been underwhelming (although the expectations were incredibly high), and the creative around that has been average. Heel Nakamura is great, AJ is great, but STILL we wait for THE match between the 2 in WWE. Perhaps it’ll be this one… I hope so because if there is another underwhelming match or a screwy finish between these 2 I’ll lose my fucking shit!!! He’s had SOOOOOOOO many chances at the title now it’s getting a bit too much for me, they HAVE to put the belt on SHINSUKE NAKAMURA…. SURELY??? As good as Styles is it is Nakamura who needs this title now… imo…
Prediction = Shinsuke Nakamura is the new WWE Champion
Raw Women’s Championship: Nia Jax (C) v Ronda Rousey
Similar sort of logic from me with this match as the other women’s title match, I don’t think the champion should be losing her belt so soon… but I also can’t see how the challenger doesn’t win the title. This match sees no normal challenger though… Ronda Rousey is the biggest mainstream star in the entire company, she’s got her first singles match, it’s on a ppv, and its for the championship. Again I don’t see Ronda not winning the belt without some form of interference. Wouldn’t rule out a cash in from Ronda’s “friend” Natalya during or after this one too… But the wrestling fan in me is worried about this match. From an in-ring standpoint I fear it could be far from pretty. Ideally I’d have it go less than 1 minute, Jax on top before Ronda hits her back and slams her down, Armbar, Jax taps. That’s what I would do anyway. But I’ve heard this match may go a little long (maybe to cater for any interference’s) so we shall see.
Prediction = Ronda Rousey is the new Raw Women’s Champion
Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Braun Strowman v Finn Bálor v The Miz v Rusev v Bobby Roode v Kevin Owens v Big E or Kofi Kingston or Xavier Woods v Samoa Joe
Apologies but once again I really don’t know who will win this match. What is for sure though is this is one of the most star-studded Money in the Bank ladder matches for some time, and given the vast array of talent on show it should be a fantastic watch. Expect a Coupe de Grace from off a ladder, expect a high spot involving the New Day, expect Braun to cause absolute devastation to his opponents. The only semi-rumour I have heard is for The Miz to win and cash in on a later date (likely Summerslam) on his long-term rival Daniel Bryan after that fairytale win, but that requires a lot of ifs and buts so we’ll see, does sound like a logical and possible scenario though. I’d honestly be happy with any of the participants in this one winning, but do not forget that Baron Corbin has his run stopped with a failed cash in last year, so they aren’t above doing that either. Although given that happened last year I see it as unlikely they would do it so soon again. This will be a fascinating watch that is for sure, a match that is going to make the winner into a MEGAstar.
Prediction = The Miz
So as I have said then MITB 2018 will be a huge ppv in terms of the direction that the WWE goes in over the foreseeable future. It will be a night where people will be set up on their path to stardom over the next few months. The Chicago crowd will be lively to say the least so they’ll need something excellent to watch before they could turn nasty, Roman vs Jinder going on late in the show, Lana and Big Cass wins, Nia vs Ronda going terribly long and ANOTHER AJ vs Shinsuke screwy finish… these are all things I would not put beyond the WWE doing, as bad as all that sounds. I am not going in to this show expecting a great one, it has a potentially great line-up but given the WWE’s non-NXT recent track record of shows, this might not be so great. Let’s see, one thing is for sure, it’ll be eventful.