The 2012 edition of Money in the Bank takes place tonight from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Rather criminally, the show is only at this point a FOUR MATCH CARD which once again shows that the WWE just have no under-card they are have any faith in. Going in to tonight’s match, the WWE have not bothered to advertise a Divas match, anything for Brodus Clay, Zack Ryder or Jack Swagger or any segments such as “Triple H addressing Brock Lesnar” to fill in the gaps.
Of course some of the performers above might well end up on the card when the night is said and done and it’s almost certain that Ryback will be involved in a squash match but with the few multi-man main events, it does show how weak the WWE roster is right now of good and marketable workers.
The four matches booked tonight are CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan which is less about the WWE Title and how good those two guys can go against each other and more about who AJ Lee will side with as the special guest referee in this running soap opera. Then there’s the two Money in the Bank Ladder matches, the WWE Title contract involving John Cena vs Big Show vs Chris Jericho vs Kane which will be interesting for no other reason than there are so few competitors involved and there’ll be few crazy spots in the match – and the World Title contract which has seven contenders and could be absolutely insane with high flying spots.
Finally there’s the World Title match itself that because Alberto Del Rio is hardly seen as a notable character these days, is easily the least interesting match on the card.
Here’s a run-down of our picks and predictions for each match;
WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs Hunico & Camacho
This is a free match to hype the pay-per-view and we think this is a non-title contest but it has been promoted so poorly, who even knows at this stage? Why this match couldn’t have been moved to the pay-per-view and be for the titles, or why Kingston & R-Truth couldn’t be wrestling former champions Primo & Epico (are they due a tag team title re-match or have I just not been following this storyline as closely as WWE drops the ball with it?) or The Prime Time Players we don’t know.
Anyway there’s some good workers in the match and when Kingston & Hunico are in there it should be a good bout. There’s a chance Titus O’Neil and Darren Young will cost Kingston & R-Truth the match if it is non-title but the likely outcome is Kingston & Truth going over to get them strong again after Truth’s recent injury.
Winners: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth
World Title Contract Money in the Bank Match
Cody Rhodes vs Christian vs Dolph Ziggler vs Sin Cara vs Tyson Kidd vs Tensai vs Santino Marella vs Damien Sandow
We can probably expect this to be a kamikaze spot-fest match that should be entertaining in a car-crash fashion. Obviously half of the combatants are great workers, and in Sin Cara, Ziggler, Christian and Kidd they have four superstars who could come up with some unique and crazy sequences that should bring the crowd off their feet. This could be the match of the night and half of what makes it so intriguing is who could realistically be given the briefcase and can be pushed for title glory.
First off, we can rule out Santino (he is US Champion so won’t be chasing for the top gold and is the perennial comedy spot guy), Tensai (who has about zero value star power right now), Damien Sandow (too early in his growth) and Sin Cara (as WWE don’t want to push him).
That leaves us with Christian (who seems unlikely given he is the current IC Champ and could be pushed as a main eventer without the briefcase) and Tyson Kidd (though the WWE have pushed him well lately and made him look strong, which could make him a surprise winner and then ultimately pushed like Daniel Bryan was last year).
But for us the realistic winners of the match are Cody Rhodes or Dolph Ziggler. From what has been reported, Rhodes was initially thought to be the winner of the briefcase and to receive a big push in the latter half of 2012 but his recent failure of the WWE Wellness Policy (despite having a doctor’s note for the drugs he was taking which meant he avoided suspension) sure feels like his push has been demoted and he is being punished for it in the past few months. That would make us think Ziggler is the only likely victor of the match. He is over right now, feels like a star attraction when he appears on screen and feels like a character who is just waiting for the moment to come to the big time. We think this has to be a Ziggler win… and if WWE did it right, a Punk vs Ziggler title match at WrestleMania 29 would be something to see.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
WWE Title Money in the Bank Contract Match
John Cena vs Big Show vs Kane vs Chris Jericho
Whilst the other Money in the Bank ladder match is hard to predict, this one seems a little easier…. unless WWE decide to pull a swerve of course. Looking at the direction of the company, they are already advertising John Cena as being back in the WWE Title hunt for September’s WWE Night of Champions pay-per-view that takes place from his hometown of Boston. Cena is starting to get pushed as wanting the title back after a year of being out of the hunt and that seems to be the logical direction to go in, Cena recapturing the gold in September and then building up to The Rock’s possible win at the Royal Rumble which could setup The Rock vs Cena II at WrestleMania for the title.
The other option is for Kane to win and then cash it in immediately tonight as AJ Lee screws both Punk and Bryan out of the title and goes with Kane but then it doesn’t feel like the right time for the Big Red Monster to be champion.
Big Show has of course being made out as being an “unstoppable” force and is likely to face CM Punk for the WWE Title at SummerSlam, so it could go in that direction but Cena seems to be one winning this one.
Prediction: John Cena
WWE World Title
Sheamus vs Alberto Del Rio
Does anyone really care? Sheamus is struggling to get over as the big babyface that WWE wanted him to be when he won the World Title at WrestleMania. He is in some ways still being booed by sections of the crowd for defeating Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds as the WWE would rather have had Bryan still in that spot. Sheamus in some ways needs to turn heel to make a success of his World Title run.
Though it won’t be tonight as he has Alberto Del Rio to take out. Del Rio hasn’t got the star power to be Champion, the WWE took him out of the main event after a brief run in the spot as they didn’t think he was getting over as champion. He is even less of a power than he was a year ago and Sheamus should find it easy to retain.
Might be a decent match but few care about cheering or booing either guy.
CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan
In one on one contests, Punk vs Bryan have already been involved in some of the best matches of the year. They could have put on another classic tonight (and they still might) but the fact AJ is in the middle of it and the “soap opera” of the current love storyline could scupper this. The match has become more about AJ as the focal point and it really is to the determinant of the match.
The direction seems to be going towards CM Punk losing the title to John Cena in September so I can’t see Bryan taking the title tonight BUT perhaps AJ will screw Punk out of the title and go with Bryan to win the title, only for Bryan to lose it back to Punk at the Raw 1,000th. WWE are pulling out all the stops to get Raw 1,000th over as something special and what better than a WWE Title change with the two best workers in the company?
Prediction: CM Punk