This year’s edition of Money in the Bank is now behind us and we’re looking back at one of WWE’s signature PPVs outside of the famous big four.
However for the second year in a row, Money in the Bank has left fans underwhelmed and confused, so why does WWE not know how to cater
When the inaugural Money in the Bank ladder match was won by Edge back in 2005, we were treated to nine months of suspense as to when he would finally cash in his opportunity to take the gold. He waited until John Cena had competed in a hellacious Elimination Chamber match at New Year’s Revolution 2006 before handing over his briefcase to Vince McMahon and two spears later, he was champion. Not only was he now WWE Champion, but he had forever earned the nickname “The Ultimate Opportunist”.
From then on we’ve seen up and coming names like CM Punk, The Miz and Seth Rollins win the Money in the Bank ladder match and then go on to cash in for their first ever WWE/World Heavyweight Championship. It’s been an honour that WWE
Typically, when somebody wins the Money in the Bank match, it’s better for the company to have the superstars hold onto it for a longer amount of time, as this can build rivalries, start new ones or just generally add suspense to the mix. Even if the briefcase holder obtained an injury, they have a valid shot for a whole year, so there’s no need to take it away from them as they did with
However, for the past two years WWE has not followed the structure for Money in the Bank that they once held dear. In the 2018 edition of the PPV, Alexa Bliss won the briefcase and then cashed in on the same night, defeating Nia Jax after she interfered in Jax’s match with Ronda Rousey, so the suspense had gone for another year. Nobody would wonder when or how she would cash in, and playing the villain as Alexa does so well, she would have been perfect to model herself as Edge once did: holding on to the briefcase for a number of months and teasing the fans as to whether she would take her chance.
In this year’s Money in the Bank show, Bayley won and… cashed in on the same night. Granted, it works better for her character as a face, but it still means that there will be no tease of a heel turn, or no suspense surrounding the briefcase and the women’s division again for a whole other year. I’m not denying that it was a nice moment, and great for Bayley to get the WWE Universe behind her, but to have the same thing happen two years in a row signifies that they don’t know what to do with the women who get to hold the Money in the Bank briefcase. After Carmella’s win in 2017 saw her basically ruin Asuka’s main roster career, the women haven’t really been given a fair slice of the pie in terms of character development with this gimmick. It’s been cashed in on the same night twice in a row, which I believe is the first instance for this happening.
Things aren’t any better on the male side of the roster either. Last year Braun Strowman won the briefcase despite being the largest man on either Raw or SmackDown. It could have gone to Finn Bálor, The Miz, Kevin Owens or any of the other superstars in that match who needed more of a push than big old country strong Strowman. The opportunity was also wasted by him as he announced ahead of time that he wanted his match at Hell in a Cell against Roman Reigns, which then ended in a no-contest.
Last night it was won by Brock Lesnar, and if you find a man who needs that briefcase less than him, please send me a message and we will have words about this. Lesnar’s whole deal is that he can insert himself into any match he wants and that he enjoys beating people up. He’s strong enough that he can manhandle most of the roster, so why does he need to take an opportunity away from somebody like Ali, who was supposedly earmarked to win the match (if you listen to the rumour mills on Twitter, anyway). No doubt, he will probably cash it in for either the Saudi Arabia show, or just on Raw tonight, because he’s a beast and he does what he wants.
WWE’s stock with fans has fallen so hard and fast within the last month that people aren’t sure what to think anymore. Going from KofiMania and Becky 2 Belts to Lesnar winning Money in the Bank shows that from one week to the next, WWE has no idea of what they’re going to do.
Rumour has it that this is down to Vince McMahon’s erratic character, and that would not surprise this writer one bit. Once a pioneer for the product, Vince has lost touch with the fans who have made him so much money throughout his life. With the introduction of AEW, that market share might just be under threat sooner than he thinks if his product keeps going the way it is right now.
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The author of this article can be found on Twitter @DRL_1990. Thanks so much for reading!