The go-home show for Money in the Bank is here. Lots of storylines appear to be coming to a head on Sunday.
Roman Reigns will get his hands on Elias, Kevin Owens will challenge for Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship, and Charlotte will face Becky Lynch again. Who will get the upper hand on the last episode of SmackDown Live before Money in the Bank? Who will climb a ladder to show that they can climb ladders ahead of the ladder match? Let’s look at what we learned from last night’s SmackDown Live.
1. Shane McMahon Is A Top Heel
It’s so strange that Shane McMahon has become the top heel in WWE. It’s a spot that was occupied by his father during the Attitude Era, so it shouldn’t be a stretch. It still feels so strange, but Shane is so good at sucking all the joy out of segments. Banning Miz from ringside was a classic way to get heel heat. Should he be in feuds with two of the biggest names in wrestling at once? Probably not, but he is proving his worth as a heel.
2. There’s No Money In The Bank Momentum
Andrade won the last match between the four Money in the Bank participants, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be more or less successful in the match. WWE likes to promote the idea that people can have momentum going into multi-man matches. Unfortunately, WWE usually lacks the consistency in storytelling for momentum to be anything more than fleeting. Andrade still feels like the best bet from SmackDown Live to win, but the momentum doesn’t help.
3. Miz Is Crushing the Babyface Game
I was one of many who was nervous for a Miz babyface run. It felt like a long time coming, and there was a large contingent who wanted to cheer for heel Miz because of his stellar work for so long. It was a matter of if it would “click” or not, and click it has. He’s been inspired during his long feud with Shane McMahon, and the crowd continues to pop for him exploding down to the ring to beat up Shane.
4. Kabuki Warriors? Really?
WWE’s record with naming teams lately has been abysmal. The Viking Experience/Viking Raiders didn’t go over well with their names during their debuts. The new team name for Asuka and Kairi Sane is just terrible through and through. These two stars deserve a lot better than a name many are calling racially insensitive. Their debut has been strange, their name is awful, and their theme song is a one of the worst mash-ups in years. WWE seems to have doomed Asuka and Sane from the start.
5. Kevin Owens is Kofi Kingston’s Perfect Foil
While the ending brawl between Kingston and Owens this week wasn’t as electric as it could have been, Owens proved this week that he’s a great foe for Kingston. Owens talks up always putting himself first and pushing through anyone to get what he wants. Kingston is the exemplary “company man” who put in his time and earned his way up the card. Plus, Kingston relies on his friendship with The New Day to continue to assist him. Yet on SmackDown Live this week, it was Kingston who wanted to do it alone. He told Xavier Woods to stay in the back during the Kevin Owens Show. Owens, however, got help from long-time best friend Sami Zayn to jump Kingston. The two representations – Owens as a liar who will take help to get the top prize, and Kingston as a fighting champ who knows some things he has to do alone – makes for a great rivalry. A rivalry that I hope extends long past Money in the Bank.
The go-home show for Money in the Bank was a mixed bag (or a mixed briefcase). The fatal four-way and four-on-three handicap matches were both excellent, but the rest of the show felt lacking. Money in the Bank represents a great opportunity for WWE to make some big changes to the direction of the product so it could be a result of big things happening on Sunday. I guess we’ll just have to watch and find out!
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @EvanGomes_. Thanks for reading!