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TJR: WWE Money in the Bank 2019 – 10 Questions and Answers (3 Weeks Away)

The next WWE pay-per-view on the calendar is Money in the Bank on May 19 (hey Kane). This week on Raw and Smackdown, they announced several of the big matches on the show and we also have a good idea of what the WWE Title match will be too.

What I’m here to do today is ask ten questions that I have going into the show and then I’m going to answer those questions in the most logical way that I can. It’s something I have done in the past. I decided to bring it back, so I will do it this week and next week. The week after is when we’ll have the Money in the Bank preview on the site, so there’s no need to do it at that point. Before we get started, here’s the lineup for Money in the Bank at this point.

Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. AJ Styles

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair

Roman Reigns vs. Elias

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lacey Evans

Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Participants to be announced soon.

Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Participants to be announced soon.

The Raw men’s and women’s Money in the Bank competitors will be announced on the Alexa Bliss “A Moment of Bliss” talk show segment on Monday.

It’s expected that Kofi Kingston will defend the WWE Title against Kevin Owens as well based on what happened on Smackdown.

That’s seven matches right there. I don’t know if they will be able to get the US Title, Intercontinental Title, Raw and Smackdown Tag Team Titles and Women’s Tag Team Titles all on the show. There are just too many titles in WWE right now. Let’s get to the questions.

 

1. Is this the right time to do Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles for the Universal Championship or should they have saved it for a bigger show like SummerSlam?

I’m all for saving matches for a bigger show, but to me, Money in the Bank is one of the five biggest shows on the WWE calendar every year. I would even rank it ahead of Survivor Series as the fourth biggest, but Survivor Series has a 32-year history that helps its legacy. I just think Money in the Bank is the better and more important show.

The timing is fine because Styles getting moved to Raw on April 15 means that there is a freshness about him after being a Smackdown guy for three years. Now that he’s part of Raw, you want to strike while the iron is hot, which is why it feels like the perfect time to do Rollins vs. Styles.

I think Rollins vs. Styles will be an awesome match although sometimes babyface vs. babyface doesn’t work in front of some crowd. I would predict a heel turn from Styles if he loses (like Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania last year), but the Raw brand has a lot more top heels than faces, so Styles is likely going to remain a face to feud with the likes of Corbin, McIntyre and Lashley later this year.

I think Rollins retaining the title is a safe bet.

 

2. Is a heel turn bad when it’s obvious like when Kevin Owens turned on Kofi Kingston on Smackdown?

I don’t think it’s bad at all. It’s all about the execution of the turn. The way Owens sided with Kingston and Xavier Woods for the last two weeks and he became “Big O” with them, it was brilliant. The fans absolutely loved KO for siding with the New Day guys. Most of us that watched Smackdown this week likely saw the heel turn coming just because of how it was set up. I don’t think anticipating a heel turn makes it worse. If anything, it should make you appreciate the quality performances from Kingston, Owens and Woods.

Owens went from being a lovable next door neighbour dad in his mid-30s to the most despised guy on Smackdown because he hit Kingston with a superkick. On top of that, Owens gave Woods the dreaded Powerbomb on the ring apron. It makes Owens look like a jerk, which is a role he has thrived in during his career, so when I saw the turn, I was happy about it because I know Owens will do a fantastic job as a dirtbag heel.

I feel like Kingston vs. Owens is a rivalry that can last two or three PPV matches, so I wouldn’t go with a decisive finish to this match. Maybe a DQ ending or something cheap to set up another match at one of the two June PPVs (Saudi Arabia and Backlash). If Daniel Bryan’s injury (whatever it is) is minor then maybe he’ll come back to lead to a Kingston vs. Owens vs. Bryan WWE Title match as well.

 

3. Could Lacey Evans beat Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Title even though she’s only had one singles match on Raw in her carer?

If this was June or July I would say maybe, but it feels like it is too soon. We all know Vince McMahon prefers the tall blond female wrestlers and WWE has high hopes for Lacey Evans clearly. I just don’t feel like it’s the right time to do a title change.

What’s most likely to happen is Evans will take Lynch to her limits, put up a big fight and in the end, Lynch gets the win. If WWE really wants Evans to be the one that beats Lynch for the title someday, then try to build Evans up for SummerSlam and do the title change there. That way, at least Lynch has a meaningful title reign before putting over Evans.

This will be Evans’ first PPV singles match, so there will be a lot of pressure on her. If WWE really wants to make a statement by making Evans a top woman’s wrestler on Raw, then she’ll win the title. I just don’t think it will happen.

 

4. If you had to pick between Seth Rollins, Kofi Kingston and Becky Lynch (all winners of major titles at WrestleMania), who is most likely to lose a title at Money in the Bank?

I’ll go with Becky because she has two. The “Becky Two Belts” thing is cool, but I think if she’s on both shows with both titles then that’s going to overexpose her a bit and I don’t think it’s a good idea to do that. Rollins keeping his title seems likely while Kingston could possibly lose although if it was up to me, I wouldn’t do it.

If I had to pick one title for Lynch to lose, it would be Smackdown. I think because she was on Smackdown for three years, WWE is likely going to want to keep her on Raw and give her a long title reign with that title. With that said, Charlotte Flair doesn’t have to be one to take the Smackdown Women’s Title from Lynch. It could be the Money in the Bank winner. Plus, the rumor is Lynch will be on Raw only whenever she loses the Smackdown Title, so we’ll see if that happens.

I’m not sure if I am officially picking Becky to lose the SD Women’s Title at Money in the Bank. It feels like it is too soon for the “Becky Two Belts” thing to end. I may change my mind on that before MITB, though.

 

5. What male wrestler will win the Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match?

There are two things that need to be said about this graphic above before I move on:

1. It could be fake. It’s the internet, so I wouldn’t put it past somebody to make a fake graphic.

2. Until WWE officially announces it in on TV, plans can (and likely will) change.

If it is accurate then the seven men in the Men’s MITB Ladder Match are Drew McIntyre, Cesaro, Rey Mysterio, Ricochet, Aleister Black, Andrade and Lars Sullivan. That means the first four are from Raw and the remaining three are from Smackdown. Why seven guys and not eight? I don’t know. It’s up to WWE to decide that.

Drew McIntyre is likely going to be the most popular pick. He has been pushed strongly for the last year even though he failed to beat Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. McIntyre has all the tools to be a top guy and it could be argued that he doesn’t “need” Money in the Bank since he’s probably going to get a title push anyway. I agree with that in theory, but if you book MITB right, then the winner benefits a lot and that’s why it’s a good thing for Drew to have.

My pick in terms of who I would most want to see win: Ricochet. I don’t think it’s “too soon” for him to get a big push on the main roster. I think he’s got main event potential and if you spend the next year or two putting him in midcard matches then that hurts him.

The one guy that’s missing from Raw: Sami Zayn. I think he would be an awesome choice to win too.

I’ll probably pick McIntyre to win like most people will, but if there was a surprise winner like Ricochet going over that would be great too.

 

6. What female wrestler will win the Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match?

https://twitter.com/TWMNewsUK/status/1122132144351059968

The image above was also apparently released by WWE in some commercial. Just like with the men’s graphic, it could be a fake and it is not official.

If it is true then the eight women in the Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match could be Tamina, Sasha Banks, Natalya, Naomi, Bayley, Carmella, Ember Moon and Sonya Deville. The first four names are from Raw (assuming Banks is still on Raw if she returns) and the final four names are from Smackdown.

I think Sasha Banks being involved in Money in the Bank would be interesting. There have been a lot of rumors about her post-WrestleMania with Banks apparently complaining about losing the Women’s Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania and even threatening to quit, so WWE has given her time off. When Banks and Bayley lost the Women’s Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania, my immediate thought was that they would split up and be on separate shows. Bayley is on Smackdown. To me, the obvious role for Banks is as a heel on Raw where she’ll feel fresh again and can be the top woman heel on Raw. If Banks is in this match, it wouldn’t surprise me if she wins because WWE will want to make her happy. It’s the same way the Revival won the Raw Tag Team Titles after they asked for a release and it wasn’t granted. If you push a disgruntled wrestler (or wrestlers) then maybe a new push will help keep them happy.

Ember Moon and Bayley are two names that I think are possible winners. I can see either of them winning to help give them a bit of a boost going forward. Moon, to me, is the best women’s wrestler on the main roster that hasn’t won the Raw or Smackdown Women’s Title yet.

I’m surprised there’s no Mandy Rose in the match because management seems to be high on her with good reason. She’s got the look and she’s solid in the ring although still green at times too.

Alexa Bliss is also a surprising name that’s not in it. That’s why I wonder if this graphic is bullshit. Bliss winning would add star power to the match and is a better choice than Tamina, who is terrible.

As you can tell by those words above, I think it’s a tough match to predict right now. If Sasha Banks is in the match, I’ll probably pick her, though. We’ll find out more by next week.

 

7. Should Elias get the win over Roman Reigns?

If Elias did get the win, it would easily be the biggest win of his career. The biggest problem with Elias over the last two years on Raw is that it seemed like he lost more matches than he won, and he had no memorable feuds. In two years! You would think at some point WWE would try to give the guy something meaningful, but they didn’t. As a result, he is not where he should be in terms of his status on the card. I think with the move to Smackdown, they are trying to get things right with Elias by putting him in a PPV match with Reigns.

I think Elias is good as a gimmick and a character, but in the ring, I keep waiting for him to improve. His matches bore me too much. He has all the physical tools and obviously, Vince is going to like a muscular guy like him. I just still need to see more out of him. Adding a heel Shane O Mac to the Elias presentation is a good idea too.

To answer this question, yes, I would have Elias get the win. Perhaps Elias will win because he gets help from his new buddy Shane McMahon, which would protect Reigns from having to lose clean. Elias winning clean seems unlikely to me, but an Elias win is what I would do.

 

8. If Samoa Joe defends the US Title on this show, who should his opponent be?

Braun Strowman. The feud was teased a few weeks ago when Strowman was brawling with Joe on Smackdown. Today, they are both Raw guys. Since Strowman has yet to win a singles title in his WWE career, perhaps WWE feels like it may be the right time to get the US Title on him. I like Joe as US Champion. I just don’t know where else Strowman fits on this card.

Putting the US Title on Strowman doesn’t excite me that much, but it could be WWE’s way of seeing how Braun does as a champion before they put the Universal Title on him…if they ever do that. They should have done it in September 2017 against Brock Lesnar. Last year, Strowman cashed in Money in the Bank on Reigns and failed again. At some point, he should win a singles title. Maybe this is the right time.

If it’s not Joe vs. Strowman then there are other options, but I think it will be Joe/Strowman.

 

9. Who should Finn Balor face for the Intercontinental Title?

Andrade is the obvious choice since they have had two matches this month, each guy won once and it makes sense to have title match on PPV. However, if Andrade is going to be in the Money in the Bank ladder match (as the graphic above suggests) then perhaps there will be another opponent for Balor.

When looking at the rest of the Smackdown roster, other possible opponents could be Daniel Bryan (if healthy), Randy Orton (who first won the title 16 years ago), Sheamus (if he’s cleared from a concussion), Ali, Matt Hardy (if he goes to singles while Jeff is hurt), Rowan, Jinder Mahal (groan) and Xavier Woods to name a few.

Out of those options, I like Sheamus or Orton. The Sheamus/Balor rivalry would be cool as two Irishman who have different styles in the ring due to the obvious size difference. Balor vs. Orton is fresh too although I don’t know if Orton is going to be challenging for the IC Title. Ali would be a solid option if they wanted to do a face vs. face match, get about 12 minutes and have Ali put up a fight with Balor retaining the title.

With all of that said, the IC Title may not even be on the card. I’m just throwing some options out there. I’d like to see Balor get a good run with title (at least six months), so no title change any time soon, please.

 

10. Will either the Raw Tag Team Titles or Smackdown Tag Team Titles change hands at Money in the Bank?

Jeff Hardy is dealing with some knee injury that may require surgery, so we could see those Smackdown Tag Team Titles (held by Jeff and Matt Hardy) change hands as soon as this week on Smackdown. I just don’t know might be the new champs since the Smackdown tag team division that was once very strong has been weakened a lot since the brand split. Perhaps Nakamura/Rusev will be the team that wins the titles due to there not being a lot of options.

My answer to this question is a yes because I think the Raw Tag Team Titles will change hands at Money in the Bank. Sorry Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, but it’s going to be a short reign for you. The Viking Raiders (if that remains their name) are looking dominant every week on Raw, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they were given a title shot and they won the Raw Tag Team Titles as well. It may even happen on Raw before we get to MITB. That’s just the feeling I have. From there, the Raw Tag Team division will be built around The Viking Raiders, The Usos and The Revival with some other teams being involved occasionally.

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That’s where I’ll wrap it up for this week. I won’t have a live Raw Deal review on Monday night (go Raptors), so that review will go up on Tuesday morning. I plan on having a live Smackdown Review on Tuesday night.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below. Go Toronto Raptors and Toronto Blue Jays.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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