Hello TJR faithful, this is Mitch Nickelson and I’m here to offer my thoughts on a hodgepodge of wrestling topics. Maybe I’m having trouble keeping focus, but no one topic caught my attention long enough for an entire article this time around. Instead, my solution was to offer a series of brief thoughts on several different items that are on my mind. I hope you enjoy the format.
Forecasting The MITB Winner
Regardless of who I want to win the coveted MITB briefcase, one thing that’s for certain is that this is a stacked lineup. AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Shinsuke Nakamura are all competing and I’m salivating at what these guys might do when the bell rings. That Ladder Match could truly be something special.
The match will be good, that’s a given, but who do I think will win? I see Zayn’s and Corbin’s names mentioned the most from the people I follow, which would make sense for one of them to win. They have the most to gain as they both are rising stars on SmackDown. Getting the briefcase would be an easy way to elevate either of them to the top of the card. My official pick at this point is Baron Corbin because the briefcase is better suited on a heel. However, I wouldn’t completely rule Zayn out.
Another wrestler I’d keep in the “still likely to win” column would be Kevin Owens. Even though he doesn’t use the term “Prizefighter” much these days, that’s still a term that fits him well. I don’t know what WWE’s plans are for him over the next year in regards to the U.S. or WWE Title scenes, but if he’s ever to go beltless then a briefcase could be the perfect accessory to bridge any title-less gaps.
Jinder Mahal Is a Success…For Me
For the record, I don’t have any hard data proving that Jinder Mahal is selling out t-shirts or causing a huge spike in WWE subscriptions from India. I read the YouTube videos of his win from Backlash racked up some big numbers and the TV rating for SmackDown had a slight uptick, but it’ll likely be a while to have real data to prove if this experiment is working or not. The biggest measure I do have to give a personal vote on Jinder Mahal as WWE Champion is my own personal judgment of what I’m seen on TV. The “Mitch vote” has officially been cast and the results are in: THUMBS UP.
Jinder has that believable look, lackeys that can take bumps on their heads so violently that it makes even Randy Orton cringe, and a fantastic group of Punjabi dancers on standby. I was awestruck by how different his celebration was on Tuesday night compared to any other big coronations in the past. It was a good type of different. There was lots of pomp and a unique artistic display that was coupled with a type of big baller confidence that’s very new for WWE. He looks like he’s fitting into the role and at this point, that’s enough for me. I wouldn’t go off the deep end and call myself a Jinder Mahal Guy, but I’m at least intrigued enough to want to see what’s next for The Maharaja.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still waiting for a great match from the man. He also sounds like he’s constantly hoarse. That’s not a huge negative, but I do find myself wanting to offer him some hot tea with lemon whenever he speaks.
A Female MITB Ladder Match?
One rumor I’ve seen floating around recently here on TJRWrestling is that WWE is planning for the a women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. It would be the first time ever a female field has competed in this type of environment. Being new territory, I have a couple of remarks about how this might play out.
First of all, I think the talent is there to make this work. Charlotte is fantastic and has already competed in the first women’s Hell in a Cell Match. She’s more than capable of meeting this challenge. There’s other great talent like Becky Lynch and Natalya who should add real value to this – depth will be there. I’m not confident Carmella will be doing any high spots off the ladder, but her partnership with the polarizing James Ellsworth will at least be an interesting element to the mix. He can help out his homegirl a little and get a pop whenever he gets struck by one of the other competitors. He probably can take a big bump, too.
The ONLY negative about a possible women's #MITB match is that Naomi is Champion. You know she'd pull out some crazy spots if she was in.
— Jake Smith (@JakeIsntJacob) May 24, 2017
Also, I wonder about Naomi’s inclusion. Will this be for her Women’s Championship or will there be a traditional briefcase hung above the ring? I hope it’s actually for the title because then Naomi will be involved. She’s very athletic and I know I’ve seen her perform springboard dives out of the ring. She will be capable of a highspot or two. I would like to see how a female briefcase holder plays out over the following months, but between the two options, I want Naomi in this match far more.
(Editor’s Note: The current plan is that she will have a separate title match, but this is WWE where things always change.)
It’s Okay To Still Watch Impact
Impact Wrestling has a very bad reputation as of late because it’s not exactly the wisest business strategy to publicly align yourself against one of the most beloved acts in wrestling when you’re hoping to appeal your product to those same wrestling fans. I could go on and on about how dumb the top brass at Anthem are being, but I’d rather go in the opposite direction. There are few things I really like from the #1 wrestling program airing on PopTV on Thursday nights, so here are some kudos.
The X-Division is pretty rad again. I’ll give a little bit of credit to Low-Ki, the current title holder, for the wrestlers who aren’t concerned with weight limits even though they are bound by no limits. I loved Ki in the early 2000s and still hold a soft spot for his stiff style. However, I’ll give even more credit to the efforts of Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee. Those two guys always deliver in the ring and they have been for at least the past six months or so on Impact. Everett especially is a guy I always look forward to performing some sick high spot in virtually every match. The man is talented.
Another thing I’m digging about Impact is the breakup of the Wolves. Storyline-wise, it doesn’t have me gripped to the level of the DIY breakup, but it has delivered inside the ring. Even the inclusion of the spouses of Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards has made for some good action as evidenced by their recent mixed tag match on Impact. Angelina Love performed the spot of the night on that particular show when she Powerbombed Alicia Edwards through a table. It was great. My only flaw with the feud is how much Eddie and Angelina make out. It’s constant and in the sloppiest way possible, but I guess I should chalk that up to being part of their heel personas.
Even if Impact Wrestling President Ed Nordholm is doing everything he can to make me want to change the channel and give up completely on Impact, I’ve refused to do so thus far. Thanks to the efforts of many of the wrestlers, I don’t have to regret that decision to keep watching.
I hope this disjointed format worked. I enjoyed peppering a few thoughts about several issues rather than going super in-depth on one sole issue. I might use this article style more in the future.
Here’s a conclusion of everything I’ve discussed in this article: Baron Corbin might win the briefcase but don’t rule out KO, I dig that Jinder has the look of a champion, a women’s MITB needs Naomi, and don’t hate on Impact just because their management are dolts. If you completely avoid Impact then the person you’re punishing the most is yourself because that means you don’t get to watch Andrew Everett in any Ultimate X Matches.
As always, leave comments and I’ll do my best to try to respond. You can also message me directly on Twitter @MitchNickelson. I don’t mind the banter. Also, listen to my podcast on the Pro Wrestling Dot Biz network. If you follow the link and play it you’ll hear my brother tell me why he thinks Jinder Mahal is terrible as WWE Champion.