wrestling / Columns

411’s WWE Money in the Bank Preview

July 2, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE Money in the Bank WMITB Image Credit: WWE

Hello 411 guys, gals, enbies, and everyone else! Welcome to 411’s WWE Money in the Bank preview! I’m Jeremy Thomas as always, and WWE is back with another of its Saturday PPVs. This year’s Money in the Bank has some big omissions from the card — no Roman Reigns, most notably, as he is waiting for his Summerslam bout with Brock Lesnar. Still, while this may look like an overall weak card on paper there is the potential for some fun matches — of course, most notable among them the titular men’s and women’s matches. There’s plenty to talk about, so lets get right to it!

WWE United States Championship Match
Theory vs. Bobby Lashley

Image Credit: WWE

Our first match on the show pits one of WWE’s fastest-rising stars against a main event-to-upper midcard mainstay with intriguing possibilities. Theory is clearly a guy who WWE and Vince McMahon has a lot of confidence in, as he’s made his way through some high profile feuds that have elevated his stock. Meanwhile Lashley has moved on from his feud with Omos after last month’s Hell in a Cell and doesn’t seem to have a very solid direction at the moment. Conventional wisdom suggests that a guy like Lashley should win the midcard title to build himself back up a bit before he climbs back into the main event scene. But on the other hand, WWE doesn’t seem to be quite done elevating Theory and his US Title run still seems to have some juice in it. This match feels more like a temporary stop for Lashley to get him on the card until he launches into his next feud, so he likely wins here by countout or disqualification and allows Theory to keep the title.

WINNER: Bobby Lashley (Theory STILL WWE United States Champion)

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs. The Street Profits

Image Credit: WWE

The Usos’ run with the Tag Team Championships has been unstoppable as The Bloodline powers its way through WWE. They’ve been Smackdown Tag Champions for 348 days and counting, and added the Raw Tag Team Championships in late May by knocking off RK-Bro. There isn’t anyone who seems capable of taking the titles from them at this point, and that includes the Street Profits. Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford feel like they’ve been ready for another title run; they were unsuccessful in a few of attempts to challenge Riddle and Orton for the Raw Tag Titles this year, but otherwise they’ve not really had a strong direction or much (if any) momentum. In fact, they’re representative of most of the tag division (such as it is) in that way. I like the Profits, but I don’t see them as likely to dethrone the Usos in this match that was sort of thrown together. It may take Sami Zayn’s assistance, but Jey and Jimmy will not be losing their titles at Money in the Bank.

WINNER: The Usos (STILL Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions)

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
Ronda Rousey vs. Natalya

Image Credit: WWE

WWE is more or less biding time here until Ronda Rousey’s next big opponent. Listen, I think Natalya gets too much crap as a rule from people; she’s a mainstay of WWE for a reason and can always be counted on to put on solid matches and get people over. She did some great work during her quick jaunt down to NXT where she feuded with Cora Jade, for example. But that being said, she has zero chance of taking the title off of Rousey. Rousey is cruising along in her Smackdown Women’s Championship run and it’s going to take someone getting properly built up (or a Money in the Bank cash-in) for her to lose the championship. While Rousey and Nattie know each other well and should have an enjoyable match, we’re not seeing the switch her — nor should we. This is as transitional a match as it gets, no matter how much they might try to tell us otherwise.

WINNER: Ronda Rousey (STILL Smackdown Women’s Champion)

Raw Women’s Championship Match
Bianca Belair vs. Carmella

Image Credit: WWE

Speaking of transitional matches… even before Rhea Ripley was forced out of her title shot against Bianca Belair, this title seemed likely to stay where it was. But there was at least some intrigue there, as The Judgment Day has a pretty solid amount of momentum on their side at the moment. But once it was announced that Ripley wasn’t cleared for the show and Carmella won a match to replace the challenger, the odds of Belair retaining went from high to 100%. This is no shade against Carmella, who remains one of WWE’s more underrated women thanks to some less-than-stellar booking. But before she won the #1 Contendership match on June 20th, she hadn’t won a match on TV — either singles or tag team — since she and Zelina retained the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships on January 3rd. Belair is on a solid roll, getting some of the momentum behind her in this title run that she never had in her first reign. To have her lose to Carmella right now in a match clearly put together because of injury derailment would be unthinkable.

WINNER: Bianca Belair (STILL Raw Women’s Champion)

Men’s Money in the Bank Match
Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. Omos vs. Sami Zayn vs. Riddle vs. TBD

Image Credit: WWE

WWE is relying hard on the Money in the Bank matches to carry this show. And yet, at the time of my writing this (Friday afternoon), we still don’t know one of the final competitors for the men’s match. In fact, we don’t even know of a match on tonight’s Smackdown to determine the final contender. That means that it’s either going to be a major name who will shake things up, or someone thrown in to be another body. Looking at who’s available on the roster, my money is on the latter so I feel confident discounting them as a potential winner. [Edit: It turns out that it’s Madcap Moss, so it’s the latter.]

As usual, these big matches have a lot of potential because WWE is pretty good about putting in people who can come up with innovative spots. But in terms of winning, it’s all about process of elimination. Sami Zayn, Sheamus, and Omos are all unlikely to win this; they’re in there for a little intrigue and/or to provide a variety of wrestling styles to work against, but none of them are in places where having the briefcase makes much sense. That brings it down to Rollins, McIntyre, and Riddle. McIntyre has his Undisputed WWE Championship match already essentially set with Clash in the Castle; the briefcase could be a way for him to secure it in storyline, but that seems unnecessary. Riddle has the underdog story here, where he has to win the title to even have a chance at Roman Reigns due to the stipulation that he can’t challenge Reigns anymore.

Meanwhile, Rollins has seemed ready for a title shot for some time but suffered a trio of losses to Cody Rhodes over the last few PPVs. I could see the briefcase going to either of these two, but in the end I think WWE wants to build Riddle up a little bit more before he challenges for the title shot again. Rollins is a guy for whom the Money in the Bank shot is a perfect match character-wise, and a Rollins vs. Reigns match has intrigue considering that Rollins lost his title shot at the Royal Rumble by DQ. Therefore, the Fashion Guru of WWE is my pick to win it.

WINNER: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Women’s Money in the Bank Match
Lacey Evans vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Liv Morgan vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Asuka vs. Shotzi vs. Becky Lynch

Image Credit: WWE

The women’s division pretty desperately needs a MITB briefcase holder to add some intrigue to it. Right now we basically have the two champions running through their divisions, and everyone else sort of meandering below them. This match has the potential to throw some spice into that mix. And to WWE’s credit they’ve populated this match with an interesting set of choices, each of whom could bring their own styles and personalities to the bout on Saturday night.

Now, all that being said, there’s a few people we can definitely cross off the list. I love Shotzi but she is not in a spot where WWE is going to give her a Money in the Bank briefcase, especially considering other options. And I also love Alexa Bliss, but she’s still re-establishing herself upon her return so it doesn’t seem like the right time. That can also be said for Lacey Evans. On the other hand, WWE seems to be quite high on Raquel Rodriguez, and the reasons are obvious. She’s on the kind of trajectory that WWE could potentially want to solidify with the briefcase. However, it is still too soon for her on the main roster. WWE clearly seems to want Rousey vs. Lynch for WrestleMania so giving her the briefcase now wouldn’t make sense; considering how obsessed she is with getting the belt back, why would she wait once she has a guaranteed shot? (Yes, she could cash in and fail but that helps no one.)

That leaves us to Liv Morgan and Asuka. There are multiple reasons why either could potentially be the one standing triumphant at the end of this match. The fans love Liv and are practically begging for her to get the title contention push, while Asuka is one of the current standard bearers for the division alongside the champions and Lynch. I personally would love to see Morgan get the briefcase, but WWE’s stubborn refusal to give into her crowd reactions makes that seem doubtful. And that’s frustrating, because Asuka can be slotted into any title match with little need for explanation. Ultimately for me, it comes down to the fact that WWE has only repeated MITB winners twice (CM Punk and Carmella), and so while I feel way out on a limb here, I’m going to go with my heart and pick Morgan to win.

WINNER: Liv Morgan

And that’s all we have for WWE Money in the Bank! I do think we we’ll have at least another match revealed before the show goes live. That said, WWE seems to be enjoying this six to seven match cards and it means that the shows aren’t overlong and matches get the proper time; I’m on board with that. On paper the show might look lacking in wattage, but WWE has been consistently overdelivering and I hope for the same here. Thanks once again for reading and remember that we will have live coverage of the show courtesy our own Scott Slimmer right here on 411mania.com. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Pride Month may be over but honestly, IDGAF so enjoy this GIF of Sonya Deville. You’re welcome.

Image via GIPHY