• VOC Nation Staff


Updated: Aug 16

By Don “The Predictor” Murphy (Twitter: @DonThePredictor)

Goodbye Thunderdome and hello WWE Universe! The company is rumored to have some big surprises this weekend, as the Raw and Smackdown brands return to the road. A big stop on that road is the annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view, emanating from Dickie’s Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. Normally, this show would be moderately intriguing, as the winners of the respective Money in the Bank contracts – more times than not – go on to win the titles. This year, we have two strong men’s champions in Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley. On the women’s side, Bianca Belair is the face of the Smackdown’s women’s division and while they haven’t found a working formula for Rhea Ripley on the Raw side as of yet, she’s still new enough where she’s not totally damaged yet. With this as the backdrop, you have the drama around who will win these contracts, combined with fans returning for a pay-per-view for the first time in 16 months and rumored returns and surprises. So, it should be a good night and let’s run down the card!

Riddle wins the men’s Money in the Bank contract in a ladder match over Ricochet, John Morrison, Drew McIntyre, Big E, Kevin Owens, King Nakamura and Seth Rollins: I didn’t realize that there were eight men in this match! That’s a lot! The quality will be fine, but it really doesn’t do much in terms of storyline advancement. Plus, guys like Ricochet, Morrison and Nakamura will give you good in-ring work – they just don’t mean anything in the long run and unless there are plans to push one of them, I don’t see them as credible options to win. In the end, I think Riddle takes it. Whether you like the character or not, I think he can be one of the hottest acts on the brand and can play into the ongoing storyline with Randy Orton. Remember, Riddle cost Orton his chance to be in the match and lost when he represented him against McIntyre and AJ Styles. I’ll expect that Randy will be none too happy and will either cost Riddle at the time of cash-in or be his first opponent should Riddle win the title.

Zelina Vega wins the women’s Money in the Bank contract in a ladder match over Asuka, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, Nikki A.S.H., Liv Morgan, Natalya and Tamina: None of these women do anything for me and that’s one of my biggest problems with the women’s division. There are the champions and their contenders. Then there’s everyone else floating around in meaningless matches and feuds. For me, this one’s a toss-up. I’d actually like to see Nikki or Morgan take it, but given that they recently brought back Vega and mended fences after a less than pleasant departure, I’m confident that a push and title run was part of the deal.

Bobby Lashley (with MVP) retains the WWE Championship over Kofi Kingston (with Xavier Woods): I really liked that on the go-home Raw, we got a more serious Lashley. This will be a good match and I’m calling a major surprise here in that I see Woods turning on Kofi to cost him the match and ending the New Day. Think about it. Woods also beat Lashley but wasn’t added to the match. Plus, a lot of the story made mention of Woods not being all that good or effective. I think this is where he makes his impact and joins up with MVP and company, setting up for a big SummerSlam showdown with Kingston. Plus, with Big E on hand, it will create quite the dramatic moment if done right. And let’s face it, New Day has been the same act for seven plus years. It’s time.

Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) retains the WWE Universal Championship over Edge: This was a hard pick for me to make. Rumors are strong that John Cena will be returning to face Reigns for the title at SummerSlam. However, Edge is one of those legacy guys that I don’t just see doing a straight job and moving on. Could we see a triple threat at SummerSlam? Do we get a schmoz finish here with the Edge, the Mysterios, Reigns and the Usos? And if that’s the case, where does Cena fit in. This one intrigues me as I really don’t have a good guess as to where they are going.

Rhea Ripley retains the WWE Raw Women’s Championship over Charlotte Flair: This is another one where I can’t see the end game. Rumors are also strong that Becky Lynch will be making an appearance. Is this where she emerges? The cleanest way would be for Rhea to win and then have Becky return and challenge her for SummerSlam. But, we all know Flair is the protected golden child, so I fully expect that even in defeat, she will be worked into the Lynch/Ripley story. And to me, that drags it down, as the Lynch/Charlotte story is overplayed and overdone.

AJ Styles and Omos retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship over The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar): ROH fans have fond memories of War Machine. Remember those guys? Yeah, that act is long gone and instead we have a feud built around the champions making fun of Vikings. Yeah. AJ Styles should mean so much more, but he’s paired with a not-so-jolly “green” giant, paired up against a comedy act of two guys dressed like Vikings and carrying around turkey legs. I’ll pass. Let’s move on and let’s try to get it right.

Pre-show: Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship over The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso): This was a late add and I’m surprised it’s not on the main card. I was considering going with the Usos here, but given Jimmy’s recent brush with the law, I don’t know that the company will be so quick to give him some gold until they are a bit more confident. I may be wrong.

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