Well, here I am. Coming at you from San Diego, California. It’s a shame, too, that I’ll miss this PPV and won’t be able to watch it until Wednesday.
The hype has definitely swallowed the fans and writers alike, and that is largely due to one man on the card: CM Punk. It’s all speculation at this point, but I’m fairly confident he will guarantee greatness.
WWE Champion John Cena vs. CM Punk
Steven Gepp: You know, trying to double the guess the booking of this one is apparently creating aneurysms in nearly every IWC member. I say just let it happen and weâ€™ll see what we get. I am a-feared that â€˜twill indeed be the big babyface superman comeback by Cena, but letâ€™s see what we get, shall we? I think this could well surprise us. And if anyone can draw a good, non-cookie cutter match out of Cena itâ€™ll be Phil.
Winner: CM Punk (why the hell not?)
Mike Gojira: Let’s get right down to brass tacks: I’m expecting a shake-up here.Â Either CM Punk walks out with the gold and “gets got” by the Raw MitB winner, or John Cena wins and “gets got” by the Raw MitB winner.Â See where I’m going with this?Â Either way, new WWE Champion.Â Or, you know, they could always go the easy route and just have Cena win clean.Â But I’m willing to bet that this “Cena is fired if Punk wins” stipulation may come into play.Â Think about it: Punk wins, but loses to a cash-in.Â Does Cena still lose his job on a technicality?Â Perhaps it will lead into a Cena/McMahon feud.
Winner: CM Punk or MitB Winner (NEW WWE Champion)
CB: Three weeks ago, this was a MUST-SEE match filled with unpredictability and intrigue. Two weeks ago, all of the buzz was completely killed off by WWE both on and off camera. First, WWE confirmed with GLAAD officials that Punk’s contract will end July 17th following his gay slur incident in Australia. Then, we got the whole “Cena-will-be-fired-by-Vince-if-he-doesn’t-win” schtick that was simply delating. However, this past Monday night on Raw, CM Punk came to the rescue one last time to save WWE from its own ineptitude. The “go-home” promo he cut on Vince and Cena was simply epic — say it with me, “WE WANT ICE CREAM (clap clap clap-clap-clap) — and even if he leaves the company after MITB wraps up on Sunday night, he will have gone out with a f***ing bang. As I stated in my column earlier this week, there are two acceptable ways this can go to make Money in the Bank a truly special event: 1) Punk wins, Cena gets fired, and then Cena chases Punk and the WWE Championship all over the country at various indie events; or 2) More realistically, Punk wins, then beats the first MITB winner to cash in at Vince’s request, and then finally succumbs to the SECOND MITB winner who also is forced by Vince to cash in. I would LOVE either of these two scenarios, and if they go with the second option, I want Alberto Del Rio (expected) or Wade Barrett (unexpected) to leave Chicago with the WWE Championship in hand. Some other folks think this may be a good time for ‘Dwayne’ to interject to help Cena win, which of course would really make Cena angry and continue their (too-)long storyline arch that will eventually lead to WrestleMania XXVIII. So, which direction will I stick with for my prediction? Well…
Winner: CM Punk wins, then beats Raw MITB winner Alberto Del Rio (who can still claim he’s the #1 Contender anyway), and then loses to SmackDown! MITB winner Wade Barrett in a twist no one saw coming. After all, wouldn’t that also be a great way to tie up all of that Nexus-Cena-Punk-Barrett stuff in a nice little bow?
Patrick Spohr: Ah, the match everyone has been waiting for. I haven’t seen an angle by any company, in recent memory, inspire the number or unique, often crazed, theories that this one has. I want Punk to win this one, but all logic states that he’s not walking out of that arena with the belt, unless the WWE has a swerve planned wherein Punk wins and signs a new contract that same night, which I don’t think will happen. No, I see Punk leaving the WWE, at least for a while. I’ve posited my own theories on the subject, but I’ll leave it at this: Cena wins due to shenanigans. No Cena heel turn, mind you, but Vince or HHH or someone else will interfere in this match, setting off a new feud for â€œSuper-Cenaâ€.
Winner: (…and STILL champion) John Cena
Joe Violet: Iâ€™d be remiss if I didnâ€™t mention that this is the match most are wanting to see, and the match thatâ€™s been the most hypedâ€¦even more so than the ladder matches themselves. There are so many factors in this match: Punk is in his hometown, Cena loses and heâ€™s fired, Punkâ€™s last night in the company, etc. The match itself is going to be an afterthought when compared to the outcome of the match itself. Looking at all possible scenarios, Iâ€™m reminded so much of One Night Stand, when Rob Van Dam faced Cena in the Hammerstein Ballroom. I think the heatâ€™s going to be MUCH worse here, because one, itâ€™s Punkâ€™s hometown. Two, go back and watch Wrestlemania 22â€¦which was ALSO in Chicago.Â Cena got nearly booed out of the building in his match with Triple H. This, again, means the outcomeâ€™s going to overshadow the match itself, even if it IS a five-star classic. The most logical choice here is to end the match with a draw, but we all know the crowd wants Punk to win this. Iâ€™m going out on a limb here, butâ€¦
Winner: CM Punk, followed by an immediate Money in the Bank cash-in.
Rhett Davis: This match has had so much emphasis that I feel that there is no way it can live up to it’s hype this Sunday. Therefore, I am hoping that Punk wins and they go somewhere with this angle, even if it is Cena chasing Punk all over the world. However, the only way I see this ending is with this angle is either Cena just wins cleanly, with some help of a new goon of Vince, or with a Money In The Bank winner cashing in. Aka Punk won’t leave with the gold. My thoughts are that since Kane cashed in last year at the actual event MITB, I doubt they would do that again. So I’m picking SuperCena to win cleanly.
Winner (and STILL WWE Heavyweight Champion): John Chaina
M.C. Brown: Punk wins this match in a shocker, however whoever is winning Money in the Bank will be cashing it in on PUNK. In fact you might even see both guys try to cash it in, with one of them losing since Punk has been the talk of the wrestling world. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Rey tries and fails and the Smackdown winner, I’m picking as Wade Barrett will get the job done and go back to Raw with the WWE Championship, his first to feud once more with Cena or whoever challenges him. Possibly Rey if Wade stops Rey from winning so he can win himself. Or Wade could turn face. I’m not so sure about that one, tho.
Winner vs. Cena(and new Champion): CM Punk
Winner of MITB cashing in #1: CM Punk over Mysterio
Winner of MITB cashing in #2(and new champion): Wade Barrett
World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Christian
Steven Gepp: As much as I think these two have great chemistry together, Iâ€™m afraid this feud is doing nothing for me. The goods are supposed to be in the chaseâ€¦ but when the heel is doing the chasing it sort of seems silly and defeats the purpose of said chase. Why should we care? Look, the match will probably be good, but I think the winner will be in for a rude shock. Everyoneâ€™s talking about the MITB cash-in on Cena/Punk. Wellâ€¦ I reckon here â€˜twill be!
Winner: (briefly) Christian
Mike Gojira: As much as I love Captain Charisma, this storyline has run its course.Â If Christian doesn’t finally win (even with chicanery involved), then this was just a huge waste of time for all.Â Who will he feud with on Smackdown if Orton punts him back down the ladder?Â The company seems to have written the main event scene on Smackdown into a corner with their lack of faces so I can’t see this going any other way.
Winner: Christian (NEW World Heavyweight Champion)
CB: As much as I want Christian to win this match, I hate all of the legal loopholes that were added to the contract. I’d rather have Orton win clean than Christian win cheap, but I have a feeling we’re headed right towards the latter.
Winner: Christian via shenanigans
Patrick Spohr: I’m torn here; I don’t think the WWE really wants to put the belt back on Christian, but the build-up for this feud, and the fact that Christian has had a number of legitimate complaints about the way he’s been treated, leads me to believe that he will win the title and earn a measure of redemption along with it. Sheamus is waiting in the wings however, so maybe Christian just loses here. Or maybe Christian wins, setting up a three-way match for the title at Summerslam, or a MITB-winning Sheamus cashes in sometime soon. A lot of ways to go here, so I’ll go with my gut on this one…
Winner: (…and NEW champion) Christian
Joe Violet: This feudâ€™s been dragging along, and I think theyâ€™re ready to end it. However, when Christian mentioned that if there are any shenanigans, he gets an â€œimmediateâ€ rematch. That one word: immediate. That suggests to me this scenario:
Match goes on, ref bump. Orton bends the rules a little bit, and wins. Christian complains, Teddy Long comes out, says Christian gets his â€œimmediate rematchâ€â€¦RIGHT THERE. Christian walks into an RKO, 1-2-3.
Thatâ€™s one direction they could go with it, and it would end this with Christian not being able to use any more loopholes, and it ends the feud. Either way, I just donâ€™t see Christian walking out of Chicago with the title.
Winner: Randy Orton
Rhett Davis: This match could very easily go either way especially considering the likelihood of Sheamus winning the SmackDown MITB match. However, I don’t see Sheamus cashing in tonight if he won because they did that last year and I’d sooner see that in the WWE Title match if they are going that direction tonight. All that considering… I see Orton winning by some ‘cheating’ ways. Or at least that’s how Christian will see it. I’m picking a triple threat at SummerSlam between Sheamus/Orton/Christian. This way we have a fresh match-up, but still have the feud worthy of one of the big four PPVs of the year. Orton to win after something/someone distracts Christian.
Winner (and STILL World Heavyweight Champion): Randy Orton
M.C. Brown: Orton made an enemy in Kane and this would be a perfect opportunity for a bad call to be made somehow and Christian cheat out a victory so he could feud with Sheamus and Kane and Orton feud after Kane costs him the title.
Winner(and new Champion): Christian
Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Alex Riley, Evan Bourne, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, R-Truth and Jack Swagger
Steven Gepp: Literally any of these could win this. Most can jump and fly and they all seem just insane enough to do the crazy spots. But I think it will have very little flow and be spot, set-up, spot, set-up until one mammoth clusterf**k ending. But I think this will be entertaining enough, even if it is just a bunch of spots in search of a match.
Mike Gojira: Bourne is the new Shelton Benjamin; he’s there for the sick bumps.Â Riley will counter Miz’s attempt at a second win. Swagger, Truth, and Kofi are just bodies collecting a paycheck.Â I’m torn between Rey Mysterio and del Rio.Â If the main event turns out the way I think it will, I’m banking on (hardeeharhar) Mysterio to be the cash-in that upsets Punk’s victory.Â I’d like to see Mysterio/Cena at Summerslam, personally.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
CB: Alberto Del Rio is the clear star in the making here, so I think he will ultimately prevail. That said, if Punk does beat Cena and they want to protect Alberto from doing the immediate cash-in and loss like I stated above, WWE could fool us all and give Evan Bourne the surprising nod here so that Punk can beat him later before he loses to Barrett. I’ll stick with Alberto, but I like my Bourne idea too and thought it was worth mentioning.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Patrick Spohr: I’ll go all process of elimination on this: Swagger isn’t going to win; they already pushed the guy and it didn’t work. Kofi won’t win since the ‘E doesn’t see him rising above the mid-card. Mysterio won’t win since he doesn’t need it, and he’s too injury-prone for the WWE to put the belt on him again. Bourne is a cruiserweight and therefore has no shot. A-Ry is too green, and I think his feud with The Miz will continue until Summerslam. R-Truth just finished a program with Cena for the belt, but he has an outside chance. The Miz won the MITB match last year, so I don’t think they’ll go to him in back-to-back years. Therefore, I’ll go with…
Winner:…Alberto del Rio
Joe Violet: This one is a little more difficult for me to pick a winner on. You have 2 past winners, both of whom are involved in feuds right now (Swagger with Bourne, and Miz with Riley). Then you have R-Truth, whoâ€™s been getting major heat as of lateâ€¦he is one of the two I have in mind to win this. Rey Mysterioâ€™s also in this, but he doesnâ€™t really need a rub like the one Money in the Bank will give. Kofi Kingston will provide his usual awesome spots, but heâ€™ll fall short. Then thereâ€™s Alberto del Rio, who looked to be the dominant one during the Raw segment this past week on Raw. Iâ€™m torn between R-Truth and Alberto del Rio on this one, but Iâ€™m gonna go with the guy who would likely get more mileage with the briefcaseâ€¦not winning it would give Truth more ammunition for his â€œconspiracy theoryâ€.
Winner: Alberto del Rio
Rhett Davis: This match is down to two men to me. The MITB briefcase isn’t as good when a face holds it and honestly I can’t see Kofi or Evan winning. The Miz doesn’t need it again and Punk has already won the match twice so Miz winning would do nothing for him. Riley is still too new, too green.. Seriously he’s had one feud and since his feud with Miz is over, (I Think) Riley has lost a large amount of his pop. Swagger was a mistake the first time and seeing him win this time would do nothing for him. Rey could win, but like I said it works better for a heel and Rey is more of the Underdog. Not the opportunist like Edge was. That leaves me to Truth and ADR. Either could win, but if Truth were to win, I think he would be the one to finally lose it. However ADR has lost every opportunity at the title he has had even after winning the Royal Rumble. I think it’s time for the Hispanic Sensation to win it. Sin who?
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
M.C. Brown: With The Miz and Swagger already winning it. I eliminate them. Can’t picture Evan walking around with the briefcase. It’s down to Rey, Alberto, Truth Kofi and Riley. Riley and Kofi I don’t see having it yet. Truth could be fun. Alberto could use the bragging rights, but I think he is getting a title shot at Summerslam anyways. I’m going with Rey because I see him or the SD winner taking the title away from Punk. Plus, it’s an accolade Rey has never accomplished.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Sheamus, Cody Rhodes, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara, Wade Barrett, Kane
Steven Gepp: Now, see, I reckon this winner is going to cash in on this night. And I think theyâ€™re going to go for the dark horse winner, and show that literally anyone can hold that prop piece of metal on a strap, just to show what it really means nowadays. Now, this isnâ€™t a slight on the winner â€“ just that titles are merely theatrical devices used to further scripted feuds, not prizes worth pursuing. I think Slater and Gabriel are not even going to get a look in, and I doubt theyâ€™d throw it on Kaneâ€¦ but literally any of the others could get it. And so Iâ€™m going to pick the one I would like to see get it, because, letâ€™s face it, I am the worst at these Roundtables on the entire site and this is what I would like. It makes no sense, and others are probably better choices, and I think this is going to be a cash-in on the night, butâ€¦
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Mike Gojira: Like many of my fellows in the IWC, I believe there are three top contenders for the Smackdown MitB and all three are heels: Barrett, Rhodes, and Sheamus.Â Sheamus is being shoved down our throats as the obvious choice, which I’m okay with, but I’d rather Barrett (who needs something like this to keep himself relevant) or Rhodes.Â Based on this week’s Smackdown, Barrett may be starting something with Sin Cara and Rhodes still has a victory over Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson that has gone unanswered.Â Ah, what the hell.
CB: Sheamus likely has the inside track here, but he can also be taken out by someone like Kane or Barrett too in a believable fashion. Gabriel, Bryan, and Sin Cara are all good sleeper picks, but more likely than not they are in this match for all of the high spots that usually happen during MITB ladder matches. I’ll stick with Barrett as noted above, in what could be a huge night for the ex-Nexus leader.
Winner: Wade Barrett
Patrick Spohr: Process of elimination again. I think we can safely dismiss Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, and Daniel Bryan (I still want to write Bryan Danielson). The WWE isn’t ready to push Sin Cara into the main-event just yet. Cody has an outside shot, but I see him feuding for the Intercontinental title instead. Wade hasn’t looked strong lately, especially in his feud with Big Zeke. Kane held the belt not all that long ago, so I don’t see him picking up the win here. To me, this match, in terms of the number of possible winners, is weaker than the Raw MITB match. It’ll still be entertaining, don’t get me wrong, but I think there’s only one clear winner for this match, and that is…
Joe Violet: My thoughts on this match are on my last 10 Thoughts, but Iâ€™ll go more into detail now. First off, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, and Sin Cara are all involved with different storylines, so I think those three will cancel one another out. Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater all might do the same, and the fact that Gabriel and Slater just lost to the Usos on Smackdown may have killed what little momentum they might have had. Then you have Kane and Sheamus. Kane won it last year, and I donâ€™t see him winning it two years in a row. Sheamus, however, has been pushed big time as of late, and with that in mind, I give it to the Celtic Warrior.
Rhett Davis: Ok is there any likelihood of Justin Gabriel or Heath Slater winning? It will be interesting to see them working together as there haven’t been too many cohesive units in these MITB ladder matches. Maybe they will split? I hope not, but WWE is good about separating teams when they don’t need it. *cough* Hart Dynasty *cough*. I also don’t see much chance of Daniel Bryan or Sin Cara winning either as neither have the ability to discuss their win or hype themselves using it. Mainly because Bryan has terrible mic skills and Sin Cara doesn’t speak. It will be interesting to see what those two do in that match Sunday. Kane, just please let’s not. That leaves the only three men I believe have any possibility to win: Wade, Cody, and Sheamus. I’d love Wade to win as he needs something to put him back in the World Title picture, and with the Corre put to rest maybe it’s his time to to shine. Cody could win, but it may be too early. However, he has an entire year to beef himself up as well as his title shot. However, with the way Sheamus is getting pushed… it appears he will be winning this one. Not to mention he is feuding currently with both Christian and Orton.
M.C. Brown: My money is on Wade Barrett after making my prediction in the main event. Sheamus is a long shot to possibly do the same thing, but the history with Punk makes Barrett the most likely candidate
Winner: Wade Barrett
Big Show vs. Mark Henry
Steven Gepp: I like the Big Show and Henry has finally shown us after 15 years that he not only has working boots but that he occasionally puts them on. Itâ€™s not going to be Steamboat/Savage, but itâ€™s going to be fun enough.
Winner: Mark Henry
Mike Gojira: Yawn.Â Sure, Henry is a big, bad monster again, but what does this accomplish in the long run?Â This match is more meaningless than an X-Division PPV.
Winner: Mark Henry
CB: Kudos to Big Show and Mark Henry for making me think they legitimately want to beat the holy hell out of each other. Henry’s latest impressive heel run has been the shocker of the year (yes, even more than R-Truth), mainly because he’s now been with WWF/E since 1996/7 and he finally has found new life for himself and his character after so many failed pushes. It’s pretty incredible if you think about it, and I expect Henry to continue this run by pummeling and pounding his way to victory over Show. Big Show is pretty teflon these days when it comes to wins and losses anyway, so WWE might as well go with the hot hand that is in no way related to the hand that Mae Young and Mark Henry once conceived. Oh, the Attitude Era, how I long for thee…
Winner: Mark Henry
Patrick Spohr: This match is going to look like two commercial dump-trucks bumping into one another in a ring. I know a few people have been really impressed with the Mark Henry heel turn, but I don’t count myself amongst them. Henry is playing his well-worn â€œbig, scary monster-heelâ€ persona, and while it may be better than the bland face character he had been playing, it’s nothing exciting. That said, the WWE has given him a strong push in this feud, but I have a lot of heel victories on this card. I’ll stray from the pack here and say…
Joe Violet: As I stated in my 10 Thoughts, Mark Henry is getting the biggest push of his career, in my view. There might be a reason for this, one which people might not be thinking about. When Henry started in 1996, he signed a 10 year deal. When that ended, if Iâ€™m not mistaken (please correct me if Iâ€™m wrong here), he signed a 5 year extension. The number might be wrong, as I saw it on wwe.com before, but I believe it was 5 years. Meaning: Henryâ€™s in his contract year. With that being said, I think that thought, as well as the fact that heâ€™s been booked to make Big Show look helpless against him, furthers his push and makes this feud go on.
Winner: Mark Henry
Rhett Davis: Mark Henry has become one of the most interesting men in WWE since his trade and really is the person who benefited the most from the trade. Now he has a feud with Big Show that I actually care about. Will this match be great? HA, no. But I can’t see any benefits to Show winning so ….
Winner: Mark Henry
M.C. Brown: Show should win. For no other reason than he was slammed through a table and Henry beat Kane.
Winner: The Big Show
Divas Champion Kelly Kelly vs. Brie Bella
Steven Gepp: Expect some sort of twin shenanigans. Expect some sort of dispute. Maybe even expect dual champions again. Just donâ€™t expect this match to be any good.
Winner: Horny 14 year olds everywhereâ€¦ oh, okay â€“ K-squared
Mike Gojira: Tits McGee for the win!
Winner: My bladder after I use the bathroom during this one.Â (Kelly Kelly)
CB: Can WWE please move on from this awful Bella Twins feud and give Kelly Kelly someone more credible to square off against? Beth Phoenix, anyone?
Winner: Kelly Kelly
Patrick Spohr: I’ve instated a â€œno Divas discussionâ€ rule in my 10 Thoughts on Raw… column, and for good reason. This will be, easily, the worst match of the night. That said, I could lift the ban if Beth Phoenix becomes next-in-line to win the Diva’s belt. Brie Bella doesn’t stand a chance here; she just had the belt, and did nothing of note with it. Therefore, I’ll go with…
Joe Violet: Letâ€™s be honest here, WWE has treated this as their throwaway/filler match. I counted only one time (not counting this Fridayâ€™s Smackdown) that this match has been even mentioned in their rundown of the card, so that implies that this match is simply filler. As far as the match goes, it looks as if the story here is that Eve is backing up Kelly to negate the numbers game. Call me crazy, but I see a heel turn as a major possibility here, but it wonâ€™t affect the outcome. Iâ€™m seeing a successful title defense, then an Eve turn, if only for the fact of evening up the heel/face ratio on the Divas roster.
Winner: Kelly Kelly
Rhett Davis: Can I have my Lita/Trish/Victoria/Alundra now? I am so tired of these Super Models who learn a few moves and get in the ring thinking they are the top of the top. I’m just sick of the Divas division. Save us Kharma. May these 9 months go by swiftly. Let the blonde keep it until someone comes along who actually has a strong push as a challenger. Or maybe Eve will be thrown into this match and win it for no reason.
Winner (and STILL Divas Champion): Kelly Kelly
M.C. Brown: Kelly just won over Double Trouble. She’ll win again.
Winner: Kelly Kelly
Tags: cm punk, john cena, money in the bank, roundtable, WWE