Welcome to the Inside Pule Wrestling Rasslin’ Roundtable for WWE Money in the Bank 2013! I, Rhett Davis, am your host and today we’ll be looking at who the staff here at Inside Pulse Wrestling picked to win all of the matches at the PPV. Remember, the People Power vote is decided by the Pulse Polls. Now, without further ado…
WWE Kickoff Match: WWE Tag Team Championship
The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
CB: Rollins and Reigns retain in a fun kickoff match.
Winners: Rollins and Reigns
Rhett Davis: This should be a fun match, and I’m kind of surprised that this is on the opening card considering The Miz is on the card. Anyways, The Shield will win as TheUsos are just here to put The Shield over another team.
Winners (and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions): The Men in Black
Steven Gepp: This shows that they really want to utilise the Kickoff to get people suckered in to a last minute purchase of the PPV. I think the Usos and Shield will pull off an entertaining, if foregone conclusion heavy, match. I really do. Still, winner is in no doubt.
Winners: The Shield
Mike Gojira: It doesn’t say much for the company’s hopes on a tag team when they’re relegated to a pre-show. The Usos are not winning this match, plain and simple. They haven’t been given much of a chance to prove themselves as a draw and there’s no real history between these teams. Believe in The Shield.
Winners: The Shield
Justin C: This one is simple. The WWE needed someone to fight The Shield for the time being, and the Usos just happened to be it. You wouldn’t even know it by watching RAW, because the Usos were nowhere to be seen. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins aren’t ready to lose the Tag Titles. And when they do, it won’t happen on the pre-show. The Shield retains.
Winners: The Shield
People Power: With 97% of the vote, The Shield wins the People Power vote.
The Tally: The Shield – 6
The Usos – 0
WWE Divas Championship
AJ Lee (c) vs. Kaitlyn
CB: I absolutely do appreciate the efforts of AJ Lee and Kaitlyn during this longstanding Divas feud. I think AJ holds onto the title, with lots of outside help from Big E and maybe even others.
Winner: AJ Lee
Rhett Davis: They’ve done pretty well in making a storyline for the Divas, and, if they keep at it, they will eventually develop interest in the Divas Division. It can’t be done overnight or through a few PPVs. It takes time. AJ will win this one though. Most likely through nefarious means.
Winner (and STILL Divas Champion): AJ Lee
Steven Gepp: Well, I certainly don’t expect this to be a Gail Kim v Taryn Terrell (Slammiversary XI), but I do expect this to be one of the better women’s matches WWE has put on in a while if – and it’s a big if – they keep the external bullcrap to an absolute minimum. They won’t, so the match will suffer.
Winner: AJ Lee
Mike Gojira: Anyone else find it odd that the two Divas feuding over the title are not actually featured on the E! reality show? One would think you’d try to combine the two to create more awareness, right?
Winner: AJ Lee
Justin C: This feud has lost a little bit of steam in recent weeks, but it picked it back up with a nice segment on Smackdown. It is still one of the better put together Diva programs that the WWE has put together in some time. I think A.J. is retaining, but the feud almost has to continue because there are no other face Divas on the roster that can fight A.J. I could almost see a third match happening at SummerSlam with some kind of stipulation involved. A.J. retains here.
People Power: With 87% of the vote, AJ Lee wins the People Power vote.
The Tally: AJ Lee – 6
Kaitlyn – 0
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Curtis Axel (c) vs. The Miz
Winner: Curtis Axel
Rhett Davis: Yeah not much to say here. Miz has absolutely no reason to win this match. Axel actually lost this last week to both solidify my pick for this match as well as the next match. After all, how many matches has Jericho won since he’s come back? Axel wins this to get another PPV win while Miz goes off to do something boring elsewhere.
Winner (and STILL Intercontinental Champion): Curtis Axel
Steven Gepp: I have gone on record, and will state here, that I am a fan of Joe Hennig. I liked his work in FCW, I thought he was dull as Michael McGillicutty, and I hope he does something great as a Heyman guy. I have also gone on record as hating the Miz and consider him only above Vince Russo in the long list of world champions of the sport (even below David Arquette and Vince McMahon and the Great Khali). So, what do we have here? If Hennig can channel more of his grandfather and be a badass arse-kicker and just squash Miz like a bug, then I will be a happy camper. But I fear Miz will get more offence than he actually knows what to do with and we’ll get a very very very very very dull match out of it all.
Winner: Curtis Axel
Mike Gojira: No one wants to see these two go at it for a belt that means nothing anymore. Axel’s the one who needs the rub, and I’m beginning to think the WWE hooked him up with Heyman solely because they thought he needed the assistance rather than to show people they think he’s main event material.
Winner: Curtis Axel
Justin C: Like I said above with The Shield: there is no reason to take the IC Title off of Curtis Axel yet. And when it is time, it won’t be to someone the likes of Miz. Axel still needs some time to develop as a promo guy, as evident on RAW this past Monday. Heyman needs to still do his talking for the time being. Miz has almost no legs left to stand on. He may as well just fight for mid-card titles the rest of the year.
Winner: Curtis Axel
People Power: With 92% of the vote, Curtis Axel wins the People Power vote.
The Tally: Curtis Axel – 6
The Miz – 0
The Ultimate Loser Match
Ryback vs. Chris Jericho
CB: LOL Rhett re: The Ultimate Loser tag line you gave to this match. I do think Jericho can work wonders with what little material they give him, though, and so this won’t be as bad as you might think. This may also mark the quick return of Vickie Guerrero in the form of Ryback’s manager, so that could come into play here, too.
Rhett Davis: Well Jericho losing… puts him exactly where he already is. Ryback losing… makes him even more irrelevant. Ryback needs the win after losing to Cena and Mark Henry. Ryback will win in a surprisingly good match.
Winner: Hungry Hungry Ryback
Steven Gepp: Jericho doesn’t need wins anymore, Ryback desperately needs something. Ryback introduces Vicki Guerrero as his new manager, she helps him win, and thus Jericho’s life will be complete. Or something.
Mike Gojira: Quick! How do we make Ryback more terrifying? Add Vickie Guerrero as his manager. Also, Ryback is on the verge of going a full year without a PPV win. Sad.
Justin C: I believe this match was put together for two reasons: 1. To FINALLY give Ryback a win at a PPV, and 2. To write Chris Jericho off of TV. Jericho will be leaving again to go on tour with Fozzy, and they need to find a way to write him out of storylines. What better way than a Ryback beat down? Now, Jericho could always win and Ryback could take him out after. But if you want to re-establish Ryback as a threat, I think you need to give him a win and allow the beatdown to happen. And I have no hope that Vickie Guerrero being Ryback’s manager will help. It is just going to turn into a love story between them, so why bother? Ryback wins here.
People Power: With 77% of the vote, Ryback wins the People Power vote.
The Tally: Ryback – 6
Chris Jericho – 0
World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto del Rio (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
CB: Last month we got the double turn, as well as one of the best matches of the year not involving Daniel Bryan. I think this is where Alberto Del Rio retains … with help from AJ Lee and Big E Langston. This gives Dolph a personal grudge / feud against Big E for SummerSlam, while Del Rio moves on to a different opponent.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Rhett Davis: Hmm… this could go so many different ways. I feel like this title could go back to Dolph for a match at SummerSlam… or Del Rio could win and then move on to another adversary while Dolph fights Big E. I’m not so sure. I don’t see any other title changes on the card so I’ll say that Dolph will win. That’ll lead to a triple threat at the next PPV between these two and another. Maybe Sheamus. Groan.
Winner (and NEW World Heavyweight Champion): Dolph Ziggler
Steven Gepp: Wow, I must be the only person in the world not looking forward to this match. I like Del Rio, but find Ziggler just a bump-machine, doing exactly the same things RVD was accused of doing – bumping in search of a match. But Ziggler gets a free pass while RVD is called a spot-monkey. Look, Ziggler is certainly better than a lot of the WWE roster, and at least he knows how to sell, but…
Winner: Ziggler… BUT an immediate MitB cash-in will see him not be champ for long.
Mike Gojira: Del Rio has been a victim of short-straw title reigns and he needs this more than Ziggler. On top of that, the WWE has to officially break up AJ and Dolph because you can’t have blurred lines (cue Robin Thicke) on a show that’s trying to be cookie-cutter bland in its character dynamics. Let Dolph chase for another month and let the audience clamor for a clean win on his part.
Winner: Alberto del Rio
Justin C: This feud has really lost a lot of steam in recent weeks. And that is hurting Dolph’s run as a face. The WWE needs to do a better job of getting him over, and I think the best way possible is by letting him do it in the ring. Don’t give him forced promos. Dolph has gotten over due to his in ring work, don’t change that. I originally thought they might push this feud until SummerSlam, but I don’t think it has any legs left to it. Del Rio just isn’t over with the WWE like we all thought he would be. Ziggler wins here and the crowd in Philadelphia gives him a great ovation.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
People Power: With 56% of the vote, Dolph Ziggler wins the People Power vote.
The Tally: Dolph Ziggler – 4
Alberto del Rio – 2
World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Antonio Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger vs. Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Fandango vs. Wade Barrett
CB: I would love to see Dean Ambrose or Antonio Cesaro take down that briefcase, but I have this sneaking suspicion that Fandango will be given the nod here. And if Del Rio does retain, I see a face turn in Fandango’s future as well.
Rhett Davis: This is probably the most unpredictable match of the card. I don’t see Swagger or Rhodes winning. The top three possibilities to win are Sandow, Cesaro, and Ambrose. If it’s true that Vince has changed his opinion on Cesaro, then I’ll pick him to win this match.
Winner: The All-American Swiss
Steven Gepp: All right, this is going to be interesting. I think Ambrose is going to be the de facto face, with maybe Fandango and Cody’s moustache along for the ride on that side of the ledger. But I think a true heel will win, and I’m going to guess Wade Barrett. And I am also going to guess this goes on first or second match.
Winner: Wade Barrett, who then cashes in later on in the night
Mike Gojira: I hate trying to pick winners for these things because there are so many variables in this type of match. Vince is reportedly high on Fandango (among other things, if that’s the case) and Dean Ambrose is the only guy in that match who’s still treated as someone threatening. However, he’s also already United States Champion. I want to say Cesaro wins it, but he’s on even-keel with Swagger in Colter’s camp and I just don’t see one of them holding the briefcase while the other sits back and deals with it. Barrett had his opportunity before his injury but has proven to be extremely underwhelming. I think I’ll go with Damien Sandow, and here’s why: if done right, he can be built up in a year’s time to be a great competitor and the briefcase should only give him further incentive to improve.
Winner: Damien Sandow
Justin C: I’m really intrigued by this match, because I would not be surprised if anyone outside of Jack Swagger ended up winning. I think Cody Rhodes, Fandango, and Antonio Cesaro, while I wouldn’t be completely shocked if they won, are still long shots. Damien Sandow is a very good talker and I could easily see him winning. While he hasn’t won a lot or had a storyline lately, I could see Wade Barrett winning as well. The WWE wanted to get the IC Title off Barrett whether it was Fandango or Axel winning it. To me, that seems like they had something in mind for him. We’ve seen Barrett at his best as leader of the Nexus, where he has worked a main event program before. Then there is Dean Ambrose. We know Ambrose is a star in the making, but does the WWE pull the trigger on him now? I’d love to see a Dolph/Ambrose feud for the World Title, but I don’t think it happens yet. I’m picking Barrett to win here. I think his time is finally coming to get a good push in the WWE.
Winner: Wade Barrett
People Power: With 34% of the vote, Dean Ambrose wins the People Power vote.
The Tally: Wade Barrett – 2
Fandango – 1
Antonio Cesaro – 1
Damien Sandow – 1
Dean Ambrose – 1
Jack Swagger – 0
Cody Rhodes – 0
John Cena (c) vs. Mark Henry
CB: Mark Henry has done the best he can possibly do here to sell this match. Meanwhile, I feel like Cena hasn’t done all that much other than take a few hits. Of course, there is no freakin’ way Cena doesn’t go into SummerSlam as The Champ, so…
Winner: John Cena
Rhett Davis: The build-up has been so-so, but it’s hard to keep the same pace as that initial confrontation with Henry pulling that Oscar-worthy performance. I say that John Cena will win to end the show. Perhaps the winner of the Money in the Bank will come out to tease cashing in. AA into the STF for the win.
Winner: Johnny Boy
Steven Gepp: Sorry, I don’t care how good a promo Henry cut (and he did cut a mighty fine one), this match does absolutely nothing for me. It used to be that Cena could be relied on to bring the goods in PPV matches, but the smiling doofus persona he has perfected now relies exclusively on being carried to good matches by opponents who are up to the task. Mark Henry is not up to the task. He should be the mid-card jobber-killer who never quite gets the shot at the top. But here he is, having a shot at the top. I would say this would be the worst match on the card, but there’s a few other matches that could well take that title.
Winner: (like there was any doubt) John Hogan Cena
Mike Gojira: I expect a lot of anti-Cena chants on the basis of how much the crowd just does NOT want to see this guy as champion in 2013. Hell, even the company knows not to heavily promote this one because the PPV is all about the ladder matches. Sorry, Mark Henry, but you’re just Villain-of-the-Month circa mid-90s booking.
Winner: John Cena
Justin C: I’m torn on this one. Part of me thinks Mark Henry has done enough good work over the last month to warrant a run with the WWE Title. But I also really want to see John Cena vs Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, and that can’t happen with Mark Henry. I don’t think these two will have as bad a match as people think. I liked that the WWE has built this up as Henry’s big shot to finally win the WWE Title. But if Henry wins the WWE Title, he needs at least a month reign and not a short week or two one. I think Cena retains here and we get a rematch on RAW in two weeks where the feud ends.
Winner: John Cena
People Power: With 77% of the vote, John Cena wins the People Power vote.
The Tally: John Cena – 6
Mark Henry – 0
WWE All-Stars Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Christian vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. CM Punk vs. Rob Van Dam
CB: Up until this past Monday night on Raw, I thought Daniel Bryan would be the runaway victor of this match. Now, I am not so sure. Some people think that Orton would be the winner if not Bryan, but Randy and Cena have never had great chemistry together in the ring. That leaves RVD and CM Punk on my list of realistic possible winners … and so I say RVD takes it to really make his return something special. Besides, Cena vs. RVD sounds good to me for SummerSlam, especially with Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk looming on the horizon as well.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
Rhett Davis: I think only two guys are likely to win, but, after watching Raw, I think Daniel Bryan isn’t going to win. Randy Orton seems like the more likely choice. Especially with him losing on Raw and them hiding the possibility of him winning. Randy Orton will win, RVD and Christian will hit the crazy spots, Sheamus is a dark horse, but I hope not.
Winner: The Orange Viper
Steven Gepp: Let’s look at the participants, shall we? Christian has always been a reliable worker, a good go-to guy to make a match rise above the mediocre. His skill is underrated and he’s a good wrestler. But he won’t win. He’s there to hit a few crazy ladder spots. Since he has teamed with Bryan, I have liked Kane more than at any other time in his career, but he’s there for the big man spots, not to win. Randy Orton is probably second or third to Cena in terms of popularity at the moment, so he had to be there, and he can be relied upon to deliver, especially in a multi-man match where he doesn’t have to carry the bulk of the selling. He could win. Daniel Bryan is probably the favourite, as his work in all aspects of professional wrestling has risen above the pack by such a huge margin that he could possibly even cross-over into the mainstream. He could definitely win. Sheamus is the odd one out. The worst worker of the group, the worst seller, and a smiling doofus (mark 2). But he’s Sheamus and by gawd, the WWE is gonna make us love him and respect him, no matter what, so he could win. CM Punk has to be second favourite, but the thing going against him is that there are other, non-championship feuds in his future that involve none of the participants. Apparently. And that leaves Rob Van Dam. Although his TNA runs have been lacklustre and his work ethic and motivation seemingly at a low ebb, he never really phoned it in, never hurt anyone, and at least hit his moves as cleanly as he ever did. He’s still a spot-monkey with selling issues, but the ladder match format could well suit him and help cover any deficiencies in his work while he gets himself back into WWE fitness. But he’s not winning. So, what will happen? Christian and RVD will take themselves out with intricately contrived spots, Lesnar will make an appearance to take Punk out of the picture, the Bray family will take Kane out of the picture, Orton and Bryan will take each other out of the picture. So…
Winner: Sheamus (I know, I know, but this is a prediction, not a wish)
Mike Gojira: The only two guys who seem poised for a win here are Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan. If current rumors are true, DB is set to face John Cena at SummerSlam. Does that means he cashes in legitimately a la RVD all those years ago? One would hope so. I’m going to stick to my guns on this one.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Justin C: Kane being out of this match adds a little more intrigue to it. Does the WWE replace him with Bray Wyatt? Or leave his spot empty? And would Bray Wyatt actually win? I don’t think the WWE would pull the trigger on Wyatt that quickly, because there is always a risk that it backfires. I think you can easily eliminate Sheamus, Christian and Rob Van Dam from contention here. A case could be made for CM Punk, but when he wins back the WWE Title it should be in an actual match. That leaves Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. They really pushed Bryan hard on Monday. That surprised me because when that happens, you lose at the PPV. But does the WWE really give Orton the win here? As my HTC colleague Matt points out, Bryan could win the WWE Title and Orton could cash in right after. This one is more up in the air than it was two weeks ago. I’m still picking Bryan, but I’m not as confident as I was two weeks ago.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
People Power: With 55% of the vote, Daniel Bryan wins the People Power vote.
The Tally: Daniel Bryan – 3
Randy Orton – 1
Sheamus – 1
Rob Van Dam – 1
CM Punk – 0
Christian – 0
Kane – 0
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out our live coverage of the PPV tomorrow night! Also check out the Roundtable Repercussions sometime this week!