WWE Money In The Bank 2018 Preview and Predictions - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

WWE Money In The Bank 2018 Preview and Predictions - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Robert DeFelice Friday, June 15, 2018
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Robert DeFelice, Jordan Chaffiotte, and Jonathan Maldonado will be giving their thoughts on WWE Money In The Bank 2018!

It's Mr. Monopoly's favorite show of the year, Money In The Bank. Ronda Rousey wants gold, Nakamura is looking for a 10-Count, but we're looking for two briefcase winners. Who will they be? Let's discuss…

Question 1: Ronda Rousey is all set for her first Championship match against Nia Jax. What do you think of this rivalry, and do you that she takes it all on her first effort?

MALDONADO:The characters in this story are spot on but the delivery is weak. I love Ronda having to take on a tough opponent in her first singles match instead of a predictable squash. The belt being on the line is the only way to sell this a genuinely unpredictable because a win on either side makes sense. While the build leaves something to be desired, I’m enjoying Ronda actually be on television every week.

I think this match ends up in some sort of disqualification on Nia, who retains the belt. It’s the easiest way to get out of this booking puzzle and assemble the next one. If the first match is good, I’m OK with this becoming a trilogy ending at SummerSlam. It’s refreshing when two over and full-time superstars are locked in a feud for a title over a significant length of time, no matter how silly it gets...

CHAFFIOTTE:’m feeling a tad claustrophobic by this little painted into a corner situation. You can’t have a Nia squash because Ronda will look weak. You can’t have a Ronda decisive victory because Nia will look weak. You can’t call Ronda “ripe for the picking” because only her husband can call her that. Gross. I don’t know if I have a solution but I strongly believe putting the belt on Ronda is not it. So either Nia has to get DQ’d, there needs to be some sort of outside interference or she has to win clean. Two of these leave us with an unsatisfying finish and one sets Ronda back a fair amount. Ultimately, I would’ve preferred to see Ronda getting reps on the house shows and on Raw, but that hasn’t happened here.

DEFELICE: In short, I have hated this build. However, almost none of that has to do with Ronda. Nia Jax spending the last three months as an anti-bullying character, only to bully enhancement talent in an effort to send a message to Rousey, only to be a face again after injuring Nattie is just so maddeningly typical of this stupid creative team that I don't even know why I'm surprised. Yes, I think Ronda will win, as she should. She's the biggest name to enter the world of women's wrestling since Cyndi Lauper in ‘85, and this is only the beginning. However, I don't think she'll be champion for long, but more on that later.

Question 2: AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura are facing their last stand, fittingly enough, in a Last Man Standing Match. Who do you see walking out of Chicago with the most prestigious accolade in sports entertainment today?

DeFELICE: Let's just get this part out of the way, this feud has been so disappointing. I'm so sorry for anyone who was excited about it and those that may have bragged about it to their friends. WWE had a ready-made work of art in front of them and decided that they needed to just dump all over it. There, now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business.

I have actually enjoyed the charisma that Shinsuke Nakamura has displayed since turning heel, I just don't think this rivalry needed that level of cute heel antics. I don't hate the stipulation, I just think that an Iron Man Match would have played better to their strengths. I want to believe that this will finally be the match where everybody stops and realizes why these two are magic together, however, with the way this rivalry was booked, I just don't expect anything overtly positive. Unfortunately, I think the moment has passed for Shinsuke to win the WWE Championship. I think there are other people more deserving on the blue brand and they wasted too much time trying to build this back story. Therefore, I think AJ wins in a highly contested battle but ultimately moves on to an old foe in Samoa Joe.

MALDONADO: Say what you will about the quality of this feud, but it’s like nothing else in WWE right now. Almost every title on the roster is surrounded by sharks, with a storyline to boot. Especially with MITB season in its final push, each title can have its own cast of characters on its own show. The only exception to this is the WWE Championship. Since WrestleMania, now two months ago, the title has been in the sole orbit of the AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura feud. No one else is knocking on the door at the moment or has been since this feud began. It’s great to see, I finally feel like I can point to a real rivalry. Elias and Seth Rollins come to mind but that is just a couple weeks old and probably won’t last long in the open challenge scene.

All that being said, I don’t think WWE will make Shinsuke a priority if he doesn’t win the title or remains in a feud for it. That coupled with his advanced age, I think WWE pull the trigger here and make him champion while they still can. He can hold it through Extreme Rules and up until SummerSlam where he’ll drop it in a match against AJ Styles to whoever won MITB.

CHAFFIOTTE: I just. I don’t care. And I hate that I don’t care but I don’t. This feud burned out so quickly and months later we’re still going through it. Aside from the low blows, what’s the story here? Disrespect? That’s so vague, it gives me nothing to hang on to. The heel turn has been fun but I don’t understand his motivations in the slightest. I don’t think they’re suddenly going to give me a solid story this time around. It’s going to be more of the same, just longer. Nakamura needs the win, let’s all move on with our lives. Next question, please.

Question 3: Who do you see walking out with the Money In The Bank briefcase for the men? Who do you see walking out with the briefcase on the side of the women? How would you book the winners in their respective ideal situations?

MALDONADO: think it’s fair that to predict The Miz going over here. Yea he’s already done it and successfully cashed in then parlayed that into a WrestleMania main event, but so? He’s light years more entertaining than back then and is a believable champ among the SDL roster. And it’s the juicy storyline future that makes this so critical.

Miz will still become embroiled in a feud with Daniel Bryan, even as Mr. MITB. Daniel Bryan will at some point liken Miz’s MITB opportunity to his sleazy tactics and claim he doesn’t need the contract to win a title. Daniel Bryan gets a title match down the road and, surprise, Miz cashes in and steals Bryan’s opportunity. Now Miz is the champ and takes the belt to WrestleMania where he goes one-on-one for the WWE Championship. And yes, the feud absolutely needs the title, it’ll send Miz into overdrive against Bryan and produce the classic feud we’re waiting for.

For the women, I know Charlotte doesn’t win. I would hate watching her win via cash-in, that’s just not her character at all. Asuka already has the first Women’s Royal Rumble victory and her streak is over so I don’t see her getting MITB. Alexa Bliss, I believe, is firmly out of the title picture for the time being. The rest are all believable winners.

CHAFFIOTTE: have changed my mind on this maybe a dozen times. Finn Balor very much needs a win, he is toeing the line of becoming completely irrelevant when he should be the face of the company. There’s no indication that he’s going over, and I would argue that his actions on social media are probably him cheaply trying to get himself over. Not that I mind, but I see you, Balor. The Miz is about to have the feud of the year but it doesn’t really need the briefcase. Samoa Joe is great, Rusev is great, Bobby Roode...exists. After going back and forth, I think this is the only chance to put the briefcase on the New Day, particularly Xavier. This is the one shot at freebirding the briefcase and we can take the time to play with it for a while before Big E (and it would definitely be Big E) cashes in on Nakamura. We can use the other two as distractions, so even if Nakamura is in a position to fight back, we get a successful cash in.

For the women, I will give it to someone who simply needs it, and that’s Becky Lynch. That leaves us with two face MITB winners, but I think that might be a nice change of pace. They’re also both on SmackDown but hey, no one’s perfect. Becky would be a lot of fun teasing the briefcase on Carmella and Asuka. Ultimately, I see her taking the high road and announcing last minute that she will challenge the champion on the next PPV. Perhaps even the morning of if WWE feels like they don’t have enough subscribers this month. Then once she wins, she should hold open challenges on SmackDown. Becky has exceptional chemistry with everyone she gets into the ring with, and while I don’t want to see her act as a transitional champion, we do need to get it back on Charlotte for WrestleMania, this achieves that easily. It gives girls like Mandy Rose, Lana, maybe even Zelina Vega a chance to get some spotlight and I get more Becky Lynch in my life.

DeFELICE: On the men's side, it truly is a jump ball. A strong case can be made for even the weakest link in this match as to why they can win, and it would still be believable and lead to something great. However, I'll give you two scenarios. The one that I want, and the one that I believe will happen.

The Miz deserves this victory. That's almost an unarguable point. With Daniel Bryan back in competition, The Miz needs to win this briefcase. Maybe, he could even cash in on Bryan, leading to a bigger WrestleMania match between the two, following a Bryan Royal Rumble victory. It's simple, it's efficient, that's what I would do in a dream scenario.

However, in reality, Raw desperately needs this briefcase. Historically, the Money In The Bank briefcase has occasionally been used as a get-out-of-jail-free card for the company. To me, there is no more dire scenario right now than the Brock Lesnar/Universal Championship issue, and I think Raw could really use a get-out-of-jail-free card. The question then becomes: who on Raw wins it? If you want an immediate fix, you put it on Braun Strowman and have him cash in immediately after Lesnar's next championship defense. That's the easy way. While it won't surprise me if they take that route, I'm going to go hitch my wagon to something a little less obvious, but something that's rooted in their decision making throughout history. I think Bobby Roode wins this match and eventually turns heel in order to play the role of The Authority's hand-picked Universal Champion. In this scenario, I think Seth Rollins, or more likely Roman, dethrones Brock Lesnar and is immediately cashed in on by Bobby Roode while Stephanie McMahon cheers on. Maybe, there's even a little bit of help from Constable Corbin. I know it seems out there, but it's what I'm going with for my ultimate pick.

The women's side of things in my eyes is a lot more cut-and-dry. Charlotte or Nattie wins and immediately cashes in on Ronda Rousey. Don't get me wrong, in my heart I'd rather see Ember or Sasha, or Becky win, but I think this is the easiest way to get to another Ronda Rousey feud and get there rather quickly. Throughout the monthly programming, they seem to have hammered home that whoever wins can only challenge the champion on their brand. Even though history seems to dictate otherwise, maybe they've decided going forward to not allow the briefcase holder to jump from show to show. Because of this, gun to my head, I have to go with Natalya. However, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Charlotte wins and immediately cashes in on Ronda or even Asuka on her own brand, to be honest. I definitely see whoever wins the women's match cashing in on Sunday.

Bonus: Money In The Bank features quite a few major contests. As such, use this section to talk about whatever else is on your mind for this pay-per-view. Whether it's another match, or issue that you want to discuss surrounding this show.

CHAFFIOTTE: Thank you for this blank check to talk about Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins. As should be evident by the last two or so months of Triple Threats, I am very into this story and strongly believe Finn should take the IC belt off Rollins at SummerSlam. As I mentioned before, he needs something big, and if it’s not gonna be Money in the Bank, it needs to be this. But more important than that is how we get there, and I think this is primed for a Balor heel turn. Perhaps a half turn, even. I don’t mind Finn “smiles too much” Balor because I believe deep down he’s actually a tiny bit of a jerk who is way too pleased with himself at all times. We’ve all seen that Instagram story. So if we follow this story through the summer of Balor continuing to chase Rollins, manipulating him with their friendship to get another shot, and ultimately winning with a slightly dirty tactic, we’d invigorate his character and his career. The whole time we can highlight how Seth really ought to see what’s happening here considering he was a master of this game before. After Balor gets an opportunistic roll up or a pin while grabbing the tights, he can admit that he wants nothing to do with Rollins. Oh how the tables have turned, my friend.

DeFELICE: The biggest problem I have with WWE in 2018 is that their flagship show, Monday Night Raw, has no stakes at all. This hurts all pay-per-views because at least half of the show doesn't matter! The Brock Lesnar as Universal Champion run needs to die. Combine the lack of a World Champion with the monotonous Roman Reigns must fight from underneath booking, and the odd Bobby Lashley/Sami Zayn stuff, and you just have the worst possible 3-hour show. This really is reminiscent of Nitro during WCW's initial decline. They need to start reviewing the tired Attitude Era-esque formula and update it to something better suited for this era. Just doing a 20-minute opening talking segment, leading to a 40-minute tag match, leading to another 40-minute match at the end of the show is draining. I want to see more character development and fewer matches for the sake of matches. Perhaps the most annoying part of all of this is that their third brand, NXT, does this perfectly. So why can't we see this on the flagship show? Once everything turns around on Raw, I will be a lot more into the product as a whole.

MALDONADO: All I want to know is who…WHO, who, WhO, wHo...is going to be the man to represent the New Day in the MITB match? Is the New Day fine?

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Robert DeFelice is a journalist and marketing student. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram as well as his apparel website Time Killer Apparel and his pro wrestling blog PandemoniuMania.


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