It's Time to Introduce A Midcard Money in the Bank Ladder Match | Smark Out Moment

It's Time to Introduce A Midcard Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Posted by Joshua Jones Sunday, June 12, 2022

2005 saw the beginning of what would become one of WWE's most exciting match concepts, the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Superstars from Raw and SmackDown compete for a briefcase that can be cash in over the next twelve months. The first winner was The Rated-R Superstar Edge, who used the briefcase effectively by taking advantage of a weakened John Cena to steal the title at New Year's Revolution. Since then, men and women have used the briefcase to elevate themselves on the roster, while some used it to re-establish themselves as a dominant force in WWE.

While the Money in the Bank ladder match is still one of the most anticipated match-ups in WWE, the last several winners haven't been booked as firmly as the first few winners had previously. Compared to winners such as Edge and Seth Rollins, the briefcase winners over the past several years have often been overlooked, used as plot devices, and sometimes even failed to cash in successfully. With so many failed attempts and mistakes, WWE needs to inject new life into the Money in the Bank concept. However, one of the biggest hurdles in this year's event is the uncertainty surrounding the Undisputed WWE Universal World Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns.

roman-reigns
Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns

Reigns have been rumored to take time off, meaning he'll appear less on live events, television, and minor PPVs. Without a champion, how could the winner of the Men's Money in the Bank ladder match possibly cash in? While there is the option of the winner challenging Reigns at a future live event, perhaps WWE could take a route they never took before and establish a midcard Money in the Bank ladder match.

The Intercontinental Championship just changed hands. Gunther defeated Ricochet on SmackDown and may be on his way to becoming one of the most dominant intercontinental champions ever. But with less competition on the roster, thanks mainly to the massive cuts over these past two years, who's left to challenge for the belt? Perhaps the real question is how much focus will WWE give to developing a credible challenger for Gunther.

A solution would be to create a midcard Money in the Bank ladder match. This allows WWE to have their get-out-of-jail-free card while establishing a quick challenger for Gunther. It also emphasizes the importance of being a midcard champion if 6 people are willing to go through hell, all for the chance to earn an opportunity for the belt.

dolph-ziggler-U.S.-champion
Dolph Ziggler as United States Champion

When Dolph Ziggler was still United States champion on Raw, he had to contend with challenges left and right, but it often felt like the title wasn't something that many wrestlers needed. Triple H often said that he needed to be WWE Champion, that it was his livelihood, and he would rather die than lose the title to someone else. During Ziggler's U.S. title reign, nobody he went against felt they needed to become champion until Ziggler came across Zack Ryder.

Ryder made the WWE universe feel like he needed to win the United States Championship. Suddenly, a midcard title feud had meaning, and fans became invested in the possibility of Ryder winning the belt. If WWE can present the same feeling to a midcard Money in the Bank ladder match, then the midcard titles suddenly look more desirable as they have been for the last several years. Wrestlers could cut promos explaining why they have to win the midcard Money in the Bank ladder match and express their desire to win the covenant U.S. Championship for instance. With enough passion and stakes, WWE could give meaning to these belts and re-energize the midcard division.

money-in-the-bank-image
Big E as Mr. Money in the Bank

Of course, the real test is whether whoever wins the briefcase is considered a credible threat. Fans have seen in the past the Money in the Bank winner beaten many times on television before eventually cashing in. From Ziggler to Big E, whoever wins the briefcase often loses a lot of steam before their significant title victories. Because the midcard briefcase winner isn't going for the main title, they must be presented as the most credible midcard talent on the roster.

Whoever wins the briefcase can't suffer through weeks or months of losing matches. They need to stack up wins and remind the Intercontinental or U.S. Champion that they can take it away whenever they want. Seeing the champion on their toes is perhaps the best aspect of the concept. The midcard division needs that sort of sense of mystery and anxiety to keep fans invested. Without that, fans will be waiting to see Roman Reigns show back on their television screens.

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY A GUEST WRITER

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