We're finally here. It's been 6 weeks of some of the worst television of the year... but we made it. The build that featured more heat with food fights between BBQ's and breakfast foods than actual ladders. The build that saw them resorting to the worst segment of the year in a feud that involves a freak athlete built like a house and one of their best pure annoying heels when you would think the pairing is a can't-miss... Yes. Money in the Bank live from the Rosemont Horizon this Sunday... Hello and welcome, you've landed here on Planet Kayfabe where today I will be previewing the 2018 Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
Whatever. Before I take another blade job to the wrist let's just get into it.
The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (Tag match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship)
Things could change, but I don't like that the tag titles are demoted to the pre-show and I'm sure most of you here and those watching at home would agree. I already did a long form column about the sad state of WWE tag teams right now a couple weeks ago, so if you want my extended thoughts on that go seek it out.
Assuming this stays on the pre-show I'm picking the champions to retain. We already say Harper get rolled up on TV, so you know what that means, of course... He's going to get his win back on PPV. Next time some corporate shill says 50/50 booking isn't a thing and just internet blabbering show them the build to 2018 MITB. It is a thing and I'm going to be talking a lot about it as we go deeper.
Ember Moon vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Lana vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks (Money in the Bank ladder match for a women's championship contract)
Early on I figured Natalya would win and turn on Ronda. Much of the build has been centered around Natalya being torn between her two friends Raw Women's Champion Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey. It's pretty weak since it reminds me of an old Diva's story line where the girls are suddenly "best friends" like they're in high school setting up a betrayal. I'll get more into Ronda and Nia later, though. Here I'm sticking with my gut and picking Natalya to win and either way it will cause a rift between her friends. The whole "friends" angle is weird to me. There's been nothing on TV to tell the fans that Nattie and Nia are close friends. I guess we have to just take their word for it because it would be too much effort to write a story with layers and an actual build up. No. Just tell them they're friends and the audience will automatically become emotionally invested in their "friendship" for no reason just because they say they're friends AGGHHH!!! Whatever. Nattie wins.
Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn (Singles Match)
We have a NoDQ "Worst Feud of the Year" candidate here. I don't have much to say because I think the obvious outcome is Lashley destroys Zayn who will try every sneaky trick in the book to win. After this they move on... hopefully. This has not been a great feud for either guy. I don't expect the crowd to be that into it, so it shouldn't run too long. Don't test their patience. Bobby goes over clean here.
Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass (Singles Match)
It didn't take me long to turn on Big Cass' return. When he first came back he seemed confident on the mic and cut a very good promo. Now I see it more as he made a good second first impression because even excluding the promo with the midget "Daniel Bryan" his interviews haven't done much for me and considering his work hasn't really improved in the ring its hard for me to get that excited about his matches if he can't at least draw me in with a promo.
Its just been the same stock bullshit. Daniel Bryan has cut some good promos on his end. One was on a web interview that would later air on Smackdown. Cass' promos have basically been "I'm big and Bryan isn't. That's why 'Big' is in my name and not in Bryan's name." Its turned Cass into this stock one dimensional meat head. Okay. He's BIG. His name is BIG Cass. We get it. What else?
Anyway because Bryan won their first match 50/50 WWE logic states that Cass will likely win this match leading to their rubber match later this summer where Bryan will ultimately 'win' this feud. I'm guessing Cass wins by some cheap tactics. Since Bryan beat him via tap out, Cass will work an exposed turnbuckle gimmick or do something cheap to score a win. I don't know. If it were my promotion Bryan would just win again to keep him strong and move on from this nothing feud, but its not so I have to connect the dots of bullshit and predict what I think they will do.
Carmella (c) vs. Asuka (Singles match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship)
More 50/50. On TV we saw Asuka tap out the Women's Champion which is pretty much WWE telling us that its not going to happen on PPV. They just wanted to show you that surprise-surprise... Asuka is more technically sound than Carmella.
Again, if it were my promotion, Asuka would be winning clean. However Carmella will probably retain her title by disqualification or her sometimes alliance with The IIconics will run-in to help Carmella. Whatever it is I don't see Carmella pinning Asuka cleanly unless its a surprise roll-up which would just be a load of crap. My prediction is Carmella will walk out with her title either by DQ or count-out. Anything for her to brag about still being champion on the next Smackdown.
Ya know, then we can go back to another moth of never watching her wrestle because she... uhh can't. But hey ReVoLuTiOn!!!
There's also been a lot of rumors circling around about a James Ellsworth return so... yeah. Be prepared for that, too.
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Elias (Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
This match seems to have the most interest of the non-ladder matches. It should be good but I don't think Elias has a shot. It'll probably go 15-20 minutes and maybe reach the 3.5 star level, but Rollins is winning this clean. Hopefully the crowd is into it. For Elias, as much as everyone is into his song/promo segments once the bell rings the dude gets no reaction at all. Maybe that will change with what will likely be a hot crowd against perhaps the hottest babyface in WWE right now. All the stars are aligned for Elias to have the best showing of his career... but in a loss. Seth wins clean as he should.
Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal (Singles match)
Nia Jax (c) vs. Ronda Rousey (Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship)
The build initially began as a babyface-vs-babyface match and then they quickly turned Nia back into her bully character for one week and since then she has morphed back into a kind-of-babyface or so where are lead to think. Again... the build for this feud like most of this PPV has not been great.
They continue to bill Nia as the "irresistible force" when not only have we seen her get beat clean and defeated via submission in the recent past this year, but we saw Ronda tap out Nia on Raw in their last promo segment together. They even rang the bell for some reason... I don't know. Maybe to make sure we were still awake. What a force Nia is tapping like a bitch.
This whole feud was about if Ronda could get the armbar on someone the size of Nia since she has never faced someone Nia's size. Well, she did and Nia tapped. There ya go. Of course 50/50 WWE logic tells me on PPV you're gonna see some f***ery to keep the title off Ronda for now.
No one buys Nia as a monster even though she is bigger than the other girls. She's not scary and we've seen her lose and tap out plenty of times. During their interview segment with Coah it didn't look like a smaller athlete vs a large killer. It looked like a legitimate well-conditioned athlete vs someone's chubby mom.
This match could end a few unconventional ways to protect Ronda and keep her away from holding the title a little longer. My prediction is Nattie comes out to watch her "friends" (or whoever the women's MITB winner ends up being if its a heel). In the end she uses Ronda's skills as a fighter to take care of Nia for her before betraying Ronda by hitting her with the case and pulling a Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania 31 and inserting herself into the match for the quick pin on Nia to steal the title. The winner isn't going to come out after either won so that's my prediction, the MITB winner will walk out of this match as champion.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship)
Another lackluster feud. It's been said a thousand times already, but its weird how this feud that was all about indecisive finishes had a match that Nakamura was over the champion in a non-title match in a decisive finish to determine the stipulation. He chose a Last Man Standing match which makes no sense because this match could still end in a draw. Shit, its Money in the Bank why not just do a Ladder match?
My pick is AJ Styles to retain and win this feud. I've enjoyed Shinsuke Nakamura's heel run for the most part but this has not been a great feud which is a shame because pairing these two names together should be a can't-miss but WWE is always willing to prove to you that nothing is a can't miss if them and their staff of 35 "creative" writers have anything to say about it.
Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz vs. Rusev vs. Bobby Roode vs. Kevin Owens vs. Samoa Joe vs. Big E, Kofi Kingston, or Xavier Woods (Money in the Bank ladder match for a world championship contract)
At first I thought The Miz would win the MITB this year to add some extra fuel to his eventual feud with Daniel Bryan. Instead The Miz has just been doing silly stuff with New Day this past month as they've been trolling him with pancakes. Miz is good in his role and the New Day are fun as always but there's been nothing done in the last 6 weeks to make me think I'm supposed to take either party as a serious candidate for Mr. Money in the Bank.
WWE seems to lean towards the heel side more when it comes to this gimmick so my pick is Kevin Owens who is still reliable as a top heel but has been out of the world title picture for a while. Winning the contract will at least keep him in the world championship conversation. My preview isn't laid out as the official match order so I don't know if this match will go on last. I am just assuming it will which could mean a babyface is going over to close like its even going to matter in this town. I think they'll be happy just as long as Roman Reigns and Jinder Mahal aren't closing the show.
There's my preview for 2018 WWE Money in the Bank. Thanks for reading. Be sure to follow me over on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe and enjoy the show. Based on the build I'm not expected a great event, but I'd love to be surprised. Considering MITB has become one of the more anticipated PPV's on the WWE calendar its a shame the build has been so shitty.
Enjoy the show and enjoy your weekend, everyone. Safe travels to the NoDQ boys in town for the show. For NoDQ. I'm KC, this is Planet Kayfabe and I'll see you soon for my review of Money in the Bank. Take care, everyone.