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Countdown to WWE Money in the Bank
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling





If WWE was looking for a hot storyline to give them the opportunity to pop a huge buyrate, it got handed to them on a straight edge platter.

The entire drama around CM Punk and his outstanding promo work (never mind Vince's balls to let him go out and say what he did) has many fans believing we're at the dawn of a new era in pro wrestling. While that remains to be seen, and what is truly Punk's future in WWE, the match tonight has more intrigue than the reason to order this pay-per-view, the two Money in the Bank matches which have now become as eagerly anticipated as the Royal Rumble.

There are a lot of x-factors to discuss, so let's get right to it


WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

CM Punk vs. John Cena

I don't think I need to say much about the background here, but despite being only a month old, this feud is already looking like the angle of the year in wrestling. We've talked endlessly about Punk on this website and across the 'net, so let's instead talk about Cena for a moment. Now there are a lot of conspiracies being thrown around, especially with Cena's "career" now on the line. Some have talked about a conspiracy where Vince causes Cena to win, ensuring that the championship stays in WWE and turning Cena heel as he marches towards the WrestleMania date with The Rock. Others think Cena loses, goes on hiatus for a few months and, by night's end, the MITB winner has the belt while Punk goes on his break.

Personally, I like the theory of Punk winning and taking the WWE title to RoH, and only returning after Vince pays a ransom of giving Punk his demands, plus some of his buddies including Colt Cabana, Luke Gallows and the Kings of Wrestling, so I'll take Punk to win the match.

Whatever the case is, this will be one of the best told stories in a match in quite some time.

So sit back, relax, grab an ice cream bar and get ready for what is the most anticipated match of the year.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Randy Orton vs. Christian

And then... we have this. I'm sorry, but with a nuclear hot match on the Raw side, Orton and Christian are playing very second fiddle this month (well, fourth when you factor in the MITBs). It seems like WWE is content riding this feud to crescendo at Summerslam, likely in a ladder match. To really keep the momentum going, you need Christian to take the belt and make the August match the absolute final bout between the two.
  RAW MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH

Kofi Kingston vs. Alex Riley vs. The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Evan Bourne
 

The easy pick here would be Alberto Del Rio, given that the rumour has long been Cena facing off against the Mexican aristocrat at Summerslam. Having said that though, I think a far more entertaining finish would be R-Truth winning, then going on to lose the MITB cash-in match to Cena, pushing the conspiracy theory a little harder. The only problem is Truth has turned from hard-edge thug to comic relief in the last couple weeks, but it isn't beyond the state of repair yet. Take Truth here.
  SMACKDOWN MONEY IN THE BANK MATCH

Wade Barrett vs. Sin Cara vs. Kane vs. Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes
 

To me, the big question here is whether Rhodes is ready to be the top heel on Smackdown. He's got the promos down, his in-ring work is at a more than decent level and he's got the heat, so it's not a radical idea to put him over and give him the belt, especially by defeating his former mentor. Other names have been bandied about, but Rhodes to me is the only real choice.
  GRUDGE MATCH

Big Show vs. Mark Henry
 

It's interesting that both Henry and Show have been in wrestling for more than 15 years apiece now. Crazy eh? This isn't going to be a mat classic, but I think it will be a fun big men match with lots of story telling in the ring. I'll take Show here with Henry winning next month at Summerslam.
  DIVA'S TITLE MATCH

Kelly Kelly vs. Brie Bella
 

Kelly's got the rocket on her back. The only problem is that she doesn't have a heel waiting in the wings for her after this feud is done. Meh. Let's hope they turn Beth heel again.
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MONEY IN THE BANK HISTORY
From the SLAM! Wrestling archives:
  • April 11, 2010: Kane, Miz make most of Money In The Bank

    Previous pay-per-view-reports