July 15, 2012
Countdown to WWE Money in the Bank
By JAN MURPHY - Kingston Whig-Standard

WWE Inc. hosts its popular Money In The Bank pay-per-view this Sunday.

As such, the Kingston Whig-Standard hosts a pay-per-view picks column featuring yours truly and Arda Ocal of The Score’s Aftermath.

We break down the matches and offer our thoughts and opinions, even predictions.


WWE Championship Money In the Bank: Big Show vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho vs. John Cena

Arda: I don’t buy the notion that this match will only have four participants — if the restriction is that only former WWE champions can take part, that laves the door open for some surprise entrants on Sunday — The Miz and Rey Mysterio come to mind. I like the idea of one or two surprise entrants, to add a dimension to the match many weren’t expecting.

Even still, with whomever might join the match, all eyes are on John Cena — eventhough Cena’s “guarantees” of late have produced the opposite result of Vince McMahon’s “guaran-damn-tees,” I see Cena winning the match, and cashing in the briefcase honorably — Cena vs CM Punk at SummerSlam. Chris Jericho is a dark horse and I wouldn’t be upset if he won.


Jan: Sometimes, letting Arda write first makes it very difficult to follow. I mean, how do I top that?

Well, I agree that it makes complete sense to have one or two surprise entrants. Rumours have been swirling that Mysterio is ready to return, so he’s a natural.

Cena, still the face of the company no matter what anyone thinks, has been putting over other talent for a year now, so a championship run for the future hall of famer is due.

Expect a Cena win, and a date with CM Punk in the future. I’m not sure SummerSlam is that date, but that will sort itself out on Sunday.


World Heavyweight Championship Money In The Bank: Damien Sandow vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Christian vs. Santino Marella vs. Tensai vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sin Cara

Arda: I like this match for so many reasons — for one, there is a lot of talent, like Sandow and Tyson Kidd, that are getting newfound exposure on pay-per-view. There are competitors you wouldn’t expect in a ladder match, like Tensai and Marella. You have guys you can count on to produce a stellar match, like Ziggler and Rhodes. Christian is a ladder match innovator and is the glue holding this match together. This is my sleeper pick for show stealer. As for a winner, Ziggler and Rhodes are popular picks, but I would like to go off the board and choose Tyson Kidd, only because it would be a pick completely out of left-field and he has the goods to back up a possible push.

Jan: This one has many, many possible outcome scenarios.

I’ll break it into three categories — not a chance, unlikely and possible — and group competitors where I feel they fall.

Not a chance: Marella, Tensei and Sin Cara. Marella, while very talented and absolutely hilarious, is not World champ material at this stage. Tensei does nothing for me, nor apparently many fans as during many of his appearances, you could hear a pin drop. Sin Cara is quite simply no Rey Mysterio.

Unlikely: Christian, Rhodes and Sandow. For Sandow, his push is in its infancy. The timing is not right. For Rhodes, I see big things, but not yet. Expect him to remain in the hunt, but not atop it. While it saddens me to write this, as he’s one of my all-time favourites, Christian’s best days are behind him. Injuries are limiting him, and that can’t be lost on WWE brass. Putting the World title on an oft-injured star is a risk I don’t think WWE will take at this point.

Possible: Kidd and Dolph Ziggler. Kidd is quickly shooting up popularity ladder, pun intended. The final graduate of the legendary Hart Family Dungeon has wrestling roots that run deep and he’s well regarded as a future superstar. WWE could embrace that now and watch his stock soar. Ziggler is quite possibly the future face of the company. No one in the locker room possesses more talent (he has a few equals) and few can match his charisma. That adds up to a can’t-miss superstar. The WWE has been slowly building him up. Time to speed up the process. Every second we miss of this guy’s big run is a shame.

I’ll take Ziggler.


World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

Arda: I don’t hide the fact that I think Del Rio is one of the best workers in the WWE — great character, fantastic in ring work, attention to detail — it’s all there. That being said, as much as I would like to see him enjoy a long title run, I think the “machine” is behind Sheamus right now and he will continue to hold the gold — I look for Sheamus to retain.

Jan: Agree and agree. Only distinction I would make here is that Sheamus is earning any backing he is getting right now. He is some kind of a monster right now. A perfect fit and a stable champion. Why mess with perfection, as they say.


WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan (Special Guest Referee: AJ)

Arda: It’s been a long time since a Diva has been such a focus in WWE, and AJ is playing the part perfectly — she truly is the most interesting character on the show today. At first I was concerned that so many matches between Bryan and Punk would make their rivalry less special, especially since so many hardcore wrestling fans want to see it, but AJ has been added perfectly to divert our attention. This match is more about what AJ will do than who will win the match. I look for Punk to retain — I used to think AJ and Bryan would reunite, but after the dual proposal on Raw I see AJ being a loose cannon far after this rivalry and Punk keeping the title past SummerSlam. On a side note, if I wanted to bring back even more value to the title, I’d have CM Punk hold the gold for a lengthy period of time — I mean 2-3 years — while steadily defending the title.

Jan: For me, this rivalry is getting stale. AJ has almost single-handedly kept this interesting to this point, but I hope for the time being that this ends it.

I’ll take Punk.


Pre-Show: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Hunico and Camacho

Arda: Why are Hunico and Camacho getting a title shot? What about the Prime Time Players, who actually work, look and act like a tag team? The fact that this match is happening annoys me. Also, how many of you actually forgot that Kofi/Truth were tag champs? This happens all too much and I feel like I’m campaigning to have the tag titles matter to no avail. Maybe I should stop caring like many others. I’m hanging on by a thread. Kofi/Truth win and Prime Time Players win soon after.

Jan: With no divas match yet scheduled, this one will be the snoozer. It irks me to no end that that tag-team division is such an afterthought. I come from the generation that saw the likes of The Islanders, Demolition, The Rockers etc. bring prestige to the tag titles. Sadly, the whole division is clinging by a thread.


MONEY IN THE BANK HISTORY

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