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   December 19, 2014



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Countdown to WWE Money in the Bank
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff





The WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view has always been fun and entertaining, and full of intrigue to see who the company was pushing as the next potential champion. This year, fans get the added bonus of a new WWE World champion as well as an automatic challenger through the two ladder matches. For our thoughts on the big two bouts and the rest of the card, read on!


Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Cesaro vs. John Cena vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus - Ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship


MATTHEW ASHER: This is a tough one because the winner of this will have a lot to do with Daniel Bryan's news relating to his health. If Bryan will be out for just a few more months, I actually see the newest Paul Heyman guy, Cesaro taking home the belts. If Bryan's going to be out for a lot longer than thought, then Orton or Cena will take the straps home. This being near John Cena's stomping grounds, he may get the nod but my money (pun not intended) is on a former champ to regain the belts.
MATTHEW BYER: Being that the poster for the upcoming SummerSlam has leaked showing John Cena and Brock Lesnar, the speculation is that Cena will win this match so he can drop the title to Lesnar in a couple of months. While that scenario is certainly plausible I suspect they may wait a bit before making Lesnar WWE World Heavyweight Champion because of his limited appearances. Therefore, the question becomes who they want to work a program against Daniel Bryan once he's healthy and the two most logical ones would be Kane or Orton. It has been a long time since Kane has held a championship and his feud with Bryan doesn't seem to be over so I'll go with the Big Red Machine for the win.
MARTY GOLDSTEIN: Can you smell .... the King of Swing?
BOB KAPUR: It's like that old song from Sesame Street - "One of these things is not like the other, one of these things does not belong." I'm looking at you, Alberto Del Rio, who, unlike everyone else in the match, is in some interesting and major storylines right now. I think it's too early still for Wyatt to get the win, and look for him and Cena to take each other out. This leaves the rest of the bad guys to do HHH's bidding, and take out Reigns, allowing Orton to get the sneaky win.
CALEB SMITH: As much as I would like to see Cesaro win the strap, he won't. It will be Cena with the win, but the match will showcase Reigns and Wyatt.

The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) (c) vs. The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) - Tag Team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship


MATTHEW ASHER: The Usos have done a good job with the belts since winning them just before 'Mania. Now it's time for another set of "brothers" to take over the belts. Harper and Rowan become the new tag champs and even though Bray will not become the new WWE champ, he will be in charge of the tag champs, a nice consolation prize.
MATTHEW BYER: It's really time they put the tag titles on The Wyatt Family. They've been feuding with The Usos for a while and to go any other direction will make them look ineffectual.
MARTY GOLDSTEIN: Challengers IMO would brutal to watch as champions but I think it's inevitable.
BOB KAPUR: This could be a nice sleeper match. The Usos have done a pretty good job of bringing some meaning to the Tag Titles, but without them, they could lose the fans's confidence and interest. Rowan and Harper don't actually need the belts at this point to be over. So I say the Usos retain.
CALEB SMITH: The Usos will win the match with some help from their friends.

Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Seth Rollins - Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract


MATTHEW ASHER: I don't see Barrett winning and this is disregarding his possible injury simply because he needs more time as the Intercontinental champ for the title to regain it's lost glory. The two most likely will be former Shield members Ambrose or Rollins winning the contract simply so this rivalry can continue to mean something a few months down the road but I think Ziggler, especially if the rumors of 'Naitch teaming up with the Show Off are true, will be the winner.
MATTHEW BYER: Word is that Bad News Barrett is injured so expect him to be taken out of this match early. We'll probably see Kofi Kingston and Rob Van Dam team up to do some crazy stunt with the ladder, but in the end it'll be Seth Rollins picking up a hard fought win once Dean Ambrose has been taken due to some nasty bump.
MARTY GOLDSTEIN: With Barrett out the best 'wild card' challenger to give the advantage to is Ambrose.
BOB KAPUR: Remember what I said about Alberto Del Rio above? Replace that with Kofi Kingston for this match. Seth Rollins' association with HHH - and the fact that everyone else has been booked as Jobbers to the Stars lately - suggests he'll get the win.
CALEB SMITH: This one is hard to pick. With Barrett's injury I don't know who is ready to take the next step? Ziggler, Van Dam and Kingston haven't done much lately. This match will come down to Rollins and Ambrose. I pick Rollins to win.

Paige (c) vs. Naomi - WWE Divas Championship


MATTHEW ASHER: Another challenger for Paige's title, another successful title defense. I'm just waiting on AJ Lee to return. Until then, I see Paige potentially breaking AJ's title reign record.
MATTHEW BYER: If the rumors of AJ Lee's pregnancy are true we may see Paige dropping the title to Naomi here to setup a new rivalry between her and Paige. Still, what's more likely to happen is Alicia Fox interferes setting up a triple threat match at the next Pay Per View.
MARTY GOLDSTEIN: Paige retains. They make her look vulnerable but I don't think there's any purpose to switching the title now.
BOB KAPUR: I really don't get Paige at all, but people seem to be into her. It could be time for a Funkadactyls split, so look for the other one to accidentally cause Naomi the match.
CALEB SMITH: Paige wins it after taking a beating.

Rusev with Lana vs Big E


MATTHEW ASHER: I thought the first meeting from these two behemoths would be the first time Rusev truly struggled. It didn't happen. Still, if the WWE is serious about pushing Alex, he needs to start having longer matches, I say this one goes around 10 minutes with the same result as last time.
MATTHEW BYER: There has been a good deal of speculation that Rusev is being positioned for an eventual program with John Cena. If true Rusev will probably crush Big E to further build him up for that future feud with Cena. This match will also probably be pretty short.

Layla vs Summer Rae - Fandango as the referee


MATTHEW ASHER: There's no reason Fandango would be brought in as the special referee if it wasn't clear that Layla would be coming out with a win. If the WWE wants me to care about this match, they need to add Andrea Lynn to the mix because she will ALWAYS be the best dance partner Fandango ever had.
MATTHEW BYER: This feud really doesn't have any end in sight so Fandango will probably lose all control of the match and the end will be rather inconclusive.

What will Daniel Bryan say?


MATTHEW ASHER: We all know it's going to be an update on his neck surgery. My guess is this is bad news because it's been too short of a span for his neck to have properly healed. And you know what they say about no news being good news, so there's that.
MATTHEW BYER: It's likely that Daniel Bryan will indicate when he'll be returning to in-ring action. However, Stephanie McMahon will likely interrupt and that will lead to the setup of a match with Brie Bella with Daniel Bryan's career on the line.
BOB KAPUR: Shouldn't this be a segment on Raw?

EDITOR'S NOTE: SLAM! Wrestling will have full coverage of the WWE Money in the Bank PPV as well as a photo gallery from our ace photographers in Boston, Bruno Silveira and Mike Mastrandrea.

MONEY IN THE BANK HISTORY