On Sunday, June 17th, the WWE will be celebrating Father’s Day with their annual Money in the Bank (MITB) event live on the WWE Network beginning at 7PM ET. This co-produced WWE Network event will be held at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. As of this writing, there are 10 matches scheduled for MITB with only one of those matches confirmed for the Kickoff Show. As we all know, the WWE is infamous for adding matches the day of a PPV or Network event.
The main event match of the night is a WWE world title bout between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. This will be the 4th straight event that they have fought each other for the title. Also on the card is Ronda Rousey’s single’s debut in a RAW Women’s title match, Two Money in the Bank ladder matches, and three other championship bouts.
The last time we all gathered around to talk about the WWE was for the Backlash show, which was the worst Network event of the year so far. With that said, the MITB always seems to deliver excitement and I believe this show has a few matches with potential to leave us feeling pretty good about investing 4+ hours of our lives in the WWE on Father’s Day.
Time to hit my music and start the betting predictions. Odds are courtesy of 5Dimes.eu:
As of now, this is the only match confirmed for the one hour long MITB Kickoff Show:
Do you remember when Gallows and Anderson were one of the top tag teams in the world? I do. It was prior to them coming to the WWE. Yes, they had a nice run on RAW as one of the main teams including a tag title reign. But, since then, they’ve been floating down the river of mediocrity. In fact, even with the move to SmackDown, this team still lacks the excitement they once had. The WWE surprised many fans and pundits by having “the good brothers” defeat The USOs and earn the right to face Harper and Rowan. Sadly, this where that momentum ends.
The Bludgeon Brothers are a massive favorite in this match with the betting line of -750. And, there’s a big reason why – nobody believes in Gallows and Anderson (+450) anymore. The WWE has watered them down to the point that they’ve become just another tag team. A small step up from Breezango.
On Sunday, the tag champs will bludgeon their way to another victory and keep the titles for at least another month. I’m all for establishing Rowan and Harper as a dominating force in the tag division, but I wish it didn’t have to come at the expense of Gallows and Anderson.
In a perfect world, which we all know the WWE is not, it would be great if these two teams fought to a no decision or double disqualification and left each other in a bloody mess. That would instantly put some pop and buzz into this feud and possibly get fans more interested.
In the main portion of the show, there are 9 advertised matches:
I, along with many fans in the WWE Universe, have wanted to really get into this feud. Unfortunately, it just never materialized into anything more than an opening match on a second rate PPV. In fact, if it wasn’t for Bryan’s popularity, this match would be on the Kickoff Show.
The whole storyline behind why Cass hates Bryan jumped the shark and really became boring. In the triple threat MITB qualifying match with Samoa Joe, a few weeks ago on SmackDown, the match lacked the sizzle that should’ve been there due to the wrestlers involved. Well, after spending way too much of my time trying to figure out why it failed on several levels, I came to the conclusion that Big Cass is just not ready to be put in the same ring with Daniel Bryan or Samoa Joe right now.
Cass needs to be in a mid-card feud with someone like Randy Orton who could get more intensity out of him and put the big man over. Then, as he moved up the card, he could fight Bryan and fans might actually believe he would have a chance.
Despite all of Cass’ post-match attacks on Bryan, the interest in this feud is just not there. Bryan has already made Cass tap out once, and if WWE was smart, they would do it again to end this feud and move both men in a different direction.
With that said, I’m really hoping that Bryan wins this match, so that this feud will end and we can see him go up against wrestlers like Samoa Joe or Shinsuke Nakamura. As for Cass, win or lose, he’s just not ready to be a main event player on SmackDown, yet. However, this is exactly the type of scenario where the WWE will force a wrestler down your throat despite the fans not wanting it. Cass could easily win this match due to WWE’s addiction with 7-footers. But, I’m going with my hope and heart here that DB can win it and put us out of our misery.
According to the betting odds, and the WWE Universe, this is the most one-sided match on the entire show. Reigns is the biggest favorite on the card and rightfully so. Nobody thinks that Mahal will win. Not even Mahal’s mom thinks he will win. In fact, she’s probably rooting for Reigns to win so that her son can actually get back to fighting in matches he has a shot at winning.
Mahal cost Reigns a spot in the men’s MITB ladder match. And, for that, we should all be showing our gratitude for The Modern Day Maharaja by rooting him on during this match. Unfortunately, we all know the formula for this one: Mahal harasses Reigns for the last 6 weeks, gets a few shots in on Roman over the last few RAWs, and then gets destroyed at MITB. It’s the same thing we’ve seen from Reigns for the last few years. And, it’s a big reason why the WWE Universe hates Reigns so much.
I wish that this match was on the kickoff show because I personally don’t even want to watch it. But, like most of you, I will be suffering through this bout and hoping that it ends in under 10 minutes. Reigns wins this match via spear – yawn!!
If there’s any other match on the show that will compete with Reigns and Mahal as the worst bout, it would be this one. Don’t be surprised if you see a large amount of fans in Chicago head to the bathroom once this match begins. And that sound of flushing, isn’t just the fans in the Allstate Arena, but it’s also the sound of Lashley’s momentum and interest going right down the toilet.
From what I’ve seen with my own eyes, and what I’ve seen from others on social media, the RAW segments between these two have been some of the worst moments on Monday Night RAW ever. That’s right, in my best Chris Jericho voice, I’m saying “evvvvvvvvvvver.”
Everyone wanted to see the eventual showdown between Lashley and Lesnar when they heard that Bobby was returning. Unfortunately, we got the exciting Lashley vs Zayn showdown instead. Now, I didn’t expect Lashley to face Lesnar anytime in the near future. However, I also didn’t expect him to waste his time in the worst feud on RAW.
The WWE needs to save face here and have Lashley win in a squash match. I love Zayn, but he just doesn’t pique anyone’s interest without Owens by his side. WWE should have him spear Zayn as soon as he walks in the ring, then give him a 30 second vertical suplex and then pin him for the victory. Have Zayn play up the vertigo angle for another month and send Lashley onward to something more meaningful. Instead, we’ll get a drawn out match that does neither man any good.
I have to admit, I did not think the odds would be this high in favor of Seth Rollins. The Architect is on top of his game and consistently performing stellar matches each week. But, to have him as a -825 line over Elias at +475, is a lot for me to process.
The WWE is at a crossroads here with these two guys. And, honestly, I wish they would’ve put Elias in the ladder match and had Rollins face someone else. Elias is at the point in his tenure on RAW where he needs that big moment. No, I don’t mean a WrestleMania moment, but I do mean a big win over a big star. And, this is the perfect opportunity for it. Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening.
I believe the WWE wants to keep the belt on Rollins and have him continue to headline RAW in regards to in-ring action. But, if the WWE were to think about it more clearly, having Elias smash a guitar over Rollins’ head and win the match, would be great for both wrestlers. A belt around Elias, and his subsequent songs, would be very entertaining. Plus, an angry Rollins chasing after Elias for his IC belt would bring more interest to this feud.
I don’t expect the WWE to follow the logic I just laid out. But, I do think Elias is a candidate for upset of the night. His odds also provide great value and I’ll definitely be rooting for him to burn down the current Seth Rollins IC reign. With that said, Rollins will curb stomp his way to victory.
Do you guys and gals remember when Asuka was a massive favorite at WrestleMania against Charlotte Flair? The majority of fans, pundits and wrestling news sites all picked Asuka to win that match. Well, we all know how that turned out. Once again, Asuka is the favorite (-185), but I just don’t see her leaving Chicago with the belt.
I truly hope that she beats Carmella (+145) this weekend as I can’t stand the SmackDown women’s champion. In my opinion, she brings nothing to the table as the champ. In fact, other than her annoying personality which is good for a few chuckles, her matches lack skill and entertainment. In fact, her match against Charlotte at Backlash last month, was one of the worst women’s matches I’ve seen in the last few years.
As much as I want Asuka to take the belt and end all future Mellabrations, the WWE will find a way to keep the title on Carmella. I expect Asuka to win by DQ or count out, but Carmella to keep the belt. In fact, don’t be surprised if Ellsworth returns to help out Carmella.
Surprisingly, Ronda Rousey is a huge favorite in this match at -530. Jax, the champion, is a big underdog at +350. There’s a huge divide within the WWE Universe where one side things it’s too soon to put the belt on Rousey and the other side thinks that you have to capitalize on her popularity even if the match is a train wreck.
Fortunately, for Ronda and the WWE, you have a bigger woman’s champ who can apply the “big man” wrestling philosophy, which is slowing the pace down, using “rest holds,” throwing in a few well-timed power moves, applying some dirty moves like raking the eyes or choking in the corner, and squashing all of Ronda’s comeback efforts until the end of the match where she “hulks out” and rips Jax’s arm off.
If I were booking this match, I would have Jax dominate for 12 out of the scheduled 15 minutes and then have Rousey make the comeback to win the match. But, in all honesty, if the WWE doesn’t have Ronda win then they kill all credibility and buzz surrounding her. If Sasha Banks and Bayley can defeat Jax, then Ronda should be able to as well.
If the WWE really wants to spice things up, have the Women’s MITB ladder match winner come out and hit both Jax and Rousey with the briefcase then pin Jax for the title ala Seth Rollins at WM with Reigns and Lesnar. That keeps the WWE from having to put the belt on Rousey and it protects Jax.
For betting purposes, go with Ronda Rousey to win the match and join both Ken Shamrock and Brock Lesnar as the only superstars to win gold in the WWE and the UFC. The WWE and Ronda have too much to lose if they make Jax win retain the title. They need to buck the trend of women’s champions successfully keeping the belt in their title defenses at MITB. Heading into this weekend, the women’s champ is 6-0 all-time when defending their title at MITB.
These ladder matches are always hard to predict because you never know what the WWE will do. Will they go for shock and awe, will they push a rising star, or will they give it to an establish star? The following RAW and SmackDown superstars are set to compete in the 2nd ever women’s MITB ladder match:
If the WWE wants to put the belt on a rising star then there’s nobody ready to shoot up the ranks more than Ember Moon. The former NXT women’s champ has been on fire since she came to RAW the night after WM 34. She was also the first competitor to qualify for this match.
For me, as much as I love Flair, you can cross her off the list of potential winners. This briefcase needs to go to someone who’s not already at the top of the women’s division. With that said, cross Alexa Bliss off the list. Although she’s not dominating like she used to, a quick feud with Banks or Bayley would put her right back at the top of RAW.
Speaking of Banks, I don’t see her winning it either. She’s more of a “name” right now than a contender for any women’s title. In fact, she needs to go to SmackDown.
I would love nothing more than for Lana and Rusev to win their respective ladder matches. June 17th would then be forever known as “Rusev Day.” The real life married couple would shock the world and I believe it would make for compelling SmackDown TV. Unfortunately, Lana is still not ready for this kind of in-ring push. Maybe next year.
From Champ to mid-card irrelevancy is the best way to describe Naomi. I believe we will see more of her teaming with the Usos against Lana, Rusev and English before we see her win this match. But, I do like her odds of +3300. I think you can throw a few dollars at this one.
So, this ladder match basically comes down to Natalya and Becky Lynch. We are all waiting for the inevitable Natalya heel turn and feud with Ronda Rousey. The only question is whether or not the WWE wants to start it now or wait until later this summer. If Natalya can win this match, I would have her immediately blindside Ronda with the briefcase and take the belt off her. Then spend the next month of Natalya ducking Rousey as that would give “Rowdy” more in-ring time before her singles match with Natalya.
If the WWE doesn’t go this route then it’s Becky Lynch’s turn to win a high profile match and get back in the fold for the SmackDown women’s title. For the last year, Becky has been irrelevant in regards to the title picture. This briefcase could put her back on the map, back in the hunt, and back into relevancy.
I’m going with Natalya to win it, but I like Becky’s betting value (+800) and I do think she’s got a great chance of winning the match.
As discussed in the women’s MITB match, there are many options for the WWE to choose from. And, in this particular ladder match, the WWE can go with the obvious by having Strowman win or they can try to shock us all with someone else winning like Roode or Samoa Joe. The following RAW and SmackDown superstars are set to participate in the 19th MITB ladder match:
This match could be huge for whichever superstar that climbs up the ladder and grabs that briefcase. Out of the 18 previous MITB winners, 14 of them went on to successfully cash in the briefcase and win the title. Of the 7 known competitors, as we’re still waiting on the New Day to announce who’s going to be in this match, 5 of the wrestlers are making their first appearance in an MITB match. And if Xavier Woods or Big E enter this match, that would make it 6 of 8 first timers.
If New Day goes with Kofi Kingston, then he would tie Kane with the most MITB appearances with 7. Other than Kofi, The Miz and Kevin Owens are the only other former MITB competitors to be in this match.
The Miz is also the only competitor looking to become a multi-time MITB winner joining just CM Punk in this exclusive club. It just so happens that The Miz (-150) is the odds on favorite to win this match despite Braun Strowman being the overall favorite with the WWE Universe.
It certainly would be glorious if Roode could win it, but he’s got the longest odds to do so at +2500. I doubt Owens, Samoa Joe, Rusev or any New Day member will win it either as the WWE seems hesitant to push any of these guys as main contenders for the top belts.
Ultimately, this match comes down to 3 superstars with a real chance at winning: Strowman, Miz and Finn Balor. The WWE can make a case for each one. But, out of the three, Strowman is the only one who doesn’t need this briefcase. Braun is a threat to win every match and the only man on RAW that would probably be the favorite against Brock Lesnar. So, let’s remove him from this equation.
Now, we are left with Balor and Miz. I’m a fan of both. However, for the last two years, I have been proclaiming my admiration for The Miz. He’s the most underrated star in the WWE and really deserves to be the champ again. As for Balor, his gimmick would definitely enjoy the boost and attention that this MITB briefcase would bring. And, he’s definitely capable of putting on a big match. But, which of these two could draw the WWE Universe in more with a briefcase in hand?
The Miz has done everything asked of him over the last two years and it’s time for the WWE to elevate him back up the food chain. Think about it, The Miz vs Daniel Bryan at WM 35 for the title. Now, that’s money in the bank folks.
I’m going with The Miz to win this match, simply because it would be “AWESOME!”
For those who love history, this is only the 4th time in the WWE’s history that two wrestlers feuded one-on-one for the WWE title in 4 straight major WWE events. This is also the 23rd last man standing match in WWE’s PPV/Network history. Only on one other occasion has a superstar won the title in a match with this stipulation – Randy Orton back at No Mercy 2007, over HHH.
Nakamura comes into this match as the favorite with -160 odds despite going 0-3 in his previous three chances to defeat AJ Styles for the belt. Styles (+120) is the underdog as many people believe that he will finally drop the title to Shinsuke after a “wonderful” 222 day reign.
Each prior event, Nakamura was picked by many to win the bout and become the “first” Japanese-born wrestler to capture this prestigious title. I’m not afraid to admit that I picked Shinsuke to win each time. And, despite AJ being my favorite wrestler in the world, I’m still going with Nakamura. Yeah, either I’m glutton for punishment, I like losing, or I actually think the WWE sees the need to end this feud and put the belt on a heel.
Let’s face it, this feud has lost some steam and mostly because the creative department has limited their interaction with silly punches to the groin. WWE needs to trust these two superstars and let them go out there and tell the in-ring story, not for them to try and convince the Universe of WWE’s story.
Both men could use a fresh feud and a new direction for the summer. I would love to see Nakamura feud with Jeff Hardy for a while and let AJ take on Samoa Joe with a #1 contender’s match at SummerSlam. In fact, if I was booking SmackDown for the next month, it would be Orton vs Cass, Hardy vs Nakamura, Joe vs AJ, Bryan vs Rusev, and The Miz meddling in everyone’s affairs.
Anyhow, back on track, Nakamura needs the victory otherwise the WWE would have wasted the last year on him, definitely the last 6 months on him. Let’s see what he can do with the belt for at least a month. If he fails, then take it off him. If he succeeds, then the WWE and AJ Styles have done their jobs.
After scouring the Internet, I have found the following WWE MITB prop bets worth your betting consideration:
I think it should be The Miz and Becky Lynch to win the matches, but I have a feeling Natalya is winning the women’s match for RAW. So, the smart/safe pick is – 1 from each show (-250).
With that said, we can also address these two prop bets:
Winner of Women’s MITB match: RAW (-210) or SmackDown (+180)
SmackDown’s The Miz (-350) wins it for the men’s match and RAW’s Natalya (-210) wins the women’s match.
I believe this one is easy to choose. Nobody is going to want to cash their contract in against Brock Lesnar for the Universal title unless it’s Strowman. But, since he’s not winning this match, look for The Miz to cash it in at some point against the WWE Champ (-210).
Since I believe Natalya is winning the match, choose her to cash it in on the RAW (-120) women’s champ either at the MITB event or sometime this summer.
On the entire card, I see two superstars that offer the best betting value, and both are in the MITB ladder matches. Braun Strowman is +350 to win the Men’s MITB ladder match, which puts him with the second best odds behind The Miz. Prior to writing this preview, I just assumed that Strowman would’ve been the odds on favorite due to his monster like abilities. Although everything points to The Miz winning, Strowman has value as the WWE could decide to have Braun win, which wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Becky Lynch at +800 has some great value. I think she has a great shot at winning. It really comes down to what WWE’s plans are for Ronda Rousey and how quick they want to fast track her feud with Natalya. With that said, if they decide to put it on hold for a bit then look for Becky to win the Women’s MITB ladder match.
Other than the ladder matches, there really isn’t much of chance for any WWE superstar to pull off the upset. The best possibility is Elias (+475) winning the IC belt from Seth Rollins (-825). If you want someone with really long odds, Naomi at +3300 in the Women’s MITB ladder match would be an ideal candidate. The only other possible upset that I can see happening is having Big Cass (+110) cheating to defeat Daniel Bryan in order to prolong this awful feud.
Wrestling fans, I will be honest with you, half of this card is going to be terrible. But, the two ladder matches, the IC match, and the WWE title match should be good enough to make up for the other 6 matches. Well, at least, I hope they are. Either way, expect in-ring carnage this week, a potential return of Ellsworth, and some incredible high spots with the ladders. I hope all of you fathers out there have a great Father’s Day.
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