It would appear WWE has found the magic formula for putting together meaningful pay-per-view events. Sunday night’s Money in the Bank event from St. Louis didn’t disappoint. And for the second time in as many tries, the company has given fans something to look forward to.
Shane McMahon and the creative team pushed all the right buttons in building matches that meant something for the future. A “New Era” continues to develop, with Jinder Mahal still on top of the SmackDown Live brand. Carmella now holds the all-important white briefcase, after winning the first women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, albeit in controversial fashion. Baron Corbin is suddenly the man everyone else on the blue team’s roster wants to be, after winning the men’s ladder match.
Extreme Rules laid the groundwork for an explosive summer for Monday Night Raw. Money in the Bank left fans hopeful and excited, and the show laid the foundation for John Cena to return and defend the good old USA. The company would be foolish to put Mahal and Corbin in a match when Cena’s return is crucial to the development of Corbin as a WWE champion.
Carmella’s win, while unconventional, was a perfect storm in a division that has been turned upside down of late. Her push also shows the calculated risk the McMahons are willing to take in promoting the women’s belts on Tuesday nights. There is now a paved road that will define how this division, that now includes Lana and potentially Maria Kanellis, will play out.
The same can be said for the direction of the WWE world title. By losing twice, Randy Orton steps aside. Enter John Cena, and new and developing feuds which can only strengthen the brand.
Now, there is time to develop the potential of a Cena-Mahal match, and the certainty of Corbin going over the 16-time world champion, WWE has taken a decidedly different turn, and it’s for the better.
Social media was abuzz with the decision for Carmella to win such a historic match. The jury was split on the decision to make Corbin the front man. I personally like the change. More importantly, I welcome the fact that WWE is sticking to the script. The more chances the company takes the more I like the innovation. And while I have only discussed two ladder matches in the world title match, the rest of the card was solid.
The New Day will chase The Usos and the tag team titles. Lana proved to be every bit a contender in the women’s division despite losing to Naomi. Something must come out of the confrontation between The Colons and the Hype Bros – even if it means Zach Ryder and Mojo Rawley split. It’s been quite a while since fans have seen everything click and the puzzle pieces fit just right.
Now WWE can concentrate on building towards the almighty SummerSlam. Kevin Owens and the United States Title will find a new opponent. My money is on Nakamura, but I’m not ruling out the possibility of Orton jumping into that mix. Something will be done to push Sami Zayn, possibly continuing his feud with Corbin until the Lone Wolf cashes in. I would give anything to see AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura renew their rivalry from the Orient. And somewhere along the way WWE must figure out what will happen to Dolph Ziggler.
On the women’s side of the playground, everything is predicated on how the company promotes Lana and her growth to counterbalance the success of Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
If anything, it’s a good time to be a WWE wrestling fan. The pay-per-view event told a great story and once again the company proved it can hit all the correct buttons when the time is right.