Too much of anything is a bad thing. Professional wrestling has known this for a while. It was considered crazy when World Championship Wrestling increased their Pay Per View load to once per month, but the World Wrestling Federation was quick to follow by adding In Your House shows. Where WCW succeeded and WWF failed is that the WCW events felt like they were on even ground. Aside from Starrcade, there was never a feeling that you wouldn’t get a big PPV moment in July as opposed to February. WWF on the other hand trained fans to believe that the big moments would happen at the original Pay Per Views (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble) while the In Your House shows were pretty much filler events. WWF corrected this around 1998.
Wrestling had since trained the fan to expect an event every month. WWE and TNA Wrestling both launched big shows monthly, giving television and expected TV schedule of four weeks to build to the next show. It was consistent and it worked. Yet with TNA cutting their pay per view schedule down considerably (Slammiversary this month will be their first proper PPV of the year) and WWE abandoning traditional Pay Per View for the WWE Network (a decision I believe they will change their minds on, at least for Wrestlemania next year), we’re no longer seeing the traditional four weeks before a show storyline length. May 17th was Payback. Just two weeks later on May 31st was Elimination Chamber, which was a surprise “big event”. Just two weeks after was the already scheduled Money in the Bank, tonight on WWE Network. We’re not supposed to get another show for a month (Battleground) but that was the case with Elimination Chamber. It could be that the WWE wants to cut down on the scheduled time between “big events” and give them every two weeks. It sounds like overkill. It is overkill.
The “big events” are now just feeling like Monday Night Raw episodes with less interview segments and angles. It’s a wrestling card now. Call them “Sunday Raw Sunday” like the WWF used to when USA Network would pre-empt Raw to showing on a Sunday. Big things are supposed to happen at the big events. It doesn’t feel like that much anymore.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be surprised or entertained. Kevin Owens pinning John Cena at Elimination Chamber was big news around the wrestling world, and people are excited to see just whom is getting the briefcase this year in the Money in the Bank match. It’s also a question of how long can Dean Ambrose go not taking the title from Seth Rollins before this becomes stale. Can they actually do this match again at Battleground? Is the end of the feud at Summerslam? It’s hard to say but it’s a big question. This is the third main event featuring Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose in six weeks. Either the fans will tire of Seth Rollins as champion, or they will tire of Dean Ambrose as a contender. Will be interesting to see which happens at Money in the Bank, kicking off at 7PM EST and starting at 8PM EST.
MONEY IN THE BANK 2015 KICK-OFF
R-TRUTH VS. KING BARRETT
Aaron, Adam, Shawn and Jeff: King Barrett
Sean, Justin: R-Truth
THOUGHTS by Shawn Wilken: Since winning the KOTR tournament, King Barrett has been somewhat irrelevant as a King and to the midcard. He absolutely needs a win here and he’ll get it. A funny prediction is for R-Truth to not even show up because he thought he wasn’t wrestling.
WWE DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP
PAIGE VS. NIKKI BELLA (c)
DOES BRIE BELLA TRY TWIN MAGIC?
Aaron, Adam, Sean, Shawn, Justin and Jeff: Yes
DOES ANYONE ELSE RUN IN
Adam, Sean, Shawn, Justin and Jeff: No
Aaron and Shawn: Paige
Adam, Sean, Justin and Jeff: Nikki Bella
THOUGHTS by Sean Garmer: It seemed like Elimination Chamber was set to be Naomi’s night and then all of the sudden Tamina disappears and Naomi has been nowhere to be seen since EC. I guess something must have happened backstage that someone didn’t like. Regardless, I don’t think we can dispute that Naomi hasn’t had the best matches since she was being pushed and perhaps that soured the man in charge. So, looks like we are back at Square One with Nikki vs. Paige. These two have good chemistry and have had good matches before, but I can’t imagine Nikki losing now, at least not until someone new shows up and takes the belt from her. Nikki wins here and the feud continues because there is no one else in that Divas division right now.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
THE PRIME TIME PLAYERS VS. THE NEW DAY (c)
Aaron, Adam, Sean and Justin: The New Day
Shawn and Jeff: The Prime Time Players
WHOM PINS WHOM
Aaron, Adam, Sean: Big E pins Darren Young
Shawn: DQ finish
Justin: Xavier Woods pins Darren Young
Jeff: Darren Young pins Xavier Woods
THOUGHTS by Justin Hartling: The New Day needs a great foil to propel them to their true potential. That team is not the Prime Time Players. I am excited to see that Xavier Woods will actually get the chance to wrestle with Kofi in the MitB match. Expect the traditional finisher barrage and a cloud of smoke before Woods picks up the pin.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
THE BIG SHOW VS. THE RYBACK (c)
Aaron, Adam, Sean, Shawn, Justin and Jeff: The Ryback
THOUGHTS by Jeff DeHaan: How do you make a monster champion feel like an underdog? You pit him against a bigger monster. Big Show is a good first challenge for Ryback, although “challenge” may not be the appropriate word, since I don’t see Ryback walking out of MITB without his Intercontinental Championship.
US CHAMPION JOHN CENA VS. NXT CHAMPION KEVIN OWENS
Aaron and Sean: Kevin Owens
Adam, Shawn, Justin and Jeff: John Cena
THOUGHTS by Aaron Wrotkowski: I don’t like Kevin Owens. I know that’s blasphemy today but I don’t like any heel that doesn’t do enough to get the crowd to hate him. There’s too much “cool” about Kevin Owens in ways that might not be thought of as cool traditionally. He should be teasing top ropes moves and never executing them, not giving the fans what they want. That said, this is an interesting and exciting feud since it exposes Cena for the first time as a grizzled veteran not at the top of his game. If that’s the story being told, winning tonight ends it prematurely. Having Owens beat Cena and put him in a place of doubt would add a much more exciting layer than just evening the score.
MONEY IN THE BANK CONTRACT LADDER MATCH
NEVILLE VS. SHEAMUS VS. RANDY ORTON VS. ROMAN REIGNS VS. KANE VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. KOFI KINGSTON
Aaron, Adam, Sean, Shawn and Justin: Roman Reigns
THOUGHTS by Adam Contant: There really isn’t a clear cut favorite in this year’s contract match as far as I’m concerned. Some guys are stronger possibilities than others and I have a theory that leans towards Roman Reigns coming out on top here. It is possible that Reigns may win the contract and use it to take advantage of a hurt Seth Rollins or Dean Ambrose (or both) in the main event, opening all kinds of doors for future stories. Both the irony of Rollins being screwed in the same fashion he won the title, as well as the betrayal of Ambrose at the hands of his brother could be told in interesting ways. Of course, to get there, Reigns first needs to win the contract.
MONEY IN THE BANK 2015 MAIN EVENT
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH
DEAN AMBROSE VS. SETH ROLLINS (c)
Aaron and Shawn: Dean Ambrose
Adam: Roman Reigns (MITB cash-in)
Sean, Justin and Jeff: Seth Rollins
DOES J&J SECURITY INTERFERE
Aaron, Adam, Sean, Justin and Jeff: Yes
DOES THE WINNER OF THE MITB MATCH CASH IN
Aaron, Sean, Justin and Jeff: No
Adam and Shawn: Yes
THOUGHTS by Justin Hartling: I went back and forth in my head as to how this card should end. Should Rollins take back his belt or should Ambrose win only to have Reigns cash-in the briefcase. Ultimately, it is too soon for Reigns to interject into this rivalry in this way. Keeping Reigns on the fringe while his ex-Shield teammates battle it out over the summer months is the smarter bet.
Kick-off is at 7PM EST, Money in the Bank 2015 starts at 8PM EST. Enjoy the show!