The Smackdown brand is preparing to unleash Money in the Bank on June 18th, and with it, the first women’s ladder match for a briefcase that almost guarantees a new champion. This is the match I am looking forward to the most this Sunday and I have been polling some friends for their predictions on who will become the first Ms. Money in the Bank, but today I also stumbled across some betting odds that changed how I thought this one could play out. I want the match to be good, and I think there is a lot they could do, but either way the bout is setting a precedent that I hope becomes a mainstay. So, now I want to breakdown the various contestants and talk about why I think each should win, and what it could mean for them in the coming months.
It sucks to think that no one believes in the daughter of Jimmy Snuka—with all of the positives and negatives that brings—but the betting odds are putting her at dead last, and the fans seem to agree. This is why I think she should win. Tamina is an intimidating force and a talented wrestler in the ring, I’ve just never seen anything from her that has made this brute stand out as a true entertaining talent or a heel to take note of. Her mic work is not superb in any way, but this could all change with a talented manager and a one or two interesting characteristics for the fans to latch onto. Her legacy is set, but what about her? Bring back Teddy Long, Vicky Guerrero, or Lita for a voice to herald destruction and cut a few scathing promos. The next couple of months would be spent destroying the rest of the division and taunting the champion while biding her time, as she approached like a slow and ominous juggernaut, destined to crush the hero and have a long reign. Tamina could easily be built up with this kind of push, but the question is: could she stay on top after her title victory?
There shouldn’t be many out there that doubt what Charlotte can do in the ring, or the fact she can hold a belt at the top of her division, which makes it even more surprising that so few people see her as the potential winner of this match. It could be argued that a Flair doesn’t need the briefcase and that it is only a matter of time before she reigns again, but something feels wrong about her not being a viable threat. This isn’t a bad thing though, all we need is for the genetically jacked athlete to look strong and if there was a heel like Carmella to cost her the match, all the better. If she did win though I think the best course of action would be for Charlotte to cash it in that night, possibly starting a feud with Lana, since I know she can make the Ravishing Russian look even better. Much like she did on the Raw brand, the next few months would be structured and orderly with Charlotte holding the gold and having an iron grip over the entire women’s locker room—dominance. Long live the queen.
Some friends of mine saw Natalya at a local house show we all went to and tried to say how much they loved her, and were met with, “stop that, I’m a heel, remember?” She really has been a good heel this run and I’ve enjoyed the recent stuff with The Welcoming Committee, minus that stable name. This member of the Hart dynasty has the skills and qualifications to carry the briefcase, and she is deserving of another run with the title. I’ve always liked Nattie and want to see her make an impression, and winning the first one of these matches is a perfect opportunity for that. So, my idea is that she should not only win, but hold it for a very long time; I’m talking Ziggler and Edge records. Have Natalya start off threatening to cash-in but really bide her time, even to the point of having to put it on the line in a match since she held onto it for so long. There is a lot to do with this and a good tool to create some tension. Every time she brings it down to the ring there will be that threat of whether or not now is the time, especially the longer she holds it. It doesn’t matter who she finally cashes-in on, but I want the daughter of Jim Neidhart to come out at the beginning of a big match—like Wrestlemania—and insert herself into a match with two others, changing fan perceptions and storyline, and by defeating both, proving herself and her pedigree. It’s about legacy.
With her previous history holding the Smackdown Women’s Championship I think the Lass Kicker deserves to be considered so highly for this opportunity. Being the first woman to win the case would be another cool notch in her belt, since I think this fighting Irish woman has a nice long career ahead of her. This win would benefit Becky in a different way for me though, as the briefcase would give her a chance to tease some heelish actions. Lynch was a pseudo-heel in NXT for a short time and the events were lackluster at its best. Whether Becky actually goes heel in this case isn’t the real issue though, even if I do think she could pull it off with the right motivation. Have her tease the idea though, similar to her almost joining the Welcoming Committee, but drawn out longer. This could make for some fun segments, more passionate promos, and if they play her middle of the road character enough it wouldn’t matter how she cashed-in, only what was done with the belt afterwards. Doing this right could make her championship victory feel incredibly deserved with a proper journey. Of all of the women in this match, I think Becky has the most potential for storylines involving the Money in the Bank victory, but next to Charlotte, she may also be the safe play.
It seems like someone in the back thinks it is time for the Princess of Staten Island to become a future queen, and the briefcase will certainly help make that happen. Some are surprised that Carmella is poised to win according to the betting sites, but I think her time has been coming. Doesn’t she deserve it after being stuck with James Ellsworth for this long? What are the odds that he pulls the case down and hands it to her, or even tries to claim it for himself to win the title, in a Santino Morella fashion. Okay, I hope not, but there are plenty of options there and it could be fun. Though she is talented, few would rank Carmella as the most deserving, but the potential is there and her victory would be a surprise to anyone who hasn’t been keeping up outside of storylines. The more I think about it, this lines up with the recent booking strategies, and I’m not against her coming out on top, but how to do it? It may be a stretch, but with what we’ve seen between Enzo and Big Cass recently, what if Cass, at his height, actually came in and helped Carmella secure the briefcase, right before knocking out Ellsworth. Might be my wishful thinking, but taking advantage of their real-life personal relationship is an option, or having her use Ellsworth and the surprise title shot in conjunction. Either way, I would want to see someone like Carmella cash it in on the following week’s show or SummerSlam since it is so close, but what needs to happen is a ruthless beat down and something memorable to seal her as the new top player in the division. It just might be time for the princess to grow up, claim her prize, and surprise a few people with how much she’s willing to do to get to the top.