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Making the Case for Every Money in the Bank Entrant

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Unlike the past Money in the Bank matches, each contest on Sunday will have eight competitors rather than six.  That means the results may also be a little more unpredictable.  I think more entrants have a realistic shot at grabbing the briefcase than we realize.

Braun Strowman

Braun having the briefcase would bode the best in terms of odds for a successful cash-in.  His music would likely provide the biggest pop and potentially the best moment.  If Roman never gets the belt off of Brock, a cash-in from the monster could end yet another Lesnar title reign.

Kevin Owens

History has shown that briefcases best serve the heels on the roster.  Kevin Owens also works best with mic time and a high-profile storyline.  It’s a perfect marriage.  We saw on Monday that he can be the highlight of a segment or a match when given the opportunity.  He’s not my clear favorite but I wouldn’t be surprised if KO comes out on top Sunday.

Bobby Roode

Fans still love his entrance music but you can’t rely on solely that to move to the next level.  When Roode was in NXT, I could imagine him as the future WWE Champion.  However, his babyface run on the main roster has left him at a dead-end so a heel turn could certainly refill his tank.  If he wins the briefcase, it would be wise to pull the turn immediately after.

Finn Balor

His match with Braun Strowman on Raw a couple weeks ago proved that he belongs in the main event picture.  After failing to capture the Intercontinental Title, fans wanted him to be Brock’s next challenger.  Even with subpar booking, we haven’t abandoned him.  That briefcase could propel him to the next level and help him reclaim the belt he never lost.  After Roman was defeated by Finn to qualify for the Universal Title back in 2016, he said he wanted Balor one more time.  Because of Finn’s untimely injury, we never got to establish that potential feud.

The New Day

I struggled with this one.  Xavier Woods is who I want to see seize the spotlight in the ladder match but he’s the only guy I can’t imagine with the briefcase.  Kofi Kingston has had the most chances to break into the world title picture but it’s always alluded him.  I hope he captures it before the end of his career but I have plans to expand on that in a future article.  Big E makes the most sense to enter the match and to hold the case between the three members.  He checks all the boxes and has already proven back in NXT that he can hold the top prize.

Samoa Joe

Speaking of checking all the boxes, Joe is near the top when it comes to promo believability and being a physical threat.  If it’s not Nakamura or Daniel Bryan, I think Joe is next in the pecking order to challenge AJ.

Rusev

He’s had the most over gimmick of 2018.  Maybe Vince will finally reward one of the most charismatic guys on the roster.  Rusev has been one step away from that big shot for several years now.

The Miz

This is my pick to win the whole thing.  All the creative power needs to be put into a Miz/Daniel Bryan feud before the fans lose interest.  With a second win over Big Cass, Daniel Bryan could be next to challenge for the WWE Championship.  The Miz cashing in on Bryan would work wonders for both guys and the story could keep going for months.  There’s also a Last Man Standing match on Sunday.  Styles and Nakamura will likely be in pieces by the end of that match so maybe we’ll see the MITB winner take advantage.

Natalya

As the old trope goes, since Nattie won the fatal four way on Raw, her chances for Sunday are looking slim.  If Ronda takes the belt off of Nia, I think the chances for Natalya winning and turning on her friend would grow considerably.  Her best matches resulted from her and Charlotte trading submissions in the middle of the ring.  Maybe we see the same against Ronda.

Alexa Bliss

Since she was the last Raw Women’s Champion, a lot of people have moved her to the back of the line.  However, I see her in the same position as Kevin Owens.  Both management and the fans have always been high on her and trust her in prominent roles.  If Ronda becomes Champion, I think Vince would prefer her to lose the belt on a quick cash-in rather than a clean pin.  When I think of who would be most likely to do that, Alexa comes to mind.

Sasha Banks

Like Alexa, we shouldn’t count her out.  She hasn’t had a feud for the title in over a year so the briefcase could help get her back there.  My guess is that she feuds with Bayley until Summerslam.  When that door closes, the case could easily help transition her to bigger things.  We saw it with Seth Rollins.  He lost his match to Randy Orton at Wrestlemania but look how that turned out.

Ember Moon

The Money in the Bank briefcase is typically awarded to the superstar with the most chance for potential.  Ember has the largest room for growth out of all 16 entrants.  However, I think she is still too new to the casual fans.  She hasn’t even gotten to sink her teeth into any sort of rivalry yet.  If Ruby Riot was in the match, she would have been my pick.  She has the potential and has been on the roster just a tad longer.

Charlotte

At the top of the mountain just a couple months ago, I have the hardest time imagining Charlotte as the winner.  I can’t see her revisiting her feud with Carmella or Asuka so soon.  Cashing-in also doesn’t seem like her style.  Charlotte has established herself as  someone that settles everything in the ring.  If she were to win, I don’t think a cash-in would come until a heel turn or for many months.

Becky Lynch

The darling of the division.  We all just want her to succeed so much.  When the entrants were finally decided, she seemed like the obvious pick.  Becky hasn’t has much success since her first run with the title.  Unfortunately, I can’t imagine someone cashing-in on Brock or Roman for a second time, so a Smackdown men’s competitor will win that briefcase.

I also can’t imagine both briefcases going to the same brand. By that logic, I’m not predicting a Smackdown woman to win.  But if I’m picking with my heart, Becky is my choice.

Naomi

This is a tricky one too.  She was given two big Wrestlemania moments the last couple years so that means they’re high on her.  That could also mean that her fortune is likely going to change soon.  All the glory can’t go to one superstar.  I view her the same as Charlotte: if she captures the case, a heel turn might have to occur eventually.

Lana

My dark horse.  We all want to count her out because it’s Lana but she’s in the same spot Carmella was in last year.  She isn’t the most physically imposing competitor but winning could enhance her development and heat the most.  Lana potentially cashing-in on Asuka definitely produces the highest shock value.


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Opinion

Steve Cook: 10 Commandments For Wrestling Fans

Be a good fan.

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Wrestling Fans

It’s an amazing time to be a fan, but that great power brings great responsibility. Steve Cook steps in with an all-too-important list of commandments for wrestling fans!

We live in a crazy time. I feel like it’s getting crazier the further we move along. I’m not sure what I can do otherwise than try to set behavioral standards for wrestling fans attending events right now. I would prefer not to do such a thing, but wrestling fans are not giving me a choice with their antics recently. If they acted like rational people I could remain silent, but instead they choose to act like assholes and force my hand. I wish they wouldn’t, but I have no choice but to strike them down.

I have 10 Wrestling Commandments for Wrestling Fans, and they need to accept them.

10. Thou shalt apply deodorant

This is the biggest common courtesy you can do for your fellow wrestling fans. Let’s be honest, a lot of us are going to be sweating buckets during a show. The experience is never going to be lemony fresh. Deodorant does make a difference. It’s one layer to suppress the stink, and maybe it ends up losing the battle, but it puts up a good fight.

9. Thou shalt not consume more than you can handle

Knowing your limit & staying under that limit suppresses a lot of situations. I’m one of those guys that can consume way too much and not do anything too crazy most of the time, but not everybody has my constitution. Which is great for them, as they don’t have to worry about dying of liver failure before they hit 50.

8. Thou shalt not hold up signs blocking fans’ view

I can only name one time I could approve of such a thing. I attended the 2012 Royal Rumble in St. Louis. A fan right in front of me had a sign. I was outraged at first, but then I realized the sign said “I Paid To See Daniel Bryan”. Then I shook the man’s hand and gave him my approval as a fellow Daniel Bryan fan. As it turned out, Bryan worked the opening match, so I didn’t have to deal with it most of the night.

7. Thou shalt not compare African-American Wrestlers to other African-Americans

The worst fan experience I can remember being a part of was an ROH show in Dayton, Ohio with Jay Lethal in the main event. I don’t know why that was the time they felt the need to compare Lethal to Gary Coleman or Webster or other famous African-Americans they could think of, but it was a humiliating experience as a wrestling fan without racist tendencies, and I understood why ROH would be hesitant to bring Japanese talent to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. Just so so bad.

6. Thou shalt spend freely at the merchandise table

The merch table is where the wrestlers make most of their money on most of the shows you will attend. If you really want to show your appreciation for a wrestler, this is where you will spend your money.

5. Thou shalt not use profanity

This is one I’ve been guilty of far too frequently. I grew up watching Tony Soprano & Al Swearengen, so profanity is undeniably part of my vocabulary. Especially at sporting events with quality opposition & questionable officiating. It’s not an admirable trait though, especially when pro wrestling is most enjoyed as a child. Try to keep it clean if a child is within eyesight. They’ll learn these words eventually, but you don’t want it to be from you.


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4. Thou shalt not use “insider terms”

The problem I have is with people who use insider terms wrongly. Also, with people that use them to heckle the wrestlers. I hate people that try to act like they know things when they really don’t. I’ve been writing these columns for years and have read more than most people on the Internet, but I still wouldn’t use insider terms to heckle wrestlers. If I wouldn’t go there, you shouldn’t.

3. Thou shalt cheer for whomever you please

This is a debatable one. One popular school of thought, especially among wrestlers, is that fans should cheer the faces & boo the heels no matter what. It’s said to reflect poorly on a heel if he gets cheered, therefore if a fan truly appreciates the bad guy wrestler they should boo anyway.

I reject all of this nonsense. If you like a wrestler, cheer them. I don’t want to train fans to lie, so I won’t. I mean…can somebody really boo Chris Jericho in 2019? He’s an evil man, but I would cheer if he walked out in an arena I happened to be in. I couldn’t help myself. The man is a wrestling legend. If Jericho, or Flair, or somebody on their wavelength came out, I would cheer regardless of whatever a wrestling promoter told me to do.

2. Thou shalt not touch the wrestler, unless thou art high-fiving a fan favorite

This seems like common logic, but it’s been ignored far too often lately. Scarlett Bordeaux had the temerity, the unmitigated gall to work a show in Cancun over the weekend, and some overeager ringsider wanted to get all touch-feely.

What the hell? In what universe is that kind of behavior acceptable? I don’t give a damn about Scarlett’s persona or her ring attire or whatever. What makes fans think they have the right to cop a feel on anybody? Money? I know we elect people to public office based off of money, and we don’t care if our presidents grope females, but we hold wrestling ringsiders to higher standards than our Presidents apparently.

We should hold our Presidents to higher standards, but this isn’t a 10 Commandments for Presidents column. If somebody higher on the foodchain wants me to write that column, I will with pleasure.

1. Thou shalt remain on your side of the barrier

This seems like the easiest commandment to live by. As fans, we should all know our place is in the audience. We’re not getting paid to be part of the show. Yet, some dumbass marks think they are part of the show and need to participate. Very recently, there was the asshole that got owned by an angry Samoan.

I wish I had an angry Samoan at hand to deal with people that annoyed me. I don’t, but most wrestling shows do. My feeling is that once you cross the barrier, you are subject to whatever punishment the people employed by the company feel is acceptable. If it’s getting your ass kicked by an angry Samoan, it is what it is. You are entering into their workplace. Their workplace often involves violence. It isn’t their fault if you don’t know how to work.


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Tiffany’s Takes: WWE Raw (6/17/19)

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WWE RAW The IIconics

Tiffany’s Takes kicks off the week with look at WWE Raw that featured Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan and The New Day in a 2-Out-Of-3-Falls Match!

It’s the go-home show for Stomping Grounds! How will WWE Raw make a case for fans to tune in?

Universal Championship: Seth Rollins might a babyface, but that doesn’t mean he’s afraid to get nasty. I LOVED this nasty side of the BeastSlayer and the warning about what will happen to anyone who sides with Corbin over him. THIS is a Universal Champion I can definitely get behind.

I love it when a face makes good on a threat. I lost count on how many prospective refs Seth destroyed, but he definitely got his point across to Corbin and his cronies: Do NOT piss off Seth Rollins.

I enjoyed the six man tag, though an actual, conscious ref was not as fun as EC3 playing Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s (look it up on Wikipedia if you have no idea what I’m talking about). I had a rant all done about how dumb it was to have Rowan interfere and ruin Rollins vs Bryan, but it wasn’t needed. That was a great match, can we have more of those, please?

United States Championship:  If Elias wasn’t such a slimeball and mediocre singer, I’d almost feel bad for him after he got beat up by every person involved in the Fatal Five Way #1 Contender’s Match for the United States Championship, including two guys he used to be allied with.

The match was actually better than I’d expected, though I did somewhat appreciate the story building of Lashley helping to get Strowman eliminated as payback for Strowman eliminating him. My one big gripe is that this match didn’t go for very long, but I am THRILLED that Ricochet won and will get a shot on Sunday!

RAW Women’s Division: Have I ever mentioned that I’m over this Becky Lynch/Lacey Evans feud? I have? Good, because I wasn’t sure I’ve mentioned how boring I’m finding Becky’s ongoing problems with Emmie Slattery (Evans). I did appreciate them bringing up that Evans is a former Marine because I hate that they’ve taken someone who is a legit badass and can be such a great example for girls and turned her into a pinup who espouses sexist nonsense that has no place in modern America. HOPEFULLY, Scarlett (Lynch) will finally triumph over Emmie and move on to someone else.

Thank you, God, they made the IIconics look like competent champs! Their title run has been build on them looking stupid and it’s hurt them so badly. Even with a tainted win, it was a win over serious opponents, which they needed. Again, I loved edgy Bayley, but I hate that she’s playing into Alexa’s plan to steal the title. Hopefully, someone gets to Nikki and makes her see sense before something really goes wrong.

Raw Tag Team Division: After an absence of several weeks, Viking Raiders finally returned to RAW for some pillaging, and had to deal with the Greenjerks watching their match, for some reason, and that was about the most interesting thing about that match, since I don’t think we got the names of the poor guys they squashed.

I liked the Revival proving that there is no honor among thieves when they stole money from Drew McIntyre. I appreciated WWE trying to enhance McIntyre’s heel creds by having him attack Heath Slater, but it just felt forced.

I know Good Brothers are leaving in the fall, but I LOVED the reunion between them and Styles. Oh, what could’ve been if Vince had pulled his head out of his ass. That said, it looks like Styles’ words got to them so this last run might be pretty good. I did enjoy the tag match between them and the Usos, but it wasn’t long enough for me, plus Good Brothers looked ridiculous.

24/7 Championship: I’ll give Truth and Carmella their dues for trying to be clever with those disguises. They would’ve gotten away with it if not for the camera crew.

Roman Reigns vs Shane McMahon: If Shane and Drew haven’t gotten the message about pissing off Roman Reigns, I’m pretty sure they learned it tonight after Roman beat the hell out of Shane, to everyone’s delight, including mine.

Firefly Fun House: NOPE. Just…NOPE! He still gets points for the literature nod, but that’s it. I draw the line at maggots, but at least the rabbit was okay. Also: The world is ROUND, you inbred!

Overall Comments: So, how was RAW tonight? That was actually the best go-home show they’ve had in awhile. Every story got built and we got some great matches. Whoever was booking tonight should get a raise.

There’s been some discussion about Seth’s conduct, but it makes sense when you realize that he’s on his own. Ambrose is gone and Roman is dealing with his own issues. Seth’s got no one to watch his back and Lesnar is lurking around, so he’s getting paranoid and sick of everyone’s BS.

I’m ready for Alexa to get her ass kicked on Sunday and I hope Nikki Cross comes to her senses soon. I’m thrilled that the IIconics are finally being treated like legit performers and not just jokes.

Rollins vs Bryan didn’t disappoint, but the fact that we still don’t have a guest ref is cause for concern.

That’s it for Tiffany’s Takes! Tune in tomorrow for SmackDown and 205!


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