An old man hosting a summit. A threat to the realm. Eight young warriors who have answered the call. A lone authority figure guiding their way. A mystical artefact that has the power to bring doom. Bickering, screeching, until the group of nine arrives at an agreement. After watching the 11 June episode of RAW, I have the urge to re-watch Elrond’s council from The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring. This scene shares some eerie similarities with the opening segment of the RAW go home show for the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. So, let us take a closer look at that segment and find out how much Rivendell we can find in Little Rock, Arkansas.
One Two Briefcases to Rule Them All
Tonight’s episode started with all eight Money in the Bank Ladder Match competitors from RAW, all perched atop ladders. This brought GM Kurt Angle out, the old and somewhat wise man of the red show. Since he was not surprised to see the assembly of superstars in the ring and vice versa, I can only assume that Kurt was the host of this ladder summit. He then introduced us to the plot. This year, superstars from both RAW and SmackDownLive will compete at Money in the Bank, but it will be a gruelling fight, before one can win one of the two Briefcases of Power that guarantee a championship opportunity anyplace, anytime. The briefcases, sometimes golden, but always with letters engraved on the side, do not grant the power to become invisible, but they can transform a mid-card baddie to a main event villain as they did with Seth Rollins and Carmella. That is basically what the Ring did for Sauron as well. If you however lose the briefcase, you are bereft of that power. Speaking of which…
One Does Not Simply Win at Money in the Bank…
Constable Corbin then entered the stage. Last year he made something disappear in true wizard fashion. Unfortunately for him, it was his push and it has yet to appear again. Baron Corbin referred to Stephanie McMahon, who is RAW’s Galadriel. The Elven sorceress who says, “All shall love me and despair”, when offered the Ring of Power. Galadriel ultimately declines; if only Stephanie had that much self-control. Corbin then allowed Angle to continue and the latter claimed that nothing would make him happier than RAW defeating SmackDownLive, which is the Mordor to RAW’s Gondor (at least in Stephanie’s eyes). Constable Corbin reminded us of the consequences should that not happen on Sunday.
No One Trusts a Monster Among Men
This prompted the superstars in the ring to make use of their microphones as well. What ensued was bickering of the highest degree. Every superstar claimed that he or she would win the briefcase, talking down their rivals in the process. I especially liked Kevin Owens pointing out the height advantage that the Monster Among Men has. The vibe that I got from KO and Bobby Roode makes me hope we see a Gimli-Legolas friendship between them sometime in the future. Of course, we also had alliances, as the former mixed match challenge partners (Banks-Bálor, Bliss-Strowman) supported each other. When the bickering got too heated, Bliss interfered with a screech that would do the Nazgul proud. Much like the interference of Frodo, this led to the segment’s end, as the competitors agreed on someone getting these hands come Sunday. At least, it was Braun’s music that hit, which I take as a universal sign of agreement.
RAW Has No King. RAW Needs No King
At the end of The Lord of the Rings, the fellowship achieves the goal and then some. The ring is destroyed, Aragorn is crowned king, and Sam marries Rosie. Of course, before that Gandalf dies and is reborn, Boromir is Sean Beaned, Gondor is basically in ruins, and Frodo never finds his happy ending. What does this mean for our fellowship of the briefcase? The Money in the Bank PPV will remain a focal point in the WWE calendar. A new queen might be crowned, if a female RAW superstar wins at Money in the Bank. It does not make sense to give the briefcase to a male RAW superstar, with the Universal king being absent and a known Kingslayer on the loose. WWE seems to continue the romantic angle between Alexa and Braun. And the others? Well, I do expect any potential alliances to break during the ladder match, steep falls from ladders for some of the superstars, and the death of any minor push most of the RAW superstars have had in recent weeks. I am looking at you, Bálor and Owens.
Does the build towards Money in the Bank increase my hype for the matches? It does not, but then again, neither did Elrond’s council meeting hype me up for the long journey to Mordor. Here is hope that we can agree on Monday that the PPV indeed passed the bridge of booking doom without incident. If not, we can only hope that Constable Corbin knows how to summon the eagles to salvage the expedition.
What do you think? Leave a comment below or message me on Twitter @KirstinHerzog1. Always #UseYourHead.