Abe takes an alternative route to the 2019 WWE Money In The Bank Ladder Matches.
Welcome to our first installment of Rewriting the Book! Normally you would be reading something called “Writing the Book” where I try to book current wrestling events or storylines from scratch. This time, I’m going to be rewriting something WWE has already presented on screen. Our own Greg DeMarco wanted me to try this idea awhile back and I had a hard time thinking of something worth digging deep into. That was until last week’s episodes of Raw and Smackdown.
The 2019 Money in the Bank entrants were revealed for the men and women of both brands. There’s the first problem: they were revealed. I’m not a big fan of the participants of a marquee match simply being announced. I would prefer them earn it through qualifying matches. It gives the fans stars to rally behind leading up to the pay-per-view and establishes credibility. There’s no storytelling in a PSA. Plus, it fills the five hours of weekly programming with matches to invest in rather than inconsequential tag matches with the Money In The Bank participants.
Last year I wrote an article where I was able to make a case for the majority of the participants coming away with the briefcase. This year, not so much. At the most, I can see two people in each match realistically winning unless they really give someone a surprising push. That being said, let’s see what changes we can make.
2019 WWE Money In The Bank: Men’s Entrants
- Raw: Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre
- Smackdown: Randy Orton, Andrade, Finn Balor, Ali
Braun and Corbin have to go. They’re the last two winners of the men’s MITB and they both failed to cash it in. Why are they allowed to compete again so soon? The match is advertised to change careers and you have two guys in it that directly contradict the biggest appeal. It’s like if I was watching Jeopardy and all three contestants were ex-winners that already irresponsibly blew their prize money. Why would I want them to win again? Why is Jeopardy giving them a second chance a year later?
On the Smackdown side, I’d take Randy and Finn out. Randy is a 12-time World Champion. He has no business in this match. Money in the Bank matches are supposed to elevate that guy that’s been on the cusp of a push for awhile. Finn Balor is already holding the Intercontinental Championship. From a fan standpoint, nobody expects him to win because he already has a belt. From the kayfabe perspective, why did Finn qualify and not Samoa Joe? If the logic is to give the secondary champion a spot, then Joe should have gotten in over Ricochet who lost the week prior to Robert Roode.
The winners are underlined. Person taking the pin is italicized in non-singles matches.
- Drew McIntyre v. Rey Mysterio v. Samoa Joe
- Robert Roode v. Ricochet
- Cesaro v. Baron Corbin
- Braun Strowman v. The Miz v. Bobby Lashley
Give Joe and Rey a logical qualifying match that still allows them to continue their feud. Roode beat Ricochet last week so put them in a rematch that means something. Cesaro is done with The Bar so repackage him as a babyface and give him the run that injuries never allowed him to have. Put Braun in a qualifying match that he doesn’t have to actually lose. Have Lashley and Braun in a kickoff show match then start the Lashley and Miz feud after MITB.
According to my previous logic, The Miz shouldn’t be here because he’s a former WWE Champ. Well, his only reign was years ago and he needs something fresh as a newly-minted babyface. Plus, he’s a more realistic winner than someone like Lashley or Roode.
- Andrade v. Roman Reigns
- Elias v. Ali
- Aleister Black v. Shinsuke Nakamura v. Rusev
- Randy Orton v. R-Truth v. Lars Sullivan v. Finn Balor
You can still have the Elias and Roman feud but just change how we get there. Roman loses to Andrade due to interference from Shane and Elias. Roman then returns the favor and helps Ali earn his way into the match. Elias would have been great among the qualifying field but pairing him with Roman makes more sense than only removing Roman. Both have to fail.
I originally had Black and Nakamura in a singles match but it felt wrong to leave Rusev out. Nakamura and Rusev appear to have run their course as a team so this loss can plant a seed for a split. Lars stays looking like a monster while still telling the R-Truth story. Randy and Finn still get their deserved qualifying match because they’re high-profile stars. However, the last qualifying match begins a feud between Balor and Orton and the IC Title gets defended at the PPV.
Analysis for the women continues after the ad–buy a shirt!
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2019 WWE Money In The Bank: Women’s Entrants
- Raw: Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Dana Brooke, Naomi
- Smackdown: Bayley, Mandy Rose, Ember Moon, Carmella
Carmella and Alexa both had successful cash-ins only two months apart last year so nobody truly believes they’ll win again. I’m going to give Bayley the lone automatic bid for almost defeating Becky Lynch the previous week. Kairi Sane would have been great to launch with MITB but it looks like tag team gold is already in her future.
- Ruby Riott v. Natalya
- Tamina v. Dana Brooke
- Alexa Bliss v. Naomi
- Nikki Cross v. Sarah Logan
Last year Ruby Riott would have been my pick to win the Money in the Bank match except SHE WASN’T IN THE MATCH. Just like last year, Ruby falls into the category of the ideal person to push but she was excluded yet again for whatever reason. I’m a fan of Dana getting opportunities but just give her more credibility by picking up a clean win. Alexa vs. Naomi was a tough one for me. Alexa is in a similar place as Miz. She’s transitioning to a babyface with growing fan support. Sadly, last year’s win was the tiebreaker. Finally, let’s start using Nikki Cross.
- Mandy Rose v. Carmella
- Ember Moon v. Lana v. Liv Morgan
- Mickie James v. Sonya Deville v. Zelina Vega
There’s been growing tension between Sonya and Mandy for months now. There’s no better way to stimulate that tension than to put them in a match where they both want the same prize.
Rewritten Men’s WWE Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Drew McIntyre v. Ricochet v. Cesaro v. The Miz v. Andrade v. Aleister Black v. Lars Sullivan v. Ali
I noticed WWE evenly balanced the babyfaces and heels in the current men’s match which was surely intentional. When looking through the roster, I found it incredibly difficult to pivot off of that so I do understand why some of these entrants got it. In order to find the best result, I decided not to stick to that rule. It’s still 5-3 in favor of the babyfaces so not terribly unbalanced and now you have more to root for.
One might say that there are too many unfamiliar faces in my rewritten version. I agree, but this match is supposed to make new stars. I know newer guys like Lars and Aleister can more quickly legitimize themselves with creative control in a big match.
Rewritten Women’s WWE Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Ruby Riott v. Dana Brooke v. Naomi v. Nikki Cross v. Bayley v. Mandy Rose v. Ember Moon v. Sonya Deville
I don’t think anybody actually believes Alexa, Natalya, or Carmella are going to win at Money in the Bank. Alexa’s momentum build can be saved for after the PPV because we’re not going to hope for a repeat MITB victory anyway. You take away three women with a lack of investment and you give the spots to three underutilized talents who are ready to step up. Now the field looks a little more competitive. There’s only three total title reigns across the eight women rather than eleven.