WWE Money in the Bank 2018 is almost here, and with it comes speculations as to who the winners will be. The PPV event will pit eight of the best male competitors in a big ladder match to realize their dreams of becoming a WWE championship – Braun Strowman, Finn Bálor, The Miz, Rusev, Bobby Roode, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, and an undisclosed member of The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, or Xavier Woods).
Elsewhere, the eight best female Superstars will be fighting to grab their own briefcase – Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Alexa Bliss, Ember Moon, Lana and Naomi. Those two matches by themselves are worth the price of admission for this show, but the rest of the show features some noteworthy championship bouts as well.
So let’s preview the entire event by predicting the results of its marquee matches.
The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Predictions & Winners: While Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have certainly raised their stock as of late, with a memorable victory over The Usos, they still don’t have much momentum heading into Money in the Bank. This, combined with the fact that neither of them have much of a fandom within the WWE, leads us to believe that they won’t come out on top here.
The Bludgeon Brothers, on the other hand, have been on a merciless tear since reuniting in the SmackDown Live tag team division late last year. Harper and Rowan have destroyed nearly every tandem that has challenged them, and they’ve done it with a flair that has captivated audiences. Expect them to retain their Tag Team Championship.
Carmella (c) vs. Asuka (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Carmella’s reign as the SmackDown Women’s Champion has left much to be desired. While her victory proved an exciting (and controversial) one, and she broke the record for holding onto a Money in the Bank contract, she hasn’t done all that much outside of these things. It’s possible that WWE decides to shake things up and have her lose the title to Asuka.
That said, it isn’t very probable. Despite her popularity with fans, Asuka has always worked best as an underdog, and giving her the championship this quickly may cheapen her appeal. We could see fluke hits or disqualifications factoring into this match, so that the narrative between Carmella and Asuka continues past Money in the Bank. Tough call, but we’re going to go with Carmella.
Ember Moon vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Lana vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks (Women’s Ladder Match)
Each of the contenders here pose a viable threat. What it really comes down to is the popularity of each, and the benefits that the WWE would gain if they were to win the ladder match. Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss’ past successes rule them out, and Naomi is a fearsome challenger, but her popularity isn’t quite strong enough to make a victory stick with fans.
The most viable options for us are Becky Lynch, who’s popularity is steadily rising, and could pose a legitimate threat to Ronda Rousey if given the chance, and Natalya, a close friend of Rousey’s, who could turn heel and cash in for a juicy storyline. Both options are appealing, but based on her proximity to Rousey, one of the biggest names in wrestling, we’re going with Natalya.
Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass
The match between Daniel Bryan and Big Cass feels like one of the least anticipated on the event. They initially fought each other at Backlash, but nothing they did there, or have done since, has been able to elevate the forced conflict into a genuinely compelling rivalry. Cass, in particular, has failed to blow up in the way that WWE anticipated, and having him face off with a former world champion hasn’t done much to change the mind of fans.
It is unlikely that they would give Bryan the victory, however, as doing so would basically end their rivalry. It’s much more likely that Cass comes out the winner, and the jeers he’ll receive for defeating Bryan will prolong the rivalry to Extreme Rules on July 15th.
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Elias (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
This a tough one. Elias has put together an impressive run on Monday Night RAW, defeating the likes of John Cena, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns over the past few years. The momentum is there, as is the cult of personality in his promo videos. A victory over Rollins would go a long way in solidifying Elias’ run as great. He would bring a great deal of charisma and fun were he to be the new Intercontinental Champion.
Unfortunately, Rollins has been on quite a run himself. He’s defended his title numerous times on Monday Night RAW, defeating legitimate contenders like Finn Balor and The Miz, and his swaggering charm in the ring makes him one of the most recognizable figures in the WWE currently. We’re sure to get a heck of a match, but ultimately, we see Rollins hanging onto his title a while longer.
Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal
Despite the fact that fans continue to boo him, the WWE seems adamant about making Roman Reigns the top babyface in the company. Pairing him with Jinder Mahal, an equally disliked and booed heel, and its safe to say that their singles match is not the most anticipated match of the evening. It feels like too much of a placeholder rivalry, a means of keeping Reigns busy before WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar re-enters the picture (Lesnar announced he wouldn’t fight at Money in the Bank in March).
The smart money is on Reigns to win. There’s no benefit to a Mahal win, other than to continue a rivalry that most didn’t care to see in the first place. We’re better off wrapping things up here, and allowing Reigns to focus his sights on Lesnar and the Universal Championship.
Nia Jax (c) vs. Ronda Rousey (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
Rousey’s immense popularity in WWE has been nullified, somewhat, by the shaky rollout for her championship match with Nia Jax. Rousey has been less-than-stellar on the microphone, and WWE seems unsure as to whether they want Jax to play the babyface or the heel. The result is a match that has fans excited almost in spite of itself.
Another knock against the Jax vs. Rousey match is that the latter has only been in the WWE for a short time, and her shot at the title may come off a bit premature to fans who have watched Jax work her way up. If they give Rousey the title too early, the WWE runs the risk of inviting criticisms about her not deserving it. With that in mind, we predict that their match will be a strong one, and that Jax will retain her title (for now).
Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn
Bobby Lashley’s latest stint with the WWE has not been especially great. He came back without any real purpose, and his ringside antics with Sami Zayn has made for some of the most cringeworthy and tasteless segments in recent Monday Night RAW memory. To make matters worse, neither Lashley nor Zayn feel particularly invested in their rivalry, which makes it all too easy for fans to feel the same way.
Ignoring the lack of excitement that this match has drummed up, Lashley is the favorite. He hasn’t lost a singles match since returning to the WWE, and its highly unlikely that his first loss would come at the hands of Zayn, who’s gone out of his way to make fans despise him. Lashley wins here.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship)
Most fans would agree that the rivalry between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura has run its course. That said, Nakamura has been a lot of fun to watch after his heel turn, and his comfort in the role has led to a renewed interest in his career. Ideally, the WWE would allow him to take the title, upping his momentum, and adding an element of surprise to his rivalry with Styles. It would also make the most sense to give Nakamura the title, seeing as he’s already lost to Styles several times this year.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t look as though it will happen. Had the WWE wanted Nakamura to be the WWE Champion, they would’ve likely given it to him already. The safe bet is Styles, who will continue his victorious reign, and deplete whatever tension is left from his rivalry with Nakamura.
Braun Strowman vs. Finn Bálor vs. The Miz vs. Rusev vs. Bobby Roode vs. Kevin Owens vs. Samoa Joe vs. TBA (Big E, Kofi Kingston, or Xavier Woods) [Men’s Ladder Match]
Like the women’s ladder match, the men’s match is loaded with viable contenders. If we’re playing odds, however, we can rule out Bobby Roode, Finn Balor, and Kevin Owens right away, due to their low popularity with fans. It’s also unlikely that a member of The New Day will win, seeing as we don’t know which member will participate, and there has been no time to build up momentum.
It looks like the most likely candidates are The Miz and Samoa Joe. Both men have proven their worth in 2018, and have the perfect combination of experience and popularity with the fans to make a victory a beneficial one for the WWE. If forced to choose between the two, we’re going to go with Samoa Joe. The Miz already won a ladder match in 2010, and Joe has strong momentum after his last few appearances on WWE.