It’s that time of the year for the WWE roster to reach for the magical briefcase, as Money in the Bank 2020 airs this weekend.
And the participants in the traditional multi-person ladder melees will need to prove themselves to be topnotch corporate climbers this time around, as the COVID-19 lockdown has led to intriguing tweaks to the format.
Indeed, both the men’s and women’s scrambles will be taking place simultaneously, at WWE HQ. Who will ascend to the top and claim an extremely-likely World title reign with it? And who will emerge victorious in the other bouts on the card?
For the first time, Hooked On Wrestling is asking their team to stick their necks out and predict the winners. In the process, come and get to know the team!
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: New Day (c) vs. Miz & Morrison vs. Lucha House Party vs. Forgotten Sons
Paul Benson, Hooked On Wrestling owner: This match should see The New Day taking the win. The story doesn’t matter, it’s all about the action. With the absence of fans and subsequently, any real atmosphere, one way to counter that to a degree is to up the action levels and movement in the ring. It makes sense. The more bodies flying around at once, the less the audience at home will notice that the wrestlers are performing into a void. So smart booking and most likely a really fun match.
Liam Happe, website editor: It can be really grating how often the 1000-strong creative ranks resort to multi-man/woman/team matches for their undercard titles, but this should at least be fun. I fancy New Day to retain before losing the belts to newcomers Forgotten Sons in a more straight-up environment, if the 2000-strong creative crew can figure out how to pull off such a challenging scenario.
Steve Cox, staff writer: Money in the Bank, AKA the stunt show of the year. This has so much potential to be amazing. Luchas, Morrison and Kofi are simply going to bump their little behinds off with aid from Big E and the Sons, with Miz being the solid man in the middle gluing it all together. As the new kids on the block I could actually see the Fearsome Threesome of the Forgotten Sons taking this one.
Leanne Culverhouse, staff writer: I don’t see a title change here. The New Day have just grabbed the titles back, Lucha House Party and the Forgotten Sons are just establishing themselves in the division and I’m looking to Miz and Morrison breaking up in the foreseeable future.
Lewis Brown, staff writer: I’m not sure how this one is going to go to be honest. I could see any one of these teams win apart from Lucha House Party. My prediction for this is just going to be my personal favourite, Miz and Morrison… hey hey, ho ho.
Marc Hemingway, staff writer: The tag belts are getting thrown around too much lately but someone new needs to get them and keep them for a decent run. Gonna have to be the Forgotten Sons! Have them as a dominant team while certain wrestlers are injured. Both New Day and Lucha House Party work best as a trio so when everyone’s back from injury we’d see some great 3 vs 3 vs 3 matches.
VERDICT: Three votes for New Day, two for Forgotten Sons, one for Miz & Morrison, none for Lucha House Party
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Tamina
Paul: Where the devil did Tamina come from? She’s been around WWE forever but at the same time, hardly at all if that makes sense? This match is a means to further the brewing Bayley vs Sasha Banks storyline. Expect Sasha to save her friend’s title against the powerhouse Tamina which will lead to further friction between the pair. I like how WWE have been brewing this one very slowly. Let’s hope they continue in that vein.
Liam: Once we get this annual hobbling into the spotlight out of the way for Tamina, we can hopefully crack on with the inevitable Sasha split endgame to Bayley’s admittedly-uninspiring reign.
Steve: Let’s put it this way: Tamina is a badass. No one can deny it. In years from now I’m sure we’ll hear no end of that. But, I don’t think a Star Trek Next Generation Klingon outfit-wearing champion is something we’re going to see. Get some new gear! Champ retains.
Leanne: I LOVE women’s wrestling. I do not love the lack of challengers for Bayley’s title. Bayley retains here with Sasha surely in sight as the next challenger?
Lewis: Bayley. Just… yeah, Bayley is going to win.
Marc: Bayley will win this with outside help from Sasha Banks, then Sasha will knock Bayley down setting up a match between the pair at the next PPV. That feud will go on to Summerslam at least. Nothing against Tamina but she’s better used as a protector for a heel.
VERDICT: Six votes for Bayley, none for Tamina
Universal Championship: Braun Strowman (c) vs. Bray Wyatt
Paul: Or ‘The One Where They Corrected The Saudi Arabia Mistake’. Clearly Braun wasn’t the plan here so it is my expectation they want to reset things and get the belt back on The Fiend. I do love how Bray’s character is a great conduit to discussing things that happened in the past. It adds more weight to his feuds and it does here. Bringing up his past as The Black Sheep is a good way to get inside Strowman’s head. Don’t expect fireworks in the match but do expect a title change.
Liam: I like the history between the two and the fact they’ve actually embraced it in the build-up (and it really does make me sad every time I realise how this is now such a luxury in WWE) but the title should never have left The Fiend and this will hopefully recalibrate the course after that guy who guests on The Goldbergs meddled in Saudi.
Steve: Braun is, to me, simply a vessel being used to transfer to the belt from Goldberg back to the Fiend.
Leanne: So here’s my theory: it’ll be Funhouse Bray and not the Fiend in this match. I think Braun retains and the then the Fiend appears to continue the psychological torment of the former Wyatt Family member.
Lewis: They had a plan of Roman Reigns vs Fiend at Mania that then became Reigns vs Goldberg which then became Strowman vs Goldberg. I think WWE will go back to the drawing board by putting the belt back on The Fiend to then face Reigns whenever he is able to return.
Marc: If it were Braun against Bray Wyatt and not the Fiend I’d say Braun all the way. He had the tag belts for a day, then for a couple months. Intercontinental strap he had for what, five weeks? He can’t lose the main belt so soon too. As it’s the Fiend however, I have a feeling it’ll end in DQ win but still in Braun’s favour.
VERDICT: Four votes for Wyatt, two for Strowman
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Paul: Before I mention the match, I just want to say how utterly, utterly gutted I am for Drew McIntyre. This was meant to be IT for him. The big push to become the biggest name in the company.
And he deserves it too. He ticks every single box. For once, WWE backed the right horse at the right time and they had a can’t miss headline act for years to come on their hands. Instead Drew is carrying the torch through WrestleMania in a warehouse, worldwide distraction and literally the lowest rated Raws in history.
It’s not his fault. He is doing all he can and carrying the title admirably well. I just hope WWE can keep the faith, understand that it is no reflection on him. He deserves to be the biggest star there for years to come.
Drew’s winning this. No question. But Rollins, with his brilliant Messiah heel gimmick, deserves to be the guy that takes it off The Sexy Scotsman eventually. Just not for a long time. Cannot wait for this match! Expect to see two proper wrestlers, with proper characters having a proper wrestling match. Mouth watering.
Liam: I dig the little layers to Rollins’ delusional heel deal, but Drew’s time has only just begun. And until we get to celebrate his title reign at a Glasgow Hooked On party, he’s strictly forbidden from losing the belt.
Steve: Rollins is absolutely a credible contender, there to build up the new champion and give us a ‘pure’ wrestling match to enjoy amidst the madness. However, Drew’s legacy is being built and this doesn’t change here.
Leanne: For me it has to be Drew retaining and Claymore-kicking the face off the Monday Night Messiah.
Lewis: I am really excited for this match, it’s a good feud to really kick off McIntyre’s reign. They won’t take the belt off him this quickly after winning it… I hope. Going to be a great match though, can’t wait.
Marc: I live in Edinburgh so I have to pick Drew! He’s not going to let the belt go so soon after winning it, after working so hard to get back to the WWE and be on top. Murphy will be a distraction but a Claymore kick sorts that out just like it has done before.
VERDICT: Six votes for McIntyre, none for Rollins
Women’s Money in the Bank match – participants: Carmella, Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Dana Brooke, Asuka, and Lacey Evans
Paul: You’re either going to love this concept or you’re not. I think it will be wonderful, fun, cheesy chaos with the possibility of having some fun cameos and silly call-backs. Yeah, it’s going to be silly but who really cares?
Kudos to WWE for trying something different. We are in for more of the same here and I think it will be fantastic. Titan Towers lying empty? No crowds in the arena? Sod it, let’s trash the joint!
With Bayley heading for a feud with Sasha, I expect a winner from the Raw side and really, I could make a case for any of Asuka, Shayna Baszler or Nia Jax. I am going to go with Baszler simply because I don’t see WrestleMania being the end of her story with Becky Lynch. I want to see more of that and I think we will.
Liam: Like with the men’s equivalent, there are few winners in the line-up that would actually create decent options. So may as well try to reheat Shayna after the baffling Wrestlemania result, because the expected bridge to an eventual Ronda Rousey return and singles match vs Lynch is going to need a much longer bridge.
Steve: This should be Shayna Baszler’s coming out party. Then I thought that about Wrestlemania as well… I honestly can’t see anyone else that the WWE could seriously give it to so I’ll stick with the Queen of Spades.
Leanne: I honestly thought I’d seen most things in wrestling, but in the no-audience era the scope for gimmick matches has widened exponentially. Who would ever have thought we’d have the MITB briefcase hanging in a ring ON THE ROOF OF A BUILDING! I’m absolutely looking forward to the madness and quite possibly the longest match in WWE history. Unlike the others I’m absolutely torn on a winner here, but I’m also going with Shayna.
Lewis: I’m surprised by the decision to play both matches at the same time. I’ll reserve my judgement for the show itself, but I hope the matches don’t take away from each other. The women’s match for me is obvious that Shayna Baszler is going to win in order to continue her feud with Becky Lynch. If this is their plan to get the title on her I wish they had just given her the title at Mania but this isn’t my fantasy booking.
Marc: It will come down to Lacey and Dana and Lacey will get the contract. She’s on a decent roll and would be the better challenger for Bayley. Dana seems to be destined to be forever an ‘also ran’ but she has improved a lot lately.
VERDICT: Five votes for Baszler, one for Evans, none for anyone else
Men’s Money in the Bank match – participants: Otis, Aleister Black, Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio, and King Corbin
Paul: Only one choice on the men’s side for me. AJ Styles. He needs a little boost and his heel character would be one that fits the MITB gimmick perfectly. He’s a lock.
Liam: These strange new twists on the MITB concept are going to be more about the production values than the actual outcome, much like the Boneyard and Firefly Funhouse matches. That said, the only participant with a real upside to winning is intriguing and fresh prospect Black – until, that is, all his mystique is washed away when he performs the standard typical cash-in run-in like everyone else.
Steve: These are always hard to call and the WWE have a history of wanting to surprise us. The front runners on the mens side for me are those who are at the end of a story arc rather than at the start of one, so Otis and Baron Corbin are two that immediately spring to mind for me. Otis as an MITB winner would be absolutely sublime and a hugely popular win… that’s why I’m going for Baron Corbin because it’s the WWE, obvs.
Leanne: He’s an outside pick, but I’m going for Black.
Lewis: The men’s match is a bit less predictable for me. As much as I would like to see Aleister Black win because he is just great, I think it’s going to be AJ Styles. Don’t see any other ways to go, really. Plus Styles has just made his triumphant return to Raw after featuring in a main event match at Wrestlemania with the Undertaker.
Marc: It’s tough to see anyone other than AJ winning this for the men’s side other than perhaps Black. Otis has his Mandy thing to keep him relevant for a good while yet and Corbin has been pushed too much for too long. That leaves Mysterio and Bryan and I’ve got a feeling they might start a feud from this. Actually I’m choosing Black, mainly because if they don’t give him a decent push soon he’ll end up mid-carding.
VERDICT: Three votes for Black, two for Styles, one for Corbin, none for anyone else