Brandi: This will be the tenth edition of Money in the Bank. There are several huge contests lined up for championships. And of course, there are two lined up for the coveted Money in the Bank briefcases. Perhaps the biggest story of them all is that Becky Lynch will defend both of her titles. They will be against two different opponents in two different matches, on the same night. This is a huge test, it could be insurmountable, even for The Man.
Mark: Money In The Bank 2019 is now one of the Big 5 WWE PPV’s but with this card, I feel a little underwhelmed. I’m hoping that the talent on the show feel like that too and will pull out all the stops to show myself and many others that we’re wrong. You’ve heard enough from me, now read my 100% nailed on predictions 😉
Marc: On Sunday, May 19th, WWE presents Money In the Bank 2019 from the XL Centre in Hartford, Connecticut. While the eponymous match itself has taken place at various pay per views, this marks the ninth event bearing that name. This year’s edition includes some pretty interesting scenarios playing themselves out. For example, Becky Lynch is defending both her Smackdown Live and Raw Women’s championships in two separate matches, which is already being billed as a near impossible scenario. Those matches, coupled with both the WWE Championship and the Universal championship being defended, makes for a busy night full of ‘belts’ on the line. Here is the Pro Wrestling Post preview for WWE’s presentation of Money In the Bank 2019.
WWE Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships
The Usos vs. Daniel Bryan and Rowan
Brandi: The team of planetary saviors will be taking a trip to the Uso Penitentiary. The New Daniel Bryan may be out of the main event picture for now, but he can lend some much-needed credibility to the tag team division. This division is often neglected and cast aside. With an infusion of a new team and big star power, the tag team division has a second chance. The Usos are also often overlooked for their tag team ability due to the division’s position. Working with someone like Bryan will also give them a much-needed spotlight.
Mark: Here’s a weird one. A RAW tag team facing off against the SmackDown Live tag champs, for the belts. Gotta love that “wildcard” rule! Ok, this could be a nice fun match with the Planets Champions (my nickname for DBry and Rowan) coming out on top. The Usos will be as great as always, but they can go back to RAW to finish off their little feud with The Revival. Also, don’t expect too much from Bryan. He’s just coming back from his mystery (possible concussion) injury after WrestleMania. Rowan can do the heavy work and let Bryan pick up the victory.
Marc: A last-minute addition to the event is this bout, slated for the kickoff show, is this Smackdown Live tag team championship match pitting Daniel Bryan and Rowan against The Usos. This does scream of confusion, as The Usos were just recently moved to Raw However, that isn’t necessarily significant, as both brands are involved in this event, and both Money in the Bank matches feature talent from the two brands. This is a rematch from a couple of weeks ago, when Bryan and Rowan’s captured the championships that had been vacant, after being challenged by The Usos. The consensus is that the Usos won’t win because they are having a program with The Revival on Raw, so there is little benefit to them walking away with the titles here. While WWE often professes that anything can happen, it is doubtful that applies here.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Tony Nese vs Ariya Daivari
Brandi: Finally, the Cruiserweight Championship match is not relegated to the pre-show! In what will likely be the opening contest for the main Money in the Bank event, Nese and Daivari have a coveted spot. They have the ability to set the tone for the entire event. And with being on the main show, there will be far more eyes on them. 205 Live is also often neglected and both Nese and Daivari will remind you that it shouldn’t be the case.
Mark: I’m calling a Nese victory. I can’t see him losing the title so quickly after his great match against Buddy Murphy at WrestleMania. Daivari, as much as he is a great wrestler, really hasn’t been built strongly enough to warrant a title switch. Sorry for the short and sweet opinion but no point beating around the bush peeps!
Marc: The WWE Cruiserweight championship is on the line in the Premier athlete’s first defense since winning it from Buddy Murphy at Wrestlemania. Since becoming champion, Nese has gone from being the egocentric heel to embracing the adulation of the fans and walks with a sense of confidence that is becoming of a face. That his challenger is Daivari signifies a changing of the guard after how these two men were viewed a few years back when the brand was in its infancy. Back then, they faced one another at a time where they weren’t seen as legitimate contenders, but here they are battling for the championship. It really does show how both men have committed themselves to the brand and they should be applauded for getting to a point where they have an opportunity on a pay per view. It is hard to imagine that Nese won’t walk away as the champion, but again, anything is possible. But possible is not the same thing as likely.
United States Championship Match
Samoa Joe vs Rey Mysterio
Brandi: This story which saw a hiccup with WrestleMania seems to finally be back on track. Joe is an animal, set to hunt and take down the legendary luchador. He’s also turned up the volume on the mind games with Rey, involving Rey’s son Dominik even more. The wrath of an angry father can prove to be good fuel for Rey. However, he has to be careful that he doesn’t get too emotional and lose sight of the true goal of the match: the United States Championship.
Mark: Hands up who thinks that Dominick causes the belt to change hands? Me me me! He’s been seen way too much on TV to not be somehow used in the match. And I’m calling he’ll cause some kind of interference on Joe, letting Rey hit his 619 and getting back the win (and title) from Mania. Joe is gonna ragdoll Rey around just like their last match. Get too confident and ….BLAM…. title switch! Yeah, that’s exactly how it’s gonna go down 😉
Marc: A match weeks in the making has seen a number of different twists along the way. One of those twists has been the involvement of Dominik, the son of Rey Mysterio. Joe recently cornered Dominik and berated him, telling him to take a message back to his father and going so far as to question whether or not he is actually Rey‘s son since he is so tall. That got the ire of Mysterio, who is now more determined than ever to not just defeat Samoa Joe but capture the United States Championship. One does tend to wonder what the role of Mysterio’s son will be in this match. Will he get involved, and if he does play a part will it be in favor of his father, or against him? Fans will recall that Mysterio lost to Joe in a minute at WrestleMania but Mysterio bounced back with a win in a subsequent match. Who walks away as the winner in this rubber match, and will Dominik play a part?
Steel Cage Match
Shane McMahon vs The Miz
Brandi: Another story we thought was finished at WrestleMania is clearly not over here. Shane won via technicality after Miz decimated both of them with a high-risk move. Shane is also still hellbent on making an example out of the Miz. The Miz is still seething with rage with McMahon and won’t rest until his revenge is fully satiated. Not sure what to expect from this match, but being inside a steel cage it will be brutal.
Mark: HUZZAH!!! Some WWE official has remembered what a steel cage is for….keeping someone enclosed! With Shane doing his best at dodging Miz over the past few weeks, what better way to finish their feud than a good old fashioned steel cage. Of course Miz is going to go over strong here. The machine is really behind pushing him as a top level babyface. And to be fair he’s done a good job with it. Miz for the win while Shane O’Mac carries on his nefarious ways against Roman Reigns…..
Marc: On the heels of their WrestleMania match, Shane McMahon and The Miz are facing off against one another again, with a new stipulation being added to further their feud. After being distracted by McMahon on the April 29th edition of Raw, Miz proposed that he and Shane square off against one another in a Steel Cage Match. To my recollection, I don’t believe either man have competed in a Steel Cage Match before (not including Hell in a Cell which has a roof on it). This type of match certainly does push the envelope for The Miz; he is often criticized for working a style that is considered safe and free from risk. That said, there is always a risk when stepping between the ropes. As for this match, it is sheer hate that is driving the Miz as he seeks to get the better of McMahon.
Roman Reigns vs. Elias
Brandi: Since Roman’s move to SmackDown Live, Elias has implanted himself firmly in the Big Dog’s crosshairs. The bearded, guitar-wielding troubadour is outwardly unintimidated by Reigns. He also doesn’t mind using outside help or his guitar to get the best of Roman. Elias has been one of the McMahon’s hired guns following Reigns laying out Mr. McMahon with a Superman punch. At Money in the Bank, Roman will defend his yard against Elias.
Mark: Ah Roman, let’s get this mid-level feud out the way so you can begin your next one against The Authority/The McMahons/on-screen authority figure. With Elias becoming the SmackDown Live stepping stone for Reigns, the question is what does Elias do next? He didn’t do much on RAW. He hasn’t done much full stop. Could he pull an Edge and insert himself into the men’s MITB match? I’m hoping some kind of shenanigans happen as this Elias we’re seeing here? Is more lost than what Bray Wyatt was earlier this year.
Marc: The seeds of this match were sown the week of the Superstar Shakeup. Elias was announced as being the biggest star to come to Smackdown Live, but Roman Reigns showed up shortly after to question that announcement by Vince McMahon. This was followed by Superman punches to both McMahon and Elias. As the weeks followed, the build to this match continued. Right now, it is clear that they are not putting the ‘Big Dog’ in a position to contend for the WWE championship just yet. A feud with Elias helps him establish himself on Smackdown Live, and re-emerge as a top contender for the championship. Fans are can anticipate involvement from the McMahon family, a recipe that has proven to be a successful one.
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans
Brandi: This will be Becky’s second title defense of the evening. Win, lose, or draw against Charlotte, she will have another obstacle in her way. Lacey Evans looks down on any woman who’s not like her, especially someone like Becky. Lacey preens and hides behind her Southern charm. But behind that facade is a determined lady, ready to prove herself worthy of the title. Becky doesn’t care if she’s a lady or a tramp, she’s just another challenge for The Man. Lacey and Charlotte did a good job on Raw in double teaming Becky, but will it be the same when it’s one on one?
Mark: I’ve seen a lot of online hate towards Lacey. She hasn’t done a thing since being called up and she’s been handed a title shot. For all those that have misgivings against her, let me draw your attention to her amazing promo she cut on RAW this week. The woman can talk and draw you in, and she has that NASTY disposition where you want to see that smug look swiped from her face. Up steps everyone’s favorite Man to do just that. Bex is gonna retain but is gonna be taken to the limit. And that limit will be tested by her very next match…
Marc: A sassy southern belle against The Man. The story here has been ‘Does it take a lady to stop ‘The Man?’ This also gives Evans a greater platform to showcase her talent. Her time in the ring has been quite short, and her rise from non-wrestler to NXT to the Raw brand is something that should be marveled at. This natural athlete poses a different threat to Becky Lynch. While ‘The Man‘ has all the confidence in the world, but this matchup is different. Her focus will be split as it is one of two matches she will be part of this evening. Regardless, fans are likely to see a very competitive match up no matter the result. Evans is undoubtedly an underdog going in, but this is her opportunity to show that she is capable of doing quite a bit in the ring and that her match up against Natalya on a recent episode of Raw was just a preview.
WWE Smackdown Live Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair
Brandi: This is the first of two title defenses for Becky Lynch. Here she takes on old rival Charlotte. Charlotte claims to be unimpressed by Becky’s double title reign because she didn’t beat her for them. She also maintains that even though Becky got her storybook ending, it’s still not enough for her. Charlotte is on the hunt for her ninth overall reign. The Queen would love nothing more than for it to be at Becky’s expense. Becky is accustomed to her underdog role and is comfortable in it. After all, fighting from underneath got her into the main event of WrestleMania, twice. She doesn’t back down from any match and she knows she’s in for a helluva night at MITB.
Mark: And here is where The Queen will once again take The Man to the limit in another classic. Seriously I compare these two to Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat from back in the day. Their chemistry is undeniably outstanding. What I can envisage happening is Becky tapping out Lacey and while she is taking in the fans, she gets taken out from behind by Evans. Upset and angry at being made a show of. This will weaken The Man enough for Charlotte to beat in this match. Takes the title back to SmackDown Live while Evans will face the full fury of Lynch over on RAW. Bottom line – Becky loses.
Marc: This storied rivalry is adding another element this time around: the ‘I’ve beaten you so often, let’s give someone else an opportunity’ narrative. It is something that isn’t commonly done as usually, the champion may dodge a challenge. In this case, however, Lynch is saying that Flair takes opportunities from others, and has made clear she wanted Bayley to be the one to be granted this opportunity. But the bottom line is that Flair is contesting once again for the Smackdown Live women’s championship. These two have tremendous chemistry, something that comes from knowing and trusting your opponent, and being able to anticipate what they will do next. Fans are assured that this matchup will be everything it should be and more. The question is, will it be a beaten down Becky entering the match because she has already had her Raw title match, or will she be fresher one as this title defense comes first?
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Drew McIntyre, Ricochet, Ali, Randy Orton, Andrade, Finn Balor
Brandi: In one of the few instances in the matches history, this one has a majority of new and uncrowned stars. Aside from Randy Orton and Finn Balor, no one has held a world title in WWE. Drew McIntyre is, of course, a former NXT Champion and has finally built up good forward momentum on the main roster. Andrade is also a former NXT Champion, with his secret weapon Zelina Vega at his side. Ricochet and Ali are the most untested of the group, but perhaps have the most to gain and nothing to lose. Sami Zayn is an interesting case. He had a long tenure on NXT and had a short run with the title. Since then, he’s stayed in the realm of the middle of the card. This could be his chance to break out on his own.
Mark: One thing I can guarantee about this match, there’s gonna be some memorable spots with Ali and Ricochet involved. Could Mr. Charlotte Flair gain the MITB to cement another power couple in the WWE (that’s Andrade to those that don’t know he’s dating Charlotte)? Could Randy grab the briefcase for a second time? Will Drew go completely psychotic in his quest to climb the ladder? Will Finn add the briefcase to his outrageous abs? All quite possible, but I’m going for one of two – Baron Corbin or Sami Zayn. Baron has been booked brilliantly since ending Kurt Angle’s career. If you hated him before you’ll hate him even more now! And Sami? His new shtick of telling it as it is is absolute genius. He’s losing the cheers in the crowd, but can you imagine him trolling those same fans while holding the briefcase? Amazing heat.
Marc: With the field finally determined, this collection of talent appears to present quite a contrast in styles. There is a nice blend of highly mobile talent and some very established talent. Among all those involved the question is who is considered a legitimate threat, and who isn’t? We have a previous winner involved and a current champion. This is the first Money In the Bank ladder match for Ricochet, Ali, Andrade, Balor, and Zayn. McIntyre competed years ago in one of the first ever but has grown so much as a talent since then, and this new McIntyre is likely to create quite a stir. It would be interesting to have the Intercontinental champion be the winner of the Money In the Bank contract. We could have a scenario where an unlikely winner lays claim to the briefcase. For instance, could Ali come out on top?
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match;
Nikki Cross, Natalya, Naomi, Dana Brooke, Bayley, Mandy Rose, Ember Moon, Carmella
Brandi: What is unfortunate for Alexa Bliss is now Nikki Cross’ biggest opportunity. She’s been overlooked by most of the roster…until this past week on RAW. Nikki shocked everyone and won the four-way women’s match handily. Natalya, Naomi, Bayley, and Carmella are all former champions. Carmella was also the first ever Ms. Money in the Bank. Ember Moon and Dana Brooke are also wildcards. Neither has had a ton of success on the main roster thus far, but that can change in an instant here.
Mark: I’m a sucker for a MITB match. I’ve loved them all over the years, and I’ve learned not to pick a winner as I’m always way off the mark. But that would make for a crappy preview so here’s my winner…..Mandy Rose!…..or Bayley!…..or Ember Moon! Yeah, definitely one of those three. Here’s why – Bayley is too good not to be involved in the women’s main event picture. Ember Moon deserves to show the world just how damn good she is. And Mandy has been pushed so hard over the last few months that it must lead to something big. There we go. There are my picks and reasoning. I’m not changing my mind…..well maybe 😉
Marc: The women’s Money In the Bank includes some names fans likely didn’t anticipate, and some they had hoped would be a part of it. For example, Sasha Banks’ absence certainly is a disappointment. Regardless of the reason, her presence and potential contributions would have made a significant impact here. One addition that some may not think very much of would be the inclusion of Dana Brooke. Fans may not be aware of it, but stories of her hard work over the past three years in order to improve in the ring say a great deal about her commitment. Furthermore, stories of her working with the ring crew to disassemble the ring certainly suggest she is willing to do whatever it takes. This match has former Money In the Bank entrants and two past winners. How much faith does WWE have in Mandy Rose, who may walk out as the winner? A name that fans shouldn’t sleep on is Bayley, as she would be a logical title contender.
WWE Universal Championship
Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles
Brandi: This one has a dream match written all over it. It will also be Seth’s first test as champion. He defied the odds at WrestleMania and slated the Beast, Brock Lesnar. Lesnar was a challenge AJ Styles couldn’t overcome. Styles has also been in a gray area since losing the WWE Championship many months ago. With the move to Monday Night Raw, it has breathed new life into the Face that Runs the Place. There is no personal issue here, just two world-class competitors seeking to prove who is the best.
Mark: Match of the year contender coming up! Give these guys 20 minutes and no limitations and watch the fireworks! AJ has something to prove to be back on RAW once again. Can he re-make RAW as he did over on SmackDown Live? And Seth has to prove that although he slew the Beast, is he worthy enough to hold the big red belt (trying something there guys, go with me yeah?). In any case, this will be a great match if a certain someone keeps his 70-year-old nose out of it 😉 with Seth walking away as the winner, ready to face his next challenge.
Marc: It’s been called a dream match and one that hasn’t ever happened in WWE before. When a match takes place for the first time ever it’s special, and when you add in the stakes involved here it is even more exciting. For those unaware, these two men faced one another back in 2006 when Rollins wasn’t even 20 years of age. On that night he showed himself to be something special, and after the match Styles stood in the middle of the ring and sang his praises. Fast forward thirteen years and here we are once again with the stakes much different. Both men have had successful careers in WWE: Rollins is a grand slam champion while AJ Styles has held the WWE and United States championships despite a much briefer tenure with the company. There is no reason this match shouldn’t live up to the hype that it fully deserves. Fans should anticipate both men to pulling out all the stops, and the match could easily go twenty minutes at the minimum.
Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens
Brandi: This is another contest that has gotten very personal. Kofi spent over a decade clawing his way to the top of the mountain. Now that he’s there, the first in line to knock him down is Kevin Owens. KO suckered Kofi and Xavier Woods in, befriending them before brutally decimating them. Kevin thinks that Kofi’s story is not all that impressive because it took eleven years. Owens took out John Cena on his first night in the company. And now he looks to take out Kofi as well. This past week on SmackDown Live, Owens allied with his friend Sami Zayn and alluded to the idea they might not be on their own. With Daniel Bryan in the rearview mirror, this will be Kofi’s biggest challenge to date.
Mark: It’s too early to take the title from Kofi isn’t it? I mean c’mon, let him have his moment for just a little bit longer? Honestly, I want him to keep it but my head is saying that with ratings down and KO a justified draw, that a switch is very much a possibility. Owens has that ability to make you want to shout at the TV screen with the way he is. Everything a heel champ should have. And as the old saying goes, a babyface is much better at chasing the title than being the champ. I want my head to be wrong for this so bad….c’mon Uncle Vince, another month for Kofi….please?
Marc: On the April 23rd edition of Smackdown Live, Kevin Owens brief time in The New Day came to an end. He had been made an honorary part of the group due to the absence of Big E, who is recovering from surgery, and was dubbed Big O. While it is easy for some to say there was always something off about his time in the New Day, it didn’t make it any less stunning when he betrayed Kingston and Xavier Woods. They gave him the benefit of the doubt and embraced him as part of the group despite his nefarious past. But that all ended when Owens superkicked Kingston. The following week, the champion laid out a challenge and created this match. Kingston has more to prove as there is this cloud of doubt for some, which he hopes to remove with a successful title defense.
For Brandi Wagner and Mark Blake, this is Marc Madison saying sit back and hope you enjoy the show
Brandi Wagner – @BrandiWritesPW
Mark Blake – @Smart_Mark_B
Marc Madison – @ProWrestlingPST