A week or so before Chris Jericho’s Brazil incident in which he was suspended for 30 days for disrespecting the Brazilian flag, I was having a heated discussion on Twitter with Mike “The Buzz-Saw” Asti and Brandon Radcliffe. Brandon was saying that Jericho’s much ballyhooed return to the WWE was a failure because of the multiple PPV matches he had lost. Mike and I were trying to explain that while Jericho’s record has been terrible, the fact that a proven veteran came in just to help Sheamus and CM Punk legitimize themselves was no failure. Of course, Brandon tends to disagree with me no matter how many times I prove him wrong so he still ended the conversation feeling that he was right.
And as we go into this Sunday’s Money In The Bank PPV, I have to agree with him now.
Suspension aside, Jericho has been putting on great matches since his January return. He was the last man Sheamus put out in January’s Royal Rumble, was literally knocked out at the Elimination Chamber, and lost back-to-back matches to Punk at WrestleMania and Extreme Rules. Not to mention the countless house and television shows he’s worked. While I don’t agree that his run is a failure because of his losses, I feel like he’s way overdue for a big win.
What better way to do that than with his first ever Money In The Bank victory?
As the creator of the Money In The Bank match, it would only make sense that Y2J get to snag the briefcase. Big Show is enjoying a nice run as a heel but judging from his brief Intercontinental Champion reign, WWE has no interest in letting him be a champ. Kane’s last title run was with the World Heavyweight Title in 2010. As entertaining as Kane is to watch, his January masked return got dashed once John Cena sent him flying from the roof of an ambulance at the Elimination Chamber in February. His recent turn in the Punk/Daniel Bryan/AJ Lee storyline was fun but it didn’t do anything to add to his character. He’s just there so another big man can participate.
Cena is the safe pick to win the match. Following his No Way Out triumph over Big Show, this would be the best way to get him back in the title picture in time for August’s SummerSlam. Amid rumors of a Punk/Cena III as the undercard to Triple H and Brock Lesnar, this would be the simplest way to get there. Cena hasn’t been in the title picture since losing the WWE Title to Alberto Del Rio at last year’s Vengeance PPV and with his matches with The Rock and Lesnar in the can, you know he’s itching to get gold back around his waist. So it would not shock me to see Cena leave Phoenix with the MITB briefcase in hand.
But Jericho is so due it’s silly. After months of putting over any and everyone (except poor Kofi Kingston), he deserves some type of achievement to make his third WWE run more memorable. While the feud with Randy Orton that got scrapped due to both of their respective suspensions could have been that achievement, a MITB win would be so much better.
There will be some big spot where Cena performs some insane feat of strength against Big Show or Kane (or both). Show and Kane will end up chokeslamming someone from the top of a ladder. Jericho will risk his body by flying from a ridiculously high perch to nail a waiting opponent. But just think of the excitement of seeing Y2J pulling out all the stops to get to that briefcase, no matter how dastardly. Think of that dumb look Cena gets when he loses. It’ll be the same one he’ll have as Jericho slinks back up the ramp with a huge smile on his face. Show and Kane will probably be recovering from the last big spot of the match as the US Airways Center goes nuts. And the entire WWE will be warned.
Chris Jericho owns a Money In The Bank briefcase. And he’s taking someone’s belt.
It gives me chills.
Now for quick rundown of the rest of the scheduled matches.
Kofi and R-Truth should retain the Tag Team titles over Hunico and Camacho in the pre-show match. The tag team scene is so depressing anymore.
Punk/Bryan II (or III if you count No Way Out’s triple threat match with Kane) is guaranteed to deliver. The dark horse of the match is AJ as the special guest referee. After she shunned both Punk and Bryan on last Monday’s Raw, it’ll be interesting to see how she calls it. As I said before, I’m ready for Punk’s title reign to end. But as much as I’d like to see Bryan triumph, I think Punk takes another show-stealer of a match.
The SmackDown Money In The Bank match? With 8 competitors, this will either be amazing or a waste of a card slot. As usual, I’m pulling for Ziggler. I expect Cody or Tensai to walk out with the briefcase. Christian is my dark horse pick.
And as far as Sheamus/Del Rio (basically WWE giving Del Rio his shot after his concussion kept him out of No Way Out), I’m going with Del Rio. Sheamus has had a strong run with the World Title but there’s something about ADR that WWE loves. And they love to see him with gold on.
And I expect Ryback to squash a few more wrestlers. That’s what he does.
So while this year’s Money In The Bank is nothing compared to Punk leaving the WWE with title in hand last year, it’ll have it’s moments. Moments that will lead into the 25th anniversary of SummerSlam. And if there’s one thing WWE does right, it’s anniversaries. I’m looking forward to it. I just hope I don’t get that same summer letdown I’m used to feeling.