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On Sunday, June 29th, perhaps the biggest ladder match in WWE history will take place. Not only will it be the traditional seven man ladder match, it will be for the first time, for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Generally, Money in the Bank marks the push for someone to be the future champion. Normally a guy wins the briefcase, and then holds on to it for a little while as they begin to be built for a potential championship run. With the world title directly on the line, there will be no grace period for the winner to build up momentum, they will be thrown right into the fire as the new world champion.
10:1- Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio burst into WWE with a lot of high expectations, and was given a very large push, first as a heel, then as a face, and then as a heel again, with multiple world title reigns involved. Unfortunately, Del Rio just never had the charisma to get over the with the fans at the level that was required for a main event wrestler. At this point in his career, the 37 year old Del Rio is seen within WWE as what he likely was the entire time; a good worker who is capable of getting a good match out of anybody, but not someone who you could really have as your world champion. In the main event for the show Sunday, Del Rio might be responsible for some high spots and some cool moments, but he is a longshot to actually win the match.
Similar to Del Rio, Sheamus is a multiple-time champion that never really caught on enough to substantiate his position at the top of the card. Also like Del Rio, Sheamus is entering his late-30s and has drifted lazily through WWE storylines for the past several months. Sheamus is rumored to be in with Triple H, so his prospects of future success are greater than Del Rio’s, but right now, Sheamus isn’t ready for the world title.
As a heel, Sheamus flashed his greatest potential. An aggressive bully with a mean-streak, Sheamus was kind of a throwback to old-fashioned heels, such as Dick the Bruiser and Killer Kowalski. Because WWE was running low on top faces, Sheamus was turned to a face, where he became stagnant as a smiling Irish brawler, with very little depth into his character. If Sheamus were to turn heel (and maybe that will happen at MiTB, who really knows?) I believe he could reclaim the world title, but as a face, right now that reality isn’t in the cards.
After his dominant performance at Wrestlemania and his defection to the services of Paul Heyman, a lot has been expected of Cesaro, but not a lot has been delivered. Most of that blame cannot be placed on Cesaro however, he is still the same dominant performer that he was three months ago, it is just that very little has been done to advance his career other than the creation of a new nickname. He has mostly worked a very soft feud against Rob Van Dam, and has been void of any high-level opponents. Similar to Del Rio and Sheamus, he just isn’t in the position right now to be a serious challenger for the world title.
I actually think that Cesaro would make a very interesting champion for WWE. He is certainly talented enough to make it in the ring and with Heyman on the mic, he could contract plenty of heat. He could have great, exciting matches with Daniel Bryan whenever he comes back, and perhaps most importantly, he could work with Brock Lesnar. If Cesaro is the champion when Lesnar comes back, it could be a great opportunity to have Heyman turn on Cesaro, going back to Brock and turning Cesaro into a great babyface. A lot of exciting stuff could happen if Cesaro were to become the champion.
Reigns is someone who would be an ideal candidate to win the match, if it was for just the Money in the Bank briefcase and not the actual title. Reigns is someone who many feel (especially those inside WWE) feel is going to be an eventual world champion, and he is someone that could really benefit from getting the briefcase, and holding onto it for several months, while he works big time feuds in preparation of cashing in and challenging for the world title.
As he stands right now, Reigns probably isn’t ready to shoulder the load as the world champion. Although is performance recently in the ring and on the mic have been received very positively, he likely needs to sustain some of his popularity for a longer period of time and prove to everyone that he can have good singles matches without any assistance from The Shield. If Roman Reigns gets through to Summerslam and ends up winning his match against Triple H, then I think that everyone will know how good of a champion Reigns can be. Right now however, he is too much of a mystery to seriously consider being the world champion.
3:1- Bray Wyatt
Wyatt is currently in no-mans land after being beaten by Cena at the last PPV. Wyatt still is trying retain his status as an other-worldly heel, but unless something major happens for him soon, he could end up losing most of his momentum. I wrote during my Payback preview that the only real way Wyatt could recoup his momentum if he were to lose again to Cena would be to move onto the world title, and right now the title is within his grasp.
Wyatt as a champion would certainly be intriguing. If he were to win on Sunday, it would probably be enough to make most fans forget about his losses to Cena, and someone as gifted on the microphone as Wyatt could greater utilize his philosophy if he were to be given the power of the world title. Although Wyatt as champion wouldn’t really mesh well with the current WWE booking of The Authority needing a corporate champion, the alluring upside of Wyatt as the champion could be tantalizing enough for WWE to pull the trigger.
2:1- Randy Orton
From a storyline standpoint, the easiest choice to make would be for Randy Orton to become the new champion. Orton has been the corporate face for The Authority since last year, and it makes perfect sense for him to reassume his role as the top guy, the champion who faces Bryan whenever he is ready to comeback.
With that being said, it wouldn’t really be very exciting to see Orton come back as the champion and then face Bryan for the 100th time over the world title. While the storylines indicate that Orton is the favorite to win this match, from an entertainment standpoint, WWE could really do better.
3:2- John Cena
Cena ranks as the favorite because of my new rule that John Cena is the favorite in every single match he participates in. Even though a Cena victory would be seen as repetitive as some, and would lead to a re-match with Daniel Bryan from last year’s Summerslam, there are two things working in Cena’s favor.
With Daniel Bryan injured, CM Punk gone, Orton’s run at the top going repetitive, Cena is the top option for WWE. WWE’s current financial situation might be overblown right now, but that might mean that Vince McMahon and company will be looking for its number one horse to come through for them. In addition to the WWE’s sometimes over-reliance on Cena, after buzzsawing his way through the Wyatt family, Cena is currently without a major feud. The time is ripe for him to climb the mountain for the 15th time. As repetitive as Cena is, there are some exciting guys (Cesaro, Rusev, Lesnar) that he could work with as the champion, which is why he is the favorite heading into the showdown.