The Money in the Bank show has never been this important for WWE.
It’s the company’s first pay-per-view in front of a full-capacity audience — at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas — since the coronavirus pandemic upended live events last March. It also gives WWE a chance to inject some energy into the top of their cards and a kickstart a ratings boost with fans back in the arena. There are plenty of new faces: Nine of the 16 competitors in the Money in the Bank matches have never won a world title in WWE. This means we could see a new star securing the Money in the Bank briefcase and the right to challenge for any championship in WWE.
There are rumblings of a Becky Lynch return, but there’s probably a better chance of her interjecting into the Raw women’s title match between Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley (to help pop a rating on Monday) than becoming Ms. Money in the Bank should she show up on Sunday.
Here is a breakdown of the fields for the men’s and women’s ladder matches at Money in the Bank (8 p.m., Peacock) on Sunday.
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Can’t See It
John Morrison (Raw)
Though Morrison deserves a singles push at some point and could get some fun Money in the Bank advice from The Miz, it’s hard to imagine him getting the briefcase while the WWE champion on “Monday Night Raw” is a strong heel in Bobby Lashley. Morrison’s in-ring ability will certainly add a lot to this match.
Ricochet is in the same boat as Morrison, with whom he has been having some fantastic matches on Raw recently. He’s a great additions to the match who doesn’t have quite enough story and momentum to warrant a win. Ricochet, at least, is a babyface and has some history with the Hurt Business that could be played off of should he win.
King Shinsuke Nakamura (SmackDown)
Nakamura has become one of the most enjoyable things on “Friday Night SmackDown” each week, and it’s great to see him put back in a meaningful spot. He’s already got the King moniker from Baron Corbin, so it’s hard to see WWE giving him that and the Money in the Bank briefcase. Nakamura doesn’t feel like a big enough threat to Universal champion Roman Reigns just yet.
Matt Riddle (Raw)
Riddle becoming Mr. Money in the Bank would be less about him potentially becoming champion than the story you can tell around it. After some building some fun comedic tension with Randy Orton, it’s the thing that could break apart their fragile partnership. WWE has already laid the groundwork that Riddle’s presence in the match is a point of contention. Orton ruins Riddle’s cash-in attempt with an RKO and away we go.
Big E (SmackDown)
Would anyone be surprised if Big E won? And what a moment it would be with fans back — after he’s been stuck in a so-so storyline with Apollo Crews and lost his Intercontinental championship. Imagine a storyline in which Big E wins back the Intercontinental title and holds the Money in the Bank briefcase with a chance to become a double champion. He would be an imposing challenger to Roman Reigns.
Kevin Owens (SmackDown)
It certainly would get a big pop from the fans should Owens climb the ladder and grab the briefcase. He’s thrown some verbal jabs at Reigns, but his previous program with the Tribal Chief (during which he came up short) keeps him off the favorites list. Maybe Owens could surprisingly cash in on Lashley instead?
Drew McIntyre (Raw)
Giving him the Money in the Bank contract accomplishes too many things to be ignored. One, it should trump his deal with Lashley that he cannot challenge for the WWE championship as long as the All Mighty holds the strap. Two, it almost guarantees McIntyre the huge pop he deserves after helping carry WWE through the pandemic ThunderDome era. Fans love cash-ins even when heels do it. Third, it allows WWE to take the belt off Lashley without him losing a traditional match. Maybe McIntyre cashes in right away during Sunday’s title match to erase the sadness of Kofi Kingston losing to Lashley.
Seth Rollins (SmackDown)
A Rollins-Reigns feud feels long overdue and could make for some great gamesmanship TV. Rollins has butted heads with Edge in recent weeks, too, so there’s a natural segue in the story for the Money in the Bank contract. Rollins reminded everyone last week on SmackDown that his successful Money in the Bank cash-in involved Reigns, who could further solidify his dominance by surviving a Rollins cash-in attempt. He appears headed for a feud with Edge first, however.
Women’s Money in the Bank Match
Can’t See It
Asuka won Money in the Bank last year and already has a long and recent history with Raw women’s champion Rhea Ripley and Ripley’s current challenger, Charlotte Flair. It’s hard to see WWE going back in this direction so soon.
Natalya, one half of the women’s tag team champions, is a perfect addition to this match because of her vast experience. You want a stabilizing force in a match like this to keep the parts moving as they should. She and Tamina already have a spotlight and purpose as tag champions, leaving little reason to give the briefcase to Natalya.
A lot of the same logic as applies to Natayla. Plus Tamina was the last person added to the match — via social media — and she feels more like a throw-in to fill out the field than a serious threat to win. She and Natalya are superb tag champions. That should be the focus.
Zelina Vega (SmackDown)
Vega, thankfully, is back with WWE and getting a chance to wrestle. Giving her the briefcase would strap a rocket to her return, and she is capable of cutting killer, true-heel promos to solidify her as a threat to SmackDown women’s champion Bianca Belair. It would add a much-needed fresh face into the title picture.
Alexa Bliss (Raw)
She certainly doesn’t need the briefcase, but think of the long-term, creepy storytelling that can be done if Bliss pulls off the win. She would be an omnipresent and serious threat to whoever has the Raw women’s championship – heel or face. It will also add a little something extra to her character, which at times feels as if it lacks direction.
Naomi’s championship history and skill always make her a threat, but she has very little story on her side at the moment. She hasn’t won a singles match since late March and recently lost to Doudrop. It would be a nice surprise for an underutilized talent such as Naomi to win, but her past and fans’ love for her can override that.
Nikki “A.S.H.” Cross (Raw)
Making WWE’s almost superhero Ms. Money in the Banks makes sense on several levels. Cross already has history with Ripley and Flair, beating them both in beat-the-clock matches. Having her accomplish something as big as getting the contract gives heft to her almost-superhero character with fans back.
Liv Morgan (SmackDown)
We have waited and waited, enduring several starts and stops, for Morgan to finally get the singles push she deserves. Her pleading to be in the Money in the Bank match – and finally getting in last week – has been a running storyline. Her making good on the opportunity adds a jolt of credibility to her character. She is someone the crowd will be fully behind each time she climbs the ladder. I would give the fans what they want and give Morgan her chance to shine.
Men’s winner: Drew McIntyre
Women’s winner: Liv Morgan