This Sunday, WWE’s Money In The Bank Network Special will feature two ladder matches. The winners of these ladder matches will receive a briefcase that is not only stylish but also guarantees he or she a championship match basically whenever he or she would like. With so many possibilities, I’ve decided to fantasy-book the cash in scenarios for each superstar, should they win the briefcase on Sunday. Keep in mind that these are fantasy–bookings, and they definitely air on the side of fantasy.
Charlotte: SmackDown! Live – June 20, 2017
Charlotte showed up on Smackdown and was handed a championship opportunity seven days later. I stopped counting, but at this point, she’s got to be halfway to Ric’s record of sixteen world championships. Through the years, the MITB has been used as a vehicle to push upper mid-carders into that main event. In the case of the Queen, she’s the main event of women’s wrestling. Winning the briefcase would just essentially add another tally to her championship count. She might not need the win on Sunday, but if she does win she will not waste time cashing in as soon as possible. No stranger to TV title matches, the second-generation superstar would be likely to cash in that Tuesday night and she would certainly do it with flair. Only two superstars have ever set up their cash ins for matches to take place at a certain show (RVD at One Night Stand ’06, and Cena for Raw 1000), but she’ll join that list. On the Talking Smack following MITB, Charlotte will inform Renee and whoever her cohost is that she’ll cash in on Tuesday against Naomi. The two ladies will main event the show, and Charlotte will assume her throne atop of the blue brand.
Becky Lynch: Survivor Series 2017
Becky winning the Money In The Bank could pose an interesting wrinkle to her character. Since she’s been on the main roster, she has been turned on by Paige, Charlotte, and Natalya. Somehow through all of that, she has remained a face and never shown any signs of turning. Lynch is the type of competitor that would not surprise cash in for the championship if it was against one of her friends. Well at Money In the Bank, we’ll assume Naomi retains against Lana. Becky and Charlotte overcome the three heels in their ladder match and Becky wins the briefcase. She finds herself in feuds with Lana and other heels over the course of the next few months, staying out of the title picture because she does not want to screw Naomi or Charlotte out of the championship. Charlotte beats Naomi for the belt at SummerSlam. Things all begin to change around Survivor Series. We’ve got our 5-on-5 Women’s tag match. Our final four consists of the four horsewomen. It’s a fun moment for everyone, but Charlotte is insistent on being in the match because she knows how to beat Sasha. Sasha finally bests Charlotte on PPV. Becky is left to fight this battle two-on-one, she eliminates Bayley, but then falls short to Sasha. After the match, we get a four horsewomen moment. The Raw women leave the ring to celebrate with the rest of their team, while Becky and Charlotte remain in the ring. Becky’s finally had enough, refuses to shake the Queen’s hand, and lays her out with the briefcase. She calls on the ref to get back in the ring and she’s cashing in. Becky breaks bad and forces Charlotte to tap out to win her second SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Natalya: Total Divas – Season 7 Episode 13
WWE clearly values the success of Total Divas, so why not have the first ever title change on Total Divas? Our arc starts this Sunday where Natalya proves she’s the best there is, the best there was, and the best she ever will be. Then, a few months down the road, Natalya just shows up on TV with the SD Women’s Championship. In a somewhat similar fashion to the UltraMantis Black time jump that Chikara ran earlier this year, Natalya will cash in on Naomi while the cameras are rolling during the filming of Season 7 of Total Divas. I imagine a scenario in which they’re in a hot tub and an argument breaks out, and Natalya realizes she can cash in any time and any place. Fortunately for her, senior official Mike Chioda is also in this hot tub, so he performs the three count. During her first address to the fans, Natalya can build heat by revealing the footage won’t be released until Total Divas comes back to TV. Each week, Natalya will tease that the next episode of Total Divas might have the title change until it’s revealed it happened on the season finale. Ratings will be through the roof.
Tamina: Money In The Bank 2018
Tamina is arguably the most unlikely candidate to win the MITB ladder match this Sunday. If she is to win, it’ll be with help from the Usos. The Usos and Tamina create a faction on the basis that their family is the greatest wrestling family in history. At Battleground, Tamina enlists the help of their cousin, Sean Maluta, to tag with the Usos against another aspiring “greatest wrestling family in history” The Colons (feat. Carlito). The Samoan Dynasty make quick work of the Colons. The next night, they invade Raw and attack Roman Reigns. The attack prompts a Shield reunion for SummerSlam. Roman turns on the Shield because “blood is thicker than shields” (or something terrible like that). Over the course of the next few months, Naomi gives in and joins the Dynasty. Survivor Series features the first ever mixed tag Survivor Series match. Roman Reigns, The Usos, Tamina, & Naomi vs. The Rock, Rikishi, Lance Anoa’i, Nia Jax, & Sasha Banks. The screwy finish sees the heels win, and sets us up for The Rock vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 34. Meanwhile, where does that leave Tamina in all of this? Well, Tamina gets so wrapped up in this stable that she forgets she has the Money In The Bank after a while. She disappears from TV after WrestleMania but returns the last night her briefcase is eligible and cashes in against Paige. Paige retains the title and that’s that.
Carmella: Smackdown After SummerSlam 2017
As stated somewhere previously during this write-up, the Money In The Bank has always been a tool to catapult someone to the main event. With that logic, Carmella has the most to gain here with a win. A cash in against Naomi, Charlotte, or Becky means she’ll get some heat, and then, of course, she’s got James Ellsworth. No one else in this match has an Ellsworth, and if Carmella is going to win, James is the man who will help her do it. Let’s set the scene — Becky and Carmella are waging war atop the ladder. Carmella gets her lass handily kicked and takes a big bump off the ladder. Ellsworth gets to his feet (for the first time since being crushed through the German announce table following a Charlotte moonsault) and climbs the ladder. Becky locks Ellsworth in the Disarmer, he’s tapping out, and tapping out. Instead of falling from the ladder, he’s posted up on one of the rungs, all groggy. Natalya hits the ring, she pulls Becky from the top. Their brawl ends up seeing them both laid out. Carmella and Ellsworth are the only two left in the ring. Carmella’s ankle is hurt from the fall, she can’t climb. She yells to Ellsworth to get the briefcase for her. Slowly, with one arm, James Ellsworth steals the briefcase for Carmella.
Shane O’Mac forces a match on Smackdown between Becky & Carmella for the briefcase. Again, Ellsworth tries to intervene — but this time MITB winner Sami Zayn pulls him off. Now at Battleground, we’ve got Becky Lynch & Sami Zayn vs. Carmellsworth where the winners each get a briefcase. Somehow, someway, Carmellsworth pull out the victory. At SummerSlam, Charlotte beats Lana to win the SD Live Women’s Championship for the first time. Lana invokes her rematch clause the following Tuesday. In a moment of desperation, Lana locks Rusev’s Accolade on Charlotte. The Queen gets the ropes and pulls a Natural Selection out of nowhere to retain. An irate Lana again locks in the Accolade after the match. The official checks on the Women’s Champion, but Carmella’s music hits and Charlotte is doomed! Flair doesn’t go down without a fight. Naturally, James Ellsworth plays a role in the finish, because while the official is tossing him out of the match, Carmella beats the briefcase into Charlotte’s back. She forces her to submit to the Code of Silence and we’ve got a new champion. The following week during a FABULOUS celebration, Ellsworth puts it all on the line and tries to kiss Carmella — shot down. Carmella tells Ellsworth that he’s a loser and she just used him to get to the top. James tries to win her love by calling out WWE Champion Rusev (no rules in fantasy-booking) and cashes in his MITB on the spot. Rusev kicks his butt, Carmella laughs on the side, and Ellsworth is made to be a fool. Over the course of the next few weeks, Ellsworth tries to make Carmella jealous in backstage promos with other women on the roster, but to no avail. Eventually, Asuka debuts as the girl who agreed to help make Carmella jealous. Asuka embarrasses Carmella the way she did to Ellsworth. All was well.
And now for the men!
Dolph Ziggler: Night After WrestleMania 34
WWE has spent a great deal of this build to Sunday’s PPV reminiscing of Dolph Ziggler’s cash in the night after WrestleMania. One of the selling points for him being a contender in this match is that he’s the only one in the match on Sunday with a win in this match. At MITB, Ziggler wins the match and joins CM Punk as the only person to win two MITB ladder matches. As the weeks go on, the fans begin to chant “We Want Ziggler”, much like they did on that night after WrestleMania 29, during Jinder Mahal’s matches. Finally, Ziggler addresses the chants on Talking Smack and indicates he wants the crowd to be as electric as they were on that night. For months, every town tries to be the town that Ziggler cashes in. A few times, his music hits, but he elects not to cash in because the crowd is not as hot as they were in New Jersey that night. He gets himself wrapped up in a few feuds because some mid-card guys start getting sick of him wasting that briefcase. In the meantime, “We Want Ziggler” chants have become the new “10” or “Yes”. So we’re in New Orleans, two nights after Mania. From the minute SmackDown goes live, everyone’s chanting “We Want Ziggler.” Kevin Owens opens the show. He retained his WWE Championship over Sami Zayn at WrestleMania 34. He just wanted to let everyone know there’s going to be no cash in tonight because he’s earned himself a night off. He’s leaving. Zayn stops him. The two brawl all over the arena. Owens ultimately puts away Zayn, but he’s reeling “We Want Ziggler” chants pick back up, his music hits, and the crowd becomes unglued. Dolph is cashing in. The two superstars tease a number of false finishes, but Kevin Owens scores a roll up win to crush Ziggler’s dreams. Dolph is so heartbroken over the loss that he leaves wrestling altogether.
Kevin Owens: SummerSlam 2017
Kevin Owens is a former world champion, so he’s another one of those guys who really doesn’t need the briefcase (but it couldn’t hurt). The New Face of America wins the Money In The Bank and promptly slaps a picture of his face on the briefcase. Owens is the kind of heel that will take advantage of any opportunity to be the champion, but as long as he is United States champion, he’s not going to be able to cash in the Money In The Bank. Owens cashing in at SummerSlam makes all too much sense. Earlier in the night, Sami Zayn overcomes Kevin Owens to win the title. John Cena beats Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship in the main event, and then Kevin Owens cashes in and we get a great string of Cena-Owens matches to close out 2017. Only thing, that’s too easy. Historically, 10 of the 17 cash ins have happened before or at SummerSlam. So if there’s anybody that can hold the briefcase for months and get heat for not cashing in immediately, it’s Owens. That being said, Owens stands a lot to gain by being the top guy on SmackDown ASAP!
Sami Zayn: SmackDown Live! January 2, 2018
Sami Zayn is my personal favorite to win the 2017 MITB ladder match. After overcoming the odds and winning the briefcase, Zayn is eager to develop the perfect strategy for cashing in. He consults with Daniel Bryan, Ziggler, and a number of other former winners to determine how to know when it’s the right moment to cash in. Jinder Mahal retains his title through SummerSlam, and afterward, decides he’s going to tour India for the rest of the year. A few times during his tour, Sami Zayn attempts to cash in, but after some dope chase scenes, The Maharaja gets away. It’s at this time that chase scenes become all the rage in professional wrestling. The Underdog from the Underground struggles with jet lag on his trips home and finds himself in a bit of a losing streak. During the final SmackDown of the year, Sami Zayn vows that 2018 will be the biggest year of his career. On the first SmackDown of 2018, the WWE champion returns and finds himself in yet another fantastic chase scene. This time Sami Zayn catches Jinder Mahal and successfully cashes in his briefcase, and thus lives true to his promise that 2018 would be his year.
Shinsuke Nakamura: WrestleMania 34
Since arriving in WWE, Nakamura has been a spectacle. His entrance, his entrance song, and his entrance song, sung as a chant, electrify crowds all over the world. WrestleMania is sports entertainment’s spectacle. There’s not a better place to have Nakamura become world champion than the Grandaddy of ‘em All! So how do we do that? How do we arrive at that point? Well the King of Strong Style, first has to win the briefcase. He could cash in on Mahal the following night, but Kevin Owens stands in the way of all that. Kevin Owens and the Artist feud all the way through SummerSlam and even whatever the September network exclusive will be called. Shinsuke will hold onto his briefcase and even score the United States championship during his feud with KO. So now he’s ready, right? Not exactly! He’s got the US title and guys like Rusev and Corbin who are going to want to take that from him. At the Royal Rumble, Corbin will get a screwy win over Nakamura to win the belt. Shinsuke goes onto the rumble in the main event later that night. Now, not only does he have his Money In The Bank briefcase that guarantees him a title shot, he’s also got the Royal Rumble win. So we’ve got AJ Styles as WWE Champion and Shinsuke Nakamura the challenger at WrestleMania — SPECTACLE. AJ’s going to go over the Rockstar in the pre-main event.
In the main event of Wrestlemania, Brock Lesnar is going to defeat Roman Reigns to retain the Universal title. The Beast’s contract is up at midnight and he’s not renewing. On the build to Mania, Heyman jokes that Brock should throw down the title when he beats the Big Dog. So there they are, in the ring, and Brock looks at Heyman. HE’S GOING TO THROW THE TITLE DOWN. Heyman pleads with Brock not to do that and knocks the belt out of his hands. Lesnar F5’s Heyman and picks the belt back up. The lights drop, the violins pick up, and BOOM WE GOT A SPECTACLE! Shinsuke makes the save, Brock is never seen or heard from again, and The Undertaker lost to give Nakamura the rub!
AJ Styles: WWE Live – Japan
AJ Styles has been ready to win back his WWE title since he lost it at the Rumble. Shane O’Mac threw him through a whole bunch of hoops and never really gave him his one-on-one rematch. He could have very easily feuded with Randy Orton after WrestleMania, but we got AJ vs. Owens (not complaining) instead. Point is, he wants the belt back. If AJ wins, he’s going to cash it in ASAP. WWE is headed to Japan a few weeks after Money In The Bank, so why not give him the belt in the place he solidified he’s one of the best in the world. Does that mean AJ Styles is cashing in on a house show in Japan? Someone has to cash in on a house show! It could easily be turned into a WWE Network special, or aired a few days later to build up viewers. If I hadn’t fantasy-booked a Samoan stable earlier in the write-up, it’d have been really easy to go with AJ Styles winning with help from the Club to run roughshod over the WWE until we get The Shield vs. The Club for all the belts at WrestleMania 34.
Baron Corbin: Money In The Bank 2017
I’m sure that many folks out there all believe Corbin has this Money In The Bank in the bag. His coronation is inevitable, and an MITB cash in might just give him the heat he needs to become WWE Champion. If you approached me on the night after WrestleMania and asked me to fantasy-book Baron Corbin winning the WWE title, I’d have probably told you he’d beat Orton at SummerSlam. Then this whole Jinder Mahal thing happened, and now I feel like Corbin winning the Money In The Bank thing might have to wait until we get a face champion. However, this is fantasy-booking and that means there are no rules! So let’s do this! Baron Corbin wins Money In The Bank. JBL talks up this kid’s bright future and how he’s destined to be a World Champion. Big Banter is still young though. He’s got so much to learn. Recently Shane attacked him cause he just keeps beating people up and doesn’t know when to calm down. He’s a hot head. So the Singh brothers provide Jinder with just enough to beat Randy Orton for the second time. Jinder is hurt and it’s obvious. Corbin comes to the ring, hits a double End of Days and damn near kills a Singh brother. After dropping the “Go back to ROH” equivalent diss to the Singh brothers, he gets dropped by the Modern Day Maharaja and loses. The loss drives Corbin to new levels of rage and hot head we did not think possible, so Daniel Bryan brings in Dr. Shelby to help him out. Dr. Shelby spends a great deal of time trying to understand why Baron refers to himself as the “Lone Wolf.” While Shelby is hoping to get Corbin to form a tag team so he is no longer alone anymore, Baron mistakes him to think he should become the “Loan Wolf.” As the Loan Wolf, he begins to lend money to superstars but charges exorbitantly high interest rates. When superstars fail to make payment, Corbin breaks their legs with a baseball bat. Jinder Mahal eventually requires a loan for a lavish championship retention party and so he puts his title up as collateral. The Loan Wolf becomes champion after smashing the Maharaja’s legs for missing a payment.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the fantasy-booking. If you didn’t, remember this — if you don’t fly off the handle with fantasy-booking, then it’s just booking. Be sure to tweet me your scenarios (@danscotti)!