Happy Monday TJR Faithful! I’ve been away on vacation for a little bit, but I’m back and feeling very refreshed. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the WWE. Scratch that. I can’t say the same about Monday Night Raw. For the last few weeks, Monday Night Raw has been unabashedly and unbearably boring. Very little storyline progression, no character development, limited fun, and even the quality of matches we’d been used to seeing in the 3 hour Raw era has been slipping.
Things became their most boring at Money In The Bank. Two weeks prior at Elimination Chamber, we’d seen Kevin Owens surprisingly defeat John Cena, and Dean Ambrose pin Seth Rollins to become WWE Champion, albeit in a controversial “Dusty Finish”. Elimination Chamber certainly had unpredictability on its side, but Money In The Bank was a return to predictable, vanilla form. Cena got his win back, Rollins retained to regain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (reuniting the Authority the next week was a beautifully boring touch), and likely the most boring outcome of all, Sheamus won Money In The Bank. I’m not even a Sheamus hater. I love his new look, and the new mean streak his character has had. That being said, he was simply the most boring name you could have had win the briefcase, and has done nothing to inject excitement into the dull Monday Night Raw shows since.
This week, I’d like to look into some alternate timelines. Ones that were created at Money In The Bank. You see, there were 7 possible outcomes to that match, and while we are currently living in the most tepid timeline, there has to be a timeline in existence where things are far more intriguing than what we’ve seen… if you believe in that kind of thing. So let’s do this!
Alternate Timeline 1 – Randy Orton Wins!
If not Sheamus, Randy Orton was certainly the next most boring choice to walk out Mr. Money in the Bank a couple of Sundays ago. I mean how different would his run with the briefcase be from Sheamus’? Both are established company guys that fans simply don’t get all that into.
I believe in the alternate universe, where Randy Orton wins the Money In The Bank Ladder Match for the second time, things aren’t all that different than they are now. He’s very likely booked in a feud with a jealous Sheamus, whom he tossed off the ladder before retrieving the briefcase himself, whilst also hovering around the Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar Championship program, threatening to cash in and end Rollins’ reign, much to the chagrin of Lesnar. His tangential involvement in that rivalry would eventually lead to a Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar match, which may be the only solace a Randy Orton run as Mr. Money In The Bank would provide.
That said you can get that Viper vs. Beast feud in without Randy Orton having to hold the briefcase, so at the end of the day, putting it on him accomplishes little more than putting it on Sheamus does. It simply all but guarantees an underwhelming title reign in the next calendar year.
Alternate Timeline 2 – Dolph Ziggler captures Money In The Bank
Dolph Ziggler winning this year’sMoney in the bank wouldn’t have been much more interesting than Randy Orton or Sheamus winning it. I hate to say that, but I see the Money In The Bank as a narrative device to build and establish guys who otherwise haven’t been. Repeat Mr. Money In The Banks aren’t interesting. That said, Dolph winning would have at least been better than Sheamus or Orton winning it.
In the alternate universe where Dolph climbed the ladder and retrieved the Money In The Bank Briefcase, he would make it clear to Seth Rollins and The Authority that he’s coming for them. Easier said than done, as any time Dolph hints at cashing in the briefcase, there’s Kane as well as J&J Security. After months of teasing and trying to cash in, and being under the constant surveillance of The Authority, Dolph would hatch a plan to systematically remove The Authority from the equation, piece by piece, eventually cashing in without Kane or J&J there to stop him. It’s during this cash in attempt that Triple H himself would interfere, costing Dolph his briefcase via DQ.
This leads to a Ziggler vs. Triple H feud, where Dolph would be fighting to have his Money In The Bank contract reinstated because of The Game unfairly causing the DQ during his cash in attempt. Triple H meanwhile would relish in making Dolph’s life a living hell because it was he who cost them their jobs at Survivor Series the year prior. Dolph would win and have his MITB contract reinstated and would go on to cash after Wrestlemania 32. Far from the most compelling MITB narrative, but Dolph will get to be in a high profile battle with The Authority/Triple H, so it certainly isn’t as awful as Sheamus winning.
Alternate Timeline 3 – Neville Is Mr. Money In The Bank During His Rookie Year
I didn’t recall that Neville was in the Money In The Bank Ladder Match from two weeks ago. I literally rattled off every other competitor off the top of my head and got stuck on “The New Sensation”. After nearly 20 minutes of trying to recall without aid, I eventually relented and checked Wikipedia, only to smack myself on the forehead for not remembering that the “Man That Gravity Forgot” was the seventh man in the match. Despite his evidently forgettable performance, in what will go down as one of the most forgettable Money In The Bank Ladder Matches of all time (mark my words!), I still think him emerging with the briefcase would have made for a more interesting year than Sheamus, Orton or Ziggler winning it.
In the alternate universe where Neville is Mr. Money In The Bank, he is harassed by Seth Rollins, who think he can goad the “rookie” into losing his cool and cashing in the Money In The Bank contract on Seth’s terms. After a couple of months of trying, Neville eventually decides to cash in his opportunity to prove a point to the overconfident Seth Rollins. They have a spirited match that Rollins ends up winning (with a little help from his Authority cohorts).
The loss nearly breaks Neville. He’s been so close to achieving spectacular things during his rookie campaign on Raw, having come within an inch of winning King of the Ring and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in his rookie year. The rest of his year is spent recovering from those heartbreaking losses so that he can eventually show Seth Rollins and The Authority that he’s someone to be feared. Not the most interesting run with MITB, but a compelling tale of what a young impressionable and prideful rookie would do with the power that the briefcase provides. It also makes Seth Rollins look really smart, which is something that the architect hasn’t looked like in quite a while (I get that they want him to be a weasel, but can’t he be a clever weasel?).
Alternate Timeline 4 – Kane Obtains Money In The Bank
Now I know what you’re thinking, “this must be the most boring timeline of all”. It certainly could be. The WWE’s propensity for keeping Kane a fixture on their weekly programming is incredible, if not painful. It’s amazing to see how well the man can perform after so many years in the business, but at the same time, I’m sure we’re all ready to see his involvement in big angles, scaled back quite a bit. It’s making it harder to appreciate the longevity we are witnessing. With that said, Kane winning the Money In The Bank Briefcase had the potential to be the most exciting use of the briefcase.
In the alternate timeline where Kane is victorious, Dean Ambrose beats Seth Rollins to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion in earnest. Both men are hurt but Dean is elated to have achieved his goal of beating Seth in a ladder match to become champion. That’s when Kane enters the picture, with the briefcase in hand. He’s going to do what he did the first time he won Money In The Bank and cash in on the same night. He enters the ring and beat Dean Ambrose down, finishing him off with a chokeslam. He hands the briefcase to Lillian Garcia and whispers something to her. She looks confused before proclaiming “Kane is officially cashing in his Money In The Bank Briefcase… On Behalf Of Seth Rollins!” Rollins is stunned, but Kane tells him to get his title back. Rollins hits a Pedigree, and regains his championship.
The Authority is whole again without boring, drawn out apology segments, Kane screwed Dean Ambrose, making their upcoming rivalry more personal, and Dean feels he deserves a title shot more than Brock Lesnar, putting them at odds a bit. At least in this timeline there are multiple variables at play, all of which intersect with one another, making the story a more complicated and unpredictable.
Alternate Timeline 5 – Roman Reigns Rewrites His History
I have to give the WWE credit. They’ve done some great rehabbing of the Roman Reigns character since Wrestlemania. Doubling down on he and Dean’s brotherhood is a great way of making fans like him more (as I did suggest a while ago). Beyond that, they’ve managed to take a guy that I hoped wouldn’t win at Wrestlemania, and make him into somebody that I was pretty pissed didn’t win Money In The Bank. Granted, it was for selfish reasons. I thought him winning Money In The Bank and Dean winning The Royal Rumble was the perfect way to set up The Shield triple threat for Wrestlemania 32. All that aside, I still think Roman Reigns, the most predictable winner for the match, would have created one of, if not the most compelling timeline.
There are multiple ways things could go after Roman won the briefcase, which makes his predictable win, unpredictable. He could have come out to congratulate his friend Dean’s title victory later in the night, only to spear the hell out of him to capture the WWE Title that he should have won at Wrestlemania.
My guess is that in the timeline where Roman is Mr. Money In The Bank, Seth Rollins retained his title against Dean Ambrose. The next night on Raw, Roman interrupts a Seth Rollins promo to remind him that he’s now Mr. Money In The Bank. That what happened to Roman at Wrestlemania, can now happen to Seth Rollins, any time, any place. It’s a classic role reversal. Rollins is now fearful of when Roman will attack and take his title. During a Rollins match, Roman’s music hits and he gets scared and runs off, being counted out in the process. As he walks through the halls of the arena, he hears Roman’s music again and runs, only for it to be revealed that it’s a member of the ring crew’s cell phone ringer.
Eventually Seth would get sick of waiting in fear and demands that Roman come to the ring and cash in immediately. Roman then reveals that he’s not a snake in the grass like Seth. He doesn’t need to sneak up from behind and cash in on a prone champion. With the briefcase, he’s calling his shot. He’s cashing in at Wrestlemania 32, and will right the wrong of the year prior. “As much as I hate you Seth, I hope you’re still champ… so I can bash your face in and take what’s mine!”
Alternate Timeline 6 – Kofi Kingston Finally Wins A Money In The Bank
Kofi Kingston has been in six Money In The Bank Ladder Matches. The only person who’s been in more is Kane. Kofi for most of his run had been the same happy go luck babyface character, until he, Xavier Woods and Big E turned The New Day into the most entertaining and fun part of WWE TV. Kofi has never been better in his WWE career, and if I’m being honest, there will likely never arise a better time to reward him for his hard work throughout the years. If the WWE wanted to shock the fans at Money In The Bank, but have them be excited about what would happen next, they should have let Kofi Kingston win and run with The Money In The Bank Briefcase.
In the alternate timeline where Kofi Kingston of The New Day is Mr. Money In The Bank, he wins it in unprecedented fashion. When Sheamus and Neville are fighting over the briefcase at the top of the ladder. They end up removing it from it’s hanging position but dropping it in their tussle, down to Xavier Woods below. Woods holds it up victorious while everybody in the match recovers enough to see him holding the briefcase as confusion settles in.
Lillian Garcia then says “I’ve been informed that only competitors in the match can win the Money In The Bank briefcase, therefore the first competitor to gain possession of the briefcase will be declared the winner. Xavier’s eyes widen as he slides out of the ring, only to be cut off on the outside by Dolph and Randy Orton. He runs around the other side of the ring and is met by Kane and Sheamus. Surrounded he throws the briefcase to Big E in the ring. Big E waffles Neville with it, only to find himself surrounded by Randy, Dolph, Kane and Sheamus. As they all pounce on him, he tosses the briefcase out toward the ramp area where Kofi catches it and is proclaimed the winner! New Day would go on to lose the tag titles to the Prime Time Players.
The next night on Raw, The New Day would brag about how they are now Mr. Money In The Bank, and can use the briefcase at any point to recapture their tag team titles! Big E and Xavier are elated about this, but Kofi seems to have grander plans for his briefcase. The next few months will have New Day doing their usual hilarious and amazing stuff, featuring Kofi Kingston becoming more possessive of his briefcase, and coming up with excuses as to why they shouldn’t cash it in the recapture the Tag Team Titles (excuses like he forgot it at his mom’s house, so they can’t cash it in this week). Eventually, Kofi cashes it in for a WWE World Heavyweight title opportunity, either selfishly or as part of a co-ordinated plan with his New Day cohorts. Whether he wins or not depends on the traction his run with the briefcase receives.
There you have it, but as always I want to know what you think! Which alternate timeline interests you most? Do you wish you existed in one of these alternate universes? Is Sheamus a boring Mr. Money In The Bank? Or do you have high hopes for his run with the briefcase?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying True Detective Season 2 blew my mind in episode 2. I was not expecting that at all. Have a great week everybody!