Like many other WWE fans, I love Money in the Bank. I love the whole concept that was dreamt up by Chris Jericho and has become an annual (at least) event in its own right. There’s a whole PPV dedicated to it and it’s different to anything that has come before. 2017 saw the very first Women’s MITB ladder match giving us the surprise winner in Carmella – a shot in the arm given to her character that has also extended the story-line of James Ellsworth, who is a wonderful heel on the blue brand. His comeuppance is going to be epic, you just feel it.
The men’s winner, as we all know, was Baron Corbin. Not a fan favorite and not exactly a bad-ass heel in terms of heat with the crowd, yet he draws incredible heat from some of the internet fans. On Tuesday he attempted to cash in the briefcase against a dazed Jinder Mahal and failed. Miserably. WWE blew it here in my opinion. Blew it big time. From my perspective, this was poorly thought through on several levels and shouldn’t have happened.
Before I begin, let me clarify that this isn’t going to be a tirade against Corbin. If anyone was told they were going to win MITB, they’d take it. You can’t hate on the guy for that, and I highly doubt he had much to do with losing the cash in. But that being said, where did WWE mess this up?
It Didn’t Make Sense – The MITB briefcase holder has a full twelve months to cash in. 365 days. If history of the briefcase has taught us anything, then it’s that the holder must be patient and wait for the perfect opportunity to present itself; a weak or battered champion lying vulnerable, isolated and alone – note the last word there; alone. When Punk cashed in against Edge, the Rated R Superstar was alone. When Ziggler cashed in, Del Rio was alone. Kane? A lone Rey Mysterio. The list goes on. To take full advantage, the briefcase holder can’t risk someone else getting involved and ruining it. On Tuesday, John Cena was right there!! Why on earth (from a story-line perspective) would anyone cash in while Cena is right on the apron?
It Didn’t Help Corbin At All – I’d understand Corbin’s loss a little more if when he cashed in, Cena attacked him or hit an AA, but he didn’t. Corbin lashed out at Cena than was rolled up. The whole debacle just made Corbin look stupid and foolish for doing what he did. The briefcase is normally carried by a wily, sneaky up and comer who is ascending the ladder and ready to mix it with the top of the card. All Corbin did was blow it big time and look like a complete idiot in the process. It didn’t even make Mahal look like a tough champ either.
The Wildcard Factor Has Now Gone – Every Smackdown or Big PPV from MITB onwards carried that ‘what if’ factor in Corbin. Every defense of the Heavyweight Title wasn’t certain and never a given due to the possibility that the winner could be usurped in the blink of an eye. Those eyes would be cast to the entrance ramp when the winner was declared wondering; ‘Is he going to cash in now?’ That has now gone until the next MITB PPV. A little mystery and intrigue into the product now defunct and turned into a statistic for us fans.
It Didn’t Serve Any Purpose – What’s the fallout from Corbin’s loss? Who’s to blame? Nothing and nobody. There was no take home from the loss. Corbin can’t blame Cena for what happened, nor can he blame Jinder or anyone else. It was his foul-up and his alone. Sometimes new feuds can be built from having a holder cash in. The former champ will feel aggrieved with losing their belt in such a cheap manner, or the number one contender will want in on the action now there’s a new champ atop the pile. Nothing like that looks likely to happen now. Corbin was just a blip in the title picture that faded away as quickly as he arrived in it. He didn’t build heat with anyone, save for some smiles from Cena after the match had ended. Is that really enough to build a feud on? If it is, what credibility does Corbin have right now? Could he go rogue? Could he start ripping up the roster in frustration? Who knows? If he does, he’ll always be known as the guy that blew it on live TV for all the world to see.
Perhaps the hasty cash in was another decision made in the heat of the moment by Vince, although we’re led to believe he doesn’t have a lot of involvement in Smackdown Live. The importance of the briefcase however, plus the manner in how it was cashed in and lost, may show signs of Vince’s hand. Perhaps he wanted to show the fans that ‘anything can happen’ and we shouldn’t be thinking about who Corbin was going to cash in against to snatch the gold. Maybe Vince thought; ‘This will show them’, and pulled the plug on his MITB winner.
Then again, it could have zero to do with Vince and more to do with the Smackdown Live writers, with a long-game in mind for Corbin, although I don’t see anything other than a brief Summerslam feud with Cena coming out of it, and let’s face it, that doesn’t fill me with excitement. If Corbin is destined for something greater than where he is now, he faces stiff competition from Nakamura, Styles and Owens among others. Without the briefcase, he’s going to have a hard time breaking into the top tier on the blue brand.
Whatever the reason, I sympathize with Corbin as he must’ve been ecstatic when told he was getting the briefcase. I think sometimes we need to remember that for all the bravado and bluster a wrestler portrays on screen and on social media, they’re still fans who want to be the best they can be. He was destined to be the champ and has now had the rug pulled from under him in a throwaway moment. Hopefully he can bounce back sooner rather than later.
What do you think? Was Baron Corbin always destined to lose his cash in? Was it Vince who pulled the plug? What came out of it, if anything? Can Corbin get into the title picture without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, thanks for reading.