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The annual, fan-favorite extravaganza that is Money in the Bank will emanate from St. Louis Sunday night, with 11 male and female Superstars seeking to earn championship opportunities that will alter the course of their WWE careers forever.
To do so, they will have to take unprecedented risks and endure unfathomable pain and punishment.
AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura make up the field looking to win the guaranteed shot at the WWE Championship. For one of those men, the chance to dethrone Jinder Mahal or Randy Orton as soon as Sunday is the height of a ladder and an arm’s length away.
For Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Carmella, Tamina Snuka and Natalya, the chance to wear championship gold is not the only prize that awaits. The winner’s name will be etched into the history books, the first woman to scale the ladder to win the most coveted prize outside of the major world titles that WWE has to offer.
Ahead of the monumental bouts and the history that is sure to be made, relive what led the Superstars to Sunday’s event and find out who has the inside track to each briefcase.
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Five women will make history Sunday night as Charlotte, Carmella, Natalya, Tamina Snuka and Becky Lynch wage war in the first women’s Money in the Bank ladder match.
Charlotte’s arrival as part of April’s Superstar Shake-up brought with it a renewed competitiveness within the SmackDown Live women’s division. It also put the second-generation star, and five-time women’s champion, in the crosshairs of a collection of heel competitors looking to advance their careers at her expense.
The Queen City native picked up considerable momentum for herself as she defeated Natalya in a hard-hitting war of attrition on the June 13 show.
Lynch, the stalwart of the division, is seeking a second reign with the SmackDown Women’s Championship, and a victory in Sunday’s monumental contest would put her one step closer to achieving her goal.
Carmella has two victories over women’s champion Naomi and appeared to be in line for a championship opportunity until the history-making ladder match was announced.
Tamina and Natalya, two solid heels, have little chance of winning the match, even though champion Naomi is a babyface and either one of them would make sense to win the briefcase and use underhanded methods to successfully cash it in.
Of the five women involved, though, they are the coldest of the bunch. They have little in the way of momentum and were both defeated in warmup matches Tuesday on SmackDown Live.
Their forecast for Sunday’s show is not particularly sunny, even if their strength and physicality will lead to an interesting dynamic in the bout.
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The road to Money in the Bank began with Carmella scoring two consecutive victories over Naomi, and Sunday, the journey will culminate with The Princess of Staten Island scaling the ladder, retrieving the briefcase and earning herself a shot at the champion.
The most interesting element of the match is James Ellsworth, who is the self-proclaimed “homeboy” of the NXT export. Expect him to get involved in the bout at some point, perhaps eating a Bexploder suplex or two from verbal sparring partner Lynch.
Carmella is the perfect choice to win the match in that she is the least experienced of the bunch, a bombastic and charismatic villain. Hiding behind the briefcase to win a title she could not win on her own, with the assistance of a lackey like Ellsworth, is the perfect way to draw heat and infuriate audiences en route to her first championship of any kind.
Look for Charlotte to be a central figure in the finish, setting up an argument for her to receive a championship opportunity in the near future.
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Six of the elite stars of SmackDown Live will square off in the most dangerous, high-risk match of the year, each seeking the Money in the Bank briefcase that will secure them a guaranteed shot at the WWE Championship.
The match features several intertwining rivalries that will likely make up the core of Sunday’s contest.
At the May 21 Backlash pay-per-view, Kevin Owens defeated AJ Styles by count-out to retain his United States Championship. At the same spectacular, Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Dolph Ziggler in his main roster in-ring debut before Sami Zayn upset Baron Corbin.
Since then, those six Superstars have competed in an array of singles, doubles and multi-man tag team bouts that featured each competitor getting the best of his opponents.
The most recent episode of SmackDown Live saw Zayn, Styles and Nakamura pick up a big victory over Owens, Corbin and Ziggler before a brawl between them erupted. Eventually, it was The King of Strong Style who scaled the rungs of the ladder and retrieved the briefcase.
Will he be able to replicate the conclusion of the show and leave St. Louis with a guaranteed title opportunity, or will one of his five opponents halt his winning ways and ruin his chance at putting an exclamation point on the first three months of his main roster career?
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Corbin will win the 2017 Money in the Bank match.
The Lone Wolf is exactly the type of Superstar the bout was made for. He is a legitimate star-in-the-making and a Superstar who has been positioned for greatness from the moment he stepped on the WrestleMania 32 stage in 2016.
From winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal to his appearances in main event matches against AJ Styles and John Cena, he has been groomed to achieve big things under the WWE umbrella.
Sunday night, he will add Money in the Bank winner to his considerable resume and begin a run toward the WWE Championship he has appeared destined for since that night in Dallas.
Zayn, Owens and Ziggler are veterans of ladder matches in WWE and will likely hold the match together. Styles is almost guaranteed to deliver an unforgettable spot that leaves fans wondering how he survived it, and Shinsuke Nakamura will be spotlighted as he continues his epic run with the blue brand.
At the end of the night, though, it will be Corbin holding the briefcase high overhead, one step closer to championship glory.