For the first time in four years, WWE Money in the Bank 2017 will feature not one but two history-making Money in the Bank ladder matches, with the winners eligible to cash in their contract at any time and place over the next year.
However, it is very rare that those who hold the Money in the Bank briefcase wait long to take advantage of their guaranteed title opportunity. In fact, history has shown that contracts are cashed in shortly after they are won, sometimes on the same night.
It was at the inaugural Money in the Bank pay-per-view that Kane won the SmackDown version of the ladder match and cashed in to become world heavyweight champion less than an hour later. Dean Ambrose followed suit at last year’s installment and beat Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship.
Those rules will also apply to this year’s set of Money in the Bank victors, and there is a decent chance either one of them could cash in before the end of the evening. After all, whenever there has been two concurrent Money in the Bank holders in WWE in the past, one has decided to utilize their title match in relatively quick fashion.
Regardless of who comes out on top in Sunday night’s highly anticipated ladder matches, the bigger question is whether the winners will choose to cash in immediately afterward—or perhaps as soon as SmackDown Live on Tuesday night. Interestingly enough, it could turn out to be different for the women and the men both.
The first-ever women’s Money in the Bank ladder match is loaded with several ladies who could realistically capture the briefcase. Charlotte Flair should be considered the strongest candidate given her experience in high-profile bouts, but someone such as Carmella has a ton to gain from emerging victorious as well.
In either case, they would benefit from spending some time as Ms. Money in the Bank, rather than contending for the championship so soon. This is a new concept for the women, and to rush that golden opportunity within a matter of days or even hours would be a waste.
Then again, fans have floated the idea of Lana, who will be competing for Naomi’s SmackDown Women’s Championship at Money in the Bank, capturing the title only to lose it to whoever wins Money in the Bank. It would be one way to continue Lana’s recent momentum without giving her an extended run with the title.
Going forward, that would put three people (Naomi, Lana and the new SmackDown women’s champion) in the title picture at one time. At this point, Lana is far from ready for the spotlight, and Naomi deserves a well-booked reign with the belt.
Current WWE champion Jinder Mahal, on the other hand, may not be as safe following his defense against Randy Orton, assuming he is victorious versus The Viper.
Simply put, Mahal’s recent rivalry with Randy Orton has been beyond bland and must reach a conclusion come Money in the Bank. Furthermore, it is imperative Mahal hold on to the gold for a while longer in order to be declared a success story as champion.
Taking that title off him anytime soon would be premature, regardless of whether it’s Orton or whoever becomes Mr. Money in the Bank. Similar to the women’s ladder match, the winner of the men’s matchup should be someone who can maintain possession of the contract for a number of months and grow as a performer in that time.
Baron Corbin fits that bill to a T, as it might be more difficult for him otherwise to enter the world title picture without the blue briefcase. He too should be building momentum in the coming months and not be cashing in the contract in the near future.
Even if it isn’t Corbin who retrieves the briefcase, it would be counterproductive to have the Money in the Bank winner cash in right away and lose to either Mahal or Orton. All six Superstars competing in the contest (perhaps with the exception of Dolph Ziggler) can break out in the coming months, and the contract can help elevate them to that next level.
As noted, Money in the Bank never ceases to surprise fans and kick off WWE’s summer season with a bang, so only after the event is over will fans get a better idea of what the future holds for those who reign supreme in Sunday night’s ladder matches.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham “GSM” Matthews, is an Endicott College alumni and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and “like” his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.