Oh My, That’s Solid Steel* (*Aluminum), Oh My – Money in the Bank 2018 Predictions

As much as I wanted to give this post the Lil’ Scrappy title it deserved, I refrain.

Chicago gets another big PPV as WWE brings Money in the Bank 2018 to the Windy City, and there is a Wrestlemania length card coming with it.  Seriously, some of these matches are going to get shafted on time, which is ok because about half of them probably shouldn’t be happening anyway.  Let’s get into the fray here.

The Kickoff Broadcast

Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The Bludgeon Brothers (C) vs The Good Brothers (Gallows and Anderson)

Matt:  Oh, we’ve established who is getting shafted already.  There’s way too much talent in this match (and far too many bullshit matches on the card itself) for it to be relegated to an 8 minute kickoff match.  I don’t feel like I’ve actually seen BB on Smackdown much since their Usos feud ended.  If this wasn’t in the kickoff, I’d predict a title change, but as such they’re not going to do anything surprising here.  Gallows and Anderson will land a Magic Killer, but inevitably The Bludgeon Brothers will retain.

Jeremy:  The twitter feud invoking Karl’s “Hot Asian Wife” has gotten really weird.  Nice try guys, but let’s just get this match over with and move on.  The Bludgeon Brothers.

Vegas Odds:  The bookies have The Bludgeon Brothers as massive favorites in this one.

Money in the Bank 2018

Daniel Bryan vs Big Cass

Matt:  It’s easy to assume that Daniel Bryan gets the ball rolling towards the top of the card by toppling a giant, but I don’t think so here.  I’m going to go against the odds and alongside the rumors that both Big Cass has started to make good in the locker room and Daniel Bryan has yet to sign a contract extension to stay beyond September and pick Big Cass here.  I think he turns on the heel thick here.

Jeremy:  There really are a lot of pointless matches on this card.  I’m going to to with Daniel Bryan here.  If they want him to re-sign, they won’t be encouraging him to do so by having him job out to Cass.

Vegas Odds:  Daniel Bryan is a heavy favorite to win.

Bobby Lashley vs Sami Zayn

Matt:  Remember my comment about the bullshit on this card.  Yeah, it was directed primarily at this.  The build has been garbage and both of these guys are better than everything that’s gone on in this whole thing, even if I absolutely hate Bobby Lashley with a microphone in his hand.  They didn’t pay Lashley to come back to take a loss to Sami Zayn though.  Lashley.

Jeremy:  I just…can’t.  This should be predicted by the amount of effort put into it by the performer.  Sami Zayn should win.  I know he’s not going to.  It’ll probably be a 2 minute match.  I just can’t side with Lashley.  There was a reason Vince let him go the first time.

Vegas Odds:  Vegas is siding with Vince’s checkbook on this one too, as Lashley is a heavy favorite.

WWE Intercontinental Championship – Seth Rollins (C) vs Elias

Matt:  I don’t need to pick a winner here.  Much like Ricochet vs Velveteen Dream, I am going to be quite alright regardless of the outcome.  Elias is a superstar, and this title could be the start of something great for him.  Rollins needs to be on a fast track to headlining Summerslam and taking the title he should damn have anyway because he is the top guy in this company.  As much as I love AJ Styles, Seth Rollins is the man in WWE.  Elias is the new Intercontinental Champion, celebrates with a jam session alongside good friends Eric Clapton and John Mayer.

Jeremy:  I love Monday Night Rollins.  With Elias as IC Champ, you contribute to the long history of musician’s being IC champion like The Honky Tonk Man, Jeff Jarrett, and…er…The Honky Tonk Man!  I want this to change hands, simply because I want some titles to change on this show.

Vegas Odds:  Seth is heavily favored by the Vegas money.

Smackdown Women’s Championship – Carmella (C) vs Asuka

Matt:  It made a lot of sense to have Charlotte be the one to end the streak at Wrestlemania.  If Asuka got the belt then, we’d have never realized just how “money” ‘Mella is.  But with the streak gone and Asuka vulnerable to future challengers, now is the time to put the belt on her.  I’m picking a lot of title changes in this one.  Asuka is the new Smackdown Live Women’s Champion.

Jeremy:  The rumors is that old James Ellsworth is in town for Vegas this weekend.  The chinless wonder interferes, draws the DQ, and Carmella is still Champion.

Vegas Odds:  The money is a little closer on this one than I expected.  I think we’re all a little concerned with whether Vince will put the belt on someone with limited promo capability.  Asuka is favored, but Mella is still sitting fairly close to even money.

Roman Reigns vs Jinder Mahal

Matt:  It’s often not smart to predict Roman Reigns to lose at a PPV, but I’m going to do it anyway.  I find something so compelling about the way Jinder plays his character, and I think it’s a good time to keep kicking Roman while he’s down.  Jinder needs to continue to be a hot commodity, beating top tier faces, because he’s going to make a good feud for the next face champion (Seth Rollins).  His promos are getting progressively better, he’s exactly the physical specimen that Vince McMahon asks for, and his in ring work has come leaps and bounds since his earliest work with Randy Orton last year.  Time for The Modern Day Maharaja to bring an end to the Roman Empire, and a downtrodden Roman to work his way back from the depths of the card and earn his place, the crowd will thank them for it later if Roman takes the L here.  Jinder Mahal.

Jeremy:  I love that to try to repair Roman’s image, they put him with Jinder.  Roman can pull out great matches…when his opponent is on the right level.  Jinder is not that opponent.  I’d love to find out that I’m wrong and that they steal the show.  I just don’t think it’s going to happen.  Roman.

Vegas Odds:  Holy shit.  Roman Reigns is a -1350 favorite in this one.  That’s ridiculous.  I almost wish I could put money on Jinder here because it pays well.

Raw Women’s Championship – Nia Jax (C) vs Ronda Rousey

Matt:  I know I’m in the minority but I’m over the Rousey shit already.  She never has matches on TV, which pisses me off about anybody, but she’s also a garbage promo.  And did I mention this is HER SECOND FUCKING MATCH IN WWE AND IT’S ALREADY FOR THE BELT????  No.  Just no.  Stop calling her the “Baddest Woman on the Planet”.  I already watched Holly Holm strip that title from her.  Whatever.  I’m going against the easy choice here but for the sake of any sense of sanity please let Nia Jax retain this belt and Rousey earn her way into a future title shot through actually having matches, not just on PPVs.  Ridiculous.

Jeremy:  This is going to end in some kind of DQ and Nia is going to retain.  I’m not exactly sure how that will happen. They want Ronda to look strong, but I don’t really think they want the belt on her yet.  She still has some work to do.  This was a stunt for the TV upfronts.  A stunt that contributed to WWE signing one of the best deals ever.  They do have to pay it off, but there’s no way she’s going all the way to the Championship.   Because then what?  Nia Jax retains via DQ.

Vegas Odds:  You had to know Rousey was a heavy betting favorite here.

Women’s Money in the Bank Match

Matt:  This one really can go a lot of ways.  Unfortunately for Flair, she wouldn’t be the first at something in winning this match, so short of Carmella retaining and Charlotte being sort of heelish with the briefcase and screwing with Mella’s head for a while, I don’t see much purpose in giving her resume yet another accolade.  Accepting the Rousey victory prompts the assumption that the Natalya storyline is already in place, and it seems lazy enough that creative will probably go that direction with it.  Bliss could be great with the briefcase.  I really would like to see them go a random route with this one, not just give Naomi another win that will go nowhere or Charlotte another trophy, but do something unexpected and give it to Lana or Ember.  Let Becky Lynch have something good after months of getting shat on by creative.  (Have you noticed that I haven’t even acknowledged Sasha in this novel of a prediction?)  Let’s go with Alexa Bliss.

Jeremy:  After last year with Carmella/Ellsworth, I really think they need to put on an excellent match.  After her performance this past Monday, I’m going to go with Ember Moon.  It could be the momentum she needs to really get on the right footing on the main roster.  I don’t feel like the other ladies really need it.  That being said, It’s almost always better on a heel.  This year, maybe just try it on a babyface.

Vegas Odds:  Natalya leads the odds, with Alexa right on her heels.  Vegas seems oddly uncertain on this one, which is a wonderful thing.  They do have Naomi listed as the longest shot, which is counterintuitive.

Men’s Money in the Bank Match

Matt:  I can pretty much assume that this match will end as Strowman is taking a gang beating and someone sneaks out of the pack and up the ladder, or something similar.  I hate it, but I also don’t want them to job Strowman to Lesnar again, and you know they will.  I’d love to see Rusev get the nudge.  Samoa Joe is back, healthy, and primed for a massive heel push.  I don’t really know which way to go here.  I’m going to go against the money on this one and pick original Universal Champion Finn Balor, and it is entirely because I think we’re on the road to Rollins dethroning Lesnar en route to another Rollins-Balor Universal Championship match.  I’m also predicting that Big E is the representative for The New Day.

Jeremy: Raw was definitely foreshadowing a 7-on-1 handicap match for this match.  I’d be really surprised if that didn’t happen.  It’s what needs to happen to make this work.  I think Big E is going to be in the match for this one…and that he’s going to pull down that briefcase and rocket strap him into a singles run at the top of the crowd.

Vegas Odds:  Miz is the odds on favorite, with Strowman next in line.

WWE Championship – Last Man Standing Match – AJ Styles (C) vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Matt:  I don’t pick against AJ Styles, and that doesn’t change with this one.  Let’s get past this and on to a feud with a lot less dick punching.  AJ Styles retains.

Jeremy:  I’ll go with Nakamura on this one.  He’s proved in New Japan that he can be an extremely effective heel champion.  The only wrench in this is that AJ is expected to be revealed as the WWE 2K19 cover star on Monday.  It’ll be weird if he loses right before that.   Still, maybe just to go against Matt, I’m going with Nak on this.

Vegas Odds:  Shinsuke is the favorite, but they’re running pretty even.  It’s a safe assumption that this one can go either way, and that’s what the money says as well.

Final Thoughts

Matt:  I wish I were more excited for this show because I generally love this event.  The combination of months of piss poor quality on both brands, knowing that NXT TakeOver is going to be the far superior event this weekend, and most of it feeling insanely predictable have led to my malcontent.  I’ll go into it cautiously optimistic, but the fact that I have to be cautious about something that I generally love so much is a much larger problem.

Jeremy:  This is like…half a good PPV.  Money in the Bank 2016 was my favorite WWE live event I ever attended.  Unless Dean freakin’ Ambrose shows up tonight, I don’t see how this becomes even close to good.  I don’t see any situation where TakeOver doesn’t obliterate Money in the Bank.  And the TakeOver lineup isn’t even particularly strong.  They have great rosters, but they’re using them in the worst ways.  I really, really hope I’m wrong.