Lets Fantasy Book: Money In the Bank
The WWE Creative war room has not been a very fun place to work these days. External factors have left us with a Defcon 3 situation. Our main title has not been defended in more than 30 days, and the person holding the belt hasn't returned to television for some time. The ivory tower forced our champion to quit, and roster split has been announced with zero fanfare or preparation.
The only thing certain about the future is that it is uncertain.
Before we begin, WWE Money in the Bank lets recap our previous show, Payback. Also, let's see what direction, if any, Creative has taken with our programs as well as a brief recap of our current Champions.
As a friendly reminder: Unless otherwise noted, feuds are assumed to be progressed during the previous week's WWE Raw and Smackdown.
If you haven't been following our year long fantasy booking series, you can catch up with our past events: The Royal Rumble, Fastlane Part 1, Fastlane Part 2, Wrestlemania 32, Wrestlemania Fallout, Payback, Extreme Rules.
Stardust has announced his impending departure from the company. As I'm not about to let a wrestler leave the company with our belt around his waist, he dropped the belt in his final match. In a main event match on an edition of Smackdown, Cesaro clenched the belt in a Triple Threat contest against Alberto Del Rio and Stardust. Hopefully, Stardust will take advantage of the open door that I'm leaving for him as he was booked rather strong in his loss.
Rusev and Roman Reigns have entered into a pseudo-feud as Rusev remains the Number One Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A heel turn appears imminent for Roman Reigns.
Goldust has retained his WWE Intercontinental Championship, defeating Chris Jericho at Payback and defending it on the next night's edition of Raw as Jericho cashed in his rematch clause. Goldust has entered into a feud for the title against Jericho meanwhile finds himself entered into the Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
John Cena has returned to action and has been acting a bit... different ever. Perhaps he'll clear things up when he addresses the WWE Universe this evening.
AJ Styles hasn't yet found his footing in WWE. After suffering multiple losses over multiple weeks, Styles's frustrations with the system are becoming more and more apparent. The Bullet Club, however, appears stronger than ever. Perhaps Styles will need to tap into his team's collective strength to succeed in WWE.
The New Day, while still strong are being moved away from the Tag Team Titles for the time being. With the tag team division in a bit of flux, the decision is being made to keep the belts off of this particular Pay Per View event.
Rusev has grown increasingly frustrated at the apparent preferential treatment of Bray Wyatt and his inability to defend the title. He has demanded action be taken against Wyatt or that he be stripped of the title.
•The Dudley Boys are the WWE Tag Team Champions
•Cesaro is the WWE United States Champion
•Goldust is the WWE Intercontinental Champion
•Becky Lynch is the WWE Women's Champion
•Bray Wyatt is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion
Despite us using the “fantasy” title, for the purposes of this year-long project, there are rules we must follow. We cannot outright hire people or call up talent from NXT, “just because.” If something happens, “In real life,” this must affect our booking.
This is a recap of ongoing real life events that will affect our booking decisions.
•John Cena has returned
•King Barrett has been released
•Damien Sandow has been released
•Daniel Bryan has retired
•Brie Bella has retired
•Nikki Bella has suffered a career-threatening neck injury
•Seth Rollins has returned
•Randy Orton remains injured
•Cesaro has returned from an injury
•Neville is injured
•Luke Harper is injured
•Bray Wyatt is injured
•Adam Rose has been released
•Enzo Amore has returned from injury
•Emma is injured
•Ryback has likely been suspended
•Konnor has been suspended
•Mark Henry is injured
•Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson have debuted on the main roster
•The Miz is filming a movie
Enzo and Cass vs. The Vaudevillians to determine the number one contender to the WWE Tag Team Championships
Enzo and Cass are clear crowd pleasers, and they have the important job of warming up the crowd for tonight's show. Giving the New Day a night off and some time away from the belts gives us a chance to keep the gimmick fresh as it is showing signs of a bit of predictability. There's not much to booking this match except letting Enzo be Enzo.
Winners and Number One Contender to the WWE Tag Team Championships Enzo and Cass!
Cesaro vs. Alberto Del Rio for the United States Championship
Alberto Del Rio, unfortunately, came up short in his contest against Cesaro and Stardust for the US Title. Each Raw and Smackdown he made it apparent that he had been robbed of his belt. Finally, Cesaro gave in and gave Del Rio his shot in a one on one contest. Expect a very fast and athletic competition between the two. Cesaro and Del Rio both have the in ring prowess and hours between the ropes to work strong and safe. Expect this slow built match to keep the crowd buzzing into our next contest.
Your winner and still WWE United States Champion, Cesaro!
Dolph Ziggler vs. Sin Cara
With Kalisto effectively squashed and unseen on programming since Extreme Rules, the menace, Sin Cara has run roughshod over the baby faces of the WWE roster. It seems the mid-carders on the roster are unsure how to handle this new attitude and demeanor for Sin Cara. Many have stood up to this new horror, but several have failed.
Dolph Ziggler is the latest to try his luck to bring Sin Cara back to the Light. However, he has no interest in returning to the light. Sin Cara seeks to right the wrongs of WWE. For too long, he has been held back by an idle hand for too long and won't stop until he takes his seat atop the mountain. However, for that to happen, there is one evil that must be eliminated. Will Ziggler give up his life to protect Kalisto? It appears so.
Winner: Sin Cara
Naomi vs. Becky Lynch for the WWE Women's Title
Continuing their feud for one more month, this is simply a reward for showcasing Naomi's hard work and dedication to her improving herself in the ring. I'm not quite ready to move the belt off of Becky Lynch quite yet, but I want to give Naomi a fighting chance. After tapping her out with the Dis-Arm-Her, Naomi sits in the corner, fragile and distraught after coming up short again. Lynch reaches out her hand to help her up, which Naomi accepts begrudgingly. After holding her hand up in respect, Lynch exits the ring to allow the crowd a chance to show their respect to Naomi. She's come quite a long way.
Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles
Forget Cena/Styles; this is the dream match fans are clamoring for. A man with something to prove fighting a man that thinks he is owed a shot in WWE because of his resume is a story that writes itself. There is nothing on the line here aside from pride, which at times in WWE can carry more weight than the World Heavyweight Championship.
Win or lose; either person comes out smelling like a rose. I believe though that coming fresh off his injury, Rollins needs the win here a bit more than Styles. With Rollins working as the Babyface, the victory is going to come via clean pinfall, but he is going to have to work his ass off to do it.
Winner: Seth Rollins
John Cena Takes the Ring
Cena starts by noting how things have changed in the WWE. How the New Era is attempting to live up to its name. He reminds the audience that to get to the top, they have to get through him first. Like it or lump it, he remains the Gatekeeper. However, familiar music starts to play as The Club with AJ Styles makes their way down the ramp.
The Club surrounds the ring as AJ takes to the microphone. He berets Cena as an aging dinosaur lumbering towards obscurity. He claims he's the reason why guys like him lose and blames Cena for his loss suffered just minutes ago. Cena attempts to reason with him, but to no avail. It's clear that Styles is looking for a fight.
Slowly, the remaining Club members enter the ring, surrounding Cena. Luke Gallows looks ready to pounce as Styles signals for the first move. Suddenly, Karl Anderson turns and strikes Styles, sending him to the mat. The crowd is silent as Cena pounds Styles to the mat. Anderson and Gallows join in the mugging, and the turn is complete.
Cena ends the segment by berating the New Era and buries Styles as overrated and weak. Cena then turns to the crowd, unleashing years of pent-up frustration against the audience. No one is safe from Cena's scathing tongue; management, Michael Cole, Kevin Owens's weight. The Club is reformed and better for it. Too Sweet indeed.
Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews vs. Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn for the Money in The Bank
With the shake up dealt to us by Black Friday, some important changes needed to be made to the line up in the show. Gone are Stardust and Damien Sandow, replaced by placeholders. It's unfortunate but necessary. That being said, the match does have a good mix of young blood and veteran talents to keep things safe.
The superfan in me wants to put the briefcase in Jericho's hands, but for the longevity of the character, I think that Kevin Owens will benefit more from the case in hand. Owens needs a high profile victory, and what better way than to give him an excuse to get on the mic week after week, proclaiming himself as the future champion.