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Roundtable vs Readers: WWE Money in the Bank 2015

Welcome once again to the Ruthless Roundtable! Smark Henry makes their predictions on this year’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view… and you can join in on the fun!

This is the Roundtable vs Readers edition, where your picks are pitted against that of the Smark Henry Roundtable!

Each match below has a poll where YOU could vote for the winner of your choice. Smark Henry's editors and writers will also make their picks below, based on what the majority of them has chosen.

We'll then see at the MITB PPV if the Readers' Choice and Smark Henry's Choice are correct. Each correct pick is equivalent to one point.

The team with the most number of points earns a briefcase that contains bragging rights, which they could cash in any time, any place for up to a year. Let's begin!


Who's your pick in the MITB Kickoff Show?

King Barrett
make a poll
Kickoff Show: R-Truth vs King Barrett
Smark Henry picks: King Barrett
Romeo Moran: My boy King Barrett. Please. PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE.

I don’t know why they keep dangling a carrot in front of him, I just don’t. Whose wife did he sleep with backstage?

Anthony Cuello: Sigh, we're here again. After a glimmer of hope at King of the Ring, Barrett is on a PPV pre-show. Dammit. At least the result seems obvious. Truth is good in the comedic face role, but doesn't really need wins. So I really don't see any other result here but a Barrett win.

Stan Sy: I don't see how King Barrett loses. For God's sake, he needs the win. Let's move on.

Mark de Joya: How can one be an NXT winner, a King of the Ring, a multiple-time Intercontinental Champion, and still seem utterly lost in the mix at the same time? Looks like King Barrett's trajectory is angling more towards that of a King Billy Gunn or a King Mabel sort of a reign than that of a King Bret Hart. I'm hoping though the WWE treats him the way a king deserves to be, so I predict a win for Barrett. And if you disagree with that, well, I'M AFRAID I'VE GOT SOME BAD NEWS!


Who's your pick in the Intercontinental Title Match?

The Big Show
Ryback (c)
Poll Maker
Intercontinental Championship: The Big Show vs Ryback (c)
Smark Henry picks: Ryback
Anthony: This is an awfully big meal for Ryback. Big Show is the perfect guy to make a new champion look strong, so I don't really see him here winning. The Big Guy wins here to keep his momentum strong, unless the WWE sees a good reason to give Big Show the belt. (There is none.)

Stan: At this point in Big Show’s career, it doesn’t look like he’ll need another title run, which is kind of sad because that then makes all of Show’s title matches predictable. That being said, they’re looking to establish Ryback as a monster babyface with this Intercontinental title run, so it won’t make sense to have the Big Guy lose. Feed. Me. More.

Mark: FEED ME MORE! As much grief as us Interwebz fans give WWE Creative, they're not George R. R. Martin, and I doubt they'd be cruel enough to rob a red-hot Ryback of his first championship gold against the always great (but somehow always bordering on meh-dom) Big Show, just as we're learning to love the Big Guy all over again. I say Beezy wins, but only because the Intercontinental Championship deserves some stability for once.

Romeo: MDJ’s answer got me thinking—is Ryback WWE’s Hodor? He’s big, he isn’t all that bright (look at the people he’s unwittingly injured), he looks like he may have a sizeable penis, and he keeps repeating the same thing. The only difference is that he gets carried to good matches, and not the other way around.

Oh, you were saying about a match? Why would Ryback drop his new championship to Big Show?


Who's your pick to win the Divas Title Match?

Nikki Bella (c)
free quiz maker
Divas Championship: Paige vs Nikki Bella (c)
Smark Henry picks - Nikki Bella
Anthony: It's about time for WWE to give Paige another run at the belt. Nikki Bella has improved in the ring, but they still aren't doing anything that makes me want to tune in to the Divas every week. A Paige win would at least shake things up for a bit from the monotony of Twin Magic, so I'm hoping for the Brit to pick up the belt.

Stan: We’ve mentioned this on the podcast, but it does merit saying once again that it looks like the E is priming Nikki for a record-breaking title run so they can erase AJ Lee from their record books. While that may be a disservice to AJ and what she brought to the Divas division, I have no problems with Nikki being the standard-bearer of the Divas. 

What sucks is how they crapped all over her writing—and Paige’s—by making this about Paige’s idealism and how Nikki calls Paige naive. If they’re going to make them feud over their personalities, you might as well have Paige go back to being the Anti-Diva. Then we’ll have a story. Until then, Nikki Bella’s keeping the title.

Romeo: On the one hand, I do prefer Nikki Bella to just about anyone else on the main roster’s Divas division. I even prefer her over Paige, even if just a tiny bit, because Paige has off nights in which it looks like she hasn’t been wrestling professionally for half her life. Meanwhile, Nikki’s almost always bringing it more than the rest.

But on the other hand, when the Divas division is starting to become #LOLNikkiWins, and the lazy writers can’t even turn anyone’s characters properly, why should we invest in Nikki as a long-term champion? What makes us want to do this? A carousel of champions, at least, keeps the novelty. I want Paige to win, but it does seem like this is the year of #LOLNikkiWins.

Mark: Nikki Bella has bloomed into a solid hand in the ring, perhaps debunking AJ Lee's claim that maybe, just maybe, talent can be sexually transmitted. As much as I love Paige—and seriously, who doesn't?—I'm betting big on Nikki Bella to dominate the match and turn her into just another stepping stone in her silent quest to beat AJ's record for longest-reigning Divas Champion of all time. Sorry, Paige. Let's still be friends. Because like Romeo says, the Divas division may be a joke, but at least with #LOLNikkiWins, we have a good punchline.

Michael Bueza (tie-breaker): Since Paige has proclaimed she wants to change the Divas Division, she should be able to cancel a Twin Magic attempt from the Bella Twins on Sunday, 'cause I predict there would be one. But given what Romeo and Mark had said, all things considered, sadly, I'd have to go with Nikki Bella.


Who's your pick to win the WWE Tag Team Title Match?

The Prime Time Players
The New Day (c)
Poll Maker
WWE Tag Team Championship: The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young) vs The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) (c)
Smark Henry picks - The New Day
Anthony: NEW DAY ROCKS! Eh, I don't really see any other result here than The New Day winning. They might get away with another sneaky win, but they're leaving with the belts for sure.

Stan: The Prime Time Players have neither done enough nor established enough momentum for me to have a reason to believe that they can actually beat the New Day for the titles. Plus the New Day is pretty much the hottest act in WWE—outside of Kevin Owens—right now. So the New Day’s totally retaining this. What I do want to see is for this feud to go longer. I want this to go beyond being a comedy feud.

Romeo: I talked about #LOLNikkiWins in the last one, but here, I would totally love to see #LOLNewDayWins. That is a legitimate heel booking strategy.

I just hope that other teams in the division who aren’t contending for the championships in any given month would do something else. Like Harper and Rowan reestablishing themselves. How many times can one really see the Lucha Dragons beat the Ascension? Now that Tyson Kidd is out indefinitely, there’s more space to build up new teams. There are seven hours of main roster programming in a week, we really can’t fit in two more teams to build up?

Mark: I love both teams, but as much as the Prime Time Players declared this as their coming out party (let's all share a knowing wink here), I just don't see them toppling the New Day just yet. Big E is always a joy to watch—I'm partial to any wrestler with bigger boobs than mine—and he has great chemistry with Dr. Woods, PhD, so I'm predicting a successful defense for the reigning Tag Team Champions of the World.


Cena-Owens II: Who's your pick?

John Cena
Kevin Owens
Poll Maker
United States Champion John Cena vs NXT Champion Kevin Owens
Smark Henry picks - Kevin Owens
Anthony: There are rumors that this rematch is taking place because they want Cena to even the score with a win. I hope that's not the case. Owens is THE future, and two consecutive wins over the face of the WWE would really help in establishing him.

Stan: Traditional WWE booking patterns will dictate that Cena wins this match to even the game against Owens. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Cena wins this Sunday, and you can expect me to mark the fuck out for Kevin Owens while still hoping that Owens rises above Cena. 

However, if Owens is somehow—SOMEHOW—given the win, he should totally challenge Cena for the United States Championship. I don’t care if Owens thinks that the US title is not as big of a prize as the NXT title. If you call yourself a prize fighter, you’ll have to want to get bigger prizes, and the United States Championship > NXT Championship. If Owens loses this Sunday, I don’t know what case he can make for the US title, and I think that involving the titles is the logical next step in their feud. FIGHT OWENS FIGHT!

Romeo: Kevin Owens. John Cena, since 2011, seems to have this one feud every year where he completely loses to someone and doesn’t give up the goat just to put that guy over. In 2011 it was CM Punk (Hunter killed his push, not Cena), in 2012 it was still Punk, in 2013 it was Daniel Bryan, last year it was Brock Lesnar. I think 2015—sorry to Rusev, who I also really love—seems to be undisputedly Kip Stern’s year.

If Owens doesn’t win here, he wins the rubber match. He has to. Cena’s already killed one up-and-comer’s momentum this year.

Mark: The pessimist in me insists that WWE will stick to their traditional 50:50 booking and give John Cena his win back, especially after how thoroughly he was dismantled at the Elimination Chamber. But the optimist tells me there's hope—when John Cena commits to making a star, he goes all out, just like he did with CM Punk. Kevin Owens seems like the kind of guy Cena would throw his chips in for, and for that, I'm predicting the reigning NXT Champion proves that his first win against the Doctor of Thuganomics was no fluke, and rises to 2-0 in their budding head-to-head rivalry.


Who's your pick to win the MITB Lader Match?

Dolph Ziggler
Kofi Kingston
Randy Orton
Roman Reigns
Poll Maker

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
- Dolph Ziggler vs Kane vs Kofi Kingston vs Neville vs Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns vs Sheamus
Smark Henry picks: Roman Reigns
Anthony: This looks to be a fun match! The obvious choice here is Roman Reigns, and that's what I'm going with. Still, I'll be very happy if they make it look otherwise, just for a while. Neville in his first ladder match should be a spectacle, and the other four competitors are seasoned veterans of this match. This should be the match we'll all be talking about after.

Stan: I said it in this week’s RAW Review, and I’ll say it again in this space: the best Money in the Bank Ladder Matches are those where virtually anyone in the field looks like a logical winner. This is why the very first MITB Ladder Match from 2005 was such a hit because when you looked at the participants (Benoit, Kane, Jericho, Christian, Shelton, Edge), all of them were at a point in their careers where they could have that instant title shot and looked credible with it. 

Neville may be a dark horse candidate to win, but it’s too early in his young career for him to be Mr. MITB. Orton, Kane and Ziggler are former winners who don’t look like they need the win this year. This narrows the field down to Sheamus, Kofi, and Roman. The snarky guy in me wants Kofi to win because I want to see how the New Day manages the Freebird Rule for the MITB contract. Sheamus could use the win since they’ve repackaged him as a badass heel. But it’s obvious that Roman Reigns is walking out as Mr. Money in the Bank, and that’s okay, as long as we get the long-awaited heel turn that his character so desperately needs.

Romeo: Roman Reigns. Shield triple threat for SummerSlam is on the way. It’s getting lit.

Mark: I'll be honest—Roman Reigns has charmed me throughout his recently-rekindled bromance with Dean Ambrose, and I'm actually rooting for the Big Dog to win his first ever Money in the Bank match, which would set up a few intriguing scenarios regardless of who wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match later on in the night. Could we see him finally getting his revenge on Seth Rollins for stealing his WrestleMania moment? Could he follow in Rollins' footsteps and turn heel on his BFF Dean Ambrose? The possibilities excite me, and I for one am hoping we see a rebooted Roman Empire reign supreme.


Who will walk out of MITB as the WWE World Champion?

Dean Ambrose
Seth Rollins (c)
Poll Maker
WWE World Heavyweight Championship - Ladder Match: Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins (c)
Smark Henry picks - Seth Rollins
Anthony: Ah. Seth has played a solid chicken shit heel, but his recent setback with J&J security makes me think he'll win here. Ambrose winning would be great,  but I don't know if they'll pull the trigger on that now. So I think Seth wins, which would be perfect if a certain Brock Lesnar is coming back soon.

Stan: Allow me to indulge in a little fantasy booking. Roman Reigns wins the Money in the Bank Ladder Match earlier in the night, while Rollins and Ambrose have their own Ladder Match for the title in the main event. Ambrose wins after he disposes of an exhausted Rollins, and as he’s celebrating, the Authority comes out to lay the smack down on him, which leads to… *cue Roman Reigns entrance music* IT’S ROMAN REIGNS! IT’S ROMAN REIGNS! HE’S COMING DOWN HERE TO HELP HIS BUDDY DEAN AMBROSE—HE’S WHAT?! HE’S CASHING IN HIS MONEY IN THE BANK CONTRACT?! WHY, ROMAN REIGNS? WHY?! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE BROTHERS!

Roman Reigns cashes in his MITB contract over a fallen Ambrose and is dubbed the new poster boy of the Authority. I actually want to see this happen because it could set up the Shield Triple Threat match at SummerSlam for the title, which could very well be a litmus test for a future Shield Triple Threat match at WrestleMania, plus I finally get the Roman Reigns heel turn that I’ve been longing for. I already care about Rollins, Ambrose, and the Authority. This might just be what gets me to finally care about Roman Reigns.

Romeo: That above scenario would be nice, but Brock Lesnar is coming back to set up the next pay-per-view, and we all know why he’s back. He’s still got a Seth Rollins-sized piece of beef on his plate. Unless it’s okay for Brock to go after Seth without the title on the line (which he has a legitimate rematch for) why would they pull the trigger on Ambrose and/or Reigns winning the title?

Also, Rollins is getting a new dimension to his character, finally jettisoning the influence of the Authority, and he needs to win this one on his own to solidify it.

Unless, of course, this is the longer, better version of the con they tried to pull in this one episode of RAW, where Seth pissed everyone off only to reveal (prematurely) that it was a ruse to make his opponent feel secure. (I think it was Reigns.) If that’s the case, then this con is a lot better and I will admit that I fell for it. Really did.

Mark: Dean Ambrose has been gleefully maniacal in his self-declared reign as WWE World Heavyweight Champion after stealing the belt, but I get the feeling that will work against him in this match. Ambrose is my favorite character in the WWE today, he's larger than life, exploding with personality, a damn fine performer in the ring—yes, I mark out every damn time he dishes out his fucking cheesy rebound clothesline, or does his loony breakdance spin off the ring apron—but personalities that big just don't need a belt to thrive. 

I see Rollins as finally reclaiming his belt in a hard-fought match, successfully cementing his status as the king of the wrestling world (sans backup from the Authority, no less), and going on to headline SummerSlam against a hungry, seething Roman Reigns.

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