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WWE Money in the Bank 2017: Best Booking Decisions in PPV’s History

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WWE will present the eighth edition of the Money in the Bank event on Sunday, June 18. The SmackDown Live brand will be on display, and five matches are booked for the night.

SmackDown women’s champion Naomi will defend against Lana in a match that has no direct ties to any past storyline. The Ravishing Russian demanded a title match, and she got one. While fans scratch their heads over that, it’s clear WWE wants to put Lana in the forefront to establish her as a real player on Tuesday nights.

The New Day has returned to the fold and will be challenging The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Jimmy and Jey Uso have never looked better and should be on their game for the match. The New Day is fresh, and fans are surely ready for the trio to get back into the groove as a top faction once again.

WWE champion Jinder Mahal will defend his belt against former titleholder Randy Orton. The Modern Day Maharaja stunned the world when he defeated The Viper at Backlash, and Orton is back for redemption. Considering WWE seems to be going in a new direction, fans could see Mahal retain the championship at Money in the Bank.

Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and Dolph Ziggler will battle in a ladder match for the Money in the Bank contract. The man who walks away with the briefcase will pick the time and place when he challenges for the WWE Championship.

The same will be true for the women of SmackDown Live, as the first all-female Money in the Bank ladder match will take place. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella and Tamina will fight for the right to face the women’s champion at a time of their choosing. Once again, WWE is breaking new ground for the female Superstars, and that’s a good thing.

But while fans are surely looking forward to the event, they may also be looking back. Money in the Bank has always had the potential to be huge for the company, as new main event stars can be created at a moment’s notice. It’s worked before with varying degrees of success, and fans are hoping it will work again this time around.

Christian Manipulates the World Championship from Randy Orton, 2011

Some fans believe Christian was a cheap-shot artist in 2011, choosing to take the low road to the top when he had the ability to do it on his own merit. They also believe his storyline with Randy Orton was in place merely to give The Viper something to do, spotlighting him as the tough champion who couldn’t be conquered.

They were right on both counts, but in the end, this was about highlighting Christian’s strengths.

The fact it was fun only added to this run, as Christian’s “one more match” mantra quickly became the stuff of legend. Fans quoted it, Christian delivered it with a smirk, and everyone knew he was in his elements.

Seth Rollins Wins Money in the Bank, 2014

When The Shield took WWE by storm and became the hottest act in wrestling, fans were acutely aware of two important things: The Shield was the most dominant group in the history of WWE and that it would eventually self-destruct.

But no one could’ve seen Seth Rollins as the one who would pull the trigger.

By aligning himself with Triple H and The Authority, Rollins positioned himself as a man on the way up. He became the focal point of Monday Night Raw and the center of attention for The Game. Rollins may have been The Architect, but it was Triple H who was building his main event career from the ground up.

However, without Money in the Bank, it would have all been for nothing.

Twenty-seven days after betraying Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, Rollins won Money in the Bank. Everything he had said to that point was hollow, the ranting of a selfishly entitled man. He was just another heel out for himself and nothing else.

But when he won the contract at Money in the Bank, he took a major step on his path to the top. Rollins did not win without help, as Kane came to the ring to provide the assist. But that didn’t matter.

Rollins was a heel backed by the strongest corporate entity in professional wrestling; of course they were going to have his back.

The Architect’s win legitimized him as star, and he emerged from the shadow of The Shield. Had his rise come by other means, he may still have been successful, but Money in the Bank established him in precisely the way he needed to be.

CM Punk Defeats John Cena, 2011

When fans think of the most infamous moment in Money in the Bank history, it has to be CM Punk’s win over John Cena for the WWE Championship in 2011. It also happens to be the best booking move as well.

Punk was disillusioned with WWE. He had been to the top of the mountain as world champion but had never seen the Holy Grail that was the WWE title. He was tired. He was hurt. He was frustrated. More importantly, he was angry.

That anger brought on the pipebomb promo, which led to Money in the Bank.

The Voice of the Voiceless earned that nickname because he spoke up for the fans. The WWE faithful had grown extremely tired of seeing the same main event stars week after week and longed for something new.

Punk was tired of it as well and decided to voice his concerns. It was a brilliant angle because it blurred the lines between fiction and reality. Punk was obviously working with chairman Vince McMahon’s blessing, but there was always the feeling that perhaps he was going out on his own when he talked.

Did the company know what he was always going to do, or was he going into business for himself?

That uncertainty fueled his match with Cena at Money in the Bank. Some fans likely believed there was no way WWE would put the belt on Punk; all of this had to be a way to get Cena over. But when the hometown hero got the three-count that night in Chicago, everything changed.

Suddenly, it was no longer just about Cena. The evolution of WWE in the years that followed brought The Shield, Daniel Bryan and NXT. The promotion was no longer the land of giants, as other guys were finally getting opportunities.

But without WWE’s willingness to give Punk the shot at Money in the Bank, and his ability to take advantage of it, the company may never have moved in that New Era direction.

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