Money in the Bank has grown to become one of the top premium live events for WWE, but the 2022 edition of the event leaves a lot to be desired.
The event experienced a bumpy road after WWE announced Money in the Bank would move from Allegiant Stadium — home of the Las Vegas Raiders — to MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported the event initially sold 16,833 tickets, which is great for the MGM Grand Garden Arena but significantly lower than Allegiant Stadium’s listed capacity of 65,000.
Money in the Bank was meant to kick off WWE’s stadium series of shows — SummerSlam is scheduled for Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., and Clash at the Castle is scheduled for Principality Stadium at Cardiff, Wales. The goal for the company was to draw at least 20,000 to 30,000 fans, and last year’s SummerSlam at Allegiant Stadium sold 45,690 tickets, according to WrestleTix. The key context for that show was it had John Cena vs. Roman Reigns in the main event.
WWE appeared to overestimate how much of a draw Money in the Bank would be, and the card shows the overconfidence.
Here is a full preview of the six-match card — (c) refers champion heading into match:
United States Championship — Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley
This feud has been strange, to say the least. The “highlight” of the build on Raw has been “Pose-Down” challenges between Theory and Lashley. Theory has been United States Champion since defeating Finn Balor on the April 18 episode of “Raw.” The 24-year-old is the youngest U.S. Champion in WWE history and has fared well since his storyline with Vince McMahon at WrestleMania this year.
For Lashley, 45, his momentum has waned since losing the WWE Championship to Brock Lesnar at Elimination Chamber on Feb. 19. In fairness, Lashley suffered a shoulder injury at Royal Rumble on Jan. 29 and had to be written out of the match at Elimination Chamber. The former WWE champion returned from injury to face Omos, and it appears now Lashley is in a veteran role working with younger talents to propel them up the card, and that is the likely result in this match.
Undisputed Tag Team Championship — The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (c) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford, Angelo Dawkins)
The Usos, like their cousin Reigns, are at the top of their division in WWE since becoming Undisputed Tag Team Champions on the May 27 episode of “SmackDown.” The move has allowed Jimmy and Jey to move from Raw and Smackdown, with The Street Profits doing the same as well. While the move is good to boost the profiles of Ford and Dawkins, the build-up has been lackluster. The two teams are extremely talented in the ring, and this match could steal the show. However, the result is not a question as long as Reigns is champion.
Winners: The Usos
Smackdown Women’s Championship — Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Natalya
Rousey made her return to WWE at the Royal Rumble and became SmackDown Women’s Champion at Wrestlemania Backlash on May 8. Natalya became the No. 1 contender for the title on the June 3 episode of Smackdown. The build to this feud has been mixed.
The “highlight” has been the heel Natalya “impersonating” the babyface Rousey on the June 24 episode of Smackdown. The two stars have gone at it on social media, though due to the subject of the conversation, its unlikely it will get brought up on television. The problem is the lack of serious contenders for the title. Natalya may be a former tag team champion, but there is little confidence she beats Rousey for the title.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match — Lacey Evans vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Liv Morgan vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Asuka vs. Shotzi vs. Becky Lynch
The WWE women’s division is very top-heavy and lacks a diverse amount of title contenders. That’s always the big aspect when it comes to Money in the Bank, at least the spirit behind it. The briefcase is meant to be a launching point for future stars. However, WWE had continued to drop the ball or not be fully committed when it comes to Money in the Bank winners.
Nikki A.S.H., who won the briefcase last year, is not in this match, nor is she competing for one of the titles. She has fallen back to the lower mid-card since winning the Raw Women’s Title. For this year’s participants, you have former champions in Bliss, Asuka and Lynch, and some young stars to fill out the match.
In practice, that is not the case. Morgan has earned fan support, but that only goes so far in WWE. The company is unsure if Evans should be a face or a heel since her return on the April 8 episode of Smackdown — she is currently a babyface on Smackdown after being drafted to Raw in May. Shotzi is entrenched in the mid-card and lower mid-card, but Rodriguez is an interesting pick.
The former Raquel Gonzalez was NXT Women’s Champion before moving to “SmackDown” on April 8. WWE is not opposed to having briefcase winners as babyfaces, and while Lynch is the more likely winner, it would be much more interesting to have Gonzalez win since Lynch doesn’t need the briefcase to elevate her status.
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match — Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. Omos vs. Sami Zayn vs. Riddle vs. Madcap Moss
Money in the Bank for the men’s division has slowly lost its value. Last year’s winner, Big E, had a great start after his successful cash-in but unceremoniously lost the title to Brock Lesnar. Previous winners were either overqualified (Lesnar) or failed to gain momentum after their cash-in (The Miz, twice). If we were to implement similar logic to Gonzalez, Omos or Riddle would be the winner of the Money in the Bank match.
But Riddle lost his title challenge to Reigns on the June 17 episode of “SmackDown,” and Omos is just not ready for the push. There are really only two realistic contenders: Rollins and McIntyre. Rollins appears to be the easy choice. The former Money in the Bank winner is Raw’s top heel, and he would thrive with the briefcase, plus if Lynch wins, the two could be the power couple of Raw — they are married and have a child in real life.
McIntyre’s case is purely for short-term reasons. Clash at the Castle is the first major premium live event in the United Kingdom since SummerSlam in 1992. McIntyre is one of the main faces on the poster, and the former WWE Champion could win the briefcase and announce his intentions to cash-in at Clash at the Castle. This reasoning is admittedly shortsighted but not something out of the ordinary for WWE.
Winner: Seth “Freakin” Rollins
Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Carmella
Carmella became a last-minute contender for Belair’s title — she won a No. 1 contender’s match on the June 20 episode of Raw. The former SmackDown Women’s Champion has not reached the heights she once did after her successful cash-in on April 10, 2018. Adding more wins under her belt only serves to help Belair, but challengers with very little credibility don’t do her title reign any favors. However, if Belair can perform well in the ring with wrestlers not named Asuka or Lynch, then her stock would rise further.
Winner: Bianca Belair