One of the most surprising WWE wins perhaps of all time, happened at Money in the Bank on Sunday, May 10. Otis of Heavy Machinery walked into the main event ladder match as an unlikely participant, but walked out as the new Mister Money in the Bank.
The storyline love interest of Mandy Rose now has an opportunity to challenge for the championship of his choosing. What began as somewhat of a silly angle has grown into one of the more curious events in recent WWE history, as Otis is possibly on his way to the top of the company. So will this win get a ‘bravo’ from fans, or will it be a bust?
The win itself came in one of the most unique matches that the WWE faithful has ever seen. The men and women of both Money in the Bank Ladder Matches had to fight their way to the top of Titan Towers in Stamford, Connecticut. Along the way, there were various different spots, guest stars and obligatory comedic moments.
But the real payoff came when the participants finally made it to the ring at the top of the building. Hanging high over the ring was the MITB briefcase and suddenly, the match actually began to feel like a match. In the closing moments, AJ Styles and Baron Corbin were battling atop the ladder, where they managed to pull down the briefcase and it fell into the hands of Otis. The bell rang and Otis was declared the winner.
— WWE (@WWE) May 11, 2020
It wasn’t exactly Shawn Michaels and the ‘boyhood dream’ WWE Championship win. But for Otis’s fans, this was validation of the hard work that the unlikely hero has put into his WWE career thus far. But more importantly than that, this win perhaps goes much deeper with fans than anyone realizes.
Otis is not the stereotypical WWE Superstar. He’s not 6’5” and chiseled out of granite. He doesn’t have movie star good looks or Hollywood buzz surrounding him. He’s not exactly the face of WWE to the outside world. But Otis, despite any criticism, is real.
He looks like a real guy. He’s very relatable and he’s very human. Otis has never been portrayed as a mindless brawler who tears into his opponents and leaves them for dead in the ring. He is a blue collar hero with a heart of gold and when fans look at him, they see a guy who is giving it his all.
This is the road that Otis is traveling in WWE and it’s the same road that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan traveled before him. In all three cases, it appeared that ascension wasn’t in the cards and in all three cases, the exact opposite happened. At the very least, it’s clear that WWE sees something in Otis and that recognition was made apparent on May 10.
Relive Otis and Mandy’s WWE “love story”
Fans love to cheer for the goodhearted underdog because that character has traditionally always been the butt of the joke in Vince McMahon’s company. So rather than give up on him or dismiss him as nothing more than a sideshow act, Otis has instead been embraced by WWE fans. Those fans cheered for him and supported him, even though they knew that the odds of him ever rising to the top were slim at best.
Now Otis is living a boyhood dream of his own on the worldwide stage. Much of the reaction online has been mixed, but fans who love him and praise the win, are definitely making their voices heard. They have something to be happy about because the company seems to be in the business of creating new stars again. It’s a move that doesn’t happen often enough.
Most of the time, a Superstar is brought up from NXT and thrown onto the main roster with minimal fanfare. WWE seems to be in that Superstar’s corner and pushes him or her in the beginning. But inexplicably, that Superstar suddenly falls flat. Bad booking becomes the norm as it often does and before long, the talent in question is doing a lot of nothing.
It’s a very curious situation indeed, as many fans recognize the ability of NXT to breed new stars and those fans appreciate the brand’s efforts. They want to cheer for the new faces and they surely want a reason to do so. But when it seems as though WWE hinders its own creative plans, the process is eventually sabotaged. But in this case, perhaps it’s all going in the right direction. Or is it?
Flashback to Otis’s WrestleMania revenge against Dolph Ziggler!
Otis’s win at Money in the Bank was met with some harsh reminders of others who once held that briefcase. The names of Ken Kennedy, Damien Sandow and Baron Corbin were immediately bandied about, as ghosts of MITB past began to haunt social media. Will Otis’s win be for nothing, as was the case for these men? For that matter, is Otis even on his way to the top or is this just a feel good tease and nothing more?
The fact is that Otis did not pull down the briefcase, he caught it. Both Styles and Corbin have an argument here and it’s very possible that a rematch involving the three men will be set up at some point, with the MITB briefcase once again suspended above the ring. If that happens, then Otis could come out on the losing end.
What really matters here is whether or not Vince McMahon actually sees Otis as a main event star. If the answer is yes, then all is well and the big man is on his way. If the answer is no, then all of this is indeed pure comedy, done for the sake of entertaining the boss himself. Otis could be just an overweight jester in McMahon’s comedic court and if that’s true, then he will become the punchline sooner, rather than later.
The fact is that it’s much too soon to know where WWE will take this storyline. The only thing fans can do now is wait and see. Otis seems to be having fun and he’s living the dream that so many talents around him would certainly love to experience. His win at Money in the Bank is a welcome change from what WWE typically does and maybe that’s the most important point. Whether or not this win will propel Otis forward within the company, remains to be seen.
Tom Clark is a Senior Pro Wrestling Analyst and Featured Columnist for Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live