WWE Money in the Bank is coming on Sunday, May 19 and fans are preparing for a big night of action. Two Ladder Matches will be fought to determine the next No.1 Contenders for the world and women’s championships. But for many fans, the real focus is on the title matches themselves.
More importantly, the WWE faithful is curious as to how Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins will be booked. Each man has something to prove at Money in the Bank. But both men also have something to lose. So what happens to the WWE and Universal champions?
For Kingston, Money in the Bank is a very important event. It’s his fourth title defense since winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35 on April 7 and it’s his first big title match against Kevin Owens. This one is crucial because every time Kofi steps into the ring with the championship on the line, fans hold their collective breath. Could this be the night when Kingston loses it all?
While that perhaps shouldn’t even be a concern, the fact is that Kofi’s not an established champion. He’s the guy that fans wanted because he had never gotten a shot. Kingston worked hard to get his first WWE title, like many others before him. So when he actually won it, expectations were high.
Watch Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn ambush Kofi on SmackDown!
But getting to the dance and actually dancing are two different things. Kofi’s booking has not exactly been at championship level since he won the belt. Instead of rising to the occasion and living the part, Kingston has remained in the same spot. He’s still a carefree member of The New Day and much to the dismay of diehard fans, he’s still throwing pancakes. But then again, what did those fans expect?
To change Kofi’s gimmick at this point is to change who he is. it’s not that he can’t do something else and the truth is, he would surely be up to the challenge. But as soon as he ditches the unicorn shirt for a custom made suit, he turns heel. That may not be the end of the world and it could propel him to great heights in WWE. But one wrong move and the whole thing comes crashing down.
So instead, Kofi is still Kofi and he’s still in a holding pattern. It’s the same pattern he was in before WrestleMania 35, only now he has the WWE Championship. It’s as if he’s being kept in the same spot until the company decides how to take the title off of him. But is that really the case or is that merely just a sign of the fans having no faith in WWE? Kingston is more than capable of becoming a good, perhaps great, WWE champion. But as long as WWE books him as an afterthought, he may never realize that potential.
If anyone on SmackDown Live can take the title from Kofi, leaving him for dead in the middle of the ring, it’s Kevin Owens. KO has had to endure his own nonsensical booking many times over the past few years but right now it seems he’s on the upswing again. But even so, Owens was an afterthought himself in April, when he was not used at WrestleMania 35. So is he in the same boat as Kingston right now? Should fans eve be concerned?
Relive the rivalry between Seth and AJ!
No matter what happens with Kingston, the fact is that if he loses the WWE title at Money in the Bank, the loss would surely be a disappointment for fans. It would also be perhaps the last time that Kofi comes anywhere near the top of the company. Once again, WWE would waste an opportunity on a guy that worked his entire career to get it.
Seth Rollins on the other hand, doesn’t have that issue. It could even be said that The Beastslayer is the opposite side of the coin from Kofi. Rollins has indeed worked his entire career to find success in WWE and he does deserve the perks that goes along with it. But there’s also never really been a question of Seth’s direction.
It’s been obvious from day one that Rollins was meant for big things in Vince McMahon’s company. He came in on top with The Shield and he’s remained on or near that level, for almost the entire time he’s worked on the main roster. That’s not to say that he’s never had his own booking mishaps in the past, because he certainly has. But when it comes to his overall value, Seth’s worth is not predicated on whether or not he is the Universal champion.
Then there’s the fact that unlike Kofi, Seth doesn’t necessarily need to win at Money in the Bank. He and AJ Styles will likely steal the show on May 19 and if AJ wins, Seth probably won’t fall far in the pecking order, if at all. It surely won’t be his last run at the top and if anything, he may come back even stronger than he is now.
Could fans be looking at another Seth vs Brock match?
But many fans aren’t even looking at Seth versus AJ right now. They’re already looking ahead of the match to Super ShowDown on June 7. That’s because the former Universal champion, Brock Lesnar, is already booked and he has no opponent as of yet. That’s a big deal because when Brock is booked, it’s typically against the top guy. Rollins is the top guy on Monday Night Raw right now, which means he may face Lesnar. It also means he may lose.
WWE fans understand that the company is going to move in whatever direction Vince McMahon sees fit, just as they understand that titles are often not the most important part of the overall presentation. But every time Brock Lesnar becomes the world champion, those same fans know what’s coming. WWE goes into automatic pilot mode, where The Beast Incarnate is rarely used, Paul Heyman cuts a few promos in his absence and when Brock finally wrestles, he dominates. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Having the Universal champion working full-time on the red brand hasn’t exactly moved the needle for WWE. But the same can be said of booking Brock as the unstoppable juggernaut every time he comes around. If there’s one major complaint that the majority of WWE fans can agree on, it’s most likely the fact that the Brock Lesnar act, while fun at times, has worn out its welcome.
Money in the Bank is a tale of two world champions. One is on the verge of either proving himself or losing it all. The other is perhaps just a temporary fix until a change is made. In both cases, Kofi and Seth could wind up being nothing more than placeholders. Add in the fact that one or both Money in the Bank briefcases could be cashed in on May19 and suddenly the entire situation is turned upside down. The only thing fans can do now is wait and see what happens next.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live