Sheamus As MITB Briefcase Holder, Roman Reigns Lost?

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What are your thoughts on Sheamus winning the Money in the Bank ladder match?

I bet you didn’t see that coming! I believe most of our readers felt like Roman Reigns would win the case to resume his hunt for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Then there is the case to restore Orton in the title hunt and the underlying stuff with Kane. Of course there are the people that want to see Ziggler get another shot at the top and hey, maybe even a surprise with Neville. And then there’s Kofi Kingston, who is usually in these type of bouts for his in-ring work, but he actually went into the match second in the betting odds to Reigns. But WWE gave us Sheamus.

The Sheamus character has been altered since returning after Wrestlemania 31 and it seems as though this is the opportunity the writers have been looking for — obviously under the direction of the higher-ups — to restart on him as a top name. Most of us know that Sheamus is held in high regard — especially by Triple H — and has been seen as a big deal ever since he went over John Cena for the WWE Championship in 2009. I see him more as an upper mid-card talent but not a transient “top of the card” guy. And I believe a lot of people agree with me. It’s not that Sheamus is bad, it’s just that most believe we’ve seen his ceiling and when there are workers like Ziggler and Reigns, who many believe haven’t come close to it, an outcome such as this is likely to be rejected.

The Money in the Bank ladder match always poses an intriguing booking situation. Does WWE use it to help elevate a mid-card worker or do they fall back and use it to restart on a former world champion? After using it to help launch Seth Rollins over the last calendar year, the latter is what happened on Sunday night.

The Money in the Bank ladder match was well worked but it’s going to face criticism because of its outcome. My biggest concern coming out of it isn’t so much that Sheamus won; it’s that Roman Reigns lost and will begin a program with Bray Wyatt. I am baffled with the handling of Reigns. It seems every time he is about to break out as the “face of the franchise” type guy they clearly wanted him to be at one point, they seem to take a step back. Well, what about those that said he wasn’t ready when he won the Royal Rumble? Those people should be happy but likely aren’t.

As with Sheamus winning, it’s not that Reigns vs. Wyatt is necessarily bad but it just seems like we’ve seen it before in terms of what feels like stopgap programs both have had since Wrestlemania (Reigns/Big Show, Wyatt/Ryback). In other words, what more can come out of a Wyatt vs. Reigns program just as what more can come out of Sheamus holding the briefcase? It’s safe booking but it doesn’t progress things forward.

Aside from that...

  • Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose had a great match and Ambrose continues to show why he should continue to be pushed as a top guy. Rollins is just further solidifying his status in the top of the card and is proving his breakout isn’t a fluke.
  • The Prime Time Players have the belts as Vince continues his tag team kick.
  • “There is a ridiculous amount of money in Kevin Owens,” Sean Hopkins texted me last night. I agree. Kevin Owens is showing the world what so many of us have known for so long. All he needed was the opportunity and while some will reject Cena beating him, the post match beat down ensures this isn’t over. Owens may still be the NXT Champion but he’s not going back down to developmental after this program. He’s here to stay and is making his case as a guy that “has it.” Owens and Cena probably outworked their match from Elimination Chamber that garnered MOTY type praise.
  • Ryback vs. Big Show was filler content, evident by the disqualification finish off interference from The Miz.
  • Nikki Bella and Paige made the most of their time but I understand many will shake their heads at the finish.
  • WWE was extremely classy in how they honored Dusty Rhodes. The 10-bell salute was great and their video package (watch here) was beautiful.

Kendra Bunyon further broke down last night’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view in the “Rapid Reacts” feature available exclusively to WNW Premium Members at this link. Here, Kendra goes more in-depth, hands out school letter grades, explains what worked and what didn’t work, including what should have happened. Check it out and let us know your thoughts.

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