We are now officially less than two weeks away from this year's Money In The Bank pay-per-view, and it promises to be the most unique in the events long history. We still don't know that much about the dynamics of the 'Corporate Ladder' matches, apart from them taking place at WWE's corporate headquarters, but that lack of information is making things all the more intriguing.
In terms of this years competitors, we are almost fully set. The 3 competitors representing RAW in the men's Corporate Ladder Match will be Rey Mysterio, Apollo Crews, and Aleister Black. As far as Smackdown goes, the blue brand have 2 confirmed entrants - Daniel Bryan and King Corbin - with the final spot going to the winner of this weeks confrontation between bitter enemies Otis and Dolph Ziggler.
This year I am hedging all of my bets on Aleister Black being the man to retrieve the briefcase and earn himself the most sought after opportunity in all of WWE. The Dutch Destroyer has been on absolute fire since arriving from NXT last year and here are five reasons why he should walk out of Money In The Bank as the victor.
His Record Speaks For Itself
Black introduced himself to the main roster in 2019 with a few short singles matches against Elias and Andrade, but his first official program as a fully fledged RAW superstar saw him team up with fellow NXT alumni Ricochet as they chased the Tag Team Championships. It was only in July of last year that Black finally branched out as a singles competitor, and he hasn't looked back since.
Since beating Cesaro at Extreme Rules, The Dutch Destroyer went on an impressive winning streak, overcoming some other respectable names in the business such as Sami Zayn, Akira Tozawa, Tony Nese, and Murphy whom he beat a whopping four times in the space of a couple of months. This series of matches was simply phenomenal and truly showcased what both men were capable of. Despite coming up short against Black, Murphy would soon go on to find tag team success alongside Seth Rollins, while Black seemed to lose all momentum. It looked like yet another case of an NXT top talent being wasted after making the move "up".
After a short wait, Black would see his stock rise again during a great rivalry with The OC which also featured a new up and coming, little known superstar named The Undertaker. His only loss in a traditional one-on-one bout to date came against AJ Styles during the build to this years WreatleMania, where we saw him successfully defeat both Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in back-to-back matches before succumbing to Styles in typical heel fashion. This strong showing was enough to stop the loss from hurting Blacks credentials, and he would soon find himself competing at The Showcase Of The Immortals. His first ever WrestleMania singles bout was a decent, run of the mill victory against Bobby Lashley. After conquering The Almighty, I fully expect Black to move on and take that momentum forward to become The Destroyer In The Bank (That's the best I've got for now).
Opens Up A Host Of Tantalising Fresh Feuds
With the exception of Murphy, Aleister Black has never had an extended feud with any Superstar during the last year. Oddly, considering his enigmatic persona and confidence on the mic, The Dutch Destroyer has rarely been involved in a tussle of words with anyone outside of NXT. Bar a few short interactions with Cesaro and a couple of short backstage confrontations with Murphy, Black has remained fairly tight lipped.
Therefore, if Black wins the briefcase, this provides WWE a whole host of options that they can explore. He could essentially be put against any champion on any brand and the narrative could be twisted accordingly to suit the feud. While he is very much being portrayed as a face right now, The Dutch Destroyer could easily tap into his twisted side as well, if that's how Vince McMahon and co. decide to proceed with him. So be it Drew McIntyre, Braun Strowman, or any other champion on any roster, Black could face him heads on.
Imagine a potential feud with "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt if he manages to win the Universal Championship back from Strowman? The dark and twisted personalities of both these men would surely bode for an instant classic. Firefly FunHouse match anybody?
It's Time To Build New Stars
As talented a performer as he is, Aleister Black is still not the most renowned name within fan circles. Most members of the WWE Universe may have seen him coasting along winning match after match, but not many know his real potential, the kind that we saw week in and week out during his NXT tenure. Thus, it's imperative to shine the spotlight on The Dutch Destroyer before eventually elevating him into the title picture. With this in mind, WWE won't get a better opportunity to do that than at Money In The Bank.
With the exception of this years Royal Rumble, which saw him reach the final 6, Black hasn't been a part of a match with any real stakes or implications. The Corporate Ladder match is his first opportunity since the Rumble to really fight for anything important, except this time around he has a much better chance of winning. Aleister Black coming up trumps would surely establish him as a household name, with him featuring more heavily on RAW going forward.
In recent times we have seen WWE finally give us what we have been crying out for over the last few years - new stars being built up to carry the company into the future. Current United States Champion Andrade, RAW Tag Team Champions The Street Profits, Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn and WWE Champion Drew McIntyre are all proof that WWE are finally looking to appease fans by pushing the superstars who deserve it and phasing out the part timers. Black should be the next to be added to that growing list.
NXT Alumni Fight For Bragging Rights
Speaking of new WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Black winning this year's MITB match could potentially serve up a very interesting program between himself and the big Scotsman. Both men enjoyed success in NXT and a program between the two could simply be based around who was the better champion. Its basic and it has been done to death, but it almost always works especially if the resulting match is good enough.
Both men became firm fan favourites on the black and gold brand, both holding the NXT Championship for a short time, and establishing themselves before moving up to the main roster. The story here writes itself - Drew never got his rematch against Andrade and at the same time Black, who prides himself on always being ready to fight, didn't get to take on someone as intimidating at Drew - a challenge would surely love to take on.. Drew may have moved onto bigger and better things now, but the opportunity to show that he could've reclaimed his NXT Championship would surely be one he would love to prove.
Another interesting dynamic could be Zelina Vega. She has been a thorn in Drew's side over the last few weeks and I would love to see her involved in this rivalry as she just so happens to be Black's real life wife. This would ideally need to be centred around a heel turn for Black, which shouldn't be too much of a stretch considering his look and personality.
Whatever happens, this could be a fantastic program building up to an eventual showdown at Summerslam.
Deserves To Be In The Title Picture
As outlined earlier, Aleister Black has been one of the most dominant singles competitors over nearly the entirety of the last year. However, he doesn't really have anything to show for all his wins. WWE's decision to build him slowly has essentially resulted in him not being involved in significant title feuds. However, now seems like the right time to fix that.
Aleister Black has shown through his matches against the likes of AJ Styles, Murphy and this year's Royal Rumble match that he can stand on his own against the biggest names in the industry. The incredible in-ring performer that he is, Black can easily take on the cream of the crop, at least from a physical standpoint.
Personally I would've had Black challenge Andrade for his United States Championshop first before moving onto the world championship scene. Another incredible NXT rivalry revisited, this would've truly showcased what Black can do against an equally as talented opponent. Alas, that story isn't happening any time soon, so
Winning the MITB briefcase is the next best way to finally stake a claim on WWE's top prizes, which I must argue that he's very likely to make his own sooner rather than later even if he doesn't win next Sunday.
The Most Deserving Of The 6
Possibly the strongest argument for Black winning this years MITB. If we take a quick look through the list of superstars who have qualified for the match so far, it doesn't exactly take a genius to realise that Aleister Black is the best of the bunch. This is in no way meant to be disrespectful to the other men involved, but they either don't need the briefcase or it makes no sense them having it. Think about it...
• Apollo Crews. Possibly the most gifted athlete in all of WWE but severely lacking any form of character to keeps fans invested. His most memorable moment in WWE was... nope. Sorry. I've got nothing. I had forgotten he was employed until he qualified. Crews needs serious work before he is ready for any championship opportunities.
• Rey Mysterio & Daniel Bryan. Both household names and first ballot future Hall Of Famers. Legendary careers which have both transitioned into putting over new and young talent who deserve the spotlight more. Both men have amazing resumes and wouldn't benefit from yet another world championship reign. It was only in the last few months that we saw Mysterio facing Brock Lesnar and Bryan taking on The Fiend. Time to move on.
• King Corbin has just fallen completely flat through no fault of his own. Two seeningly never-ending feuds, with Roman Reigns and Elias, have killed his momentum entirely. The King gimmick needs to go so he can be taken seriously again, on his own, without backup. Also, he failed to cash in the briefcase once already.
• Otis & Dolph Ziggler. I love Otis dearly but it's far too early for him. It may never be his time in fact if WWE keep using him for comedy value. Dolph has been there, done that and got the t-shirt more than most other superstars. His cash in on Alberto Del Rio was an iconic moment that would be diminished by him winning it again.
Coupling this with my previous points, this singles out The Dutch Destroyer as the most deserving and rational choice on the list. He has quickly become established after years of putting in the graft on the global independent scene, he seldom takes a loss and his finisher is also among the most popular in the industry. It's a modern day RKO, that could be printed all over t-shirts and make the company even more of that sweet dollar dollar. It almost makes too much sense!