(CBSNewYork/CBS Local) — For the second time in as many months, WWE will hold a pay-per-view in an empty arena. Money In The Bank was originally scheduled to take place in Baltimore, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the company to shift the proceedings to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, where Raw and SmackDown have been broadcast for the past two months.
However, not every match will be contested in the sunshine state. Two of the contests will provide a change of scenery, as both the men’s and women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Matches will take place inside WWE Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Not only is this the first time that a MITB match has occurred at the office, but it’s also the first time that the men and women will be competing at the same time. They will start in the lobby of the building, battle their way to the roof, and then climb a ladder to retrieve the all-important briefcase, which guarantees the winner a title shot against any champion at any place at any time.READ MORE: First Case Of Omicron Variant Detected In LA County
With 12 Superstars competing in two matches simultaneously, it will be interesting to see how this shakes out. It may be chaos, but then again WWE just did a masterful job with the AJ Styles vs. Undertaker Boneyard Match at WrestleMania when nobody even knew what that match was supposed to be. As this one will be pre-taped as well, expectations are high that fans will be treated to quite the entertaining spectacle.
Elsewhere on the card, one-time Wyatt Family member Braun Strowman will defend the Universal Championship against his former leader, Bray Wyatt. Drew McIntyre will defend the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins, and Bayley and Tamina will tangle with the SmackDown Women’s Championship on the line.
Here is a look at the full card with how things might shake out.
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
AJ Styles vs. Aleister Black vs. Otis vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Baron Corbin vs. Rey Mysterio
Favored to win: AJ Styles
After being buried in a grave by The Undertaker during their epic clash at WrestleMania, AJ Styles reappeared on Monday’s Raw for a reason — to proclaim he’s not dead. In fact, his chances of climbing to the top of the WWE ladder are very much alive after he punched the final ticket to MITB by winning Monday’s Last Chance Gauntlet Match. He looked strong in his return and will look even stronger if he walks away with a briefcase in hand Sunday night without the help of the recently released Gallows and Anderson. All apologies to Daniel Bryan and the rest of the competitors, but it would be a shock if The Phenomenal One doesn’t reach to tippy top of Titan Tower first. Pick: AJ Styles
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax vs. Lacey Evans vs. Asuka vs. Dana Brooke vs. Carmella
Favored to win: Shayna Baszler
Despite losing to Becky Lynch at WrestleMania, the future remains bright for Shayna Baszler. Oddsmakers have her pegged to win this one, and it may very likely lead to the next chapter in her battle with Lynch. WWE has hinted as much by announcing Lynch will appear on next Monday’s Raw to confront the winner of the MITB match. Asuka could also fit the bill and potentially breathe new life into a rivalry that has already proven to be worth the price of admission (whenever fans are allowed back in the arena). However, my hunch is that Baszler is going home from WWE headquarters with a little extra baggage. Pick: Shayna BaszlerREAD MORE: Fake Students Potentially Stealing Millions From Financial Aid
Universal Championship Match
Braun Strowman (c) vs. Bray Wyatt
Favored to win: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman was never supposed to be in this position. Had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, Roman Reigns would have challenged Goldberg at WrestleMania and more than likely would have walked away with the Universal Championship around his waist. Still, there is no denying that Strowman has paid his dues and deserves to be in this role. For WWE, the question becomes whether they see him as a viable champion moving forward or do they put the belt back on Bray Wyatt. Keep in mind that fans were irate when the decision was made to have Wyatt lose the title to Goldberg a few months ago. Television ratings have been plummeting since Strowman has been champion, although that is due largely to the empty arena shows that leave much to be desired. For Strowman’s sake, he better hope WWE doesn’t have the title change hands in an effort to move the needle back in the right direction. Pick: Bray Wyatt
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Favored to win: Drew McIntyre
Like Strowman, Drew McIntyre is a guy who has more than paid his dues. Also like Strowman, viewership of Raw has been sinking like the Titanic in recent weeks. But I’m less inclined to see a title change in this match. McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania to win his first major title in WWE, and that means they’re investing in him long-term. In short, having the Monday Night Messiah win back the championship here would be a disaster. Pick: Drew McIntyre
SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Tamina
Favored to win: Bayley
As much as I would love to see Tamina win the championship here, it’s just not going to happen. It is painfully obvious that the friendship between Bayley and Sasha Banks is on the rocks and they are building toward a showdown for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Expect for Banks to get involved in this one somehow, but it won’t lead to a title changing hands. The next time that happens it will likely be Boss Time. Pick: Bayley
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Match
The New Day vs. John Morrison & The Miz vs. The Forgotten Sons vs. The Lucha House Party
Favored to win: The New Day
This may be a fatal four-way, but really this is a three-team race. It boils down to The New Day retaining, Miz and Morrison reclaiming, or The Forgotten Sons ascending to the top of the SmackDown tag team roster. After bursting on the scene a couple weeks ago, The Forgotten Sons already find themselves in a risky position. If they don’t win the gold they may fall into mid-card purgatory, which is almost impossible to escape. So, a strong showing will be an essential win or lose for them to save face. My gut tells me they won’t be forgotten just yet, but they won’t be fortunate sons on Sunday either. Look for The New Day to continue to hold the gold for a while longer. Pick: The New Day
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.MORE NEWS: Dodgers' Justin Turner And Wife Renovate Boyle Heights Boys And Girls Club
Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.