On the eve of another potentially transformative night for the WWE, speculation flies as rampant as the wicked witch on her broom in the dawn before Money in the Bank. It will be a historic night, with five women (for now) competing in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match to determine the first-ever Miss Money in the Bank, while the men take center stage with main event-level competitors competing for the same prize: a title shot, whenever they deem it pertinent.
But while the winners may come down to the final few hours of decision making, there is plenty of juicy info to go around for the rest of the night. One may even be tempted to call it a potentially miraculous night.
Is a Miracle in store for Money in the Bank?
“The Miracle” Mike Bennett and his wife, Maria Kanellis, have been free agents since their departure from Impact Wrestling in March. After months of speculation, it appears the time is on the verge of being here, with the debut of Bennett rumored to be taking place on Sunday night on PPV.
Bennett is a former IWGP Tag Team Champion, having spent the past few years in Impact Wrestling, even having ended Ethan Carter III’s unpinned streak. Heralded as one of the top independent wrestlers on the market, his debut with the WWE will presumably come without a stint at NXT.
Kanellis is the same Maria who worked for the WWE from 2004-2010, first gaining notoriety from the Diva Search. The real-life couple would be the perfect substitute on SmackDown Live, with the departure of The Miz and Maryse heading to Raw.
How Bennett would factor into the show is less certain: could he be added to the Money in the Bank Ladder Match? Or would he simply interfere, costing someone the victory and thus jumpstarting a feud? Or will he tread into deeper waters and focus on Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton’s struggle for the WWE Championship?
Chances this rumor takes place: 3.25 out of 5.
There seems to be no way around denying that Bennett and Maria are coming to the WWE; it’s merely a matter of when. But debuting an unknown wrestler at a single-branded PPV when that show is already packed to the gills with talent that simply isn’t getting on the air? That seems to be more of a tough sell. For the record, a Bennett vs. Tye Dillinger feud would be the “perfect” introduction for both men into higher profile action in the promotion.
Rusev will return at Money in the Bank, jumping into the WWE Championship picture.
This seemed to be the WWE’s plan all along; they’ve just gotten to it in a roundabout way. After the Bulgarian Brute appeared via satellite, saying he would only show up on SmackDown Live if Shane McMahon granted him a title match at Money in the Bank, it appears he may be coming one way or the other.
Rusev was, for all intents and purposes, bypassed en route to a WWE Title shot by Mahal. Since the WWE loves to play up the former tag team partner storyline, a possible Mahal vs. Rusev short feud may be what is needed for the final single-branded show (Battleground) before SummerSlam.
He will presumably be back without Lana at his side, which may force him to adopt a heel gimmick. Rusev has never played a babyface in the company, and would need the Ravishing Russian in order to have a hope of anyone cheering for him.
Chances this rumor takes place: 3.5 out of 5.
Of the two possible surprise debuts/appearances that have been rumored, Rusev is slightly the likelier of the two. He has been officially cleared to return to in-ring action, giving SmackDown Live yet another top-tier superstar to find time for on the show. Bringing him back and placing him directly in the title scene would give him a huge boost.
John Cena to become a member of both Raw and SmackDown Live rosters.
Cena is officially transitioning into that veteran status that allows him to go full-on Undertaker and just appear at his leisure. While he has been billed to return to SmackDown Live for the July 4 episode, he has been billed as “free agent” John Cena. To add another layer to that entirely, in the span of a week, Cena became a free agent and Roman Reigns announced he would be making his plans for SummerSlam. The face vs. face match that almost no one on the internet wants to happen may become a reality.
By freeing him up from one roster of talent, it will allow Cena, in the twilight of his career, to have every last dream match available.
Despite the constant criticism, the past few years have been some of Cena’s best in-ring work. Not to mention, the next time he wins the WWE Championship will be the 17th title, breaking a tie with Ric Flair for the most reigns in history.
Chances this rumor takes place: 4.25 out of 5.
How they’ll book this into the storyline will be complex, but strategically, it makes sense. If a Roman-Cena collision is destined for the near future, keeping Cena available for a match with Shinsuke Nakamura or Finn Balor, or even Brock Lesnar, all makes sense. If this is the last big Cena run, he may as well go out with a bang.