Sunday's Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is going to be without its monster, as Kane has been ruled out of the bout.
Thanks to Bray Wyatt's belligerent brothers, Kane ended Monday night on a stretcher. The debuting Wyatt Family attacked The Big Red Machine during a match against Christian, and apparently the beating will leave the All-Stars Money in the Bank match with one less competitor.
Unless WWE is planning a huge swerve or for Kane to pull a Walt Frazier-like comeback, Kane's kayfabe head and neck injuries will keep him out of action. WWE.com reported that, "Kane will not compete in this Sunday's Money in the Bank All-Stars Match."
What does his absence mean for the rest of the competitors and the match itself?
Aside from increasing the remaining competitors' odds of winning, Kane not being around will rob the match of its sole big man and take away some of the potential drama between him and Daniel Bryan.
Minus One Giant
Much of the excitement of Money in the Bank ladder matches comes from the high-flyers using the ladders as launching pads. Wrestlers have shocked us with the risks they are willing to take, leaping and flipping from incredible heights.
Many past versions of the match have also included a big man—a grounded force who uses the ladder as a club and plays the terrestrial beast battling the birds flying overhead.
This has provided an entertaining balance, a variety in offense, and a convincing, musclebound threat to everyone else.
Big Show served in that role at the world title MITB match at Money in the Bank 2010 and the WWE title version at the same pay-per-view two years later. Mark Henry was the giant in the MITB match that Miz won in 2010. One could argue that Tensai played that role as well in last year's MITB match for the world title.
As for Kane, he's been a reliable destructive force in these matches starting from the first-ever edition back in 2005. He then tried to squash his smaller opponents in MITB matches at WrestleMania XXV and XXVI and Money in the 2010 and 2012.
In terms of Sunday's battle, that leaves Sheamus as the biggest man in the match.
The Celtic Warrior is mighty powerful and an accomplished brawler, but he won't provide the same kind of threat that Big Show, Henry and Kane have over the years. Their size has forced their opponents to double-team them and offered a special brand of entertainment.
Watch the rampage Big Show goes on after climbing out from under a pile of ladders.
That's what Kane could have given the match on Sunday. Rob Van Dam can hit a frog splash off a ladder, Randy Orton can land an RKO from a great height, but no one is going to evoke images of Godzilla tearing through Japan like Kane would have done.
Those men have better chances without Kane around, but it's Daniel Bryan who benefits the most.
Bryan Avoids the Wrath of the Scorned
Before Kane's injury, Bryan was headed into a match with enemies on all sides of him. He has angered Orton in recent weeks and had a feud over the WWE title with CM Punk last year. Kane was going to be the biggest, most sadistic member of the anti-Bryan club.
After being tag team champions for over 200 days, Bryan and Kane's partnership became increasingly splintered.
Bryan has continually interfered in Kane's matches, including being a biased referee in a match against Orton. He has angered, annoyed and frustrated Kane time and time again.
Money in the Bank could have seen Team Hell No form a temporary alliance once again, but more likely their longstanding tension would have exploded on camera. That tension and subplot is taken away without Kane in the match.
There is still plenty for WWE to work with, including Bryan's rivalry with Orton, and Punk and Orton's history, but few things have been entertaining as Kane and Bryan's love-hate relationship, and that element will be missing from Sunday.
That could lead to The World's Toughest Vegan winning the second MITB match in his career with one less obstacle in his way and the match suddenly lacking its sole demon.
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