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John Cena Wins WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Eight Superstars vied for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Ladder match at Money in the Bank, but it was John Cena who came away with the titles yet again. There were arguments to be made for most of the competitors in the contest, but it didn't come as much of a surprise when one of WWE's most decorated stars of all time secured professional wrestling's biggest prize.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is Cena the Right Choice as Champion?
Wrestling fans are well aware that the smart money is always on Cena, but that didn't stop people from picking the likes of Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns and Cesaro to potentially win it all at Money in the Bank. The WWE Universe was clamoring for something new, fresh and exciting. What they got instead was Old Reliable rising to the pinnacle of the company once again. It was disappointing in one respect but certainly understandable in another.
When Daniel Bryan was forced to relinquish the WWE World Heavyweight Championship due to a neck injury, WWE was backed into a corner against its own will. Bryan was red hot and poised to hold the title until at least SummerSlam in all likelihood, but the entire situation was turned on its head.
When WWE is put in difficult positions, it tends to fall back on what it knows. What WWE knows is that Cena is still a top draw, so that is clearly what the line of thinking was.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
With Brock Lesnar almost certainly set to return during the build toward SummerSlam, he needs somebody to face. Perhaps that would have been Bryan if he hadn't gotten injured, but that is no longer an option.
From WWE's perspective, Cena may be the only other guy in a position to take on Lesnar at this point. Lesnar needs a huge match to maintain his momentum after beating The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX, and facing Cena for the title at one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year makes both dollars and sense.
At the same time, Cena vs. Lesnar has been done a couple times before. Perhaps the most intriguing option WWE could have explored would have been Cesaro vs. Lesnar. Since Paul Heyman represents both men, there is an obvious link. Heyman could have turned on Cesaro and sided with Lesnar, which would have made Cesaro a big-time face. The match would have been fantastic, and it would have legitimized Cesaro win or lose.
WWE probably didn't feel as though Cesaro was ultimately ready, so it went with the safe choice in Cena. It may work out for the best, but it would have been fun to see WWE roll the dice.
Backstage News on Cena's Title Win (F4WOnline via WrestlingInc.com)
Seth Rollins Wins Money in the Bank Briefcase
Although the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder match headlined Money in the Bank, the Ladder match for the Money in the Bank contract may ultimately prove to be just as important. There weren't as many legitimate contenders in that bout. Only Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose looked like potential winners. When push came to shove, it was Rollins to who seized a future shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is Rollins the Right Choice to Hold the Briefcase?
While it can be argued that the Money in the Bank contract match was the best overall bout of the night, there wasn't a ton of suspense involved. With Bad News Barrett out due to injury, it was basically a two-horse race between Rollins and Ambrose. That was fitting since they are embroiled in an intense feud that figures to last for the foreseeable future.
Ambrose was forced to leave the match due to injury, but he later returned and seemed to be on the verge of winning. He was stopped by Kane, though, and Rollins was eventually able to nab the briefcase.
That led to some interesting exchanges on Raw, as Ambrose proclaimed that he would do everything in his power to prevent Rollins from cashing in his contract successfully. Ambrose made good on that promise Monday, attacking Rollins when he tried to cash in on a prone Cena at the end of the show. In all likelihood, that was only the start of what will probably be a long line of such events.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
As fantastic as Ambrose has been since The Shield broke up, there is little doubt that Rollins was the proper choice. Money in the Bank is almost always better off with a heel since they have no reservations about cashing in during an opportunistic scenario.
Also, Rollins has the back of The Authority, which makes him that much more dangerous. In addition to that, Ambrose is already playing his role to perfection, which should make Rollins' run with the briefcase even more entertaining.
Ambrose wouldn't have been a bad choice to take the contract by any means, but being a disruption to Rollins fits his character so much better. Ambrose and Rollins are going to continue feuding throughout the summer, and it is entirely possible that the briefcase could become a huge part of it. Putting the contract on the line would add even more heat to the rivalry, and it could easily thrive in a semi-main event position.
Rollins is clearly a star on the rise, and he has the makings of a future world champion. WWE has the luxury of taking it slow with Rollins, and it has up to a year before it has to make a decision with regard to his status as a potential champion. He will be a believable champion if built properly, so there is no question that giving him the briefcase was the right move.
Backstage News on Triple H's Plan B (F4WOnline via WrestlingInc.com)
Chris Jericho Makes Long-Awaited Return
After a year away from WWE, Chris Jericho returned on Raw during a promo segment featuring The Miz. Y2J hit The Miz with a Codebreaker and began to celebrate, but he was interrupted by The Wyatt Family. Jericho was on the receiving end of Sister Abigail from Bray Wyatt to set up what promises to be a fresh and entertaining feud throughout the summer.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Will Jericho Be Utilized?
As The Wyatt Family's newest target, Jericho will almost certainly engage in a multi-month angle with Wyatt. Jericho is the perfect guy to get Wyatt on track after he came out on the losing end in his rivalry with Cena. Jericho obviously has no issue losing and putting over younger talent. Losing doesn't damage Jericho's credibility since he has already accomplished essentially everything in the business. Wyatt needs to beat an established guy, and Jericho fits the bill.
Jericho and Wyatt had a fantastic match on NXT last year, so it is already clear that they can work well together. Wyatt is still a work in progress when it comes to putting on excellent matches, but he is able to do well in that regard against elite workers. His match against Bryan at Royal Rumble was one of the best of the year to this point, and it stands to reason that he and Jericho could potentially do something similar at Battleground, SummerSlam and beyond.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Feeding Jericho to Wyatt seems like an obvious move on the surface, but WWE has to tread carefully. Jericho will always be a top star, and the fans will love him whenever he comes back, but the impact lessens a bit each time if he continues to lose the bulk of his big matches.
With that in mind, WWE would be wise to do a three-match series between Jericho and Wyatt with Y2J picking up the first win at Battleground. Wyatt could then win the biggest match of the trio at SummerSlam and end the feud with a second victory at Night of Champions.
That would give Jericho's return instant credibility, but it would also allow Wyatt to win the feud at the same time. In between his matches with Wyatt, Jericho will also be able to put on some fantastic performances with other Superstars. Jericho is going to have matches with the other Wyatt Family members, and his bouts with Luke Harper could very well be better than what he does against Wyatt.
Above all else, Jericho is an all-time great on the mic who can match Wyatt and create some amazing moments during the build toward their matches. Simply put, there is no better person to help show a rising star like Wyatt the way than Y2J.
Backstage News on Chris Jericho's Return (F4WOnline via WrestlingInc.com)
RRR Season 5 Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Mike Chiari: 490
2. Donald Wood: 260
3. Brandon Galvin: 102.5
4. Tom Kinslow: 27.5
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