It’s that time of year again when the WWE gets their biggest ladders out and dangles the promise of a championship match anytime, anywhere over the heads of its Superstars to the glee of millions around the world.
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Last year’s winner Seth Rollins cashed in his opportunity on the grandest stage of all to make for a thrilling finale to this year’s WrestleMania and the rest of the locker room will be buoyed by 13 of the 15 previous winners of the match going on to claim a title.
Besides the titular bout, the WWE has an intriguing card for Money in the Bank and a lot to keep everyone interested. Here, TLC takes you through our predictions for this year’s PPV
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose – ROLLINS WINS
It seems that Seth Rollins is the veritable sweetheart of the WWE right now and, although his legacy as champion thus far has been tainted by Authority interference, he doesn’t look like losing his title any time soon.
While Ambrose’s stock continues to rise considerably, a change in hands of the title seems most likely to wait until the return of Brock Lesnar or a platform being handed to Roman Reigns.
Expect The Authority to meddle in some way in this one, a shame considering Rollins needs a big, clean win to stake his claim as a genuine world champion.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus vs. Neville vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton – REIGNS WINS
These multi-Superstar matches are a nightmare to call and this one has a number of genuinely deserving champions among its field.
— Ashley Ferguson (@anfb1991) June 9, 2015
Reigns has been superb over the last 12 months, while Sheamus and Neville go into the match with fine momentum and Ziggler has long been touted as a future champion. Kane and Kingston are the biggest outsiders but their contrasting styles will help make this a well-rounded bout.
Orton’s time away from the limelight means he is overdue a run at the title but he isn’t the kind of Superstar to carry around a briefcase for 12 months.
Sticking our neck on the line, we see Reigns winning and beginning a belting feud with Rollins ahead of Lesnar’s return to action.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Ryback (c) vs. Big Show – RYBACK WINS
Having only just gained the title, it is good to see Ryback showcase his dominance in the ring, even if his mic work could do with a major overhaul.
The two will surely beat the hell out of each other but we can’t see anything other than a Ryback win with Show beginning to fade into the distance as a credible title holder.
WWE Tag Team Championship
The New Day (c) vs. Prime Time Players – NEW DAY WINS
WWE Tag team title match: The New Day (c) vs. Prime Time Players on Money In The Bank pic.twitter.com/cRf1OBg45k
— Jake Hollywood ッ (@1998Hollywood) June 4, 2015
While the Prime Time Players have impressed in recent weeks, it is hard to look past the revived New Day defending their titles this coming Monday (UAE time).
A time will come for New Day to lose their title but considering the momentum they have going into the PPV and the team in the midst of establishing their heel personas, now is not the time for the title to change hands.
WWE Divas Championship
Nikki Bella (c) vs. Paige – BELLA WINS
— Divas Confessions (@DivasConfession) June 9, 2015
Oh how TLC wishes we weren’t writing “BELLA WINS” at the end of this sub-heading.
Paige is by far the better wrestler and the WWE NXT roster is packed with superb female competitors begging for a chance to showcase their in-ring talents, but Nikki Bella will surely remain champion until she has the longest reign record under her belt.
That honour is currently with AJ Lee, the WWE’s throwaway devastating Diva who rattled the cage a little too much and must be erased from the history books. Luckily, Bella isn’t far from taking that mantle and Paige et al will surely be pushed to the fore in the next couple of months.
John Cena vs. Kevin Owens – CENA WINS
— Sachin (@IamSachin21) June 9, 2015
Possibly the fight of the night, this rivalry between Cena and Owens is shaping up very nicely.
Owens has been on the warpath and his clean win over Cena at Elimination Chamber sent a shockwave through the WWE like nothing in recent history.
With neither Cena’s US nor Owens’ NXT titles on the line, expect a belting affair that sets up a title match in the coming PPVs. An Owens win will further validate his claims and is likely, but we are predicting a Cena win that levels up the series 1-1 and provides the WWE an early opportunity to place the titles on the line in time for a deciding third match.
The reinvention of John Cena over the course of the last 12 months has been remarkable.
Since last winning the WWE World Heavyweight title (for the 12th time), Cena has gone from scapegoat for fans bored of his dominance, to the man at the centre of one of the most excititing transitions in the company’s history.
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And throughout, Cena has remained the most marketable Superstar on the WWE roster, despite a large proportion of fans falling utterly out of love with the doctor of thuganomics.
It is a role Cena has admirably held for a decade and although his outside of the ring activities with charities, sponsors, in movies and marketing haven’t diminished, his assault on the most prized possession in WWE has.
However, this is no bad thing.
While Cena has stepped out of the spotlight at the top of the roster, it has allowed for the likes of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan make the step up to establishing themselves as the next generation of the best entertainers in the business.
The biggest benefactor, though, is Kevin Owens.
The WWE NXT champion added the US title to his repertoire with an historic victory over Cena at this week’s Elimination Chamber, ushering in a changing of the guard as well as promising a fine rivalry between the pair.
Cena had previously brought the US title back to life with his challenge of the previously unbeaten Rusev and a series of weekly open challenges for the title allowed a succession of middle card Superstars the chance to gain notoriety and a shot at a title.
And while Owens’ transition onto the main roster was inevitable, thanks to Cena it seemed natural and carried greater gravitas.
Cena has suffered as the all-conquering baby-face of the company with fans as much as he has gained financially, but he is not to be blamed for his employers’ insistence to keep him at the top.
What must be taken from Owens’ shock win in Texas is that the WWE is taking notice.
A Cena loss to a newcomer at a PPV was unheard of, even up until last week. The fact that it happened is a massive step towards the future and a sure sign that Cena’s time may well be coming to an end as a top-level performer.
With such a strong NXT roster in both the men’s and divas’ divisions, Owens’ victory is an exciting one for fans gagging to see the next crop of Superstars given more sunlight and some of the older names put out to pasture.
Love him or hate him, it was only right that Cena was at the heart of this significant change in thinking and, as he always does, he sold it superbly.
The 2015 WWE Elimination Chamber rolls into Corus Christi, Texas’ American Bank Center on Monday morning (UAE time) with the promise of an intriguing card of matches.
From the WWE’s NXT big thing taking on the face of the company, to an intense championship showdown, there should be enough to keep fans focused on each of the six main fights.
Here, Sport360 previews each contest and shares our prediction of the outcome.
Neville vs Bo Dallas: NEVILLE WINS
Considering the Englishman’s fantastic rise over the past few months, Neville’s appearance at the bottom of the card may disappoint both Superstar and the WWE Universe. Bo Dallas on the other hand has featured less and less as Neville has soared up the ranks like one of his Red Arrow finishers. Both know each other well so the action in the ring should not disappoint but we see Neville coming out on top and continuing his excellent progress.
Nikki Bella (c) vs Paige vs Naomi (WWE Divas title match): NIKKI BELLA WINS
Despite being the weakest in-ring performer of the three it is hard to look past Nikki Bella, who is closing in on the record for the longest Diva championship reign in WWE history. Paige and Naomi are getting closer to ending that record but there is very little to suggest that Nikki will fail to defend her title. A little help from her twin sister may ensure she does just that.
Seth Rollins (c) vs Dean Ambrose (WWE World Heavyweight title match): SETH ROLLINS WINS
— WrestlingNews.Co (@WrestlingNewsCo) May 31, 2015
Despite the Luncatic Fringe’s popularity and the genuine threat he can pose his former Shield partner, Dean Ambrose will likely leave Texas disappointed. Rollins is the golden boy of The Authority and should have far too much for Ambrose. The presence of Kane and J&J Security will always keep the odds in Rollins’ favour and until we see the return of Brock Lesnar or a chance handed to Randy Orton, you imagine he will hold the title.
John Cena (c) vs Kevin Owens (United States Championship match): JOHN CENA WINS
This is one of the hardest matches to call. Cena, long-time face of the franchise, will have his work cut out against NXT graduate Owens. Owens is being sold as a genuine threat and his dominance over Cena in recent weeks suggests a change in hands could be possible for the US Championship. Having to stick our neck on the line, we’re going for a Cena win but not before being put through one of the biggest tests of his career. A highlight on the card.
The New Day (c) vs The Lucha Dragons vs Tyson Kidd and Cesaro vs The Prime Time Players vs The Ascension vs Los Matadores (Tag Team title Elimination Chamber match): THE NEW DAY WINS
— Wrestling Phobia (@WrestlingPhobia) May 30, 2015
Another tricky one to call with so many teams going into the relatively unknown concept of a tag team Elimination Chamber match, the title is anybody’s. While all competitors have a genuine chance, the most likely new champions would be The Lucha Dragons or Los Matadores. They have both improved massively over the last couple of months and would be popular champs. The New Day most certainly aren’t too popular but their turn heel has certainly made for interesting viewing and might be enough for the WWE to see them remain at the top of the pile.
Sheamus vs Ryback vs R-Truth vs King Barrett vs Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler (Elimination Chamber match for vacant Intercontinental title): DOLPH ZIGGLER WINS
It is both refreshing and exciting to see an Intercontinental title so fiercely contested by top athletes and reward is the headline act at this year’s Elimination Chamber. Like the other Elimination Chamber match on the card, the title could genuinely be won by any of the combatants. However, wins for either Ziggler or Rusev would ensure their rivalry not only continued but also had a championship on the line to intensify it. It would also make for great stories down the line once Danuel Bryan (hopefully) returns to action considering his history with Ziggler.