The Money in the Bank match is a fascinating proposition, because it’s a metaphor brought to life: six men will climb a ladder for the chance to face the WWE champion, and that man’s life will likely change forever. What’s even more interesting is that this year’s contest boasts four men who are the future of this business, plus two former World Champions. I won’t go into specifics about why or how each man deserves the title shot, or who will win this match in what means. (For that, you can check out our preview and predictions of the event.) What I will do, however, is proclaim from the highest mountaintop that one man, and only one man, deserves the honor of facing the World Champion when he pleases, and that man is Kevin Owens.
Owens has proven himself in the mid-card since his arrival, when he and John Cena put on a series of excellent matches in three consecutive pay-per-views. He’s proven himself in matches on TV with the likes of Dean Ambrose, Neville, AJ Styles, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, and more. He’s proven that he can “go” with just about everyone, and he holds that magic gift of promotion: there are few (Bray Wyatt excluded) who can elaborate upon his motivations for battle better than he. Owens does not look the part of a World Champion — he’s the antithesis of a Randy Orton, but that’s part of what makes Owens work. We have enough Ortons (hell, one Orton is enough).
At this point, Owens is already a main eventer. This isn’t about “elevating” him by giving him the briefcase. This is about what the fans need from the MITB winner. What we need is more Owens.
I know, I know – all signs lead to Dean Ambrose winning this thing on Sunday night. As if we needed more foreshadowing, all three former members of The Shield have been embroiled in a three-way battle of sorts on television. But, don’t you dare hold WWE to their word. They’ve fooled us before, and what I’m asking for is another swerve in the direction of Owens. He deserves it. And so do we.
How many superstars have performed at damn near every single event since their debut? Owens has, and he done a fine job of putting on stellar contests with just about everyone on the roster. And of course, his true value is on the microphone and showing his personality in the ring. He feels fresh, just like AJ Styles, which is why they’re two of the people at the forefront of this “New Era” we’re witnessing.
Even if Owens does win on Sunday night, it’ll still be some time before he likely cashes in the title (please let him win and cash in on the same night), so we’ll still have several months within the next year where Owens can feud with Sami Zayn over the briefcase. As we all know, that’s far drom a terrible thing.
What I’m saying is: If WWE is going to pull the trigger on Owens as World Champion, then the organization needs to start cocking that hammer now. We deserve it.
Sure, Dean Ambrose winning will please some fans, but in the long run what will we get? Another series of matches between him and Seth Rollins. They work great together (loved their Hell in a Cell match), but we’ve been down that road before. What we need are fresh roads paved with the golden glory of a Kevin Owens title reign, and that reign needs to start Sunday night, at the Money in the Bank PPV.
Just imagine all the fresh match-ups that an Owens title reign can grant us. We’ve seen Styles and Owens go at it on TV, but PPV matches between the two with an extended time frame sounds fantastic to me. How about the finality that a WWE World Heavyweight Championship feud with Zayn would bring. It would be a delight. How about a world title picture that has Owens, Rollins, Reigns, and Brock Lesnar all competing for the top prize? I like it. I really do.
So, what exactly am I asking for here? Obviously, I’m asking for Kevin Owens to win the Money in the Bank match with hopes that he’ll cash in and become the World Champion on Sunday night. But, I – and perhaps we – are asking for a bit more. We want something fresh. Something new. Something cutting edge, dynamic, and altogether reminiscent of the times when wrestling was unpredictable. For that to happen, we need Kevin Owens, and make no mistake about it: Kevin Owens needs it.
I don’t think that’s asking for too much.