Information about which WWE superstars Vince McMahon is showing his support for seems to be leaked on a daily basis. Cesaro had appeared to win over the chairman, Big Cass has already made a big impression, and AJ Styles seems to be headed towards a permanent place in the main event. And then there’s Kevin Owens. His first WWE feud was as memorable as they come, but then any backstage support for Kevin Owens appeared to be dwindling following that three pay-per-view program with John Cena.
Owens continued to grind, however, as he did his best not to get lost in the mid-card shuffle during feuds with the likes of Ryback and Dolph Ziggler. Soon enough, though, Vince and other WWE officials realized they had a diamond in the rough, and one with a look unlike any prototypical main-eventer they’ve ever had before. And then, as the Inquisitr began reporting at the end of May, Vince was fully behind Owens and was starting to plan out a major push for just the second superstar ever to appear on every single pay-per-view in his first 12 months in the company.
That push included making Kevin Owens the early favorite to win the Money in the Bank ladder match at the upcoming pay-per-view in Las Vegas. Two weeks after that initial report was published, plans have not appeared to change. According to the Daily Wrestling News, talks have actually intensified on giving Owens the briefcase and winning the ladder match. The feeling among many WWE officials is that it will be easier to book Owens with the briefcase than any of the other five participants in the match.
A common theme among those trying to predict the MITB match is that having a heel win makes the most sense, as a heel can take advantage of a vulnerable champion better than a babyface could. CM Punk may have pulled off the feat, but the most memorable cash-ins have come from the heels who’ve owned the briefcase, such as Edge, Ziggler, and Seth Rollins. Sheamus’ run with the briefcase will likely be remembered as no more than a footnote in the annals of Money in the Bank contract-holders, but his failures will likely only motivate WWE to make sure this year’s winner shine and bring notoriety back to the coveted prize. And that’s where Kevin Owens comes in.
Nothing is certain until the bell actually rings before the ladder match in two weeks, but there hasn’t nearly been as much steam behind Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio, Dean Ambrose or Chris Jericho as there has been for Kevin Owens since the match was put together. And if you recall, there was originally room for seven participants in the Money in the Bank match, but WWE has wiped that from the slate and will proceed with just six.
The notion that Kevin Owens is the early leader in the clubhouse to win the contract is probably a good bet, but to eliminate the other five from contention already might be a bit premature. It’ll be tough to make a case for Alberto Del Rio to capture his second briefcase, as he’s only now trying to repair an image that took a hit after the floundering League of Nations dissolved. But being a heel might give him a leg up on Zayn, Cesaro, and Ambrose by that distinction alone. The benefit of the briefcase is that it doesn’t need to be cashed in right away, as the push that comes with winning can be booked with a long-term vision.
On the latest episode of Monday Night RAW, Owens did lose clean to Ambrose in a singles match. In fact, all three singles matches that took place between the six MITB participants ended without any hijinks. But with two weeks of build-time remaining, those wins and losses will likely be exchanged before the pay-per-view. What might be most important, as far as pushes are concerned, is who had the most mic time during the opening segment on RAW (Owens) and how highly JBL was praising KO during his match with Ambrose. As we’ve all discovered by now, JBL is simply repeating everything Vince McMahon spouts through his headset at him.
[Image via WWE]