Money in the Bank has been a staple of WWE programming since 2005. In the past twelve years, there have been sixteen winners in the history of the concept, and only two men have failed to successfully cash in the Money in the Bank contract to win a WWE World Title. As of this writing, the winner of the briefcase has an eighty-eight percent chance of cashing in their briefcase and becoming WWE Champion after next month.
Shane McMahon announced last night on SmackDown Live that AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Shinsuke Nakamura will be the participants during this year's Money in the Bank Ladder match. However, it's being reported that WWE officials are planning the first ever Women's Money in the Bank Ladder match this year as well. The match is expected to be announced in the next few weeks.
The participants for the Ladder match haven't been confirmed, but a Fatal Five Way Elimination match was also announced by Shane McMahon, and the winner will go on to face Naomi for the SmackDown Women's Championship at the WWE Money in the Bank PPV. The expectation is the rest of the competitors will be a part of the ladder match, and one of them will become the first "Miss Money in the Bank" in WWE history.
In the process of showcasing WWE's women in an equal division on WWE programming, both the Raw and SmackDown rosters have had the chance to make history. For instance, Sasha Banks and Charlotte had the first ever Women's Hell in a Cell match in October, which was also the first time a Women's match had been the main event of a PPV. Bayley, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, and others had the chance made history as well.
There will be a lot of speculation heading into the WWE Money in the Bank PPV about who should win the ladder match. With Naomi defending the SmackDown Women's Title at the PPV, WWE officials could make a lot of changes to Women's division for the blue brand. On paper, any woman in the match could walk out of St. Louis with the briefcase, but the contract has favored heels over the past twelve years of the concept.
Charlotte is always a threat to win a big match, but she's the last woman on the roster who needs the win or the Money in the Bank briefcase. Not to mention, she's on the cusp of a babyface turn on SmackDown. The expectation is Carmella, Natalya, and Tamina Snuka all have a chance to be in the match, but there has been some speculation about WWE being high on Carmella, which means Money in the Bank could be her ticket.
Carmella has been establishing herself as a heel on SmackDown since the brand extension. She has feuded with Nikki Bella to get some heat on her, and she has been partnered with James Ellsworth as a heater with the WWE Universe. There is some mixed feedback about whether or not that is working, but WWE officials could be preparing to give "The Princess of Staten Island" the biggest win of her career and a massive push.
One of the great things about the Money in the Bank briefcase is the holder has a year to cash it in for a title match. However, it puts a lot of focus on them as well, and they have several months to elevate their game to the main event scene. That may work a little differently, but Carmella or anyone else winning the contract is an indication that they will become the next big thing on SmackDown Live and in the Women's division.
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