With the SmackDown Live participants revealed the stage is set for the men and women’s Money in the Bank Ladder matches.
SmackDown Live didn’t have the same type of fanfare for the announcements of their 2019 Money in the Bank participants as Monday Night Raw did, but SmackDown has always been a different animal. Instead of having announcements made on the K.O. Show to rival Raw’s A Moment of Bliss, the names of the participants were dropped via imagery throughout the night.
For the women they included:
Bayley: Since moving to the blue brand, Bayley has been bound and determined to revitalize her star power. With all the uncertainty surrounding her tag partner Sasha Banks’ future in the WWE, it seems Bayley is left to pick up the pieces. For the most part she’s been given the opportunity to shine, having faced the other two members of the Four Horsewomen, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch within in weeks of each other. Having Bayley in high-profile matches such as those, and the MITB ladder match, lets her remind both viewers and bookers that she’s not a talent they should be sleeping on. Bayley was the first name from SmackDown Live to be added to the MITB match.
Ember Moon: Since joining the main roster of Raw in mid-April of 2018, Ember Moon has done little to nothing. She’s been in some history making matches such as Evolution, and the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble, but Moon has yet to score one title match. A move to the blue brand is a fresh start for Moon and winning the MITB contract would put her in prime position to elevate her career to the next level.
Mandy Rose: There’s no doubt Mandy Rose is a hard worker. She’s been improving in the ring and on the mic since she made her initial debut with Sonya Deville as members of Paige’s faction Absolution. For some time now it seemed the powers-that-be have been trying to position Rose as a singles star even though she and Deville work well as a tag team. Having Rose in the MITB match could be another attempt at bringing up her status as a singles competitor, or she could just be used as a filler.
Carmella: Speaking of filler. Carmella was the first-ever women’s Money in the Bank winner. She went on to successfully cash in her contract to become SmackDown Women’s Champion. Her title run was marred in controversy, and since then Carmella hasn’t been used as an in-ring competitor as much. Instead, she’s been dancing it up as R-Truth’s hype girl. Is her inclusion in the Money in the Bank match a way back into a more active wrestling role or did the WWE just need to round out the match and decided on Carmella?
Noticeably absent from the match are names like former members of The Riott Squad and Mickie James. A lot of people have said Ruby Riott is primed for a top run but she, along with Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan, are nowhere near the PPV as of this writing. The veteran Mickie James has been moved to the blue brand though you wouldn’t know it given the lack of TV time. Instead, James has been regulated to the back where she’s taken to her Instagram to provide a live feed of catering.
In contrast, the men’s side is shaping up to be a classic. Some of the best high-flyers in the company are now in the mix along with a veteran that’s no stranger to big matches.
Randy Orton: “The Viper” has a storied career in WWE with matches against some of the biggest names in the sport. Having just come off a high-profile match with A.J. Style at WrestleMania 35, Orton hasn’t slowed down. His placement into the MITB match probably won’t see him secure a win but you can bet there will be some classic RKO spots involving the ladder.
Ali: The artist formerly known as Mustafa Ali made a big impact when he debuted on the SmackDown roster against then-champion Daniel Bryan. Unfortunately, his momentum was derailed for a little while after suffering an injury. But now, Ali is primed to get back into the spotlight and a showcase of his talent at Money in the Bank will undoubtedly be one to remember.
Andrade: Another competitor who has been on fire since getting his call up to the main roster is Andrade. His matches against Rey Mysterio Jr. had everyone talking and wanting to see more from him. He may be the dark horse in the men’s Money in the Bank match to capture the contract. A match with Andrade and Kofi Kingston has main event written all over it.
Finn Balor: Having the Intercontinental Champion in the MITB ladder match seems strange at first. But these days everything WWE does is strange. So IC title aside, having Balor join names like Ricochet, Ali and Andrade in this match is easy money that this match steals the show.
The Money in the Bank card is starting to come together but as we know in the WWE anything can happen.