G5: MITB, Jericho, The Miz, Paige, more

Money in the Bank saw John Cena win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and Seth Rollins take home the Money in the Bank briefcase. How did the pay-per-view stack up overall?

Chris Jericho and The Miz both made their WWE returns on Raw. Which man will make the biggest impact over the course of their latest run?

Paige lost the Divas Championship to AJ Lee on Raw, is this the start of a new chapter for the Anti-Diva, or the beginning of the end?

And now that Bad News Barrett has vacated the Intercontinental Championship, who are we helping will step up and claim the title?

***

1. John Cena is the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and Seth Rollins claimed the Money in the Bank briefcase in Boston on Monday. What did you think of this year’s Money in the Bank?

David:
It was an entertaining show. Ambrose and Rollins did well in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, overshadowing almost everything else on the pay-per-view. John Cena’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship victory was one for the history books, too. Only one more world title reign left until he ties Flair’s record! It’s a pay-per-view you’d have been very happy to have seen on the WWE Network, but feel more neutral about having purchased it by traditional means. Still, we were given everything that was advertised, so I’m far from complaining.

Luke:
I felt the pay-per-view was average to be fair. The MITB was entertaining due to Rollins and Ambrose reaching for the proverbial brass ring but most of it felt messy in comparison to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match, which was crisper and still had some innovative spots. (How can you not mark out for Cesaro’s strength as he dangled with Sheamus in that fist-fight?!) The Usos tag match with The Wyatt Family was great but the rest of the show felt like a glorified episode of Raw.

Stevie:
Pretty average show. The tag title match and first Monkey in the Bag matches were really entertaining, but things slowly headed downhill from there.

Dion:
I really enjoyed the show, though the ladder matches were most definitely the standouts. Great to see Rollins taking out the briefcase and I was genuinely surprised to see Cena take the title. It’ll be interesting times ahead from here.

Blake:
I was a bit disappointed with the end of the first ladder match, but overall the pay-per-view was fantastic. I was especially happy to see a solid Divas match.

 

2. Both Chris Jericho and The Miz returned to Raw this week after lengthy absences from WWE. Which Superstar do you think will make the biggest impact in their latest run?

David:
The Miz, because I can see him sticking around for longer. I’m pleased it looks like the two will be feuding – they’re made for each other in some senses – but after that I don’t know what’s left for Jericho. He’s almost too big to just stay in the midcard, but not big enough to score another world title run. Talk is Jericho and Fozzy will probably beckon Y2J away, but The Miz is here to stay.

Luke:
Jericho, of course. The Miz had a few great points in his promo but at this point, who really cares? He doesn’t fit into the landscape of WWE for today. His main event run was in 2011 – three years ago! Y2J’s run will be promising as always and hopefully putting him with Bray Wyatt will benefit Wyatt’s career.

Stevie:
Hahaha. Sorry. The Miz is back just to eat some losses on TV, so Jericho looks strong for Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam. In six months, nobody will probably remember Miz even returned.

Dion:
The obvious choice would be Jericho, but that all depends on the length of this run. I can’t help but feel that The Miz has had his time and will really struggle this time around.

Blake:
While Jericho is clearly there to put Bray Wyatt over, it seems that Miz had a few points he wanted to make upon his return; while I’m not a fan of his, I do hope he is able to return to relevance.

 

3. Paige lost the Divas Championship to a returning AJ Lee on Raw. Can Paige bounce back from this loss, or is this the beginning of the end for her?

David:
I worry she’ll become lost in the shuffle now she doesn’t have the Divas Championship. WWE seems to struggle to focus on more than two Divas at any one time, and with AJ Lee holding the title, Nikki Bella getting involved with Stephanie McMahon, and what looks to be a rift between The Funkadactyls, Paige could be pushed way back on everyone’s list of priorities for the time being.

Luke:
I think after the flat face run Paige experienced after the initial title win on the Raw after WrestleMania XXX, this will be what’s best for her career. The emotion and agression she gave off in those 30 seconds against AJ before she lost the title was more entertaining than the last 80 days of her title reign. I like Paige and I personally feel this is the right thing for her.

Stevie:
I hope it’s not the end and it’s actually the beginning of a strong return and storyline for her. But I don’t know if I trust the writers enough. AJ should be kept heel for this and have Paige do the long road back to the belt, in my opinion. I’m worried they’ll forget Paige exists, or have her just be another random Diva.

Dion:
Paige has a big future, no doubt. And the Divas division needs her! I’ve no doubt she’ll bounce back.

Blake:
She is 21 years old, of course this isn’t her end.

 

4. TNA continues to broaden its horizons by scheduling events in Japan and the United Kingdom. Can promotions aside from WWE still make an international impact on their own, or are alliances and working agreements between companies around the globe the standard from now on?

David:
WWE was in such a position of power once WCW folded that it became almost impossible to compete with at home in the United States. Smaller promotions around the world have achieved various levels of success though, and coming together could prove very beneficial for them. If TNA continues to hold shows in the United States, and uses Wrestle-1’s popularity to increase its profile in Japan (similar to the New Japan/ROH alliance) WWE could find itself with a serious competitor over time.

Luke:
Alliances have worked in the past. The NWA used to form alliances with Japanese territories all the time, cross-promoting to benefit everybody involved. It only lasts so long though and one of the problems can be injuries as illustrated when MVP hurt his knee a few weeks ago and TNA officials had to change their main event plans. I think it’s good for international audiences and like the WWF experienced in their hardship years of the 1990s, the cash flow from those markets will benefit them.

Stevie:
Alliances are the way to go. Everybody likes seeing different talent mixing it up. Keeps things fresh and means promoters can share some of the fiscal load. We’d need several groups worldwide to combine in order for WWE to face any sort of vague challenge these days.

Dion:
TNA do appear to have a solid fanbase in the UK and their working agreement with Japan was a must for them to tap in to that market. But I can’t see them having much success in other countries. Even Canada would be a stretch.

Blake:
Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it possible with any currently existing promotion? I doubt it. I feel alliances and working agreements will be the standard for the foreseeable future, but that is certainly not a bad thing.

 

5. Bad News Barrett’s injury has forced him to vacate the Intercontinental Championship. Who are you hoping will be the next titleholder?

David:
I wouldn’t mind seeing Cesaro pick up the title for the time being. Is there anyone more intercontinental than the Swiss Superman?

Luke:
Hard choice but right now if I had to put that strap on anyone it would be Cesaro or Roman Reigns. Especially Reigns because I truly believe he isn’t ready yet for the WWE championship and an IC run would push him as a singles competitor and show us that he is main event talent.

Stevie:
Poor Bad Luck Barrett. He’s never going to catch a break, is he? My pick is Cesaro, unless they’re planning bigger things for him. But all the injuries recently have shaken up their plans so much, I can’t imagine they’ve had a chance to focus on long-term stories.

Dion:
It’s a real shame for Barrett and I hope he’s able to regain the cult following he was building. As for who’s next? Perhaps Cesaro or Dolph Ziggler.

Blake:
Ryback! I kid, I kid; of course the answer is Dolph Ziggler.