OK, so we got some major developments this week on RAW to start setting up Money in the Bank. A shocking heel turn, the first entry into the main event of the upcoming show, and a possible special stipulation for that main event. We also got a foreshadowing of a possible title match for the show and the continuation of an angle that took a turn at the Payback show this past Sunday. Where's it all going? Let's see:
- The WWE World Title Situation - For the moment, Daniel Bryan has been scheduled to face Kane in a stretcher match for the title. That is, if Bryan recovers from his neck surgery in time to compete. This is an example of life and art coming together. Bryan's recovery is reportedly going slower than everyone would like, and if he can't go at Money in the Bank then company really will have to put the title on someone else. That would be a shame, both in real life and for storyline purposes, but the fact is you can't go on for months and months with no World title matches on pay per view events. Which leads us to...
- The Special Stipulation - The Money in the Bank match is usually the main event for the show, with a title match whenever you want it as the prize. If Bryan can't go, then the match will be for the title itself. I hope this doesn't happen because a major source of drama, the moment over the next year the Money in the Bank winner 'cashes in' and gets his title match, will be eliminated. The Money in the Bank cash-in is always a fun part of the WWE year and it would really suck to not have it this year.
- The Money in the Bank Match itself - We got out first entrant into the match from a RAW match between Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler, both former Money in the Bank winners themselves. Del Rio got the win and he's in the match. Nobody expects Del Rio to win either the Money in the Bank match at the big show whether it's for the usual cash-in opportunity or the title itself. Who gets in the match will be a tell as to what's going on with Bryant. If we get six guys who are all former or potential champions, then it's a good bet that Bryan won't be ready to come back yet. On the other hand if we get a few more obvious losers and one or two guys that would be instant champion material, then it's a good sign that Bryan will be able to go.
- Who else is going in? - Good question. In addition to Del Rio I figure Cena will be in there, Cesaro, maybe Bray Wyatt, Kane (if Bryan can't go), and somebody representing the Authority. Which leads us to.....
- The big turn - In a shocker, Seth Rollins turned on his Shield-mates and joined the Authority. This was a genuine surprise in that no one saw it coming. I figured the whole Shield-Authority thing had run its course with the way things went at Payback, but I was wrong. Not sure where this ends up. Rollins was at one time considered the lesser member of the Shield because he couldn't talk as well as Dean Ambrose and he's not the imposing figure that Roman Reigns is. But in recent months he's carved out a really good space for himself with his high flying ring work and underrated speaking skills, so it's not like he needed the boost that will come with being part of the Authority all that desperately. But it was a good swerve because everyone had the arrogant Ambrose pegged for the heel turn that was coming for some part of the trio. Rollins also provides a more than capable fill in for Batista, who's out promoting his movie for the next several weeks. I suspect Rollins will find his way into the Money in the Bank match
- Other developments - Rowan and Harper look to be starting something with the Usos, based on their helping out John Cena at Payback, and the match they had at RAW. I bet there will be a tag team title match at Money in the Bank between the two. I have no idea where this Goldust-Cody Rhodes thing is going.