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SmackDown sets sights on Money In The Bank

Aaron Oster
Contact ReporterFor The Baltimore Sun

Coming off of the Backlash pay-per-view, SmackDown immediately put that in their rear view window and turned toward the next show, one of the biggest on the calendar.

Money in the Bank has risen in prominence over the past few years, to the point where many fans consider it to be the fourth most important pay-per-view on the calendar.

After all, the Money in the Bank briefcase is one of the more interesting devices the WWE has in the repertoire, and the winner becomes one of the more prominent wrestlers in the company. So it was a bit of a surprise to see the show relegated to a SmackDown-only show. However, with the match announcement made Tuesday night, it became very apparent why Raw isn't needed on the show.

Shane McMahon kicked off the show by coming out and announcing that there would be five competitors for the Money in the Bank briefcase at the show: A.J. Styles, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler and Shinsuke Nakamura.

Kevin Owens quickly, and correctly, pointed out that not only was he U.S. Champion, he had beaten Styles on the previous night, and was added as the sixth man to the match. While this may not be the most star-studded Money in the Bank match ever, it's almost certainly the group with the best match potential.

Five of these guys are some of the top wrestlers in the company, and four of them have thrived in ladder matches in the past. While Baron Corbin may seem like the odd man out, he also adds that power dynamic into the match, which always makes a multi-man ladder match better.

Now, this assumes that all six make it to the match. All of them were put together in matches on SmackDown. Nakamura and Styles beat Owens and Ziggler in the main event.

However, for storyline purposes, the more relevant match was Corbin getting a rematch against Zayn. Zayn won in mere seconds with a rollup. This set Corbin into a rage, and he beat Sami around ringside and through the crowd before EMTs got there and stretchered Zayn off. Most likely this is simply a way to build some more heat before Money in the Bank, but it's not completely out of the question that they pull him from the match.

We're set for a pretty epic ladder match next month at Money in the Bank, one where you could make a compelling argument for any of the competitors to win it. The big question is just how they get there at this point.

The Rest of SmackDown Live:

--The other big announcement that Shane McMahon made was that Jinder Mahal would defend the WWE title at Money in the Bank against Randy Orton. This is a relatively unsurprising announcement, except for the fact that Rusev seemed to be waiting in the wings, demanding a shot at the show. Do not be surprised if this turns into a triple-threat, which could add a lot to the match.

The relationship between Rusev and Jinder Mahal would be a primary point, and an interesting one to spice up what would be a most-likely pedantic build for a one-on-one match. Jinder Mahal did get to show off more of his personality on Tuesday night, as they had a full celebration for his title win, complete with Punjabi dancers.

--Becky Lynch and Charlotte beat Natalya and Carmella after Becky forced Carmella to tap out. This led to a segment backstage where all four of these women, plus Tamina, went to McMahon asking for a shot at the title. McMahon made a No. 1 contender match for next week with all of them. A report had been going around on Tuesday that for the first time, there would be a Money in the Bank ladder match for the women at the show. This would seemingly preclude that if the match goes off without a hitch next week. It wouldn't surprise me if we got a non-finish to lead to the ladder match.

--Tyler Breeze and Fandango each had singles matches against the Usos, back to back. And both of them won their matches via quick rollups. This caused the Fashion Police to call for a rematch for the tag titles, which The Usos accepted, right away. After a good back and forth match, the Usos ended up winning as Jey hit a splash on Fandango immediately after Fandango hit the Last Dance on Jimmy. As entertaining as the Fashion Police have been over the past month, it seems likely that this way a way to shuffle them aside for The New Day's arrival on SmackDown Live.

Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout

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