Money in the Bank ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Kane
The easiest way to preview this match is by looking at why or why not each competitor should be the champion moving forward.
Alberto Del Rio: He shouldn't be the champion. Period. In fact, I'm struggling to understand why he's in this match, with the exception of the fact they needed someone to eat all those pinfalls in the 4-on-3 tag matches building to this match.
Sheamus: Despite being the United States Champion and generally winning most of his matches since his return from injury at the Royal Rumble, it really feels like the Celtic Warrior is just spinning his wheels. He hasn't had a feud to really dig into but he's over, has a history of being a main event player, and is a credible opponent for top-level heels. That's why he's in this match. Perhaps some sort of feud can come out of it, but he certainly shouldn't be in consideration to win it.
Kane: Story-line wise, The Demon should've been in this match from the get-go because he's technicaly the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship. But it's now being played out that Kane was basically a hired assassin for the Authority to defeat Daniel Bryan and was only added to this match to protect Randy Orton and ensure he wins. It would be interesting if Kane, who Triple H and Stephanie have said on many occassions can't be controlled, even though it's clear they are controlling him, goes rougue and attacks Orton, but realistically, he can't be considered a serious contender to win this thing, right?
Cesaro: If I'm picking a dark horse to win and shock the world, Cesaro would be it. He's a future world champion, no doubt about that, and the only reason the timing would really work is because of a potential feud with Brock Lesnar, who presumably is getting a title shot at SummerSlam, and a break-up with Paul Heyman. I just don't think WWE is ready to go down that path, though, and Cesaro has a lot of mileage left as a heel. I do think he'll be the MVP of this match, doling out a couple of memorable spots -- both offensively and taking bumps.
Roman Reigns: Here is WWE's next breakout star and, heading into the match, no one has been given more shine on TV than Roman Reigns. But just like Daniel Bryan a year ago, there needs to be some time to really heat him up before he wins the gold -- likely at WrestleMania 31, at least that's what I'd do if I were booking things. He'll have a good showing here, but ultimately, get screwed over by the Authority, feuding with Kane, Orton and Triple H over the next few months. BTW, I'd love to see him and someone else -- maybe Del Rio -- recreate the memorable ladder match spot where Edge jumped off a ladder and speared a dangling Jeff Hardy. Spots like that in this type of match will get Reigns over more than he already is.
Randy Orton: Obviously, in storyline, the Viper is the one the Authority is favoring in this match, and if the plan is to building the Authority and their cronies back up, then Orton winning -- likely with an assist from Kane and Triple H -- is certainly a way to go. It would also set the course for an Orton-Lesnar match at SummerSlam, something officials were reportedly high on when Lesnar returned, but doesn't seem like would be a great draw right now. If Orton wins, it's because he'll be losing the title next month at Battleground.
John Cena: Unfortunately, unless Daniel Bryan expects to be back by Battleground, then John Cena would probaby be Orton's opponent at the PPV if the Apex Predator were to win the title, and judging from the crowd reaction the last time these two faced off at the Royal Rumble, I don't think that's a good idea. However, if Bryan isn't back by SummerSlam -- and we should have a better idea on that after the pre-show tonight -- then Cena becomes the most credible opponent for Lesnar to face with the WWE World Championship on the line in a big money match. WWE might've actually spoiled that plan earlier this week when the SummerSlam poster leaked, and for that reason only, Cena isn't my odds-on-favorite because I think WWE will change the narrative just a bit and the winner of the match will be ...
Bray Wyatt: Coming off his loss to Cena in the Last Man Standing match at Payback, I think Wyatt's heat and momentum has been cooled off considerably, and it wouldn't take much for him to fall away into the mid-card without a big victory soon. Winning the title -- and having the entire Wyatt Family holding championships for at least the next few weeks -- would definitely shake things up in WWE. You could even get the Authority involved in the storyline, as they might not want the crazed Wyatts as champions, especially if Wyatt becomes power-hungry. Now you have options -- you could actually turn Bray face and feud him with the Authority (unlikely, although I don't think a feud with the Authority is out of the question, even if he remains heel and the Authority become 'tweeners, or vice versa); you could have him finish his feud with Cena with a title match at Battleground, where Cena gets the title; or if Daniel Bryan is ready to return, you could transition him into a championship feud with Wyatt, with whom Bryan has unfinished business dating back to his last singles loss at the Royal Rumble. While it's hard to pick against John Cena, especially in a title match and in his hometown of Boston, I think WWE is going to give us something unexpected tonight.
WINNER: And NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Bray Wyatt