Thursday, July 21, 2011

2011 MITB Thoughts: Ryan, Del Rio & Punk

The 2011 Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View was certainly worth the price of ordering as it had at least one surprise winner, a few guys getting taken away on stretchers, and CM Punk making good on his promise to take the WWE Championship belt away from the WWE Universe.

In the first match of the night, fans were shocked to see Daniel Bryan capture the briefcase in Smackdown's MITB match. Bryan broke the tradition of having a heel wrestler usually win the briefcase. At last year's event, it was Kane and The Miz grabbing the MITB cases, both heels. Other winners in the past have included CM Punk, Edge and Mr. Kennedy. Punk and Rob Van Dam were two of the few wrestlers to win when they weren't quite heels. Punk would go on to become one.

That brings us to CM Punk who was able to defeat John Cena in a fantastic main event on this past Sunday. The two wrestlers certainly put on a show with plenty of near falls and false hope finishes. The crowd was clearly in favor of Punk, with Cena generating plenty of response against him. It had that big fight atmosphere you might see in UFC or boxing, making for a worthy finish to the PPV. There was almost a Montreal Screwjob by Vince, but Cena wouldn't allow it. That brief moment of distraction, gave Punk the opportunity to win the WWE Championship on the final night of his WWE Contract. The last images seen were Punk hightailing it through the concessions area of the Chicago arena, clutching the WWE belt. It appears the plan is to have Punk promote WWE on various talk shows from here forth, while WWE will keep with the "not mentioning a certain wrestler's name" theme.

Back to the MITB winners, Alberto Del Rio claimed the Raw briefcase and nearly cashed in on Punk after the main event. There was never a bell or official match, so Del Rio still has his opportunity. Some are predicting that Del Rio could be the first MITB winner not to cash in. However, it seems like this guy is in line to become a champion at some point, hence his being drafted over to WWE Raw. It'll be interesting to see how soon Del Rio cashes in, and if there is some sort of controversy with Punk returning and there being 2 WWE titles floating around. The upcoming WWE Championship Tournament Match would seem to favor The Miz as the next guy to reclaim the title, for his second reign.

As for Daniel Bryan, initial thoughts on his win are that someone else might beat him to take away the briefcase, such as Sheamus or Wade Barrett. That's not taking away anything from Bryan, but it seems he's too early in his WWE career to carry a major title. However, it'd be great to see him cash in on Christian, and he certainly had the opportunity after 2 RKO's on the new champ Sunday night. Time will tell, who is converting Money in the Bank to WWE Championship gold.

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