Before we go any further, see what I did with the title, guys? Brief Case? Briefcase? Nah, it’s over your heads.
On Sunday, June 17th, WWE will air Money in the Bank live from the Allstate Arena in Chicago. For the second time ever, the event will feature a women’s Money in the Bank ladder match featuring eight of the finest female wrestlers in the world vying for the Money in the Bank Briefcase. Talents such as Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch will all be competing for the guaranteed championship opportunity that the briefcase presents; however, to this writer there’s one option that stands heads and tails above the rest as the best possible option for Ms. Money in the Bank.
No, that’s not a joke, and yes, I’m offended that you’d think that. In less than three weeks’ time, the Ravishing Russian will compete in her first-ever ladder match, and frankly there’s no better candidate to claim the MITB Briefcase than the third member of Rusev Day.
Why, you ask? Here’s why!
She’s Too Popular to Not Win a Title….
While Rusev Day may be the most over gimmick in WWE at the moment, Lana’s popularity extends beyond the origins of her husband’s holiday. Since debuting on the main roster in 2014, Lana has arguably been more popular than the wrestler she manages; even during Rusev’s most villainous days, Lana was consistently eliciting cheers from the WWE Universe. It’s difficult to remember a time that Lana wasn’t beloved by the WWE Universe, frankly; in fact, her initial departure as Rusev’s manager came due to the fact that she was too popular to be part of a heel gimmick. I mean, we got the atrocious Ziggler/Rusev/Lana/Summer Rae storyline out of it, but I digress.
However, Lana may now be more popular than ever. As part of Rusev Day with her husband and pseudo-valet Aiden English, the trio consistently earn the loudest pops of the night regardless of which city they’re in. Unfortunately, the trio has earned stop-and-start pushes since the gimmick began in September 2017; for example, while Rusev was able to earn his way into the United States Championship match at WrestleMania 34, he was the recipient of the winning pinfall that night. There hasn’t been a true statement victory by Rusev Day, and I think that a signature win from one of it’s members could push the faction into the upper echelon of not only Smackdown Live, but WWE as a whole. An eventual MITB win and cash-in could be huge for the trio; even if Lana were only to be a transitional champion, in my opinion the reaction to her championship victory would be similar to that of Zack Ryder at WrestleMania 32.
…but She Can’t Win it Clean.
Two weeks ago, Lana earned her first singles victory in the WWE, defeating Billie Kay of the IIconics to secure her spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match. It was a surprising victory for a number of reasons; it was surprising to see someone who’d debuted so recently take a loss in such an important match. While both Kay and her partner Peyton Royce have been presented well on the main roster, neither have secured a victory since their first tag team match on the main roster. However, the surprise wasn’t in the fact that Kay lost, but rather that Lana was able to win a singles match.
Look, there’s really no way to put this nicely; Lana’s gimmick is that she’s a bad wrestler. Do I believe the reputation is fully deserved? Honestly, not really; while the Ravishing Russian isn’t an in-ring competitor on the level of Charlotte Flair or Tessa Blanchard, Lana has steadily improved in the ring since her admittedly poor debut at WrestleMania 32. However, the reality of the situation is that WWE has buried Lana’s in-ring ability to the point that it’s difficult to believe that she’s capable of winning a match on her own. Even her victory over Billie Kay two weeks ago was surprising, and that’s a win coming over a foe who’s not exactly been booked like a world beater, either. However, as mentioned earlier, she’s simply too popular with the WWE Universe not to hold a title at some point; so how does one get the championship on the Ravishing Russian?
Simple. She cashes in.
Cashing in a Money in the Bank Briefcase would be the perfect way to have Lana earn her first championship gold. Rusev Day are in the prime position of a ready-to-turn heel team; should Lana cash in on a heel like Carmella, it would solidify not only her but the entire Rusev Day faction firmly as faces. A turn is necessary for the group, and this would be a perfect way to do so. Lana’s not in need of a long title reign; even a short spell as champion could do wonders for her legitimacy as a wrestler.
Could It Actually Happen?
It’s marginal, but I don’t think Lana’s a complete long shot, either. There’s valid reasons for Lana to win the briefcase, and it could take Smackdown’s women’s division in an interesting direction going forward.
What do you think, Win Column’ers? Could the Ravishing Russian pull off an upset victory? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us at @WCSportsCA!