Sigh: Once again, John Cena will be Money in the Bank.
Isn’t wrestling just a fantasy? The characters, the storylines, the angles. They bait you in and you can’t quit following along for the ride. I’ve been very much at the head of the bandwagon for the past 18 years, with unfortunately no end in sight. I have been watching professional wrestling closely for even longer than I’ve been playing fantasy sports (which comes in at a measly 13 years). Now, thanks to Kountermove I am now able to combine the wrestling fantasy story with true fantasy sports. Other websites have tried putting together fantasy professional wrestling. Hell, WWE once tried to create their own game. However, due to the built in difficulties with WWE (ie. The winners are predetermined, so playing a fantasy game based strictly on wins and losses seems relatively pointless) the game has never been successful. I believe Kountermove has solved this issue.
Much like Kountermove’s success with a UFC fantasy game, essentially, you are playing a daily fantasy game based around professional wrestling. You have a salary cap and can choose a team of wrestlers. Your wrestlers (or as Vince McMahon would prefer you call them, the superstars) are scored based on how many punches thrown, how many big moves hit, and then of course the victory. It allows you to include John Cena every time (the wrestling equivalent of Miguel Cabrera for daily fantasy baseball players), but also be very successful in including a bumping machine like Dolph Ziggler all the time as well. The full rule breakdown for the game can be found here.
This Sunday, WWE presents its latest pay per view (but really just special event, as it comes with the WWE Network), Money in the Bank. MITB is the latest inclusion to the ‘Big 5’ pay per views for WWE, after the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Summerslam, and Survivor Series. Some may argue that Survivor Series should no longer be included in this grouping, but that’s for a different column. If the Royal Rumble is the kickoff to the road to WrestleMania, WWE has made Money in the Bank the kickoff to Summerslam. They’ve pushed MITB up a month from its traditional July home, to the end of June so they can have a full two month build to their second biggest event of the year, Summerslam, in August.
Traditionally, Money in the Bank features a Money in the Bank match, which is a multi man ladder match with the winner being the man that climbs the ladder and grabs a briefcase. Inside the briefcase is a contract for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at any time of the winner’s choosing. So theoretically, the winner of the MITB contract is guaranteed to be a future champion. (Unless your name is Damien Sandow. Then you are just guaranteed to be Abraham Lincoln).
In past editions of the pay per view, there have been two world titles, and thus two matches for two briefcases. This year, with the titles having been unified, there is only one contract. However, an injury to Daniel Bryan, has forced WWE to due a multi-man ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Bryan, legitimately, hurt his neck after years of head butts, dropkicks, and just really really ridiculously good wrestling. After stalling to see how long Bryan would be gone, WWE realized that Bryan is out for the foreseeable future, so the company needs a new champion. Presumptively waiting in the wings of the new champion is former UFC/WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar, fresh off defeating the Undertaker at WrestleMania and ending the greatest streak in all of sports (Joe DiMaggio? Never heard of him). Lesnar is on a part time deal with WWE and wrestles about four times a year. It has been assumed that he would main event Summerslam against Bryan. Now with Bryan out, Lesnar needs a new opponent, WWE needs a new main event, and they need to make sure it’s right.
Let’s run down the participants in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match in reverse order of their chances to win: