The Miz has the MITB briefcase once again but this is another step in the trend is mismanaging that opportunity to establish a new name in wrestling.
Professional wrestling is a scripted industry in which promotions can adjust and change decisions on the fly. However, there’s still time when the choices made cause fans to cringe and shake their heads. That has been the response to the use of the Money in the Bank briefcase in 2020. On Monday it was handed back to The Miz after a “technicality” in how it was cashed in at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs a few days later. The response was not positive and is yet another misstep in how that important career boost has been mishandled in 2020.
Heading into Raw it was presented as The Miz had failed to cash in the briefcase when Drew McIntyre retained his title at the TLC PPV. Adam Pearce informed him that the technicality of John Morrison cashing in allows The Miz to keep the briefcase. Great. Now what?
The Miz tricked and cheated his way to obtaining the briefcase this year from Otis. Otis, who won the briefcase at Money in the Bank back in May. Otis’s victory was immediately met with disdain because wrestling fans recognized that he should not be in that position at the time. Otis is seen as more of a “joke” character and that came through in his work as a member of Heavy Machinery and when paired with Mandy Rose.
And look at what occurred. Otis was removed from television, Rose was sent over to Raw in the WWE Draft, ending their on-screen relationship and then Tucker split from Otis at Hell in a Cell, costing Otis the briefcase that night. But it is not doing much better in The Miz’s hands. He is not a threat to Roman Reigns or Drew McIntyre. Plus, at this point in his career there is not a loud push for him to be given additional shots at the title or even a true reign. Yes, The Miz is talented and has risen to the occasion at times, but now is not one of those moments as wrestling fans continue to push WWE to create something new and engaging.
But this issue is not new. Counting the Miz’s cash in at TLC, three of the last four winners of the men’s briefcase have lost their bids at becoming champion. The briefcase is a tool that should be used to elevate a rising star into the main event scene, but WWE Creative seems to have forgotten that step.
Remember the excitement for Dean Ambrose’s cash in on Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank 2016? He would snatch the title away from Rollins and win the belt on a night where all three members of The Shield held the title in some form. What about Dolph Ziggler’s cash in on Raw in 2013? Another big moment. And do not forget about Edge’s 2006 cash in to win the title with the very first briefcase. All those are major, career-defining moments that WWE has failed to create with the briefcase in the last four years.
The women’s MITB briefcase is three years in and has been used better, helping to build and advance storylines with Carmella, Alexa Bliss, and Bayley. Unfortunately, the lack of direction for that division can only create anxiety around if this positive trend will continue. With names like Mandy Rose, Bianca Belair, Dana Brooke, and others, there are new faces in the women’s division that can use this opportunity to establish themselves in the future.
2020 has been a confusing year for many people and industries. WWE fans are unsurprisingly puzzled by the lack of creativity coming out of the biggest organization in the industry. The use of the MITB briefcase this year is yet another example. Here is to hope it is improved in the years to come.