The women’s Money in the Bank match lacks a clear favorite

Zelina Vega, WWE (photo courtesy of WWE)
Zelina Vega, WWE (photo courtesy of WWE) /

So far, WWE fans know who seven of the eight women’s Money in the Bank ladder match participants will be. The septet of Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Asuka, Nikki A.S.H., Liv Morgan, Zelina Vega, and Natalya will vie for a women’s championship match that the winner can cash in at any point throughout the calendar year.

To say that this group is an eclectic one is akin to saying it gets a little warm in Arizona during the summer. The field also doesn’t feature a wrester that the fans can point to as the favorite. That seems like an odd statement to make considering the inclusion of former winners Asuka and Bliss, but WWE’s odd booking choices have led to a scenario in which no one sticks out more than the other as a potential winner.

WWE’s booking has hampered the women’s Money in the Bank combatants.

In terms of why this is the case, we can turn to a familiar perpetrator: Vince McMahon and his creative team (mostly McMahon, though). In some form or fashion, they have more or less told the viewers that none of these women are credible threats to win the Raw or SmackDown Women’s Championships.

Let’s review how McMahon and the writers have accomplished this. Naomi, who fans yearn to see WWE get behind creatively, was used to get (sigh) Eva Marie and (bigger sigh for the name) Doudrop over (neither are in the MitB match). Natalya, who is the co-holder of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, took a pinfall loss to Shotzi Blackheart on the July 9 episode of SmackDown, only to be placed in the ladder match by Sonya Deville; Natalya followed this up with a pinfall loss to Rhea Ripley.

Bliss is probably the most protected wrestler in the match, but she also has the most polarizing gimmick. Let’s just say WWE shouldn’t tempt fate by giving this version of the character the briefcase. Vega lost her first match back, on the same night she was announced for the multi-woman bout.

Nikki A.S.H. is one of the few women who have garnered something resembling momentum, but WWE’s rashness in attempting to ground her new gimmick with that “Almost a Superhero” moniker has overshadowed the wins she’s picked up. Morgan is on a winning streak, but only attained entry into the match as a replacement for Carmella, who will herself replace the injured Bayley as SmackDown Women’s Champ Bianca Belair’s next challenger (despite being on a losing streak).

All of these women have their fans, and there’s no reason why WWE couldn’t push any of them after winning the contract, but the promotion has failed in creating a compelling reason why anyone should want to see any of them win this match.

Of course, with that final spot still open, that could be by design. If someone the caliber of Becky Lynch or Sasha Banks fills that opening, then you have your clear favorite and compelling story, thus rendering everything you just read moot.

That still doesn’t excuse WWE for how they’ve built to this match. They had an opportunity to promote this women’s MitB match as the “most unpredictable” or “most wide-open field” ever while giving each woman time to explain what winning the match would mean to them.

Instead, we got hypnosis and Eva Marie.

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The women deserved a better story heading into Money in the Bank, but if nothing else (unless a big name takes the eighth spot), it will be nice to see them pick a relatively fresh face to insert into the women’s title picture.