They say that money changes everything. So what does it mean for the six Superstars who will risk life and limb climbing a ladder in pursuit of the coveted Money in the Bank contract, which guarantees a WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match to whomever holds it within the span of a year?
For Kevin Owens, it means vindication. The Prizefighter came into WWE a year ago with a massive chip on his shoulder, beating John Cena and dubbing this place “The Kevin Owens Show” almost as soon as he walked through the door. He has earned two Intercontinental Titles since then, and a Money in the Bank contract would go a long way toward fulfilling KO’s promise to take over and remake WWE in his image.
For Cesaro, it’s a chance to put lingering doubts to rest. It’s his first time in a Money in the Bank Match on his own (his previous two outings at Money in the Bank were under the tutelages of Zeb Colter and Paul Heyman), and not a minute too soon: The King of Swing seems to have finally found his stride, and if not for outrageous circumstances, he’d have won the Intercontinental Title from The Miz twice now. All those questions about whether he’s fit to grab to the brass ring could be answered if he ascends the ladder and seizes the precious briefcase. At the very least it’d go nice with that suit of his.
For Sami Zayn, on the other hand, it’s a matter of destiny. “The Underdog from the Underground” is the New Era’s resident journeyman, having overcome a decade-plus path through the independent scene and a couple of nasty injuries to make it to WWE, where he immediately captured the WWE Universe’s heart. He has been locked in a struggle with longtime rival Owens since the day he got here, but one gets the sense that Zayn has always set his sights on bigger and better things than one man.
For Chris Jericho, there is nothing – and no one – bigger than himself. The Ayatollah of Rock ’n’ Rolla has bestowed the “Gift of Jericho” to the WWE Universe for weeks, insisting his own magnificence is enough to validate the continued existence of WWE programming. He has a point: The six-time World Champion famously invented the Money in the Bank Ladder Match itself, but he’s never actually won it. For a Superstar who considers himself “The Best in the World at What He Does,” nothing less than a championship contract will satisfy him. Drink it in, man.
For Alberto Del Rio, it’s a chance to return to the upper echelon of excellence. The Pride of Mexico is already a Money in the Bank contract-winner, having successfully redeemed his own briefcase for a WWE Title back in 2011. This is one of the few opportunities Del Rio has really had to reclaim the ultimate prize for himself since returning in 2015. He’ll claw at the chance with all the power available to him. But of course, you already know that.
And then there’s Dean Ambrose, who … well, it’s unwise to even fathom what goes on in the mind of The Lunatic Fringe. This is a man, after all, who threw Chris Jericho onto a pile of thumbtacks to avenge a month’s worth of slights. But one thing’s for sure: Ambrose has been the perennial runner-up to the WWE World Heavyweight Title since November, coming in second in a title tournament at Survivor Series, second in the Royal Rumble Match that made Triple H champion and narrowly losing a title match at WWE Roadblock in February. Crazy or not, that has to sting. And smart money says he has had enough.