Money in the Bank – it could be a choice of name that comes back to haunt the WWE. A series of questionable scheduling decisions will now see what is still a relatively minor pro wrestling event competing with UFC 276 for PPV viewers.
Canadian broadcaster Ariel Helwani is one of the most respected voices in a sport in which hyperbole can often drown out objective journalism. Talking on his YouTube channel, The MMA Hour, a fan asked whether he would be splitting his time to cover both events. His reply was unequivocal, describing the scheduling as a “massive blunder” by the WWE.
He pointed out that UFC 276 is arguably the biggest fight card of 2022 so far. Even with a lesser card, casual followers of combat sports are more likely to spend their PPV money on UFC or to bet on UFC fights on Unibet over a relatively minor WWE event.
A PR disaster
Money in the Bank has already been on the receiving end of some of that hyperbole we mentioned before Helwani’s measured comments. Former WWE fighter CM Punk wasted no time in trolling his former paymasters on Instagram after they felt obliged to downgrade the venue from the Allegiance Stadium to the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
To put that into context, it’s a move from a 65,000 seater stadium to a 17,000 capacity arena and was in reaction to ticket sales being “slower than expected.”
So who’s on the card anyway?
The UFC 276 clash is clearly not helping as far as attendees are concerned. But fight card confusion and a number of changes to who will be there on the night will also have discouraged ticket buyers, or at least will have prompted them to leave the decision till the eleventh hour.
Many of the big names who were prominent on the original flyer for Allegiance Stadium are conspicuous by their absence from the new one. Still, the card is now starting to take shape and despite the waves of media negativity, it still looks like it has the power to shape up to be a night to remember.
For the men’s ladder, four of the eight names are now inked in, with Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre and Omos confirmed for a shot at that famous briefcase. Of the other four spots up for grabs, one will be awarded to the winner of an upcoming encounter between Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn.
As for the women’s ladder, five are confirmed: Lacey Evans, Liv Morgan, Alexa Bliss, Asuka and Raquel Rodriguez, with three more names to be confirmed over the coming week or so.
In addition to the ladder matches, there are several title matches scheduled. The most mouth-watering is Natalya challenging Ronda Rousey for her SmackDown women’s championship title. We’ll also see Bianca Belair defending her Raw Women’s title against Carmella, Theory taking Bobby Lashley’s challenge in the United States Championship and The Street Profits attempting to wrest tag team supremacy from The Usos.