The Money in the Bank ladder match is one of the most exciting matches of the WWE calendar year and this year it is exclusive to the SmackDown Live brand and WWE has made this years match a star-studded affair. With the six biggest names on the roster all competing for one of the richest prizes in the industry, the match has high expectations and is incredibly difficult to predict with every competitor being a worthy future WWE Champion.
However, some men would benefit more from the boost that the briefcase provides and with that said; let's predict who will walk out with the contract next Sunday.
6. AJ Styles
There aren't many situations where AJ Styles would be considered the least likely to win a match, but when it comes to this year's Money in the Bank, this writer believes he is the least likely to be walking away with the prize.The briefcase itself tends to work best when with a heel and considering AJ's recent face turn, it is unlikely he will be turning back anytime soon.
Styles is also strong enough on his own to not need the briefcase as he is arguably the best wrestler in the entire company and certainly the most popular wrestler on the blue brand, behind perhaps only John Cena. Styles also has unfinished business with Kevin Owens over the United States Championship meaning he can quickly move on to that before potentially feuding with Jinder Mahal or finally giving fans a dream match against Randy Orton. He simply does not need to win the Money in the Bank this year.
5. Shinsuke Nakamura
Whilst Shinsuke Nakamura has been booked incredibly strong since making his main roster debut something about him being the Money in the Bank holder does not feel right and again, like AJ Styles, he does not need it to get to the main event spot.
Nakamura is a star and WWE clearly has big plans for him, but it is hard to see a moment where he teases cashing in the briefcase or even cashes it in at all. His whole character is built around being the King of Strong Style, putting on hard-hitting classic matches, not sneaking to a victory when the champion is hurt; the briefcase simply would not suit his character.
4. Dolph Ziggler
The Showoff arguably needs to win this match more than anybody to re-establish himself as a main event wrestler before he slips back into the mid-card abyss. Dolph Ziggler deserves to be in the main event spot, he has everything you could wish for in an elite WWE superstar and has proven himself time and time again and now should be rewarded with the chance to get back up to that spot.
Ziggler's previous cash in is one of the greatest in history and with his new heel character it could work brilliantly and him winning this match would certainly be a major surprise considering who is involved. However, the fact that Ziggler has been there and done that makes it less likely that the WWE will want to give him the case as it seems like they have given up on one final major push for Ziggler.
3. Kevin Owens
Despite the fact he is the current United States Champion and the longest reigning Universal Champion in history (as of this writing), meaning he has the star power to not need the briefcase; having that power would suit KO's character perfectly.
Owens is a heel in the truest form and seeing him antagonize a WWE Champion with the possibility of cashing in could be incredibly entertaining. It could also be a slow-burning story as he wouldn't need to cash in straight away but could tease being both US and WWE Champion and eventually cash it in whenever he drops the US title.
2. Sami Zayn
The Underdog from the Underground, the nickname, and his character booking just works with winning this match. He has scratched and clawed at getting to the main event level but just missed out on several occasions, yet this win could catapult him to that platform without anybody being able to hold him back.
The only argument against Sami Zayn winning would be that he is too much of a good guy, but we have seen wrestlers cash in by giving opponents warning before and then having a stellar match and that could be the method Sami uses as well. Fans have been crying out for him to be given a shot at the main event level and his work in NXT is proof that he has the ability to make it work, this could be his entry point.
1. Baron Corbin
As mentioned earlier, the Money in the Bank works best on a heel and there aren't many better natural heels that Baron Corbin in the WWE. It is crystal clear that the company has big hopes for the Lone Wolf who has improved an incredible amount both in the ring and on the microphone and this victory would push him to the very top.
As someone who has never held a championship in WWE, it would be fresh having him as champion and he has shown countless times that he has no problem in sneaking up on his opponents; which works brilliantly with the briefcase and the gimmick that goes with it. Baron Corbin is the perfect choice to win this match and use it as the platform that establishes himself as a main event level talent for the future.