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Theory shocked the word at WWE Money in the Bank 2022, stealing the Money in the Bank briefcase after being announced at the last minute by WWE official Adam Pearce.
Theory lost his United States Championship to Bobby Lashley earlier in the night, but amid rumors of a big match against John Cena, Vince McMahon’s hand-picked star received a reprieve by the end of the night.
The men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match featured Seth Rollins, Riddle, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Omos, Sami Zayn and Madcap Moss, who earned the final spot after winning a Fatal 4-Way match in the SmackDown main event.
Riddle, Rollins and McIntyre were the clear frontrunners in this field, all of whom were listed as the Top 3 favorites per Betonline. Despite his recent string of losses, Riddle was the overwhelming people’s choice to win amid his surge in popularity as part of RK-Bro. Riddle overachieved in the ratings alongside Roman Reigns on the June 17 broadcast of SmackDown.
Despite coming up short in the main event, SmackDown’s second hour saw an average viewership of 2.362 million, with almost three million viewers for the main event segment. Though Reigns is SmackDown’s biggest needle mover, there was clearly interest in Riddle chasing the WWE Universal Championship.
A Seth Rollins victory could have set the stage for a repeat of the “Heist of the Century,” where Rollins crashed the WrestleMania 31 main event between Brock Lesnar and Reigns, ultimately pinning Reigns to win his first WWE Championship. With Reigns and Lesnar in yet another pay-per-view main event at SummerSlam, WWE—which never shies away from recreating its own history—had a golden opportunity to rehash a “Heist” sequel more than seven years later.
Drew McIntyre has all but promised he will be Roman Reigns’ opponent for September’s Clash at the Castle premium live event in Cardiff, Wales, WWE’s first pay-per-view in the United Kingdom in 30 years. McIntyre already challenged Reigns to a match the event on the June 3, 2022 broadcast of SmackDown. McIntyre has also been open in interviews about possibly winning a world championship in his home continent.
“I’m a two-time WWE champion, but I never won the title in front of our fans,” McIntyre told Sports Illustrated (h/t SEScoops.com).
“My dream situation is fighting for the title against Roman at the UK show. There is going to be such intense anticipation for that event. That would be a match, atmosphere-wise, that people would always remember.”
The Scottish-born McIntyre slaying Roman Reigns in Europe would certainly make for a feel-good moment, and winning the Money in the Bank only for the babyface to valiantly announce his cash-in ahead of the event could have been a route for McIntyre.
With all due respect to the rest of the field, Omos, Sheamus, Madcap Moss and Sami Zayn were more/less window dressing as WWE continues to struggle to create new challengers for Reigns. As of this writing, Sami Zayn had the best odds of the four underdogs at +700, while Sheamus pulled up the rear at +3300.
WWE Men’s Money in the Bank Betting Odds
- Seth Rollins | -150
- Drew McIntyre | +225
- Riddle | +350
- Sami Zayn | +700
- Omos | +1800
- Madcap Moss | +2200
- Sheamus | +3300
WWE Money in the Bank presents WWE with a rare opportunity to potentially dethrone Roman Reigns, something that has not even come close to happening since his reign began in August of 2020. As entertaining as Reigns’ title run has been, he has also laid waste to multiple contenders in is wake. Reigns has cleaned out the division to the point where WWE needed 44-year-old Brock Lesnar as a challenger to bail them out for the WWE SummerSlam stadium show in Nashville, Tenn.
With a new Money in the Bank winner crowned—and the second half of the year officially beginning yesterday—Reigns’ dominant title run finally seems to be in legitimate jeopardy for the remainder of 2022. The fact that the winner is Theory adds fuel to that fire given Vince McMahon’s elusive co-sign.