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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The 8 Ball 7.03.14: Top 8 Ways to Cash In the MITB Briefcase
Posted by Mike Hammerlock on 07.03.2014

 photo 8Ball_zps71636c70.jpg

Thanks to SpankyHamm for suggesting this one. This week the Magic 8-Ball turns its powers to figuring out new ways to cash in a Money in the Bank briefcase. For the record, at the time I'm writing this I don't know who won the briefcase. The suggestions below are generic. Any number of guys could use these.

The challenge the WWE has is the vulture cash-in has been done to death. Pouncing when the champ is down is so 2000s. Time to slap a fresh coat of paint on the whole procedure. Since the WWE pays writers ostensibly to write stuff, it would make sense to use the entire briefcase saga to build character. I'm not just talking about walking around with the briefcase and declaring you're the next big thing. That got Damien Sandow exactly nowhere.

Think of the briefcase like a magnifying glass. We should get a much closer look into the personality of the briefcase holder. Ideally we should get a much deeper look into the personality of the champ too. John Cena nonchalanting everything is tiresome in general, but it's been a missed opportunity over the years not to have the inevitability of the briefcase weigh on him. No one should know better than Cena that your title is on borrowed time once somebody has that briefcase in hand.

It also makes this year's MITB WWE title match more interesting. The winner instantly has his clock ticking. With that in mind, let's get to the list.

8. Stalker

This is a simple one. Win a briefcase and shadow the champ everywhere he goes. We've seen this sort of done. Briefcase holders pop up frequently when the champ gets beat down and they have a habit of coming out for commentary during the champ's matches. Yet no one's done it all the time. Maybe even add an anywhere, anytime stipulation like with the old the Hardcore Title. Champ goes out to dinner, briefcase holder is there. Champ cuts a promo, briefcase holder walks across the shot behind him. Champ goes to the bathroom, briefcase holder follows. Basically it's Mickie and Trish, but with dudes. To make it really work, you want the stalker to start to feel sympathetic toward the champ, even root for him. When the cash-in happens, the briefcase holder should almost feel apologetic about it. This would work great with Bo Dallas. He could be in tears and yelling, "I still Bolieve in you!"

7. Hometown Advantage

The Invasion storyline rightfully gets a lot of grief, but one great moment came out of it: Kurt Angle beating Steve Austin in Pittsburgh. It was electric. CM Punk beating Cena in Chicago? Arguably the greatest wrestling moment of the 21st century. We don't get enough wrestlers utilizing their hometown advantage. Not that he'd ever get a briefcase, but imagine Zack Ryder cashing in on Long Island. That would be insanity. Dolph Ziggler's made himself into Mr. Cleveland. An English arena would go ballistic if Wade Barrett cashed in over there. Hometown advantage exists in real sports, why not in sportz entertaiment?

6. Highest Bidder

Say you were at a baseball game and you happened to catch a record-breaking home run. What would you do with the ball? Would you stick it in an airtight glass case and put it on a shelf, or would you sell it? Most people would sell it. It's like having a million dollars land in your hands. Well, in storyline terms, isn't a Money in the Bank briefcase worth at least that much? Maybe Brock Lesnar, Alberto Del Rio or Randy Orton is willing to pay top dollar for that briefcase. Put it up for sale. Run fake infomercials for it. Hold an auction. It's your briefcase, do whatever you want with it. It's a great double heel move. The person selling it would come off like a craven, money-grubbing opportunist and the person buying it would come off like a rich prick who thinks he can buy a championship. Even more heelish, have the champ buy the briefcase. That would be all kinds of slimy.

5. Specialty Match

Daniel Bryan got a lot of fans pumped by proclaiming his intention to cash in at Wrestlemania. Somebody probably ought to do that and follow through on it someday. Yet why not take advantage of your skillset with this thing? Say Kofi Kingston wins the briefcase. Wouldn't it make the most sense for him to cash in with a TLC match? If it Dean Ambrose won it, wouldn't a no-DQ match at Extreme Rules fit his style best? If a dominant big guy were in this match (e.g. Roman Reigns), perhaps he'd look to cash in at Hell in a Cell. Obviously this would be a face move, though TLC would be a perfect fit for Seth Rollins. If you know what kind of dog you are, pick your yard.

4. Chickenshit the Champ

If you're a badass and you've got the briefcase, then why not gaslight the champ? Yeah, you figure you can take the belt whenever, wherever you want, but this is an opportunity to mess with the champ's head. Call the champ to the ring the Monday after MITB and tell him it's completely up to him when you cash in the briefcase. Makes no difference to you, as long as it's during the calendar year. Hand the briefcase to a flunky in a suit whose job it is to follow the champ around, and to keep him on edge. If the champ doesn't call for a match immediately, or at least at the next big event, you've officially turned him into a chickenshit. He's running from you like a yellow dog and the WWE universe now considers just a matter of time before the cowardly champ gets his from the heir apparent. You can even have the champ look for opportunities to declare the match when the challenger is down. It would be a great way to turn a face champ into a heel. Mind you, the ultimate payoff would need to be that the champ gets his timing wrong and the challenger beats him. Fans would go nuts.

3. For the Ladies

They really ought to have a divas MITB match. It would do wonders for the division. However, the WWE does not have a divas MITB match at this point in time. What's a girl to do? Seduce a guy, steal his briefcase and then cash in on the the divas champ, that's what. Yeah, the WWE would encourage its audiences to crap all over her, but hopefully along the way she'd make the point that the company doesn't given a woman any other way to get ahead. It really doesn't, and it would be great to see a female hijack a major storyline and make it her own.

2. Fake Briefcase

The briefcase technically has a contract inside of it, but no one ever checks. I mean, what if the contract wasn't there? Or what if it wasn't the real briefcase? Then if the cash-in went wrong, technically the briefcase holder still has his shot. We've been trained to believe WWE refs are largely incompetent. Somebody really should take advantage of that. Have the supposed cash-in go sideways and then, at the end of the match, have the briefcase holder cast a wry smile and say, "Yeah [champ], you survived tonight. Only one problem. That wasn't the real briefcase." Then either have someone sucker shot the champ with the real briefcase or let it sink in that the challenger is kind of an evil genius who'll get his belt on another night. Seth Rollins would be a great pick for this.

1. Riot to Victory

Chaos creates opportunity. It's a fact. Imagine cashing in during a massive Rosebud invasion or during the obligatory pre-Royal Rumble free-for-all. The champ can't see it coming if there's bodies flying everywhere. The champ might not even be aware the briefcase is in play. He might not even hear the bell or realize what's going on until he's been pinned and his title is gone. That's how you add some shock factor. Make the audience think one thing is going to happen and then it turns into a cash-in when people least expect it. That one would win a bunch of Slammys.

I take requests.. The purpose of this column is to look forward. What could be? What should be? What is and what should never be? What would make more sense? If there's someone or something you think should be given the 8-Ball treatment, mention it in the comments section. I might pick it up for future weeks.


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