The Real Winners and Losers from WWE Money in the Bank 2021
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Money in the Bank was not only a rare opportunity for new stars to emerge by winning the famed briefcase but it was also the first major WWE pay-per-view back in front of a live crowd since April.
Everyone was walking in with fresh hope. It was like an era had ended and normalcy had returned. The men and women who emerged from this show would get the biggest spotlight in the past 16 months outside of WrestleMania.
Nikki A.S.H. continued her fresh run by winning the women’s briefcase that could guarantee her a first title reign, while Big E did the same with a huge victory over established stars in the men’s ladder match.
However, two others who could have solidified their places at the top of WWE fell short. Kofi Kingston was squashed by Bobby Lashley, while Charlotte Flair proved she had Rhea Ripley’s number once more.
Money in the Bank was about establishing new Superstars as well as showcasing the top talent in WWE. Some thrived in the moment, but others fell too far short.
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It was easy to be skeptical of Nikki Cross’ “A.S.H.” character, which seemed to throw her into a comedy angle that would never allow her to be taken seriously.
However, the Scot is a hard-worker who can compete at the highest level. She was previously seconds away from a women’s title reign and has been frequently utilized as one of WWE’s most reliable wrestlers.
This victory adds a first major singles accolade to her resume. Whenever she does cash in, it should lead to her winning the Raw or SmackDown women’s title. She has earned that chance over the past few years.
It will be interesting to see how she is treated, considering she is a rare babyface to win the briefcase. This is a chance for a less conventional cash-in than the typical surprise cheap win. Hopefully, WWE will capitalize.
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Kofi Kingston walked into this match with hope. The crowd believed in a second miracle run for one of the great veterans in WWE. However, this was always about Bobby Lashley.
Heroes do not always win in WWE, no matter how popular they are. It is important that the company does not lose track of its popular stars, but only one can be WWE champion. The All Mighty is the focus of Raw.
This does leave Kingston in an unenviable position after an embarrassing loss, though. He did not just fall to Lashley, he was squashed. This was as one-sided an affair as his loss to Brock Lesnar in October 2019.
This could be one of most difficult losses to stomach in the New Day man’s entire career. He was ultimately just a stepping stone.
The All Mighty will move onto a new opponent, and Kingston and Xavier Woods will likely return to the Raw tag team division. Everything will go back to the way it was before he seemingly returned to the main event scene.
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Rhea Ripley won the Raw Women’s Championship after an impressive run to the top leading up to WrestleMania 37. But much like the woman she defeated then, Asuka, The Nightmare has always had one Achilles’ heel: Charlotte Flair.
That proved true again at Money in the Bank, when she lost the Raw title to The Queen. That and the defeat in the NXT Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 36 in 2020 have been devastating losses that stopped Ripley’s momentum immediately.
Few are considered a higher priority in WWE than Flair. She is now a 14-time women’s champion who has defeated everyone. At times, though, she needs to fall into the background for the sake of the division.
Even if The Nightmare wins her title back as soon as SummerSlam, it will still feel like WWE lost faith in her. The company still went back to who they trusted more on the first major PPV back in front of fans.
WWE has to remember to build a division not just individual stars, especially in the women’s division. Ripley can be one of its stalwarts, but she cannot lose now when it matters most.
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Few have gone through a rockier story than Big E, who once looked to be an heir apparent Superstar in WWE. He has won championships over the years, but much of his success came with The New Day. Alone, he has long waited for what came at Money in the Bank.
The Power of Positivity has now captured a guaranteed world title shot, and it feels like the right time. He is in a position to build a legacy by challenging either Roman Reigns or Bobby Lashley.
Both champions look dominant, but Big E is an absolute star with the power and speed to truly match or exceed those two. He just needs the right momentum behind him.
The easy answer would be for him to challenge The All Mighty after Lashley attacked and dominated both other members of New Day. Big E is on SmackDown, but the briefcase gives him the opportunity to challenge for either title.
However, it might be even more special if he was the man to finally take down the dominant Reigns. Either way, E has to take this win all the way to the next level.
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