The Women’s Money In The Bank Match: Perfect Timing?
Since the Divas Revolution ended in 2016, the WWE has put significant time into improving the outlook of women wrestling. This can definitely be seen on Raw, Smackdown Live, and NXT, which has more female wrestlers (16) on its brand than both Raw and SmackDown. The results can also be seen on the WWE Network, which has re-runs of the reality TV show Total Divas and the spinoff Total Bellas; has produced WWE 24 and Breaking Ground episodes of the women wrestlers; and the upcoming Mae Young Classic women’s tournament this summer.
On the May 30th edition of SmackDown Live, commissioner Shane McMahon introduced the first ever Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match, featuring Natalya, Carmella, Tamina, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair. The five women will each have the same goal: climb the ladder and capture the briefcase hanging above the ring for a guaranteed SmackDown Women’s Championship match against the champion, who is currently Naomi.
While the event is definitely a stepping stone for the women in WWE, it does beg the question for wrestling fans: is the announcement of a Women’s Money In The Bank ladder match perfect timing?
Before we give an answer, let’s first look at the history of this match. The WWE first introduced the Money In The Bank concept at Wrestlemania 21 in Los Angeles, which fans watching saw Edge being the inaugural winner. Since then, we have seen CM Punk win back to back Money In the Banks, John Cena and Damien Sandow becoming the first to not win a title after a cash in (Cena losing by disqualification, Sandow by pinfall), and Seth Rollins becoming the first to cash in at Wrestlemania 31. The concept has woven itself into WWE lore for years to come, with the winners becoming champions eventually.
Now the answer to the question at hand: Hell yes it’s perfect timing!
Ten years ago in WWE, the concept of a Women’s Money In The Bank match was a laughable offense by wrestling fans. When you look at female wrestlers from ten years ago, women wrestlers rarely made ripples in storylines. They were named “Divas’, mostly used for sex appeal, and competed in ridiculous matches like “bra and panties match” and “pillow fights”, which were more eye candy than legitimate wrestling. While there was a women’s match that main event Raw and a Steel Cage match as well, there weren’t many noteworthy matches for female wrestlers.
Then came the Women’s Revolution, and the result was easy to notice: WWE had brought legitimate wrestling back to the women’s divisions. We have already seen the first ever women’s Hell in a Cell match between Charlotte and Sasha Banks, two 30-minute Iron Man matches (first one between Bayley and Sasha Banks at NXT TakeOver: Respect, and the second between Charlotte and Sasha Banks), and a tables match between Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch at the 2016 edition of TLC.
Some would say that it’s too soon to have a match like this, with these same people saying that, god forbid, it’s too dangerous of a match to compete in. Others are calling the timing of this match to be terrible, hoping for a simple title match with some sort of stipulation instead of a ladder match for a championship contract inside a briefcase.
But in an era where we have seen the women have an increased role on the shows, main event their specific brands, and compete inside demonic structures for titles, the timing of this match is perfect. Frankly, it was only a matter of time until WWE would welcome the idea of a female’s Money In The Bank match, and now that it’s happening, I am more excited for this match than any other match on the pay-per-view card, but the WWE has to play this right in order for it to be a success.
On June 18th, five female superstars will compete in the first ever Women’s Money In The Bank match, making history along the way. One will emerge victorious and will be known as the first ever “Ms. Money In The Bank”. If the WWE plays this right, then fans should expect a match of the night contender. But to say the timing isn’t right yet is wrong. The time to have this match is now, and I’m glad they’re doing it.