After Baron Corbin’s Failure, Carmella Should Cash-In at SummerSlam 2017

Carmella made history twice as the first Miss Money in the Bank (original photo provided by dailyddt.com).

There really is a certain beauty involving the Money in the Bank contract regardless of who holds it. Its unexpecting nature makes it one of most surprising elements in WWE.

If SummerSlam’s storied history is any indication, then a surprise may be forthcoming during this one. And that certain surprise may concern Carmella and Baron Corbin, SmackDown Live’s Mr. and Miss Money in the Bank. Two Money in the Bank briefcase holders makes it twice as likely for a cash-in and championship change for the WWE and SmackDown Live Women’s Championship.

It is a familiar sight, in 2011, Alberto Del Rio left SummerSlam with the WWE Championship after cashing-in on CM Punk, ruining Punk’s Undisputed Championship over John Cena. Also, just a few years ago at SummerSlam in 2013, Daniel Bryan finally achieved championship gold over John Cena (again) in dramatic fashion, then Randy Orton cashed-in after special referee Triple H betrayed Daniel Bryan. Each of these SummerSlam cash-ins were unexpected, and changed the entire event in minutes.

This year could the same with Carmella and Baron Corbin heading into the “Biggest Party of the Summer” as Money in the Bank contract recipients.

Before the premier four-hour long show, both Baron Corbin and Carmella find themselves in very similar positions. Despite holders of Money in the Bank contracts, Corbin and Carmella have been essentially uninvolved, and have become somewhat unimportant, on SmackDown Live as of late. This may be a creative ploy or distraction for a soon-to-cash-in opportunity for either, but Corbin and Carmella’s meaningless usage lately doesn’t help their case as potential champions.

As of this writing, Carmella is not on the SummerSlam 2017 card, and in danger of being left out, while Baron Corbin faces John Cena, though it seems more like WWE’s meager attempt to place both on the card. It is not unusual for Money in the Bank winners to remain obsolete until a favorable moment like Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 31 or Dolph Ziggler’s famous cash-in on RAW (or special failed cases like Damien Sandow’s horrendously booked Money in the Bank run and John Cena as the first failed cash-in since Money in the Bank began). For Carmella and Corbin to remain impertinent on SmackDown Live only hinders their potential championship reign, especially since both have had difficulty “getting over” with audiences.

Baron Corbin with his Money in the Bank briefcase.

Recent storylines are not favoring Carmella or Baron Corbin. Though Carmella became the inaugural Miss Money in the Bank, her on-screen character suffers without James Ellsworth. Her personal doings are overshadowed by Ellsworth’s ability to sell. Ellsworth’s suspension from SmackDown Live’s General Manager Daniel Bryan over a month ago put Carmella on the sideline from television and pay-per-view matchups. A returning Ellsworth now makes Carmella a legitimate threat in the Women’s Division, just like his presence helped her in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

Since Baron Corbin’s debut at WrestleMania 32 — winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal his first main roster bout — he hasn’t had the rivalry to set him apart as a title contender. His feuds with Dolph Ziggler, Kalisto, Sami Zayn, and, recently, Shinsuke Nakamura have been more of a chore for fans and seemed to be a mere way to fit Corbin on the mid-card. When comparing to Corbin’s impressive NXT, his main roster career isn’t living to the standard he set during his development days. If only Corbin could tap into his heel persona on-screen as he emphatically does on social media.

The Money in the Bank Briefcase not only guarantees new champion, but can change a superstars’ career. However, it doesn’t guarantee a successful or exciting title reign, as in the case of past cash-ins from Sheamus, Jack Swagger, and CM Punk’s first one. Carmella and Baron Corbin could replicate those bland reigns, even though being young promising talents.

Who Should Cash-In at SummerSlam?

Shinsuke Nakamura versus Jinder Mahal is a curious matchup between two differing styles. The Modern-Day Maharaja’s faction involving the Great Khali and Singh Brothers makes it very difficult to see him lose at SummerSlam. Also, a major question is whether Baron Corbin is primed to be WWE Championship, or still needs time to win over the WWE Universe. Regardless of Baron’s readiness, Jinder Mahal’s reign and reach in India is something I don’t see WWE prematurely pulling the plug on yet.

The SmackDown Live Women’s Division is in urgent need of something (as the same with RAW’s Women Division). It is not to say Naomi is a unworthy champion, but a small roster of women, and recent neglecting of Charlotte and Becky Lynch, makes the division a never-ending loop of redundancy. Carmella, along with NXT call-ups, could provide a surprise the Women’s Division of SmackDown Live needs. Carmella has already teased cashing-in; if she doesn’t do it at SummerSlam then it is only a matter of time.

Carmella’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match victory on SmackDown Live.

If any pay-per-view is prone for a Money in the Bank cash-in, SummerSlam surely is the one. But, will either Carmella or Baron Corbin cash it in this one? I guess in a week’s time we will find out.

-Justino

UPDATE: The SmackDown Live before SummerSlam witnessed the now biggest blunder in Money in the Bank contract history. It is highly questionable why Baron Corbin would lose a potential championship by schoolboy pin from an already beaten Jinder Mahal. Maybe this will elevate him as a nuisance in the title contention. Whatever the case, he must defeat John Cena at SummerSlam to redeem any chance of becoming WWE Champion.

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