I make no secret of the fact that I love the Royal Rumble, that it's my favorite WWE event and has been for years. But Money in the Bank, which is being held for just the fourth time ever tonight, is getting to be a close second. The gimmick matches -- in which six guys compete in a ladder match for a briefcase containing a championship match contract that can be cashed in at any time -- are awesome in and of themselves. But there is also typically one excellent championship match -- the CM Punk-John Cena main event in 2011 is one of the best matches I've ever seen -- helped by a crowd amped up after two brutal ladder matches.
There is also a feature that Money in the Bank holds in common with the Rumble: Both set the stage for a big-ticket WWE pay-per-view. The Royal Rumble is always billed as "the start of Wrestlemania season" because its winner gets a main event slot at the big show, while Money in the Bank is the last event before the six-week run to SummerSlam, with its own plot device (the briefcases) that can come into play at the August pay-per-view.
Tonight, we have the typical pair of Money in the Bank matches (the field for the Raw match is particularly stellar), as well as a solid-if-predictable headliner (WWE champ John Cena vs. Mark Henry), a World Heavyweight Title match in the making since the night after Wrestlemania (champ Alberto del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler), three other championship matches, and Chris Jericho against Ryback in a match that should have happened 15 years ago when Jericho was the Man of 1004 Holds and Ryback was Goldberg.
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