|Your next Smackdown briefcase holder?|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Okay, so I'm a bit late on handicapping the Smackdown MitB match. The field was announced a couple of weeks ago and reinforced with an opening promo on this week's show. Here are the competitors:
- Cody Rhodes
- Daniel Bryan
- Heath Slater
- Justin Gabriel
- Sin Cara
- Wade Barrett
Odds: 300 to 1
Yeah, Slater's most likely there to make someone look good, like this:
That is to say, he won't be holding the briefcase.
Odds: 250 to 1
I'd venture to guess that he has similar odds to his tag partner, but I think his might be better. Let's not kid ourselves. He's got a flair in the ring that can make crowds love him and cheer for him. All it'd take is one big spot off a ladder and he'd go from lukewarm heel to budding good guy in a matter of minutes. Now, that isn't to say that I think he's going to win, just that he has a slightly better shot than his partner.
Odds: 75 to 1
There's a lot riding on Cara right now, as he's Trips' first big signing and the heir apparent to Rey Mysterio as the key to the Mexican audience. That being said, with the visible problems he's having adapting to the WWE style, I doubt they'll give him the ball this early. Like Gabriel, he'll provide some fireworks. He'll probably get a good tease to win too, but I doubt he gets the briefcase this early in his WWE career.
Odds: 60 to 1
Don't get me wrong, I'll be rooting hard for the American Dragon to get the briefcase. Him being in a World Championship match anywhere, any time would be just surreal as it would be markout-inducing. I also think he'll get to World Title level one day. I think they have some faith in him, or else he wouldn't be on the show each week in a meaningful program. That being said, I think we have to be real here. His time, whether as a built up contender or as a flash title grabber, isn't now.
Odds: 15 to 1
Kane won last year in a match where I'd probably have given him similar odds. His cash-in was a cool moment too. I think he's in the same spot now, although maybe I'd give him worse odds since he doesn't have Undertaker coming back soon to necessitate that he has a title (even though Taker has been above titles for a long time, but hey, whatever). I'd like to say they won't briefcase him two years in a row, but then again, there are so very few reliable hands on the Smackdown side and if they go Alberto del Rio on RAW, they may want to counter that newness with a guy who's been there before.
Odds: 10 to 1
In about a year, Cody Rhodes has gone from Dashing to dynamite. Extending that to two years, he went from job absorber to having his own job absorber. Amazing journey for the younger son of Big Dust. While Wrestling Theory may argue he doesn't need and shouldn't get the shot, there's no doubt that he's on the cusp. The dark horse candidate of the eight.
Odds: 2 to 1
I'd put him in the favorite's spot, but they're telegraphing him to win. That usually means that he's being set up for the fall. The Celtic Warrior, who has been on fire in the last couple of weeks, has been to the top of the mountain before and would be a safe enough pick to win. Plus, he's got heat with both guys in the Smackdown main event. However, with Orton almost proclaiming him to win as a foregone conclusion, something tells me they might go in a different direction...
Odds: Even money
...and give RED BELLY the briefcase. They got really close to putting him through to the upper echelon last year by having him work with both Orton and John Cena. They're high on him, but this high? Well, if you look at the trends of who have won briefcases, things bode well for the former leader of Nexus. CM Punk's second briefcase came off him losing the Intercontinental Championship to JBL. Jack Swagger won his out of nowhere, being in a throwaway program around Royal Rumble with Santino before fading into the Superstar Zone between that time and WrestleMania. The Miz and Kane were both in the middle of big pushes, so they provide some sort of counterbalance to the trend. Either way, Barrett, coming off losing everything, now has a fresh start. Sheamus has heat with Christian and Orton and doesn't need the briefcase. Barrett? Right now, he needs an angle to cling to. That's why I feel like he's the favorite to win.