Quite often, fans keep haranguing WWE’s creative team for something fresh, original, or at least, a move we can’t see coming a mile away. Admittedly, 2020’s Money in the Bank provided that with Otis winning the men’s briefcase after it fell from A.J. Styles’ hands. Otis caught it and now has the right to call out any title shot he wants.
However, function has to precede form, and as much as we love Otis and don’t mind seeing someone get pushed, it has to be the right place and time and must evolve the narrative. With that said, giving Otis this win was the worst decision ever and totally wastes the briefcase.
The contract is such a big arc year in, year out for WWE since the tournament began in 2010. Last year, fans were ticked off Brock Lesnar snuck in and won it, going on to reclaim his Universal Championship from Seth Rollins. As you can see from its history and feuds, there’s a lot of gravitas with many big names cashing in over the years. Rollins himself cashed in at WrestleMania 31, and since inception, we’ve seen winners like John Cena, Daniel Bryan and Braun Strowman adding to the flair, mystique and intensity of this match. It has a certain prestige to it, and more often than not, it indicates a successful title change is coming.
It’s an individual push as well, so when Otis suggests he’ll use it to get Heavy Machinery a tag team title shot, it feels undervalued. We wanted a solo brawl in the wake of this with a champion like Drew McIntyre or Strowman feeling pressure. Creative should have just done a ladder match for a tag team contract if this was the case. Seriously, the wildcard atmosphere surrounding titles lasts all year round, as seen with guys like Lesnar and Rollins waiting and stalking their prey, which makes for longer arcs. A storyline with Heavy Machinery gunning after the belts just doesn’t have that same predator vibe to it, and with the anticipation and excitement diminished, one has to wonder what creative was thinking.
This takes away from the contract a lot because a guy like Aleister Black could have made it so epic with a major push, and even Styles himself could have used it to enhance his heel persona without the O.C. around. There are so many talented individual stars, even with Daniel Bryan there to get one last title shot, that you feel the briefcase arc won’t live up to its potential under Otis. The tag team division is so thin, and Heavy Machinery would still have gotten a shot anyways, no matter which brand they’re on. Instead, the men’s contract doesn’t get a chance to create individual competition and bragging rights anymore. It’s relegated to a mid-carder who, even if creative wanted to swerve us and have him challenge a champion, just isn’t anywhere near ready for a singles run.
This was terrible booking because of the timing as well. Otis is still very ripe in the tag team division, not to mention his arc with Mandy Rose is yet to pick up any real steam. This is an opportunity gone by the wayside, and what should have been a serious callout is now another punchline. It’s a far cry from the days of old, as per when Dolph Ziggler also cashed in on Alberto del Rio to rapturous applause, and the writers only have themselves to blame for trying to be too cheeky and silly at the same time.
WWE just wasted its title contract thanks to the decision to give the briefcase to Otis following the 2020 Money in the Bank rooftop battle.