WWE announces its eight 2019 Money in the Bank ladder match participants from the SmackDown brand, including Finn Balor, Bayley, and more. Much like the Royal Rumble, the annual Money in the Bank event always comes with built-in intrigue, thanks to its promise of a world championship shot to the winner. In recent years, things have gotten even more fun, as both the men and women now have a Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank match to call their own.
Last night on Raw, WWE revealed the first half of its Money in the Bank match participants for 2019. From Raw's men's division came Baron Corbin, Ricochet, Braun Strowman, and Drew McIntyre. From Raw's women's division came Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Dana Brooke, and Naomi. Of that group, Corbin, Strowman, and Bliss have all previously won Money in the Bank matches, but only Bliss managed to successfully cash in their championship contract. Corbin's cash-in was foiled by John Cena, while Strowman's was foiled by Brock Lesnar.
On Tuesday's SmackDown episode, WWE finished filling out the line-up for 2019's Money in the Bank ladder matches, adding in four male and four female competitors from the blue brand. On the men's side, multi-time WWE Champion and future Hall of Famer Randy Orton, former Universal and current Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor, up and comer Mustafa Ali (recently shortened to simply Ali), and former NXT Champion Andrade will compete at the pay-per-view. Representing the women's division will be recent SmackDown arrival Bayley, R-Truth's best buddy Carmella, the "War Goddess" Ember Moon, and Corey Graves' obsession Mandy Rose.
While not as many as Raw's field, SmackDown's Money in the Bank competitors also include two prior winners. Carmella won the very first women's Money in the Bank match in 2017, albeit with some help from James Ellsworth. She would go on to quickly cash-in her contract on Charlotte Flair, following a beatdown on Flair from the debuting IIconics. Orton won Raw's Money in the Bank match in 2013, as the original brand extension was still in effect at that point. "The Viper" would then cash-in on Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, turning heel in the process.
As far as potential Money in the Bank contract winners go, Orton is always a good bet to win anything in WWE, although it wouldn't really accomplish much. Orton is already a 13-time world champion, after all. Ali, like Ricochet is sure to pull off lots of high-flying moves, but seems unlikely to win. Balor could believably pull it off, but McIntyre from Raw is still probably the most likely pick to emerge victorious. The women's field really isn't that great, at least when it comes to star power, as Ronda Rousey and Sasha Banks are gone right now, and Flair and Becky Lynch are in a title match at the pay-per-view. With both brands accounted for, Bliss repeating still seems most plausible, although a surprise victory by Rose wouldn't be that surprising, as she's been reported to be a favorite of WWE boss Vince McMahon.