WWE announces its eight 2019 Money in the Bank ladder match participants from the Raw brand, including Ricochet, Alexa Bliss, and more. Each year, WWE puts on a quartet of pay-per-view shows that have come to be dubbed "the big four" by fans, those being WrestleMania, the Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series. From 1993 to 2002 though, there was a fifth major pay-per-view, King of the Ring, which featured the titular tournament. In the last few years, a new fifth major show seems to be rising, that being Money in the Bank.
Canonically invented by Chris Jericho, the Money in the Bank ladder match first took place at WrestleMania XXI in 2005, and was won by Edge. The match is simple, but great. A group of wrestlers vie to climb a ladder and retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase, which guarantees the holder a world championship opportunity at any time for the next year. The Money in the Bank match was moved to its own pay-per-view in 2010, and now two such encounters are guaranteed to happen each year, following the women's division getting its own match in 2017.
This year, the Money in the Bank pay-per-view is being held sooner than usual, in May, as opposed to the usual June or July slot. This makes it the event immediately following WrestleMania. On Monday's episode of Raw, WWE announced the eight wrestlers from the red brand who will be competing in 2019's Money in the Bank ladder matches. The participants were revealed on Alexa Bliss' talk show A Moment of Bliss. On the men's side, Ricochet, Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, and Baron Corbin will represent Raw, while Bliss herself, Naomi, Natalya, and Dana Brooke rep Raw's women's division.
The most quickly noticeable thing about Raw's Money in the Bank line-up is that it features three previous winners of the match. Bliss won the women's briefcase last year, and went on to cash in on then-champion Nia Jax that same night. She would ultimately drop the Raw women's title to Ronda Rousey at SummerSlam. Strowman won the men's briefcase last year as well, but would have his cash-in match against Roman Reigns ruined by Brock Lesnar. Corbin won the men's match in 2017, although he went on to fail in his attempt to cash in on Jinder Mahal thanks to interference by John Cena.
Ricochet is probably the most exciting addition to Money in the Bank this year, as his high-flying style should lead to lots of breathtaking moments. Brooke is an interesting addition herself, but more due to the fact that she's spent most of her WWE career near the bottom of the card, up until getting in Rousey's face recently. As far as winners go, McIntyre seems the most likely candidate for the men, as he's in the middle of a clear rocket push. That said, there's a chance WWE gives Corbin a second chance to run with the contract as well. For the women, Bliss seems like the clear favorite, as Natalya and Naomi have both been spinning their wheels for some time.