WWE superstars flocking to London for tonight’s Money in the Bank event has got us thinking: how would a Premier League edition of MITB go?
Football is capable of being peak sports entertainment, as proven by our incredible booking of the Royal Rumble of Premier League managers and now it’s time Money in the Bank is given the same treatment.
In wrestling, this ladder match typically has the stipulation of gifting one mid-card talent a shot at the world title. So in this fantasy realm, I am giving six 2022/23 mid-table teams the opportunity to become Premier League champions.
The rules are as follows:
- Six entrants (one player each from Tottenham, Brentford, Fulham, Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Wolves).
- Whoever climbs the ladder and grabs the briefcase will make their team the Money in the Bank winner.
- This team will then have one full year – from July 1, 2023 – to cash in the briefcase to force Manchester City into an impromptu game with their 22/23 Premier League title up for grabs (and this can be done AT ANY TIME).
And with that, let’s get down to this slobberknocker!
After fans sit through a long night of actual professional wrestling entertainment, it’s time for the main event of the evening.
And first to the ring, we have Tottenham Hotspur’s representative, Harry ‘The Big Red Machine’ Kane – whose desperation to lift some silverware immediately becomes evident by his involvement in this match at the O2 Arena. He is joined at the hip by his manager for the night… the one and only Paul Bearer (not really; it’s Daniel Levy).
The crowd are left in bemusement after noticing that Kane is walking down to the ring in handcuffs. To which, the commentary team (Ally McCoist and Clive Tyldesley, of course) point out that Levy has been taking drastic measures to ward off interest from Man Utd and he is refusing to let the forward out of his sight at any point until the transfer window closes.
As Kane’s handcuffs are removed by the match official Mike Dean – who has been brought out of retirement for this special occasion – Ivan ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Toney makes his way to the ring as Brentford’s entrant.
With him banned from playing actual football until January 2024, he fancied getting out of the house for the night and doing his bit for Brentford by attempting to sting their rivals.
A feeling of dread then dawns over Kane and Toney, as Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (‘The Dirtiest Player in the Game’) enters the fray. As he showed at Old Trafford in March, the Serbian has no respect for referees and will try to win this match by any means necessary.
Kane and Toney’s moods are quickly lifted when their England teammate – Crystal Palace’s Marc ‘The Destroyer’ Guehi – makes his entrance. Nods of approval are exchanged between the three international teammates as McCoist and Tyldesley tease the public that an in-match alliance between the trio could be on the cards.
As fans of classic ladder matches in WWE know, they always benefit from the inclusion of a speedy high flyer. With that, Chelsea’s Mykhaylo ‘The Ukrainian Luchador’ Mudryk laps up the crowd’s rapturous applause before the arena turns to darkness.
After a dramatic delay, the lights come back on and attention is attracted to the arena’s big screens that show a hooded figure making his way through the backstage area and onto the entrance ramp.
It is Wolves’ entry and it can only be one man. The figure slowly removes his hood to reveal himself to be… ‘The Animal’ Diego Costa!
With venom in his eyes, Costa – who has been given a new contract just for this event – makes a beeline for Mitrovic as the ring bell sounds.
The other four entrants are left in awe as the two big heels of the match brawl into the crowd, up the steps and out of sight in the arena concourse. Refusing to be outdone by the other, Costa and Mitrovic leave Kane, Toney, Guehi and Mudryk to battle it out in the ring.
Seeing an opportunity to band together and wipe out Mudryk, the England trio discuss forming a stable but while they are distracted, the Chelsea man uses his speedy offence to wipe out his rivals.
As the only man left in the ring, Mudryk quickly grabs the nearest ladder and starts his ascent for the briefcase.
The case is a couple of steps away from his grasp when – in a moment which encapsulates his first six months at Chelsea – he loses his footing and plummets to the canvas before he can score the victory.
The all-English stable of Kane, Toney and Guehi (aptly referred to as ‘The Three Lions’ by McCoist and Tydesley) have regrouped at this point and they agree to come together to incapacitate Mudryk.
Boos ring out around the arena as the popular Chelsea newcomer is flung into the ring steps and struck several times by the ladders. The final blow comes as Kane, Toney and Guehi lift Mudryk up before smashing him through
the Spanish McCoist and Tyldesley’s announcer’s table via a brutal triple powerbomb.
The three Englishman lap up the carnage at ringside which has left Mudryk broken and out of the action.
But the smiles are wiped from their faces when they realise that ‘The Three Lions’ stable must break up almost as quickly as it started as they turn their focus to the briefcase hovering over the ring.
All three men rush back into the squared circle and climb up separate ladders. The arena crowd are then treated to a fierce exchange as the competitors exchange heavy elbow strikes and headbutts as the Money in the Bank case swings around just above them.
They are all trying desperately to hang on as Kane gets on top of the fight. Toney crashes to the canvas and Guehi follows him after one final blow from the Spurs striker.
The crowd is now at a fever pitch as Kane, through hellfire and brimstone, looks set to make Tottenham the winners of Money in the Bank.
He composes himself and prepares to grab the briefcase until… a bloodied Costa emerges from the backstage area after throwing Mitrovic into the River Thames.
Kane is rattled and just about manages to settle himself but this is in vain as Costa – after delivering a big boot to Levy on the ramp – is in the ring and primed to strike.
He pushes Kane’s ladder over and the Englishman helplessly plummets to the floor.
A sickening grin comes over Costa as the ultimate opportunist picks up the ladder and claims the briefcase to make Wolves the Money in the Bank winners.
Over at Man City, their pre-season preparations for the 2023/24 campaign are dominated by talk about Wolves, who could strike to take away their 22/23 Premier League (and Treble) at any point that suits them.
Wolves’ social media admin only adds to City’s nerves with their constant barrage of Diego Costa-related tweets in the weeks following Money in the Bank.
Well aware that he could be in for months of questions about Wolves, an irritable Pep Guardiola loses his rag at reporters who cannot help but question him about their Premier League rivals during his pre-Community Shield press conference.
City’s squad are on eggshells as they make their way to Wembley for the 23/24 season curtain-raiser against Arsenal.
As proven by last season’s Community Shield defeat to Liverpool, the Treble winners are not at their best at this stage of the season and the Money in the Bank drama has thrown a further unwelcome spanner into the works for Guardiola.
On August 6 at Wembley, Arsenal benefit from playing against a distracted City side as they pursue a piece of silverware that *definitely* counts.
With Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber in their XI, Arsenal get off to a scintillating start and find themselves 2-0 up inside the opening half an hour.
This is renowned as a dangerous lead and City put their rivals on the back foot in the second half to mount an impressive comeback. Erling Haaland – goal machine that he is – bags another hat-trick to make it 3-2 but Guardiola’s team suffer late heartache as Rice nets a stoppage-time equaliser on his debut to set up a penalty shootout.
A gruelling shootout ends in Arsenal’s favour as Ederson fires his kick into the stands to hand Mikel Arteta’s team the trophy.
City’s players are tired and disappointed as they prepare to watch Arsenal’s squad lift the Community Shield. But this year, the trophy ceremony does not happen.
Before Arsenal can celebrate their victory, City’s players and the rival supporters become distracted by a group of gold-shirted individuals in the tunnel.
Upon closer inspection, Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves team, led by Costa carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase, march onto the pitch and make their intentions known to the match officials.
There is mass confusion around Wembley, but this is swiftly cleared up by a tannoy announcement:
Money in the Bank holders Wolves are cashing in their briefcase and their match against Man City for the 2022/23 Premier League title will start… RIGHT NOW!
Arsenal’s jubilant squad are ushered away as their supporters are left in hysterics, while huge boos can be heard from the City end.
The bewildered Man City XI that finished the Community Shield get themselves into position as soon as they can, but they are not ready to cope with a rampant Wolves team. With Costa at the forefront, they use every trick in the book to bully their opponents, which leaves Guardiola and his coaching staff seething on the touchline.
Guardiola is forced into using all of his substitutes as his weary players drop like flies after being kicked from pillar to post by Wolves.
Man City somehow get to half-time with the scoreline 0-0. Yet panic spreads around the dressing room when they realise they must finish the game with nine men as Haaland and Jack Grealish are taken off due to injury at the break.
Wolves take advantage of this in the second half and two towering headed goals from Costa seal a 2-0 victory that crowns them champions of England for the first time since 1959.
Inevitable court battles follow, but City’s fight for justice falls on deaf ears and their seventh Premier League title is stolen by Wolves and to the delight of Manchester United, their local rivals are no longer Treble winners.
As long as you are not affiliated with Man City, the inaugural football edition of Money in the Bank is considered an immense success across the board.
And the Football Association give the green light for this innovative Money in the Bank ladder match to take place each year, with Man City often the victims of a Wolves-esque hijack that would make them see out their days as a team that only wins the Premier League title six times.