For World Wrestling Entertainment, it seems, the future begins now. In June 2022, in the wake of breaking scandals, Vince McMahon stepped away from his duties as CEO and Chairman, and daughter Stephanie McMahon stepped in to fill both roles. Stephanie McMahon, former CBO of the company and a longtime on-screen presence, has long been seen as the heir apparent of WWE. Reports suggest that backstage, WWE’s talent have warmly received her new role in the company. Onscreen, as well, WWE’s most recent pay per view, July 2’s Money in the Bank also signifies that when it comes to on-screen talent, the company is betting on the future.
The Money in the Bank ladder match featured several seasoned WWE performers, like Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, and Seth Rollins. Heading into the ppv event, Rollins looked like a likely winner for his history with both current WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Reigns’s SummerSlam challenger, Brock Lesnar.
However, history was not the direction that WWE chose to go in. Theory has been unstoppable since his main roster debut in October 2021. At just twenty-four years old, he has already earned a major title, when he divested Finn Balor of the United States Championship in April 2022. A clear spotlight is shining on Theory, and as the holder of the Money in the Bank briefcase all eyes will be watching and waiting to see when and if he makes the fateful cash-in on none other than the fearsome “Tribal Chief”, Roman Reigns.
Liv Morgan’s fighting spirit and, at times, hard luck with getting recognition and opportunities in WWE has rallied fans behind her for some time. Like Naomi and Kofi Kingston before her, the fan outcry seems to have prevailed in the case of Morgan. Her Money in the Bank win, and cash-in on Ronda Rousey to become Friday Night SmackDown’s women’s champion, is the culmination of fans’ long-held wishes and Morgan’s own real-life childhood dream. Unlike Theory, Morgan is not new to the main roster. However, this is her first time holding the SmackDown championship. Former champions Becky Lynch, Asuka, or Alexa Bliss would have all been compelling choices to scale the ladder, claim the briefcase, and the coveted championship opportunity. Going with Morgan, however, is a fresh choice that signifies WWE’s willingness to try a bolder direction.
Summer 2022 is proving to be eventful for World Wrestling Entertainment. Vince McMahon has, for the time being, left the company’s ‘corner office’, while his daughter Stephanie McMahon now occupies it as interim CEO and Chairman. Change is slowly beginning onscreen, as well as behind the scenes. Despite a retread of familiar programs like Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar for 2022’s upcoming installment of SummerSlam, WWE are also giving shots to long deserving performers like Morgan and emerging talent like Theory.
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