Preview: Money in the Bank All-Stars

Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero received a firsthand lesson in how to announce a blow-away match when WWE Executive Vice President Stephanie McMahon revealed the seven Money in the Bank All-Stars who will compete for a WWE Championship Match contract on July 14

Live on pay-per-view, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Christian, Kane and the returning Rob Van Dam will all try to scale the ladder and grab the Money in the Bank briefcase containing a guaranteed contract for a WWE Title Match, to be cashed in at the time and place of the challenger’s choosing.

The seven former World Champions represent a stunning diversity of styles and an incredible depth of talent, not to mention enough combined big-match experience to give the July 14 bout must-see appeal.

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Leading the charge is The Straight Edge Superstar, a former two-time WWE Champion who has competed in three Money in the Bank Ladder Matches and won two of them (in 2008 and 2009). While a strained relationship with Paul Heyman and a run-in with Brock Lesnar have somewhat marred his comeback somewhat, Punk insists he remains undeterred in his ultimate goal of reclaiming the WWE Title that he held for 434 days during his most recent reign.

Daniel Bryan returns to the Money in the Bank Ladder Match format two years after winning a World Heavyweight Championship contract in just such a contest. The versatile ring general may have spent the bulk of the last year in tag team competition, but he recently made it clear that WWE’s most cherished prize is now squarely in his sights.

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Randy Orton will enter the Money in the Bank Ladder Match as the most decorated competitor in terms of WWE Championship reigns, at six. Yet, The Viper has not been active in the WWE Title picture for many months, underscoring how precious an opportunity this will be for WWE’s ever-dangerous Apex Predator, who also happens to be a veteran of two Money in the Bank Ladder Matches.

Two-time WWE Champion Sheamus, similar to Orton, is seeking to reenter the WWE Title picture with a winning performance at Money in the Bank. The Celtic Warrior’s lone experience in the match format came in 2010, and although he came up short that night, Sheamus nonetheless made a huge impression with a characteristically intense outing that saw him fold up Sin Cara with a powerbomb through a ladder.

Arguably, Christian will be the hungriest Superstar battling for a guaranteed contract on July 14. Coming off a nearly yearlong sabbatical from the ring, Captain Charisma has been immediately thrust into contention for a championship that’s eluded him for 15 years, the WWE Title. The cagey veteran has five Money in the Bank Ladder Matches under his belt and is the second most experienced “banker” in the bout.

The distinction of WWE’s all-time most seasoned Money in the Bank performer, meanwhile, belongs to Kane, who boasts a record-setting six appearances in the multi-man, Ladder Match melee.  Like former Team Hell No cohort Daniel Bryan, the one-time WWE Champion has recently shifted his focus back to singles competition and is looking to earn a crack at a title he last held in 1998.

Last but not least is Rob Van Dam, the only competitor in this match to have cashed in a Money in the Bank contract against a WWE Champion (John Cena in 2006). Not only is “Mr. Pay-Per-View” all but custom-built for a high-risk match like this one, but his match on July 14 will be only his second bout in a WWE ring in six years. Moreover, Van Dam’s homecoming takes place in Philadelphia, the former home of ECW, where the letters “R-V-D” first gained traction.

With its seven participants accounting for 12 WWE Title reigns and 19 Money in the Bank outings combined, the veritable all-star lineup of this year’s WWE Championship Contract contest makes the bout among the most loaded and intriguing Money in the Bank Ladder Matches of all time. To find out which Superstar will rise about the rest and leave Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center with a title contract, don’t miss Money in the Bank when it airs live on pay-per-view Sunday, July 14, at 8 ET/5 PT.

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