The WWE's traditional "Big Four" pay-per-view events each year are WrestleMania, the Royal Rumble, SummerSlam and the Survivor Series. While the Survivor Series has fallen out of favor in recent years, the Elimination Chamber and Money in the Bank have risen in prominence to make up for it. This year's edition of the Money in the Bank event takes place in Boston on Sunday night and the event guarantees (GUARANTEES) that a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be crowned. In addition, we'll be getting two ladder matches that are sure to be amazing and possibly a fair share of surprises, as well.
Money in the Bank will begin on pay-per-view and on the WWE Network at 8 p.m. ET, with a live pre-show starting at 7:30 p.m. Here's the full rundown of the card. Consider this your cheat sheet to everything that's worth knowing (and some things that aren't).
The pre-show will feature Daniel Bryan, the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, appearing and speaking for the first time since he was stripped of the title due to injury.
Goldust & Stardust vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel
What am I looking at here? Goldust and Stardust are the two weirdos in full-body rubber suits with gold-painted faces. Goldust has been doing this forever, of course, but his real-life brother, Cody Rhodes, recently discovered his "Stardust" persona and the tag team is hopeful this will take them to the next level. Ryback is the guy who looks like Rocksteady from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and Curtis Axel is the guy with the bad haircut.
Why you should care: The Rhodes Bros. and RybAxel have pretty much exclusively been wrestling each other for the better part of two months. There's really no reason for them to be wrestling on the PPV because there's nothing more to prove on either side. But you usually can't just run four matches on a PPV, even if two of them are wildly loaded with talent. This is about as low-stakes a match as you're likely to see on a PPV, but the match should probably be good! So there's that.
Rusev vs. Big E
What am I looking at here? Rusev is the big guy from Russia (or Bulgaria, depending on what story they're going with this week) and is managed by Lana, who loves Vladimir Putin and hates America. Big E is the big guy from the GOOLD OL' U.S.A. and he like America just fine, thanks.
Why you should care: This is a rematch from last month's Payback, where these two hosses beat the absolute tar out of each other in one of the best three-minute matches you'll ever see. Maybe they'll beat the tar out of each other for 10 minutes this time. Fingers crossed.
Summer Rae vs. Layla (with special guest referee Fandango)
What am I looking at here? Summer Rae is the blonde, Layla is the brunette. The former was the valet and girlfriend of talented ballroom-dancing wrestler Fandango until they had a messy breakup on Twitter. Layla is his new valet and squeeze. Summer Rae has been a little unhinged, believing Layla stole her man. So now Fandango gets to be the referee in a match for his ... affection? Who even knows.
Why you should care: Summer Rae and Layla have been doing some interesting things revolving around sneak-attacking one another, so this match has a possibility of getting really goofy. So maybe that's your thing.
Divas Championship Match: Paige (c) vs. Naomi
What am I looking at here? The really pale one is Paige. She's the champion. Naomi is the challenger and is half of a tag team called "The Funkadactyls" with her partner Cameron, who are both featured heavily on E!'s "Total Divas" reality show. The Funkadactyls appear to be working on some slow-burn break-up, which is probably good, because the reason for them existing ("The Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay) has been released from the WWE.
Why you should care: Paige is an extremely talented wrestler, but the WWE hasn't been giving her much of an opportunity to showcase that talent, having her win the title on one move in her debut and then slowly giving her a little more to do one tiny step at a time. Hopefully she'll get to show off what she's capable of on Sunday. Otherwise, the match will be short. And maybe some new Funkadactyls intrigue.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos (c) vs. The Wyatt Family
What am I looking at here? The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) are the champs, the guys with the facepaint who do a Haka when they come out. The Wyatt Family are Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, two scary-looking, big bearded dudes who are part of a cult (of sorts) led by Bray Wyatt.
Why you should care: Because this is probably going to be great. All four of these guys are terrific at the moment, have great chemistry together and with Daniel Bryan on the shelf, Luke Harper might just be the best all-around wrestler in the world right now. (No, I don't expect anyone to agree with me on that. But he's fantastic, as I'm sure you'll discover -- if you don't already know.) I don't expect to see the tag titles change hands on Sunday, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do.
Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match: Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Bad News Barrett vs. Jack Swagger
What am I looking at here? The "traditional" Money in the Bank ladder match involves a briefcase hanging over the ring. The first person to climb a ladder and retrieve the briefcase wins the match and wins a guaranteed WWE World Heavyweight Championship title match any time, any place until next year's WrestleMania. All but two people who have ever "cashed in" the MITB briefcase have successfully won the world title by doing so. So there is precedent, incentive and desire to win this match and find success as a result.
As for the participants: Kofi Kingston is there to do crazy, athletic things. He is the Shelton Benjamin of our generation. Rob Van Dam is a guy with a skullet ponytail and a pot belly (in more ways than one). Dolph Ziggler is the guy with the blonde spaghetti hair who is going to be landing on his face, head and neck in spectacular fashion. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were former partners in the Shield, until Rollins (the guy with the blonde streak in his hair) turned on them and joined up with Triple H and The Authority. They will absolutely savage each other and Rollins will land on his neck in a way that will make you think he killed himself. Bad News Barrett is the current Intercontinental Champion, but he separated his shoulder on Tuesday, so he may very well be removed from or replaced in this match. Jack Swagger is a former MITB winner (along with Ziggler and Van Dam) and is currently managed by jingoistic xenophobe Zeb Colter.
Why you should care: There has never been a bad Money in the Bank ladder match. This PPV has two of them. Of the participants in this match, the only three former world champions (Van Dam, Ziggler and Swagger -- all of whom became champions by cashing in their Money in the Bank briefcases) are not likely to win. So we should have someone winning the match who could very well find themselves in the main event scene in the coming year. That's exciting. And so are ladder matches. This is going to rule. (Rollins in the likely winner, for the record.)
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match: Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
What am I looking at here? Daniel Bryan, who underwent neck surgery following Extreme Rules, was stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This ladder match will have the two belts hanging above the ring and the first person to pull them down is the new, undisputed champion. Which means we are guaranteed that a new champ will be crowned.
Kane is Kane. He's the guy in the mask. He also may or may not be a demon. The jury is still out on that one. Sheamus is the pale fella, Alberto Del Rio is a former MITB winner who is likely wrapping up his time with the company, but who should be a good hand in the match. Cesaro is an impossible strong Swiss gentleman who will probably Giant Swing a ladder with a person on it. Roman Reigns is a golden god who is related to The Rock and is being groomed to be the new mega-ulta-superstar in the next couple of years. John Cena is the guy from the cereal box. Randy Orton doesn't own a pair of pants. And Bray Wyatt is the creepy, bearded fellow in linen pants who is the leader of the aforementioned Wyatt Family.
Why you should care: New champ, man. All of the people in this match can go and they'll all have their working boots on, because they want to dazzle and make this match feel big and important (which it sort of is). There's also the fact that no one knows who is going to win this thing (although it's almost certainly Cena). Even if someone successfully pulls down the title belts following a grueling ladder match, who's to say the MITB winner won't come out and cash in their shot immediately?
In summary, Money in the Bank is great, because ladder matches are great. Most wrestling fans are really looking forward to this one. You should be, too.