2018 WWE Money in the Bank predictions, matches, card, start time, location, PPV preview

The Money in the Bank pay-per-view has officially been elevated to "big five" status by WWE, which should be an indication that Sunday night's show will be a step up from some of the company's underwhelming programming. And with the event going down live in Chicago, there will be plenty of pressure from the raucous crowd to put on a big show that sends the fans home happy, particularly after NXT TakeOver: Chicago II hit a home run on Saturday.

Money in the Bank is also the first WWE PPV to feature its new 7 p.m. ET start time. The show is expected to last anywhere from 3.5-4 hours not counting the kickoff show, which starts one hour prior to the main card at 6 p.m. CBS Sports will be with you the entire way on Sunday with live results, highlights and analysis.

For now, let's take a look at how our experts believe Money in the Bank will play out. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast -- In This Corner with Brian Campbell -- where we go in depth on everything you need to know in WWE each week.

WWE Money in the Bank predictions

SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (Kickoff Show)

Brian Campbell: For as happy as I am to see the painfully underused "Good Brothers" get a push into a title shot so quickly after making the leap to the blue brand, Harper and Rowan have been booked far too dominant in this repackaging to give up the titles so quickly. Pick: Bludgeon Brothers retain the titles

Adam Silverstein: Unfortunately, Anderson & Gallows are just patsies in this situation as Bludgeon Brothers ran through the rest of the tag team division in short order leading up to WrestleMania 34. SAnitY can't get here soon enough. Pick: Bludgeon Brothers retain the titles

Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn

AS: This is so bad that it just has to end, and giving the heel a win (particularly after getting the upper hand on a go-home show) is the opposite of ending a feud. Pick: Bobby Lashley wins

BC: This has been one of the worst builds to the first match of a feud in recent memory. Not only has WWE comically bundled the presentation of Lashley's character after returning to the company following a 10-year gap, all of the good work Zayn has done in attempting to make lemonade out of rocks feels wasted. While there's still potential from a physical standpoint in the match being good, any hope in Lashley recovering from this is minimal. Pick: Sami Zayn wins

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass

BC: WWE has given the returning Big Cass every opportunity to see his profile grow from working next Bryan in the former SmackDown general manager's first feud following his emotional WrestleMania return. The results have been largely hit or miss as Cass, despite not winning a match in the feud, has had plenty of chances to express himself physically. Let's just hope this is the last stop on this story so Bryan can move on to bigger things entering SummerSlam. Pick: Daniel Bryan wins

AS: Talking about needing to end a feud quickly, this one cannot go fast enough. The "I'm big, you're small" angle is incredibly stupid, especially when no one believes Bryan is an underdog against Cass. They gotta change this guy's name back to "Colin Cassidy" and retool this gimmick a bit. The only way Cass wins is if it's by cheating, and even then, lord help us if this goes on to Extreme Rules. Pick: Daniel Bryan wins

Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal

AS: For as unimportant as this feud feels, WWE has actually done a decent job building my interest in this match over the last few weeks. The call-and-response backstage segment followed by some good physicality between the two gives this more juice than it deserves. No result will be a welcome one because even a Mahal win would feel like WWE is trying to just pull a stupid swerve. Pick: Roman Reigns wins

BC: Outside of rehabbing his brand following the disastrous Brock Lesnar feud, which left Reigns without the universal championship and a doubling down of negativity from the crowd, it's hard to understand why this feud was booked. Reigns' storyline beef surrounds how Mahal cost him a chance to qualify for the Money in the Bank match but despite some decent backstage brawling, the story has been largely stale and flat. If the match is lost in a sea of boos, WWE has no one to blame but itself. Pick: Roman Reigns wins

Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Elias

BC: Consider this the perfect feud at the perfect time for someone as over (yet equally unproven in the ring) as Elias. Rollins' ability to get a great match out of just about everyone should help elevate Elias. Should the former "Drifter" prove worthy of the strap, the ideal scenario would be for the feud to end with him as champion, leaving the door open for Rollins to move back to the main event level. Because of that, look for a schmoz finish this time around in order to push the rivalry forward. Pick: Seth Rollins retains the title

AS: It feels too early for Rollins to lose this title considering he's been absolutely nails with it as of late. Even booking it for Elias to win and Rollins to take it back on Monday or at Extreme Rules would feel like a waste of time. Rollins should carry the strap until it's time to elevate him, which may not be until SummerSlam or later. While Elias gets nuclear heat, he does not need a title or even in-ring victories to be completely over. Pick: Seth Rollins retains the title

SmackDown Women's Championship: Carmella (c) vs. Asuka

AS: Wouldn't it be something for WWE to end Asuka's undefeated streak to Charlotte Flair only for Flair to lose the women's title two nights later and then Asuka win it without taking it off her somewhat-rival? WWE's been too careless with giving Asuka losses, and while I hate to hold the exact same opinion in most of these matches, I'm afraid Brian and I do here as well. Look for someone to interfere, whether the IIconics, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville or ... James Ellsworth. Pick: Asuka wins, Carmella retains the title

BC: Give credit to Carmella for overachieving in developing her heel character following the successful cash-in of her Money in the Bank contract. She has become so good, in fact, that it might be worth stretching this feud out just a bit before seeing the title slide into the ready and willing hands of Asuka. Whether it comes through a disqualification or not, look for Carmella to exit with the title. Pick: Asuka wins, Carmella retains the title

Women's Money in the Bank: Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Naomi vs. Lana vs. Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Ember Moon vs. Natalya 

BC: If there's one thing WWE has done a decent job with as far as how this match was made, it hasn't tipped its hand in any one direction as to who might win. Strong cases can be made just as easily for former champions like Banks and Lynch as they could for a promising main roster rookie like Moon. But the juiciest potential from a storyline standpoint could come in the form of Natalya winning the briefcase due to her on-screen friendship with Rousey (which has featured teases toward a possible heel turn). Should Ronda Rousey win the Raw women's championship on the same night, the idea of Natalya cashing in to steal her thunder (either on Sunday or on the road to SummerSlam) will become must-see TV in a hurry. Pick: Natalya wins

AS: What he said. If not Natalya, Banks or Lynch should walk away with the briefcase. Neither Flair nor Bliss needs it, Naomi just won the women's battle royal, Lana taking it would be a joke, and Moon is a bit too fresh on the main roster. Natalya playing Rousey this whole time would make for a great heel turn and tremendous feud going forward. Pick: Natalya wins

Men's Money in the Bank: Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor vs. Bobby Roode vs. Kevin Owens vs. The Miz vs. Samoa Joe vs. Rusev vs. New Day member

AS: Trending away from most MITB matches, this one is filled with big men and a lack of high-flyers. In fact, Balor is the only one booked for this match who should be expected to perform the package of moves off the ladder we have come to expect from these bouts. We agree that Big E would be the best-possible winner of the briefcase, but who knows if it he will even be in the match? I would prefer to see Big E or Xavier Woods in the field, but we all know it's going to be Kofi Kingston. Assuming that is the case, Balor or Joe would be the best-possible victors. And considering WWE's had heels win six of the last eight such matches (if you count Carmella's two victories), let's stick with that line of thinking. Pick: Samoa Joe wins

BC: If there's one thing WWE tends to do consistently in matches like Money in the Bank or the Royal Rumble in recent years, it's avoid making the winner a predictable or red-hot pick. More often than not, the nod has gone to a safe pick. Should that continue on Sunday, look for Samoa Joe to be a viable choice. The briefcase idea tends to always work better in the hands of a heel, who can nefariously stalk the reigning champion and strike at the right time. Samoa Joe has also proven he is plenty worthy of wearing a main roster title. Pick: Samoa Joe wins

Raw Women's Championship: Nia Jax (c) vs. Ronda Rousey

BC: The intrigue for this one is high strictly from the fact that Rousey has yet to take part in a televised singles match, let alone one for a title on a pay-per-view. How many minutes WWE allows her will be interesting, as will how Jax (far from a great worker herself) will succeed in helping Rousey hide her inexperience. Either way, WWE appears poised to get the belt on Rousey now and find out exactly what it has in her. Pick: Ronda Rousey wins the title

AS: There are few ways to take the title off Jax without making her look weak, and a legit bad-ass and former UFC champion in Rousey beating her is one of them. With myriad reasons to put the strap on Rousey (her star power and upcoming UFC Hall of Fame induction among them), it makes sense for WWE to pull it off here even though there was an awful build to this feud and the match (not to mention the title opportunity) feels incredibly rushed. WWE saved this awful program with a good segment on the go-home show. Rousey will deliver in this match one way or another. The only question is whether she wins via disqualification or takes the title home with her. Pick: Ronda Rousey wins the title

WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Last Man Standing)

AS: The title change should have come at WrestleMania 34, but I'll settle for one a couple months later. Why WWE has dragged this out -- rather than have Nakamura low blow Styles at 'Mania to win and have the face chasing for the last few months -- stuns me, but perhaps they can make the switch here with Nakamura coming up with a dastardly plan to force Styles from rising at the count of 10. That would signal another match at Extreme Rules and then a new challenger for either man at SummerSlam. Look, this feud has been underwhelming. We've wanted five-star classics and have instead been given low-blow after low-blow. Perhaps this is the payoff. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura wins the title

BC: It's time for Nakamura to wear the title -- plain and simple. No one outside of arguably Rollins has performed better on a week-to-week basis since WrestleMania and the idea of entering SummerSlam with a heel champion (especially if the plan involves Bryan) would seem like a smart one. While this feud has surely seen its ups and downs, the overall strength of the performers should make this match a memorable one, even with the last man standing stipulation that, in theory, should rob it of becoming anything close to a traditional mat classic. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura wins the title

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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