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Forbes
Forbes
1 Jul 2023


WWE men's Money in the Bank 2023 field.

WWE men's Money in the Bank 2023 field.

Credit: WWE.com

Damian Priest won the 2023 men’s Money in the Bank match to kickoff the show.

One of the final, climactic spots came when Ricochet and Logan Paul slipped on the top rope while trying to springboard, but both super athletes saved the spot as Ricochet hit a Spanish Fly through two tables. Knight then ran wild on the remainder of the field, and was on the verge of securing the briefcase, but Priest chokeslammed him off the ladder and sprung the upset as a +200 underdog.

Priest’s victory is the latest in a history of surprising Money in the Bank winners as fans in the O2 Arena were beyond disappointed in the lukewarm choice of Priest, who has eaten a string of losses of late.

Fans in London’s O2 Arena were wildly behind LA Knight while booing Logan Paul vociferously. Paul and Knight made for a great yin and yang of adoration (Knight) and animosity (Knight).

The Money in the Bank field offered a perfect storm of suspense, featuring an eclectic mix of favorites (LA Knight), convincing darkhorses (Ricochet, Santos Escobar, Shinsuke Nakamura, Butch and Damian Priest) and wildcards (Logan Paul). Throw in the fact that Money in the Bank has no shortage of upset winners in its near-20-year history, and despite the rise of LA Knight, this match felt like anybody’s game.

Fan reactions for LA Knight gradually picked up throughout his feud with Bray Wyatt, and Knight’s momentum really seemed to take a turn for the better when he received overwhelmingly positive responses during live shows inside Madison Square Garden, and then again in Los Angeles. WWE prioritizes these big-city reactions, so when MSG and Crypto.com Arena chanted “LA Knight,” WWE was listening. There seemed to be nothing stopping LA Knight from securing the biggest win of his career.

Then came Logan Paul.

Logan Paul threw a monkey wrench in what seemed like a shoo-in victory for the piping-hot LA Knight. Paul’s announcement of joining the field as the last MITB ITB combatant opened the floodgates of wrestling fans and analysts fantasy-booking the GOAT GOAT celebrity wrestler to secure WWE’s elusive briefcase.

“Logan is the best choice to win,” said Logan’s brother Jake Paul. “He’s larger than life. He has the bravado. He’s the heel. He’s perfect for this.”

Though there is a clear bias in Jake Paul’s selection, the Logan Paul bandwagon is not limited to family members, and has gained steam ever since Logan Paul declared himself for the match.

"Is the WWE Universe prepared for Logan Paul to win Money in the Bank and hold onto that briefcase?" WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray said on a recent broadcast of "Busted Open Radio." "Because business dictates that he should win."

Paul slightly trailed LA Knight (-300) as the Money in the Bank favorite at +120 odds. The whispers of Paul possibly winning has gained so much steam, it’s led to multiple reports—from Boozer Rasslin and WRKD Wrestling that suggest Triple H was against Paul winning the Money in the Bank briefcase.

WWE recently installed a new World Heavyweight Championship due to the current WWE Universal champion—Roman Reigns—being a part-timer who is unable to defend the title frequently. Reigns has not defended his world championship since WrestleMania, and if this trend continues until SummerSlam in August, that would mark four full months since the Tribal Chief has defended his title. A Paul victory, and likely cash-in on the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, could have meant a similar fate for the world title Triple H reinstated to be the workhorse belt in April. A full-time star, however, represents a more fitting choice for a Money in the Bank winner.

But in Damian Priest, WWE picked the wrong one.