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Briefcase Confidential: Peering inside Superstars’ briefcases

If one image epitomizes the Money in the Bank Ladder Match better than any other, it’d have to be the briefcase. Though the value of the briefcase is largely symbolic – it’s the guaranteed championship contract inside, after all, that Superstars risk life and limb to retrieve – its association with Money in the Bank is unmistakable.

Moreover, the precedent’s been set that whoever wins the Money in the Bank Ladder Match carries the briefcase with him until the moment he chooses to cash in his contract. As such, it seems only reasonable to assume past winners have stored away more than just a guaranteed contract inside the briefcase.

With that in mind, WWE.com looks at nine Superstars and Divas – Money in the Bank Ladder Match winners, contenders and observers alike – and offers guesses as to what other objects could lurk in their hypothetical briefcases.

If one image epitomizes the Money in the Bank Ladder Match better than any other, it’d have to be the briefcase. Though the value of the briefcase is largely symbolic – it’s the guaranteed championship contract inside, after all, that Superstars risk life and limb to retrieve – its association with Money in the Bank is unmistakable.

Moreover, the precedent’s been set that whoever wins the Money in the Bank Ladder Match carries the briefcase with him until the moment he chooses to cash in his contract. As such, it seems only reasonable to assume past winners have stored away more than just a single sheet of paper inside the briefcase. ( PRINT YOUR OWN CHAMPIONSHIP CONTRACT)

With that in mind, WWE.com looks at nine Superstars and Divas – Money in the Bank Ladder Match winners, contenders and observers alike – and offers guesses as to what other objects could lurk in their hypothetical briefcases.

Dolph Ziggler

Beyond his abundance of grappling talent, Dolph Ziggler is defined primarily by two traits: egoism and physical fitness. Because of that, we think the self-absorbed Showoff, a participant in this year’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship Contract, would assuredly fill his briefcase with objects that’d enhance either his looks or his health.

Never mind the usual assortment of designer toiletries one might expect to see on Mr. Ziggler’s person; we’re pretty sure Vickie Guerrero’s sole client would carry around a spray tanner to further bronze his skin tone, workout bands to help give his biceps an aesthetic “pump” prior to bell time and, of course, a handheld mirror. If there’s room left, Ziggler would also tag along a copy of the Guinness World Records. (Y’know, in case he feels inspired between sets of sit-ups.)

Damien Sandow

Though we suspect a man with sensibilities as delicate as those of Damien Sandow would frown upon the idea of toting around an extra briefcase, given the many hassles of modern air travel, something tells us he’d make an exception if said briefcase contained a guaranteed championship contract.

If the self-professed “Intellectual Savior of the Unwashed Masses” were saddled with such an inconvenience, chances are he’d use the extra luggage space judiciously and for the betterment of himself (and, in turn, society). Sandow might plop in a vintage phonograph (MP3 players, though compact, are far inferior) and, for his listening pleasure, a copy of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.”  Far be it for a man of letters to be without reading material, we think Sandow would also pack away an essay that waxes philosophical, perhaps Immanuel Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason.” Lastly, if Booker T’s intimation weeks ago was spot-on, there’s an outside possibility Sandow’s briefcase would also include a travel-size shrine to "The Genius" Lanny Poffo.

Alberto Del Rio

The Mexican Aristocrat has won the Money in the Bank Championship Contract once before, and he didn’t wait long – less than two months – before successfully cashing in and ridding himself of the briefcase. Though Alberto Del Rio finds himself challenging directly for a title at this year’s Money in the Bank ( SHEAMUS VS. DEL RIO MATCH PREVIEW), what would his briefcase look like if he held it once again?

For starters, it’d overflow with various car keys that fit the ignitions of Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, Bentleys and all varieties of luxury autos. You can also bet that the No. 1 contender to the World Heavyweight Championship would stuff in a wide assortment of white silk scarves and enough designer duds to impress even the most hard-pressed style editors of GQ.

A.W.

A.W.’s an agent, not a wrestler, and none of the Superstars that he manages are in either Money in the Bank Ladder Match … right? As Epico & Primo know all too well, A.W.’s allegiances are not always apparent to the naked eye, and it’s not unrealistic to think WWE’s super-agent is quietly invested in one or both of the championship contract matches.

If it ended up in A.W.’s grasp, a Money in the Bank briefcase would inevitably contain a wealth of scouting reports and DVDs of matches, likely featuring both established talent and up-and-comers. Add in a guide for gaining a competitive advantage, perhaps “Finding the Winning Edge,” a book by Joe Montana-era San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh that details the key elements of building a successful team. Depending on A.W.’s ultimate growth strategy for his stable,

AJ

Her behavior is unpredictable, her mental state appears unstable, and the outcome of Sunday’s WWE Championship Match may well be in her hands. But what if AJ had a Money in the Bank briefcase?

It’s difficult trying to get into the confounding Diva’s headspace, but we’ll take a crack at it. If AJ followed in the footsteps of on-again, off-again love interests CM Punk and Daniel Bryan and wound up with the briefcase, we think the objects inside would prove most bewildering – much like AJ’s actions lately . Though the WWE Universe once could have reasonably assumed she’d keep comic books and new video game releases inside the briefcase, those days now seem to be gone forever.

In place of the comics and games, perhaps AJ would keep a taxidermic owl? Dozens of rubber bands, whose purpose isn’t exactly clear? Considering her proclivity for dressing like other Superstars, maybe AJ would keep handy her version of Kane’s ring gear? And, to top it all off, a relatively easy-to-explain VHS cassette of “So I Married an Axe Murderer” seems wholly appropriate.

Big Show

The World’s Largest Athlete wades his way into his second Money in the Bank Ladder Match this Sunday. In a match where his reach advantage could make all the difference, will Big Show walk out of Phoenix’s US Airways Center with a guaranteed WWE Championship opportunity?

If so, it’s possible that right next to his championship contract would be another important contract – Show’s massive, ironclad deal signed with John Laurinaitis in May. Speaking of the former General Manager and Executive Vice President of Talent, Show’s briefcase might also contain a framed picture of “Mr. Excitement.” The angry giant makes no bones about the fact he no longer has a use for the man who fired and rehired him in a single week. A framed photo of Laurinaitis, however, might serve as a powerful reminder of why Show now walks alone backstage at WWE events. Show hasn’t expressed any remorse for his change of heart, but despite what he says, one could assume the high-dollar contract goes only so far in comforting maybe the most hated man in WWE.

Zack Ryder

Things have been going the way of Zack Ryder lately: After winning last week’s 20-Man Great American Bash Battle Royal, Long Island Iced-Z is in the driver’s seat this week, acting as Interim General Manager of “ZackDown.” But before that, the former United States Champion dropped an important Money in the Bank Ladder Match qualifier against Damien Sandow, eliminating Ryder from the running this year.

However, if Ryder had a briefcase, odds are you’d find his Internet Championship inside and, of course, a handheld video camera on which to record his hit YouTube Web series, “Z! True Long Island Story.” A six-pack of Bud Light Lime would come in handy if the battling Broski got thirsty while on long flights. Finally, WWE’s resident Broski would make sure to carry hair gel on his person at all times. Take care, spike your hair!

Antonio Cesaro

Aksana’s Swiss boyfriend, impressive WWE rookie Antonio Cesaro, may have only just begun his career on SmackDown, but his so-far impressive performance in the ring suggests a Money in the Bank briefcase could be in his future.

We think Cesaro, in between tossing opponents into the lights with his stunning European uppercuts, might keep a Swiss Rugby Federation-approved rugby ball in his briefcase. (We bet Cesaro still enjoys playing, even if his aggressive on-field antics led to his ban from at least one league.) Cesaro, a crema-appreciating, coffee fanatic with an unwavering loyalty to all things Swiss, would also store an espresso machine. Finally, the multidimensional Cesaro’s prowess inside the ring is matched only by his resourcefulness outside the ring, and it’s possible you’d also find a Swiss Army Knife lodged away safely but he would then have to check the briefcase rather than carry it on, per TSA regulations.

Chris Jericho

Chris Jericho invented the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and on Sunday, he’ll have his fourth opportunity to climb the rungs and retrieve the hotly pursued guaranteed contract.

If the fourth time is the charm and Jericho captures the contract, you can bet he’d use the briefcase to house some of his more rock ‘n’ roll paraphernalia. The Fozzy front man might have a microphone with which to practice his vocals, as well as back issues of Revolver Magazine, a heavy metal publication. (Jericho did, after all, host the Revolver Golden Gods Awards this year.)

Also, given the fragile and assuredly expensive nature of his fluorescent ring jacket, we think Jericho would travel with his incomparable jacket stored safely inside the briefcase.

Sheamus

Though he competed in last year’s SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match, it turns out that Sheamus did not need to win the guaranteed championship contract to become World Heavyweight Champion.

As The Celtic Warrior readies to face top contender Alberto Del Rio on pay-per-view Sunday, we think there’s only one thing Sheamus would need to carry in his Money in the Bank briefcase: a copy of the $500,000 fine levied against him earlier this year for Brogue Kicking WWE referee Chad Patton.

The reason for keeping the fine is twofold. First, it’d serve as a costly reminder for the hot-tempered Irishman to keep his composure. Second, a copy of the fine would also cause Sheamus to remember why his bank account feels light by about a half-million dollars: Del Rio. It was the arrogant aristocrat’s shady actions (combined with shoddy officiating) that prompted Sheamus to lash out on Patton in the first place. On Sunday, The Great White finally gets his opportunity to settle the score with Del Rio.

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