THREE GUYS AND… WWE
series created by Marvin Mercer and Nick Stephenson
“MONEY IN THE BANK: TOP 5”
written by Dominick Cappello
A concept originated by “Y2J” Chris Jericho. Money in the Bank. A multi-man ladder match. The winner of which will receive a WWE World Heavyweight Championship opportunity whenever he chooses. More often than not, when the reigning champion is at his most vulnerable. The inaugural “Money in the Bank” match was held at WrestleMania XXI. “The Rated R Superstar” Edge was victorious. The ultimate opportunist waited nine long months before cashing in on John Cena, who had just successfully defended the WWE Championship in the Elimination Chamber. After not one, but two spears, Edge began his first of eleven world title reigns.
The WrestleMania XXII “Money in the Bank” match was won by ECW alumnus Rob Van Dam. RVD also cashed in on John Cena at One Night Stand 2006, but not without controversy. There was outside interference from Edge and the deciding pinfall was counted by Paul Heyman. RVD became the first and only superstar to ever hold the WWE Championship and the ECW Championship at the same time. Mr. Kennedy won the WrestleMania XXIII “Money in the Bank” match. He has the dubious distinction of being the only winner to never even attempt to cash in. He lost the contract in a match to Edge, who then cashed in, defeating The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship. CM Punk, the straight edge superstar, made history by winning “Money in the Bank” two years in a row. The first time, he cashed in on Edge. The ultimate opportunist getting a taste of his own medicine. The second time, he cashed in on Jeff Hardy. The WrestleMania XXVI “Money in the Bank” match, the final “Money in the Bank” to be contested at a WrestleMania thus far, was won by Jack Swagger. He only waited several days before cashing in, taking the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Jericho, the man who had ironically brainstormed the concept for the match back in 2005.
In 2010, “Money in the Bank” graduated to its own pay-per-view extravaganza with two ladder matches. One for the Smackdown! Superstars and one for the RAW Superstars. Kane won for Smackdown! and became to the first contract holder to cash in on the same night, defeating Rey Mysterio for the World Heavyweight Championship. The winner for RAW was reality show reject The Miz. He waited four months before cashing in on Randy Orton, winning the WWE Championship the night after Survivor Series. The 2011 edition saw Daniel Bryan win the Smackdown! “Money in the Bank” match. A superstar never pegged for success by the higher ups, Daniel Bryan proved all the naysayers wrong by pinning The Big Show five months later at the TLC pay-per-view for the World Heavyweight Championship. On the same night that Daniel Bryan won his contract, Alberto Del Rio captured the RAW “Money in the Bank” briefcase. He attempted to cash in later that night on CM Punk, who was supposedly leaving the company with the coveted WWE Championship. Alberto Del Rio had better luck the second time around a month later at SummerSlam, cashing in on CM Punk, who had just been power-bombed by Kevin Nash after a WWE Championship match with John Cena.
In 2012, Dolph Ziggler, the WWE’s resident showoff, won the Smackdown! “Money in the Bank” match. Later that night, John Cena won the RAW “Money in the Bank” match. This was the first that the polarizing superstar had competed in “Money in the Bank”. He also gave CM Punk the courtesy of letting him know when their WWE Championship match would be held on Monday Night RAW. This was a grave mistake on his part. The Big Show interfered in that match and John Cena won via disqualification. The WWE Championship can only change hands by pinfall or submission. Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler was clever enough to wait until the night after WrestleMania XXIX to cash in on Alberto Del Rio, who had suffered a knee injury in a World Heavyweight Championship Match with Jack Swagger. The 2013 edition saw a “Money in the Bank” match comprised of young up-and-comers. The superstars of tomorrow. The man left holding the briefcase was Damien Sandow, the self professed intellectual savior of the masses. The second was an all-star match. Rob Van Dam made his triumphant return to WWE. Paul Heyman betrayed CM Punk, one of his guys. Then, Randy Orton, the apex predator, captured the briefcase. The viper cashed in a month later at SummerSlam after guest referee Triple H hit Daniel Bryan with a Pedigree. With the backing of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, Randy Orton became the WWE Champion and the face of the company. Daniel Bryan was given the shaft. Fairing worse than Daniel Bryan was Damien Sandow, who failed to win the World Heavyweight Championship when he challenged John Cena. You’re welcome.
Because of an injury to Daniel Bryan, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was vacant heading into Money in the Bank 2014, so the gold itself was up for grabs this time. It was John Cena who won the ladder match for the vacated championship. His fifteenth title reign. Also, Seth Rollins won the traditional “Money in the Bank” briefcase containing a contract for a championship opportunity. He had plenty of help from Kane, who was not even a participant in the match, but still removed Dean Ambrose from the equation with a choke-slam. Seth Rollins waited until the grand stage that was WrestleMania XXXI to cash in, making the match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns a triple threat. Under the triple threat rules, Seth Rollins was able to pin Roman Reigns, the challenger, and not Brock Lesnar, the defending champion. There was just one “Money in the Bank” match held in 2015 and Sheamus was victorious. He now has an entire year to cash in. Just how patient is the Celtic Warrior? Well, only time will tell. Stay tuned.
- Money in the Bank 2013 won by Randy Orton.
- WrestleMania XXIV won by CM Punk.
- WrestleMania XXI won by Edge.
- Money in the Bank 2011 won by Daniel Bryan.
- WrestleMania XXII won by Rob Van Dam.
– Dr. Rochester
*Dr. Frisbee developed ulcers after The Miz won in 2010. Can you blame him?