wrestling / Columns

Top 7 Money in the Bank Cash-Ins

May 13, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Edge Money in the Bank

Theoretically, winning the Money in the Bank ladder match should make your career. You have a briefcase with a title shot inside that you can cash in at any time. You’re practically guaranteed a title reign. You should be in line for big things.

Life doesn’t always go as planned, and not every MITB briefcase winner has attained fame & fortune with it. Some have failed to win a championship with it. Some won a championship, but the title run didn’t live up to expectations. Others, who are highlighted in this column, did exactly what you would expect.

These are the Magnificent Seven Money in the Bank Cash-Ins.

7. Daniel Bryan cashes in on Big Show (TLC 2011)

Bryan had one of the worst runs as a briefcase holder in the history of the company. The guy couldn’t buy a victory over anybody on the roster. Nobody would have been surprised had he been the first wrestler to fail to cash in.

This became a trend with some briefcase holders over the years. They lost all the time and everybody figured it was fine because the wrestler still had the briefcase. Shockingly, this typically resulted in title reigns nobody cared about because the wrestler had been so de-valued in the time between getting the briefcase and cashing in.

As somebody that had been writing about Bryan on this site since his Ring of Honor days, I was relieved that he actually managed to win the championship. Everything was onward and upward for Bryan after he survived his time with the briefcase.

6. Dolph Ziggler cashes in on Alberto Del Rio (Raw 4/8/13)

If we were just judging this based off of crowd reaction to a cash-in, this would probably get the top slot. At this moment in time, people were so ready for Dolph Ziggler to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Smarks loved the dude, and the post-WrestleMania crowd is smark-exclusive. Dolph should have been a made man after this moment.

His title reign afterward cancelled that out, and it wasn’t even his fault. A concussion occurred, and Dolph became labeled as injury-prone. He lost the championship back to Del Rio 69 days later (nice) and hasn’t come close to this level since. Dolph will always have that moment in East Rutherford the shadow of New York City.

5. The Miz cashes in on Randy Orton (Raw 11/22/10)

I was not a fan of Miz back in the day. Most of us weren’t, if we’re being honest. I know it’s cool for everybody to act like they were Miz supporters from the beginning, but the truth tells a different story. It took years of hard work for Miz to earn our respect, and I would concede that The Miz is as awesome as anybody else in WWE these days.

Back in 2010, I hated the Miz. HATED him with a passion. I was so disappointed when he cashed in, which is saying something because Randy Orton was the champion and it’s not like I was a huge fan of his either. That being said, today when I look back on it I can see it’s a star-making moment & very well done. It’s kind of hard to believe this is Miz’s only WWE Championship victory.

4. CM Punk cashes in on Jeff Hardy (Extreme Rules 2009)

Punk has a couple to choose from. His first World Championship came at the hands of Edge when he cashed in after an attack by Batista on Raw. It was kinda cool, but I have to rate this one ahead of it. This was the CM Punk we all knew & loathed/loved, the Straight Edge Savior that looked down on imperfect people like Jeff Hardy.

The first time around, Punk was some lucky schmuck that got lucky Batista was in a bad mood. This time, he was a sinister mastermind.

3.Rob Van Dam cashes in on John Cena (ECW One Night Stand 2006)

Your opinion on RVD’s big moment will vary based on how you like your cash-ins. If you prefer to be taken by surprise, RVD announcing his plan beforehand and winning the main event of ECW’s second One Night Stand might not have been your cup of tea. RVD’s title reign certainly didn’t end well, as a drug bust led to Van Dam losing both the WWE & ECW Championships and never being taken seriously as a main eventer again.

I still rate this cash-in highly because I admire RVD’s confidence in himself. He didn’t need to wait for the champion to take a beating from somebody else & slide in the back door. He called his shot, stepped up to the plate & knocked it out of the park. Had he not screwed the pooch while being champion (and had ECW not fallen apart after WWE revived it), it’d be more fondly remembered.

2. Seth Rollins cashes in on Brock Lesnar (& Roman Reigns) (WrestleMania 31)

Cashing in at WrestleMania was something that had been pondered in the past. When Mr. Kennedy won the briefcase, he had planned on doing it. Rollins was the first to actually get it done. After losing to Randy Orton earlier in the evening, Rollins bided his time for several hours before running in towards the end of the main event and adding himself to the match. One Curb Stomp later and Rollins had stolen Roman Reigns’ theoretical moment.

This pretty much made Rollins’ career in WWE, and he’s been treated like a top guy ever since. It worked out pretty well for him. The downside is that it was another instance where Roman Reigns came up short. The Big Dog got his chances later on, but each had diminishing returns. Had Reigns gotten the win over Lesnar here, his status as the top star in WWE wouldn’t be questioned.

1. Edge cashes in on John Cena (New Year’s Revolution 2006)

More often than not, the first time is the best. Edge set the standard for the rest of the briefcase holders that would follow with his star-making run while holding on to his title shot. He cashed in on John Cena at the most opportune time, right after an Elimination Chamber. His run with the title was brief, but was enough to bump him up from the upper mid-card to the main event on a permanent basis.

Winning the Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania 21 ended up taking Edge’s career to the next level. It established a key part of his character, as he was known for years afterward as the Ultimate Opportunist. The next winners of the Money in the Bank briefcase will hope that the accomplishment ends up having a similar effect on their career.

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Money in the Bank, Steve Cook