Over 20 Superstars have won the Money in the Bank briefcase as of July 2021. Some have capitalized on the potential of this gimmick and used it to soar to great heights in their careers. Others haven’t had as much luck and squandered the opportunity.
In this two-parter, we’re going to look at the best and worst to have ever won the Money in the Bank briefcase.
This spans both the male and female Superstars, all versions of the briefcases from over the years, the ones from the titular pay-per-view and WrestleMania, and so on.
Starting things off on the positive side, let’s break down the top five best Money in the Bank winners so far.
5) Honorable Mentions
Kane, Dean Ambrose, Alexa Bliss and Bayley deserve nods for cashing in on the same day. I’d give more value to Kane for doing it first, though, followed by Ambrose for the whole idea of The Shield all winning the title on the same night and for that being his first run with the belt, unlike the other three.
Carmella almost made the list. She won it twice, technically, and she really used it to flesh out her character. It was part of her identity and she was successful in her cash-in.
Then, there’s Randy Orton. He was a credible threat who could strike at any time, making him dangerous with this briefcase. When he did pull the trigger, it was to take out Daniel Bryan with Triple H’s help and kickstart a great storyline.
5) TIE – Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler
It’s hard for me to pick between these two as I can see arguments for both getting that honor.
With Bryan, he had an interesting time with the briefcase that led to a fun cash-in at TLC. This was his first world title reign and it gave him the opportunity to explore a different side of his personality.
Ziggler’s cash-in is among the biggest pops on Monday Night Raw. This was SUPER over at the time and felt like it had been a long time coming. Fans were pumped and ready to see him get a proper run with the title and take that next step in his career.
Unfortunately, both have bad outcomes with their title reigns to follow. Bryan dropped the belt in a mere 18 seconds to Sheamus at WrestleMania 28 while Ziggler suffered a concussion and had his reign cut short.
Still, the cash-ins were fun, the wrestlers deserved to win the titles, and they did justice
4) The Miz
Many people write off The Miz for things like this because he’s not some Brock Lesnar uber-credible guy without realizing that’s never been his character. He’s the weasel. When he wins a championship, it has to be through means like Money in the Bank and that’s what gets him his heat!
This was a perfect vehicle for him. He made it work because the threat that he could become champion was there, but there was also a good chance he would be a failure. That’s what kept it interesting.
When he did cash in, we got a great moment with Angry Miz Girl. He then used that title win to get to the main event of WrestleMania against John Cena alongside The Rock, for God’s sake!
While The Miz didn’t become (at least, not yet) some 8x world champion following this, he scratched it off his list and it’s allowed him to accomplish pretty much everything he could win in this business.
Then, when WWE needed someone to pick up the slack where they had failed with Otis, The Miz became one of the few two-time winners and again successfully cashed in. He dropped it soon after in a total squash, but he still managed to do that another time, which is more than what most can say.
3) Seth Rollins
If you haven’t gathered it yet, from my perspective, the way you solidify yourself as a good Ms./Mr. Money in the Bank is that you do something worthwhile when you’re holding the briefcase, you either level up your career in the process or you level up the briefcase, you have a fun cash-in, you’re successful in winning the title and you have a good follow-up.
Rollins has all of those checked off, as well as having held my favorite actual briefcase. The gold one is by far the best looking one of the bunch in my mind.
As Mr. Money in the Bank and a member of The Authority, he was one of the most prominently featured characters and a major heel you knew was trying to capitalize on a title win to come. Eventually, he made good on that by stealing the moment in the main event of WrestleMania 31 by beating Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns in probably the best cash-in ever.
That made him a world champion and a main-eventer. He had a solid enough reign following that and he’s been able to come back to that top spot ever since.
2) CM Punk
Let’s run down that checklist:
- Two-time winner.
- Won the title both times when he cashed it in.
- Both cash-ins were surprises. One of them was the first babyface surprise sneak attack. The second was a great heel turn taking advantage of Jeff Hardy.
- He faltered with the first one, but by the second, it had truly put him on a new level as a main event star.
Punk’s first time was a bit of a failed experiment, but most of the problem was what happened after the cash-in, rather than prior and during. The second time was where WWE actually figured out the formula.
He started it all. This first cash-in is what set the bar for everything to follow. It was not only surprising, but it made perfect sense and was a great means to take the title off John Cena.
Check off the whole “moving up to the main event” thing, too. For that matter, check off “successfully cashed in two separate times.”
The second one was even better in the long run. Despite the injuries, it helped set up a fantastic program against The Undertaker that led to an awesome main event of WrestleMania 24 and turned Edge into one of SmackDown’s mainstays.
Edge earned the nickname The Ultimate Opportunist because of his time as Mr. Money in the Bank. Some elements have been done better individually, but he’s the one who set the benchmark.
Which five would you pick? Drop your thoughts in the comments!