The Money In The Bank ladder match has become a staple for creating stars and moments that will live on in WWE history. Whether it was Edge winning his first WWE Championship against John Cena in the inaugural cash-in or recently at WrestleMania last year when Seth Rollins ran-down the long aisle and cashed in at WrestleMania, it’s certain that the Money In The Bank briefcase has done a lot of great things for the company, and with the talented field taking shape for this year’s edition, there may be more memories to come. Okay, enough with the generic intro. I’ve been watching some MITB ladder matches in years gone by to get myself ready for the match this year, and I think I have a definitive five that are the odds-on best that I have seen. Some of you may disagree, but that just makes the conversation more fun. With that said, here are some honorable mentions that just barely missed the cut.
Honorable Mention #1 – Smackdown 2012: Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow vs. Dolph Ziggler (WINNER) vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Tensai vs. Sin Cara vs. Christian vs. Santino Marella
In terms of star power, with the exception of Christian and maybe Rhodes/Ziggler, it was a rather weak cast, but they did a lot of good here. There were some good high spots and innovations of the ladder. I also liked the action between Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler, the presumptive two favorites to win the match. What keeps this off the list is the amount of botches and sloppiness we saw. Tensai fell while trying to powerbomb Santino Marella and the ladder didn’t break when Sin Cara was powerbombed through one. Not to mention, Sin Cara damn near killed Ziggler when attempting his top rope finisher, and that got him major heat as a dangerous person to be in the ring with. Nonetheless, it was a fun little match in which Ziggler won in the end.
Spot of the match: Tyson Kidd performs a variation of the sunset flip powerbomb onto Ziggler while gliding on the ladder (which was actually a botch but Ziggler’s selling of it made it look even more epic).
Honorable Mention #2 – Smackdown 2013 – Damien Sandow (WINNER) vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Wade Barrett vs. Jack Swagger vs. Fandango vs. Cesaro
What I loved about this match was the fact that they were all young heels at the time. Back in 2013, this was probably a dream for every member of the IWC. This match had a lot of innovation, with spots such as Dean Ambrose flipping himself over a ladder in mid-air held by The Real Americans Cesaro and Swagger as well as multiple finishers done one ladders stacked on the side. I would have liked this match to have gotten a little more time to let each men get some more offense in, but in front of a hot Philadelphia crowd, this match is a great way to burn 20 or so minutes.
Spot of the match: Fandango sunset flip powerbombs Wade Barrett from the top of the ladder.
5. WrestleMania 25: CM Punk (WINNER) vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Christian vs. Finlay
What you have in this ladder match was some great balance here. You had athletes such as Benjamin and Kofi, mat wrestlers in Punk and MVP, the experience in ladder matches with Christian and powerhouses such as Kane and Mark Henry. I was kind of fearful the match wasn’t going to have much of a story and just be a discombobulated mess because of the large field, but they made it work to a great degree. There was great spots throughout the match such as Christian maintaining his balance on a ladder by stepping on the ropes, the repeated spot from WrestleMania 21 where everyone dives on each other, Kofi Kingston using the ladder as stilts, Christian’s kill-switch from the top of a ladder hanging from the top rope and Shelton Benjamin making a name for himself as pure usual with his crazy dives as if he’s in a swimming pool. Many thought that Christian should have won this match, and I agree to an extent, but Punk winning the briefcase set him up for his first heel run and his feud against Jeff Hardy in the summer. This match worked for me and it was very entertaining.
Spot of the match: Shelton Benjamin dives from the top of a ladder to all the competitors on the outside.
4. Money In The Bank 2014: Seth Rollins (WINNER) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam
Now, anyone with half a living brain cell knows that this match was basically an extension of the feud between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. There was no chance a third party was winning the briefcase. Rollins and Ambrose just needed at least four other superstars to be in the ring with to make it look that way. Regardless, the field besides Rollins and Ambrose were relatively experienced in ladder matches, so while they weren’t HUGE names, hey used their experience greatly to help carry this match. Ambrose and Rollins of course carried most of it, and they had great back and forth moments, none bigger between them than Ambrose’s superplex on Rollins from the top of the ladder which Rollins’ back couldn’t have been thankful for. Ziggler had a nice Zig-Zag on the back of the ladder, and RVD had his moments as well, which was great to see. Normally, MITB ladder matches can be predicted easily, but there are room for upsets. It wasn’t a huge shocker Rollins won this, but there was a moment where Kofi Kingston may have pulled off the upset because he had both hands on the briefcase, and I appreciated that tease. some may think this may have ranked too high, but compared to all of the MITB ladder matches, I thought this was good and competitive, and told a story between Rollins and Ambrose within the MITB ladder match.
Spot of the match: Kofi Kingston backdrops Seth Rollins onto a ladder placed on top of the top rope.
3. WrestleMania 24: CM Punk (WINNER) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Carlito vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. John Morrison
Of all the MITB ladder matches, I think this match had the most impressive spots. John Morrison and Shelton Benjamin’s athleticism certainly showed here. Morrison’s parkour training showed when he moonsaulted with a ladder out of the ring. That spot is much more difficult than people may realize. There was also a tremendous act of power and athleticism when Benjamin hit a beautiful sunset flip powerbomb onto Mr. Kennedy while suplexing John Morrison while landing on his two feet. It was a beautiful spot that I could watch over and over. Benjamin also took a crazy dive crashing onto a ladder back first to the outside. I don’t know what Benjamin does in his training, but the way he’s able to do some of these spots in ladder matches never ceases to amaze me. Chris Jericho also had a moment with his Walls of Jericho locked in on Morrison from the top of the ladder, which is very dangerous, but still executed to perfection.This would be CM Punk’s first MITB victory which he later cashed on Edge after Night of Champions, but unfortunately for him, it was a forgettable reign which he lost when he was attacked by Legacy and written off Unforgiven’s Championship Scramble Match. This was more of a spotfest than an actual match, but if it’s a spotfest done right, it’s beautiful to see.
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