WWE
News

Ranking All 19 WWE Money In The Bank Cash-Ins

Edge, RVD, Rollins, and more...

I think Money in the Bank cash-ins are so exciting because they're a bit of a guilty pleasure. They're the unexpected takeaway of the professional wrestling world, or the spontaneous night out. You know it'd have a negative effect if it happened all the time, but once in a while doesn't hurt.

Cash-ins take all the anticipation and excitement of a big title change and throw in an extra element of anarchy. When timed right, Mr (or Miss) Money in the Bank can turn the entire WWE landscape on its head. When done wrong, it can bring their momentum sputtering to a halt.

Even now, 12 years after Edge successfully cashed in the first ever Money in the Bank briefcase, it feels as though there are avenues that are yet to be explored. There were rumours of a cash-in during a traditional Survivor Series match last year, for example, but it never came to fruition.

That's not to suggest that the 19 cash-ins we've seen so far have been samey. Yes, many have come at the end of a gruelling, exhausting match, or an unexpected sneak attack on the reigning champion - but WWE still find ways to surprise us, even in recent years.

Seth Rollins proved that in 2015 when he cashed in during the main event of WrestleMania, turning a Singles Match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns into a Triple Threat, and pulling off perhaps the biggest smash-and-grab in wrestling history.

It feels as though the Money in the Bank stipulation is at a crossroads these days. WWE will hopefully find new, exciting ways for Superstars to cash-in - but if they don't, we could be forced to endure a series of angles more played-out and unoriginal than the last.

In this list, we'll see examples of both innovation and unoriginality, as we rank all 19 Money in the Bank cash-ins from worst to best.

19. Baron Corbin - SmackDown Live, 15 August 2017


WWE


What the hell happened: Corbin interfered during a match between John Cena and WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, attempting to cash-in on the weakened champ who had just taken an avalanche Attitude Adjustment. Corbin clocked Cena with the briefcase (ending that bout by DQ), and forced the referee to start a new match between himself and Jinder - only to be rolled up within seconds, after being distracted by Cena - who was still lingering on the apron.

This was, quite simply, a calamity. It made both Baron Corbin and the briefcase concept look incredibly foolish, and also seemed totally out of the blue. Although not a regular main-eventer on SmackDown Live, The Lone Wolf was clearly being built up for a title run - only to be instantly buried for reasons that remain unclear. His misery was compounded after a shockingly clean loss to Cena at the following pay per view. Confusing and catastrophic, in equal measure.


18. Damien Sandow - Raw, 23 October 2013


WWE


What the hell happened: Sandow cashed-in on World Heavyweight Champion John Cena after battering his injured arm with the briefcase (and a chair). The ensuing match was actually pretty damn good, and fairly long (for a cash-in, at least) - but Cena predictably overcame the odds and pinned Sandow clean as a whistle.

This cash-in just felt uninspiring. A wrestler whose gimmick was very much centred around being an intelligent heel, you'd like to think that Sandow would be given a slightly more cerebral cash-in. Yes, he targeted Cena's injured arm, but being so cleanly defeated in the opening match of a standard Raw made him look like quite a chump. Cena's victory also scrapped a rumoured title feud that could have elevated not only Sandow, but former tag partner Cody Rhodes too - as the latter had been betrayed by his friend in the Money in the Bank ladder match several months prior.

17. John Cena - Raw 1000, 23 July 2012


WWE


What the hell happened: Cena, being the ultimate upstanding babyface, became only the second Superstar in history to announce his Money in the Bank cash-in ahead of time. He challenged WWE Champion CM Punk on the 1000th episode of Raw, and almost had the bout won - only for Big Show to interfere and clock Cena in the middle of an STF, ending the match via disqualification.

WWE really booked themselves into a lose-lose situation here. No matter what result they booked, fans would have been unhappy. The hardcore fans (including a sizeable anti-Cena contingent) would have clearly hated Punk's reign being ended in such a way, but this DQ finish was very disappointing too. A clean Cena loss would have been a bold and interesting decision, but you can understand WWE's hesitancy to dilute the power of the stipulation. Every previous cash-in had been a success up until this point, and although Cena technically won the match, this was the first failed cash-in of all time. Ultimately, their decision to go middle-of-the-road satisfied nobody, and remains an unremarkable footnote in WWE history.

16. Alberto Del Rio - SummerSlam 2011


WWE


What the hell happened: Alberto Del Rio attempted to cash-in after CM Punk and John Cena's historic bout at Money in the Bank 2011, only for the new WWE Champion to fend him off and escape the arena. Del Rio tried again at SummerSlam - after Punk had again defeated Cena - and was successful this time. In fairness, it may have had something to do with the fact that a tired Punk was blindsided by Kevin Nash (of all people!), leaving him a sitting duck for the Mexican heel.

This cash-in is a difficult one to place because at the time it did seem genuinely exciting - if questionable. The Summer of Punk had thrown the entire WWE landscape into disarray, and this just felt like a continuation of the madness at the time. Sure, Kevin Nash is back - why not! Del Rio's the new champ; alright then! In hindsight, however, once Punk's white-hot storyline had faded and somehow morphed into a Triple H vs. Nash angle, it became clear that this probably wasn't the wisest decision...


15. Jack Swagger - SmackDown, 2 April 2010


WWE


What the hell happened: Jack Swagger won the Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania XXVI and attempted to cash-in on John Cena the following night on Raw - only to wisely realise that John wasn't nearly weakened enough. Swagger instead took it upon himself to switch brands, showing up on the following SmackDown and defeating World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho. Y2J was already nursing an injury sustained at 'Mania at the hands of Edge, and the Rated-R Superstar attacked him again, leaving the door wide open for Swagger to stride through.

Swagger is one of the more forgotten Money in the Bank briefcase holders, I think it's fair to say. His World Heavyweight Championship reign was ultimately a disappointment, which is a shame given the fact that he had all the athleticism and amateur credentials in the world. The cash-in itself has a little bit of an odd vibe, as Swagger celebrated the biggest moment of his career with a completely emotionless expression. This was supposed to signify the beginning of a new serious side, but actually can be seen as a prelude to his unremarkable reign.

14. Kane - Money In The Bank 2010


WWE


What the hell happened: After winning the Money in the Bank briefcase in the opening bout of the night, Kane returned to jump Rey Mysterio after his successful title defence against Jack Swagger. After easily defeating a weakened Rey and becoming World Heavyweight Champion, Kane cemented his place in history as the first Superstar to win the Money in the Bank contract and cash it in on the same night.

Although this cash-in didn't help improve the career of a young, promising Superstar, (and although the match itself was hardly a dramatic affair) it did at least have a little uniqueness. Kane's immediate use of the briefcase was certainly interesting, although it probably would have been more so if it hadn't followed Edge and Swagger's short stints with the contract - both of which lasted just a few days. Still, it was nice to see a loyal, consistent Superstar like Kane rewarded with another taste of gold relatively late in his career.

13. Carmella - SmackDown, 10 April 2018


WWE


What the hell happened: On the SmackDown after WrestleMania 34, Charlotte Flair was beaten down by the debuting IIconics. Despite breaking Asuka's undefeated streak at 'Mania, Charlotte lost her SmackDown Women's Championship when Carmella pulled off the first female Money in the Bank cash-in.

In an ideal world, the first cash-in by a Miss Money in the Bank would have been a far more polished affair. Unfortunately, there were a lot of questionable factors here. Did this come too soon after the biggest win of Charlotte's career? Did it overshadow the IIconics' debut? Perhaps most importantly, did it weaken Asuka by proxy, devaluing her from the most unbeatable Superstar on the roster to just another member of the SmackDown women's division in a couple of days? On the other hand, the moment itself was executed well - a surprising turn of events in front of a hot post-'Mania crowd. It was also better than the convoluted manner in which Carmella won the briefcase in the first place, but that goes without saying.

12. Sheamus - Survivor Series 2015


WWE


What the hell happened: Roman Reigns had just won the WWE World Championship for the first time in his career, defeating Dean Ambrose in the final of a tournament for the vacant title. Fearing an ambush - or perhaps simply caught up in the moment - he rejected Triple H's handshake and Speared him instead...leaving himself wide open to an attack from Sheamus. A short match later, and the title had changed hands again.

Like Carmella's cash-in, this was an organically exciting moment in a vacuum, but somewhat ruined when we look at the wider context. Midcarder Sheamus was a surprise Money in the Bank winner in the first place, but many assumed that he'd be built back up to main event status over the coming months. That never happened, and we instead were forced to endure the Irishman as a weak transitional champion until Reigns won the belt back. This can't rank higher due to the chain of events it set in place, but as a pure moment of mayhem and shock, Sheamus' cash-in is still admittedly enjoyable.

11. Daniel Bryan - TLC 2011


WWE


What the hell happened: After losing his World Heavyweight Championship to Big Show in a 'Chairs Match', Mark Henry struck back - beating down the new champion in a rage before leaving empty-handed. Show would ultimately leave empty handed too, as Mr Money in the Bank Daniel Bryan cashed in on his barely-conscious friend - despite stating that he'd save the briefcase for WrestleMania XXVIII.

In terms of sheer in-ring action, this is one of the least exciting cash-ins of all - but in terms of character work and overall storytelling, it could well be one of the strongest. Yes, Bryan simply ran into the ring, covered a weakened show, and picked up the easiest win of his career, but his actions immediately afterwards speak volumes. Bryan celebrated wildly, as though he'd just knocked off the giant in a 60 minute Iron Man match, betraying the heelish tendencies that would ultimately see him go full obnoxious bad guy. Tremendous work.

10. Edge - SmackDown, 11 May 2007


WWE


What the hell happened: In 2007, Edge became the first Superstar to hold the Money in the Bank briefcase twice - although he didn't win a second Ladder Match. He actually won the contract from original winner Mr Kennedy (who had sustained a real-life injury), and cashed-in just a few days later on SmackDown. His target was World Heavyweight Champion, The Undertaker, who had just fought a gruelling Steel Cage Match against Batista and been ambushed by Mark Henry. Edge won with a Spear, becoming the first Money in the Bank holder to switch brands in order to cash-in.

Although the weakest of the (very exciting) early cash-ins, this was still a good one. Points have to be deducted for the strange build up, with Kennedy sadly having to pass on his briefcase - although it did at least help build Edge's reputation as the 'Ultimate Opportunist'. The cash-in itself was a dramatic one, with the Rated-R Superstar switching brands and waiting for the right moment to give himself the best chance of success.


9. The Miz - Raw, 22 November 2010


WWE


What the hell happened: WWE Champion Randy Orton was having a hard night, ambushed by the Nexus prior to his title match with their leader Wade Barrett. Ultimately, The Viper was able to keep his title (thanks to a little help from John Cena) and seemed to have ridden out the storm. Then, The Miz's music hit. The former reality TV star finally realised his dream after a surprisingly long bout, finally putting down a resilient Randy with the Skull-Crushing Finale.

Some cash-ins just feel as though they mean more to the new champion - and this is absolutely one of them. Much has been made of Miz's quest for respect, and the difficulty he found in transitioning from the world of reality television to the pro wrestling business. This was his moment of a validation, and despite being a heel, it was nice to see his years of hard work and dedication pay off in a big way.

8. CM Punk - Raw, 30 June 2008


WWE


What the hell happened: In the aftermath of the 2008 draft, it looked as though both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship were going to end up on SmackDown. Triple H had been drafted to the blue brand, and Edge - the World Heavyweight title holder - showed up on Raw to gloat. He was attacked by Batista, the man he'd defeated at Night of Champions, and left lying in the ring. Cue CM Punk, who strode down the ramp and hit a single Go To Sleep, winning his first major world title in the process.

Edge is the original Money in the Bank heel, utilising his natural opportunism to weasel his way into undeserved title reigns. This cash-in can be seen as retribution, as the Rated-R Superstar got his comeuppance in a bag way. In street clothes, completely unaware of what was about to happen, Edge was the perfect fall guy for Punk's ascendence.

7. Dean Ambrose - Money In The Bank 2016


WWE


What the hell happened: This was the famous night where all three members of The Shield held the WWE Championship. Roman Reigns defended the title in the main event against a recently-returned Seth Rollins and lost after two crunching Pedigrees. Then, to add even more drama to proceedings, Dean Ambrose ran out and cashed in his newly-won Money in the Bank contract - becoming only the second Superstar to do so on the same night he won the briefcase.

This was a particularly good piece of storytelling, as Ambrose finally gained revenge on Seth for breaking up The Shield a couple of years before. Rollins' comeuppance was especially fitting as he won his first WWE Championship in similar fashion, cashing in a Money in the Bank contract in the main event of WrestleMania 31. Things eventually came to a head in the infamous Shield Triple Threat at Battleground, although the match was something of a disappointment, overshadowed by the impending brand split. What should have been an ultimate grudge match between three former friends became more a question of Raw vs. SmackDown.


6. CM Punk - Extreme Rules 2009


WWE


What the hell happened: Jeff Hardy had just defeated Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship in a dramatic Ladder Match, yanking the Rated-R Superstar's legs through the rungs of a ladder and leaving him to helplessly watch on as the title slipped from his grasp. It was a nice feel-good moment, but one which was immediately ruined as Jeff's fellow babyface (and rival) CM Punk picked his spot and cashed in the Money in the Bank contract.

Although very short, the match between Punk and Jeff was excellent. The Straight Edge upstart blasted the new champion with a Go To Sleep, only for the always-resilient Hardy to kick out at two. As Punk fought to keep his composure, Jeff rolled him into a shock inside cradle...only for the Chicago native to also kick out at two! One final Go To Sleep was enough to put Hardy away, but Punk's look of intense concentration (and near-panic at almost being pinned) told an excellent story. Like Daniel Bryan's cash-in two years later, this title win would set an eventual heel turn in motion.

5. Randy Orton - SummerSlam 2013


WWE


What the hell happened: Daniel Bryan had just defeated John Cena to finally win his first WWE Championship in perhaps the best match of his entire WWE career. It was an emotional high for fans of the ultra-popular babyface - one spectacularly ruined by Special Guest Referee Triple H, who turned heel by blindsiding Bryan with a Pedigree. This allowed former Evolution stablemate, Randy Orton, to saunter to the ring and leisurely cash in, covering a heartbroken Bryan for the title.

Of all the Money in the Bank contract cash-ins, this was probably the most emotionally devastating - but in a good way. When CM Punk was screwed out of the title by Kevin Nash and Alberto Del Rio, it turned out to be poor booking. This cash-in, although similar in terms of a beloved internet darling losing the WWE Championship, made total storytelling sense. Orton and Triple H's conspiring garnered real heel heat, and made Bryan's ultimate triumph at WrestleMania XXX all the sweeter.

4. Dolph Ziggler - Raw, 8 April 2013


WWE


What the hell happened: At WrestleMania 29, Alberto Del Rio successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Jack Swagger - only to be forced to wrestle Swagger again the following night on Raw in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match involving Zeb Colter. Although he won the bout, Del Rio was exhausted and vulnerable - which allowed Dolph Ziggler to cash in his Money in the Bank contract to a rapturous reception.

Despite being a heel at the time, Ziggler's arrival remains one of the biggest pops during a post-WrestleMania Raw. A hardcore 'Mania crowd ensured that smark favourites were cheered heavily, regardless of face or heel alignments - and eternal under-appreciated workhorse Ziggler fit the bill perfectly. His intense entrance (alongside allies Big E Langston and AJ Lee) was a moment that sent shivers down the spine. His eventual title reign was aborted due to a concussion, and he was turned into a rather toothless babyface soon after - but as a stand-alone moment, this must be regarded as one of the best cash-ins of all time.


3. Rob Van Dam - One Night Stand 2006


WWE


What the hell happened: Having won the second ever Money in the Bank ladder match, ECW legend Rob Van Dam announced the date of his cash-in ahead of time - One Night Stand 2006. At the iconic Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, in front of a rabid ECW crowd, he squared off against golden boy John Cena in a true clash of rebellious underdog vs. company man. Never had the squeaky-clean Cena been so heavily booed before; fans even threw his t-shirt back to him during his ring entrance, while the now-infamous 'If Cena Wins, We Riot' sign hung in the background. Thanks to more than a little help from an interfering Edge, and a pinfall administered by de facto referee Paul Heyman, RVD finally one the big one in front of a truly partisan crowd.

If there's an argument to be made for more Money in the Bank cash-ins being booked ahead of time, this match is surely it. Van Dam's decision to compete for the title in his own environment gave this match a unique feel like few others - perhaps only comparable to CM Punk's own victory over Cena in Chicago five years later.

2. Edge - New Year's Revolution 2006


WWE


What the hell happened: At New Year's Revolution 2006, John Cena successfully defended his WWE Championship in a brutal 30-minute Elimination Chamber match. Utterly exhausted and bloody-faced in the middle of the ring, Cena's celebration was interrupted by Vince McMahon, who strode onto the stage and announced that Edge would be cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. Two Spears later, and the Rated-R Superstar was WWE Champion for the first time - a booking decision which proved the Money in the Bank stipulation to be a success, and changed the makeup of WWE forever.

The first ever cash-in set a precedent, with a heel challenger waiting until the champion was at his most vulnerable to strike. Although it might seem like a relatively simple turn of events these days, it's important to remember that this was the first time this had happened. The opportunistic nature of this twist suited Edge's sleazeball character to a tee, and provided the blueprint for the majority of cash-ins we've seen to this day.

1. Seth Rollins - WrestleMania 31


WWE


What the hell happened: Midway through a controversial WrestleMania 31 main event - as heavily-booed babyface Roman Reigns took on Brock Lesnar in what looked to be a foregone conclusion - Seth Rollins did something nobody had done before. He cashed in his Money in the Bank contract in the main event of 'Mania, turning the match into a Triple Threat and changing the course of wrestling history. The bout continued for a few minutes with various quick shifts in momentum, before Rollins was able to catch former stablemate Reigns with a Curb Stomp and win his first ever WWE Championship.

There are many reasons why this cash-in should be regarded as the greatest of all time. Firstly, the stage: it remains the only time the Money in the Bank briefcase has been cashed in at WrestleMania, let alone in the main event. Secondly, it saved what should have been a disastrous 'Mania finale. Had Roman proven most people right and pulled an underdog victory out of the bag, it would have ended WWE's biggest show of the year on a very sour note (as shown at WrestleMania 32, where his clean victory over Triple H was treated with utter disdain). Finally, it was also a timely reminder that regardless of how stale or frustrating the product may be at any given time, WWE still know how to shock and entertain.

Share this post

Enzo Amore Case Closed

10 Most Iconic Moments At The ECW Arena

Jack G. King

Written by Jack G. King

Head of News at Cultaholic.com | [email protected]