The WWE Money In The Bank concept was first introduced for WrestleMania 21 in 2005. Since that time, the match and drama following the briefcase and the subsequent cash-ins later that year (or sometimes, that night) have changed the way that WWE fundamentally operates and books their champions. The prospect of having a world championship contract that can be cashed-in at any moment in time was an exciting idea that has resulted in some incredibly memorable WWE moments over the years.
The ladder matches themselves have also been a sight to behold over the years, usually resulting in an above average match, and in most cases, a great match. Trying to narrow it down to just seven of the best contests over the last 15 years was a difficult task and I had to leave off some very good editions of the bout in the process.
However, when one examines this list, I think you'd be hard pressed to disagree with any of these making the list. I also think anyone that is a fan would thoroughly enjoy re-watching every single one of these. So as you get ready for this year's Money In The Bank matches, which will be unlike any in the history of the gimmick, go back in time with us and let's look at the seven best in history.
Edge vs. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho vs. Christian vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin (WrestleMania 21)
The original Money In The Bank match absolutely has to make this list. Just like with a good Hollywood franchise, sometimes there's just nothing like the original and that's the case here. Look at the names of the competitors involved in this match and it should tell you why this one turned out as good as it did.
Over the years, Benjamin would be come known as one of the men who always excelled in the Money In The Bank match (he competed in five of them). And Edge, who won this inaugural contest, went on to have one of the best cash-ins in the history of the gimmick as well.
If you haven't seen it, it is a must-see.
Mr. Kennedy vs. CM Punk vs. Edge vs. Finlay vs. Jeff Hardy vs. King Booker vs. Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton (WrestleMania 23)
The sequel to the original Money In The Bank at WrestleMania 22 was a darn good match, but the third edition at WrestleMania 23 topped that one slightly to make our list.
Mr. Kennedy emerged victorious in another match full of sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famers and future Money In The Bank winners. This was the first time the match happened in a stadium environment and it absolutely did not disappoint.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett (Money In The Bank 2011)
The Money In The Bank match has often been a star making endeavor, and this match started Daniel Bryan's ascent to the top of WWE. As a whole, the Money In The Bank 2011 PPV event itself was an incredibly memorable event, topped off of course by John Cena losing the WWE Championship to CM Punk.
However, the tone for the event was set early with this Money In The Bank match that was won by Daniel Bryan. He would eventually move on to win the World Heavyweight Championship by cashing-in the briefcase at TLC later that year, defeating the Big Show to become champion.
Randy Orton vs. Christian vs. CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Sheamus (Money In The Bank 2013)
Randy Orton had already been a WWE main eventer for nearly a decade when he became Mr. Money In The Bank in this 2013 match. He would go on to have one of the more memorable Money In The Bank cash-ins just two months later at SummerSlam.
But the match itself here was spectacular. Once again, just look at the names! You get Bryan and CM Punk together in a Money In The Bank match. You get Christian, the elder statesman of WWE ladder matches by this point. The same goes for Rob Van Dam. And you have Sheamus, filling the role of the big guy who nobody ever expects much from in a ladder match, and yet he came through in a big way.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam (Money In The Bank 2014)
Rob Van Dam competed in his fifth Money In The Bank match on this night, and he couldn't replicate what he did in 2006. However, his presence in one of these matches is always a welcome sight.
In 2014, you had the recently split up Shield members of Rollins and Ambrose doing battle to add some extra intrigue to the match. Dolph Ziggler, a former Mr. Money In The Bank trying to recreate magic in the same way that RVD was. The always spectacular Kofi Kingston, and Jack Swagger filling that big man role. This one stands the test of time and its legacy has proven to be just as important as Rollins remains at the top of WWE's card.
Dean Ambrose vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (Money In The Bank 2016)
By Money In The Bank 2016, Dean Ambrose seemed to be running on fumes. Following the break-up of The Shield, he had a massive PPV losing streak and lost to Brock Lesnar in an incredibly forgettable WrestleMania match just a little over two months before this event.
However, this was the night where WWE tried to reignite Ambrose's career. He won this Money In The Bank match and went on to cash-in his briefcase on former partner Seth Rollins later in the show to walk away world champion.
Check this one out not just because it was the start of a historic night for Ambrose, but also because of some of the other top tier talent in the ring that night. Owens and Zayn are well known for the chemistry they've had in the ring over the years, so to see them together in a Money In The Bank ladder match was special. Throw in Jericho and Cesaro and you're really cooking.
Oh, and Alberto Del Rio was there too.
Baron Corbin vs. AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Money In The Bank 2017)
Many, many people were not happy with the finish of this match and who walked out the winner. However, the way in which they got to that finish and the match itself was just spectacular with some spots never before seen.
Once again, the bout has the typical big guy like Corbin sprinkled in with the type of guys who would excel in a ladder match: Zayn, Owens, Ziggler, Styles, and Nakamuara. And boy did they ever. Watch this one back if you haven't seen it since it has aired, it's well worth your time.
Brock Lesnar vs. Ali vs. Andrade vs. Baron Corbin vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor vs. Randy Orton vs. Ricochet (Money In The Bank 2019)
Did I agree personally with the result of this match? No, I can't say that I did. Brock Lesnar is the type of character that doesn't really need the Money In The Bank briefcase to get a title shot.
With that said, the match itself is still phenomenal. Any time you put guys like Balor, Ali, Andrade, and Ricochet in a ladder match, something special is going to happen. Plus, throw in a Money In The Bank veteran like Randy Orton, an ascending Drew McIntyre, a past winner in Baron Corbin, and you've got the recipe for a great match. And that's exactly what happened.
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