Pro Wrestling

10 Best Matches In WWE Money in the Bank PPV History Source:

While the Money in the Bank match has been around since WrestleMania 21, when it was invented by Chris Jericho (according to him, anyway), the Pay Per View that bears the Money in the Bank name was only created several years later, debuting in 2010. The show has turned into a highly anticipated annual show, due to the potential long-term effects the titular match can have on WWE as a whole. In addition, throwing several top WWE Superstars into a multi-man ladder match usually results in some of the most exciting WWE matches of the year. But while the Money in the Bank matches are usually very good, they’re not the only great matches to take place at the Money in the Bank PPV, and we looked at every match in the show’s history in order to come up with a lsit of the very best matches to happen at Money in the Bank.

10. John Cena Wins The Vacant WWE World Heavyweight Title (2014)

With the WWE audience basically crushed after Daniel Bryan was stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight title thanks to a serious injury, which would end up keeping him out of action for the rest of the year (and undoubtedly contributed to his retirement in 2016), there was really only one choice for the Superstar who would step in to take his place. But WWE decided to let things play out first, making a second multi-man ladder match (in addition to the traditional Money in the Bank match) for the vacant title, which featured Kane, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Cesaro, Sheamus, Bray Wyatt, Alberto Del Rio, and John Cena. Looking at that list, even if you didn’t know ahead of time that the winner was going to face Brock Lesnar in the main event of SummerSlam, be honest, who would you think was walking out with the title? And indeed, Cena won the match to earn his fifteenth reign as World Champion, but the good news is, with that much talent in the match, it was a very good affair, worthy of one where the ultimate prize was the top title in the company. Plus, the fact that Cena got absolutely destroyed by Lesnar a month later at SummerSlam did help take a bit of the sting out of no longer having Daniel Bryan as champion. Only a little, but it still counts. Source:

9. Daniel Bryan Wins Money In The Bank (2011)

If you ever wondered why the 2011 edition of the Money in the Bank PPV is considered one of the best PPV’s in WWE history, the fact that this match, a well-wrestled multi-man ladder match containing some under-rated wrestlers isn’t even the second-best match on the card! This match featured Daniel Bryan coming out of nowhere to win the Money in the Bank briefcase after months of fighting (and losing) aimless matches on the undercard (often against Sin Cara, and it’s fair to say we get a little bit of satisfaction out of Sin Cara getting powerbombed through a ladder and carted off during this same match), setting him on a long and winding path that would culminate several years later at WrestleMania XX. Honestly, part of what makes this match so great is that it contained a bunch of wrestlers who nobody could particularly see as World Champions in the near future, including Bryan. Barrett, Slater, and Gabriel had just broken up The Corre and were largely directionless, Sheamus was still a few weeks away from turning face against Mark Henry and catapulting into the main event to stay, Sin Cara was a rapidly failing experiment, Cody Rhodes was still a work in progress, and Kane was, well, Kane. And yet, these mostly unheralded midcarders went out and put on a match that was on par with anything you’d see from the main event. At the time, it seemed like we were seeing a glimpse of the future of WWE, and in some cases, we were right. Source:

8. John Cena Wins Money In The Bank (2012)

There were a lot of questions going into this Money in the Bank match, mostly due to how it had been set up. The match was originally announced as only being open to any former WWE Champions (as opposed to the Smackdown version, which continued to be a mix of various Superstars from all ranks), which provided the slightly unappealing field of Kane, The Big Show, Chris Jericho, and John Cena, the smallest number of wrestlers in a Money in the Bank match ever. At the show itself, The Miz made a surprise return to insert himself into the match, which if nothing else, expanded the number of potential winners, but still looked on paper like the most disappointing Money in the Bank match since the concept was introduced. However, forced to work a more ground-based match due to the wrestlers involved, the participants upped the intensity, substituting hard shots and visual spectacle for complex spots and falls off the ladder. This was also the match which introduced the heavily reinforced “super” ladder that was designed to support The Big Show, which came in handy after he destroyed several regular ladders in an impressive display of power, including ripping one in half with his bare hands. Ultimately, Cena won the match, which seemed both inevitable and unnecessary, since if there was anyone who could get a World title shot whenever he wanted, it was Cena. However, Cena’s use of the briefcase was handled well, as he became the first person to cash in and fail to win the title, a dubious honor that might have ruined a lesser Superstar’s future prospects. Source:

7. Christian vs Randy Orton (2011)

In an oft-forgotten feud that turned out to basically be the swan song for Christian’s career, he faced off with Randy Orton in a series of matches for the World Heavyweight Championship (which Christian had initially won at Extreme Rules after it was vacated due to the sudden retirement of his lifelong best friend, Edge) that saw the title change hands several times in a series of excellent matches. This bout continued the trend of quality matches between the two men, who had excellent chemistry together, and even added an additional wrinkle that allowed for some extra psychology, as Orton would lose the title if he got himself disqualified, playing off Orton’s tendency to give into his anger issues at inopportune times. As a slimy weasel, Christian was perfectly positioned to exploit Orton’s biggest weakness, and managed to goad Orton into losing his title by spitting in the champion’s face. Christian paid for his actions as Orton hit him first with a low blow, then with consecutive RKO’s on the announce table, but Captain Charisma still escaped the match with the World Heavyweight Championship around his waist, which he seemed to think made that punishment a good bargain, all things considered. Source:

6. Randy Orton Wins Money In The Bank (2013)

We talked earlier about a Money in the Bank match featuring great but under-rated wrestlers turning out an incredible showing, well, this match featured some of WWE’s biggest stars and best wrestlers putting on one of the best Money in the Bank ladder matches ever. There was CM Punk, having just returned after a brief hiatus and back to being a fan favorite, which would unfortunately lead to his manager, Paul Heyman, actively screwing him out of an all-but guaranteed victory in this match. There was Daniel Bryan, reaching his peak as massive star in the eyes of the fans, which WWE simply could not ignore for much longer. You also had solid workers in Sheamus, Christian, and Randy Orton, and the heavily hyped return of Rob Van Dam. It’s important to note, also, that every single wrestler in the match was a former World Champion and long-time veteran, all of them with fairly good chemistry with each other. The result was an intense, high-energy battle that was a bright spot on an otherwise middle-of-the-road PPV. Source:

5. Seth Rollins wins Money In The Bank (2014)

While this match didn’t contain the star power of 2013, or the largely unheralded roster of 2011, it was, perhaps, the best possible field of wrestlers on the roster at the time if you wanted to put together an incredible match and elevate someone new in the process. Well, and also Jack Swagger, but his major issues have never been about his wrestling ability. At any rate, the combination of solid workers like Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler, and the fresh intensity of former Shield members Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins colliding for the first time since Rollins had stabbed his former companions in the back, aligning with The Authority and becoming the self-proclaimed “Future of WWE”. Everyone in the match worked incredibly hard to put on a great show, perhaps in an attempt to show up the second ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Title later in the evening, and it’s fair to say they succeeded, with a match that was absolutely wall-to-wall action from start to finish. In the end, Rollins won the briefcase after Corporate Kane interfered to deny Ambrose, continuing a lengthy feud between the former Shield members that would last, off and on, for the rest of the next year. Source:

4. Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose (2015)

After Seth Rollins won Money in the Bank, former Shield member Dean Ambrose declared that every time Seth attempted to cash in, Ambrose would be there to prevent it. Unfortunately, when Seth finally did cash in at WrestleMania 31, Ambrose was busy being treated for injuries suffered earlier in the evening. However, he soon resumed attempting to make his former friend’s life a living hell, leading to a series of matches where Ambrose came incredibly close to walking away the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. In an attempt to end the feud once and for all, this was a ladder match, with the assumption being that it would have a definitive winner. Both Ambrose and Rollins took advantage of the fact that ladder matches are No DQ affairs, making liberal use of whatever they could grab in an attempt to gain an advantage. After a brutal match, Rollins buried Ambrose under a pile of steel chairs and attempted to climb to victory. However, Ambrose struggled free and contested Rollins atop the ladder. Both men fell to ground while grappling for the belt, and Rollins was fortunate enough to maintain a hold on it when they fell to the mat, once again successfully escaping from his determined former teammate. Source:

3. Kevin Owens vs John Cena (2015)

In 2015, there were few hotter feuds than the one between John Cena, who had begun regaining “smart” fan credibility thanks to the US Open Challenge, and NXT Champion Kevin Owens, who had burst onto the scene with a devastating attack on Cena, followed up by pinning the US Champion cleanly (in a non-title match) in his very first official match on the main roster, at the Elimination Chamber special. Cena would, of course, demand a rematch, which took place at Money in the Bank. And just like their first bout, Cena and Owens tore into each other from the opening bell, putting on an incredible display of pro wrestling that attempted to surpass what they’d already done. Since many fans preferred the first match when it came time to discuss Match of the Year contenders, mostly due to it being a fresh match-up and Owens winning, this second match often gets short-changed despite being just as good, and perhaps better in some spots. Cena won, as expected, but Owens did leave the US Champion laying with a powerbomb on the ring apron, guaranteeing a third match to settle the score once and for all. Source:

2. CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan (2012)

You probably couldn’t put these two in a match without it being at least somewhat great, so the fact that they got to have an extended feud over Punk’s WWE Championship (even though, like most of his title matches, it didn’t get to main-event the show) was the realization of many wrestling fans’ dreams. While their match a couple of months earlier at Over The Limit was probably a better one, this match, which featured Daniel Bryan’s recent ex-girlfriend (on TV) and CM Punk’s future wife (in reality) AJ Lee as the special guest referee, during a period where she was making decisions mostly based on whimsy, was still very, very good, as befits two of the best wrestlers on the entire planet. At this point, Bryan was well on his way to becoming the favorite wrestler of pretty much everyone in the WWE Universe, although the official Yes! Movement was not yet a thing, and Punk was already the straight edge hero of the masses, so the crowd reactions were off the charts. Though Bryan ended up on the short end of the stick, and went through a table in the bargain, in the coming weeks, his increased instability would lead to him being forced to attend anger management classes alongside Kane, and from there, the rest is history. Source:

1. John Cena vs CM Punk (2011)

In the end, there was very little chance that this match wouldn’t top the list, and in fact it might top some lists of the best WWE matches of all time. Despite essentially being an unexpected challenger for Cena’s WWE Title, it turned out that CM Punk had an Ace up his sleeve which escalated the stakes of the match to an incredible height. Punk revealed that his WWE contract was legitimately expiring the day of the Money in the Bank PPV, in an infamous “Pipe Bomb” promo that was among the best things ever seen on Raw, and expressed his intent to win the WWE Title and leave the company with the belt in tow. With the line between kayfabe and reality blurred beyond all recognition, Punk and Cena walked into the PPV and put on an absolutely classic match, one of many they would have against each other. The fact that the show took place in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, and the even more surprising fact that he actually won the match and ran out of the arena as the theoretically unemployed WWE Champion (in reality, Punk had signed a new contract that day), and also one of the biggest stars in the company. WWE massively screwed up nearly everything that came afterwards, but the match which kicked off the Summer of Punk was practically perfect in every single way. Source:

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.