The Money in the Bank Ladder Match is a standard six man ladder match exclusive to World Wrestling Entertainment with the premise of the winner receiving a contract for a match for the World Heavyweight, WWE, or ECW Championship at a time and place of their choosing within one year of winning the match. These matches have been held at WrestleMania since their inception at WrestleMania 21 in 2005.
In the same way that championships are represented by title belts, the "Money in the Bank" is represented by a briefcase carried by the winner supposedly containing the contract which is cashed in for a title match. The appearances of the briefcase is usually customized for the person who is holding it.
The contract (if it hasn't yet been cashed in) can also be defended in matches (ladder or not) in much the same way a championship is.
Like the Royal Rumble, the winner of the Money in the Bank match is usually perceived (by fans and backstage insiders of the business), as a rising star and or star who has worked hard in WWE and is positioned to be inserted into the main event picture soon after.
The "Money in the Bank" match was created by Chris Jericho in early 2005. He pitched the idea on an episode of RAW and General Manager Eric Bischoff signed it for WrestleMania 21, naming Chris Jericho, Christian, Chris Benoit, Edge, Kane, and Shelton Benjamin as the participants. The winner of the match would be the person who ascended the ladder and unlatched a hanging briefcase containing the guaranteed contract.
Edge won the match. He then carried and used the briefcase as a weapon for the next nine months including once putting it on the line against Matt Hardy at WWE Homecoming, in a match where the loser had to leave RAW.
Cena reclaimed the title at the Royal Rumble, exactly three weeks later.
The "Money in the Bank" idea was revived by Carlito on a February 2006 episode of RAW. Mr. McMahon approved the suggestion and set up "qualifying matches" for the match that would take place at WrestleMania 22. It was later announced that the match was to be "interpromotional" and that General Manager Theodore Long would also set up "qualifying matches" to select three members of his roster to compete.
Rob Van Dam won this "Money in the Bank" ladder match after pushing Benjamin and Hardy off of a ladder, while he was on another ladder, and retrieving the briefcase.
That April, Van Dam defended the contract and won the Intercontinental title in a match against Shelton Benjamin in a "contract vs title" match at Backlash. This match was the first match in which the Money in the Bank contract would not be contested in a ladder match.
Rob Van Dam cashed in his contract at the Extreme Championship Wrestling pay-per-view One Night Stand, and defeated John Cena to win the WWE Championship. The match ended with Cena getting screwed after Edge, the #1 contender to the title, interfered on behalf of Van Dam and speared Cena through a table, knocking him out long enough for Van Dam to hit his Five Star Frog Splash and allow Paul Heyman to replace the unconscious referee to count the pinfall.
Rob Van Dam would successfully defend the title against Edge two weeks later at Vengeance. However, Van Dam would go on to lose the title to Edge in a triple threat match that also featured John Cena on the July 3, 2006 episode of RAW. This happened directly after Van Dam being arrested for drug possession.
Raw's qualifying matches saw 2005 winner Edge defeat 2006 winner Rob Van Dam (from ECW). Jeff Hardy defeated Shelton Benjamin and a no contest between Carlito and Ric Flair that resulted in a rematch in which Randy Orton bribed his way into and won to qualify.
On SmackDown! King Booker defeated Kane in a falls count anywhere match, Matt Hardy defeated Joey Mercury and Finlay defeated MVP and Chris Benoit in a triple threat match. ECW's qualifying matches featured ECW's CM Punk defeating Raw's Johnny Nitro and SmackDown!'s Mr. Kennedy defeating ECW's Sabu.
The match would be won by Mr. Kennedy, who would then appear on both Raw and SmackDown! regularly bragging of his win, eventually declaring he would cash it in at WrestleMania XXIV. A countdown clock was put up on WWE.com counting down the days until he was to cash it in. On the May 07, 2007 edition of Raw he was challenged by Edge to put the briefcase on the line that night, which Kennedy accepted. On the way to the ring for the match he was sneak attacked by Edge who would quickly defeat a beaten down Kennedy for the contract.
The next night at the WWE Friday Night SmackDown! taping World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker and challenger Batista would wrestle for the title in a steel cage match. The match would end in a draw when both escaped at the same time, and a bloody Undertaker would then be attacked by a returning Mark Henry afterwards. Finally Edge made a suprise appearance and cashed in the contract, winning the World Title from The Undertaker and effectively becoming a part of the SmackDown! roster. He would go on to feud with Batista and was forced to vacate the title in June due to injury.
The fourth Money in the Bank ladder match took place at WrestleMania XXIV and featured seven participants from the 3 brands.
In the Raw qualifying matches, Jeff Hardy defeated Snitsky, 2007 winner Mr. Kennedy defeated Val Venis, Chris Jericho defeated Jeff Hardy in a match that was only a qualifier for Jericho, and Carlito defeated Cody Rhodes. On SmackDown!, Shelton Benjamin defeated Jimmy Wang Yang, WWE Tag Team Champion John Morrison defeated co-champion The Miz and Montel Vontavious Porter defeated Jamie Noble at a house show. On ECW CM Punk defeated Big Daddy V.
On March 11, 2008, Hardy was suspended for 60 days due to a Wellness Policy violation and removed from the match, he was not replaced and the match only featured seven participants as a result.
CM Punk would win the match. Shortly after this he would briefly align himself with ECW Champion Kane to feud with WWE Tag Team Champions John Morrison and The Miz, failing twice to capture the championships.
On the June 23, 2008 three hour draft edition of Raw, Punk would be drafted to Raw from ECW. On the next Raw, Friday Night Smackdown's World Heavyweight Champion Edge appeared on Raw to brag that Raw had no World Title (WWE Champion Triple H was drafted to SmackDown!) and the Raw superstars would never get a shot at his title again. Edge was then attacked by rival and Raw draftee Batista who left him laid out in the middle of the ring. Punk took advantage of this and cashed in the contract and defeated Edge for the World Title, bringing it to Raw in the process. He successfully defended the title against JBL later that night.
The Money in the Bank ladder match at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania was one of the most intense contests yet. Though it is usually a match that favors quicker, more agile Superstars, this particular iteration had some powerhouse ringers in the form of Mark Henry and Kane. But once again, CM Punk overcame all of the competition, climbing to the top of the ladder to retrieve his second Money in the Bank briefcase and become the first Superstar to win consecutive Money in the Bank Ladder Matches. A few months later, after joining the Smackdown roster, CM Punk once again picked an opportune moment to cash in his contract. At Extreme Rules, Jeff Hardy survived a brutal, punishing Ladder Match of his own to win his first World Heavyweight Championship. The charismatic enigma didn't have long to celebrate however, as The Straightedge Superstar traded in his briefcase immediately after the match, hitting Hardy with multiple Go to Sleeps to win his second World Heavyweight Title.
On the February 22 episode of Raw, it was announced that the sixth annual Money in the Bank ladder match would take place at WrestleMania XXVI. The first qualifying match was held later that night, where Christian defeated Carlito to qualify. Three more qualifying matches were held on the February 26 episode of SmackDown, with Dolph Ziggler defeating John Morrison and R-Truth in a Triple Threat match, Kane defeating Drew McIntyre, and Shelton Benjamin defeating CM Punk to qualify. The March 1 episode of Raw saw both Jack Swagger and Montel Vontavious Porter qualify by defeating Santino Marella and Zack Ryder respectively. Matt Hardy was the next to qualify for the match when he defeated Drew McIntyre on the March 5 episode of SmackDown. In what was initially declared as the final qualifying match, Evan Bourne defeated William Regal on the March 8 episode of Raw to become the eighth competitor. Due to his favorable association with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, McIntyre was given a third chance on the March 12 episode of SmackDown to qualify for the match. In what would also be made a WWE Intercontinental Championship defense by SmackDown general manager Theodore Long, McIntyre defeated local competitor Aaron Bolo to qualify. On the March 23 episode of Raw, the number of participants was once again increased to a record ten, when Kofi Kingston defeated Vladimir Kozlov to qualify.
At WrestleMania XXVI, Jack Swagger won the match after knocking Christian off a ladder with the briefcase itself. The following night on Raw, Swagger attempted to cash in his shot against the WWE Champion John Cena after ambushing Cena. However, as Cena recovered too quickly from the ambush, Swagger cancelled his match and retained his contract. The next night, at the taping for the April 2, 2010 episode of SmackDown, after Edge attacked then World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho, Swagger cashed in his contract and successfully claimed the World Heavyweight Championship.
In February 2010, WWE announced that "Money in the Bank" would be the title to their July 18 pay-per-view event at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The event included two Money in the Bank ladder matches featuring the Raw and SmackDown brands respectively. Unlike previous iterations of the match, the winners can only challenge for their own brand's World Championship. All eight competitors for the Raw brand's match were announced on the June 28 episode of Raw by [[List of WWE Raw guest host Rob Zombie. The eight competitors were Randy Orton, The Miz, R-Truth, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase, John Morrison and Edge. On the July 5th episode of Raw, R-Truth was involved in an injury storyline with The Miz and was subsequently removed from the match and replaced by Mark Henry. Two days later, WWE announced six of the competitors for the SmackDown brand's match through its official website: Matt Hardy, Kane, "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, Christian, Kofi Kingston and The Big Show. On the July 9th episode of SmackDown, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler both competed in qualifying matches and were added to the match.
At the PPV, Kane won the SmackDown Money in the Bank match. He cashed it in the same night by defeating Rey Mysterio to win the World Heavyweight Championship. He also became the quickest man to cash in the briefcase. For Raw, The Miz won that brand's Money in the Bank contract. After a couple of aborted attempts (which due to the bell not sounding to start the matches, allowed Miz to keep the briefcase), Miz finally cashed in his title opportunity on the November 22, 2010 episode of Raw, immediately after Randy Orton successfully retained the WWE Championship against Wade Barrett in which The Nexus attacked Orton before the match and injured his right leg. Miz went on to defeat Orton with a Skull Crushing Finale to win his first WWE Championship.
WrestleMania XXVII was the first such event in six years that did not feature a Money in the Bank ladder match. However, a second Money in the Bank pay-per-view took place on July 17, 2011 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Raw's Alberto Del Rio and SmackDown's Daniel Bryan won their respective brands' 2011 Money in the Bank Ladder Match. At the end of the night, after CM Punk won the WWE Championship from John Cena, Vince McMahon ordered Del Rio to come in and attempt to cash in his briefcase against Punk. (Punk had threatened to leave the company after the pay-per-view, as his contract was expiring.) Del Rio came out to do so, but got taken out with a kick to the head, and Punk fled through the crowd. A similar cash-in attempt was performed on then-champion Rey Mysterio on the July 25, 2011 episode of Raw, but Del Rio was again unable to cash in the briefcase. However, Del Rio was able to cash in his briefcase and defeated CM Punk for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam on August 14, 2011.
On the July 22, 2011 episode of SmackDown, Daniel Bryan announced that he was going to cash his contract in at WrestleMania XXVIII. On the November 25, 2011 episode of SmackDown, Daniel Bryan cashed in on World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry, who had been knocked out by the Big Show. Bryan got the pinfall victory and was awarded the championship, however SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long overruled the match due to Henry not being medically cleared to compete, the first time a Money in the Bank cash-in match was reversed. Since the match never officially took place, Bryan was given the briefcase back and again reiterated that he planned on cashing in at WrestleMania XXVIII. On December 18, 2011 at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view Big Show defeated Mark Henry to win the World Heavyweight Championship, Bryan then cashed in his briefcase on Big Show to win his first World Heavyweight Championship.
For the second straight year, a Money in the Bank ladder match didn't take place at WrestleMania. But a third Money in the Bank pay-per-view took place on July 15, 2012 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. There were the usual two Money in the Bank ladder matches; however, the matches were no longer separated by brands (RAW and SmackDown). Instead, they were separated by Championship (WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship).
Official Money In The Bank Ladder Matches
- Edge defeated Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Benoit, Christian (w/ Tyson Tomko) and Kane (15:17) at WrestleMania 21
- Edge won by climbing a ladder and retrieving the briefcase hanging above the ring after hitting Benoit with a steel chair.
- Rob Van Dam defeated Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Finlay, Matt Hardy and Bobby Lashley (12:21) at WrestleMania 22
- Van Dam won by climbing a ladder and taking possession of the briefcase hanging above the ring.
- Mr. Kennedy defeated Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Finlay, CM Punk, Edge and, Randy Orton at WrestleMania 23
- Kennedy won by climbing a ladder and taking possession of the briefcase after hitting CM Punk with a ladder.
- CM Punk defeated Shelton Benjamin, Chris Jericho, Carlito, Montel Vontavious Porter, Mr. Kennedy, and John Morrison at WrestleMania XXIV.
- Punk won by retrieving the briefcase after forcing Jericho's legs to get caught on the other side of the ladder, making him unable to prevent Punk from getting the briefcase.
- CM Punk defeated Kane, Mark Henry (w/ Tony Atlas), Montel Vontavious Porter, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Finlay (w/ Hornswoggle) at WrestleMania XXV.
- Punk retrieved the briefcase after knocking Kane off a ladder.
- Jack Swagger defeated Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston at WrestleMania XXVI.
- Swagger retrieved the briefcase after knocking Christian off a ladder by hitting him with the briefcase itself.
- Kane defeated The Big Show, Matt Hardy, Christian, Kofi Kingston, "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler at Money in the Bank
- Kane retrieved the briefcase after knocking down Drew McIntyre off a ladder by shoving him off the ladder.
- The Miz defeated Ted DiBiase, Chris Jericho, Edge, Evan Bourne, John Morrison, Randy Orton and Mark Henry at Money in the Bank
- Miz retrieved the briefcase after knocking down Randy Orton off a ladder by knocking down the ladder.
- Daniel Bryan defeated Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Sin Cara, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Kane and Sheamus at Money in the Bank
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Alex Riley, R-Truth, The Miz, Evan Bourne and Jack Swagger at Money in the Bank
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Christian, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Santino Marella, Sin Cara, Tensai and Tyson Kidd at Money in the Bank
Official cashed in Money in the Bank matches
- Edge defeated The Undertaker (c) to win the World Heavyweight Championship on the May 11, 2007 episode of SmackDown!
- CM Punk defeated Edge (c) to win the World Heavyweight Championship on the June 30, 2008 episode of Monday Night Raw.
- Jack Swagger defeated Chris Jericho (c) to win the World Heavyweight Championship on the April 2, 2010 episode of SmackDown!
- The Miz defeated Randy Orton (c) to win the WWE Championship on the November 22, 2010 episode of Monday Night Raw.
- Daniel Bryan defeated Big Show (c) to win the World Heavyweight Championship at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.
Money in the Bank defenses
Along with the official Money in the Bank ladder matches that have taken place at WrestleMania, there have been matches in which the current holder of the Money in the Bank contract has placed their championship shot on the line against an opponent. The Money In The Bank contract has only changed hands once in a defense to date.
- This match also had Benjamin's Intercontinental Championship on the line. Rob Van Dam won the match, retaining his MitB and winning the IC Championship.
- Edge defeated Mr.Kennedy (MitB Holder) on an episode of Raw to win the Money in the Bank contract.
- Edge attacked Kennedy before the match and pinned within a few seconds.
- RVD is the only man to have held a title with his MitB case.
- Kane? has competed in more Money in the Bank matches than anyone else, competing in 6.
- RVD is the first to have his Money in the Bank briefcase customized appearance-wise.
- The first two MitB winners cashed in the MitB at the same year (2006).
- Edge held the briefcase for 9 months before cashing it in the first time and one night the second time.
- RVD held the briefcase for 2 months before cashing it in.
- Mr. Kennedy held the briefcase for 1 month before losing it to Edge.
- CM Punk held the briefcase for 3 months before cashing it in.
- The first two MitB winners made 1 successful defense of their briefcase before cashing it in (Edge against Matt Hardy & RVD against Shelton Benjamin).
- When RVD won the WWE championship by "cashing in" after 2 days he was awarded the ECW World Championship , his title reigns would end to Edge, winning the WWE Championship, and Big Show, winning the ECW World Championship.
- CM Punk is the only man to win the MitB case two years in a row (Wrestlemania XXIV and Wrestlemania 25).
- Jack Swagger cashed in his MiTB briefcase faster than any other holder cashing it in 5 days after WrestleMania (XXVI).
- Kane broke this record when he cashed in his briefcase in less than hour after he won it at Money in the Bank.
- All but two cash-ins were cashed in to win the World Heavyweight Championship
- 2010 has the most Money In The Bank ladder matches, with 3.