The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of WrestlingINC.com or its staff.
After a wild and controversial cash-in by Damien Sandow, I thought it would be a good idea to recap all of the Money in the Bank cash-ins in the WWE’s history. The cash-in of the briefcase is constantly one of the most entertaining things that can happen in wrestling these days, and if there is one thing that can get eyes glued to the television screen, it is the cash-in of the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Edge cashes in on John Cena-New Years Revolution 2006
The first ever cash in and still the best. When Edge won the contract at Wrestlemania 21, the actual power of the contract was still somewhat of a mystery. The briefcase did not just simply guarantee a title shot, if utilized properly, it guaranteed a title victory. Edge held on to the contract for so long that we basically forgot that he had it. Sure, he carried the briefcase around with him, but it was just a simple black briefcase, a far cry from the neon red briefcase that the superstars lug around today. Because of the way Edge utilized the contract (taking advantage of a weakened Cena after a particularly brutal Elimination Chamber match) and because we did not know how powerful the contract could be, combined with the sheer length Edge held the briefcase for without cashing it in (his 280 days is still the longest anyone has held the briefcase for), Edge forever established himself as THE man when it came to MITB.
Rob Van Dam cashes in on John Cena-One Night Stand 2006
A worthy successor to Edge’s cash-in, RVD announced beforehand that he was going to cash-in his contract at One Night Stand. Unlike Edge, RVD’s cash-in was not the lightning quick match and title change, but instead had a build-up leading to the main-event at One Night Stand. What made the cash-in special was the atmosphere that it took place in. The crowd at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City was one of the best wrestling atmospheres ever, and the way they treated both RVD and John Cena was so radically different than the typical WWE crowd at the time, was what separated this match from virtually every single other match in WWE history.
Edge cashes in on The Undertaker- Smackdown May 8th, 2007
After Mr. Kennedy lost the MITB to Edge on Raw the previous evening, Edge quickly capitalized on the champion Undertaker, who had just fought a cage match and was subsequently attacked by Mark Henry, becoming the first man to cash-in the MITB contract twice. The handling of this one was very strange, and that kept it from having the real magic that the previous two cash-ins had. Kennedy had the briefcase taken off of him because it was believed that he had a torn triceps muscle, which ended up being a mis-diagnosis, so the WWE gave the contract to Edge and just one night later, Edge cashed-in. This one lacked the build-up and therefore the drama of the first two, which ended up lowering the standards for MITB cash-ins.
CM Punk cashes in on Edge-Raw June 30th, 2008
Edge became the victim of his own strategy, when CM Punk cashed in his contract on a weakened Edge, who had been beaten down by Batista. This was Punk’s first full-episode of Raw, as he had been drafted to Raw just the previous week. Punk was still a relative newcomer to the WWE at this time, so to see him win the World Heavyweight Championship was a pretty big deal. Punk winning the WHC, which had currently been a Smackdown title, also shook up the WWE as for a time, the WHC was moved to Raw.
CM Punk cashes in on Jeff Hardy-Extreme Rules 2009
The flip side of Punk. While we got face CM Punk cashing in on a beaten Edge, we get heel CM Punk cashing in on a beaten Jeff Hardy. Punk won the briefcase for the second year in a row at Wrestlemania 25, and he hastily utilized it at the very next PPV. While all the other cash-ins (except for RVD) had been quick finishing moves and then pinfalls, Hardy surprised fans by kicking out of the GTS and almost scoring with a roll-up. This match lacked the overall shock factor of Punks first cash in, but the surprise of Hardy almost pulling the match out made up for it.
Jack Swagger cashes in on Chris Jericho-Smackdown April 2nd, 2010
Living proof that any cash-in can be exciting, no matter who the participants may be, Jack Swagger cashed in his MITB contract just two days after winning it at Wrestlemania 26. Swagger had an absolutely terrible run as a champion, but you know what? Swagger cashing in his contract was STILL a very exciting moment, which is a true testament to how fantastic of an idea the MITB contract really is.
Kane cashes in on Rey Mysterio-Money in the Bank 2010
The first and only man to cash in the contract on the same night he won it, Kane reclaimed world title status for the first time in twelve years when he defeated Rey Mysterio. I think this is an underrated cash-in, if only because I think that Kane has a great entrance for surprises. It was also funny to see someone like Kane utilize the MITB contract to take advantage of someone as small as Rey.
The Miz cashes in on Randy Orton-Raw November 22nd, 2010
Similar to the Jack Swagger situation, The Miz did not have the most illustrious title reign, but even so, his title cash in was still very exciting. Randy Orton was a crap face champion anyways, so I commend the WWE for giving a different type of guy like The Miz the champion.
Alberto Del Rio cashes in on CM Punk-Summerslam 2011
I am a big fan of this cash-in, just because everything was so surprising. After a very good title defense against John Cena, Punk was laid out by Kevin Nash of all people, and out came ADR to claim his first WWE Championship. MITB should be all about surprises, and seeing Nash come out and ADR cashing in was certainly a surprise. Now, ADR turned out to be a bad heel champion, and Kevin Nash ended up being part of a god-awful feud with not CM Punk, but Triple H, but for that one night, everything went down perfectly.
Daniel Bryan cashes on The Big Show-TLC 2011
The precursor to Daniel Bryan becoming a top face in the WWE title picture, Bryan won the WHC against The Big Show after Show had just defeated Mark Henry for the WHC. The cash-in was pretty surprising, since both Bryan and Show were faces at the time and Bryan had stated that he wanted to hold onto the MITB until Wrestlemania. Bryan turning heel and winning the title really helped establish himself as a character in the WWE, and was surely very influential on his popular face run in 2013.
John Cena cashes in on CM Punk-Raw 1000, July 23rd, 2012
Cena became the first man to lose his MITB cash-in match, and to be honest, it had to happen. The possibility that someone could lose their cash-in match needed to be established, although it was far from clean. Cena announced in advance that he would be cashing in his contract at Raw 1000, a move that only RVD had ever done. Cena would win the match when Big Show interfered, causing a disqualification, though of course, he did not win the WWE Championship. The match is more famous for CM Punk turning on The Rock anyways, so I like to pretend that this match never really happened.
Dolph Ziggler cashes in on Alberto Del Rio-Raw April 8th, 2013
Outside of Edge’s original cash-in, this is my favorite cash-in moment. The idea of having an IWC favorite win the WHC in front of the most IWC heavy crowd (the night after WM) was nothing short of brilliant by the WWE. Also, the way the WWE had been booking Ziggler, it made it seem that there was a real chance that the WWE would have Ziggler lose his cash-in match, especially because ADR put up quite a fight during the match. In the end. Ziggler would win the title and the crowd would become unglued in what was one of my personal favorite moments from 2013 so far.
Randy Orton cashes in on Daniel Bryan-Summerslam 2013
After capturing his first WWE title, Bryan would immediately lose the title to Randy Orton, who cashed in his shot after Triple H pedigreed Bryan. Similar to the CM Punk/ADR cash-in, at the moment this cash-in happened, everything seemed good. However, we would see later that the booking department in the WWE would drop the ball on both storylines.
Damien Sandow cashes in on John Cena-Raw October 28th, 2013
It is really early to say so, but probably my least favorite cash-in match. Sandow had been booked as a complete loser heading into the cash-in, while Cena had just “overcome” the odds once again to win the WHC at Hell in a Cell. Despite Cena heavily selling his injured arm, he still pinned the perfectly healthy Sandow. Like I said, it is early, but I really do not see how Sandow can recover after blowing his chance to a one-armed man.