The Money in the Bank ladder match has become a WrestleMania tradition, a match that wrestling fans look forward to every year, and even got its own pay-per-view named earlier this year. That briefcase is worth as much as the world title, since that briefcase can be used any time for a world championship shot. Since the briefcase has been usually cashed in when the champion is badly injured or in a very vulnerable position, every time that briefcase has been cashed in, it has resulted in a new world champion every time. That’s eight times it has been cashed in, resulting in eight new world championship reigns. Here is the history of the Money in the Bank briefcase, how it was won and how it was cashed in:
The first ever Money in the Bank ladder match was at WrestleMania 21 in 2005 as an idea constructed by Chris Jericho and then-General Manager of Raw, Eric Bischoff. This match saw Edge outlast Chris Benoit, Christian, Edge, Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin and Kane, to become the first “Mr. Money in the Bank” and a world title opportunity of his choice against whomever the world champion of Raw was at the time. At this point, no one knew exactly how the Money in the Bank could be used, and Edge held that briefcase for over nine months, which is a record still intact today. Edge finally cashed in the briefcase at the New Year’s Revolution pay-per-view after a grueling Elimination Chamber, and two spears later on John Cena, Edge was WWE Champion for the first time.
After the success and overwhelming response for the first Money in the Bank ladder match, they decided to bring it back at WrestleMania 22 in 2006. The second Money in the Bank match was not brand-exclusive, unlike the first, and could be used on either the SmackDown world champion or the Raw World Champion. The second ever MITB match was won by Rob Van Dam over Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Finlay, Matt Hardy and Bobby Lashley. RVD waited only a month before deciding to cash in his opportunity against John Cena in a one-on-one match at One Night Stand. With help from Edge and Paul Heyman, RVD defeated Cena to win his first WWE Championship. This would mark the second time Cena would lose his world title against someone who cashed in their briefcase.
The Money in the Bank match quickly became a WrestleMania tradition and the match that most fans were looking forward to all year. The third MITB ladder match occurred at WrestleMania 23 in 2007 and was the first MITB match with eight competitors. In a surprise upset, Mr. Kennedy defeated CM Punk, Edge, King Booker, Finlay, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy and Randy Orton to win the briefcase. But Kennedy suffered an injury after winning the briefcase, and would lose the briefcase a month later to “The Ultimate Opportunist” Edge. Kennedy is the only wrestler so far to ever lose the briefcase. Edge would cash in his second Money in the Bank briefcase of his career four days later on a beaten-down Undertaker, to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
WrestleMania 24 saw the fourth ever Money in the Bank ladder match, and it would not disappoint. In a hard-fought battle, CM Punk came out victorious over Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, Chris Jericho, Mr. Kennedy, John Morrison and Montel Vontavious Porter to win his first briefcase, and a world championship opportunity of his choosing. CM Punk would wait only two months to cash in the briefcase. After Edge, who was a SmackDown competitor showed up on Raw, Batista vowed revenge on Edge who cost him a chance of a world title, giving him a Batista Bomb and laying Edge out. CM Punk quickly capitalized on this opportunity and cashed in his briefcase, performing his finisher on Edge, the Go To Sleep, and winning the first World Heavyweight Championship of his career.
The fifth ever Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 25 saw CM Punk winning the briefcase again by beating Shelton Benjamin, Montel Vontavious Porter, Christian, Finlay, Mark Henry, Kane, and Kofi Kingston. CM Punk became the first ever two-time Money in the Bank ladder match winner, and won his second briefcase in consecutive years, a record that has not been broken to this day. CM Punk tried to cash in the briefcase twice in the months to follow, but was stopped both times by Umaga before he could cash it in. CM Punk finally was able to cash it in at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view after a brutal ladder match between Edge and Jeff Hardy, and was able to beat Hardy and win his second world title after having to hit his finishing maneuver twice.
WrestleMania 26 marked the sixth ever Money in the Bank ladder match and the one with the most competitors ever in a MITB match. There were a total of ten wrestlers vying for the one briefcase suspended twenty feet in the air that could change the careers of every wrestler in the match. When all was set and done, it would be Jack Swagger taking down the briefcase, giving him a world championship shot at any time. Swagger did not want to hold the briefcase long, and tried to cash it in the next night on Monday Night Raw against WWE Champion John Cena. His plan went awry when Cena was coherent enough to still wrestle, and Swagger cancelled the cash-in for a better time. That better time came on the following SmackDown, when Swagger cashed in against World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho and won his first world title.
The Money in the Bank concept was getting so popular that WWE decided that one Money in the Bank ladder match a year wasn’t enough to please the fans. WWE decided to have its own Money in the Bank pay-per-view this year which featured two Money in the Bank ladder matches, one that is SmackDown brand-exclusive and one that is Raw brand-exclusive.
The first match on that Money in the Bank pay-per-view was the SmackDown brand-exclusive Money in the Bank match that featured eight of the best wrestlers that SmackDown has to offer. When it was all said and done, Kane wound up winning his first Money in the Bank briefcase over the likes of The Big Show, Matt Hardy, Christian, Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, and Dolph Ziggler. Kane would not hold that briefcase long and decided to cash it in later that night on a weak Rey Mysterio, after Mysterio’s tough match with Jack Swagger. Kane delivered a chokeslam, followed by the tombstone to win his first World Heavyweight Championship and his second world title overall. Kane also became the quickest wrestler to ever cash-in the briefcase.
The latest Money in the Bank ladder match was the Raw brand-exclusive on the pay-per-view, and it featured The Miz taking down the briefcase, beating Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase, John Morrison, Edge and Mark Henry. The Miz attempted to cash in the briefcase twice in the next two weeks on then-champion Sheamus, but both attempts were interrupted. But finally on the November 22nd edition of Monday Night Raw, Miz was able to cash in the briefcase on a vulnerable Orton, taking full advantage and winning his first ever world title.
The next likely Money in the Bank match will be at either WrestleMania 27 that takes place on April 3rd, 2011, or at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view that will take place on July 17th, 2011.