World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) introduced the professional wrestling world to the Money in the Bank concept five-and-a-half years ago at Wrestlemania 21. The gimmick, a multi-man ladder match with a contract for a WWE or World Title shot up for grabs, has gained momentum throughout the years. In fact, in addition to the now traditional Money in the Bank ladder match at Wrestlemania, the WWE held two more Money in the Bank matches this year, at a pay per view called Money in the Bank. This has led to a debate amongst fans about the influence Money in the Bank has had on professional wrestling.
For Money in the Bank Argument: WWE’s Money in the Bank gimmick has positively influenced the wrestling industry by helping to create new main event stars.
Reasoning- As more main event stars from yesteryear retire or enter semi-retirement, new wrestlers have needed to step up and fill the main event void. The Money in the Bank gimmick has proven very effective for creating new main event stars. The concept has given Edge, CM Punk, and The Miz the pushes needed to get over on the main event level. Edge shined as a main event heel (bad guy) because of the “Ultimate Opportunist” character which evolved from him winning Money in the Bank. CM Punk wasn’t considered a certified main event star until he surprised everyone by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract to win the World Heavyweight Title. Punk’s reign as champion cemented his main event status. Money in the Bank helped push The Miz to the main event level by giving The Miz’s arrogant character an accomplishment to brag about. The cockiness the Money in the Bank brought out from The Miz made The Miz a person professional wrestling fans love to hate.
Against Money in the Bank Argument:WWE’s Money in the Bank gimmick has negatively influenced the wrestling industry by cheapening title victories.
Reasoning- Emotional championship victories fill the pages of professional wrestling’s history books, at least until 2005. Shawn Michaels’ sudden death victory over Bret Hart at Wrestlemania XII for the WWE (then WWF) Title will be a moment wrestling fans won’t forget. Mick Foley, as Mankind, running around the ring with the WWE Title celebrating his first heavyweight championship is a moment which will live on in infamy. Eddie Guerrero capturing his first and only WWE Title in 2004 after 17 years in the industry at No Way Out is as emotional as you get in the professional wrestling industry. The reason these moments meant so much is because winning the WWE Title or World Title actually used to mean something. Now, thanks to Money in the Bank, winning a major world heavyweight title just means capitalizing on a situation. For instance, the fact Jack Swagger will go down in history as a World Champion while undisputed legends like “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Henning never won a major world heavyweight title is a disgrace.
Both sides have valid points. Money in the Bank has helped elevate the careers of Edge, CM Punk, and The Miz. However, Money in the Bank has also cheapened what winning a world heavyweight title means. In the end the correct opinion depends on what you value, the future or tradition and history.