The 2016 edition of the Money In The Bank PPV/Network Special has came and went so let’s have a look back at some of the winners & their cash-ins so we can sort the Bobby Eatons from the Bombastic Bobs.
He beat: Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, Kane and Christian
Cashed in against: John Cena at New Years Revolution 2006.
Thoughts: Well shit, let’s see. Edge’s surprising cash-in was so effective it became the template for nearly all other cash-ins. Edge was able to use the momentum from the real-life fall-out from the Matt Hardy/Lita affair to break through to the main event scene where he stayed until his retirement. Cena’s title reign was starting to lag due to a lack of solid feuds (the Elimination Chamber main event featured low-tier Chris Masters & Carlito) so Edge cashing in after the match and giving Cena no chance of winning suddenly gave him a real villain to fuck with and Cena spent most of 2006 feuding with him with renewed vigour. With no faults, it’s arguably the most successful MITB cash-in.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
He beat: Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Finlay and Bobby Lashley
Cashed in against: John Cena at One Night Stand 2006
Thoughts: Rob Van Dam became the first wrestler to announce the time & date he was going to cash in and stick to it. Surprisingly honourable considering he was representing a crowd that chanted death at Cena. The atmosphere at One Night Stand 2006 still holds up and WWE finally gave Rob Van Dam the title years after he should have in order to give the newly-introduced ECW brand a shot in the arm. ECW on Sci-Fi was shit, Rob Van Dam got busted for a DUI shortly afterwards and had to lose the ECW & WWE title, but on (rolling) paper it was a good idea.
Winner: Ken Kennedy
He beat: Edge, Jeff Hardy, CM Punk, King Booker, Finlay, Matt Hardy and Randy Orton
Cashed in against: Oh er wait a minute.
Thoughts: You tend to read a lot of negativity about Kennedy but it’s easy to forget that from 2005-2007 he screamed ”next world champ” based on his mic skills alone. When he won MITB at Wrestlemania 23 it felt natural. Of course he was going to win and use this to gain access to the main event zone like Edge and Rob Van Dam. Then like the rest of Kennedy’s career, something happened. Kennedy was diagnosed with an injury that was originally going to take months to recover from and WWE had already planned on having him cash-in to get the title off Undertaker (who also needed time off). So Edge beat Kennedy very quickly on Raw and cashed in the following SmackDown after Undertaker had went to a draw in a cage match with Batista and then attacked by Mark Henry. WWE made the best of a bad situation by having three different feuds for Undertaker when he returned, with the Edge feud lasting for months and adding another notch on the Rated-R Superstar’s belt. To rub salt in the wound, Kennedy would get re-checked and diagnosed with a much quicker recovery time than originally diagnosed. Edge is in the Hall of Fame and Kennedy continues to be brought up in ”what if?” discussions.
Winner: CM Punk
He beat: Mr. Kennedy, Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, John Morrison and Montel Vontavious Porter
Cashed in against: Edge on Raw
Thoughts: The first time MITB got cashed in with no long-term plan other than YEAHHH CM PUNK AS CHAMP WOOOOOO. Edge was bragging about taking the World Heavyweight Title to SmackDown as Punk cashed in so there was no feud over the cash-in. Instead Punk was World Champ and played second fiddle to Batista, Kane, JBL and the real main event guys. By the time Unforgiven rolled along, WWE gave up and had Randy Orton attack Punk backstage. Jericho took his place and won the title in one of those scramble matches that was so successful they never tried them again. The reign was such a dud Punk dedicated a section of his DVD to complain about it. Punk came across as a Make-A-Wish Kid that asked for a World Title reign and WWE couldn’t say no.
Winner: CM Punk
He beat: Christian, Shelton Benjamin, Kane, Finlay, Montel Vontavious Porter, Kofi Kingston, and Mark Henry
Cashed in against: Jeff Hardy at Extreme Rules
Thoughts: Everything wrong about last year was done right this time. Punk tried to honourably cash-in against Edge but only after he beat him in a singles match first. However Umaga and Jeff Hardy kept on getting in the way until Punk & Edge had matches against them at Extreme Rules and just as Hardy beat Edge in a ladder match Punk showed up, cashed in, turned evil and finally made an impact. The subsequent anti-drug Punk title run against pro-drug Jeff Hardy was one of the highlights of 2009 Smackdown with Punk looking and sounding like a superstar as opposed to ”the guy that looks like a short waiter” as Kevin Nash described him. Jeff left WWE by doing everything he could to pass the torch and everybody came out of the cash-in looking great. Jeff got busted with enough drugs to get busted for distribution a few days afterwards, which only added to the greatness. Like Edge, Punk stayed at a main event position for the rest of his run so this gets the Big Dave Thumbs Up.
2010 (The last Wrestlemania MITB)
Winner: Jack Swagger
He beat: Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Kane, Matt Hardy, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, Montel Vontavious Porter, and Dolph Ziggler
Cashed in against: Chris Jericho on SmackDown
Thoughts: Apparently the decision to have Swagger win the title was made only a few days before Wrestlemania. I don’t believe everything I read online but I believe this. Like Punk’s first reign, Swagger won the title from Jericho but feuded with Rey Mysterio & Big Show in a ”well this is happening” series of matches and apart from one promo where he discussed sandwiches and crowns, Swagger looked like a fluke who wasn’t ready with WWE the only person in the room thinking he was ready. Winning the title too soon fucked Swagger’s career and commentators barely have enough time to squeeze out ”oh by the way Swagger’s a former World Champ” before Rusev kills him again.
He beat: Christian, Matt Hardy, Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes
Cashed in against: Rey Mysterio at MITB 2010
Thoughts: Rey ended the Swagger experiment at the first MITB PPV only for Kane to cash-in after winning the briefcase thirty minutes before. Reaction at the time was ”oh good for Kane, he deserves it” as if the World Title is a prize for longevity. Kane at least feuded with Rey for a bit which was nice but then Undertaker vs. Kane feud Part 64 started and made Hogan vs. Piper from 1996 look like Ospreay vs. Ricochet. I’m a Kane fan but A WELL DONE FOR NOT GETTING FIRED card or possibly cake would have had the same effect as Kane didn’t need any World Title in 2010.
Winner: The Miz
He beat: Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Edge, John Morrison, Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase and Mark Henry
Cashed in against: Randy Orton on Raw
Thoughts: After Orton had retained against Wade Barrett, Miz showed up, cashed in, gave us Miz-girl. Miz actually became the first and only guy to cash in after a match and still have to wrestle the guy for a few minutes, which summed up the rest of Miz’s run as champ: A pussy who had to have help from everybody to retain. So although the matches and feuds against Randy Orton, Jerry Lawler (!) and John Cena lacked in the star ratings department (to say the least) the character of Miz was kept strong. The character of an over-achiever with a daft haircut. Who beat John Cena in the main event of Wrestlemania.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
He beat: Wade Barrett, Kane, Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater
Cashed in against: Big Show at TLC 2011
Thoughts: Big Show pinned Mark Henry after three months of beating the shite out of each so the unfairness of Bryan running out and getting the pin on a still-downed Big Show was a good attempt by WWE to make us try to boo him. Sadly for them Bryan was too entertaining as a saturday morning villain and having Sheamus kill him with Quick Attack only made the fans love him more. We got YES YES YES out of this cash-in so it’s an easy Big Dave approval.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
He beat: The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne and Alex Riley
Cashed in against: The sad ending to the Summer of Punk saw Punk retain against Cena only for Nash to waddle out and powerbomb him and Del Rio cash in. Del Rio was way past the point of meaning anything as his once-interesting character had done nothing apart from fuck cars. His ring-work was still high so after a few title changes between Cena & Punk ADR buggered off to the same upper-mid-level position he was at before. What’s most annoying is that ADR could have been a more entertaining character/wrestler and main event guy but they simply stopped the skits or have him do things with his vast quantities of money…and THEN they have had him win. Urgh.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
He beat: Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Christian, Tyson Kidd, Sin Cara, Tensai & Santino Marella
Cashed in against: Alberto Del Rio on the Raw after Wrestlemania
Thoughts: I’d actually forgotten how fucking cool 2012 Ziggler was until I re-watched Rumble 2012 for Rumblemania and was reminded his gimmick of ”I’m the best wrestler in the world, now watch me prove it.” He retired Jericho, beat Cena on PPV and then cashed in on ADR in front of a nuclear-hot crowd. A lot of people were happy to see him win and just as many were happy to see the end of the Swagger/ADR non-feud. Ziggler’s loss and double-turn against ADR at Payback was one of the highlights of the year and although the argument could be made that Ziggler never reached these heights again so the MITB was wasted on him, I look at this period fondly so it gets a Big Dave Thumbs Up.
Winner: John Cena
He beat: Kane, Chris Jericho, Big Show & The Miz
Cashed in against: CM Punk on Raw 1000
Thoughts: Cena became the second person after RVD to let his opponent know when and where he was going to cash-in, but made history by becoming the first time to cash-in and not win. Not even Kennedy got to do that. Cena failed to beat Punk after Big Show interfered for the DQ (2012 everyone) and then Rock ran in only for Punk to attack him and this somehow was supposed to signify Punk’s heel-turn. Four years later I still haven’t figured out how that was supposed to work. This lead to more Punk vs. Cena matches that were usually high-quality but the bizarre way of trying to get the crowd to boo Punk sours me so I’m giving it a Big Dave Big Thumbs Down.
Winner: Randy Orton
He beat: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Christian, Kane & Rob Van Dam
Cashed in against: Daniel Bryan at Summerslam
Thoughts: Daniel Bryan finally gets a shot at Cena for the title and wins! Everything’s great! Wait why’s Randy Orton here? And why is HHH the special guest ref giving Bryan a pedigree? Everything’s going wrong! This horrible turn of events topped off a very good Summerslam and gave us Orton vs. Bryan for the rest of the year which turned into HHH vs. Bryan for Wrestlemania XXX. So yeah, easy Big Dave Positive Thumb.
Winner: Damien Sandow
He beat: Dean Ambrose, Fandango, Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger, Wade Barrett & Cody Rhodes
Cashed in against: John Cena on Raw
Thoughts: Can I just skip to the Big Dave thumbs down? Sandow split from his partner Cody Rhodes to feud and unexpectedly skipped a few steps and cashed in on Cena after beating him up because he’s smart. Great, right? Sandow would sadly become the second wrestler to cash-in and not win the title. Presumably this happened as WWE realised they were going to combine the Titles in a few months and needed rid of Sandow’s second briefcase, stat. So Sandow lost a lot of steam because of WWE’s poor management, a still-employed version of Dusty Rhodes’ Hard Times. And even when Sandow went crazy and started dressing up as Magneto, astronauts and finally Mizdow he was STILL popular and they STILL did nothing with him. OK Big Dave, do your thing.
Winner: Seth Rollins
He beat: Bad News Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston & Dean Ambrose.
Cashed in against: Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania XXXI
Thoughts: Rollins’ time as MITB holder coincided with the career-enhancing Ambrose Ultra Death feud so coward-arse Rollins needing Kane’s help to win the briefcase and J & J Security to stop Dean from murdering him made for fun weekly TV. Rollins interrupting the main event of Wrestlemania after so many had threatened to do so was memorable too and only a knee injury (”from carrying this company on my back!”) could stop Crossfit Jesus. So yeah, easy Big Dave.
He beat: Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Neville, Randy Orton & Roman Reigns
Cashed in against: Roman Reigns at Survivor Series
Thoughts: I honest to God had to Google who won this MITB and it was barely a year ago. With nearly everyone in the match having interesting feud ideas or the potential to advance a newer superstar’s career, fucking Sheamus won. He proceeded to look like a loser for months, join the unimpressive League Of Nations and then cash in against Reigns after the tournament win which coincided with everyone’s predictions. To show how pitiful his whole uninspired reign & title win was, League of Nations was considered a complete joke and they had the WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION as part of it’s roster. Sheamus defended the title at TLC, lost on Raw and was swept underneath the rug like mum’s shattered vase pieces.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
He beat: Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens & Alberto Del Rio
Cashed in against: Seth Rollins at MITB
Thoughts: Dean became the second ever guy to cash in at the MITB PPV and was not only able to win the Title but also get the respect the Lesnar match lost him. Winning the big one and managing to get a measure of revenge against mega-rival Seth means Dean’s in a good place to keep Raw warm while Reigns sits at home for thirty days. Whether or not he’ll stay at the top remains to be seen, but a guy can hope.
No Big Dave rating, what do you guys think of Ambrose’s chances?