Dean Ambrose’s Win Was Perfect WWE Money in the Bank Booking


Why the booking of Dean Ambrose’s Money in the Bank win was exceptional.

Money in the Bank is an inherently heel gimmick that rarely does the faces any favor. But against the odds, Dean Ambrose’s MITB cash in was brilliantly handled to become one of the best MITB moments yet.

The problem with the Mr. Money in the Bank tag is the MITB winner almost always catches the champion off guard to get a sneaky win and steal the title. Edge set the bar for the gimmick and it was executed perfectly for the ultimate opportunist. You could argue a MITB cash-in has never been done better than Edge’s first cash in. After months of taunting and teasing his cash-in, Edge waited until John Cena successfully staved off all challengers in an Elimination Chamber match and was at his weakest point to come out and take the title.

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Only Rob Van Dam managed to pull it off a face winning MITB and winning the title in an honorable fashion by challenging Cena to a match at a specific time and location. And when faces have used the more traditional heel cash-in tactics, like CM Punk in 2008, they look weak for having to do such cheap measures to beat the champion.

WWE actually used Punk’s cashing in during Extreme Rules in 2009 to kick off his heel turn. That made sense as it’s a pretty underhanded and lame way for a face to win the WWE title. In the case of Ambrose though it was done right because of the execution.

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Had literally anyone else defeated Roman Reigns for the WWE title and Ambrose cashed in, it wouldn’t have worked. Sure, Ambrose gets his big moment and the fans go nuts, but it’s not the same as Stone Cold Steve Austin unseating Shawn Michaels, Brock Lesnar beating Kurt Angle or Chris Benoit making Triple H tap out to win the title.  But because it was Seth Rollins, the Shield turncoat and Ambrose’s bitter rival, there was a fitting bit of satisfaction. The cash-in worked on multiple levels.

Rollins got screwed over by Ambrose after he’d finished a grueling battle with Reigns. Much in the same way Rollins screwed Reigns during his Wrestlemania match against Brock Lesnar. That bit of irony would have been enough, but Ambrose’s win finally gave him one-up on his former ally who decisively won their feud last year thanks to The Authority.

There’s a fitting bit of symmetry to Ambrose spoiling Rollins’ triumphant comeback. Rollins was the one who tore down the Shield and prematurely ended their reign of dominance. While Reigns was preoccupied with feuding with Randy Orton, it was Ambrose who carried the torch for the Shield in his first feud with Rollins. Once Rollins became the WWE champ, Ambrose battled him — and The Authority — while Reigns was on the shelf and in other feuds.

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Finally, Ambrose has been one of the more popular members of the WWE roster and had little to show for it. The fans never gave up on him despite getting mired in going nowhere feuds with Chris Jericho, Bray Wyatt and Brock Lesnar. Ambrose was miscast in Reigns’ shadow when the fans certainly viewed him as the bigger star. Ambrose’s win felt like vindication for the fanbase desperate for him to get his big moment in front of the two biggest obstacles to the mountaintop.

It should be a lot of fun watching this play out.