WWE: Top 5 Money in the Bank cash-ins of all time

WWE, Seth Rollins (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)
WWE, Seth Rollins (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images) /

Since its inception in 2005, the Money in the Bank cash-in has become one of the most exciting aspects of World Wrestling Entertainment programming in the subsequent 16 years.

In that time, 24 superstars have captured the prestigious briefcase. The likes of Carmella, Brock Lesnar, Kane, and Sheamus are part of the 20 who have won titles, while John Cena, Baron Corbin, Damien Sandow, and Braun Strowman are the four men who failed to take advantage of their opportunity to become champion. Women have a 100 percent success rate when it comes to cashing in.

The fact that the contract expires within a year builds anticipation. The WWE Universe know they can witness history at any time, on any show.

Kane capitalized on a weakened champion on the night he won Money in the Bank, while Carmella waited 287 days, the longest time holding the briefcase, to have her crowning moment.

This Sunday marks the second WWE pay-per-view where fans have been allowed into arenas since the pandemic began. It would not be surprising if the company give the live audience a memorable evening, with someone cashing in on the night itself.

Last year, WWE made a mess with the men’s briefcase. Otis and The Miz turned it into a joke with silly court sketches and Tucker turning heel with no pay-off. However, instances like that are few and far between. WWE usually gets this scenario right, more than wrong.

Vince McMahon has given fans some unforgettable moments in this scenario. With that in mind – here are the top five Money in the Bank cash-ins of all time.

5. Randy Orton – SummerSlam 2013

The best Money in the Bank cash-ins are the ones you never see coming. That was certainly the case when Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan at “The Biggest Party of the Summer” to win his seventh WWE Title.

Bryan had just torn the house down with John Cena, beating the “Face That Runs The Place” clean in the middle of the ring to capture the richest prize in the company.

As the leader of the “Yes Movement” celebrated, Orton’s music hit. He teased walking to the ring a few times but was hesitant to do so. As “The Viper” looked like he was heading backstage, Triple H, who officiated Bryan’s battle with Cena, hit the newly crowned champion with a Pedigree. The crowd gasped. Orton slivered into the ring, handed his briefcase to his former Evolution stable-mate, and covered Bryan for the win.

The angle was perfect. Orton lived up to his nickname and Bryan drew even more sympathy from the fans; he became one of the most beloved superstars in the industry after being robbed of the title he had just won.

This was the beginning of The Authority storyline, where Bryan was branded a “B+ player” by Triple H and culminated with the master of the Yes Lock becoming World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania 30.

Other cash-ins were more spectacular, but not many had the wide-ranging impact this one did.

4. Dean Ambrose – Money in the Bank 2016

The beauty of the briefcase is that the contract inside can be deposited at any time within a year. Some superstars wait months, others wait minutes. Dean Ambrose is in the latter category; he waited for 57, to be precise.

The 2016 Money in the Bank took place in Las Vegas, where he currently resides, and the “Lunatic Fringe” wanted to mark the occasion by doing something special. He did just that by becoming WWE Champion for the first time.

After Seth Rollins beat Roman Reigns to win the title for the second time, Ambrose’s music hit but he was nowhere to be seen. A few seconds later, he suddenly appeared from behind Rollins, striking him with the gold briefcase. Rollins had competed for 26 minutes; he was exhausted and Ambrose took advantage of the situation. As Rollins struggled to his feet, Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds, and that was it. The T-Mobile Arena erupted. Rollins’ reign lasted less than two minutes; it was a case of what goes around comes around for “The Architect”.

Ambrose became the last man in The Shield to win the big one in WWE, on the night they all held the title. The fact alone makes this one of the best cash-ins of all time.

3. Dolph Ziggler – Monday Night Raw 2013

Several unforgettable moments in WWE history have occurred on the Raw after WrestleMania. Dolph Ziggler pinning Alberto Del Rio to win the World Heavyweight Championship is one of them.

Ziggler captured the Money in the Bank briefcase in July 2012 and held it for 267 days before deciding to use it in on Del Rio, who had defeated Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter in a Handicap Match. The champion put up a fight but was unable to kick out of the Zig-Zag, and after nine long years, Ziggler was finally, properly, world champion.

Ziggler received a gigantic pop from the New Jersey crowd; he was so over. This should have been his breakout moment, but the Kent State graduate lost the title 69 days later. WWE should have struck a rocket to his back, and sent him to the moon, but they never had faith in him. He has not won a world title since.

Even if he never holds another world title, nobody can take this epic win away from “The Showstealer”.

2. Edge – New Years Revolution 2006

Edge was on the cusp of greatness as a singles star in 2006. All he needed was a moment to solidify his spot in the main event. That moment came in January of that year when he became the first man to cash in the Money in the Bank contract, nine months after becoming the inaugural winner of the contract.

John Cena had retained his WWE Championship, surviving five other men inside Elimination Chamber. Then, Vince McMahon’s music hit. The chairman, who was feuding with Cena at the time, announced Edge was cashing in.

The leader of the “Chain Gang” was in no condition to wrestle, having just endured a grueling chamber match that left him beaten and bloodied. Despite being worse for wear, Cena kicked out of Edge’s first Spear. However, a second was too much for him to overcome. The Toronto native had dethroned the company’s top guy. His childhood dream of holding the richest prize in the industry had come true.

This night was the birth of Edge’s “Ultimate Opportunist” nickname. After this historic victory, he earned that moniker.

1. Seth Rollins – WrestleMania 31

Seth Rollins became the first man to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase during a match, turning Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship defense against Roman Reigns into a Triple Threat on “The Grantest Stage of Them All” in 2015.

As “The Beast Incarnate” and Reigns were laid flat out in the middle of the ring, having gone to war with each other, Rollins’ music played and he came running down the entrance ramp with the briefcase he won nine months earlier in hand.

Rollins gave his briefcase to referee Mike Chioda, then took aim at Lesnar, hitting the champion with The Stomp. The former Shield member attempted to hit the move again but was countered into an F-5. Before Lesnar could hit his finisher, though, “The Big Dog” struck him with a Spear, that distraction lead to Rollins hitting a match-winning Stomp on his old tag team partner, sealing a stunning win.

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The pop for the title change was insane: Rollins had arrived in WWE. The show ended with Michael Cole’s “heist of the century” line, a perfect description of the events that had unfolded.