WWE, and all wrestling promotions for that matter, have never exactly been clear about how a No. 1 contender is chosen, and this is mostly because the best people are not always at the top.
When WWE holds an actual match to determine the next contender for a title it is usually a match which is thrown together with little to no logic behind the choices other than "these are the guys we are pushing at the moment."
There are, however, ways that WWE superstars become the top contender through an annual match which is used as a stepping stone for some stars to jump to the main event scene of WWE while allowing veterans to re-establish their dominance.
The Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank matches are two ways WWE superstars can become a contender for a title, but they have very different rules.
The Royal Rumble winner always, with two exceptions being Jim Duggan and John Cena, faces a champion at WrestleMania, whereas the MITB winners get to cash in their title shot whenever they want up to a year after winning the case.
While main eventing WrestleMania is obviously on every wrestler's wish-list, they do not always win the title match, while every single MITB winner has been successful when they cash in their case.
So the question remains—which match is better for someone's career; a Royal Rumble win or a Money in the Bank win?
While the Royal Rumble guarantees a WrestleMania main event match it does not guarantee a World Title win or any momentum following the WM event itself.
Which match is better for a wrestler's career?
With the exception of RVD, every MITB winner has cashed in their case when someone was down or injured, almost ensuring their win.
Every winner of the MITB match, except for Mr. Kennedy, who lost his case to Edge in a match on Raw, has gone on to be a champion.
Every Rumble winner, with the exception of Jim Duggan, who did not get a title shot for his win and Lex Luger, has also become a world champion in WWE, but not always because they won the Rumble.
Alberto Del Rio won the Royal Rumble match but did not successfully win the title at WrestleMania, instead winning it later on.
World titles are not the only thing that a superstar gets by winning one of these matches; they also get notoriety and credibility.
Here is where things get tricky. Not every MITB match winner has remained a main eventer after winning the world title.
Jack Swagger and The Miz both won cases and both men are now being used much less than in the past, while every Rumble winner has stayed relevant after winning the Rumble.
Alberto Del Rio is someone who has won both MITB and The Royal Rumble and he just returned from injury recently, so we will have to see how his career post-MITB/Rumble wins goes.
Which match do you find more entertaining as a fan?
When you get right down to it there are benefits to winning either match, especially if you are a superstar who has never won a world title before, but each match has its specific advantages.
MITB almost ensures a title win while a Royal Rumble win guarantees a WrestleMania main event spot.
Each superstar has their own goals and dreams so each superstar might have a different opinion about which win would be better for their career.
What do you think—is the MITB or Royal Rumble more beneficial to a superstar's future in the business?