The Money in the Bank (MITB) briefcase is practically a lock, in that whoever wins it will win the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship within the next year. There have been 10 MITB matches since 2005, and whoever holds the briefcase has won their title opportunity when they cashed it in.
Nobody knows when a wrestler will cash in their briefcase for a chance to become a star, which is the twist. The advantage is seemingly on the challenger’s side.
Most, who have won the briefcase and later the championship of their choosing, have gone on to have great careers. Then there are those who just don’t fit well in the main event picture, and winning the MITB match may be the only time they will be champion.
Here, in order, are the top five winners from the past MITB matches.
After Kane’s first run as WWE champion in 1998—that lasted 24 hours—the veteran wrestler's chance to become a world champion faded as every year passed. In 2010, Kane would finally be champion again with a reign that lasted several months.
He would also be the only wrestler to cash in the briefcase the same night he won it. Just 30 minutes into the PPV, Kane would come back out to help Rey Mysterio from a post-match beating after he successfully defend his World Heavyweight Championship. Upon helping Mysterio, Kane went to the back and returned with his briefcase to win the title.
For all his years in the company as a top-level wrestler, he deserved the belt again.
Rob Van Dam (RVD) was viewed as a wrestler who should have been world champion years earlier, but for one reason or another he never was able to accomplish this. Then at WrestleMania 22, he would win the Money in the Bank match.
Unlike every winner before or after him, RVD announced weeks in advance that he was cashing in his opportunity at the inaugural One Night Stand PPV. At the PPV, he would go on to capture the WWE Championship against John Cena. With a hostile crowd and an assist from Edge, RVD had finally won the big one.
After being arrested for drug possession a month later, he was forced to drop the title.
Daniel Bryan had traveled the world, making a name himself across the independent scene along the way. When Bryan won the briefcase, he declared that he was going to cash it in at WrestleMania 28.
That didn’t happen, as he would cash it in a few months early.
He defeated Big Show, who had just won the title moments prior and was knocked out by the former champion Mark Henry as retribution.
The interesting part was that this started the heel turn for Bryan. For months, Big Show wanted him to cash in his briefcase on Henry, but Bryan never successful did. Bryan’s success came against an ally.
For a wrestler with such ability, to finally win a top WWE title meant all the time and years spent were worth it in the end.
To win the Money in the Bank match is one thing, but CM Punk won it back-to-back years. That alone is a feat nobody has yet to match.
Both times, he would cash in his briefcase and win the title in a matter of minutes. He would defeat Edge and Jeff Hardy on the two occasions to claim his spot as the best in the world.
The win against Hardy was more important of the two, though. The feud would have Punk turn heel for the first time in the WWE and eventually force Hardy to leave the company per the stipulations of their final match.
Both wins helped bring Punk to the main event level.
Edge was the original Money in the Bank winner and the longest wrestler to hold the briefcase.
He would successfully cash it in against John Cena, who had just won his first Elimination Chamber match. Edge was the first to show that the title opportunity could be cashed in at literally any moment. He would defeat Mr. Kennedy to capture his second briefcase and cash it in days later against the Undertaker. Both matches would be the start of a long-running set of storylines for Edge.
Since the Money in the Bank has become such a staple match for the WWE, to win it first is something people will not soon forget.