WWE Money in the Bank 2012: Ranking Every Money in the Bank Ladder Match
WWE returns with Money in the Bank on July 15 and so far the responses to the participants announced for the two attraction matches have been mixed.
The Raw (or WWE title) MITB match has Big Show, Kane, Chris Jericho and John Cena as the participants thus far.
SmackDown has put Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, Santino Marella, Tensai and Christian into the match for the World Heavyweight title shot.
The superstars in each match certainly seem to indicate a certain trend. Raw has all established main event stars while SmackDown has up-and-coming stars, with the exception of the veteran Christian and the very experienced Tensai.
SmackDown's match has the potential to be the usual, exciting spot-fest, while Raw's has greater depth due to the return of Jericho and Big Show's recent heel turn.
Each Money in the Bank match we have seen from the first through the most recent have produced exciting highlight reels and unforgettable spots, but which match was the best?
Trying to rank these matches is difficult because they are generally a mix of mayhem and risk-taking moves.
Let's take a look back at each Money in the Bank match and try to rank them based on quality of performances and overall excitement.
2010 SmackDown MITB
Ranking 10 matches which all had some great moments is hard, but I chose to put this one last because the winner cashed the case in the same night.
Kane defeated Matt Hardy, Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes, Christian and Kofi Kingston to win the case and he cashed it in on Rey Mysterio.
This match did not have as many high flyers as one would hope for in a ladder match, so the number of spots was kept to a minimum.
Kofi Kingston pulled most of the weight in the excitement department with Christian and Matt Hardy lending a hand.
This is probably one of the more forgettable MITB matches.
WrestleMania 26 MITB
Jack Swagger won the case at WrestleMania 26 by defeating Christian, Shelton Benjamin, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre, MVP and Dolph Ziggler.
It must be noted that everyone except Big Show was in the previously mentioned match, which may have contributed to the placing it received.
Swagger seemed like he was poised to be a decaf version of Kurt Angle, but his two title reigns were uneventful and he has been struggling to try and get back to that same level ever since.
Swagger might be one of the most un-pushed World Champions in the history of the WWE.
The MITB match itself was entertaining and it ended up being the final MITB match at a WrestleMania event.
2010 Raw MITB
The Miz won his case at the inaugural MITB pay-per-view by putting down Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase, John Morrison, Edge and Mark Henry.
This match was far more entertaining than the SmackDown MITB match from the same event, and winning this match is what helped make Miz a main-event player.
This match had a number of superstars who were willing to take big risks. Chris Jericho had one of his usual high quality performances, as is expected from Y2J in ladder matches.
This match seemed like a bigger win than some of the other MITB matches due to the number of former world champions competing in it.
2011 Raw MITB
Alberto Del Rio shattered expectations by winning the MITB match within his first year in the company. He did this by defeating Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Alex Riley, R-Truth, The Miz, Evan Bourne and Jack Swagger.
This is where the list started getting hard to rank because every one of the following six matches listed is highly entertaining.
This match featured mostly younger WWE stars who were all looking to gain their first WWE championship by winning this match and successfully cashing in.
The usual high spots made this an exciting match, but the SmackDown MITB match from the same evening trumps this match in entertainment value.
WrestleMania 22 MITB
WrestleMania 22 featured the only winner to ever make his match for the case on a designated date ahead of time and keep his promise.
Rob Van Dam went on to defeat John Cena to gain the WWE Championship by first defeating Finlay, Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Matt Hardy and Bobby Lashley.
This match was much more exciting than one would expect from the lineup given that many of them are not high flyers.
Hardy, Van Dam and Benjamin filled in the big spots while Lashley and Finlay laid waste to anyone who tried to get in their way.
Ric Flair seemed like the odd man out in this match, but he gave a good effort for a man who had already been in the business for around four decades.
WrestleMania 25 MITB
CM Punk's second MITB win came at WrestleMania 25 when he bested Shelton Benjamin, Finlay, Christian, Mark Henry, Kane, Kofi Kingston and MVP.
This was another surprisingly entertaining match, with some of these guys taking bigger risks than they are typically known for.
Kofi and Shelton put on quite a show with regards to the big moves from the ladder and Christian and CM Punk contributed a few as well.
At one point it seemed as if this was going to be MVP's night, but CM Punk made history by being the first person to win the match twice, let alone twice in a row.
2011 SMackDown MITB
Daniel Bryan began his journey leading to where he has gotten today by winning this match.
He defied the odds by defeating Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Sin Cara, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Kane and Sheamus.
This match may have been placed a bit higher than it should have because Daniel Bryan's win was so unexpected and it ended up leading to him cashing in and making one of the best heel turns in years.
The ladder match itself was great, with the risk takers doing their part to make the match exciting. Sin Cara was sidelined during this match, but everyone else came out with minimal injuries.
WrestleMania 23 MITB
Former WWE superstar Mr. Kennedy won the match at WrestleMania 23 when he squared off against CM Punk, Edge, Finlay, both Hardys, King Booker and Randy Orton.
This match featured ladder-match veterans Edge, Jeff and Matt Hardy along with future two-time MITB winner CM Punk.
Everyone pulled their weight in this match, even Finlay, who is certainly not known for his ability to dive from the highest of heights.
This match made every one of these superstars look like a major contender, which is probably due to the fact that every participant, with the exception of Kennedy at the time, was a seasoned veteran.
Kennedy ended up being the one and only person to ever lose his case before cashing it in, allowing Edge to be the first person to use two cases to win the WWE Championship.
WrestleMania 24 MITB
WrestleMania 24 was the first time CM Punk won the briefcase only to successfully cash it in and become champion.
He was able to fend off Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, Chris Jericho, Mr. Kennedy, John Morrison and MVP to win the match.
Every single person had some very exciting moments in this one and it is sad to think about that fact that five of the seven participants are no longer with the company.
This match almost makes the entire WrestleMania DVD worth buying, as it is a spot fest done in the best possible way.
WrestleMania 21 MITB
The top MITB match ends up being the very first match where six men would fight over a contract inside a steel briefcase hung high above the ring.
Edge made history at WrestleMania 21 by going over Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Shelton Benjamin, Christian and Kane.
Kane may not have been climbing the ladder as much as everyone else in this match, but he helped catch plenty of people as they dove off the top of one.
Jericho let everyone know on Raw this past week that he was the man behind making this match happened and he deserves a big thank you from the WWE universe for it.
Edge added yet another accolade to his history-making career by having the honor of winning the first Money in the Bank match.
This list is bound to create some debate, as everyone is likely to have their own favorites, so please feel free to share your thoughts below.