WWE Money in the Bank 2012: 15 Greatest Moments in Money in the Bank History
This Sunday, the WWE will hold their third annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view from Phoenix, Ariz.
With two Money in the Bank ladder matches slated for the card, it will bring company's total to 12 matches that have revolved around the renowned briefcase.
Ten men have snatched the briefcase and all 10 of them have successfully cashed in, starting with Edge in 2005.
But over the years, between the matches that used to take place exclusively at WrestleMania, to the events that have taken their namesake from this match, to the superstars cashing the briefcase in, WWE fans have been treated to several great moments.
You are about to see a selection of the 15 best moments in WWE history that have to do with the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Shelton Benjamin Runs Up the Ladder, WrestleMania 21
Remember when the WWE used to refer to Shelton Benjamin as the "best athlete in the company?" Well, it was true, and here is proof.
In the inaugural Money in the Bank ladder match in Los Angeles for WrestleMania 21, Shelton shockingly ran up a ladder set up against another ladder, almost like a staircase, to thwart an attempt from Chris Jericho to grab the briefcase.
An impressive feat indeed.
Ric Flair Returns to the Match, WrestleMania 22
We've got to include perhaps the greatest professional wrestler of all time on this list, right?
Ric Flair, then 57 years old, got into his first and only Money in the Bank Ladder match with the likes of Finlay, Matt Hardy, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin and Rob Van Dam.
Flair ends up taking a huge suplex off the ladder from Matt Hardy (6:35 mark of video) and it led to the "Nature Boy" being helped to the back, seemingly ending his hopes.
But just about four minutes later (10:16 mark of video), Flair makes his way back to the ring to the adoring cheers and "Woooos" from the audience.
Flair didn't win the match, but seeing his desire to do so was certainly a highlight in this match.
Rob Van Dam Grabs the Briefcase
For years fans felt like Rob Van Dam needed to have a run with the WWE title.
He got one step closer after winning the Money in the Bank Ladder match at WrestleMania 22.
After taking out both Matt Hardy and Shelton Benjamin, who were brawling on an adjacent ladder, RVD reached up and grabbed the briefcase to the delight of the crowd in Chicago.
The Miz Wins in 2010
In July of 2010, the WWE decided to try out a brand new pay-per-view concept, making an event centered around one of its most popular matches.
To that point, Money in the Bank was strictly a WrestleMania attraction. On this night, The Miz seized the moment and stepped into the upper echelon of WWE superstars.
The Miz survived a war and overcame a field that included Edge, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho.
The Miz also showed some real emotion after winning it, and it was clearly somewhat of a personal validation for the man, which made it a good moment.
Daniel Bryan in 2011
For quite some time, many fans within the WWE Universe wanted to see Daniel Bryan, who is widely considered one of the best wrestlers in the world, get his just due in WWE.
On July 17, 2011, the beginning of a major push for Bryan started when he won the Money in the Bank briefcase, outlasting superstars such as Kane, Wade Barrett and Sheamus.
Bryan showed some emotion after the win as well, signifying a journey just beginning in his career.
Shelton Benjamin Flips off Ladder at WrestleMania 24
Shelton Benjamin pulling off death-defying moves in the Money in the Bank match seemed to become somewhat of a punch line at one point.
This crazy spot was no different. After getting nearly to the top of a ladder and taking a swipe at the briefcase, Benjamin was dumped off of it by Carlito and Mr. Kennedy.
Benjamin would flip over and fall 15 feet or so to the outside of the ring, where he crashed through another ladder.
A memorable moment for sure.
CM Punk Wins in Orlando
CM Punk has become one of the top superstars in the company, but in 2008, he was still looking to break into that category.
He fought off Chris Jericho in the end of the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania 24 to win his first of back-to-back Money in the Bank matches.
I was in attendance at this event and I remember the scene of Punk holding up the briefcase in victory as a light rain streamed down in Florida.
Edge Wins the First MITB
It was a very novel idea to create the Money in the Bank ladder match and after the very first of its kind at WrestleMania 21, it was clear it was here to stay.
Edge was on the verge of becoming a megastar for WWE and you can point back to this match as one of the biggest things that got him going in that direction.
Jeff Hardy's Dive at WrestleMania 23
Let's face it, Jeff Hardy is known throughout his WWE career for his crazy dives, but this one stands out for me.
Diving down at least 25 feet, Hardy slammed into Edge, crushing the ladder the "Rated R Superstar" was suspended on.
It was one of the stories of Hardy's career that he was more apt to go for a big spot than to win the match or, in this case, grab the briefcase.
A Money in the Bank memory that will certainly be long remembered.
Daniel Bryan Cashes in on Big Show
The Big Show just defeated Mark Henry at WWE TLC in December 2011 in a hard-fought match.
But after the match, Henry put a beatdown on the new champion that culminated in Henry delivering a DDT to a steel chair.
With the "World's Largest Athlete" prone on the mat, out came Daniel Bryan to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase.
After a three-count was registered, a new champion was crowned. The post-match reaction from Michael Cole and The Big Show is priceless.
The Miz Cashes in on Randy Orton
After defeating Wade Barrett on an episode of Raw on November 22, 2010, Randy Orton thought he was out of the woods, even getting through a pre-match attack by The Nexus.
But when The Miz's theme music played, the look on Orton's face showed he knew what was about to transpire.
Would The Miz become the first superstar to try to cash in the briefcase, only to get beat? It sure looked that way for a minute.
But after a nice counter of the RKO led to the Skull Crushing Finale, The Miz realized his dream, going from a cast member of MTV's The Real World to WWE champion.
Watching The Miz's celebration and listening to Michael Cole nearly lose his voice makes the moment that much better.
Edge Cashes in on John Cena
John Cena had just competed in a bloody Elimination Chamber match at New Year's Revolution shortly into the 2006 year.
Vince McMahon came out and announced that there would be one more match on this night and out came Edge, handing the WWE Chairman his briefcase.
To this point, fans had never witnessed a superstar try to cash in the briefcase and Edge didn't disappoint, spearing Cena twice to win the title.
Edge celebrated with Lita and showed some emotion after reaching the top of the WWE mountain. This also opened the door for Edge's "ultimate opportunist" persona.
This is one of the best endings to a WWE pay-per-view, ever.
CM Punk Cashes in on Edge
The June 30, 2008 edition of Monday Night Raw started with a promo by the World Heavyweight Champion, Edge.
But Batista, who was locked in a bitter feud with Edge at the time, came out and put a heavy beating on him.
The door was opened for the "Straightedge Superstar" to come out and win the title in Oklahoma City.
This is the night Punk got over the hump in WWE, as he has been involved in or near the main-event scene for most of the time since this huge victory.
Edge Cashes in for a 2nd Time
It was May 8, 2007, on an episode of Smackdown.
Mark Henry destroyed the World champion, Undertaker, and Edge happened to be holding the Money in the Bank briefcase again.
Edge came out and cashed it in, much in the same way he had done some 16 months earlier against John Cena, and he pinned The Undertaker.
This would be part of the angle that led to the main-event match between these two men at WrestleMania 24, and it was the second time Edge had been successful cashing in the briefcase—a big part of the reason he is now in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Rob Van Dam Cashes in at One Night Stand
Without a doubt, the best moment in history involving the Money in the Bank briefcase.
The difference in this match was that Rob Van Dam announced beforehand that he would be cashing in his briefcase to challenge for the WWE title, rather than run in on an unsuspecting superstar.
How about the memories involved here? ECW One Night Stand 2, one of the best events WWE ever had. The Hammerstein Ballroom. Joey Styles and Taz on commentary. Paul Heyman making the three-count.
How about the "If Cena wins we riot" sign? Or the hostility that crowd showed John Cena?
The post-match celebration is excellent as well as is the atmosphere of the entire moment, which was the crowning achievement in the long career of Rob Van Dam.
(This is the full match, but the exciting final moments start at about the 26:45 mark.)