The briefcase-centered matches fans will see at WWE Money in the Bank 2013 should be thrilling, but they can’t touch the awesomeness that an all-time version of the MITB ladder match would possess.
Unhampered by reality, by the fact that some Superstars are under contract for a rival company or that some are now too injured to compete, the all-time MITB ladder match would feature the best performers the match has ever showcased.
To maximize the match's potential, it needs several athletic men who can make art out of the ladder and refuse to give in to gravity's pull. A big man or a monster is necessary as well. He can toss his opponents around, turn the ladder into a battering ram and give fans several doses of destructive fun.
Candidates for this fantasy match must have standout MITB performances on their resume, so men who would have thrived in the match but never got the chance, such as Shawn Michaels, were not considered.
The following eight men's achievements in the match and their ability to produce a great version of it earn them a spot in the dream MITB ladder match.
Jeff Hardy's daredevil insanity was only put to use in one Money in the Bank ladder match. From that WrestleMania 23 bout, one unforgettable image stands out, that of Hardy diving onto a prone Edge and snapping a ladder in half.
His brother Matt Hardy has been a part of four MITB ladder matches, using his experience with ladders to create some exciting moments.
Evan Bourne has added a number of breathtaking spots to the three MITB he's been a part of. Finlay consistently added grit and toughness, bringing a brawling element to the mix. MVP has had good performances as well.
The eight men that made it instead of these other candidates offer similar skills to these folks, but have demonstrated that they thrive in the MITB ladder match on the strength of their high-flying, fighting skills and star power.
Despite never winning the Money in the Bank ladder match, Shelton Benjamin has been one of its best performers.
His athleticism and risk-taking has led to him creating an unforgettable moment each time he has entered this fray. From scurrying up a set of ladders or diving out of the ring, Benjamin has caused the audience's jaws to drop time and time again.
Putting him in the all-time version of the match assures it has an overstock of stunning moments.
It also helps crank up the speed of the match and Benjamin's mat wrestling skills can add depth to the match and make the non-ladder portions of the action exciting as well.
There are certainly men who can fly higher than CM Punk, but there will be plenty of acrobats and daredevils on the rest of the list.
Punk's three previous performances show that he can be an integral part of a great MITB ladder match. As either a victim or the aggressor, Punk has been a part of a number of memorable MITB moments.
He's a fantastic in-ring storyteller and that has held true in these types of matches as well. His kicks and technical skill help ground the match and give it depth.
Few men have been as creative and fun to watch around ladders as Kofi Kingston.
He's not only willing to risk himself in order to amaze the audience, he's adept at finding new ways to do so. With his addition to the field, the competition to steal the show will get much tougher.
Chris Jericho doesn’t just get the nod here because he invented the Money in the Bank concept, but because he's been a great contributor to each MITB match he's been a part of.
Whether he is dropkicking ladders into opponents' faces or torturing them with a Walls of Jericho submission on top of a ladder, Jericho clearly knows how to maximize the entertainment value of the match.
Like Shelton Benjamin, he can provide quickness and technical skill to add depth beyond the match's high spots. His enduring popularity makes him a must-add as well.
You can't have the all-time Money in the Bank ladder match without the MITB King.
Edge's reputation in ladder matches is one of providing astonishment and innovation. His two MITB ladder matches carried on that tradition.
Like Punk, Edge is not merely a creator of spots, but able to weave a story and to harness emotion out of these wild, dangerous matches. He would certainly fly from the ladder or spear someone into one wedged into the corner, but Edge's ring psychology and energy would make this dream match a special one beyond that.
Christian has been a part of five Money in the Bank ladder matches and has elevated each one of them.
Speed, toughness and dramatic selling have been his trademarks in these bouts. As either the man flying over the ropes or the one getting his head knocked around by a ladder, Christian has entertained at a high level with each of his MITB opportunities.
Adding him to the all-time MITB ladder match ensures that its passion and excitement will be increased. His history with Chris Jericho and Edge add intrigue to the match. Would he and Edge reform their partnership or would the value of the briefcase revert them back to when they tried to bash each others heads in?
With all the high-flyers and speedsters involved in this all-time clash, Kane provides a needed contrast.
His power and destructive nature would be a fun way to balance out the kind of offense fans see in this match. Expect Kane to toss men over the ropes, yank them down from ladders and leave a trail of bruised flesh and bent steel in his wake.
Kane's previous Money in the Bank experience includes a performance in the first-ever version of the match and a win in 2010. The Big Red Machine has been a staple of the match, appearing in one of the MITB ladder matches at every edition of the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
As fun as it is seeing Shelton Benjamin dive from the tops of ladders and Kofi Kingston making artistry out of ladder violence, having Kane be a part of the matches has been a reliable source of entertainment.
Rob Van Dam has the least amount of Money in the Bank appearances of the men on this list, but his only performance with a briefcase on the line was a tremendous one.
Beyond the fact that he won his only MITB match, he helped make it one of the most entertaining versions in the match's history. Dropkicking Bobby Lashley off the ladder is just one of many breathtaking moments Mr. Monday Night brought to WrestleMania 22's MITB ladder match.
Watching him trade kicks with CM Punk would be fantastic, as would seeing him risk everything to get his second MITB win.