Winning a Money in the Bank ladder match essentially guarantees that a superstar will soon—well, relatively soon in Dolph Ziggler's case—become a world champion.
As such, the allure of this pay-per-view, although still fairly new, is obvious.
Adding to that appeal, 2013's version has a few new twists.
In one match, it's all former champions competing for the WWE championship contract. In the other, it's up-and-coming (with a little bit of a loose definition on up-and-coming) superstars (with a little bit of a loose definition on superstars) competing for the world heavyweight championship contract.
Throw in the return of aerial-specialist Rob Van Dam, five title matches and a typically raucous Philadelphia crowd, and you have the recipe for a highly anticipated pay-per-view.
Let's take a look at what went down.
The expectations for this match were seemingly impossibly high, but it still didn't disappoint.
Highlights from this one include Sheamus taking several brutal bumps, Daniel Bryan with an incredibly hot spell, Rob Van Dam hitting a 5-star frog splash from the top of a ladder, Curtis Axel interfering only to get hit with a GTS from CM Punk and Paul Heyman betraying (and bloodying) Punk.
In the end, Randy Orton came away with the victory and is suddenly on the fast track towards the WWE championship that many believe he deserve.
All-in-all, an incredibly entertaining match that raises many questions and builds some big intrigue as the road to SummerSlam begins.
Match Grade: A
Another pay-per-view, another WWE championship title defense for John Cena, who defeated Mark Henry on Sunday night.
After an intense back-and-forth battle, Cena was able to get The World's Strongest Man to tap out after locking him into the STF.
The build-up to this match—Henry’s unforgettable swerve following Payback, Henry continually making Cena look like a scared little puppy—made it feel like if the company’s biggest star was going to soon lose his belt, it would definitely be to Henry.
But that didn’t happen, and Cena’s reign will continue through summer.
It's unfortunate that Henry wasn't able to win. He's given it all to this company and undoubtedly deserves a title run.
Still, this was a very good match that seriously held the crowd's interest, and even with the decisive (and unsatisfying) finish, hopefully the feud will continue to grow.
Match Grade: B+
A month after shockingly taking the World Heavyweight title from Dolph Ziggler at Payback, Alberto Del Rio retained his belt on Sunday.
This was a tremendous match. There was lots of offense from each side and some terrific spots.
But in addition to it unsurprisingly being great from an in-ring aspect, it was a match that once again told a story beautifully. Del Rio commanded immense heat from the crowd, Ziggler got tons of "Let's Go Ziggler" chants and A.J. Lee's interaction, which cost Ziggler the match, paints a clear picture for what we will see moving forward.
It was just well done all around, and there's no doubt that intrigue surrounding both wrestlers is still running very high.
Match Grade: B+
Not long before leaving the WWE for Fozzy’s European tour, he gave one last push—as he tends to do—to a wrestler in desperate need of some momentum.
After losing to John Cena at two pay-per-views in a row, Ryback was undoubtedly lacking direction. But with this major win over one of the business’ most popular stars and potentially a new manager in Vickie Guerrero, Mr. Feed Me More seems ready for another push.
As for this match, it was a little slow in the beginning and the end was "meh" (Ryback rolling up Jericho after a missed Lionsault), especially if the point was to make Ryback look strong, but there were some good spots and solid offense in this one.
Match Grade: B-
For the second pay-per-view in a row, A.J. Lee defeated Kaitlyn and walked away with the Divas championship belt around her waist.
The champ was able to get the challenger to tap out when she locked her into the impressive Black Widow submission move. This match wasn't nearly as enthralling as the duo's Payback battle, but it was solid for how little time it received.
In addition to being a very good win for the A.J., this also continues a storyline the company has been hinting at over the past month: A.J. being more invested in her championship than Dolph Ziggler, who once again wasn't ringside.
So, not only will A.J. continue to bring some interest to the Divas division, but an upcoming breakup with Ziggler could soon send shockwaves through the wrestling world.
Match Grade: C+
Curtis Axel was able to continue his winning ways on Sunday, defeating The Miz to retain his Intercontinental Championship.
The match was pretty bland. The Miz was able to trick the referee and get Paul Heyman ejected early in the match, and that ended up drawing the former quite a bit of heat from the crowd.
Other than that, however, there wasn't a ton of interest. A reversal of the figure four was interesting, but the math was mostly forgettable.
Since being repackaged and given Paul Heyman as a new manager less than two months ago, Axel has been given a steady push by the WWE. However, he entered Money in the Bank on somewhat of a perplexing note when he suffered his first loss in a match to Chris Jericho on Raw.
Nevertheless, Axel is still champion.
None of his feuds so far have held much intrigue, and it will be interesting to see where the WWE goes from here.
Match Grade: C+
When you can start off a pay-per-view with a match like this, you know you're in line for a special show.
It's difficult to pick out the best moment. Jack Swagger throwing Wade Barrett into a gargantuan uppercut from Antonio Cesaro. Fandango's sunset flip power bomb off the top of the ladder. Dean Ambrose's creativity with the ladder. The Shield interfering, only to be stopped by The Usos (so, that feud is continuing). Cody Rhodes tossing Ambrose from the ladder into a huge group of wrestlers outside the ring.
Seriously, this one had it all.
In the end, Sandow betrayed his now former partner and came away with the massive win, which was a solid result and good ending to a tremendous match that showcased bell-to-bell action.
The Intellectual Savior of the Masses' most recent feud with Sheamus took him nowhere, but I like this development. He usually commands lots of heat on the mic and undoubtedly deserves a push in singles competition.
It will also be intriguing to see how Rhodes, who is assumedly now turning face, is involved with Sandow's storyline going forward.
Match Grade: A-
In what was anything but a surprise, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated The Usos to retain the tag team titles on Sunday night’s pre-show.
The predictability did nothing to take away from what was a spectacular match, however.
Action started off a little slowly, but after some back-and-forth, things seriously picked up in the final minutes. A quadruple tower of doom was easily the most scintillating spot, but there were a slew of other big moves and exciting near falls as the on-fire crowd really added energy.
In the end, Reigns landed a gargantuan spear to win the match that was far better than pre-show quality.
Although The Shield freight train has slowed down a bit—the clean loss to The Usos and Christian a few weeks back was, well, not expected—there is still no denying how much talent these guys possess. Taking the belts from Rollins and Reigns would have been perplexing, and that’s putting it lightly.
Still, The Usos showed us a lot tonight. They can undoubtedly entertain inside the ring.
The rest of the tag team division is dry, and with matches like these, no one would be upset if this feud continued going toward SummerSlam.
Match Grade: B+