At Money in the Bank, Damien Sandow accomplished what few people believed he was capable of: He emerged victorious in a seven-man Money in the Bank Ladder match to earn a contract for a World Heavyweight Championship match. This meant that he could cash in his briefcase for a shot at the title at any time and place of his choosing.
After he had great matches with Randy Orton, Sheamus and others, WWE appeared to be testing the waters for a Sandow world title run. However, similar to the last two Superstars to hold the blue briefcase, he lost almost every match for the next three months.
WWE's philosophy is that if a Superstar loses enough matches, it will come as more of a surprise when he eventually cashes in the contract. In a way, that is true, but it doesn't help the credibility of the future world champion.
One night removed from returning to the ring and winning the World Heavyweight Championship from Alberto Del Rio at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, John Cena opened Raw to address the WWE Universe, only to be interrupted by Sandow. The Intellectual Savior of the Masses proceeded to brutally beat Cena down at ringside and decided that the time was right to cash in his contract.
Despite the fact Cena was a one-armed man after coming back from elbow surgery, he still managed to defeat Sandow and force him to become the first Money in the Bank holder in WWE history to lose his title match via pinfall.
I am not saying that this was a bad decision by WWE, especially since Cena gave Sandow the best match of his WWE career to date, but how the aftermath was handled was crucial. Sandow could have been a star coming out of this match, but WWE instead opted to continue treating him like an enhancement talent.
There is still plenty of time for WWE to right its wrongs with Sandow, but it is a shame that officials didn't capitalize on this amazing opportunity to make him a main event player sooner.