WWE Money in the Bank 2014: Most Underrated Matches in Event's History
In its brief four-year history, Money in the Bank has been responsible for some of the best matches over that span. With two Ladder matches all but guaranteeing a quality pay-per-view and heavyweight championship bouts only serving to enhance or accentuate the overall show, there are plenty of contests to tout as the best in the event's annals.
With so many great matches, however, there are sure to be bouts that are overshadowed and forgotten. Some of those matches feature the top prizes in the industry being defended in hard-hitting and highly competitive matches. Others feature bright young stars attempting to prove themselves in their first big opportunities to do so.
With the 2014 edition of the pay-per-view on the horizon and Superstars such as The Shield's Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, the Wyatt Family, the Usos and Cesaro featured in high-profile matches, there is plenty of potential for more underrated and overshadowed matches to exist among the more hyped and celebrated on the card.
With that in mind, relive Money in the Bank's history of underrated matches with these five hidden gems.
5. The Hart Dynasty vs. the Usos (2010)
In 2010, the tag team division in World Wrestling Entertainment was far from great, but it did tout two bright young teams with tremendous potential.
The Hart Dynasty consisted of David Hart Smith, Tyson Kidd and Natalya. Smith was the son of the legendary British Bulldog, Kidd was a graduate of the Hart Dungeon in Calgary and Natalya was the daughter of tag team great Jim Neidhart.
Together, they were coming off a WrestleMania moment in which they assisted Bret Hart defeat Mr. McMahon in a street fight.
Their opponents at Money in the Bank were the Usos, a freshly debuted tandem of twins. The sons of longtime WWE star Rikishi, the brothers had a championship bloodline, and with Tamina by their sides, they had the opportunity to knock off the WWE Tag Team champions.
The teams provided an example of what tag team wrestling in WWE could be when talented workers are paired together and given time to craft a quality wrestling match. The Usos were still incredibly raw performers and nowhere near the level that they are now, but as the straight heels, they complimented the style of the champions well.
Kidd and Smith scored the win and continued their reign until being unseated by Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes in September.
4. World Heavyweight Championship Match: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio (2012)
Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio wrestled each other so many times in the spring and summer of 2012 that it is not difficult to understand the mounting boredom and indifference to their program expressed by the fans as they prepared for yet another clash at Money in the Bank.
After all, there was no real story between the two outside of Del Rio's desire to fulfill his so-called "destiny."
A lack of a strong or compelling story does not take away from the quality of the action between the ropes, and Sheamus and Del Rio always worked well enough together to deliver a great match when called upon.
The World Heavyweight champion entered the match with an injured shoulder, something Del Rio immediately targeted by using his trademark Cross Armbreaker in hopes of securing a submission win. Sheamus fought through the pain, flattened Del Rio with White Noise and finished him off with the Brogue Kick.
The win was the latest for Sheamus, as he continued to steamroll the opposition.
Del Rio would recover, becoming a babyface and winning the title by the beginning of the New Year.
3. World Heavyweight Championship: Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger (2010)
One of the bigger matches on the inaugural Money in the Bank card, the World Heavyweight Championship bout between Rey Mysterio and Jack Swagger was the result of Mysterio's title win weeks earlier at the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view.
Swagger, the former champion, was entitled to a rematch and would end up receiving it. For the second consecutive time, however, he found himself on the losing end.
Mysterio successfully retained his title following a very competitive match that resembled the wars the two-time World Heavyweight champion had with Kurt Angle earlier in the decade. Swagger would use his grappling and submission work to try to put Mysterio away, but the luchador utilized his elusiveness to escape Swagger's grasps and always had a counter to whatever it was that the Perry, Oklahoma, native attempted.
Swagger was game, as he attempted to prove he deserved to remain in SmackDown's main event scene. However, with the dawn of Kane's run on top of the brand and the impending return of The Undertaker, it simply was not to be.
A really good, hard-fought match that was overshadowed by the night's two Ladder matches.
2. WWE Championship Match: John Cena vs. Mark Henry (2013)
John Cena's Superman shtick may be beyond tired at this point—his ninth year as the unquestioned face of professional wrestling in the United States—but there are times where it is both appropriate and effective. His WWE Championship defense against Mark Henry at 2013's Money in the Bank is one such case.
Henry entered the match riding a wave of momentum following a career-defining performance on an episode of Raw in which he convincingly feigned retirement, complete with tears, then left Cena lying following a World's Strongest Slam.
With his dominance reestablished and Henry at his hottest since his main event run in 2011, there were real questions surrounding Cena's ability to overcome the odds and escape with his title.
The World's Strongest Man provided the champ with a challenge unlike any Cena had faced to that point in his most recent title reign. Whereas Cena typically possesses the strength advantage in any given match, he found himself tossed around the ring by his superior in that category.
Cena would have to utilize his unmatched resiliency and summon every bit of will power he had to overcome the monstrous No. 1 contender. He did that and eventually forced a tapout from Henry with the STF.
The decision may not have been favorable with a large portion of the WWE audience disenfranchised by Cena's constant winning, but it was a strongly booked match that told a great story.
It was also Henry's last great match.
At least for now.
1. World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs. Christian (2011)
One of the best feuds of 2011 was the war over the World Heavyweight Championship between Randy Orton and Christian. Beginning in May and stretching all the way to SummerSlam in August, the Superstars traded the championship back and forth and had some tremendous matches along the way.
At Money in the Bank, they met for the championship in a match that carried a special stipulation: If Randy Orton got himself disqualified, Christian would win the championship.
Champion and challenger again displayed the rare chemistry that allowed them to work so well together. The sequencing, the counter-wrestling and the story told all helped to make the match one of the best on an all-time great card.
Christian, using the match stipulation to his advantage, spit in Orton's face, causing the champion to snap and get himself disqualified.
In the sneakiest and least honorable way imaginable, Captain Charisma managed to wrest the title away from The Viper, who had been a fairly dominant champion to that point.