WWE Money in the Bank 2014: Most Exciting Swerves in Event's History
WWE Money in the Bank has a Royal Rumble quality to it.
The match creates an alternate universe where entire storylines can play out in a single match. Oftentimes, the swerve acts as a catalyst, or a climax, that breathes life into an already exciting concept.
Some of the bigger swerves in modern wrestling have happened during a Money in the Bank match. Sometimes, they have an impact on the match’s outcome; other times, the swerve can be the outcome itself.
These moments are defined by their unpredictability (based on storylines) or a sudden change in alliance.
Though there is a physical toll that comes with falling off ladders, the emotional turbulence usually proves just as rewarding.
When fans are able to be surprised by a well-timed swerve, Money in the Bank becomes a thing of beauty.
5. Paul Heyman Turns on CM Punk During Money in the Bank All-Stars
Upon CM Punk’s return form a post-WrestleMania hiatus, he had opted to discontinue his business relationship with Heyman, opting to move forward on his own.
Heyman appeared to accept the decision gracefully, but given his history, fans knew it was only a matter of time before Heyman would seek some kind of revenge.
Following a suspicious attack on CM Punk at the hands of Brock Lesnar on the June 17 edition of Raw, Heyman was deemed a co-conspirator by many. WWE.com furthered the mistrust surrounding Heyman, as the website stated:
"In recent days, CM Punk’s rebuffing of Heyman has only clouded the issue, with many Twitter fans accusing Heyman of ordering the 'hit.'"
The tension all led to a full-on heel turn from Heyman, who cost Punk the 2013 Money in the Bank All-Stars match with a stiff ladder to the head.
While many fans suspected Heyman of wrongdoing, few knew when he would actually reveal himself to be the mastermind of Punk’s apparent downfall.
The Money in the Bank match proved to be the perfect setting, as it continued the buildup between a strong Punk-Lesnar match at SummerSlam.
4. Daniel Bryan Wins World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Match
Daniel Bryan’s status as a career underdog once again made him a long shot to leave Allstate Arena with a Money in the Bank briefcase.
The 2011 World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank match boasted a field that included perennial contender Sheamus, future star Wade Barrett and generational standout Cody Rhodes.
It’s no secret what WWE looks for in its world champion: big, charismatic stars with a love for the wrestling business.
Sheamus had the body, Barrett had the promos and Cody had the pedigree. Bryan just had a pair of maroon trunks and strong wrestling skills, albeit a style that he didn’t learn in a WWE Performance Center.
Still, in front of an old-school crowd that appreciated Daniel Byran’s independent wrestling background and underdog bona fides, Bryan somehow managed to unseat tailor-made WWE stars as the 2011 Money in the Bank pay-per-view opened with a Bryan victory.
This result was doubly surprising since it came before Bryan even began to gain momentum through his addictive “yes” chants. Jason Powell of ProWreslting.net captured the sentiments of many when he wrote:
“Bryan actually won the MITB match. Let the paranoia that Bryan won't cash in successfully begin.”
Bryan would go on to successfully cash in the briefcase months later at WWE TLC, defeating the Big Show.
3. Randy Orton Wins Money in the Bank All-Stars
Just one strike away from being fired, per WWE’s wellness policy, it was understandable if officials were fearful of pushing Orton as a top star given his inherent risk. Some voices of wrestling’s past even called for his job, according to tweets from Kenn Doane (via Wrestling Inc).
So one could only imagine the shock of a 2013 Money in the Bank victory that seemed to come out of nowhere.
Up against a more trustworthy main event pool that included Daniel Bryan, Christian, CM Punk, Sheamus and a returning RVD, it was Orton who captured the red briefcase.
WWE continued its change of heart regarding Orton through storyline. The third-generation star would turn heel the following month at SummerSlam after converting his Money in the Bank win into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He’d be deemed the face of the WWE shortly thereafter.
Orton went on to headline WrestleMania XXX against Batista and Daniel Bryan.
So much for high risk.
2. Kane Cashes on the Same Night as Money in the Bank Win
Kane had spent the weeks leading up to the Money in the Bank pay-per-view seeking vengeance on the individual who had put the Undertaker (his storyline brother) in a vegetative state.
Kane would apparently seek revenge when he not only won the Money in the Bank match but cashed in the briefcase on the same night at the expense of Rey Mysterio.
In 2010, the Big Red Machine would become the very first WWE Superstar to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase on the same night he won it.
This added to the unpredictability of Kane’s choice, as the Money in the Bank pay-per-view saw its very first world title change.
The swerve continued shortly thereafter on WWE programming when Kane himself was revealed as the individual who placed Undertaker in a vegetative state.
This would lead to yet another hit-or-miss supernatural feud between Undertaker and Kane.
1. CM Punk Leaves WWE with the WWE Championship
CM Punk’s win at the 2011 Money in the Bank pay-per-view was the ultimate swerve.
The match built up to his imminent departure from WWE; it was only weeks prior on Raw that he announced his contract was up on July 17 (the day of the pay-per-view).
With real-life contract disputes—from Tom Breihan of GQ—serving as a juicy subplot, it was difficult to see WWE booking Punk to win the WWE Championship as a free agent.
Some theorized that even if Punk did win, the WWE Championship Money in the Bank winner would cash in his briefcase.
Well, on that night, Punk did win, and Alberto Del Rio—the WWE Championship Money in the Bank Winner—did try to cash in his opportunity at the behest of a distraught Vince McMahon.
Unfortunately, it was Vince who was (storyline) swerved, as Punk laid out Del Rio with a roundhouse kick and escaped through the crowd with the WWE Championship. The frantic scene in Punk’s hometown became even more fervent due to the uncertainty surrounding Punk’s actual status with the WWE.
Did he re-sign? Is he seriously leaving with the WWE Championship? Fans and critics were being swerved from all angles.
Listen Here for Alfred's full thoughts on Money in the Bank, WWE Releases and more!