WWE Money in the Bank 2011 was easily one of the most anticipated and well-booked events in the history of our beloved WWE.
It seemed just about everything worked to perfection on July 17. The entire Pay-Per-View provided us with several lasting images, but we’re here for the five most memorable moments from the controversial and epic event.
The aftermath has already sent shockwaves through the WWE as CM Punk roams the streets without a contract, but the coveted Championship draped over his shoulder. Triple H has effectively taken over WWE for Vince McMahon, and John Cena is still with the company.
Despite only six matches on the card—one that could only be declared a dud for the Women’s Championship—we didn’t just see some of the best moments of 2011, but in the history of this business.
Everyone is impatiently anticipating WWE’s next move, but let’s reminisce one more time about the event we’ll all look back to as one of the best-executed and new era-defining Pay-Per-Views in company history.
WWE kicked off Money in the Bank 2011 with a monstrous bang, July 4th-esque fireworks if you will.
The SmackDown Money in the Bank match was off the charts and the best way to begin the epic Pay-Per-View. Many will point to the Daniel Bryan capturing the briefcase to guarantee himself a Championship opportunity, but I’m going with Sheamus destroying Sin Cara through the steel ladder.
The arena exploded as Sheamus nearly paralyzed Sin Cara, who instantaneously folded up like an accordion and then proceeded to convulse following the prolific bomb.
Sin Cara had to be immediately escorted from the arena by paramedics on a stretcher. This match saw more than a dozen awesome moments throughout, but none better than Sheamus giving Sin Cara a proper send off.
It didn’t come as a shock to anybody that WWE’s biggest 2011 pet project, Alberto del Rio, won the RAW’s Money in the Bank briefcase.
What did come as a shock was how he won the briefcase—in one of the most brilliant finished to a match ever.
Instead of Alberto del Rio fighting with Rey Mysterio for the briefcase, del Rio wisely ripped off Mysterio’s mask and sent Rey Rey crashing to the mat. Mysterio can’t be seen without his mask, and WWE did not hype this enough at the end of the match. It was a true sign of dishonor to remove Rey’s mask and should even be the catalyst for a high-profile feud between the two leading to SummerSlam.
This was one of the most creative ways to ever finish a ladder match and highlighted a match with a ton of top-notch moments including Evan Bourne going Air Bourne, Miz dropping from the briefcase, Kofi Kingston and Mysterio himself.
WWE may have missed the boat with the aftermath of the del Rio’s action, but the finish itself was simply spectacular.
I must say I never expected this outcome, which made it so much better. It was a classic conniving heel move by Christian to entice Randy Orton to go berserk. I’m not a big fan of the anger management storyline with Orton, but this was perfect.
Who wouldn’t absolutely flip out if their rival just hocked a loogie down their throat? Orton proceeded to relentlessly unleash on Christian, which resulted in the title switch.
Christian may have been beat down following the match, but he accomplished his goal of capturing the World Heavyweight Championship in epic heel fashion.
This is only the beginning of what will surely be an awesome summertime feud moving forward, but we’ll forever remember this as one of the best ways to win a Title by a heel.
It was on everybody’s mind going into the blockbuster Pay-Per-View—Survivor Series 1997. We knew there was a possibility we would see CM Punk in his hometown of Chicago attempting to wrestle out of John Cena’s STFU. We also knew there was a possibility we would see Vince McMahon storm ringside and screw Punk out of his opportunity just like he did in Montreal when Shawn Michaels had Bret Hart in the Sharpshooter.
The entire storyline called for the rehash moment, and WWE gave us what we feared—unfortunately for Vinny Mac, the Montreal Screwjob replayed in Cena’s head over and over again. As soon as Cena saw McMahon and John Laurinaitis at ringside, he knew what was up and put the kibosh on that nonsense. He immediately rolled out of the ring and leveled Johnny Ace.
The Montreal Screwjob is one of the most definitive moments in the history of professional wrestling. It was great to see McMahon tried it again, but it was even better to see Cena prevent it from happening.
Not a single person in the world wanted to see a different outcome and WWE gave us exactly what we all wanted—CM Punk defied the odds in his hometown of Chicago and beat John Cena for the WWE Championship.
Vince McMahon tried to complete the Chicago Screwjob, but with the help of his opponent, Cena, Punk and the fans were saved from the epic rehash and letdown.
Very few men defeat Cena for the Championship, which made this a sweet victory in itself. Yet the best part is the aftermath. Punk completes his mission and is able to storm of the WWE as a free agent holding the WWE Championship hostage.
The most coveted prize in the industry is now walking down the streets of Chicago in the hands of a renegade who is no longer with the company. Everybody is on the edge of their seat, just like they were throughout the entire Money in the Bank Main Event.
Watching Punk kiss McMahon goodbye holding the WWE Championship will forever be imprinted in our minds as one of the very best moments this business has to offer us. The sheer amazement of seeing Punk exit through the crowd and celebrate with his hometown fans will be tough to ever top. This moment right here is what professional wrestling is all about and defines exactly what we devoted fans adore so much about this business.