It is an interesting debate, truth be told. Benjamin was very popular at the time, and was considered a sure shot for the WWE top titles at that point of his career, while he was in the middle of a very lucrative Intercontinental title run. Some people, despite him never winning at MITB, call him Mr. Money in the Bank because of his amazing performances at all of the MITB matches he participated in. So, it begs the question. How would the WWE look if he, and not Edge, had won the first ever MITB briefcase?
First of all, Shelton Benjamin would still be a WWE wrestler. This is a change most people would like, as they admire his skills. He would also have been a world champion, probably more than once. While Shelton would not have had the career like Edge has had, he would have been a multiple time champion and be a regular face in the main event.
Speaking of Edge, I believe he would have still ended up a world champion, but not a 10 time one. His year long feud for the title in 2006 helped both Edge and Cena, and that would not have occurred without the briefcase. Also, I believe Edge would have starred on Smackdown much earlier in his career. In October 2005, he and Matt Hardy had a Loser Leaves Raw match, which I think would have still happened. However, due to his lack of commitment to Raw, Edge probably would have lost to make the story have a happy ending for the wronged Matt Hardy.
Also, I doubt he would have gotten the La Familia storyline, which would cause two of the top people in the business today to never get their break, Zack Ryder and Vickie Guerrero. And no Vickie Guerrero means no Dolph Ziggler success story, which would have put most of the mid-card title scene in limbo over the last two years
Speaking of Matt Hardy, he would still be in the WWE. He probably would have been a world champion once or twice, and be a happy member of the WWE with his success. An important twist to his career would have been that he would have taken the title off of Jeff Hardy in his first reign, rather than Edge, changing the feud the Hardy brothers had in early 2009.
Another feud that would have been changed would have been Matt’s epic feud with MVP over the United States title. I think without Matt Hardy to face, MVP would have fallen flat in the WWE and would have lingered in the WWE for a while until he was let go during spring cleaning from under use.
The main change the WWE would have seen, though, is that Super Cena would have never been born. Cena became the face of the WWE due in part to his feud with Edge and the support he won. If he feuded with Shelton Benjamin, that would not have happened. Cena would have been somewhat humbled, with fewer world title reigns and less hate from the IWC. So who would have replaced Cena as the face of the WWE?
Batista. Simple, he was around in that time period, and would have took the part of Cena. We all know Vince loves big men as his wrestlers, so it would have been natural for Batista to fill that void. Batista would be plastered everywhere, would never lose, and we would probably hate it. John Morrison probably would have been fired so that Batista and Melina could be together, no complications. Which means Miz probably would have become nothing, as it was his time with John Morrison that kept him relevant long enough to get a shot
All of these changes. If Shelton Benjamin had won the 2005 Money in the Bank ladder match. If anything, this proves how much that briefcase can affect the direction of the WWE. I wonder how it will change the WWE when Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio cash in their briefcases. Only time will tell.
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