As Triple H and Kevin Nash face off in a ladder match with a sledgehammer suspended over the ring this Sunday, there have been several matches in WWE history that had different items hanging over the ring other than a championship belt over the years.
With everything from gold medals to the right to be No. 1 contender hanging above the ring, the history of the ladder match in the WWE have had some unique items hanging over the ring when superstars are battling for a traditional title belt at an event.
With the help of someone in the backstage area moving the briefcase hanging above the ring, Stone Cold Steve Austin lost his role as the CEO of the WWE in this ladder match against the McMahon as Shane tipped the ladder over sacrificing Vince and immobilizing the rattlesnake long enough to set up the ladder and win the match at the 1999 King of the Ring.
In what would become the first chapter in the great rivalry between the Hardys, Edge and Christian and later the Dudleys, the tag team ladder match between four of the WWE's brightest young stars at the 1999 No Mercy event was a great debut to what would become the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match between the three teams that eventually spawned this Sunday's pay-per-view.
During the final fall of their two out of three fall match at Judgment Day, Kurt Angle was able to climb the ladder and retrieve his Olympic gold medals, which Chris Benoit stolen earlier in the year, with the help of Edge and Christian holding Benoit at bay on the outside of the ring in the two's classic match from 2001.
While I'm not fond of having the custody of a child being on the line in a ladder match, Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero had a great back and forth match at the 2005 edition of Summerslam with the first sighting of the now mind numbingly annoying Vickie Guerrero helps the master of the 619 the win in the ladder match and the custody of Dominick.
As the feud between these two superstars blurred the lines of the WWE and the real life love triangle between Edge, Lita and Matt Hardy, the Rated R Superstar retained his Money in the Bank briefcase in addition to sending Hardy off Raw to Smackdown after winning this ladder match with the help of the ring ropes and Lita.
In a bout between two of Extreme Championship Wrestling's biggest stars during the original run of the promotion, Sabu and Rob Van Dam had a a ladder match that would make the fans of the original ECW proud in the WWE's version of the brand but both were left laying as then ECW Champion threw Rob Van Dam from the ring threw a table on the floor and delivering a vicious powerbomb to the winner, Sabu.
As the ladder match isn't really built for a superstar the size of the Big Show, Rob Van Dam was able to withstand the attack of the much larger Show along with using his much smaller size and agility to climb the ladder and retrieve the contract to name the time and place for his shot at the Big Show's ECW title in the future.
In our third straight number one contender ladder match this time for the WWE Championship, the now ex-WWE superstar John Morrison defeated the 2010 King of the Ring Sheamus in a very brutal match between the two superstars that saw the Great White fell from a ladder in the ring through a ladder stretched from the ring apron to the announce table at ringside.
Chris Humphrey is a featured columnist for BleacherReport.com. He has covered everything from college football, college basketball, UFC, NFL, NBA and the WWE in his short time writing for the website. You can become a fan of him on B/R and follow him on Twitter @_CBH_.