Cashing in Money in the Bank: Part 3

As we look at Baron Corbin and Carmella’s predecessors as briefcase holders, time for some of the most important Money in the Bank ladder match cash-ins.

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After eight successful cash-ins, Money in the Bank was a surefire way to throw someone into the championship picture. But unlike the Royal Rumble, there was not the pressure of needing to main event Wrestlemania, meaning that the WWE was more prepared to take a chance on an unproven talent. Thus we got Edge finally fulfilling his potential, EM Punk getting elevated to the main event, and even The Miz getting to mix it with the big boys. How would the next set of Money in the Bank winners go about replicating this success?


Fulfilling His Destiny – Summerslam, Sunday 14th August 2011
ALBERTO DEL RIO cashes in on WWE Champion CM Punk

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Alberto Del Rio was a superstar in Mexican wrestling, and made a huge impact on the WWE in his debut year. I actually saw him wrestle as Dos Caras without a mask against Christian at a WWE live event in Newcastle just before he started his run on TV, and the guy oozed class. He started his WWE career in August 2010, feuding with fellow countryman Rey Mysterio Jr. He was a Mexican aristocrat, who came to the ring each week in different expensive cars, and had a personal ring announcer in Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio picked up a series of victories over Mysterio. In January 2011 he won the first 40-man Royal Rumble, earning a main event slot at his first Wrestlemania. He was unsuccessful in his title challenge against Edge, and when Edge was forced to retire the next night, Del Rio got a shot against Christian for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship, but was again unsuccessful.

He was drafted to Raw soon after, and a brief feud with The Big Show led up to him entering the Raw Ladder match at the famous Money in the Bank pay per view in Chicago. Del Rio won the match, defeating Alex Riley, Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, , R-Truth, Rey Mysterio, and The Miz (who got a huge ovation when he stormed back to the ring after an injury, leading to Rey Mysterio getting booed ala the Daniel Bryan Rumble of 2014). Later that night, as CM Punk won his historic match against John Cena, Del Rio attempted to cash-in to prevent Punk leaving the company with the WWE title, at the behest of Vince McMahon himself. But a swift kick to the head lead to Punk blowing a kiss to Mr McMahon as he escaped through the Chicago crowd with the gold, and the WWE was thrown into chaos.

The next night Raw started a tournament to crown a new champion in Punk’s absence, which was won by Rey Mysterio. John Cena was granted an immediate shot at the title, and became a nine time WWE Champion. The same night though, CM Punk returned, and a unification match was made for Summerslam between CM Punk and John Cena. CM Punk won the match and became the Undisputed WWE Champion. However, Punk was attacked by a returning Kevin Nash, and Alberto Del Rio saw his moment, rushed to the ring, and one beautiful enziguri later, he won the WWE Championship to fulfill his destiny.

What happened next? Alberto Del Rio defended the title against Rey Mysterio, before losing the title to John Cena at night of Champions in September. He regained the title in a Hell in a Cell match with Punk and Cena in October, defended it against Cena in a Last Man Standing match at Vengeance. CM Punk took the title from Del Rio at Survivor Series, and embarked on his legendary 434 day reign as WWE Champion.

The next year Del Rio got stuck in a series of matches with Sheamus, Wade Barrett, and Randy Orton, brawling every week in a different combination. Eventually though, in January 2013 he won the WWE Heavyweight Championship from The Big Show, having turned face. Jack Swagger became his next challenge in his “We The People” persona, giving Alberto Del Rio a successful title defense on the biggest stage of them all. The next night however, Del Rio was himself cashed in on…


The Ultimate Underdog – TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, Sunday 18th December
DANIEL BRYAN cashes in on World Heavyweight Champion The Big Show

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Daniel Bryan was an indie superstar when he signed for WWE. It was then decided that the best way to integrate the best wrestler in the world into the WWE was to constantly refer to him as an uncharismatic loser, and put him on a losing streak. He started in NXT as The Miz’s protege, and lost his first 10 matches before being the first man cut. When the Nexus made their dramatic debut, Daniel Bryan took things a bit too far, and was sacked for choking out Justin Roberts with his tie. He returned on John Cena’s team to take on the Nexus at Sumerslam, when he was attacked by The Miz.

Bryan feuded with the Miz, and eventually won his US Title from him. He eventually lost the title to Sheamus (after a weird angle involving the Bella twins and Gail Kim fighting over his affections) and was drafted to Smackdown. He was feuding with Cody Rhodes when the Money in the Bank match came around, and Bryan was successful, claiming the briefcase in a match also containing Rhodes, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Sheamus, Sin Cara, and Wade Barrett. He announced his intention to cash the briefcase in for a title shot at Wrestlemania 28. Mark Henry was World Heavyweight Champion in the middle of his Hall Of Pain run, and it was very unlikely that Daniel Brian would be able to beat him. This led to the bullying and confident Henry taunting that Bryan would never be champ, granting him a non-title match in November. The returning Big Show knocked out Mark Henry, meaning Bryan won by disqualification. A few weeks later, The Big Show had knocked out Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase. Smackdown GM Teddy Long nullified the title change however, as an unconscious Henry “wan’t medically cleared to compete”. A few weeks later, Bryan won a number one contenders match, and although he lost to Mark Henry in a Steel Cage match, he was getting closer. At TLC, Mark Henry faced The Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship. The Big Show won the match, but when Mark Henry attacked him post match, Daniel Bryan cashed in and became the World Heavyweight Champion for the first time.

What happened next? Daniel Bryan retained the title in various combinations of matches against The Big Show and Mark Henry, including both of them in a Steel Cage match at the Royal Rumble against both of them. During this time, he got involved with AJ Lee, and started to overemphasis everyone of his (and AJ’s) victories, slowly turning heel. Sheamus won the Royal Rumble, and after the Elimination Chamber (which saw Santino Marella have the perfromance of his life) the Irishman attacked Bryan, setting up their match at Wrestlemania 28. At Wrestlemania, in a move that showed how WWE really viewed Bryan, Sheamus beat him in 18 seconds.

The heel Daniel Bryan began to get cheered more than ever, and then when AJ started getting involved with CM Punk, Bryan had a series of WWE Championship matches, eventually moving into a feud with Kane. Eventually the two decided to “hug it out” rather than fight, and formed Team Hell No. They became more and more popular, feuding with the Rhodes Scholars and The Shield. Eventually, Daniel Bryan was so popular – his “Yes!” chant got bigger and bigger – that when John Cena was looking for an opponent for Summerslam 2013, there was one choice. Daniel Bryan did the unthinkable and beat Cena (with a new running knee finisher) before he himself was then cashed in on!


The First Unsuccessful Cash-In – RAW 1000, Monday 23rd July 2012
JOHN CENA cashes in on WWE Champion CM Punk

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At Wrestlemania 28, John Cena faced The Rock in a once in a lifetime match (that occured again a year later). He was defeated, and the next night on RAW he had to deal with the returning Brock Lesnar. After a brutal match at Extreme Rules, Cena was successful, and then embarked on a feud with RAW General Manager John Laurinaitis, There were matches with Lord Tensai and the Big Show, before he announced his intention to enter the Money In The Bank ladder match for the first time. Cena was successful, defeating Big Show, Chris Jericho, Kane, and The Miz in the first MitB match have every competitor be an ex-champion. The next night on RAW, the Big Show attacked WWE Champion CM Punk and goaded Cena into cashing-in there and then. Cena instead announced that he would cash in a week later on the 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW a week later. Then during the match, the Big Show atacked Cena with the referee knocked out, and then in clear view of the referee while Cena had Punk in the STF. Cena won the match by disqualification, but for the first time, a briefcase cash in did not result in the title changing hands.

What happened next? As you can see, after the match, CM Punk, already conflicted, attacked The Rock, turning heel. This basically opened up another set of contenders for Punk, and aligning himself with Paul Heyman helped Punk keep hold of the title through to the Royal Rumble, where he lost to The Rock.

John Cena stayed in the title picture for the rest of the year, with The Big Show and Ryback joining him in various matches against Punk. He feuded briefly with Dolph Ziggler, challenging him for his Money in the Bank contract in a ladder match that Ziggler won. Cena won the 2013 Royal Rumble, the same night that The Rock beat CM Punk for the WWE Championship, setting up their rematch at Wrestlemania 29, where John Cena became an eleven time champion.


Here To Show The World – Monday Night Raw (Episode 1037), Monday 8th April 2013
DOLPH ZIGGLER cashes in on World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio

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Dolph Ziggler was a promising midcarder going into his third Money in the Bank match. A former tag champion with The Spirit Squad, he had a good first couple of years before hooking up with Vicky Guerrero in the middle of 2010. He won the Intercontinental Championship from Kofi Kingston, holding it for nearly 6 months, before going on to challenge World Heavyweight Champion Edge at the 2011 Royal Rumble. Although he was unsuccessful, Vicki Guerrero got him a rematch, with the stipulation that if Edge used the Spear, Ziggler would win the championship. Edge used the move, and so Ziggler became World Heavyweight Champion, although he was stripped of the title by returning GM Teddy Long, who also fired Ziggler.

Ziggler made the move to RAW, and won the US Championship, which he lost to Zack Ryder in one of the feel good moments of WWE in recent history. He moved into a feud with WWE Champion CM Punk, where he was unsuccessful at the Royal Rumble, and got a title shot at Sheamus in June 2012, where he was came up short at No Way Out. He was in good nick going into the Money in the Bank ladder match, beating Christian, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow,  Santino Marella, Sin Cara, Tensai, and  Tyson Kidd to claim the briefcase. He tried to cash in later that night, and a few more times, being thwarted by various guys. After being attacked by Chris Jericho, Ziggler put his Money in the Bank contract on the line against Jericho’s career. He later had to defend his briefcase in a match against John Cena. He had a long run in the 2013 Royal Rumble, before teaming with Big E to try to win the Tag Titles from Team Hell No. They were unsuccessful at Wrestlemania 29, but the next night at RAW, after attempting to cash in on Sheamus, Randy Orton, The Big Show, and Del Rio a month earlier, and having to defend the contract twice, the time was right for the Show-Off to become World Heavyweight Champion to one of the biggest reactions in WWE.

What happened next? After months of waiting, Ziggler’s title reign was cut short. Dolph Ziggler took a kick to the face from Jack Swagger that gave him a concussion and kept him off TV for a month. When he eventually returned, he lost his first title defense against Alberto Del Rio at Payback. Ziggler turned face over this period, and eventually split off from AJ and Big E.

Ziggler went on to become a five time Intercontinental Champion, but has suffered from too many stop-start pushes to ever get back into the main event scene. He had a few moments when he stood up to the Authority around Survivor Series 2014, but this was forgotten about with a few months. He is currently in a strange area of being a veteran but still with goals to fulfill.

When Del Rio reclaimed his title barely two months later, he defended it against Christian and a returning Rob Van Dam, before losing it to John Cena. He drifted for a while, before he had a match with Batista at Eliminaton Chamber 2014, which was Batista’s first singles match back in the company. He slide back into a serious of brawling matches with Sheamus, before he was released after a backstage altercation over a racist joke turned violent. 

He then had a good run in Mexico, performing as Alberto El Patron and being able to be the main event face he was born to be. When John Cena announced an open challenge for his US Championship, most people thought it would be The Big Show as his opponent for Hell in a Cell in October 2015. Instead it was Alberto Del Rio, making a return to the WWE. He won the US Title that night, aligning with former enemy Zeb Coulter. They announced themselves as “MexAmericans” with Jack Swagger. Del Rio then joined The League of Nations around WWE Champion Sheamus, with Bad New Barrett and Rusev, before losing the US Title to Cena at the end of November. The League of Nations stayed together through Wrestlemania, where they beat The New Day but were vanquished by legend Mankind, Shawn Michaels, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The impetus had gone, and Del Rio drifted before being asking for his release in September 2016. He later signed for TNA, and became the GFW Champion and recently unified the championships by beating TNA Champion Bobby Lashley .


I genuinely these are four of the most significant cash-ins of all. Alberto Del Rio became a main eventer off the back of his title win, but it never sat well that CM Punk was derailed, and although he had a record breaking reign, he was never as hot as he was in the summer of 2011. Daniel Bryan had the biggest breakthrough since Edge, doing his best to overcome years of terrible booking to main event Wrestlemania 30. John Cena even entering the Money in the Bank ladder match legitimised it further, and he was probably the only man capable of not cashing in successfully and not being damaged – as we’ll see in the next column – and stopped it being a 100% guarantee, which is important. That match also lead to Punk going full heel, which probably extended his title reign by a good few months. Finally, Dolph Ziggler pulled off the most spectacular cash-in of the lot, helping to establish the “Raw After Wrestlemania” as a show where anything could happen.

Next week we’ll look at the last five cash-ins, which has seen Money in the Bank be used in a much different way.

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