The Money in the Bank ladder match is a professional wrestling ladder match held by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The match can feature anywhere from six to ten participants from any WWE brand, with the objective being to retrieve a briefcase that is suspended 20 feet above the ring. The briefcase contains a contract that guarantees a match for one of WWE's world titles, which include the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship. Throughout ECW's time as an active brand, its world title, the ECW Championship, was an option as well. The contract is valid for one year, and the briefcase holder—dubbed "Mr. Money in the Bank"—can appear on any program and cash in the contract at the date, place, and time of their choosing. The briefcase may also be defended in matches, similar to how championships are defended. All of the briefcase holders have successfully defended and cashed in the contract except for Mr. Kennedy (who lost the briefcase in a match before he could cash in).
The Money in the Bank ladder match was first contested in 2005 at WrestleMania 21 and was exclusive to Raw Superstars. Since the match's inception, five additional Money in the Bank ladder matches have been held annually at their pay-per-view event, WrestleMania, the most recent being held at WrestleMania XXVI, and all subsequent matches have been interpromotional. In July 2010, a second and third Money in the Bank ladder match was held in the same year at an event also titled Money in the Bank for the Raw and SmackDown brands respectively, breaking from the WrestleMania tradition. The first winner of the Money in the Bank ladder match was Edge, who won at WrestleMania 21. Edge is also the only wrestler to cash in a contract he did not win in the actual ladder match. He defeated Mr. Kennedy, who won the WrestleMania 23 Money in the Bank match, for his briefcase in May 2007, and cashed it in against The Undertaker. CM Punk won at both WrestleMania XXIV and XXV, making him the only Money in the Bank participant to win the match on multiple occasions, the second to have earned multiple Money in the Bank contracts, and the first to win the Money in the Bank match in consecutive years. On July 18, 2010 at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view event, Kane and The Miz became the most recent Money in the Bank winners. As of November 22, 2010, those two are now the two brand champions in WWE. No one who has actually cashed in a Money in the Bank briefcase has ever lost his match, largely due to the fact that the contract holder can choose to cash in his contract at any time, including after the champion has been injured or incapacitated from a previous match or attack.
In WWE storylines, the concept for the Money in the Bank match was introduced in January 2005 by Chris Jericho. He pitched the idea on an episode of Raw to General Manager Eric Bischoff, who liked it and promptly signed it for WrestleMania 21 naming Jericho, Christian, Chris Benoit, Edge, Shelton Benjamin, and Kane to participate in the match. Edge won the match, and then he carried and used the briefcase as a weapon for the next nine months, including once putting it on the line in a ladder match against Matt Hardy at WWE Homecoming.
Edge used the contract at the January 2006 New Year's Revolution, defeating WWE Champion John Cena in less than two minutes directly after Cena had retained his title in an Elimination Chamber match. Although the briefcase was originally for the World Heavyweight Championship held by Batista, he and Cena were traded in the draft and the WWE Championship was then the Raw belt.
The Money in the Bank idea was revived by Carlito on a February 2006 episode of Raw. Mr. McMahon approved the suggestion and set up qualifying matches for the match that would take place at WrestleMania 22. It was later announced that the match was to be interpromotional, and SmackDown!'s General Manager Theodore Long also set up qualifying matches to select three members of his roster to compete. In the Raw brand qualifying matches, Rob Van Dam defeated Trevor Murdoch, Shelton Benjamin defeated Chavo Guerrero, and Ric Flair defeated Carlito. On SmackDown!, Finlay defeated Bobby Lashley, Matt Hardy defeated Road Warrior Animal, and Bobby Lashley won a "last chance battle royal."
Rob Van Dam won the WrestleMania 22 Money in the Bank ladder match after pushing Benjamin and Hardy off a ladder, while he was on another ladder, and retrieving the briefcase. That April, he defended the contract and won the WWE Intercontinental Championship in a "contract vs. title" match against Shelton Benjamin at Backlash. Rob Van Dam announced in May 2006 that he would cash in his contract at One Night Stand against Cena. The match ended with Cena losing after Edge, the #1 contender to the title, interfered on behalf of Van Dam and speared Cena through a table. Van Dam then performed a Five-Star frog splash and Paul Heyman counted the pinfall.
To date, Van Dam is the only wrestler to have cashed in the briefcase for a legitimate match; all other winners of money in the bank have cashed in their briefcases only after the then-current champion had been either attacked or had just finished (and been worn down by) a prior match.
2007EditThe third Money in the Bank ladder match was held at WrestleMania 23, and was the first to feature eight participants from Raw, SmackDown!, and ECW. Qualifying matches began on the February 19 episode of Raw. On an edition of Raw the two former Money in the Bank winners, Edge and Rob Van Dam faced off, with Edge coming out on top to earn the first spot in the match. The next night on ECW another cross-brand match took place, with CM Punk defeating Johnny Nitro to qualify. On that week's SmackDown King Booker defeated Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere match following interference from The Great Khali to become the third man to qualify. On the next edition of Raw Jeff Hardy pinned Shelton Benjamin in a match to become the fourth man to qualify. The next night on ECW Mr. Kennedy defeated Sabu in an Extreme Rules match to earn the fifth spot. Two qualifying matches took place on the next SmackDown with Matt Hardy defeating Joey Mercury and Finlay coming out on top in a Triple Threat match against Montel Vontavious Porter and Chris Benoit to qualify. What was to be the final qualifying match took place on Raw between Carlito and Ric Flair. The match was deemed a no contest when The Great Khali interfered and attacked both men. The match was rescheduled for the next week on Raw, with Randy Orton bribing his way into the match, which was to be an Elimination match. Orton pinned both Flair and Carlito after performing an RKO on each of them. Edge and Randy Orton had recently stopped teaming together, and there was a lot of tension between them. They both attempted to get the other taken out of the Money in the Bank ladder match. Both failed, as Edge ultimately won a "last chance battle royal" after feigning injury to retain his slot. Orton was forced to fight Bobby Lashley on ECW to retain his spot.
Mr. Kennedy won at WrestleMania 23, after ramming CM Punk off the ladder using another ladder. During the next few weeks, he kept declaring that he would cash in the briefcase at WrestleMania XXIV. Kennedy, however, suffered an injury, and on the May 7, 2007 episode of Raw, he lost the Money in the Bank briefcase to Edge. As of WrestleMania XXVI Kennedy is the only wrestler to lose the briefcase. The following night at the taping for the May 11, 2007 SmackDown, World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker and Batista fought to a draw in a steel cage match, after which a returning Mark Henry assaulted Undertaker and left him injured in the ring. As Henry was leaving Edge came to the ring with his briefcase, handed it to referee Jim Korderas, and defeated the Undertaker after a spear to win the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time.
The fourth Money in the Bank ladder match took place at WrestleMania XXIV and was intended to be another eight-man match-up, consisting of wrestlers from Raw, SmackDown, and ECW. Qualifying matches began on the February 18 edition of Raw, as both Jeff Hardy and Mr. Kennedy qualified by defeating Snitsky and Val Venis, respectively, in singles matches. On the February 22 edition of SmackDown, Shelton Benjamin qualified by defeating Jimmy Wang Yang in a singles match. Back on Raw, General Manager William Regal placed Chris Jericho in a match against Jeff Hardy with the stipulation that if Jericho won, he would be in the ladder match. Jericho defeated Hardy in that match on February 25. The following week on Raw, however, the two faced off again, this time for Hardy's WWE Intercontinental Championship. Jericho won the match and title, and it was revealed that Hardy was suspended from WWE for 60 days for violating the Wellness Policy. He was subsequently removed from the Money in the Bank ladder match and WrestleMania altogether, making this ladder match the first and only seven-man Money in the Bank match. Also on this edition of Raw, Carlito defeated Cody Rhodes to qualify. On a SmackDown/ECW live event on March 9, United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter defeated Jamie Noble to qualify. On the March 11 edition of ECW, CM Punk defeated Big Daddy V to qualify. And finally, on the March 14 edition of SmackDown, John Morrison defeated his tag team partner The Miz to be the last man to qualify.
At WrestleMania, CM Punk won the match after trapping Jericho's leg in a ladder and then climbing the ladder. Punk cashed in his title shot on the June 30 edition of Raw. A farewell speech by Jim Ross was interrupted by then-World Heavyweight Champion Edge who had him removed from the ring and then began to insult the crowd, saying that they will never get to see a world championship being defended on Raw (as at the time both Edge and WWE Champion Triple H were members of the SmackDown brand). When he was about to leave the arena, Batista came out and assaulted Edge in retaliation for Edge cheating in a title match the previous night at Night of Champions. Punk then immediately ran to the ring to cash in his contract, then performed a GTS on Edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship, making it Raw-exclusive in the process.
The fifth annual Money in the Bank ladder match was announced for WrestleMania XXV. Qualifying matches began on the February 23 episode of Raw, in which CM Punk qualified by defeating The Miz and John Morrison in a Triple Threat match. On the March 2 episode of Raw, Kane defeated Rey Mysterio and Mike Knox in a Triple Threat match. On the March 3 episode of ECW on Sci Fi, Mark Henry qualified for the match by defeating Santino Marella. Both MVP and Shelton Benjamin qualified for the match on the March 6 edition of SmackDown, defeating Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy in respective single matches. On the March 9 edition of Raw, Kofi Kingston qualified by defeating Chris Jericho, after Jericho was distracted by Ric Flair. Christian qualified the following night on ECW on Sci Fi by winning a tri-brand battle royal. Finlay was the final person to qualify for the match when he defeated The Brian Kendrick on the March 13 episode of SmackDown.
At WrestleMania XXV, CM Punk won the match and became the first wrestler to win two Money in the Bank ladder matches, and the only one to win the match for two consecutive years. On the May 1 edition of SmackDown, Punk challenged the World Heavyweight Champion Edge for a non-title match with the intent that if he defeated Edge, he would cash in his title shot right after the match. Later that night, Punk defeated Edge and attempted to cash in. However, before the ringside bell could ring to start the title match, Punk and Edge were both attacked by Umaga and Jeff Hardy respectively. As a consequence, the match never started and Punk retained his contract. Punk again tried to cash in for a World Heavyweight Championship shot against Edge on the May 15 edition of SmackDown but was again stopped by Umaga. After Jeff Hardy defeated Edge in a brutal Ladder match to win the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules, CM Punk cashed it in defeating the Champion Jeff Hardy with two GTSes to win the World Heavyweight Championship for the second time.
On the February 22 episode of Raw, it was announced that the sixth annual Money in the Bank ladder match would take place at WrestleMania XXVI. The first qualifying match was held later that night, where Christian defeated Carlito to qualify. Three more qualifying matches were held on the February 26 episode of SmackDown, with Dolph Ziggler defeating John Morrison and R-Truth in a Triple Threat match, Kane defeating Drew McIntyre, and Shelton Benjamin defeating CM Punk to qualify. The March 1 edition of Raw saw both Jack Swagger and Montel Vontavious Porter qualify by defeating Santino Marella and Zack Ryder respectively. Matt Hardy was the next to qualify for the match when he defeated Drew McIntyre on the March 5 episode of SmackDown. In what was initially declared as the final qualifying match, Evan Bourne defeated William Regal on the March 8 edition of Raw to become the eighth competitor. Due to his favorable association with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, McIntyre was given a third chance on the March 12 episode of SmackDown to qualify for the match. In what would also be made a WWE Intercontinental Championship defense by SmackDown general manager Theodore Long, McIntyre defeated local competitor Aaron Bolo to qualify. On the March 23 episode of Raw, the number of participants was once again increased to a record ten, when Kofi Kingston defeated Vladimir Kozlov to qualify.
At WrestleMania XXVI, Jack Swagger won the match after knocking Christian off a ladder with the briefcase itself. The following night on Raw, Swagger attempted to cash in his shot against the WWE Champion John Cena after ambushing Cena. However, as Cena recovered too quickly from the ambush, Swagger cancelled his match and retained his contract.</small> The next night, at the taping for the April 2, 2010 edition of SmackDown, after Edge attacked then World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho, Swagger cashed in his contract and successfully claimed the World Heavyweight Championship.
- Main article: WWE Money in the Bank
In February 2010, WWE announced that "Money in the Bank" would be the title to their July 18 pay-per-view event at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The event included two Money in the Bank ladder matches featuring the Raw and SmackDown brands respectively. Unlike previous iterations of the match, Kane and The Miz will only be able to challenge for their brand's world championship. All eight competitors for the Raw brand's match were announced on the June 28 episode of Raw by guest host Rob Zombie. The eight competitors would be Randy Orton, The Miz, R-Truth, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase, John Morrison and Edge. On the July 5 edition of Raw, R-Truth was involved in an injury storyline with The Miz and was subsequently removed from the match. Two days later, WWE announced six of the competitors for the SmackDown brand's match through its official website: Matt Hardy, Kane, "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, Christian, Kofi Kingston and The Big Show. On the July 9 edition of SmackDown, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler both competed in qualifying matches and were added to the match. During an episode of Raw on July 12, it was announced that R-Truth's replacement would be Mark Henry. At the PPV, Kane won the Smackdown Money in the Bank match. He cashed it in the same night by defeating Rey Mysterio to win the World Heavyweight Championship. He also became the quickest man to cash in the briefcase. For Raw, The Miz won Money in the Bank and made a short speech about his future after the match. On the November 22 episode of Raw, The Miz cashed in his briefcase against Randy Orton. While Orton had previously been worn down after being assaulted and injured by the Nexus and after defending the title against Nexus leader Wade Barrett in a prior match, Orton was still able to put up a legitimate defense. However, the Miz was able to take advantage of Orton's weakened state to win his first WWE Championship, making both the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship now currently held by the Money in the Bank winners.
|2005||WM 21||Raw's Championship||Edge||Shelton Benjamin, Chris Benoit, Christian, Chris Jericho and Kane||15:17|
|2006||WM 22||Any Championship||Rob Van Dam||Shelton Benjamin, Finlay, Ric Flair, Matt Hardy and Bobby Lashley||12:14|
|2007||WM 23||Any Championship||Mr. Kennedy||CM Punk, Edge, Finlay, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, King Booker and Randy Orton||19:05|
|2008||WM XXIV||Any Championship||CM Punk||Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, Chris Jericho, Mr. Kennedy, John Morrison and Montel Vontavious Porter||13:33|
|2009||WM XXV||Any Championship||CM Punk||Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Finlay, Mark Henry, Kane, Kofi Kingston and Montel Vontavious Porter||14:24|
|2010||WM XXVI||Any Championship||Jack Swagger||Shelton Benjamin, Evan Bourne, Christian, Matt Hardy, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre, Montel Vontavious Porter and Dolph Ziggler||13:44|
|Money in the Bank||SmackDown's World Heavyweight Championship||Kane||The Big Show, Matt Hardy, Christian, Kofi Kingston, "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, and Dolph Ziggler||26:17|
|Money in the Bank||Raw's WWE Championship||The Miz||Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase, John Morrison, Edge and Mark Henry||20:25|
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World Wrestling Entertainment championships and accomplishments