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Ranking Every Money in the Bank Cash In

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Edge Money In The Bank

19. Baron Corbin – SmackdownLive – 2017

It’s a shame that the bottom of this list is occupied with a superstar with such potential. Much of his luster diminished when he failed to cash in on Jinder Mahal. John Cena was able to distract the Lone Wolf, assisting in Mahal retaining the championship. Since then Corbin hasn’t been able to pick up the same momentum. Many predicted Corbin to win the WWE Championship in 2017, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Hopfully he can get back on track on RAW, but that doesn’t look to be going well so far.

18. Damien Sandow – RAW 2013

While his stint as the Miz’s stunt double may be the most remembered part of Sandow’s career, he was a carrier of the Money in the Bank contract. What makes this so forgettable is that Sandow was unsuccessful in his cash in attempt. John Cena, who has earned a reputation for being involved in every failed cash in, had become World Heavyweight Champion from out of nowhere, and was in the sights of Sandown. Unfortunately, despite a great showing, the Intellectual Savior of the Masses was unable to win the gold. It wouldn’t be long before Sandow found himself becoming a comedy character for the undercard. And we all know how that ended up.

17. John Cena – RAW 1000 – 2012

In a surprising turn of events, the face of the company at the time was the first man to fail at cashing in the Money in the Bank contract. Going in it seemed Cena would take the WWE Championship from Punk to end RAW 1000 on a title change. Big Show interfering cost Cena the match it what is surprisingly the only cash in to end in a disqualification. There’s not much to say about this other than it’s the first ever failed cash in, and that’s one of if not it’s only redeeming factors.

16. Jack Swagger – RAW 2010

Jack Swagger could have been another career made by the Money in the Bank contract. Unfortunately, his title run was very lackluster, and the rest of is career never recovered, despite attempts by WWE. Like most cash ins Swagger’s was shocking a memorable. Taking the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Jericho should have made Swagger a star, and it did for a short while, but the All American American would sadly never see those heights again.

15. Alberto Del Rio – Summerslam – 2011

When talking about the greatest debut years in WWE history, it would be hard to not bring Alberto Del Rio into the conversation. Not only was he the winner of the largest Royal Rumble (at the time), but he also won the Money in the Bank contract in record time since his debut. While this did solidify Del Rio’s in the main event, his cash in did do away with the “Summer of Punk” that the WWE fans were so eager to witness. If it weren’t for this (or the sudden interjection of Kevin Nash) this may be looked back upon more fondly.

14. Sheamus – Survivor Series – 2015

Sheamus may be the most underrated talent under the WWE umbrella. While he has been world champion multiple times, he has never seemed to make that connection to the fans, thus making him feel like he never clicked as a top guy. Come 2015 Money in the Bank, and having Sheamus win the briefcase was a breath of fresh air as Roman Reigns had been heavily rumored to become Mr. Money in the Bank. Sheamus even cashed in on Reigns to rip the WWE Championship from the Big Dog. However,  Sheamus felt like nothing more than a paper champion. His was able to have a few solid contests with Reigns but the inclusion of the League of Nations is definantly not the highlight of his career. This is one where you can look at the glass half full, but with Roman Reigns in the picture, a lot of people will look at it as half empty.

13. Carmella – SmackdownLive – 2018

Since Carmella is still in her SmackdownLive Women’s Championship reign, it is hard to tell how meaningful her cash in will be. Time will tell us if the first Ms. Money in the Bank will be remembered as such. The cash in itself has gone through its fair share of criticism as Charlotte had defeated Asuka two nights prior at WrestleMania 34. But it was also nice to see the title scene mixed up. She may be placed higher or lower on such lists in the future, until then, you can take it or leave it.

12. The Miz – RAW – 2010

The Miz was such a divisive topic back in 2010 that it’s hard to believe he’s one of the best characters on WWE television today. The Money in the Bank contract was made for someone like the Miz. It not only launched him to the main event but it complemented is character. His title reign following was mixed at best, and some fans debate on weather he was worthy of the main event of WrestleMania at the time. But even if the cash in wasn’t the best, it paved the way to the Miz we see today.

11. CM Punk – RAW – 2008

Despite his popularity, Punk’s first Money in the Bank win seemed a tad premature. Edge being on the receiving end of a cash in was a sight to behold, but other than that, there was nothing special about this. The following reign was disappointing at best. Luckily for Punk, he would have another crack at the briefcase. But for the time, Punk fans were just happy he got a run with a top championship.

10. Kane – Money in the Bank – 2010

Kane currently possesses the shortest stint with the Money in the Bank briefcase, cashing in on the same night he won it. It is one of the reasons Kane isn’t remembered much when Money in the bank winners are brought up. But he isn’t the most forgettable either. One of the main complaints for Kane winning was that he won over a lot of young talent that could have made their career cashing in. However, this would turn out to be Kane’s last run on top, and with his career coming to a close, it was nice to see The Devil’s Favorite Demon stand at the top one more time.

9. Edge – Smackdown – 2007

The cash in is one of the most remembered for the sole fact Edge cashed in on the Undertaker. Other than that, this was largely forgettable. Edge didn’t even win the briefcase at first, winning from then Mr. Money in the Bank, Mr. Kennedy. Of course, it couldn’t compare to his first cash in, but the way he changed up the landscape is certainly a reason to remember this one. It only added to the name Ultimate Opportunist.

8. Randy Orton – Summerslam – 2013

When Randy Orton won Money in the Bank, a lot of fans were disappointed. The Money in the Bank had been used as a platform to launch mid-card superstars to the top, so when multi-time world champion Orton unhooked the case, there was some backlash. But the eventual result was better than we could have ever imagined. His cash in on Daniel Bryan was heartbreaking, and set the ground work for Bryan reaching the panicle at WrestleMania 30. While this didn’t immediately make a star, it ultimately paved Daniel Bryan’s road to being the biggest face of this generation. Speaking of Daniel Bryan…

7. Daniel Bryan – TLC – 2011

The thing that separates Bryan from a lot of people on this list is that his Money in the Bank cash in was not the highlight of his career. That’s not to say his cash in was bad, it just can’t compare to his Yes Movement. Nonetheless, if Orton’s cash in ignited the Yes Movement, this is where the firewood was stacked. Bryan had actually cashed in before, but the result had been reversed due to Teddy Long stating Mark Henry was not cleared to compete.  That only prolonged the inevitable, as Bryan would cash in on the Big Show at TLC. A great moment for Daniel Bryan early in his WWE career. Proving that he was a main player before he was B+.

6. Dean Ambrose – Money in the Bank – 2016

Money in the Bank 2016 will forever be the night where all three members of the Shield held the WWE Championship. And that’s one of the main reasons this cash in ranks so high. Ambrose did deserve the win, and cashing in on Rollins was nothing short of poetic. The reign that followed however didn’t live up to the hype. A fine yet disappointing Shield triple threat didn’t kick off Dean’s reign in the best way and a lackluster feud with Ziggler over the prize wasn’t a great showing for the WWE title going into the brand split. It is still a great moment for Ambrose and Money in the Bank, even if Rollins defeating Reigns was much more shocking than the cash in.

5. CM Punk – Extreme Rules 2009

I’m not the biggest CM Punk fan, but I won’t deny how great this cash in was. With Jeff Hardy finally capturing the World Heavyweight Championship, Punk decided to rip it right from his hand, and claim his spot on top of the mountain. This would lead to one of the best feuds of the PG Era between Hardy and himself, and proved that Punk was a star before his pipe bomb.

4. Rob Van Dam – ECW One Night Stand – 2006

Despite his reign being cut short due to real life interferences, RVD’s Money in the Bank cash in will live forever was one of the best. The boisterous crowd is remembered as one of the best in WWE history (though it was technically an ECW crowd) and it gave the match an extra few layers. RVD’s victory over the Leader of the Cenation was not only a defining moment for Mr. Monday Night, but fit was a last hurray for ECW.

3. Dolph Ziggler – RAW – 2013

This would be second if Ziggler’s reign had more impact, alas, it will have to settle for third. Nonetheless, the cash in in question is one of the most memorable moment in modern WWE. The RAW after WrestleMania had been gaining a reputation for big moments, but this is where it was perfected. With World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio prone after a vicious attack by Jack Swagger, Dolph cashed in with the support of nearly every fan in the arena and watching from home. It was a feel good moment for such an underrated talent. Unfortunately, Ziggler has yet to reach that level since then, but if this turns out to be the peak of his career, it’s not a bad peak to have.

2. Edge – New Years Revolution – 2006

The greatest concepts of WWE always have an amazing first showing. Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber, TLC. The Money in the Bank cash in is no different. We witnessed history as Edge cashed in his contract on a prone John Cena who had gone through a brutal Elimination Chamber match before Mr. McMahon came out to announce the cash in himself. Edge’s victory would go on to become a measuring stick for cash ins going foreword. Not to mention the subsequent reign defined the final moments of the Ruthless Aggression Era. The first Money in the Bank cash in not only solidified Edge’s career, but the Money in the Bank itself.

1. Seth Rollins – WrestleMania 31 – 2015

It’s nearly set in stone at this point that Seth Rollins possesses the greatest cash in of all time. Cashing in in the main event of WrestleMania is the perfect time to make your mark, and it’s a wonder why nobody has done it before. As Roman Reigns was getting ready to overthrown Lesnar to become “The Guy,” the majority of fans were voicing their displeasure of the whole concept. The build to their match was not well received, and there was little interest going in. The two put on a decent main event, but their was still one lingering problem of who was walking out with the WWE Championship. With both men down, Seth Rollin’s hit the PA system and the Levi’s Stadium erupted.

 


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What Happened To The Heels?

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Ric Flair Heel WOOO

Where have all the good heels in professional wrestling gone? Why aren’t there characters like the ones from my youth that struck fear in me while watching the NWA on Saturday mornings with my father?

Granted, I am a bit older than I used to be and I know what professional wrestling is now as opposed to being seven years old. Still, the heel wrestler has been eliminated like the “Loser Leave Town” matches from the days of territorial promotions.

After finally watching ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary on Ric Flair, it has occurred to me there will never be a heel as solid as the “Nature Boy” and a generation will never know what “real” wrestling was about.

I will need a moment of silence to get over this pain I feel.

Back in the day, when Kayfabe was alive and well, Kevin Sullivan terrorized my mind at night with his cryptic messages on Championship Wrestling from Florida. The Wild Samoans scared fans in the stands at Madison Square Garden. Gary Hart and his band of Japanese heels proved to be evil. They were just a few of the “bad guys” fans hated with a passion. There was no blurred line. Heels were hated, babyfaces loved. It’s a phenomenon that is scarce in WWE or TNA or even ROH.

We can thank Vince McMahon for that and the creation of Sports Entertainment. The name on the marquee used to be “wrestling” and that is what superstars did, helping to create my childhood memories of Dusty Rhodes and Sullivan, Dory Funk, Jr. and Jack Brisco.

Blake Oestriecher of Forbes.com wrote a story recently about the deficiency of heels in WWE. He makes a valid point, addressing the issue of fan support for the bad guys while the scales are tipped toward the babyfaces on both Monday and Tuesday nights. This would never have been the case if McMahon had just let wrestlers wrestle and honored the traditions of 1970s grappling.

Those days are gone forever.

“Overall, WWE has a lot of depth on the heel side. There are quality villains on Raw in the form of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin and Jinder Mahal and on SmackDown with guys like Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, and The Miz,” Oestriecher writes. “It’s not the number of heels that is the issue. Rather, it’s WWE’s presentation of those heels and the creative team’s inability to establish them as bona fide superstars in that role that have really hurt the quality of WWE’s programming.”

Oestriecher hits it out of the park with that one paragraph.

Mahal is as close to a throwback heel you will find in WWE. His look, his gimmick, the venomous dialogue he spews and takes heat from the fans. It’s a perfect combination. Mahal, who has become a fringe main event star, would be successful in the 1980s NWA with Rhodes championing the cause of fighting good versus evil.

Other than the former WWE champion, who else besides Brock Lesnar, who is back hibernating with the Universal Title under his pillow, is there to fill that role? Even Lesnar, who by all accounts is a heel based on his gimmick, his look, and his mouthpiece Paul Heyman, is cheered simply because of size, power and his ability in the ring.

“Now, with Brock Lesnar, who is widely viewed to be WWE’s No. 1 heel, apparently not set to wrestle again until at least July, WWE finds itself with a gaping hole on the heel side of Raw,” Oestriecher adds. “There is not one particular thing that will make up for the loss of Lesnar, who many still consider to be WWE’s biggest draw, and doing so on Monday nights won’t help the blue brand.”

This might be a case of fans learning to deal with deficiencies in booking, that creative writers don’t see three steps in front of them and the bad guy is really the good guy and the good guy is really bad because he doesn’t have the qualities fans want in today’s business. If that is the case, then why is Roman Reigns so hated by the wrestling community?

That’s another column for another time and place.

No matter what WWE does to try and correct its problem, there will never be a viable solution. The present and future dictate the company sticks to the script of uneven booking. And until the problem is eased – not fixed – we will all wonder whatever ever happened to the “real” heels of professional wrestling?


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Will ‘All In’ Be All The Smarks Want It To Be?

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Young Bucks All In

So the biggest thing the wrestling world seems to be talking about is All In, the one off indie show that Cody (Rhodes) and the Young Bucks have put together and are saying that it’s sold 10,000 tickets. If this is true, it’s quite a feat and would make it the first non-WWE show to sell that many since WCW folded in 2001. Since this news came out on Monday, smark fans have trumpeted this a the salvation of pro-wrestling because it’s supposedly a shot against WWE’s monopoly on the business, but is it really? Or are the smarks so desperate to prove their coolness that they’re ignoring some issues with this situation?

I’m going to preface the following by saying that I have nothing against Cody or the Bucks. I’m not a fan of either him or the Young Bucks and have no intention of watching All In, but I wish them luck on this thing. However, I feel the need to point out the problems I see with this whole thing.

1. The Lack of a Card. I realize that it’s a little early to be griping about the lack of a card, and if it were an actual promotion, WWE or not, I wouldn’t be, but the fact that as of right now, the only match on the card is Cody vs Magnus/Nick Aldis for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship is a little concerning to me. The Young Bucks, Rey Mysterio, Kenny Omega, Okada, Skrull, Tessa Blanchard, Pentagon Jr, Fenix, and Deonna Purrazo are going to be involved in some way, but there’s no other matches lined up.

2. The Title Match Itself. This is based on what I’m reading about the title match. Nick Aldis is actually scheduled for an NWA title match against PJ Black (Justin Gabriel) before competing at All In, though the article didn’t say when. Which means, if Aldis loses, All In’s main event will be a ‘Special Non-Title Match’, which is nice, but doesn’t have the same drawing power as an NWA Title Match. Do I think Aldis will lose to Black? No, but given that it’s the only match on the card so far, it’s a big risk to take.

3. The Emphasis on Cody and the Bucks. I’m willing to admit that I’m not into indie wrestling. I watch WWE and I used to watch TNA back when it was good, but even not knowing a lot about a lot of the people scheduled to appear, I’m worried about what the back up plan is if Cody and/or the Bucks get hurt, which is a distinct possibility in the wrestling business. Do they have a backup plan? We’ve all seen WWE have to throw out almost an entire WrestleMania card because of a rash of injuries, and that’s with a roster of around 50 guys. What do Cody and the Bucks have in reserve in case s**t happens?

4. The Lack of a Plan to Build On It. I think this the think I find puzzling about this whole thing: Is there a long-term plan for this? Does Cody have a plan of building on this, maybe making deals with other promoters and making it the WrestleMania or Starrcade of the indies? Given Cody’s background, I assume he wouldn’t do this without some kind of plan for the long-term.

5. What Kind of An Event Is This?  I ask this because as I was looking through the people who are scheduled to appear during All In and I noticed that there are a lot of Legendary performers listed. In fact, it seems that there are more people making appearances than are scheduled to wrestle on the show. So that begs the question: Is this a wrestling show with a fan convention attached, or a fan convention with a wrestling show attached? I will give Cody props for having the good sense to BAR Vince Russo from the Starrcast event.

Again, I’m not knocking this event, if Cody and the Bucks can actually pull this off in September, kudos to them, and I understand that fans who are not necessarily hardcore WWE fans are wanting to bask in the moment of somehow striking back at WWE, but let’s not get so caught up in the moment that we ignore the issues.


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Is Samoa Joe Headed for a Babyface Turn in WWE?

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Samoa Joe WWE Babyface

Samoa Joe’s recent promo on Big Colin Cassady has everyone talking. That’s because Joe once again took advantage of the mic time afforded him to cut his opponent in half. Both men may be heels but Joe’s words were that of a babyface, which has many asking if a character turn is on the horizon.

The Samoan Submission Specialist is booked to face Big Cass in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match on the May 22 edition of SmackDown Live. The two men have a reason to sound off on each other. Joe was simply generating heat and nothing more may come of this scathing promo. But what if it does?

What if this propels Samoa Joe to a whole new level? Fans already love to cheer for him despite how vicious he is. Samoa Joe could do just about anything to anyone on SmackDown and still pop the crowd. There’s just something about him that makes the fans want to stand up and shout.

Joe is a man’s man. He’s a legitimate tough guy and everyone knows it. His gaze is ice cold and his intentions are purely evil. Every time he opens his mouth, his words cut like a knife. Just as there is no wasted movement in his matches, there are also no wasted words when he speaks. Samoa Joe is deliberate and that is what makes him different.

Pro wrestling fans gravitate to this kind of personality. It’s precisely what first turned The Road Warriors babyface during the mid-80’s. The same was true of Jake the Snake Roberts in 1987. Stone Cold Steve Austin was supposed to be a heel as well but like Hawk, Animal and Roberts, Austin turned face because of the crowd.

The WWE faithful wanted Steve because he was the real deal. He wasn’t flashy, he wasn’t loud and he wasn’t a caricature. He was the baddest man in WWE and every fan in the crowd respected that. They loved him for it. This is Samoa Joe.

It’s not to suggest that Joe could suddenly explode in terms of popularity the way Austin did but it’s obvious that Joe has that unique quality about him. He’s Charles Bronson tough but with a Clint Eastwood intensity that’s always simmering just below the surface. Samoa Joe looks as though he could take down half the locker room with little to no effort. What’s not to love about that?

Losses don’t hurt him. Time off doesn’t hurt him. Samoa Joe is the same piece of steel today as he was yesterday. His gimmick does not age and his persona is timeless. It’s hard for any man in the crowd to hate a guy with that much fire, especially when that guy is matched against a lesser talent.

Enter Big Cass, who has a world of potential in his corner. But he doesn’t have a real direction just yet and he also doesn’t have any real credibility. Cass is a big guy that could be a big star but right now he’s just talking a big fight. He was dismantled by Daniel Bryan and it took three guys to pull Daniel off of him. Cass is seven-foot, 285lbs. Bryan is 5’10,” 210lbs.

Big Cass is already at a disadvantage going into his match with Joe and the fans know it. They will surely remind him of it and when Joe’s music hits, they will surely erupt. The fans want Joe to turn face. They love him as a heel and they love what he does but if he were on their side? Samoa Joe could become the hottest protagonist in WWE.

But the main problem with any sort of character change for Joe is WWE itself. The company doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to turning guys from one side to the other. Fans have demanded a Roman Reigns heel turn for two years and it’s not happened yet. They’ve also wanted a Rusev face turn but that’s not happened yet either. What makes anyone believe Joe will be any different?

The fact is that so much is possible with Samoa Joe if he does make the turn. He can immediately be positioned against any heel in the company and he would automatically get over with the crowd. He would be one of the most popular babyfaces on the blue brand and very few would be able to match his pop. But is this really the best move for him right now?

Joe is working on a program that features AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton. These are four top faces that consistently get the biggest reactions on SmackDown Live. Does WWE really want to add another face to that group? Is there even room for Samoa Joe as a top babyface on Tuesday nights?

What makes him a great heel is ultimately the same thing that keeps him a great heel. He’s much too valuable in his current role to try anything new. Joe is just too good at being bad. Why would WWE want to change that now?

But when it comes to the fans, anything is possible. If the crowds continue to react positively to Joe and if he keeps getting cheers even when he’s doing something wrong, then everything could change. Samoa Joe is the kind of destroyer that fans want on their side. He’s just so cool and he’s just too tough to hate. He may remain right where he is but Samoa Joe is ready for anything. He always has been.


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