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.
Fight or Flight: The Ongoing Drama of The New Day in WWE
The angle that has everyone talking…
The New Day is at a crossroads, or so WWE would have everyone believe. The typically fun-loving trio has hit a wall and is contemplating quitting the company due to recent events involving Kofi Kingston’s pursuit of the WWE Championship.
It’s all storyline of course. Maybe Big E and Xavier Woods were instructed to vent on social media, or maybe they pitched the idea and WWE signed off on it. Either way, the three Superstars are likely not going anywhere any time soon. So what is the point of all this?
In a perfect world, unity is the most important thing. E, Woods and Kingston have had each other’s backs for nearly five years, making them the longest running faction in WWE history. No matter what challenges have come their way, they’ve faced them together. The New Day has always been about the whole, not the one.
To find that kind of loyalty in any walk of life is a rare thing indeed. But that’s especially true in the pro wrestling business, where tag teams and stables come and go all the time. Eventually, a talent’s gaze shifts from the group to a championship. The lust for that championship becomes all-encompassing and sooner or later, the faction falls apart.
It happened with Triple H in D-Generation X and Evolution. It also happened with Seth Rollins in The Shield. But these are just two examples where the prize became more important than the partnership.
But in the case of The New Day, this has not happened. Kofi’s world championship dreams lay dormant for many years before he finally got his shot versus Daniel Bryan. Kingston was a champion with his two best friends and that was enough for him. It was also enough for the fans.
Indeed, when the WWE faithful speculated on The New Day’s demise, Big E was often the one predicted as the breakout star. He was just too big and too charismatic to not stand out from his New Day brothers.
Most of the possible scenarios involving Big E included him turning heel, with Woods and Kingston perhaps remaining a tag team. It was similar to Batista’s turn on Evolution, except Big E would be the heavy. He would leave his best friends in ruins, while he rose to the top of WWE. So is that still a possibility?
As fans try to find some sort of deep meaning here, the conversation regarding The New Day’s breakup is returning to the forefront. While it’s indeed refreshing to see a faction that takes care of its own, The New Day is still comprised of competitive Superstars. Competitive Superstars want to win and that means taking every opportunity available to do just that.
So if the carrot of championship gold was dangled in front of Big E, would he bite? Most fans would likely say yes. Of the three, Big E is the one that seems to be the more inclined to go heel and take advantage of the situation. But is that really the case?
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) March 20, 2019
Xavier Woods has never really been portrayed as the primary mastermind behind The New Day, but that’s exactly what he is. He is the architect of the group and just like Seth Rollins, he might jump at the chance to become the next big thing. So where does that leave Kofi?
Kofi is perhaps the least likely to go heel here. He’s just so likable and his character has so much heart, it’s hard to imagine WWE fans turning on him. Of course if Kingston were to side with Vince McMahon to not only get his title opportunity but also perhaps win it? Then all bets are off. Kofi Kingston would become public enemy No.1.
It’s definitely an intriguing proposition. Kingston has never had the chance to fully flex his muscles as a heel. He would surely be up to the test and he may just impress everyone with his range as a performer. But in the likelihood of possible outcomes, this is one that is perhaps slim at best.
The fact is that for many WWE fans, the time has come to look deeper. Simply destroying Kofi Kingston on a regular basis in order to get him over seems incredibly simple and frustratingly repetitive. There has to be more to it than that. Right? Even if Kofi wins the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35, which many believe he will, does everything just go back to normal with The New Day afterward?
We have kept other skills on deck for a reason…. pic.twitter.com/3B2IrqKqrE
— ✈️ GDC Wed/Thurs✈️ (@XavierWoodsPhD) March 20, 2019
But in the imperfect world of WWE, the ends justify the means. Or they don’t at all. It really depends on what day of the week it is. On one hand, Woods and E look like cowards for wanting to just cut and run. Top babyfaces stay and fight. They battle to the death if it means never giving the heel the satisfaction of owning the day. Babyfaces have much more honor and pride than to just walk away.
However on the other hand, maybe it’s indeed Kofi who wants to stay and fight. He could suddenly begin to see Big E and Xavier Woods as cowards as well and even chastise them for it on TV. How could they even contemplate walking away when The New Day has never backed down from a fight? Just that attitude alone could be enough to cause Woods and E to turn heel on Kofi. Then The New Day would be in tatters, just like every faction before them.
But in this modern PC world, the idea of leaving because the job you love doesn’t love you back, is pitch perfect. Sometimes it’s not enough to stay the course and keep striving to be the best. Sometimes it’s best to know when to move on, if only for the sake of maintaining sanity.
Despite what the truth is here, it’s obvious that everyone is talking about this angle. Fans are invested and that’s the most important thing. Kofi Kingston is the right player in the right moment and the crowd is on this journey with him. They’re also with The New Day as a group. Every twist and turn adds even more compelling layers to this storyline. Whether or not it will all mean anything in the end, remains to be seen.
Gunz: Roman Reigns Is Killing Seth Rollins
Has the return of Roman Reigns derailed Seth Rollins?
Has the return of Roman Reigns to WWE television (and storylines) derailed the momentum of Seth Rollins? See what Korey Gunz has to say about that!
Just two months ago, Seth Rollins stood in the middle of the ring as the winner of the Royal Rumble. Always a guy that would deliver in the ring, and having been long considered the workhorse of the WWE by most fans and deserving of “the push,” Rollins seemed poised to ride a wave of momentum into WrestleMania to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, slay “The Beast,” and truly become the face of the next evolution in the WWE.
That seems like ages ago now. In this “what have you done lately” world, it feels like a distant memory. The momentum that Rollins once had appears to be waning. The groundswell of support for the Architect to be crowned “the man” seems muted now. Granted, some of that is probably due to Rollins’ latest unfortunate injury keeping him out of in-ring action for a month, and it is also due to the absence of the champion he is supposed to be building a heated rivalry with for the biggest show of the year. But the real proverbial fork in the road on Rollins’ road to WrestleMania came from an unlikely and undoubtedly unforeseen source- Roman Reigns.
Make no mistake, this is not about Joe Anoa’i, the person. You are a liar if you can with a straight face that you didn’t feel for the man when he made his cancer announcement back in October, or that you weren’t happy for him when he announced his return. Whether you cheer or boo the character Roman Reigns, you can’t help but have respect for the man.
However, you can’t deny that when Roman announced his return to the ring on February 25, things changed. The trajectory felt different. Take the Fastlane pay-per-view for instance. The focus shifted from the build up to WrestleMania to the latest hot shot reunion of the Shield. Roman was back, Dean Ambrose’s dramatic heel turn that took place the same night of Roman’s cancer diagnosis was quickly nullified (talk about coming full circle), and Seth Rollins was suddenly thrown back into a group he had supposedly, finally, outgrown.
Like it or not, Roman Reigns is viewed by the common fan as the “leader” of the Shield. Rollins might be a solid 1-A at best, but for the general audience he was always looked at as #2. That’s why he was first turned heel against his brothers five years ago in the first place. Roman was the next big babyface, and an Ambrose turn was too predictable. Plus, in Ambrose’s case, he was actually probably better off as a crazy babyface character anyway if his recent heel run was any indication. Rollins was the one who needed that “umph.” And he got it, to be sure. But now fast forward to 2019, and it’s hard to be groomed as The Beast Slayer and heir to the Universal Title throne when you’re hastily thrown back into a stable that you are not even perceived as the leader of, and four weeks out from your WrestleMania main event no less.
Want more proof? Look no further than this past Monday’s RAW. The opening segment, featuring the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and advocate Paul Heyman trying to hype the match with Rollins for Mania, is interrupted by Drew McIntyre so he can challenge Roman Reigns. Rollins then comes out to beat up McIntyre to set up a match between the two for later, that Rollins loses (albeit with interference from Brock) so they can build the angle that Reigns is the last Shield member for McIntyre to beat- THE member. In many ways, you could argue Seth/Brock took a backseat to Roman/McIntyre, and Roman wasn’t even there!
In no way do I fault Roman for this situation. His comeback is a real life feel good moment for sure. But the residual effect it has had on Rollins’ momentum is palpable. The Big Dog has certainly taken a bite out of his push, and maybe even the chances of Rollins getting his true “moment” at Mania. If they really wanted to anoint Rollins as a flag bearer for the company, I think they should have held off Reigns’ return until after WrestleMania.
Follow Korey on Twitter @KoreyGunz