Everyone has their own opinion, but for my money, the best Money in the Bank ladder match was the first one. That match, which took place at WrestleMania XXI in Los Angeles, was thrilling, innovative and momentous. Edge, who was victorious, made the most of his briefcase win.
Even though he took the briefcase with him everywhere and could have cashed in at any time, he built tremendous anticipation by waiting a full nine months before doing so. It was something fans hadn’t seen before and the concept caught on. Now that we’ve seen this a million times, it’s probably time to move on.
Not only is the briefcase gimmick stale, but cashing in hasn’t elevated wrestlers like the WWE anticipated. The idea worked early on for guys like Edge, Rob Van Dam and CM Punk, but actually hurt wrestlers like Jack Swagger, the Miz, Damien Sandow and Dolph Ziggler.
There were issues with the idea from the beginning, such as devaluing both the world title and the eventual world title win. A wrestler won’t get over simply because they “won” the heavyweight championship. In reality, cashing in on a defenseless opponent is a pretty cheap way to claim the belt.
The best way to get somebody over is obvious: book the wrestler in question in a singles world title match, preferably on a big show, and put them over clean. It’s a formula that has worked since the dawn of professional wrestling, and it will continue to work as long as wrestling exists.
There is a better way to do Money in the Bank, and that’s to put the world title on the line every year instead of a future championship shot. As it turns out, that may be the exact scenario this year. With Daniel Bryan‘s recovery in question, the WWE decided to add a stipulation that should he be unable to compete at the Money in the Bank PPV on Jun. 29, the ladder match will be contested for the newly vacated WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The days of the briefcase need to come to an end. It started off as an interesting, exciting concept, but the idea has more than run its course.