Money in the Bank has become one of the best true staples of WWE over the past two decades. Since its beginning in 2005, multiple wrestlers have gone on to become world champions thanks to this match, climbing tat ladder to grab the briefcase and secure a world title shot in doing so. Wrestlers that some never imagined could reach the pinnacle of the sport in the biggest company of the world have done so because of this match. Careers were made or set on a path of success because of the Money in the Bank briefcase.
In this article, we take a look at the 10 best cash-ins in the history of the Money in the Bank briefcase.
10. Daniel Bryan
It’s always difficult to think back to the WWE version of Daniel Bryan before ‘The Yes Movement’, but that version, after all, was quite successful – using the Money In the Bank briefcase in 2011 to capture his very first World Championship in WWE. Bryan cashed in following a chairs match between Big Show and Mark Henry at TLC, taking advantage of Henry’s post-match attack on the new champion and pinning Show in the middle of the ring to become the second new World Heavyweight Champion of the night. No one noticed then, but this was the beginning of a heel turn for the champion as he would soon develop into the “Yes-ing” heel that would later go on to main event WrestleMania as a true all-time great in the company.
The crowd ate it up, it showed the company saw Bryan on the level as a world champion and triggered the beginning of one of the best runs in WWE history. Hard to beat that.
9. Randy Orton
SummerSlam 2013 was a special night for many reasons but is best remembered as the official start to Daniel Bryan’s rise to the WrestleMania main event. After defeating John Cena in the main event of WWE’s second-biggest show of the year for the WWE Championship, all seemed right to celebrate Bryan’s big moment. But before he could really get to enjoy it, Randy Orton’s music hit as he walked his way down to the ring with Money in the Bank briefcase in hand. Bryan looked more than ready to defend the title he just won, but before you knew it, Orton was ready to turn around and wait a bit before it was his time. Then Triple H turned Bryan around, hit him with a Pedigree, and handed Orton a win and the WWE Championship.
The Authority was born this night as Triple H was a heel for the first time in years, Orton was handpicked as the “franchise player,” and Bryan had to dig down with what may be the hottest WWE angle since the Attitude Era. Everything about this moment has historical ramifications, but the moment itself was magical as it utilized the briefcase perfectly.
Bayley, in every sense of the word, was the perfect babyface during her time in NXT. When she got to the main roster, however, it never seemed to fully click and for a while, she lost a lot of her luster. That was until 2019 when she entered the Women’s Money in the Bank match to win it and get herself back to the top of the mountain for the first time in over two years. She would do so on May 19, 2019, winning the match and having her shot at whatever championship she wanted.
Waiting longer than she already had for those two years was not in her plans. She would cash in on that very same night, taking advantage of Charlotte Flair’s match with Becky Lynch. Bayley would cash in successfully and receive one of the loudest reactions in years for her – maybe the loudest since her NXT days. Bayley was SmackDown Women’s Champion and would go on the run of her career later that year when she ditched the inflatable ‘Bayley Buddies’ embraced herself as “The Role Model.” This win gave her the confidence to do that.
7. The Miz (2010)
The Miz was pinned from the moment he won the Money in the Bank briefcase to be the first man to fail with it. Cruel but the truth. He has even acknowledged that in the past. But Miz would prove that this would not be his destiny as he would successfully cash in on a hobbled WWE Champion in Randy Orton. The cash-in was one of those that had fans clamoring the entire time the match went on, as time and time again in its shortness it looked as though Miz would indeed fail. The Miz would hit the Skull Crushing Finale as he would pin Orton in the middle of the ring to become WWE Champion and shock the world.
The “Angry Miz Girl” is forever remembered from that special night as she was visibly angry that Miz was the new WWE Champion. She wasn’t the only one, but this would push Miz to main event WrestleMania 27 and have a WWE Championship reign that he could hold onto forever. It remains the best moment of The Miz’s storied career.
6. Edge (2007)
Edge and the briefcase are two things that will always have a special place in WWE. The first-ever man to cash in the briefcase twice did it on two future first-ballot WWE Hall of Famers in tremendous fashion. As we discuss his second one, this was the first time ever that the winner of the briefcase didn’t get to cash it in. Edge defeated Mr. Kennedy in a match for the briefcase on RAW and one day later on SmackDown, he became the World Heavyweight Champion. That’s what we call historic.
Edge saw his “Ultimate Opportunist” nickname kick in more than ever before when he took the briefcase from Kennedy as the next night on SmackDown was the perfect time to pounce. The Undertaker and Batista battled in this incredible Hell in a Cell match which left both men battered and bruised before both hit the floor at the same time, ending it in a draw. The returning Mark Henry would take out Undertaker even more after, putting him down and out in the middle of the ring. This is when Edge made it his time. The RAW superstar walked down to the ring, cashed in, and within minutes was World Heavyweight Champion. That night was the night that he would make SmackDown his home for nearly the remainder of his career, solidifying his claim as one of the brand’s greats.
5. Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam called his shot. No one else has ever done the same successfully. The WWE Hall of Famer saw ECW One Night Stand as his chance to not only cash in but do so on WWE Champion John Cena. It was a sort of home-field advantage, as RVD walked in as the hero and Cena walked in with the loudest assortment of boos he may have ever received in his career. The Hammerstein Ballroom was rocking that night as signs read “If Cena wins, we riot” and “The Leader of Cenation” could not get anyone in the crowd to accept the t-shirt he usually throws into the crowd. Everyone denied it as the noise was deafening.
Every single move in this one was watched with great care as RVD winning was the only result that anyone could have accepted. And of course, that happened, as Paul Heyman made the three count and crowned RVD the new WWE Champion and ECW Champion at the same time. It was a magical moment that is credited to the Money in the Bank as this being only the second time it was used, it showed that it could and would continue to make special moments.
4. Edge (2006)
You never forget the first. The Money in the Bank briefcase never had a certain end goal when it was first created. Edge, the inaugural holder, held the briefcase for nearly a year and there were no plans of what to do with it. Until he pitched how and when to use it, making it the special prize that it is today. After a gruelling Elimination Chamber match at New Year’s Revolution, Edge would cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase for the first time on an ailing John Cena.
The crowd was certifiably done as Vince McMahon made the announcement on the stage, signalling that the night was not over. Edge, a man possessed, would walk down to the ring with the first world championship of his career on the mind. When Cena would kick out the first time, Edge’s anger was high as he prepared to hit a Spear on the champion. The Spear would be what it took to win his first-ever WWE Championship while establishing the magic of Money in the Bank in one single night.
3. Dean Ambrose
The night that the entire Shield held the WWE Championship will forever be one of the most special nights in WWE history. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose were a once-in-a-lifetime type group as every member not only became world champion but managed to become the biggest players at one time in professional wrestling’s most historic company. 2016 was an interesting year as Reigns was finally on top of WWE as their champion while Rollins had just returned from injury and was determined to become the WWE Champion once again. In a way, Ambrose wasn’t involved in the story until the week of Money in the Bank when he had them on the Ambrose Asylum talk show. It was there he made it clear that this could become a reality.
Ambrose would deliver on his promise, winning the briefcase earlier in the night while his two former stablemates would battle in the main event. Rollins managed to defeat Reigns, continuing the story that Reigns could not get the best of “The Architect.” Ambrose’s music would hit with the roar of the crowd filling the arena before coming in from behind and smashing Rollins with the briefcase. With confidence in his face, Ambrose would cash in the briefcase and quickly become the new WWE Champion. It was a moment that goes down in history and showed that these three men really were what pushed WWE forward for the better part of the 2010s.
2. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler’s cash in the night after WrestleMania 28 is fondly remembered by the wrestling world. Ziggler was a competitor who fans had thought should be world champion time and time again, but it never had got to the point where WWE would run with him. But one special night in 2012 saw Ziggler achieve his moment. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio would be injured by Jack Swagger’s ankle lock, not allowing him to get to his feet or move at all. This was when Ziggler, who had held the briefcase for months, saw his moment to achieve his destiny.
The crowd’s reaction to when Ziggler’s music hit can still be heard around the world any time that video is played. It was special. It was the right time. This was what the briefcase was created to do. Ziggler walked down to the ring with Big E and AJ Lee accompanying him as he took advantage of the injured Del Rio. A Zig Zag would be all that was needed for Ziggler to win the match, as Del Rio was not able to kick out. Ziggler’s emotions showed more than ever in his career as he celebrated his big moment with a crowd that ate up every single moment. Not only was this one of the best cash-ins ever, but is a moment that will go down in history as one of the absolute best.
1. Seth Rollins
A WrestleMania cash-in? Great. A WrestleMania main event cash-in? Historic.
Seth Rollins was destined to be WWE Champion and was in a race with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose to be the first man of The Shield to be WWE Champion. At WrestleMania 31, all signs pointed to Reigns achieving such an accomplishment after winning the Royal Rumble and main eventing the show against WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. As that match went on, it was a showing of Reigns never saying die despite a mauling by “The Beast Incarnate.” Reigns was fighting back time and time again and it left them both down in the middle of the ring with the fans waiting to see what they would do next. Then the music hit.
Rollins sprinted down to the ring as the crowd was in complete shock at what was happening. He was not only cashing in at WrestleMania but inserting himself into the WrestleMania main event just hours after losing his match with Randy Orton. This was his moment. And Rollins took it in stride. A Curb Stomp to Reigns following a Spear to Lesnar would seal up the win for Rollins, becoming the WWE Champion in what will forever be known as “The Heist of the Century.” It’s not only one of the best moments in the history of WrestleMania, but the greatest Money in the Bank cash-in of all time.