Posted by James Tee
It seems like for months, we have been waiting for Dolph Ziggler to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. After a losing streak at the start 0f 2013, the Show Off has seen a return to winning ways in recent weeks, with his enforcer Big E. Langston causing damage to Team Hell No, leading to a Tag Team Title match at Wrestlemania in just over two weeks.
So is it all doom and gloom for Ziggler? In this piece, I will be looking at the other men who have won Money in the Bank briefcases, and what has happened to them since. Is it the start of something big for Dolph?
The Money in the Bank ladder match was created prior to Wrestlemania 21, which emanated from the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.
Some of the biggest stars in the WWE at the time entered the match, with the winner getting a World Championship match at a time of their choosing at any point in the following twelve months. Chris Jericho, Christian, Kane, Shelton Benjamin and Chris Benoit all tried to win the inaugural match, but in the end it was Edge who emerged victorious.
2005 Money in the Bank winner – Edge
Edge held his MITB briefcase for almost ten months, eventually cashing in at New Year’s Revolution, moments after WWE Champion, John Cena, had retained his title inside the Elimination Chamber.
Before his untimely retirement in 2011, Edge had one of the most decorated careers in professional wrestling history. A four time WWE Champion, and seven time World Heavyweight Champion, The Rated-R superstar will go down as one of the most successful singles superstars of all time. However, it did not end there for him.
A five time Intercontinental Champion, this achievement was somewhat overshadowed by an astonishing thirteen reigns as a WWE Tag Team champion, with six different partners. After retiring due to the risk to his everyday health after countless neck and spinal surgeries, Adam Copeland was deservedly the head of the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame class.
2006 Money in the Bank winner – Rob Van Dam
After it’s success at Wrestlemania 21, the concept was brought back for Wrestlemania 22 in Rosemont, Illinois. Only Shelton Benjamin from MITB 1, competed in the second match, alongside Ric Flair, Bobby Lashley, Finlay and Matt Hardy.
It was ECW original Rob Van Dam who was successful in the Chicago suburb though, pushing Hardy and Benjamin from atop the ladder to retrieve the briefcase. He would not wait as long as Edge though to cash in his contract.
Unlike his predecessor, Van Dam also announced to then WWE Champion John Cena when he would cash in; June’s ECW: One Night Stand, from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. In front of a partisan crowd, Van Dam, with help from Edge, won his first, and only, WWE Championship.
Although his career was not littered with title gold like Edge’s post MITB, Van Dam still had success in WWE. Soon after his WWE title win, he was also christened ECW World Champion, in the process becoming the first man to simultaneously hold both belts.
After leaving the company, Van Dam headed to TNA, where he won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, as well as the TNA X-Division title. He has recently let his contract expire in mysterious circumstances, but to this day, is one of the most entertaining in-ring performers of the modern era.
2007 Money in the Bank winner – Mr Kennedy
For the first time in WWE history, the man who won the MITB briefcase, did not get the opportunity to cash it in himself. Mr Kennedy overcame seven other men; Randy Orton, Edge, King Booker, Matt and Jeff Hardy, Finlay and CM Punk to retrieve the briefcase, and in turn, set himself up for a World Title match.
However, Kennedy would only hold the briefcase for a matter of weeks. After sustaining a Tricep injury, which later would be shown to be a hematoma, Kennedy dropped the Briefcase to Edge, losing his World Title opportunity. Whilst Edge defeated The Undertaker with an assist from Mark Henry, Kennedy never reached the heights of World Champion in WWE.
After numerous injuries, Kennedy was released in May 2009, days after making his in-ring return in a ten man tag match.
However, Kennedy found success, like Van Dam, in Orlando with TNA. Now a member of Aces and Eights, Mr Anderson as he is now known, has been a two time TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Before his release from WWE, Anderson also entered the world of film, starring in Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia, in a WWE Studios picture.
2008 and 2009 Money in the Bank winner – CM Punk
Phil Brooks is still the only man to have won two Money in the Bank ladder matches, scoring successive wins at Wrestlemania’s 24 and 25. At Wrestlemania 24, Punk saw off the challenges of John Morrison, Carlito, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Jericho, MVP and Mr Kennedy to win the opportunity to win his first world title. Jeff Hardy was scheduled to be included in the match, but was removed due to a Wellness Violation, and a subsequent suspension.
On June 30th 2008, Punk cashed in his briefcase on then champion, and first MITB winner Edge on Raw, after Batista had attacked the champ in retaliation for The Rated-R Superstar’s cheating methods at the previous night’s PPV, Night of Champions. CM Punk had won his first World Heavyweight Championship.
Twelve months later, Punk found himself again at the top of the ladder in Houston, Texas, with the briefcase in his hands.
This time, he defeated Kane, Mark Henry, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Finlay, Kofi Kingston and Christian to have an opportunity to become a two time World Champion. At Extreme Rules, Punk took his opportunity, cashing in on new World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy, who had just defeated Edge in a hellacious ladder match.
Do we need to tell you what CM Punk has achieved since. After his infamous Pipe Bomb in 2011, Punk went on to become the number two guy in the WWE locker room, and after a 434 day WWE Title reign, the longest of the modern era, he now heads into Wrestlemania 29 with a real chance of ending The Undertaker’s undefeated streak.
Without a doubt, Punk is also the biggest heel in the company, and has cemented his place as one of the best in-ring technicians of all time.
2010 Money in the Bank winner – Jack Swagger
The last man to win a Wrestlemania Money in the Bank ladder match was the All-American, American, Jack Swagger.
In the biggest MITB match of all time, Swagger defeated Kane, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, MVP, Matt Hardy and Evan Bourne. And unlike all of his predecessors, he didn’t wait long to cash in. Two nights later, at the Smackdown tapings, Swagger took advantage of Edge attacking World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho, to win his (to date) only World Heavyweight Championship.
After losing his title two months later in a Fatal Four Way match to Rey Mysterio, Swagger’s career appeared to have hit the buffers. Despite being a United States Champion in early 2012, it has taken until recent weeks for him to re-enter the World Title picture. In two weeks, he will face Alberto Del Rio in an attempt to win his second world title.
Since the end of the Wrestlemania MITB matches, five men apart from Ziggler have won MITB matches; Daniel Bryan, Kane, The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and John Cena. All but Cena have cashed in successfully.
So is Ziggler now under pressure? He is the first man to hold a briefcase knowing that somebody before him has failed to win a world title when cashing in. If you ask me, Ziggler will probably cash in just after Wrestlemania, based on my opinion that he will be unsuccessful in his attempt to win tag-team gold with Langston.
In the long term, Ziggler has an abundance of in-ring ability, his mic work has improved greatly, and most importantly, he has proven that he can work in the main event of a PPV. The briefcase he holds gives him the opportunity, if he takes it, to become like Edge and CM Punk;
A modern day Wrestling Legend.
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