Jim Ross said that the Money In The Bank was the best innovation in wrestling since The Royal Rumble, my question would be, what about the Hardcore Division’s 24/7 rule? Regardless it’s no wonder with the immediate success of both Edge and Rob Van Dam that this new type of match, this gimmick, would be pushed further and as of 2010 Money In The Bank has been a yearly Pay Per View. Many questions arise with a move like this, is WrestleMania worsened by no longer feature the annual ladder match, are the briefcases cheapened by multiple briefcases, will people care enough to watch this Pay Per View and ultimately is the Money In The Bank concept capable of carrying a full Pay Per View that will enhance the WWE?
Personally I love the whole package, ladder matches are easily my favourite match, the drama and intensity is so wonderful, with the potential for serious injury only seconds away. The Money In The Bank PPV has traditionally offered two ladder matches, with anywhere from 5 to 8 competitors, personally I like fewer participants. 5 guys, the Main Event of last years MITB PPV, was a really good solid, easy to digest match; I remember the WrestleMania 26, the final Mania to feature a MITB match, there were far too many people in that match. If you watch that match people are just laying around and no matter how many spots, there are still some people doing nothing, not the best outing for the ladder match extravaganza. Speaking of WrestleMania, I feel the ladder match did a good job of getting a lot of guys on the card who normally wouldn’t and get’s the crowd up, but from a business perspective; there’s a high risk of injury on the biggest night and they have proved they don’t need in the past 3 years.
Beyond that WWE can obviously get more money by saving the Money In The Bank match and creating an entire Pay Per View around it, in addition to WrestleMania. I would also like to say that I believe Money In The Bank 2011 was the best WWE PPV I’ve ever seen, absolutely perfect top to bottom. But while two ladder matches are exciting for the event, do two briefcases cheapen the gimmick to the audience? I don’t believe so, I think the two cases, one for each title is justified, adding the room for a lot of excitement and variety on the show. However I’m getting a strange feeling we’ll only get one ladder match this year, let’s hope I’m wrong; I also wonder how The Shield will factor into this year’s ladder match event. Will they destroy one, or maybe be entered, all 3 of them, in one match; or maybe they’ll have nothing to do with them, but I’m interested.
What I wonder however is do the briefcases hurt the business by being perhaps too over the top, maybe too reminiscent of the aforementioned Hardcore Division’s 24/7 rule. I don’t believe it is, but I’m a wrestling fan, and to a certain degree for me the goofier the better, I enjoy when wrestling delves into the absurd. But I was watching TLC 2011 with a friend when Daniel Bryan ran down with his briefcase and captured the World’s Heavyweight championship. My friend obviously knows how wrestling works, but said that it seemed cheap, making it harder to buy the champion as credible. I’m aware that is the idea with briefcase, to have it be sneaky and create intrigue, but the argument can be made that is putting superstars in the position of having the Championship and having to prove that not only they deserve it, but that it matters to have if the rules are just the ridiculous.
So does Money In The Bank warrant having it’s own Pay-Per-View in the schedule? Well considering the fact that at one point Fatal 4 Way was a PPV, I would say that MITB is just fine and is a great way to create excitement in the middle of the summer. But like anything really, it has to be handled properly, but I think MITB creates a harder task. The winner needs to be someone unexpected, who’s able to use the briefcase to elevate himself to the next level, while already being established enough before winning the briefcase to carry the title. Rob Van Dam to me was a perfect example, should have been the champion so many times over before hand, and was completely believable as champion, but needed that briefcase to kickstart his comeback. Which raises a very interesting possibility with Mr. Van Dam returning at just this Money In The Bank Pay Per View.