With the Money in the Bank Pay Per View coming up next month, I got thinking about the concept and how it has changed since it all began. When you think way back to when the first match took place in 2005 at Wrestlemania 21, how amazing did the match seem? It was a fresh new concept and began a trend to push new stars on their final push to a run as champion. However, the match became a Pay Per View in July 2010 and has since not featured on the Wrestlemania card.
Since the match first began there have been a total of 11 Money in The Bank Winners, with a total of 2 men having had the briefcase twice, one being CM Punk who is the only man to win back to back Money in the Bank matches, and Edge who won the first Money in the Bank back in 2005 and defeated the 2007 winner Mr. Kennedy to claim the briefcase from him following an injury to Kennedy. Only 1 man has failed to win a championship following the cashing in of the briefcase, and that man is John Cena.
The concept of the Money in the Bank match first came about in March 2005 on an episode of Raw when Chris Jericho suggested the idea to then General Manager, Eric Bischoff. Since then, WWE fans began to get excited by the thought of the match happening each year at Wrestlemania. When I attended my first Wrestlemania, number 23 in Detroit in 2007, that match I most wanted to see was the Money in the Bank Ladder match. If you asked any WWE fan at the time what match they most looked forward to at Wrestlemania, it would be Money in the Bank.
So imagine my surprise when I am planning my annual Wrestlemania party to find out that there will not be a Money in the Bank ladder match. My first feeling was disappointment, then confusion. I could not understand why they took the match off Wrestlemania, until I learned online of rumblings that there would be a Money in the Bank Pay Per View. Is it me, or since Wrestlemania lost the match itself, has the standard of Wrestlemania fallen flatter? There doesn’t seem to be as much excitement to it as there was when they included this special match for that one night. I will in, my next article, be looking at Wrestlemania so I will not delve too much into my thoughts on this yet.
Learning of the news there would now be a Money in the Bank Pay Per view got my intrigue, and I was pleased, like many WWE fans that there would be a match going ahead. There were actually then 2 matches on the Pay Per View card involving the Money in the Bank, one for Smackdown and Raw. I thought this was a good idea on one hand as it meant that you were guaranteed a challenger for both the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship. In previous years there has only been one match and one winner, which meant there were fewer wrestlers getting a chance at their brands title.
However, I can’t help but feel that since the match has changed solely to a Pay Per View, this has taken away from the spectacle and made winning the briefcase less worthwhile. Lets face it, aside from John Cena and Mr. Kennedy, everyone who has held that briefcase has cashed in and won the respective title they have challenged for. If WWE mixed it up a bit and had not had so many successful cash in’s then that would make the concept more interesting as you know the journey is not over and nothing is guaranteed.
WWE never really had this same issue with the Royal Rumble. Since the concept of the winner receiving a WWE Championship shot started back in 1993, the winner went on from winning the Royal Rumble to win the title up until 1995 when Shawn Michaels faced Diesel and lost. Granted, he went on to win the following year, but overall there have been six wrestlers (Including Michaels) who have not won the title, most recently this happened for four straight years between 2008 and 2011.
On average that means of the 20 opportunities for Royal Rumble match winners, 70% of the Rumble winners have been successful going after their title. Compare that with the 12 Money in the Bank matches, and that means a staggering 92% of winners have been successful when they cashed in. Would it hurt WWE to not have the Money in the Bank winner be successful so often? I think fans now just accept that the winner will win the title, which takes away from the meaning of winning that briefcase. Lets be honest, when Money in the Bank comes to you on Pay Per View in July, you too will be expecting the winners of the respective brand matches to successfully cash in on their respective brand championship.
So how else do you solve the problem? Well, WWE could scrap the Pay Per View and put the match back on the Wrestlemania card. But then you would probably end up with 2 matches on the same card, and this is still overkill of the concept. I’d be interested to hear your idea’s on how WWE can make this mean more in the long run, but until then I hope someone from WWE takes note of my previous point, and they run with the idea that not every winner cashes in successfully.