The Money In The Bank (MITB) ladder matches are highly anticipated battles featuring some of WWE’s best superstars. During the early years, the match took place once a year at WrestleMania, before it received its own proper platform.
Chris Jericho created the concept in 2005 as a part of a storyline, and since then, there have been 15 MITB ladder matches. They don’t usually include technical mat work, as one would probably expect from a ladder match. They do, however, feature countless spots per match, and it’s regarded as the most exciting match of the year.
Before WWE started promoting pay-per-views (PPV) based off their successful gimmick matches (Hell In A Cell, Elimination Chamber, etc.), MITB wars were contested at WrestleMania, with the first one taking place inside Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.
In one week’s time, WWE invades Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH., for its Money In The Bank 2015 event, featuring a MITB ladder match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match contract, featuring familiar faces like Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, Kane, and Sheamus, as well as MITB rookies Roman Reigns and Neville.
There have been interesting stats calculated over the years, such as the success rate of cashing in the briefcase and winning the world title standing at 13-2. Kane will make his seventh MITB appearance, while runner up Christian (six) never won once. CM Punk, who won back-to-back MITB ladder matches, is the only wrestler to ever win twice.
As wrestling fans anticipate the 16th MITB ladder match, let’s take a look at the previous 15 and see where they rank with one another:
15 John Cena vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs. Big Show - Money In The Bank 2012 (Raw)
Consisting of five former world champions, this was the least populated MITB ladder match, with the best part of it all being Booker T’s commentary. John Cena made an impact by putting Big Show through the announce table early, but followed up by botching the ending and barely connecting with any of his briefcase shots to Show’s head.
Cena’s cash-in would be the first unsuccessful attempt at a world championship.
14 Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne vs. R-Truth vs. Alex Riley vs. The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio - Money In The Bank 2011 (Raw)
Aside from his previous accomplishments, Rey Mysterio would participate in his first MITB, and serve as a whipping boy for the majority of this contest. Believe it or not, he was booed when he stopped Miz from glory as the latter returned from injury and was on the cusp of clinching the briefcase.
There were a few good moments, but there was nothing truly dazzling about this contest for it to stand beside the good ones, or the SmackDown one on the same card.
Alberto Del Rio ended up winning and cashed into to win the championship from CM Punk.
13 Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry vs. Ted DiBiase Jr. vs. John Morrison vs. Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne vs. Edge - Money In The Bank 2010 (Raw)
Evan Bourne showed how special he was in high-risk matches, while Randy Orton proved to be a good fit, which could be an indication to what we see from him in a week.With that said, this was your standard MITB ladder match with nothing all that mesmerizing, besides The Miz winning in his first ever MITB appearance.
The Miz ended up cashing in against Randy Orton, winning the title from him on Raw.
12 Christian vs. Matt Hardy vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kane vs. Big Show - Money In The Bank 2010 (SmackDown)
The roster for this contest fell into diverse weight classes, which could be a problem at times. This installment wasn’t too bad, apart from Big Show’s inability to get the gigantic ladder into the ring, which felt like an eternity.
Kane would walk away victorious for the first and only time in six appearances. The crowd seemed to really enjoy it, too. Later that night, Kane cashed in his briefcase and took the strap from Rey Mysterio.
11 Dolph Ziggler vs. Evan Bourne vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jack Swagger vs. MVP vs. Drew McIntyre - WrestleMania 26
Participants flooded the last MITB ladder match to take place at a WrestleMania event, capping off a run of unique and highly anticipated matches at the “Showcase of The Immortals.”
It took Jack Swagger a while to unhook the briefcase, further driving the crowd to lash out at the result. It wasn’t a long match, with a memorable scene being Kingston’s stilt spot. Matt Hardy was a cool inclusion in his last MITB hurrah, while Kane showed how valuable he could be in these wars. Two days later, on Smackdown, Swagger cashed in to defeat an injured Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship.
10 Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Kane vs. Heath Slater - Money In The Bank 2011 (SmackDown)
Opening up the card in the Allstate Arena, the SmackDown MITB ladder match set the tone for one of the WWE’s best pay-per-view events of all-time.
Taking place right before the dissolution of the Nexus, a babyface Bryan stood above the rest in one of his best performances. He and Justin Gabriel were very significant for this battle. The match was good, albeit a little along.
Daniel Bryan is the only winner to have to cash-in his briefcase twice, as his first attempt was nullified by Teddy Long, who claimed Mark Henry (the then-champion) wasn't fit for competition. He tried again at TLC 2011 and defeated Big Show for the title.
9 Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro vs. Wade Barrett vs. Fandango vs. Jack Swagger vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Damian Sandow - Money In The Bank 2013 (SmackDown)
A number of talented wrestlers took part in this match, where The Real Americans and Team Rhodes Scholars vowed to work together for the briefcase. Dean Ambrose, who had the Philly crowd behind him, received help from The Shield until The Usos came to even things out.
The conclusion of this match saw Damian Sandow turn on Cody Rhodes for a shot at the championship in a shocker. Unfortunately, Sandow’s cash-in wasn’t successful, losing to Cena on an episode of Raw in late 2013 and he hasn’t had much success since.
8 Rob Van Dam vs. Ric Flair vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Finlay vs. Matt Hardy - WrestleMania 22
You’ve got to wonder how Ric Flair could still take two bumps off the ladder at his age and look great doing so, or why on earth the bookers would put him in there.
ECW legend Rob Van Dam was 2-0 at WrestleMania going in, making his MITB win that much sweeter. His win was written in the stars, with the Chicago crowd more than happy to see him come out on top. It also showed how unappreciated Shelton Benjamin was as a performer, excelling as the superstar to watch every time he participated.
RVD would then cash in his briefcase at ECW One Night Stand, where he'd defeat John Cena in front of a raucous crowd.
7 Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito - WrestleMania XXIV
Fans inside the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fl. saw all three WWE brands compete, with members of Raw, SmackDown, and ECW in the fold.
Maybe the blazing hot crowd made this match better than it was, but the wrestlers worked hard, as they ate plenty of stiff ladder shots from each other. This was the first of CM Punk’s two straight wins, as the ECW brand prevailed over its rivals.
Oh, and Benjamin nearly killed himself with a senton bomb off the ladder onto his foes.
Punk would cash in his contract on Raw three months later, where he won the World Heavyweight Championship from Edge.
6 Randy Orton vs. CM Punk vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. King Booker vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Edge vs. Matt Hardy vs. Finlay - WrestleMania 23
A few TLC alums were on display in this match, as The Hardy Boyz and Edge had the best spot with Jeff Hardy’s leg drop from the ladder onto Edge -- who was lying on another ladder.
There were a decent amount of good spots off the ladders, and in the end, Mr. Kennedy earned a title shot. However, Mr. Kennedy is the first Superstar to actually lose his contract before cashing it in, as he lost the briefcase to Edge a month later.
5 CM Punk vs. Christian vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Finlay - WrestleMania XXV
Serving as the first match on the card in Houston, TX, there were a few stories surrounding the festivities; MVP was coming off a 20-match losing streak, it was Kingston’s first Mania, and Christian, who made his third MITB appearance, had never won the match.
The crowd was behind the Canadian and just when he looked poised to take it, Punk swept the rug from under him, to the dismay of the majority of the audience. No competitor has ever won back-to-back MITB ladder matches, let alone getting their hands of the briefcase twice.
During his second go-around with the briefcase, Punk cashed in his briefcase at Extreme Rules to take the World Heavyweight Championship from Jeff Hardy.
4 Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger - Money In The Bank 2014
This is what started it all off for the architect of The Shield, successfully cashing in the briefcase at WrestleMania 31 earlier this year. It didn’t come easy, as Rollins took one of the most infamous MITB bumps when he was tossed off the ladder onto one held up by the ropes.
Dolph Ziggler was the crowd favorite at a time where he was one of the hottest stars in the promotion, despite his booking woes. The crowd was pulling for him, but Rollins ended up picking up the title with some assistance from Kane.
3 Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk vs. Randy Orton vs, Rob Van Dam vs. Sheamus vs. Christian - Money In The Bank 2013
The second of two MITB ladder matches at Money In The Bank 2013 served as the headliner, arguably being the most stacked one yet featuring a group of former world champions. Rob Van Dam made his return to a big ovation in Philly, and alongside Bryan, were the two wrestlers the crowd was rooting for. Christian, on the other hand, was making his sixth MITB appearance, coming up short in every one.
CM Punk had a chance to increase his lead as the winningest MITB participant with three victories, but his manager at the time, Paul Heyman, turned on him and cost him the victory.
Randy Orton ended up winning the briefcase and successfully cashed in at SummerSlam to steal the belt from Daniel Bryan, who had just beat John Cena for it.
2 Dolph Ziggler vs. Damian Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Christian vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Santino Marella vs. Tensai vs. Sin Cara - Money In The Bank 2012 (SmackDown)
With the exclusion of Tensai, this looked like a true Cruiserweight MITB ladder match. It turned out to be one of the best, with great work rates from all involved. The action was non-stop, complete with ladders galore and entertaining sequences. By this time, all 10 previous winners would become champions, and it was no different for the “Show Off,” as he cashed in almost a year later one night after WrestleMania 29.
1 Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Edge vs. Kane vs. Christian - WrestleMania 21
The first still stands as the best, considering this gimmick match was almost guaranteed to impress.
WrestleMania went Hollywood in 2005 and so did this type of clash. The Canadians delivered, Benjamin made his presence felt, and Kane was his old self in tormenting his opposition. There were glimpses of the Edge & Christian tandem coming together, as well as bloodshed for Chris Benoit when his stitches busted open. Edge, who would become known as the “ultimate opportunist,” became the first man to win a MITB match and successfully cash in for the WWE Championship, when he took advantage of John Cena after he has just competed in an Elimination Chamber match.