Since 2005, the Money in the Bank Ladder match has been an exciting part to look forward to in the WWE calendar. It is a way for mid to upper card talents to be involved in the main title scene. Originally, the match was a yearly tradition at WrestleMania, and because it was such a popular stipulation they received their own pay-per-view starting in 2010.

A quick summary of what this match is all about. Multiple superstars compete in a ladder match for a briefcase hanging above the ring. The first person to grab the briefcase will be Mr. or Ms. Money in the Bank. Inside that case is a contract where the superstar can “cash-in” on a world title opportunity anytime and anywhere for the next 12 months.

There has been a total of 22 Money in the Bank matches. With this being my favorite match type in WWE, I decided to rank all those matches from worst to first.

The rankings were based on the match quality and who was booked the winner.

22. The Controversial First Women’s Match

  • Event: Money in the Bank 2017
  • Prize: SmackDown Women’s Championship match
  • Participants: Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya vs. Tamina
  • Winner: Carmella
  • Length: 13:20

Money in the Bank became a SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view in 2017. With one Money in the Bank Ladder match set to take place at the event (the traditional men’s), WWE wanted to continue to momentum women’s wrestling was receiving by giving the female superstars their own MITB match. A fantastic idea at the time but poor booking made it memorable for the wrong reasons.

At the time, the women’s division was very thin for the blue brand. There were only six competitors in the division (including Women’s Champion Naomi), so the build-up was simply to throw the non-title holders in a match. On top of that, none of the females had any experience in this type of match, which is understandable. The ending, however, is no excuse. WWE decided to have Carmella’s manager, James Ellsworth, physically pull down the briefcase for her, which caused an instant backlash on the internet. A match that had so many historic attachments to it was simply ruined by a bad booking decision.

21. The One with Too Many Participants

  • Event: WrestleMania XXVI
  • Prize: Any World Championship match
  • Participants: Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Evan Bourne vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Matt Hardy vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Shelton Benjamin
  • Winner: Jack Swagger
  • Length: 13:44

This was the last Money in the Bank to take place at WrestleMania and is considered the worst of the bunch. The problem here was the number of participants. This was the first and last time they had 10 superstars in one match. While it is always good to have more people on a match card, the superstars did not have a lot of room to work with the crowded ring. It also did not help that the match was just under 14 minutes.

There were some cool spots here, like Bourne’s Shooting Star Press from a horizontal ladder and Kingston using two broken halves of a ladder as stilts. It could have been better with more time, given the star power listed but still a messy match indeed.

20. The 2017 Women’s Rematch

  • Event: SmackDown Live
  • Prize: SmackDown Women’s Championship match
  • Participants: Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya vs. Tamina
  • Winner: Carmella
  • Length: 24:00

After Backlash from the WWE Universe, they decided to the Women’s MITB Ladder match two weeks after the first one. It was going to be difficult to book an entirely different match, which featured the same five women, so soon after the original. This televised edition proved to be slightly better than the first one.

Carmella won again but this time without the help of Ellsworth. He did try to get involved, but Lynch pushed the ladder, which was a nice twist here. With it being the one and only non-pay-per-view MITB match, ad-breaks and the constant reminder of why this happened in the first place leaves this one far down in the rankings.

19. The Five-Way

  • Event: Money in the Bank 2012
  • Prize: WWE Championship match
  • Participants: Big Show vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. John Cena vs. The Miz
  • Winner: John Cena
  • Length: 20:15

This is the only time that the male side of the match had only five participants. The five superstars in the match had their fair share of success in their respective careers but it did not necessarily feel like a ladder match.

This was not a bad match per se but this type of match features a lot of high spots and sequences with the ladder, which was not the case here. The five here simply took us on a pretty basic story. The only real story part here was that Big Show was taken out early and buried with ladders. The finish might have been botched here as Cena attempted to bash Show in the head with the briefcase, only for it to break free in his hands anyway. Good thing he was booked to win here.

18. The Second/Shortest MITB Match

  • Event: WrestleMania 22
  • Prize: Winner’s brand’s World Championship match
  • Participants: Bobby Lashley vs. Finlay vs. Matt Hardy vs. Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin
  • Winner: Rob Van Dam
  • Length: 12:14

The first MITB match was fantastic (more on that one later) and there were a lot of expectations for the second one. It sadly, however, really did not live up the hype. This was mainly due to time, clocking in at just over 10 minutes, which does not give a lot of time to make a quality match.

There were some cool spots here like Flair taking a Superplex off a ladder and then was ushered to the back, only to return later to a huge reception. Benjamin continued where he’d left off the year, showing that he is one of the greats in the matches history. It was nice to see Rob Van Dam win here, as he was long overdue for the main event push but looking back on the match again, you can’t help but want more here.

17. The Roman Reigns Show

  • Event: Money in the Bank 2015
  • Prize: WWE World Heavyweight Championship match
  • Participants: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Neville vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
  • Winner: Sheamus
  • Length: 20:50

The lineup on paper had a lot of potential. You had the veterans like Sheamus and Orton for while throwing in a guy like Neville who recently joined the main roster at the time. The action in the ring was nothing special. The main thing here was that this was the beginning of the constant Reigns push, to which the fans have been strongly against. Regins was the star here as he had many spots here, including power bombing Kingston on a ladder which followed by power bombing Neville on top of him.

With these types of matches, interferences usually ruin a good match. Reigns was close to victory but the lights went out and Bray Wyatt appeared to take him out. It was a strange call, as the two were never in a feud, to begin with. Sheamus being booked as a winner was a surprise here, making this one of the more unmemorable MITB matches.

16. The Forgotten Winner

  • Event: Money in the Bank 2013
  • Prize: WWE Championship match
  • Participants: CM Punk vs. Christian vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Sheamus
  • Winner: Randy Orton
  • Length: 28:38

This was a slower-paced, with a lot of storylines here that made the briefcase take a backseat. The lineup here had an even amount of crowd favorites (Punk, Bryan, and RVD) with heels.

The main story here wasn’t the match’s outcome but rather what happened to Punk. Paul Heyman’s new client at the time Curtis Axel ran in to cost Bryan the win. Punk, who was also aligned with Heyman, took issue with his interference and nailed him with a Go 2 Sleep. Heyman himself came out and urged Punk to grab the briefcase. Punk climbed up but Heyman blindsided him with several ladder shots. It was an effective twist but took away from the actually surprising winner here, Randy Orton.

15. The Rise of Miz

  • Event: Money in the Bank 2010
  • Prize: WWE Championship match 
  • Participants: Chris Jericho vs. Edge vs. Evan Bourne vs. John Morrison vs. Mark Henry vs. The Miz vs. Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase
  • Winner: The Miz
  • Length: 20:26

This was the first time there would be two separate MITB matches, which one is for SmackDown this one right here was for the Raw brand.

This one was less memorable from the two. The main highlight here was particularly Maryse climbing towards the briefcase on behalf of Ted DiBiase Jr., forcing John Morrison to politely escort her down, which allowed DiBiase to use the distraction and almost seize victory. The match here was lacking elaborate high spots and a lot of “Huh?” moments like someone putting a ladder upside-down for no reason. The Miz did use this as a way to push of Randy Orton for the victory and it was nice to see someone new being pushed to the main event scene but the match itself was kind of forgettable.

14. The Continued Push of Del Rio

  • Event: Money in the Bank 2011
  • Prize: WWE Championship match
  • Participants: Alberto Del Rio vs. Alex Riley vs. Evan Bourne vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. R-Truth vs. Rey Mysterio
  • Winner: Alberto Del Rio
  • Length: 15:54

Money in the Bank 2011 is considered one of the best pay-per-views the company has produced in the modern era. With the SmackDown Ladder match and the WWE Championship match between John Cena and CM Punk, this was a great PPV. This ladder match was decent, but two big botches in this match dropped it down on the list.

The start of this match was cool, as every participant came down the ramp with various sized ladders and there was some solid action throughout like eventual winner Del Rio ripping off Mysterio’s mask en route to victory.

The two botches were bad. First, Swagger and Kingston plummeted from a ladder and everyone thought that both were seriously injured (thankfully, they were both okay.) Second, after de-masking Mysterio, Del Rio’s own ladder crumbled beneath his weight and it looked like he hurt himself in the process. Thankfully, he remained calm and climbed up the ladder to secure the briefcase.

13. The Second Women’s MITB Match

  • Event: Money in the Bank 2018
  • Prize: Winner’s brand’s women’s championship match
  • Participants: Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Ember Moon vs. Lana vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Sasha Banks
  • Winner: Alexa Bliss
  • Length: 18:30

The third Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match was way better than its previous two. It had a good combination of experienced performers while throwing in a couple of up and comers in a new environment that seemingly fit well here.

All the participants performed well here and set the bar for what women can do in these types of matches. In the end, Bliss won the contract shockingly, considering that he just had the Raw Women’s Championship a few weeks prior. I had this low on the list because there should have been a better choice here as the winner. Giving it to someone like Moon could have jumpstarted her main roster run or having Banks win it could have shown that she was still a top priority in the division.

12. The First Non-WrestleMania MITB Match

  • Event: Money in the Bank 2010
  • Prize: World Heavyweight Championship match
  • Participants: Big Show vs. Christian vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Matt Hardy
  • Winner: Kane
  • Length: 26:18

I already mentioned the other 2010 non-flashy MITB ladder match but its SmackDown counterpart was the opposite. This one was very solid indeed and had a few storylines within. The start of it had the smaller competitors take out Big Show and Kane, which was something we did not see. Big Show brought out a much bigger and sturdier ladder that was used a lot in this match by everyone else. Another huge spot here was Kingston performing a Boom Drop on a lying McIntyre on the announce table, continuing their feud they have had leading up to this.

The length of the match is the one drawback. It remains one of the longest ever MITB ladder matches at over 26 minutes and felt like a bit of a slow at times. Still, it is one of the memorable ladder matches in its history, with winner Kane cashing in less than an hour later.

Check back for part two of the Money in the Bank Ladder match rankings!


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