Straight to the Top: Money in the Bank Ladder Match Anthology

anthology

DVD Release Date: October 29, 2013

~Disc 1~

MATCH #1: First Ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Edge vs. Christian vs. Kane, WrestleMania 21, 4.3.05

Benjamin is the current Intercontinental Champion. Everyone runs down the aisle to meet Kane during his entrance and tries to take him out. By the way, there are a bunch of ladders set up by the entrance, and when Kane comes out they all get lit on fire. It looks awesome. No one is successful in taking Kane out and they make it towards the ring. Benjamin and Benoit team up to hit Kane with a double suplex on the outside of the ring. Christian brings the first ladder into the ring and Jericho knocks it back into his face as the bell officially rings.

I expect to see a lot of action here and have a hard time keeping up with it all. This is quite the collection f talented performers here. Dives start happening early and Benjamin takes out four of his opponents with an amazing no-hands Hilo. The one he missed, Kane, follows with a leap off the top rope to take out everyone including Tomko. Kane grabs a ladder and starts using it as a weapon before Jericho dropkicks it back into his face. Jericho follows Kane’s lead by using the ladder as a weapon until Benoit hits him with a German Suplex that sends the ladder flying. That was a neat visual. Benoit tries to climb up the ladder when Kane grabs him by the throat, but Benoit grabs him in the Crippler Crossface. Edge breaks that up so Benoit puts him in the hold. Kane breaks that up with a ladder. Kane traps Benoit’s arm in a ladder and slams it multiple times. Edge takes Kane down with a big Spear. Christian and Edge then work together to sandwich Kane between two ladders. Benjamin then takes both of them out with a springboard clothesline. Edge avoids a spin kick and Christian takes it while holding a ladder. Edge sets up a ladder in the corner and whips Benjamin into it. He looks for a Spear but Benjamin avoids it and slams Edge face-first into the ladder. Benjamin sets Edge against the ladder and hits the Stinger Splash. He almost grabs the briefcase but Jericho climbs up and stops him. Everyone else besides Kane also climbs up. Christian takes Benoit down with a vicious arm breaker. Benjamin knocks Jericho down. He then takes Edge down with a T-Bone! The crowd liked that. Jericho and Christian are the last two men standing. One ladder is leaning against another ladder set up right under the case. Jericho tries to grab the case but Benjamin runs up the slanted ladder and takes Jericho out with a clothesline! Many Money in the Bank matches later, that is still one of the most impressive spots ever. Benjamin goes up for the case but Christian takes him down with a ladder. Kane is back and he knocks Christian out. He then tries to Chokeslam Benjamin to the floor but Benjamin’s leg gets caught in the top rope instead. That’s probably for the best. Tomko sneaks in and kicks Kane in the face. He tries to help Christian climb up for the case but Kane dispatches him. Kane climbs up to battle Christian but instead decides to just push the ladder over and Christian topples over onto Tomko on the floor. Jericho and Kane climb up now and tip each other over. Kane falls to the mat and Jericho all the way to the floor. Benoit gets back in with a ladder and sets it up in the corner. He goes up to the top of the ladder and delivers the diving headbutt! Benoit goes up the ladder and Kane sits up! Kane climbs as well and Benoit knocks him back. Benoit almost has the ladder but Edge comes in from out of nowhere and slams a chair onto his injured arm! Edge then climbs up and retrieves the case at 15:17. The first Money in the Bank match as yet to be topped, with six guys who all deserved to be there and all pulling out all the stops to make this memorable. Some of the spots are still highlight reel material, and Edge’s victory helped propel him to the top of the card. Of everyone Benjamin really stood out, and it’s a shame they could never capitalize on his performance in matches like this.
Rating: ****½

MATCH #2: Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Matt Hardy vs. Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley, WrestleMania 22, 4.2.06

Benjamin is the Intercontinental Champion, just like he was last year. Lashley looks dominant in the opening minute. Benjamin cuts him off with a hard kick to the side of the head. Hardy tries to bring in the first ladder but RVD kicks it back into his face and then wipes him out with a House Show Dive. Meanwhile in the ring Benjamin uses a ladder to abuse Finlay. Benjamin angles the ladder and runs up it to hit a somersault senton on Lashley, Hardy, and RVD on the floor. That leaves Finlay and Flair in the ring and Flair takes Finlay down and tries to grab the case. Hardy joins Flair up there and superplexes him down. That’s quite a bump for Flair to take. One of the referees makes the “X” sign, which I hate. RVD and Benjamin are back in the ring and RVD tries but misses a Rolling Thunder on top of a ladder. Lashley and Benjamin climb up the ladder and Benjamin tries a sunset bomb. Finlay and Hardy have to assist in the move. The brawling continues and Flair makes his way back out. That pisses Finlay off and Flair meets him in the aisle with chops. Flair gets in the ring and climbs the ladder. Hardy pulls him down so Flair throws chops and punches at everyone. Flair goes back up and almost gets the case but Finlay climbs up and this Flair in the face with the shillelagh! Benjamin joins Finlay on the ladder and Lashley knocks them both down. Lashley hits Benjamin with the Dominator. RVD dropkicks him off the ladder with an assist from a chair. Hardy climbs up a ladder and hits Lashley with a legdrop. He goes up for the case and Finlay joins him, but Hardy brings him down with a Side Effect! RVD gets to the top of a ladder and hits Finlay with a Five-Star Frog Splash! He goes up for the case but Benjamin flies in from out of nowhere and starts throwing hands. Hardy tries to steal the case from another ladder but Benjamin stops him. RVD pushes the other ladder over and Hardy and Benjamin take a nasty bump to the floor. That leaves RVD all alone to reach up and grab the briefcase and earn the title shot at 12:15. That lacked the star power of last year’s version and didn’t have an many memorable spots, but there were a few and everyone busted tail and took some hellacious bumps.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #3: Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Jeff Hardy vs. King Booker vs. Finlay vs. CM Punk vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge, WrestleMania 23, 4.1.07

Finlay and Matt Hardy were in this match last year, and Edge won it in 2005. The other five are appearing in the match for the first time. It takes about ten seconds for Kennedy to go out after a ladder. This one is going to be even harder to keep up with than the past versions because there are two more men this year. Finlay of all people scores the first high-spot, wiping everyone out on the floor with a high cross body block off the top rope. Edge tries to steal the ladder down but Matt stops him. Booker finds a mini ladder and looks confused, but Punk knows how to use it as a weapon. Action is happening all over the place, and Booker goes on a run of spinebusters. Booker then executes the Spinaroonie and eats a ladder sandwich from the Hardys for it. Kennedy tries a Kenton on Matt on the ladder but Matt moves. Jeff then shows Kennedy how it’s done with a Swanton. The brothers Hardy work together a bit and then climb the ladder at the same time to slug it out. Finlay knocks them both down. Edge starts dishing out Spears like it’s his job. Punk avoids one and then uses the ladder just as Terry Funk did. Edge stops him with a Spear. He brings out a giant ladder and climbs, but Orton knocks him all the way to the floor. Matt sets Edge on a ladder between the apron and the barricade. Jeff climbs up the really tall ladder and takes Edge out with a legdrop! That literally broke the ladder in half. EMTs come out and put Edge on a stretcher and take him to the back. The match will continue. Orton starts hitting RKOs on everyone. He and Punk fight on top of a ladder and Orton takes him down with an RKO! Orton and Booker go up top and this time Booker is the one who scores, hitting a Bookend. Booker and Matt climb up the ladders now and Sharmell comes in to stop Matt. In an awesome spot, Matt threatens to hit Sharmell with the Twist of Fate so Booker jumps down to save his wife. Matt hits Booker with the Twist of Fate. He tries to climb and a bloody Finlay knocks him down. Finlay then hits the Celtic Cross on Matt on the ladder. Hornswoggle gets in the ring and climbs up the ladder. Kennedy climbs up and takes Hornswoggle down with the Green Bay Plunge! Finlay takes Kennedy out and climbs up, but Punk knocks the ladder over with a dropkick. Punk and Kennedy battle on top of the ladder, and it looks like Punk’s got it! Kennedy knocks him down with another ladder at the last second. That’s enough for Kennedy to climb up and retrieve the briefcase at 19:09. That went by very fast and there was a series of great and memorable spots throughout the contest. Kennedy wouldn’t have been my choice to win, but it made my friend Casey Nelson’s night and he got me the ticket so I guess that’s worth it.
Rating: ****

MATCH #4: Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Chris Jericho vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. John Morrison vs. Carlito vs. CM Punk vs. MVP vs. Mr. Kennedy, WrestleMania XXIV, 3.30.08

This is Jericho’s seventh ‘Mania match, Benjamin’s fifth, Morrison’s first, Carlito’s second, Punk’s second, MVP’s second, and Kennedy’s second. Benjamin has been in two other Money in the Bank matches, Jericho, Punk and Kennedy have been in one other, and this is Morrison, Carlito, and MVP’s first time. Morrison is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, MVP is the United States Champion, and Chris Jericho is the Intercontinental Champion. There’s a lot of gold in the lineup here. Jeff Hardy was supposed to be in this match, but he had Wellness problems and got himself suspended. This one is going to be hard to call. The entire commentary crew is on board for this one.

Morrison delivers the first high spot with a ladder-assisted Moonsault to the floor. He didn’t really hit anyone though. Kennedy, Morrison, and Benjamin fight on top of two ladders, and Benjamin almost grabs the case. Instead he hits a sunset bomb on Kennedy, who suplexes Morrison at the same time. That was neat. Punk gets back in the ring and goes for the briefcase, and hits the Go to Sleep on Benjamin. Kennedy then hits Punk with a Finlay roll on a ladder. Carlito takes out MVP and goes up, but Benjamin pulls him down. He goes up for the case, but Carlito and Kennedy tip the ladder over and Benjamin takes a SICK bump onto a ladder at ringside. Carlito, Kennedy, and Jericho are all on the ladder now and MVP pushes them over. Morrison then takes out MVP. Morrison climbs but Jericho puts the Wall of Jericho on him on top of the ladder. That move doesn’t make a lot of sense in this context. Kennedy sets up a ladder next to them, and King calls the Walls the Lion Tamer, which I like. Punk gets back in but knocked down pretty quickly. Jericho almost gets the case but Carlito hits him with the Backstabber. Everyone is down now except for MVP. He almost gets the case, but MATT HARDY runs in from out of nowhere and delivers the Twist of Fate off the ladder, and MVP is down. Morrison almost grabs the case but ends up falling on the ropes instead. Jericho almost gets it but Carlito spits apple in his face. Carlito almost grabs the case but Kennedy knocks him down. Punk then knocks Kennedy down, and then Jericho delivers the Codebreaker to Punk with a ladder. Jericho climbs up and Punk goes up after him. They fight over the case and Punk is able to tie one of Jericho’s legs in a rung of the ladder and that gives him the opening he needs to grab the case and earn a title shot at 13:55. It’s pretty great to see a former ROH star get this kind of win at the biggest WWE show of the year. This was a hell of a spot-fest and the right guy went over. I like this yearly tradition.
Rating: ****

MATCH #5: Money in the Bank Ladder Match – CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Finlay vs. Christian vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Mark Henry, WrestleMania 25, 4.5.09

It’s nice to have Christian back. As usual with these types of matches I don’t expect to do much play-by-play. Henry and Kane clear the ring and go at it early on. Shelton and Christian team up to introduce the first ladder, taking Kane and Henry down. Kingston then dropkicks it back onto both of them and hits the Boom-Boom legdrop. Kane and Henry recover and make the first attempt to climb the ladder, but the other six guys all team up to take them down. They all climb the ladders now, and Henry and Kane return the favor by knocking them down. Punk and Kofi wind up in the ring together, and instead of fighting they hit stereo suicide dives onto Christian, MVP, and Kane. Shelton climbs to the top of a very tall ladder and somersaults off it into the crowd, and it doesn’t look like they did a very good job catching him. Henry then teases a dive off the top rope, but Finlay stops him with his shillelagh. Hornswoggle introduces a step-ladder, and uses it to help catapult himself off the top rope onto the mass of competitors on the floor. Finlay is left alone in the ring and brings a ladder in. Kofi knocks him off the ladder with a Trouble in Paradise. I’m having trouble keeping up with everything. Punk and MVP wind up on the ladder and Christian pulls MVP down. Christian goes after Punk and gets kicked in the face. He perseveres though, and takes Punk off the ladder with the Un-Prettier. Shelton and MVP unfortunately blow a sunset bomb off the ladder. Bummer dudes. Shelton then hits a powerbomb on MVP to the floor, right onto Henry and Tony Atlas. He then knocks Finlay off the ladder, and Christian pulls Shelton down. Shelton and Christian climb up a ladder together, and Christian sends Shelton crashing to the floor. The crowd goes nuts as Christian gets close to the briefcase. Punk swoops in out of nowhere but Christian is able to get Punk’s leg tied up in the ladder. Kane joins them and Chokeslams Christian down to the mat. Punk untangles his foot and kicks Kane down and grabs the briefcase to become the first-ever two-time Money in the Bank winner at 14:23. Money in the Bank is one of the more reliable WWE matches, and this one was no different. Amazing spots and I certainly didn’t predict Punk winning, so great stuff all around.
Rating: ****

MATCH #6: Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Kane vs. Christian vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler, WrestleMania XXVI, 3.28.10

This is the WrestleMania debut for Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre. Obviously that makes it their first time in this match as well. This is the sixth ever Money in the Bank match, and it’s the second time for Kingston, the third time for MVP, the fifth time for Benjamin, the third time for Hardy, the third time for Kane, and the third time for Christian. McIntyre is the current Intercontinental Champion. In qualifying matches Christian beat Carlito, Ziggler beat John Morrison and R-Truth in a triple threat, Kane beat McIntyre, Benjamin beat CM Punk, Swagger beat Santino Marella, MVP beat Zack Ryder, Hardy also beat McIntyre, Bourne beat William Regal, McIntyre beat a local competitor, and Kingston beat Vladimir Kozlov.

This is the greatest number of competitors in the Money in the Bank match to date. Obviously this match is going to be hard to call. Bourne, MVP, and Hardy all work together to eliminate McIntyre early. A slew of guys go up for the case and Bourne gets the closest, but Kane pulls him down and throws him onto a gaggle of guys on the floor. More ladders get involved and bodies are flying all over the place. Of everyone, Christian and Hardy have the most experience in ladder matches, but Shelton isn’t too far behind them. Kingston, MVP, and Benjamin form a unit to battle Kane, but the Big Red Monster fights them off. Benjamin hits MVP with Paydirt and then kicks a ladder into McIntyre’s face on the floor. Swagger and Bourne go at it in the ring and Bourne takes him out. Christian and Hardy trap Swagger underneath a ladder and jam two more ladders into his ribs from either side. They climb up on either side and Bourne joins them from the side of the ladder. Swagger pushes Hardy’s ladder out from underneath him and Bourne kicks Christian down and then hits Air Bourne! Bourne tries to grab the case but Hardy throws him down. Swagger then throws Hardy down. MVP and Benjamin climb up next but it doesn’t take long for them to tumble to the floor. No one is even in the ring at this point. Kane is first in the ring and tries to climb but Ziggler climbs over him and almost gets the case but Kane pushes him over. He then Chokeslams Ziggler on top of a ladder and traps him inside of it and actually breaks it. Kingston gets back in and this Kane with Trouble in Paradise. He actually takes the broken ladder and uses it as stilts and almost gets to the case but McIntyre knocks him down. McIntyre climbs but Hardy knocks him down. Hardy gets his hands on the case and takes forever trying to unhook it so Christian and Kane stop him. Christian hits the falling inverted DDT off the ladder, which Cole identifies as the Twist of Fate. Now Christian and Swagger climb up and Christian gets his hands on the case. Swagger swings it into Christian’s face and pulls the case down at 13:28. I love Money in the Bank and they did some really creative spots in this one. Ten guys is too many but they made the most of it.
Rating: ****

MATCH #7: SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Big Show vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Christian vs. Matt Hardy vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Cody Rhodes, Money in the Bank, 7.18.10

The winner of this one gets a shot at the World Heavyweight Title. Hardy, Kane, Rhodes, Christian, Kingston, and Show did not have to qualify for this event. On the July 9 episode of Smackdown, Ziggler beat MVP and Chavo Guerrero in a triple threat match to qualify, while McIntyre defeated Kingston. This is the first appearance for Show, the fourth for Christian, the first for Rhodes, the second for Ziggler, the second for McIntyre, the fourth for Kane, the third for Kingston, and the fourth for Hardy. None of the combatants has won it yet. Kingston is the current Intercontinental Champion.

I don’t expect to fully be able to keep up, but I’ll try to hit the high points. Kane and Show clean house and then turn their attention to each other. Show takes Kane out and tries to climb the ladder but he breaks it. That’s cute. Everyone gangs up on Show out on the floor to take him out for a few minutes. McIntyre brings a ladder into the ring and everyone takes turns climbing it. The action continues at a frenetic pace, with offense coming from all over the place. Kane pulls McIntyre to the floor and starts clearing off the announce tables. Before anything can happen Kane gets distracted and turns his attention elsewhere. Kingston kicks a ladder into him, and then he finds McIntyre and drills him with Trouble in Paradise. He then goes up a ladder and puts McIntyre through the Spanish Announce Table with a huge Boom Drop! Ziggler almost grabs the case but Show pulls him down and hits a thunderous Chokeslam. Kane tries to thwart Show but he pays for it. Hardy and Christian try working together to tae Show out but even that doesn’t work. Show goes under the ring and finds a special ladder designed to hold someone of his weight. Before Show can climb said ladder, Rhodes hits him in the injured ankle with a stepladder. Rhodes tries to climb up but Ziggler pulls him down. Show is able to recover and Kingston springboards back into the ring right onto the ladder. When Show grabs Kingston off the ladder, Kingston is able to reverse it into a DDT. Ziggler hits Rhodes with a Zig-Zag right onto the giant ladder. Show recovers and starts decimating everyone again. He tries to climb up but Kane shoves him down. Meanwhile out on the floor the rest of the competitors bury Show in a sea of ladders, which is awesome. Back in the ring Ziggler almost gets the case and Kane climbs up to block him so Ziggler locks him in the Sleeper! Kane cracks Ziggler’s head on the ladder and then dumps him to the floor onto the ladder pile on top of Show. Out on the floor Kane Chokeslams Kingston on the ladder pile and then chases Rhodes up the ramp. Kane throws Rhodes into the armored truck being used as a set piece. Christian and Hardy climb the ladder together and slug it out up top. They knock each other down and everyone is out. McIntyre is stirring and he climbs up. Kane joins him and Chokeslams him down. That’s enough for Kane to pull down the case at 26:06. That seemed a little long but they threw some cool spots in there, especially around the Big Show. Kingston has become the new Shelton Benjamin of Money in the Bank matches.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #8: RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Randy Orton vs. John Morrison vs. Evan Bourne vs. Mark Henry vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs. Ted DiBiase, Money in the Bank, 7.18.10

The winner of this match gets a shot at the WWE Championship. None of these eight men had to win a qualifying match. R-Truth was originally scheduled for the match, but Miz attacked and injured him on the July 5 Raw, and Mark Henry was announced as his replacement the following week. This is Jericho’s third time in the match, Edge’s third (won it in 2005), Bourne’s second, Morrison’s second, Henry’s second, Miz’s first, Orton’s second, and DiBiase’s first. Miz is the U.S. Champion and DiBiase is the Million Dollar Champion. DiBiase also has Maryse with him tonight.

Edge brings a ladder into the ring with him and then bails right as the match begins. The offense is coming from all angles in the early going, and Edge tries to make good on his “Ultimate Opportunist” nickname by capturing an early victory. Orton stops him while DiBiase and Morrison do battle in the ring. Ladders are strewn all over and everyone uses them as weapons. Bourne almost gets to the case but Edge stops him, only to take a rana. Orton stomps away at Bourne and hits the Orton DDT with the ladder. Morrison makes creative use of the ladder, of course. Edge and Morrison climb one ladder, Jericho and Orton climb another, and Henry pushes both of them over. Bourne uses a ladder as a springboard to take Henry out with a flying knee. Pretty much everyone is down so Maryse gets in the ring and climbs a ladder. Morrison pulls her down and tells her to get out. DiBiase almost sneaks in a win but Morrison stops him just in the nick of time. Edge traps Morrison in between a standing ladder. He then joins forces with Miz to slam a ladder into Morrison’s midsection, and then slams it into Miz’s face for fun. Edge then tips the ladder over and dumps Morrison to the floor. Henry asserts his power advantage and tries to climb the ladder but Bourne stops him. Edge and Orton then pull Bourne down and throw him into a World’s Strongest Slam on the floor. Henry then gets hit with a parade of finishers. The top of the ladder gets awfully crowded, as everyone goes up and flails for the case. DiBiase gets dumped to the floor. Orton hits Edge with an RKO. Jericho and Morrison fight on top of the ladder. Jericho gets trapped and Orton pulls Morrison down with an RKO. Bourne then hits the Air Bourne to take Orton out. He almost gets a hold of the case but Jericho un-traps himself and knocks Bourne down. Edge climbs up the ladder and knocks Jericho down far enough for Orton to hit an RKO. Orton then knocks Edge off the apron as well and appears to have a clear shot to the case. But wait! Miz shoves the ladder over and then climbs up to unhook the briefcase and win the match at 20:27. That had more star power than its Smackdown counterpart but lacked the innovation. It was the usual fun stuff and Miz winning was a big (good) surprise.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #9: SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Kane vs. Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater, Money in the Bank, 7.17.11

This is the first time for Bryan, Slater, Gabriel, Sheamus, Cara, and Barrett. It’s the second time for Rhodes and the fifth time for Kane (with one win). This is quite the international Money in the Bank, with a competitor from South Africa, Ireland, Mexico, and England in the fray. Kane clears the ring early on and tries to bring in a ladder but Bryan thwarts him. Gabriel and Slater both work together and fight each other, as they are former WWE Tag Team Championship partners. Sheamus takes his chance to clear the ring, but then Kane comes back in and asserts his dominance. The action is coming way too fast for me to keep up with on PBP. Not that anyone reads the PBP anyway. Bryan takes Barrett out with a dive and Gabriel does the same to Kane. Slater hits Rhodes with a dive, and then Cara wipes out Sheamus. Cara takes Bryan up to the top rope for a one-man Spanish Fly. Barrett takes Cara out to the floor and then sets up a ladder between the announce table and the ring apron. He tries a clothesline but Cara ducks and Barrett hits nothing but post. Back in the ring Sheamus drills Cara with a Brogue Kick, and then hits the infamous powerbomb off the apron and on top of the ladder! The crowd loved that and Cara is hurt. Kane and Sheamus battle over a ladder and Kane wins that fight. Cara is stretchered out as the fight continues. Barrett, Gabriel, and Slater work together on Bryan, which is a nice bit of NXT/Nexus symmetry. That doesn’t last too long before Gabriel and Slater are pulling Barrett off the ladder and beating him down. Gabriel and Slater fight on top of the ladder until Rhodes pushes them over. Rhodes then hits the Roll of the Dice on Slater but he can’t make it up before Sheamus cuts him off. Sheamus hits Rhodes with the Irish Curse. Kane and Sheamus work together to hit Bryan with a Doomsday Device! That’s awesome. Kane starts dishing out Chokeslams for everyone and climbs the ladder. Bryan thwarts him and hits a DDT. Slater and Bryan battle on the ladder and Slater takes him down with a neckbreaker. Barrett and Sheamus briefly work together to take Slater out, and then Sheamus starts throwing Brogue Kicks everywhere. Sheamus tries climbing the ladder but Kane pulls him down with a Chokeslam onto a ladder! Rhodes, Barrett, and Bryan gang up on Kane. Barrett hits Wasteland and Gabriel follows with a 450 Splash! Now Barrett is a house afire, getting rid of Gabriel and hitting Rhodes with a pumphandle slam. Rhodes recovers and clotheslines Barrett to the floor. Up on top of the ladder Bryan traps Rhodes in a guillotine choke. Barrett tries to sneak in from behind and grab the case but Bryan thwarts him. Bryan knocks Rhodes and Barrett down to the mat and is able to pull down the briefcase for the win at 24:25. That was smartly booked and creatively wrestled by all eight men. Bryan going over was a huge surprise at the time but he certainly deserved it and has since made the most of it in the ensuing months.
Rating: ****¼

~Disc 2~

MATCH #10: RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Rey Mysterio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Alex Riley vs. Evan Bourne vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz vs. R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger, Money in the Bank, 7.17.11

This is the first time for Del Rio, Riley, Mysterio, and Truth. It’s the third time for Bourne, the second time for Swagger (with one win), the fourth time for Kingston, and the second time for Miz (with one win). Del Rio is rolling without Ricardo Rodriguez tonight. Everyone grabs a ladder on their way into the ring. Del Rio is the first target and everyone goes after him, sending him to the floor and burying him in ladders. The ring clears except for Truth and Miz, and they have a ladder fight. Swagger breaks it up with his own ladder. Kingston and Bourne both fight each other and work together in an impressive display. Riley gets aerial by wiping out Swagger and Miz with a dive to the floor. Truth follows with one of his own to take out all three. Kingston and Mysterio follow with simultaneous dives to wipe out everyone. Bourne then one-ups them by going to the top of a very tall ladder and hitting Air Bourne! He tries to climb the ladder back in the ring and grab the case but Miz stops him. Del Rio makes his way back in and pushes the ladder over. Miz takes a pretty horrendous bump off that and appears to have injured his knee. Officials take him to the back. Del Rio tries to climb up but Truth pulls him down. Then they both climb up and Mysterio and Bourne climb over the top of them, and are able to hit simultaneous hurricanranas when both men try to pull them up. Swagger goes to climb but Kingston slingshots over him and lands on the ladder. Unfortunately for Kingston, Swagger traps him in the Ankle Lock. Riley tries to take the opportunity but Swagger stops him and Truth pushes them both over. The action continues at a rapid pace – Del Rio misses a charge and takes a bump to the floor, and Mysterio starts throwing 619’s all over the place. A couple of ladders get set up and everyone climbs up and tries to grab the case. It’s quite a cluster up there. People start getting picked off and Kingston ends up alone there and Swagger quickly makes his way up there and they take a hellacious fall. Miz makes is way back out to a huge pop and tires to get the case but Mysterio knocks him down to a chorus of boos. Mysterio goes up and Del Rio joins him and pulls off his mask! Del Rio climbs up and is able to pull the briefcase down and earn himself a title shot at 15:51. That wasn’t quite as good as the Smackdown version, but in a shorter amount of time they packed in a ton of cool spots and I liked the finish.
Rating: ****

MATCH #11: Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship Contract – Christian vs. Sin Cara vs. Santino Marella vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Tensai vs. Damien Sandow, Money in the Bank, 7.15.12

This is the fifth time for Christian, third for Rhodes, first for Sandow, third for Ziggler, first for Marella, second for Cara, first for Tensai, and first for Kidd. Ziggler comes out first with Vickie Guerrero, and he defeated Alex Riley to qualify for this match. Marella, the current United States Champion, qualified along with Christian when they beat Cody Rhodes & David Otunga in a tag team match. Rhodes rebounded after that tag team loss to beat Christian in a singles match to qualify. Sandow beat Zack Ryder to earn his spot. Kidd defeated Jack Swagger in what I would call an upset. Cara beat Heath Slater in the last qualifying match. Tensai got by Justin Gabriel. He has Sakamoto in his corner tonight.

It’s a pier-six brawl from the get-go and Tensai uses his power right away to gain the first noticeable advantage. Tag team partner qualifiers Marella and Christian are the first ones to climb a ladder and go for the case. Kidd joins them and Sandow pushes them all over. Sandow tries to climb up and Ziggler dropkicks him down. Ziggler and Rhodes take turns throwing each other into the ladder. Cara comes in and starts flying around. He tries to give the one-man Spanish Fly to Ziggler and he almost kills Ziggler and himself. The action is getting quite fast and hard to follow. Kidd is really showing up Sin Cara but hitting all his high flying moves well, rather than blowing them. Everyone ends up on the floor except Sandow and he tries to climb up but Cara knocks him down. Sandow takes care of Cara and goes up again but this time Christian runs interference and almost grabs the case himself! Christian and Sandow take it to each other and Christian gets he better of it. Ziggler and Rhodes make it back in to stop Christian from getting the case. Now Ziggler and Rhodes race each other to the top of the ladder and Tensai takes them both down. Tensai climbs up and it takes Christian and Marella to take him down. Marella is able to hit Ziggler with the Cobra. He climbs up the ladder but he seems to be afraid of heights. Sandow climbs up but he gets hit with the Cobra on top of the ladder! Rhodes dropkicks Marella off the ladder. He climbs up and Guerrero actually climbs up the other side to distract him, allowing Ziggler to knock him down. Bodies continue to fly all over the place. Christian and Sandow tumble to the floor together. Tensai sets up a ladder between the apron the announce table and hits Cara with a huge powerbomb. He then hurls Ziggler over the announce table! That was a sick bump. Rhodes hits Tensai with two Disaster Kicks to finally subdue him. Back in the ring Rhodes and Kidd climb up and Rhodes drops Kidd all the way down face-first. Christian takes Rhodes down with a Spear! Marella and Christian climb up as Ziggler tries to crawl his way back in. Christian knocks Marella down and almost has the case but Ziggler pulls him down at the last second. Ziggler then grabs the case at 18:28! That started off as a standard multi-man ladder match but they really kicked it up in the home stretch and did some awesome spots. They really used everyone’s strengths effectively, and the match was only hurt by the fact that Ziggler and Christian were the only conceivable winners.
Rating: ****

MATCH #12: Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE Championship Contract – John Cena vs. Kane vs. Big Show vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz, Money in the Bank, 7.15.12

Show is in his second Money in the Bank match, Jericho his fourth, Cena his first, Kane his sixth (the most ever), and Miz his third. Kane and Miz are former winners. The ring clears out to let Show and Cena go at it. Cena clotheslines Show to the floor and everyone is outside. With the other four men distracted with each other, Miz makes the first attempt at grabbing the case but Cena notices and pulls him down. Show uses his size and power to dominate Cena, Miz, and Jericho. Kane gets in the ring and I love that the crowd pops for it. Show continues to dominate everything in his path. Jericho hits him with a Codebreaker and Miz hits a mini-DDT. Kane boots Show to the floor. Cena takes the opportunity to hit the Attitude Adjustment through a table, and then everyone buries Show under a pile of ladders. Jericho takes control of the match but it doesn’t last long. Everyone (except Show) takes turns trying to grab the case but no one is successful. Cena positions Jericho and Miz on top of a ladder and hits a simultaneous Five Knuckle Shuffle. He then hits an Attitude Adjustment on Kane, landing him right on top of the Miz. Jericho survives and goes up for the case but Show finally makes his way back in and destroys the ladder with one hand. Show is dominant again, throwing all his opponents around. He finds a super reinforced ladder and climbs up. Kane tries to stop him but gets knocked down. Ditto for Cena. Jericho has to crack Show with a chair to stop him. Cena and Jericho climb up the super ladder now and Cena tries an Attitude Adjustment. Jericho counters to a Sleeper but Cena rises above the sleep and climbs back up the ladder. Miz joins them but quickly gets knocked down. Jericho is finally able to throw Cena down and he almost gets the case but Miz stops him. Show goes up and takes Jericho down with a K.O. Punch. He gives one to Miz as well. Cena goes up and hits show repeatedly with the case. It seems to come unhooked early and Cena is Mr. Money in the Bank at 20:02. That was far better than I anticipated, as they worked in some great spots with Show and made him look like a killer. Cena rises above again, which is boring, but at least the match was entertaining.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #13: Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship Contract – Cody Rhodes vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Wade Barrett vs. Damien Sandow vs. Jack Swagger vs. Antonio Cesaro vs. Fandango, Money in the Bank, 7.14.13

This is the Money in the Bank debut for Ambrose, Fandango, and Cesaro. Swagger is appearing in his third Money in the Bank match (with one win at WrestleMania XXVI), the second for Sandow, the fourth for Rhodes, and the second for Barrett. Summer Rae is with Fandango, and Zeb Colter is there for his charges Swagger and Cesaro. Ambrose is the current United States Champion.

It takes less than a minute for ladders to get involved, and it’sa big brawl right off the bat. The Real Americans and Team Rhodes Scholars battle each other in the ring with ladders after taking everyone else out on the floor. Swagger is the first one to try climbing the ladder and he’s stopped by Ambrose. It’s already hard to keep track of everything, as the action is moving at a very brisk pace. The dynamic is also interesting here because all seven guys are actually heels, though this is Philadelphia so the crowd loves Ambrose and the Real Americans. Barrett gets creative and takes a piece of one of the ladders and destroys Sandow with it. He climbs the ladder and Ambrose joins him. Cesaro pulls Barrett down right into a European Uppercut! Swagger tries to bring Ambrose down and Ambrose counters with a DDT! Cesaro and Ambrose climb up and Cesaro shoves him down. Rhodes makes his way back in and brings Cesaro down with a Muscle Buster on a ladder! Swagger climbs up and Barrett takes him down with the Bull Hammer! Barrett goes up and Fandango stops him in his tracks and pulls him down with a sunset bomb! Fandango goes up and Ambrose brings him down with the Dirty Deeds. Ambrose goes up and Cesaro folds up the ladder on him. The crafty Ambrose channels Terry Funk with the whirly bird but the Real Americans stop him and dump him to the floor. Cesaro and Swagger then take Barrett out with a ladder shot. Swagger then puts Cesaro on his shoulders and Cesaro almost reaches the case but Rhodes breaks it up with a missile dropkick. That was awesome. Rhodes catches fire and dumps Swagger to the floor, and then hits Fandango and Barrett with the Cross Rhodes. He goes out and brings in a very tall ladder. Ambrose joins him and they slug it out at the top. Rhodes has been busted open, but he’s able to reach through the ladder and slam Ambrose’s face into it repeatedly. Awesome spot. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns come out and pulls Rhodes off the ladder just to be dicks. They also take out Barrett and Fandango. The Usos make their way out to fight the Shield off, and they are aided by the Real Americans. It’s a donnybrook on the floor while Ambrose almost reaches the briefcase. Rhodes pushes the ladder over and Ambrose wipes out everyone on the floor! He climbs up the ladder and the crowd is behind him. Then from out of nowhere his tag team partner Sandow appears and dumps Rhodes off the ladder! Sandow climbs up and pulls down the case at 16:20! Boy did they pack a lot of action into that match, especially with four additional wrestlers joining the fray. I didn’t hear much about this match when it happened, but there were plenty of awesome spots, really creative uses of the ladder, and a surprising finish that should have led to more than it did.
Rating: ****

MATCH #14: Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE Championship Contract – CM Punk vs. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Christian vs. Rob Van Dam, Money in the Bank, 7.14.13

This is the second Money in the Bank appearance for RVD (with a win at WrestleMania 22), the fourth time for Punk (the only man to win twice – at WrestleMania XXIV and The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania), the second appearance for Bryan (with a win at Money in the Bank 2011), the third appearance for Orton, the record-tying sixth time for Christian, and the second time for Sheamus. Kane was supposed to be in this match but he was destroyed by the debuting Wyatt Family last week on RAW and is too injured to compete.

Everyone is a little cautious to start, and as soon as RVD starts to gloat the other five guys team up on him and dump him to the floor. Sheamus is the next man to get dumped out, leaving Bryan to fight Orton and Christian battling Punk. Bryan and Punk win those battles and the crowd is juiced to see these two square off. They go back and forth for just a few moments before Sheamus comes back in brandishing the first ladder of the match. Now all hell has broken loose, with offense coming from all sides. RVD clears the ring and soaks in the adulation of the crowd. He shows impressive strength by press slamming Christian onto a ladder, and then delivering the Rolling Thunder to Bryan while on top of the same ladder. RVD goes up for the Five-Star Frog Splash on Orton, but Christian hits him with a ladder to knock him down. Christian uses a tiny ladder as a weapon very effectively. Sheamus gets rid of Christian and fights off RVD as well. The action is non-stop and tough to keep up with. All six men make it back to the ring and share two ladders, all climbing up and reaching for the case. Of course that doesn’t end well and all six men go crashing to the mat. Sheamus recovers first and starts throwing everyone around. He climbs up for the case and Bryan joins him, only to get pounded with forearms to the chest. Sheamus almost grabs the case but Punk is able to knock him down at the last second. Punk beats on Sheamus until Orton cuts him off. In an awesome spot, Orton goes for an exploder, and then sees a ladder set up in the corner and turns around so he can suplex Punk onto the ladder instead. Orton hits Punk with the Rope-hung DDT. Christian dishes out a few Spears and goes for the case but RVD knocks him down. RVD goes to the very top of a ladder and comes down on Christian with a Five-Star Frog Splash. Ouch. RVD almost brings the case down but Sheamus stops him. Bryan rejoins the fray and throws kicks at both Sheamus and RVD. He flies all over the place with kicks and dives, working the crowd into a frenzy. Bryan knocks Sheamus off the top rope and onto a ladder that had been set up between the apron and the announce table, snapping the ladder in half. He goes up and appears poised to grab the case, but Curtis Axel runs out and decimates Bryan with a chair, and then hits the Axehole on the floor. Punk takes Axel out with a Go 2 Sleep. Paul Heyman comes out to yell at an unconscious Axel, angry at him for going after Punk. Back in the ring Punk is all alone, but when he climbs up the ladder Heyman gets in the ring and repeatedly slams a ladder into him! Heyman gets a good shot to the head and Punk is out of it. RVD goes up for the case but Orton pulls him down into an RKO! Orton climbs up and sees no one else around, so he pulls the case down at 26:39. The Curtis Axel interference seems kind of lame and beneath where Bryan was at this time, but I guess they really wanted a reason for Heyman to go out there so there’s that. But none of it takes away from the incredible effort put forth by all six guys, with non-stop action for almost 30 minutes and lots of cool spots. This was different than the opening ladder match, and that’s always impressive when they can pull that off. I’m a sucker for these matches.
Rating: ****

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About Jake Ziegler

I've been in love with the movies for almost 20 years. I follow the Oscars obsessively, and try to see as many movies a year as I can. I'll watch anything good bad or otherwise, and my life long dream job has always been to be a bona fide film critic. View all posts by Jake Ziegler

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