Pro Wrestling

Every WWE Money in the Bank Winner, Ranked;jsessionid=FE578DEFA60333B4E2578B1723BA5C97?r30_r1_r1:page=2 Source:

The Money in the Bank briefcase is the closest professional wrestling has to a sure thing. The contract contained within that briefcase guarantees the holder a match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title at some point in the next year, at any time, in a place of their choosing. Historically, nearly every person who has “cashed in” their briefcase has won the title, and some have gone on to legendary careers as a result. Meanwhile, some Money in the Bank winners have been far less successful, even with the championship strapped around their waist. For your consideration, we’ve gathered up the facts about each and every Superstar to hold a Money in the Bank briefcase and ranked them in order of how much Money in the Bank helped their WWE careers.

18. Carmella

We’re kicking off the list with the most recent winner and very first Miss Money in the Bank, as SmackDown superstar Carmella won the inaugural female edition of the match at the 2017 PPV. However, the WWE really botched the execution. After spending weeks promoting the match as another groundbreaking first for women’s wrestling (and not “Diva” wrestling), the match ended with Carmella’s male manager James Ellsworth climbing the ladder and retrieving the briefcase for her. It may have been a classic heel move, but it crapped all over the notion of the female members of the roster finally being able to stand on their own.

After much outcry on social media, the WWE ordered a storyline rematch, banning Ellsworth from ringside. Carmella won the match again (Ellsworth still interfered) and, to date, hasn’t cashed in the briefcase. If her eventual cash-in goes well, we’ll bump her up this list. For now, though, it’s the lowest ranked Money in the Bank winner based on the original ending of the match.


17. Baron Corbin

Speaking of recent Money in the Bank winners, the most recent male winner also languishes away at the bottom of this list. Baron Corbin looked like a surefire hit when he was in NXT. He had the size, the look, and was a legitimately good athlete and wrestler. The former NFL lineman burst onto the main roster by winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in 2016 before beating the likes of AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Shinsuke Nakamura for the briefcase at the 2017 pay-per-view.

Two months later, though, and Corbin was not as popular with the WWE brass. His outspoken right-wing politics and his stubborn attitude during a special presentation for wrestlers regarding brain injuries put him in the doghouse. Without any promotion or hype, Corbin cashed in the briefcase on a random episode of SmackDown, only to be rolled up by Jinder Mahal in mere seconds, after John Cena distracted him. He is one a handful of wrestlers to fail at cashing in the Money in the Bank title shot, and only the second one to lose cleanly. Corbin took his punishment on the chin though, and was quickly back in the mix by winning the United States Championship from Styles.


16. Mr. Kennedy

The forgotten man when it comes to Money in the Bank, Kennedy never even got to cash in the briefcase, despite claiming when he won that his ultimate plan was to use it to main event the next WrestleMania. But only a month later, Kennedy suffered a shoulder injury, and was expected to be sidelined for months, so WWE decided to have him lose his Money in the Bank briefcase to Edge. That same week, World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker suffered an injury of his own, and Edge cashed in to win the title in a second lucky break for the Rated R Superstar. Unfortunately, for Kennedy, his injury ended up not being as severe as was originally thought, but it was too late for the man from Green Bay, Wisconsin to recover what he’d lost, and he would never again reach the heights that he did during his short time holding the briefcase over the rest of his injury-plagued run in WWE. Source:

15. Jack Swagger

Swagger was a surprising Money in the Bank winner, as the consensus choice going into the match had been McMahon pet project Drew McIntyre, but he was not completely unworthy by any means, having shown flashes of raw talent that led to a run as ECW Champion during his first year in WWE. Two days after winning the briefcase, Swagger cashed in on World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho. Sadly, his reign on top was terrible, as Swagger was clearly in over his head with the big belt. It probably didn’t help that his most prominent feud was with The Big Show, a man ill-suited to show off Swagger’s athletic abilities. In addition, WWE removed many of the characteristics that had gotten Swagger noticed in ECW, in an attempt to make him a more “serious” competitor. Swagger’s fledgling promo skills also suffered under the bright lights, in part due to a noticeable speech impediment that grew more noticeable the longer he talked. WWE mercifully ended Swagger’s reign at the hands of Rey Mysterio only a couple of months later, and Swagger has slid down the ladder of success in WWE ever since. Source:

14. Damien Sandow

Well, at least Damien Sandow got to have a competitive match with John Cena, if nothing else. Sandow, portrayed an an intellectual genius, must have had a massive brain fart when he attempted to cash in on a wounded but not particularly vulnerable Cena, who at least gave Sandow a good match to show off his skills before putting him away with minimal effort. While not the first time a Money in the Bank cash-in has failed, it was the first time that someone cashing in straight up lost the match cleanly (Cena, the first man to lose a Money in the Bank cash-in, actually won the match via disqualification), which meant that Sandow had completely squandered the innate advantage of the briefcase (being able to cash in when the champion is basically unable to defend themselves). Despite the hopes of fans, Sandow was given no follow-up after cashing in, and instead began playing a series of comedy gimmicks where he imitated celebrities, historical figures, and other wrestlers, while continuously losing matches. It’s unclear exactly why WWE ever decided to give him the briefcase, and it’s telling that nobody else has failed at cashing in since then. Source:

13. Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio’s chance to win the WWE Title came at exactly the wrong time, in the eyes of most WWE fans. CM Punk had just shockingly won the title on his last day in the company at the Money in the Bank PPV, and had just returned to defend it at SummerSlam against the interim champion, John Cena. At this point, thanks to his infamous “pipe bomb” promo and a groundswell of fan support, Punk was likely the most popular wrestler in the company. However, WWE decided to screw Punk over after he defeated Cena to establish himself as the one true champion. After the SummerSlam match, Kevin Nash made a shocking return and laid out Punk, which set the stage for Del Rio to cash in and become WWE Champion. Fan backlash was instantaneous, and after a couple months of attempting to keep Punk away from the title hunt, Del Rio would quietly drop the belt back to him at Survivor Series, beginning Punk’s legendary 434-day reign. Source:

12. John Cena

Cena winning the Money in the Bank briefcase was largely considered a complete joke, since he was pretty much able to ask for a title shot whenever he felt like it. However, WWE gave him the briefcase and set him up to challenge CM Punk, who was deep into becoming the longest-reigning WWE Champion of the modern era, a week later. As a result, Cena became the second man in Money in the Bank history to announce his intention to cash in ahead of time, and proved why that strategy is a terrible idea. After a hard-fought bout, Cena won the match, but only by disqualification when The Big Show interfered, and thus was denied the title. Many theorized that this was done so that the Money in the Bank briefcase would no longer be seen as a 100% guaranteed title reign for the holder, by having someone lose who could quickly bounce back without losing face for making such a poor series of decisions. However, that whole idea negates the entire concept of the briefcase, which allows the holder to wait until they hold every possible advantage before cashing in. If anything should have a perfect rate of success, it should be Money in the Bank. Source:

11. Sheamus

Even Sheamus winning the briefcase was a case of him being the second-best choice. In a match full of mostly directionless wrestlers, the briefcase looked to be Roman Reigns’ to lose, and indeed, he was in a position to take the match and the title shot. However, in order to delay Reigns’ ascent for whatever reason, WWE decided to have Bray Wyatt interfere in the match and cost Reigns the briefcase. With few credible options remaining in the match, former three-time World champion Sheamus ended up being the man who won Money in the Bank, a decision widely seen as the wrong one, as Sheamus had been lacking direction ever since his return after WrestleMania (and even before he missed several months with an injury), and was not seen as someone who should be WWE World Heavyweight Champion at some point in the next year. However, when WWE again balked at making Roman Reigns the champion at Survivor Series, they enacted their emergency plan, which saw Sheamus cash in to become champion. Unfortunately, even after Reigns was massively screwed over, WWE fans were decidedly apathetic to the man chosen to be the top star in the promotion, with Sheamus seen as mostly a lame-duck holding the title for the eventual Reigns victory.;jsessionid=FE578DEFA60333B4E2578B1723BA5C97?r30_r1_r1:page=2 Source:

10. Randy Orton

Oh, Randy Orton. You silly man. You thought the best idea would be to cash in on Daniel Bryan after he’d just defeated John Cena to the cheers of thousands of people. Then you joined The Authority and became “The Face of WWE”. It wasn’t the worst plan ever, after all, Orton did end up as WWE Champion until WrestleMania (aside from a short period where the title was held up), and unified the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships along the way. Nobody can take that away from you. However, his reign also featured some of the worst finishes to Pay Per View title matches in a long time, including a Dusty Finish involving a crooked referee, Shawn Michaels nonsensically turning heel for an evening, and The Big Show randomly entering the match and knocking everyone unconscious. Eventually, Orton’s WrestleMania match with Batista got hijacked by overwhelmingly negative crowd reactions and he ended up dropping the title back to Daniel Bryan anyway. Oh, and then The Authority dumped him in favor of Seth Rollins, because that’s what they do. He really should have seen that coming. Source:

9. Kane

Honestly, a lot of people probably forgot that Kane even had a Money in the Bank briefcase. This is likely because he holds the record for fastest cash in, as he used it later in the evening to become World Heavyweight Champion. Shockingly, aside from a one-day run way back in 1998 and people who pretend the WWE version of the ECW title counts as a World title, that was Kane’s first real run as World Champion. And, to the shock of nobody, he spent most of his reign screwing with his older brother, The Undertaker, through actions like turning Paul Bearer against Undertaker and stealing the power of the urn, culminating in burying him alive with the help of The Nexus. And then he lost the title to Edge, who kidnapped and tortured Paul Bearer to get a title shot in a fairly embarrassing feud for everyone involved. Source:

8. Dean Ambrose

For a long time, Dean Ambrose was just “that other guy in The Shield.” Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins both rose to championship glory, while Ambrose was booked as the unhinged guy, sort of like a modern day Brian Pillman. In 2016, though, after the Shield had all gone their separate ways, Ambrose’s career got a shot in the arm when he defeated Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, and Alberto Del Rio in a Money in the Bank match in 2016.

Ambrose wasted no time in cashing in the briefcase either. After a 26-minute main event that featured Seth Rollins capturing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Roman Reigns, Ambrose took his guaranteed title shot and stunned the already exhausted Rollins with his Dirty Deeds finisher to claim his first World Heavyweight championship reign. He held the belt for three months until he dropped it to AJ Styles at Backlash 2016.


7. Dolph Ziggler

Here it is, the brief, shining moment where Dolph Ziggler mattered, where his years of hard work and being one of the best wrestlers on the roster paid off in what was supposed to be a lengthy run with the World title. And then, Jack Swagger happened. Perhaps it was some sort of subconscious jealousy at his own massively failed run as World Champion, we’ll never know for sure. But what we do know is that Jack Swagger took a ladder in both hands, and clocked Dolph Ziggler flush in the head, giving Ziggler a concussion and basically ending his run as champion. WWE would run damage control while Ziggler recovered enough to get back into the ring, but when he did, they immediately took the title off of him, in an admittedly well-executed double turn which made Ziggler a true babyface for the first time in his career. However, it also killed all of his momentum and Dolph has not, as yet, really reached the same heights again. Source:

6. The Miz

To be fair, when The Miz cashed in against Randy Orton, he was in the middle of doing his best work as a heel and as a wrestler. He completely deserved the title, and if not for one little thing, his reign probably would have been looked back upon as being pretty successful. Unfortunately, that one little thing was an upcoming WrestleMania match between John Cena and The Rock, which WWE was already planning for even though it was over a year away. Rock was announced as the guest host of WrestleMania XXVII, and Cena’s attention was fully on him, instead of the man who was actually the WWE Champion at the time. It seemed almost a foregone conclusion that Cena would be taking the title from an increasingly irrelevant Miz, which is probably why WWE had him retain at WrestleMania, thanks to The Rock’s interference. And then Miz quietly dropped the title to Cena in a Triple Threat match a month later and was shuffled out of the main event. On the bright side, the man who took Miz’s spot was CM Punk, and we all know how that turned out. Source:

5. RVD

Rob Van Dam was a man who probably should have been WWE Champion more than once, and definitely should have won the title long before he became Mr. Money in the Bank. When he was signed by WWE in a move designed to fill out the roster in advance of the brand split, it was never expected that he would be much more than another body. But when the Alliance invasion began, RVD had the luck of being able to show off his skills in bouts against Jeff Hardy, and the fans grabbed on to the new, exciting wrestler doing things that they’d never seen before. But WWE, in their infinite wisdom, chose to have RVD come close on several occasions, but never capture the title. That is, until they decided to revive the ECW brand and make RVD champion, by defeating John Cena at the second One Night Stand Pay Per View. For the first time, the briefcase was cashed in with plenty of warning, and the match itself was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime spectacle in front of an incredibly anti-Cena crowd. RVD emerged victorious, and all seemed right with the world. Then he got picked up by a highway patrolman with marijuana in the car, and his reign came to a sudden end. Whoops. Source:

4. Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins, of course, is so far the only Superstar to hold onto his briefcase until the main event of WrestleMania, cashing in to steal the title away from both Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. Rollins would go on to have a lengthy reign that only ended due to an unfortunate knee injury (although it was likely going to end at Survivor Series a couple of weeks later anyway), and while there were many complaints about how WWE treated him as a character, there is no denying that he did some of his best work in the ring after becoming WWE World Champion. Also, he gets extra credit for being the way in which WWE effectively wrote themselves out of the entire Roman Reigns situation in early 2015, where WWE’s attempt to forcibly push Reigns as the new top face of the company was completely rejected by the fans and his (perceived to be) inevitable crowning as WWE Champion threatened to drag down the entire WrestleMania Pay Per View. Rollins cashing in actually may have saved WrestleMania 31, which was not expected to be well-received going into the show. Source:

3. CM Punk

Speaking of Punk, he is the only man thus far who has legitimately won two Money in the Bank ladder matches, and successfully cashed in both times. The first time, it seemed like more of a test run for Punk, as he was never really the focus as champion, was treated like a fluke in matches against JBL and Batista, and lost the title without defending it in the ring when WWE had him taken out by Randy Orton’s Legacy faction before the Championship Scramble Match at Unforgiven. The second cash-in went slightly better for Punk, who turned heel in the process of defeating Jeff Hardy, and really brought his Straight Edge persona to the mainstream audience for the first time. The promos and matches were some of the best in Punk’s WWE career, and he had serious momentum going into the fall. Unfortunately, that’s when he ran into the Undertaker, and was basically turned into a joke, only retaining his title at Breaking Point thanks to a ridiculous Montreal Screwjob re-hash, and then meekly dropping the championship to Taker inside Hell in a Cell. But, let’s not forget the biggest moment of Punk’s career, when he beat John Cena for the WWE Title on his purported last night in the company, which took place at, appropriately enough, the Money in the Bank Pay Per View. Source:

2. Daniel Bryan

From such humble beginnings came one of the biggest stars of the last decade. Bryan even winning the Money in the Bank briefcase was seen as a shocking accomplishment, as it seemed up to that point that WWE didn’t really have any serious plans for him. Even afterwards, Bryan still didn’t really win any matches, but late in the year, Big Show began motivating him to take advantage of the power of the briefcase. So Bryan cashed in after Show had defeated Mark Henry in a brutal match at TLC, and became World Champion. Bryan had it all, the title, the glory, and the increasing affection of AJ Lee. And at some point, it started to go to his head. The increasingly arrogant Bryan began chanting “Yes!” as a sort of self-celebration on the way to the ring before his matches, and because it was catchy, fans started to chant along. Then came WrestleMania, when Bryan lost the title in an astonishing 18 seconds. The next night on Raw, the “Yes!” chants took on a form of earnest rebellion, and Bryan would eventually ride that wave of momentum all the way to the main event of WrestleMania XXX. Source:

1. Edge

The Rated R Superstar has somehow made himself synonymous with the Money in the Bank briefcase, despite only winning it a single time (as we mentioned earlier, he got his second briefcase from Mr Kennedy due to an injury situation). Edge was the very first Money in the Bank winner, and he waited nearly an entire year for his opportunity, when he cashed in on John Cena at the New Year’s Revolution Pay Per View, after Cena had just finished defending the title in a brutal Elimination Chamber match. It was Edge’s first World title of his career, and set the standard for shocking Money in the Bank cash-ins to come. In addition, Edge’s title win actually led to higher Raw ratings, a fact he was quick to take credit for on television, including a celebratory “Live Sex Celebration” with his valet Lita, about which the less said, the better. Unfortunately, WWE had a John Cena vs Triple H WrestleMania match written in stone for some reason (okay, we all know the reason, and he’s going to own WWE eventually), so Edge’s first reign only lasted a few short weeks before dropping the belt back to Cena at the Royal Rumble. However, that first win catapulted Edge into the main event for good, and his feuds with John Cena, The Undertaker, and others would help shape his Hall of Fame career. Source:
Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.