With WWE's annual show -- one that seems to be forming a new "Big Five" for PPVs -- is the Money in the Bank show that takes place June 17 from Chicago. Benjamin "I don't need a nickname" Raven and Court of Nerds new blood Austin "Sweetwater" Brunner decided to rank each of their personal five favorite MITB cash-in moments.
We'll start with the old stalwart's picks before getting into Brunner's. Also, feel free to shame each's picks on Twitter @BenjaminSRaven, @AustinJBrunner and @Court_of_Nerds:
Benjamin Raven's picks:
1 -- Edge vs John Cena at New Year's Revolution 2006: Was this at a WrestleMania? No, it wasn't but this is the Money in the Bank cash-in that will always stick with me when I think of my favorite moments involving that briefcase. Edge was the first to win the Money in the Bank ladder match, and set the bar very high when he cashed in on John Cena during Super Cena's first run with the world championship
Cena had just defended the world title in an elimination chamber match, and was full on seemingly unbeatable. He was sitting in the ring, bloodied and beaten and just as it seemed the show was going off the air … Vince McMahon's music hit as the chairman announced there would be one more match. It's a moment I'll never forget watching live, and I don't care if Cena kicked out of the first spear and won the title back three weeks later, this set the bar for cash-ins, this took Edge to another level, set up a legendary rivalry and this was a truly surprising moment that I'll never forget. Without this successful cash in, who knows what would have happened to this concept.
2 -- Seth Rollins interrupts the WrestleMania 31 main event between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns: Listen, it's hard not to put an unexpected cash in during the main event of WrestleMania that was executed magically at the top of this list, but that just speaks to how much the Edge cash-in really stuck with me. Not only did Seth shock the wrestling world on the grandest stage of them all, but he took the focus off a match that most people didn't need or want to see. As far as what wrestling fans want from wrestling, this checks off about every box on the list.
3 -- CM Punk wins the world title from Jeff Hardy at Extreme Rules 2009: It's hard to imagine anything topping Edge and Jeff Hardy pulling out all the stops in a ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship, but then CM Punk turned heel, stole a moment from Hardy and set up one of the best feuds in the stale 2009 era of WWE. This was a great moment that added another layer to CM Punk's WWE persona, and led to a heated feud that pulled the best out of both men with a real, intense story.
4 -- Rob Van Dam at ECW One Night Stand 2006 vs John Cena: This one remains special to me for several reasons; RVD won the WWE Championship, RVD beat John Cena in the main event of a PPV; RVD challenged Cena weeks in advance; the ECW crowd that night was historically fantastic and made the match mean so much more and feel so much more authentic. The ending was the ending, but it was an ECW branded show in a time where that still had a resemblance of some authenticity to it. RVD's cash-in was done differently, and worked out wonderfully … until that drive through Ohio with Sabu.
5 -- Dean Ambrose at Money in the Bank 2016 vs Seth Rollins: While The Shield facing off with each other will always be remembered for being wasted on a Battleground PPV and not one of the four major PPVs when the program was something everyone wanted, MITB 2016 represents a night where all three men held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Roman entered with the belt, Seth won it in the main event and Dean cashed in shortly after just winning the briefcase. Rollins and Reigns went at it in a brutal, drawn-out singles match in which the Architect came out on top over Super Reigns. After soaking in his moment, Dean came down and took the title in less than 10 seconds. The three would face off at the next PPV in a triple threat, and the world was left to wonder what could have been when it was at its hottest. A fun asterisk on a mostly botched storyline. The fact that Dean tricked Seth with the old theme music distraction before smacking the newly-minted champ with his newly-won briefcase is an extra cherry on top and payback for the destruction of the legendary trio.
Austin "Sweetwater" Brunner's picks:
1. Seth Rollins, Wrestlemania 31
On the biggest stage, in a moment truly no one saw coming. You watch it back on the Network, and it still shocks me, and I know the outcome. This cash-in simply did everything right. It shocked everyone. It set up multiple story lines for years to come. It got WWE out of the tough spot with Reigns and Lesnar and that whole debacle (granted, they did it again 3 years later, but I digress). This was the cash-in of all MITB cash-ins.
2. Edge, New Year’s Revolution
The first cash-in ever, and it set the tone for how this contract would be used. Nobody really knew how this new wrinkle in WWE storytelling would be used, and Edge being the creative soul he is thought, “why let the champion know it’s coming?” The Rated R Superstar later revealed that Vince McMahon was one of the few people who thought he was ready for the title, and can be seen saying “prove me right” when he’s taking the briefcase. I think Edge did okay with that aspect.
3. Dolph Ziggler, Raw
I love the psychology of this one. The night after Wrestlemania on Monday Night Raw is always crazy, but this took it to another level. ADR locked in the armbar quickly, and I thought Ziggler was done. However, in genius fashion, Ziggler twisted that injured leg and got himself out of the hold and then hit the Zig Zag for the W. His excitement after that victory is real. AJ and Big E’s joy is real. The crowd reaction after that victory is real. It felt real and I still love this moment to this day.
4. Dean Ambrose, MITB
Well this one was just delightful. I didn't expect it, because Roman and Seth absolutely tore the house down (that Spear turned into a Pedigree?! Come on man). Seth came back from the knee injury and proved he absolutely belonged.
And then that music hits, and Ambrose captures his first title after hitting Dirty Deeds. His demeanor the entire time is absolutely on point, looking absolutely determined the entire time.
5. The Miz, Raw
Does it kill me to not have CM Punk anywhere? Yes! But this moment made Miz a main-eventer, and I think the briefcase should be used as such: creating new stars. Miz main-evented WrestleMania after capturing the title. He went on to be one of the best IC champions ever, and this title victory kicked that off. The dude took the ball and ran, even though this title reign wasn't the greatest. And… Miz girl?! What an epic reaction! What ever happened to her? Hmm….