Has The Money In The Bank Run Its Course? 

Nothing in the wrestling world is a hotter topic right now than the Money In The Bank, at least in the past 24 hours. Why? Well, WWE’s Money In The Bank holder, Austin Theory, did something we’ve never seen before. He cashed in the Money In The Bank briefcase on the United States Championship… and lost. On this same episode of Monday Night RAW, the 24/7 Championship was trashed to seemingly never be seen again and now the question is, should the Money In The Bank be trashed, too? 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s been plenty of incredible moments that featured the Money In The Bank, including matches themselves. The actual ladder match has given us moments like Shelton Benjamin running up a ladder or Jeff Hardy risking it all to snap a ladder in half. We’ve also seen epic cash-in’s like Dolph Ziggler getting one of the biggest reactions in cash-in history to win the World Heavyweight Title. But, it’s not all glitz and glamour. We’ve also had our fair share of awful moments in Money In The Bank history, and sadly, most of the worst cases have been in recent years. The Women’s Money In The Bank was an exciting time for fans, the women’s revolution was taking over, we saw a lot of Women’s first ever’s including the first ever Women’s Money In The Bank taking place in 2017. The exciting time and anticipated match were quickly met with disappointment as a man won the first ever women’s Money In The Bank. Yes, a man won it. If you don’t remember, James Ellsworth, who was a sidekick of Carmella at the time, was the one to pull down the briefcase for her. An absolutely horrible decision made by WWE to have a man win a first ever historical women’s match. Due to this, Carmella was stripped of the briefcase just two days later. Later on, they had a Women’s Money In The Bank rematch on SmackDown, where Carmella ended up just winning again and holding the briefcase for 287 days, which is the longest in history, before cashing in and winning the SmackDown Women’s Title. The slip up in the start was rough, but Carmella picked the fumble up and scored a touchdown with it. Sadly, the rest of the women didn’t have the same fate. In the next few years, Alexa Bliss won and cashed in, in under three hours, Bayley won, cashing in, in  under two hours, Asuka won, which led to the WWE Raw Women’s Title being in the briefcase, so she never had to cash in. In 2021, Nikki A.S.H won and cashed in within the next 24 hours on RAW and most recently, Liv Morgan won the briefcase before cashing in two hours later. Carmella, who was the inaugural winner, is the only competitor to hold the briefcase for over a day. Yes, over one single day. The absolute terrible booking of rushing the women’s cash-in’s repetitively defeated the entire surprise, can happen any time element after the first few because we expected the cash-in to be fast, AND IT WAS. Every. Time.

But, this doesn’t just stop at the women, though the Men didn’t cash-in nearly as fast as the women, the booking was just as bad. Hilariously enough, the last decent men’s Money In The Bank cash-in was a quick one. In 2016, Dean Ambrose won the briefcase and cashed in 57 minutes later to become the WWE champion for the first time. Since a quick cash-in didn’t happen as often for men, it wasn’t as predictable. But, again, that was probably the last good cash-in we’ve seen. Six years ago. Following this, Baron Corbin held the briefcase for 57 days and failed his cash-in, Braun Strowman won the briefcase and successfully won the title to have a boring championship reign, Brock Lesnar won the briefcase without even being in the match, Otis then won the briefcase, only to hold it for 193 days before losing it to the Miz, who then cashed in and won the WWE title after being given the briefcase back following a failed cash-in that was counted in-valid due to his tag team partner doing it. Yeah, confusing as hell. Then, Big E won the contract, cashed in 57 days later to win the WWE title to everyone’s surprise and enjoyment, only for WWE to make him lose nearly every non-title match he had, before losing the title to Brock Lesnar. Then, we come to this year. Austin Theory wins the Money In The Bank, after also not being an announced participant in the match, holds the briefcase for 129 days before being the first person to cash-in on a mid-card championship (United States Title) and losing. Did I mention he cashed in on Seth Rollins while he was holding an opened challenge? Yeah, what are they thinking?!

It’s clear that the past few years, the Money In The Bank has become less and less meaningful in the eyes of the company and even the fans. WWE wanted to promote the Money In The Bank Premium Live Event as a HUGE big four PLE, but failed to sell out a stadium and had to move it to a smaller venue. But, the real question is, has the actual match run its course, or just the event? Is it possible to keep the gimmick of the Money In The Bank alive, but just get rid of the event and move the ladder match back to WrestleMania, which is where it began? There’s pros and cons to this. The pros: WWE would get to cut down on PLE’s and doesn’t have to center a full PLE around one match, they can also fill out more spots on the WrestleMania card with a Money In The Bank Match, plus, with two nights of WrestleMania being a regular thing now, you could have the women’s ladder match on one night and the men’s on the other. The cons: booking. That’s it, that’s the one con. In order to keep this Money In The Bank gimmick going, you MUST book it correctly. Give the women longer than a day to hold the case and let them tease the champion and have fun with it. Have a plan in mind for the winner of the match before they even win it. I’m not saying you MUST have the Money In The Bank winner successfully cash in, but having no plan’s beforehand, seemingly like they did with Theory, then just making him lose on a mid-card title is a HUGE no-no. Also, clear up the rules. Since the start of the match, it was common knowledge that the winner would cash in on the big prize, the WWE title, but now, apparently you can go after any title you want? They should probably tell the fans if the cash-in could be on any title. Lastly, the Money In The Bank originally helped people who were out of the main title picture, get into the scene and push them beyond what we thought they could be, like a Dolph Ziggler or a Daniel Bryan. Now, they must add back a surprise element and make sure the participants in the match aren’t a predicable winner. Give us back what made the Money In The Bank special and if you can’t, then I guess The Money In The Bank truly has ran its course.

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