WWE Money in the Bank 2017: Most Epic Moments in PPV’s History

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    CM Punk set the wrestling world ablaze with his historic title win at Money in the Bank 2011.

    CM Punk set the wrestling world ablaze with his historic title win at Money in the Bank 2011.Credit: WWE.com

    With what’s currently on tap, WWE Money in the Bank 2017 on June 18 promises to be a pay-per-view for the ages. Two Ladder matches, one being a historic women’s Money in the Bank match, along with three title bouts fill out what should be a stellar show.

    Traditionally, Money in the Bank has always been an entertaining event. This year will mark the first time since its inception in 2010 that it will be exclusive to SmackDown Live, but it will have the tough task of topping the awesomeness of past installments.

    Of course, the Money in the Bank Ladder matches themselves never cease to amaze viewers with everything they have to offer, including their unpredictability. However, even the undercard for the annual event tends to produce gems, from controversial championship clashes, exciting cash-ins and shocking betrayals.

    Whether the 2017 installment will be able to live up to the lofty expectations set by fans remains to be seen, but the upcoming card certainly has potential to be something special. In fact, it could cement its place in the long lineage of exceptional Money in the Bank shows if booked properly.

    Ahead of the anticipated event, let’s look back at the most memorable and epic moments from the event’s illustrious history.

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The 2016 Money in the Bank Ladder match featuring Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro and Alberto Del Rio was one of the best in recent memory, largely because it wasn’t easy for fans to predict a victor among those six established stars.

    Virtually any one of those men could have walked away with the briefcase, but it was ultimately Ambrose who ascended the ladder and retrieved it. That made the main event between then-WWE World Heavyweight champion Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins all the more intriguing, with the possibility of Ambrose cashing in afterward.

    Reigns and Rollins went on to contest a classic, and in shocking fashion, Rollins reigned supreme to reclaim the title he never lost. What was even more surprising was Ambrose’s entrance music then hitting the arena to a raucous reaction and The Lunatic Fringe ambushing Rollins from behind with the briefcase.

    Once the referee called for the bell, Ambrose quickly capitalized on his longtime rival, laid him out again with the Dirty Deeds and pinned him for his premiere WWE Championship. It was a well-deserved title victory for Ambrose that finally solidified him as the main event player he was destined to be.

    Moreover, The Shield made history on this night when all three former members of the group held gold in the span of five minutes. The proof was in the pudding: these three warriors were indeed the future of WWE.

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Long before Dean Ambrose cashed in his Money in the Bank contract the same night he won it, Kane set the precedent at the inaugural installment in 2010 when he became the first man in WWE history to trade in his briefcase for a title opportunity less than an hour after becoming Mr. Money in the Bank.

    For weeks, Kane had been running rampant on the SmackDown roster, promising to inflict pain on anyone and everyone who dared to get in his way as he searched for The Undertaker’s mystery attacker. He continued his dangerous pursuit at Money in the Bank, but in the process of doing so, he also won the blue brand’s Money in the Bank ladder match.

    Later on in the event, Rey Mysterio successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Jack Swagger, only to be beat up by a bitter Swagger. Coming to his aid was none other than Kane, and after disposing of Swagger and returning to the back, The Big Red Monster re-emerged with the briefcase in tow and subsequently cashed in the contract.

    It didn’t take much effort at all for Kane to defeat the already injured Mysterio, and with the win, Kane secured his premiere world title (excluding ECW) in over a decade. Few actually thought Kane had a chance of capturing the Money in the Bank briefcase that night, let alone taking home the World Heavyweight Championship.

    Of course, Kane would eventually reveal himself as the man who assaulted Undertaker over Memorial Day weekend, but in this moment, he was received as a fan favorite by the faithful in Kansas City.

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Money in the Bank 2013 was nothing short of a jam-packed show with six former world champions battling it out in the main event for a future opportunity at the WWE Championship at any time and place of their choosing.

    Among those combatants was CM Punk, who was fresh off severing ties with Paul Heyman on the June 17 edition of Raw. He had just returned to the ring following a two month hiatus and was determined to break off on his own in order to focus on his pursuit of the WWE title.

    That same evening, Punk was confronted and subsequently laid out by Brock Lesnar, Heyman’s longtime client. Heyman later denied having anything to do with the attack and made up with Punk ahead of Money in the Bank, promising to help him emerge victorious.

    The match itself was incredible, but what fans remember most about the bout was how vicious Heyman’s onslaught of Punk was. The betrayal could be seen coming from a mile away, but it was the way the founder of ECW brutalized and bloodied Punk that sent shockwaves throughout the WWE Universe.

    Punk and Heyman went on to feud for the next three months, but it was the shot heard around the world at Money in the Bank that started it all.

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    Credit: WWE.com

    It had been pretty apparent for years that Dolph Ziggler was bound for greatness in WWE, and despite being a world championship contender on several occasions over the years, he had yet to break through the proverbial glass ceiling. No, his 15-minute title reign in early 2011 hardly counted.

    Coming off his heated championship clashes with then-World Heavyweight champion Sheamus, Ziggler was clearly a favorite to become Mr. Money in the Bank at the 2012 installment. However, there were several others who realistically could have won as well, including fellow future stars Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow.

    Ziggler’s performance in the match was remarkable, and at one point, it looked like he was put out of commission after being tossed over the commentary table at ringside by Tensai. Nevertheless, the bleached-blonde Superstar remained resilient and continued to vie for his guaranteed shot at glory.

    Just as Christian was closing in on the coveted briefcase, Ziggler ambushed him from behind and sent him spiraling off the top of the ladder. That allowed the former Intercontinental and United States champion to capitalize and secure the victory for himself as the crowd roared with cheers of approval.

    Over the nine months that followed, Ziggler attempted to cash in the contract more times than anyone else who had won the Ladder match before him, culminating in an epic world championship celebration for The Showoff one day removed from WrestleMania 29.

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    Credit: WWE.com

    CM Punk punched his ticket to Money in the Bank 2011 when he won a No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat match on the June 20 edition of Raw to earn a WWE Championship match at the event. Immediately afterward, he declared he would leave his hometown of Chicago with the title in tow as his contract was set to expire that night.

    The Second City Saint added fuel to the fire the following week when he went off on the company in a thrilling tirade, which is still recognized to this day as one of the most exciting moments in many years on Raw. Anticipation was at an all-time high heading into the pay-per-view, and the Chicago atmosphere did not disappoint in creating an electric atmosphere for Punk’s championship clash against John Cena.

    Every nearfall from Punk was filled with suspense as it meant the company would have a champion that was persona non grata if he emerged victorious, and thus Cena did everything in his power to fight back against the rebellious loudmouth. Their mat classic concluded with Mr. McMahon attempting to cost Punk the match before Cena refused his assistance and was hit with a GTS by the Voice of the Voiceless in return.

    As Punk pinned Cena for the three count, the Allstate Arena came unglued for the crowning of their new, now-unemployed WWE champion. Punk wasted no time in exiting the arena with the prestigious prize in his possession, but only after ensuring Alberto Del Rio failed to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on him.

    The feeling of what would happen next overwhelmed the entire WWE Universe that night as Money in the Bank went off the air—it was an aura of unpredictability the company has been anxious to recapture ever since.

            

    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham “GSM” Matthews, is an Endicott College alumni and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and “like” his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.

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