The Art of the "Cash-In"
On April 3, 2005, the first official “Money in the Bank” match took place at Wrestlemania 21. As we know, Edge reigned supreme that evening and earned an unprecedented championship opportunity: the right to challenge for the WWE Championship at ANYTIME within the next year.
Surprisingly and impressively, Edge showed great patience and rather than immediately cashing in his contract, he waited for the perfect moment. As the calendar year wound down, Edge still held the briefcase and no magic had occurred yet.
Finally, on January 8, 2006 (over 9 months later), Edge shocked the world at the New Year’s Revolution pay-per-view. After champion, John Cena, survived a hard fought battle inside an Elimination Chamber against Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels, Kane, Carlito, and Chris Masters, Vince McMahon unexpectedly made his way out onto the ramp. From there, he stated that New Year’s Revolution was NOT over yet because Edge was cashing in his championship opportunity immediately. Battered, bloodied, and bruised, John Cena was in complete shock. With nothing left in the tank, Cena offered little resistance, and Edge became the WWE Champion for the 1st time in his illustrious career.
Edge’s cash-in was brilliant and unexpected, and as a result, the “Money in the Bank” concept has continued through today. Overall, there have been a total of 18 cash-in attempts with 15 challengers winning the match and claiming the Championship, 2 challengers losing the match and failing to claim the Championship, and 1 challenger winning the match BUT failing to claim the Championship.
The “Money in the Bank” concept was original, innovative, and has made for some unpredictable and exciting moments, but at this point, the “cash-in” no longer feels fresh. Granted, there is NO need to eliminate the match or the pay-per-view altogether, but I feel that in order for the “cash-in” to really create buzz again, the WWE has to come up with more creative attempts.
While many are furious that Baron Corbin blew his opportunity against Jinder Mahal, I am NOT simply because the result was unexpected. Putting personal feelings aside for Corbin and Mahal, I was pleased that the predictably of an “automatic” win was thwarted, and hopefully that continues moving forward.
Let’s be real, though. How exciting are “failed” attempts? Sure, they may be unpredictable, but they can also be deflating to the fans. With so many years gone by and so many cash-ins attempted, however, have we finally come to a point where we have seen it all? My answer: an emphatic NO!
Below, I have a few unique ways to cash in that have yet to be done, and quite frankly, haven’t even been teased.
The Full Circle or Ironic Cash-In: Simply put, the briefcase and contract holder would cash in during a “Ladder” or “TLC” match. For optimal results, the briefcase and contract holder should wait for a BIG spot to occur in which the competitors of the match fall off a ladder and crash to the outside in absolute agony. From there, the briefcase and contract holder can strut down to the ring, inform the referee that he is entering the match, setup a ladder, climb to the top, unhook the Belt, and win the WWE Championship in the EXACT fashion that he won the “Money in the Bank” briefcase and contract. Everything comes full circle. Oh, the irony.
The Minimal Effort Cash-In: If you think cashing in during a “Ladder” or “TLC” match is easy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The following “cash-in” is so lazy (and brilliant) that I can hardly call it an attempt at all! In this scenario, the briefcase and contract holder will bide his time as patiently as Edge and hope for the most ideal match of them all: the “Cage” match. Once this stipulation is announced, the briefcase and contract holder will be lurking in the weeds like a viper ready to strike (excuse the overused pun). As soon as a HUGE move is executed, such as a superplex, the briefcase and contract holder will RUN (not strut) down to the ring. He will inform the referee as quickly as possible that he is entering the match. The outside referee will have to unlock the cage as quickly as possible, and the briefcase and contract holder will have to rush into the ring. From there, as soon as the bell rings, he will demand that the outside referee reopens the door, and the briefcase and contract holder can THEN take his sweet time leaving the ring as the 2 (or more) competitors inside the ring are completely clueless. Could you be any lazier?
The M. Night Shyamalan or Rowdy Roddy Piper Cash-In: The previous 2 examples are near foolproof ways for the briefcase and contract holder to win the Title, but who doesn’t love a good twist? Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions! In this situation, the champion is in a non-championship match against an opponent (or opponents), and the briefcase and contract holder marches down to the ring to declare that he will cash-in his championship opportunity immediately. While it seems straightforward enough, the original opponent now has the opportunity of a lifetime competing for a Championship without being the #1 contender or having the “Money in the Bank” briefcase and contract. Can the superstar shock the world and win the Title? Stay tuned…
The 1st two scenarios most likely call for the “chicken” heel to use those sneaky yet brilliant methods. The 3rd scenario is obviously not a very bright decision by the briefcase and contract holder, but we have seen babyfaces in the past use questionable judgement. Maybe, the briefcase and contract holder can’t wait to get his hands on said champion or maybe, the briefcase and contract holder just wants to prove that he is a “true” champion and is above taking shortcuts to championship glory.
Regardless, none of the above scenarios have happened before, and I would love to see a fresh angle with the “Money in the Bank” cash-in.
Do you have any ideas? Share.