I Want To Talk A Little Bit About Money In The Bank

Money in the Bank has ruined a lot about wrestling. It causes multiple problems and is a major reason why the world titles don’t mean anything anymore. Granted there are other reasons like automatic rematch clauses but we’ll get into those later. Anyway, there are a lot of things that MITB does which hurts wrestling and I felt like talking about them a bit so let’s get to it.

First and foremost, the title changes mean NOTHING. A few years ago at a PWG show in California, Kevin Steen gave someone three package piledrivers then put his six month old son on top of the guy that took the piledrivers and counted three, making the son undefeated as a wrestler. It was cute and everyone laughed and all that jazz. It was ok because it didn’t mean anything and was used to make a joke. WWE does the same thing, including once at Summerslam last year in front of 17,000 people at the biggest show of the year.

Let’s take either Alberto’s or Bryan’s win as an example here. Those wins don’t prove anything. There was a battle royal once where Jimmy Hart hid under the ring for the whole match but then ran in after everyone else was eliminated to win the match. It was a joke and the whole place erupted in booing. I could give you a dozen examples of matches just like that. You know what the one connecting factor would be? None of them would be for the world title. MITB breaks that rule.

It’s a joke instead of a real match. The guy that cashes in hasn’t proven he’s better than the former champion. Look back to Flair in 1991 in WCW. Lex Luger never beat him, so why should people have accepted Luger as the rightful champion? There was no reason to, so no one did. It’s the same here. Why should I have accepted Bryan as the world champion? He didn’t beat Big Show. He pinned a guy that was already beaten. Yes I get that that’s the point of his heel turn, but just like everything else in wrestling, it’s been done into the ground.

This brings me to my second issue: MITB allows the writers to be lazy. MITB has become a nuclear option in case something needs to be changed in a hurry. Don’t have someone built up (Oh we’ll get to that soon enough)? Let them cash in. Someone not working as champion? Give someone a briefcase. Want to give us a surprise with no thinking to it that gives you a way out of your bad stories? Here’s MITB to the rescue!

The writers are already lazy enough. They’ve come up with so many tricks to buy themselves months off (automatic rematch clauses for example) that they don’t need to actually think anymore. The writers need all the exercise they can get to show them what works and what doesn’t, so having then being allowed to just throw something out there with no thinking to it is making things even worse.

Don’t believe me that they need to be made to think? Flash back to the Attitude Era. The company was in big trouble and had to be pushed harder and harder to come up with new storylines. What was the result? Compelling storylines that had people glued to their sets every week to see what happened next. Now you get the same story every year. And their solution to the problem? DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF CASES!!!

That ties into the next problem with the cases: they’re repetitive. At the end of the day, the winner has a perfect record with it. The shock value of it is fine for a few moments, but there’s nothing new to them. It’s like watching a great movie for the first time then watching the story being rehashed in a bunch of sequels. It’s cool the second time but after that, it really starts to get dull because you’ve seen it time after time.

Somehow the process needs to be switched up. First of all, drop it down to less competitors in the ladder match. Eight people is just WAY too many as you can’t keep track of what’s going on and it drains the rest of the card because everyone is in the ladder match. Cut it down to five or six and things would be much more interesting. The other thing, which has been beaten into the ground over the years but needs to be said again, is that someone needs to lose their cash-in attempt.

Money in the Bank was built on the idea of it could happen at anytime. When Edge originally cashed in, it was shocking because you didn’t see it coming. It’s a legit surprise and a great moment because it fits in with the idea that Edge was the ultimate opportunist. The second one at least had a twist on it as the cash-in was announced in advance to build to a match. Since then though, it’s been one surprise after another.

These are indeed cool at the moment but they need something changed about them. After the cash-in, the shock is gone and you’d left realizing how weak of a champion that person has become. In order to rebuild the shock value, they need to slow things down. This could be done by either cutting the amount of cases down to one, or having the surprise element taken out. Have someone cash in at a designated time like RVD did. Use it on a major Raw or at a PPV.

Daniel Bryan talked about doing it that way and cashing in at Wrestlemania, but at the end of the day we get the same thing all over again: someone cashing in as a surprise when the champion was down and the title change means nothing. Instead, spend the next few cash-ins on matches that are announced in advance. If nothing else it lets you build up to something instead of hoping that the people watch in hopes of seeing a cash-in.

However in the modern world of WWE, that’s as likely as a Diva having a match last longer than five minutes or most people caring about it. The idea is that bigger and more is better, which isn’t the case but in Vince’s mind it is. Money in the Bank is possibly not going to be its own PPV this year which would be a step in the right direction, but I doubt they’ll keep things going that way because that’s not how WWE works.

In summation, Money in the Bank is fine in the short term if you need something fixed, but the problems with it outweigh the good. It furthers the idea of being lazy in creative is ok and that there’s no need to give the fans a reason to care about guys as long as you do something that shocks them. It’s rationale like that which hurt WCW and look how well they did.

The idea can be fixed but it might be too far gone. If it were up to me, I’d drop the concept. Yeah imagine that: a guy having to earn a title shot and then win the title without someone else doing all the work. Unfortunately that’s probably not going to happen because at the end of the day, this is the WWE and they’re going to use the easiest method possible anymore, which is why things are weaker lately.

4 comments

  1. TheSDQQKidJoe says:

    “like watching a great movie for the first time then watching the story being rehashed in a bunch of sequels. It’s cool the second time but after that, it really starts to get dull because you’ve seen it time after time.”

    Sounds like Final Destination.

  2. The Killjoy says:

    Maybe it’s not the best example for me to make, but over in the E-Fed, we have a similar case. Same thing, different name, it’s won in an Elimination Chamber match. It’s been done 3 times with the 4th one coming. Out of those three times, one once was it successfully used and even then the case was taken from 2 previous owners.

    It gave a feeling of “great, you won the case. but can you cash in before someone kills you”? It added a feeling of it being that important that people gunned for it for it every year to get it for themselves. WWE doing that would add a nice twist to it since the caseholder most of the time lacks any full main event credibility. Just look at Daniel Bryan and how he lost every match up until he actually cashed in. In WZCW (I know it’s made up, you know…) he wouldn’t even be holding the case at that point. It would make MITB feel like it’s really that big.

  3. Stormy says:

    I honestly think the best way to fix the Money In The Back issue is to only allow a cash-in to happen at least 1 week in advance of the match.

    Doing this would all but assure that the match is contested with both competitors are fresh for the match. And it would help make the challenger appear like a more viable threat, since he is standing toe-to-toe with the champion, instead of catching him off-guard.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I like that. More than anything else it would give them time to build to a match.