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Can Theory Beat These Best WWE Money In The Bank Cash-Ins?

From the first Money In The Bank cash-in to Theory's impending move, we look at WWE history's greatest.

By Ethan Absler
Austin Theory walking to the ring

Right now, Theory is Mr. Money In The Bank and he’s been on a mission as of late to make sure nobody forgets it. While Theory obnoxiously parades around the arena with his Money In The Bank contract, fans are forced to watch on the edge of their seats in case the ultra-rare cash-in actually takes place. Past contract holders such as Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler teased cashing in their contract at specific times, establishing themselves as an ever-looming threat to the current champion. The momentum that Theory is currently riding as the youngest Money In The Bank winner of all time could easily lead to him stealing the world title.

Money In The Bank cash-ins are a fan-favorite moment of the year and almost always lead to a new champion in shocking fashion. As Theory looks to follow in the footsteps of legendary Superstars such as Edge, John Cena, and RVD, we’re constantly reminded of how epic that moment can be. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the best Money In The Bank cash-ins we’ve ever seen in WWE history.

Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins became the first and only person to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase in the main event of WrestleMania and leave as the champion in what is often referred to as the “heist of the century." At WrestleMania 31, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar were in the midst of a battle that was finally beginning to pick up steam. Battling for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Lesnar and Reigns turned up the intensity as they delivered stiff shots to each other, one even busting Lesnar open. As both men inflicted an ungodly amount of damage, Reigns and Lesnar tried desperately to get the pin, but to no avail. When it seemed they were out of energy, Seth Rollins’ music blared over the speakers to a massive pop from the audience.

Rollins ran full speed toward the ring, literally dragging a referee with him to waste no time. Rollins handed the briefcase to the official to start the match, and the main event of WrestleMania suddenly turned into a Triple Threat match. As Reigns Speared Lesnar with Rollins on his shoulders, Rollins was able to land on his feet and take advantage by hitting the Stomp on Reigns. Rollins then pinned Reigns down for the three-count and sprinted back up the ramp with his newly won — but seemingly stolen — title. He spun the prize in circles over his head in triumph, springboarding his career like never before.

Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler carried his contract around for almost a full year before seizing his opportunity and becoming World Heavyweight Champion. Similar to Theory, fans were left wondering when Ziggler would actually cash in, as he teased it multiple times. With Big E and AJ Lee by his side, Ziggler finally seemed credible enough to be World Champion as he held the Money In The Bank contract with pride and made sure everybody knew the threat of an opportune cash-in was very real at all times.

In April 2013, the Heavyweight Champion at the time, Alberto Del Rio, injured his leg in a match against Jack Swagger. Ziggler saw blood in the water and ran to the ring to capitalize on one of his last chances to use his contract. Ziggler withstood Del Rio’s Armbar finisher and reversed it into a Zig Zag to capture his first World Title. WWE fans rejoiced in one of the loudest crowd reactions in modern WWE history as Ziggler finally realized his potential and became World Champion.

Edge

When Edge cashed in his Money In The Bank contract, he established the career-changing ability of this special briefcase and introduced fans to the strategy that most Superstars would use in the future to successfully cash in.

In 2006, after a violent Elimination Chamber match at New Year’s Revolution, John Cena celebrated his hard-fought victory. As it was the main event of the show, many fans had already begun leaving the arena, thinking the show was over. Suddenly, Vince McMahon walked out on stage with a live microphone and informed fans that Edge was cashing in his contract. Fans were shocked and confused as they slowly figured out that the Ultimate Opportunist was going to pick the bones of an injured and exhausted John Cena. Edge proceeded to hit Cena with a huge Spear that would win him his first WWE Championship and showed fans how the Money In The Bank briefcase — the first in history — can change someone’s career in one night. 

Randy Orton

For Daniel Bryan fanatics, SummerSlam 2013 is remembered as one of the most bittersweet moments in wrestling history, but also the start of Daniel Bryan’s rise to stardom. In the summer of 2013, nobody was hotter than Daniel Bryan. He was hitting his stride in the ring, on the mic, and even in the Tag Team division capturing gold with Kane. That’s why, when John Cena was given the opportunity to choose his WWE Championship opponent at Summerslam, he chose Daniel Bryan.

Cena, being the stand-up guy that he is, wanted to give Bryan a chance to reach the top of the mountain. After all, he had earned it and was on a legendary hot streak. The match itself was good, but everybody remembers the moment Bryan nailed Cena in the face with his running knee to capture the WWE Championship. Fans were ecstatic that Bryan had finally won the big one and confetti rained down from the rafters of the arena. Suddenly, Randy Orton’s music hit and Bryan knew it was gametime. He watched as Orton methodically walked up the ramp, figuring Orton wouldn’t dare cash in on an opponent that was ready for him.

Suddenly, Bryan was turned around by the special guest referee, Triple H, who hit Bryan with a thunderous Pedigree. The backstab allowed for Orton to slither into the ring, pin Bryan, and win the Championship. This was truly the start of the “Yes movement,” as well as the Authority faction and the whole segment played out perfectly on TV.

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