411’s Top 30 WrestleMania Matches of All Time: #28 – Money in the Bank (WM 23)
Posted by Larry Csonka on 03.09.2014
411 continues its Countdown to WrestleMania 30 by looking at eight men putting it all on the line for a title shot that they can cash in at any time. We head back to WrestleMania 23 and the third Money in the Bank ladder match…
Welcome back to 411Mania, and welcome to 411's official countdown to WrestleMania 30! Every year, the 411 staff comes together in some way to bring you, the fine readers of our site, a special countdown to WrestleMania. In past years we have done special countdown columns, ranking the shows, rating them overall, discussing special aspects of the big event, and even columns that have served as odes to the matches and moments that are etched into our minds.
To some fans, WrestleMania is the biggest show of the year, and the way that WWE has transformed the event into a near weeklong party, it may as well be a holiday to the fans that love our special brand of entertainment. Call it sport or call it a specially designed male soap opera, we love it and we love to talk about what makes things special. WrestleMania is an institution, and this year, as the WWE gets prepared to put on their 30th WrestleMania event, we decided to go big. Starting on March 7th, and running all the way to April 5th, 411 will present the top 30 matches in WrestleMania history.
Each writer on the 411 staff was given the opportunity to nominate 30 matches of their choosing. #1 on their list received 30 points, #2 received 29 points, and so on and so forth. Writers were asked to base their lists on both match quality and historical significance to create their nominations. The final list was created, and there was a ton of competition for the top spot. In fact, the voting was so tight that the top FOUR matches were separated by a mere 16-points.
Each day we will present a match from the list, which will include a full recap of the match from the 411 archives (from Scott Slimmer, JD Dunn, and Robert Leighty Jr.) as well as thoughts from the writers. Thank you for reading, and we hope that you enjoy our presentation…
#28 – From WrestleMania 23 - Money in the Bank #3 – EDGE v RANDY ORTON v FIT FINLAY v KING BOOKER w/Queen Sharmell v CM PUNK v MR KENNEDY v MATT HARDY v JEFF HARDY
Finlay has his trusty shillelagh. Kennedy does his own entrance despite not coming out last. Kennedy bails right away for ladders but Orton goes to punch him in the face. Finlay up top early and he hits a PLANCHA onto the guys outside. Edge sees his chance and runs up the ladder but Matt cuts him off. Orton-Finlay up the ladder and it falls over. Jeff up but Kennedy pushes the ladder over. Really quick ladder climbing here. Booker has the Little Bastard ladder but Punk grabs it and bashes Booker in the head with it. Edge takes it off him and bashes Punk with it. Edge bridges the apron and rail. Punk is bleeding. Punk blocks a suplex onto the ladder and suplexes Edge on the floor. Orton runs into a Booker spinebuster. Kennedy gets a kick. Spinebusters for Punk and Finlay. Royal WrestleMania Spinneroonie! Hardys ladder him. Edge in but Matt side effects him. They set up the Joey nose buster spot on Edge but Finlay shoves Jeff off the top. Edge suplexes Matt onto the set up ladders. Ouch. Kennedy is in and Cole points out he's beaten seven world champions. CHUG! Kennedy goes up and Kenton bombs the ladder as Matt moves. He hit neck first. Jeff hits him with the Swanton bomb on Kennedy. Finlay in to eat a ladder clothesline. Matt goes up and so does Jeff who punches first. Matt won't let him take the case though and Finlay shoves them both off. Finlay doesn't see Edge sneaking in with a spear. Spears for Orton, Booker, Kennedy, Matt and Jeff. Punk dodges it though. Lots of pro-Punk signs in the crowd. He does the Terry Funk spinning ladder tribute until Edge spears him and the ladder wipes out both Orton and Finlay. Edge bails for the massive ladder. "That's a ladder" – Tazz. Edge is alone in there with the big ladder. Edge climbs but off centre. Up goes Orton and shoves him off over the top rope. Jeff in with the gourd buster. Matt puts Edge on the apron/rail ladder and up Jeff goes up the tall ladder. Matt wants him to kill Edge. LEGDROP OUT OF THE RING THROUGH THE LADDER. That ladder is broken in half. Out comes the gurney. Both guys down and hurt. Matt is still a little shook up. Orton picks him off the RKO. Finlay in but he gets an RKO too. Kennedy in and it's another RKO. Orton with a ladder but Punk brings him down. Punk goes up as Edge is carted out. Orton has dueling ladders with Punk – RKO OFF THE LADDER. Booker goes up and Orton has to recover to stop him. He goes for another but Booker counters into the BOOK END OFF THE LADDER. Booker goes up again but Matt is back in there. Sharmell is up on the apron and she grabs Matt. Matt tells Booker to come down or Sharmell gets the Twist of Fate. Booker comes down and gets the Twist of Fate instead. Matt goes up but Finlay tips the ladder up. Finlay is bleeding too. He looks at the ladder but wants some pain on Matt instead. CELTIC CROSS ON THE LADDER. Finlay sets the ladders back up. He's hurt and can't climb. LITTLE BASTARD is out here. He tells Finlay he'll get the case. Kennedy is back in there though with Hornswoggle up there. Kennedy tells him in no uncertain terms to get off. Hornswoggle punches him. Kennedy isn't impressed. SAMOAN MIDGET ROLLER OFF THE LADDER! Finlay bashes Kennedy with the ladder. Finlay up but Punk dropkicks the ladder over. Punk has a ladder and gets fingertips on and Kennedy climbs to fight him. Kennedy has it but Punk kicks him off. Kennedy has a ladder and smacks Punk off with it. JBL points out he's beaten seven world champions in the past year. CHUG! Kennedy has the case and wins it at 19.11.
- By Arnold Furious
Nick Marsico: The third annual MITB ladder match was contested with a field of 8 men for the first time, topping the 6 participants that competed at the prior WrestleManias. The match itself has two main spots that people remember. One that gets shown time and time again is the RKO off the ladder from Randy Orton to CM Punk and the other, and much more devastating/highlight reel worthy, was Jeff Hardy's dive from a huge ladder inside the ring onto a prone Edge who had been positioned on top of a ladder on the outside. The ladder split in half like a table and took both men out of the match. Perhaps the most significant factor historically, however, is that the winner barely had a chance to hold onto the briefcase, which allowed another superstar to take advantage and finally solidify himself as a true main event player. Yes, Edge won the first MITB match two years earlier, but all it bought him was an amazing surprise win in the form of the first-ever cashing in of the contract and a cup of coffee as John Cena's whipping boy. As it pertains to the aftermath of WrestleMania 23, the winner was the injury prone (even moreso than Edge!) Mr. Kennedy, who let injuries and poor performances punch him a ticket directly to TNA. Kennedy won the briefcase and promptly got injured barely 5 weeks after securing a certain title reign. Edge beat him for the briefcase on RAW and cashed it in that same week on SmackDown to win the World Heavyweight Title for the first time. That is the most important thing, in my mind about the Money in the Bank Ladder Match from WrestleMania 23.
Jarrod Atkinson: The Money In The Bank match was filled with names on the cusp of the main event. The match featured 8 superstars all vying for the briefcase with the contract for a guaranteed world title match over the next 365 days. In this year's match was the artist then known as Mr. Kennedy, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Finlay, Matt Hardy, King Booker, Jeff Hardy, and the original Money in the Bank winner, Edge. Usually going into a match like this as a fan you have the person you want to win and the person who will probably win. This year in particular I was okay with anyone winning because they were all that damn good. Jeff Hardy was making his WrestleMania return this year, and you could never count out Edge in a ladder match. This match started with the usual stare and then scramble for the ladders bit that we have grown use to seeing. A reoccurring theme in this match was the "everyone hits his finisher" gag that is a staple of every Money in the Bank match now, but in the third one ever it was still cool to see. Booker hit some superkicks, Edge hit some spears, and then Randy Orton got in on the fun with his RKO everyone mode. As the match progressed we were teased with the Hardy's turning on each other when they exchanged punches atop the ladder for a brief moment, but then cooler heads prevailed when they decided to kick Edge's ass together. Edge was taken out with a Jeff Hardy dive from a ladder in the ring onto a ladder lying across the ring and the barrier. Jeff Hardy was unable to continue, and Edge did the stretcher job to remove him from the match, thus insuring his ability to say he was still unbeaten at WrestleMania the next year. (Never pinned or submitted, but still, WWE likes to think we have a very short-term memory. With the two big favorites eliminated, it was clear that someone was getting their ticket punched to the main event, it was just a matter of who it would be. I personally thought it was CM Punk's year, but he had to play bridesmaid this year as he was hit with a ladder by Kennedy, who then climbed to the top and won the match, thus etching his name into history. Unfortunately for Ken, it was a spot in history that wasn't desirable, as he ended up losing his briefcase in a match against Edge, who then cashed in on The Undertaker on Smackdown to become the new World Heavyweight Champion, making Ken Kennedy…..Kennedy the only person to win a Money in the Bank ladder match and not cash in the briefcase……….Briefcase.