Alexa Bliss was the big winner at "Money in the Bank" 2018 and is competing again at the 2021 edition on Sunday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
July 16 (UPI) -- The Money in the Bank Ladder Match has become one of WWE's most brutal, unforgiving, entertaining and high-stakes showdowns in the company's history.
In the bout, a group of competitors attempt to climb a ladder in the hopes of grabbing a briefcase that guarantees them a world championship match at any time. Money in the Bank first started as an annual attraction at WrestleMania before going on to inspire its own, yearly pay-per-view event.
In celebration of the 2021 Money in the Bank pay-per-view event on Sunday, here is a list of the Top 5 greatest Money in the Bank Ladder Matches of all time.
5. Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Kane vs. Sin Cara vs. Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett at Money in the Bank 2011
Daniel Bryan's ascent to becoming one of WWE's most cherished performers truly got started at Money in the Bank 2011, which featured a mix of new and familiar faces. This entry represents the interesting combination of wrestlers that can end up going head-to-head in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match, along with the alliances that fall apart as quickly as they are formed. Sheamus nearly steals the show with a thunderous Powerbomb he gave to Sin Cara that broke the ladder in half. Cara was taken out of the match by medical personnel. Bryan was also impressive, along with Justin Gabriel, who unleashed a 450 Splash from a ladder placed near the top rope and Heath Slater who was launched into the air after ending up at the top of a ladder. Bryan won and successfully cashed in on Big Show months later to become the new World Champion. The rest is history.
4. Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Ember Moon vs. Lana at Money in the Bank 2018
This contest represents the best Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match to date without counting the combined bout from 2020. Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Natalya, Naomi, Ember Moon, Lana kicked things off in a fast and furious pace that never let up. Standout moments include Moon performing a crossbody to Banks that sent The Boss crashing into a ladder, Moon and Naomi having a tug of war with a ladder before Lynch was able to start climbing it at an angle and Lana performing the Accolade, a submission move made famous by her husband, Miro, formerly known as Rusev, in WWE. Bliss was able to win the match and delivered another memorable Money in the Bank moment when she broke up Nia Jax's title defense against Ronda Rousey to cash in and become the new Raw Women's Champion.
3. Asuka vs. Carmella vs. Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans vs. Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler along with Otis vs. AJ Styles vs. Aleister Black vs. Daniel Bryan vs. King Corbin vs. Rey Mysterio at Money in the Bank 2020
WWE got creative in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic to release this cinematic and zany Money in the Bank Ladder Match. The Men's and Women's Money in the Bank matches took place simultaneously at WWE headquarters in Stamford, Conn., for the first time ever. The setting allowed for cameos from Paul Heyman who had his meal ruined by a food fight and WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon himself as he yelled at AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan to get out of his office. Each grappler had to race to the building's rooftop in order to enter a ring where the briefcase was hanging. King Corbin took advantage of his surroundings and threw Rey Mysterio and Aleister Black off the roof. Asuka and Otis were the two winners with Asuka soon instantly gaining the Raw Women's Championship after Lynch stepped down. Otis held onto the briefcase until he lost it to The Miz in a court battle.
2. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. CM Punk vs. King Booker vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Finlay at WrestleMania 23 in 2007
WrestleMania 23 is a classic event in the annals of WrestleMania history and this Money in the Bank match filled with some of the most popular WWE stars ever, is a part of that reason. This acrobatic competition is home to Jeff Hardy defying gravity once again to land a picture-perfect leg drop on Edge that sent the Rated-R Superstar through a ladder. Orton also got time to shine by delivering multiple RKOs including a final one to CM Punk off the ladder. The jaw-dropping moments continued as Mr. Kennedy neutralized Finlay's leprechaun friend Hornswoggle with an impressive Green Bay Plunge off the ladder. Mr. Kennedy went on to grab the briefcase in surprising fashion, however, he had to give it up to Edge after losing to him on Raw. What happened to Mr. Kennedy doesn't take away from this match as it continues to be a fun Money in the Bank highlight reel filled with living legends.
1. Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio at Money in the Bank 2016
Some running storylines including the eternal feud between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn and the uncanny athleticism of Cesaro, combined to make this the quintessential Money in the Bank Ladder Match. This bout has everything a fan would want from this violent contest -- including a crowd-pleasing victory. All six competitors were able to brawl with each other while on ladders at one point, as they used other ladders wedged into the ring posts as makeshift bridges. The moment represents the insanity and fun that can only happen at Money in the Bank. Dean Ambrose, now known as Jon Moxley in AEW, won the briefcase and used it that same night to successfully cash in on Seth Rollins and become the new WWE Champion. Ambrose cashing in meant that all three members of The Shield had held the WWE Championship at some point during the night as Roman Reigns entered the show as champ. The Shield passing around one of WWE's top prizes makes this Money in the Bank pay-per-view event one of the more memorable ones in recent memory.
Money in the Bank 2021 takes place Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT on Peacock in the United States and on the WWE Network everywhere else. The event will take place in front of a live audience at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.