Who knew a simple briefcase would have such a profound effect on the professional wrestling landscape?
Ladder matches have always presented jaw-dropping spectacles since their inception. Several of the biggest names in the business have produced death-defying stunts and emotionally charged wins across one-on-one and multi-man/women-filled takes on the specialty bout. In 2005, WrestleMania 21 gave fans a clever spin on the formula with a six-person ladder match where the winner earned themselves a contracted world championship match opportunity.
Ever since then, WWE has put on even more breathtaking Money in the Bank ladder matches and turned the whole concept into its own annual PPV. Plus other wrestling feds, such as Impact Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling, have adopted the briefcase concept for themselves and presented it in a different manner.
With so many unforgettable MITB ladder matches to look back on, we went out of our way to find the best of the best. The 14 matches we selected here stand tall as not only the greatest ladder matches of all time, but the most outstanding MITB ladder matches wrestling fans have ever laid eyes on.
And now weâve reached the MITB PPV era. At this point in the specialty matchâs history, its Sunday event presented two versions of the match – one for Raw and one for Smackdown. MITB 2010 provides one of those rare cases where both MITB presentations ended up being super noteworthy. What we have here is the SmackDown version, which featured a ton of main event superstars in the making and two oversized brutes that were feeling extra destructive with ladders in their possession.
This one was pure mayhem from the very start – the smaller competitors put in work to ground their larger opposition, while Kane and Big Show fought back with some brutal offense of their own. Kofi Kingstonâs ladder-assisted leg drop from the top of a ladder is incredible and has been included in every wrestling highlight video youâve probably ever seen. The presence of giants fighting among confident mortals added a cool wrinkle to this MITB matchup.
âThe Legend Killerâ morphed into the dream killer when he obtained the MITB briefcase during this hotly contested match. His victory here catapulted him towards the heartbreaking Authority screwjob that ended Danielâs newly won WWE Championship reign at SummerSlam 2013. Randyâs briefcase win didnât come easy, however – he had to fight tooth and nail to grab it during this classic MITB match.
Rob Van Dam was on fire here as he dished out stiff kicks and his usual array of high-flying maneuvers. Sheamus increased his brutality game tenfold by smashing Danielâs chest with quick succession strikes atop a ladder. And Daniel went on a mid-match mean streak that saw him almost walk away as the victor. The Paul Heyman turn on CM Punk near the end floored us all at the time, plus Randyâs sick RKO to RVD off of the ladder provided the perfect closer to this momentous WWE car crash.