Review for WWE Straight to the Top: The Money in the Bank Ladder Match Anthology

7 / 10

Money in the Bank is one of those matches which is amazing to watch. It is a carcrash of moves and bodies to guarantee the winner a title match at any time. Now, many people compare this to the Royal Rumble and it is true, however the difference is that the Rumble is generally won by someone who actually deserves a title shot and just needs that one little push to make the match special. Money in the Bank is often WWE's attempt to slowly create a main eventer which for some of them worked and for some not so much.

Now everyone knows that I hate these sets that include EVERY match of a certain type and though that is true this set isn't as bad as most of them. It includes every single Money In The Bank match since its debut in 2005 at Wrestlemania 21 with six people, after two Manias with six people some genius decided that this wasn't enough people to not focus on so instead increased it to eight at Wrestlemania 23 and it watered down what was already a confusing watered down ladder match. It is true that having more meant that there was more of a puzzle and discussion over who might win, but it also felt like it became the 'We got nothing for these guys throw them in the MITB match'.

In 2010 it was decided to give the match its own PPV which was a good idea and the match much like Royal Rumble or Elimination Chamber made for a good theme. It was also at a good point in the year so that the winner had potentially Summerslam or Survivor Series to cash in or a good almost eight months before Wrestlemania to build up the tension of them cashing in. Having two matches was maybe a mistake and though I understand why they did it to allow for a shot at the WWE or the World title it did dilute the winning of the match and also watching two of these in the same night is almost like watching fourteen of these on a DVD set... oh wait!

For those who haven't seen them I will try not to spoil who wins certain matches, but the people who have won it are a mix of people who did need that push and those who didn't or didn't deserve it. Depending on your opinion of the winner will depend on whether you think they actually achieved what the match should seek out to do. That is make you a superstar and not just someone who got lucky.

Watching the matches back to back, with interludes by Money in the Bank winner The Miz (painful and really he should have had someone to back and forth with), is at times boring. As I say watching what is essentially the same match over and over is a bit like listening to an album of 12 different people doing a cover of the same song, sure Elvis Presley might sing it different to Slayer, but after a while you still get bored. This is the same moves, the same spots and the same build to the end of the match. However, unlike in a typical ladder match where one man has to incapacitate one man, we have to believe that seven other people are unable to stop one man from getting the briefcase. I just can't suspend my belief that much.

Of course the problem I do have is that without seeing the cashing in of the briefcases you can't really understand the significance of winning is (The Blu-ray version clears this up by including all the cashing in matches which is great). It is a shame that they don't include even just a five minute featurette that covers all the outcomes of the briefcases being cashed in.

I think the reason they don't, is that they will show that apart from Rob Van Dam and John Cena (who became the first unsuccessful winner, but then did he need it really?) all the cashing in of the titleshot followed the same pattern of Edge's surprise at New Year's Revolution. That being after a match where the champion wins or is defeated they run in and cash it in on the prone champion in a sneaky victory. This works for some people (Edge, Miz and to some extent Del Rio), but others such as CM Punk and Jack Swagger shouldn't be doing this and Swagger should really have used this to headline a PPV rather than just waste it on some random Smackdown that very few people remember. It is funny that people do forget that Swagger not only won a Money in the Bank (at Wrestlemania no less) but was also a World Champion. That's not what this shot should do.

Of the matches I will say that the first is great. In fact any of the matches that involve Edge, Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin or either of the Hardys are great. Each match has at least one or two spots that make you go OMG however it is also true that most of these are repeated in subsequent matches. Some of the wins are surprising and if you are cursed (or in this case blessed) with a terrible memory and can't remember who won the match there are some that you may not be able to predict and so that is good. My advice would be to watch these a disk at a time over a few days otherwise you will notice the same moves, the same moments and like myself will become very bored at it all.

One thing I will say is that WWE need to fire their coverart people! Seriously! This is the second cover in a row that I have looked at and groaned at the quality. Now, unlike the one for Summerslam it is not because it reveals the people who won the match (though it does) it's more the bizarre look of it. On the cover we have CM Punk, Edge, Dolph Ziggler and erm Kofi Kingston... Ok channelling Sesame Street here but 'One of these men is not like the other. One of these men just doesn't belong!' Why include Kofi Kingston on the cover? I mean sure he has had some amazing moments, but he never actually won the event and only actually features in three of them. Kane, Chris Jericho even Shelton Benjamin featured in more. Now I'm sure he put on great performances, doesn't mean he should be on the cover over any other winners such as, I don't know... John Cena maybe??

Straight to the Top: The Money in The Bank Ladder Match Anthology is almost a great set. It really is. If they listened to me and made this a 'Best of' and only featured the top five or so matches with some interviews from those involved and the matches that they cashed in the shot it would have been far more interesting. Instead this is just match match match match and unlike the Superstar ones where at least you are getting a variety of matches this is just the same match over and over again. Watched in small doses it is fine, but altogether this is a mess of a set and a sad way to honour what to some of these winners is one of the most significant moments of their career and could easily stand alongside any Rumble victories. Straight to the Top? More like Straight to the Bottom of my recommendation pile.

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