- February 15th, 2021 – Loss to Kofi Kingston
- February 1st, 2021 – Loss to Damian Priest
- December 28th, 2020 – Loss To Gran Metalik
- December 20th, 2020 – Loss to Drew McIntyre & AJ Styles (Triple Threat)
- November 16th, 2020 – Loss to Bray Wyatt
- October 26th, 2020 – Loss to Drew McIntyre
- October 25th, 2020 – Win over Otis
- July 31st, 2020 – Loss to Big E
- July 10th, 2020 – Loss to Jeff Hardy
- May 22nd, 2020 – Loss to Braun Strowman
- April 17th, 2020 – Loss to Big E & Jey Uso (Triple Threat)
- January 10th, 2020 – Win over Kofi Kingston
- January 3rd, 2020 – Loss to Kofi Kingston
- December 27th, 2019 – Loss to Daniel Bryan & King Corbin (Triple Threat)
- December 27th, 2019 – No Contest with Daniel Bryan
- December 15th, 2019 – Loss to Bray Wyatt
- November 22nd, 2019 – No Contest with Daniel Bryan
- November 1st, 2019 – Loss to Tommaso Ciampa
- September 15th, 2019 – Loss to Shinsuke Nakamura
Take a look at that list. If you’re a huge WWE fan with great memory, you know what that list is. For everyone else, let me clue you in. That list is the last 19 televised non-tag and non-Royal Rumble matches that The Miz competed in before Elimination Chamber this past weekend. From mid-September 2019 to mid-February 2021, Miz was 2-15-2 outside of the tag and Rumble worlds. However, because one of his two victories presented him with the Money In The Bank briefcase, he is the new WWE Champion.
2-15-2 isn’t good. That’s actually quite the understatement. 2-15-2 is awful. It’s putrid. Horrendous. Smells like doodoo.
As soon as Miz won the title, I saw people comparing it to Jinder Mahal coming out of seemingly nowhere to win the same WWE Championship in 2017. I decided to go back and look at Jinder’s path to the title, and one thing immediately jumped out at me… before winning the title, Jinder won his previous three televised non-tag matches. That automatically puts him ahead of what we’ve seen from The Miz over the last 17 months. Sure, Jinder was 2-16 in those same televised non-tag matches (going all the way back to late-2012, in his first stint with the company) before that three-match winning streak, but it is what it is. At least he was being built up before getting the title.
Before I go any further with anything, I do have to give full disclosure on something. I’m not a fan of The Miz. I never have been, and I probably never will be. If you’ve been reading my work for years, you already knew that as I’ve never been shy to share my dislike of him. It’s not that I think he sucks. He’s not going to be confused with the greatest in-ring technicians we’ve ever seen, but he’s not The Great Khali or Lacey Evans out there. When he’s motivated, and when he’s working with the right opponent, he can help to produce a perfectly acceptable match. I’m just not a fan of his in-ring style. Through the years, I have become a fan of a more “snug” style of working. Stiffer strikes and harder-hitting moves, in general, are more my bag. Miz has never been a good striker, and as Daniel Bryan put it in that now-infamous Talking Smack promo from 2016, Miz wrestles an overly “safe” style that Bryan called wrestling like a “coward.” On the mic, Miz is definitely at his best, but he’s not without his faults there, either. As I’ve stated in numerous columns before, Miz promos cross a line, far too often, from “pro wrestler cutting a promo” to “person pretending to be a pro wrestler cutting a promo” and it annoys the hell out of me. His facial expressions become ridiculously over-the-top, from his eyes bulging out of their sockets to his pelican-like underbite. He first rose to fame as a cast member of MTV’s The Real World, where… he would pretend to cut wrestling promos on his roommates, going from Mike Mizanin to his made-up “Miz” persona, and he took way too much of that into the wrestling world with him. For someone as naturally charismatic and loquacious as he is, there’s a jarring disconnect when it comes to a lot of his promos.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ve had a few days to really think about what happened at Elimination Chamber. I’ve watched the end of the show several times now, and have tried my absolute best to take my personal opinion of The Miz out of my thoughts on how the show ended.
I still hate it.
With a passion.
You may or may not believe this, but my issue isn’t that it’s The Miz. Of course, I much rather would’ve seen someone else have the Money In The Bank briefcase and successfully cash it in to become the WWE/Universal Champion, but I’m not folding my arms in protest simply because The Miz is the new WWE Champion. It’s that 2-15-2 thing that has me pissy. If you’ll indulge me for a bit, it’s time for… A BARRAGE OF STATISTICS!
Let us now take a look back at the history of the Money In The Bank briefcase and see what people were doing after they won it and up until the moment they cashed in.
The first Money In The Bank winner, Edge, held the briefcase for nine months, going from WrestleMania 21 on April 3rd, 2005 to New Year’s Revolution on January 8th, 2006. Edge went 11-8-3 in televised singles matches over that span. It isn’t the greatest record, but three of his losses were by disqualification, which is a lot better than being pinned or forced to submit. He also ascended to the top of the card in that span, becoming a believable threat as a future WWE Champion after spending his entire time in the company as a tag and midcard guy.
Rob Van Dam was the next winner, but he only held the briefcase for a total of 70 days. In those 70 days, his record in televised non-tag matches was 4-1, with his only loss coming by disqualification. One of his wins saw him defeat Shelton Benjamin to become the Intercontinental Champion, although he would lose the title in one of those tag matches where multiple singles champions have their belts on the line at the same time. He was also elevated well, going from merely being a popular midcard guy to main eventing the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view with John Cena. His momentum was only derailed after he was arrested on drug possession charges and being suspended by WWE three weeks into his reign, forcing WWE to have him lose the WWE Title and the ECW Title on back-to-back nights.
Next up, we have Mr. Kennedy, who won the briefcase at WrestleMania 23. Unfortunately for him, he lost the briefcase in a match against Edge a mere 36 days after winning it. In those 36 days, he was 1-2 in televised singles matches. Edge had an even shorter run as the Money In The Bank contract holder, but that’s because he cashed in the following day (taped to air three days later) and defeated The Undertaker to become the World Heavyweight Champion.
CM Punk would win the Money In The Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 24, and he held the contract for 92 days. In those 92 days, Punk was 8-9-1 in televised non-tag matches. He would go on to successfully cash in against Edge to become the World Heavyweight Champion. It was an up-and-down run for him, but he was still being groomed for the main event after being a tier or two below that up until that point.
Oh, hey, CM Punk won the briefcase again the next year, but in 2009, he only held it for 63 days before cashing in. His 6-3 record in televised singles matches showed that he was viewed by the company in a better light than he was the year before, and he successfully cashed in against Jeff Hardy after Hardy defeated Edge in a Ladder Match at Extreme Rules, giving Hardy one of the shortest World Heavyweight Title reigns of all-time.
2010 was the first year we saw three different Money In The Bank winners. Jack Swagger won the namesake Ladder Match at WrestleMania 26, while Kane (Smackdown) and The Miz (Raw) won the Ladder Matches at the first Money In The Bank pay-per-view. Swagger didn’t get to build much of anything, as he successfully cashed his contract in on the Smackdown following WrestleMania, defeating Chris Jericho to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Kane didn’t even wait that long, defeating Rey Mysterio later that same night to win the World Heavyweight Title. Miz held his contract for 127 days, and in that span, he went 6-4-2 in televised non-tag matches. He shocked the world to win the WWE Title, but even when not many people actually thought he would do it, he was still built decently well as he moved to that point on the card.
Daniel Bryan (Smackdown) and Alberto Del Rio (Raw) were the winners in 2011, with Bryan holding his contract for 154 days and Del Rio for 28 days. Del Rio was 3-2 in televised singles matches over the course of those 28 days, while Bryan was 7-14-1. As the winner of that year’s Royal Rumble, Del Rio was already staking his claim at being one of the top guys on the roster, even with a loss to Edge in his WrestleMania title shot. Bryan, on the other hand, is an entirely different argument for an entirely different column. He may very well be the most poorly-booked wrestler in WWE history. Regularly, he is the exception to the rule, no matter the rule being talked about.
2012 saw John Cena make history as the first Money In The Bank winner to be unsuccessful in winning a title after cashing in. Eight days after winning the contract, he had his match against CM Punk for the WWE Title end in disqualification after interference from Big Show. The year’s other winner, Dolph Ziggler, held the briefcase for 267 days, going from July 15th, 2012 all the way to April 8th, 2013. Those 267 days saw his record in televised non-tag matches end up at 17-22. A losing record, yes, but some of that had to do with a feud against John Cena smack dab in the middle of that. If you’re in a feud with Cena, you’re going to come out on the losing end a lot. Them’s the rules. Ziggler was still built up nicely, and people still wanted to see him make it to the top. The proof of that is the crowd pop he got when he cashed his contract in, and the pop he received when he became the World Heavyweight Champion.
2013’s winners were Damien Sandow (World Heavyweight Title) and Randy Orton (WWE Title). Orton held the contract for 35 days, going 5-1 in those televised non-tag matches, before cashing in at the end of that year’s SummerSlam event, setting the internet on fire by defeating Daniel Bryan to become the new WWE Champion. You ‘member what went down there? You ‘member. Sandow had his briefcase for 106 days, going 1-13 in televised singles matches during that span. Ouch. On top of that, he became the first Money In The Bank winner to be pinned in his attempt to cash in. It really makes you wonder what the point in giving him the briefcase in the first place was, especially with people like Dean Ambrose, Woi Bar-ruh, and Cesaro in the Ladder Match with him.
WWE switched back to just having one Money In The Bank Ladder Match in 2014, with Seth Rollins being the winner that year. Holding the contract for 273 days, he would, of course, go in to cash in during the main event of WrestleMania 35, “stealing” the World Heavyweight Title from Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. In those non-tag matches on television, Rollins would go 23-15-4 while holding the briefcase, with seven of those losses coming by disqualification. He was clearly being primed for something huge, even if we weren’t quite sure how huge.
2015 was the year for Sheamus, winning the contract on June 14th and holding it for 161 days until he cashed in to defeat Roman Reigns to become the new World Heavyweight Champion at Survivor Series on November 22nd. Sheamus, of course, was an already established main event guy by this point, so he didn’t need a ton of build. With that said, he was still 9-5-1 in… say it with me… televised singles matches.
2016 was an easy peasy year to figure out. Dean Ambrose won the Money In The Bank Ladder Match, and would go on to defeat former Shield stablemate Seth Rollins (who just defeated the other Shield member, Roman Reigns, to win the title) just an hour later to become the WWE Champion.
There were three Money In The Bank matches in 2017, but only two people listed as winners. On the men’s side, you have Baron Corbin. On the women’s side, you have Carmella… and then Carmella again. If you remember, Carmella won the first match, only to have the result thrown out by then-Smackdown General Manager, Daniel Bryan, after James Ellsworth interfered on Carmella’s behalf. She would win the rematch two days after winning the first match, and would go on to hold the briefcase for 287 days, which is the longest that any Money In The Bank winner has held on to their contract. She went 2-6 in televised non-tag matches in those 287 days, which is almost kind of sad when you think about it. That means she averaged one non-tag match every 35.8 days during that span. There have been many, many, many stretches in WWE history where a male wrestler will have eight or more televised singles matches in the span of 35 days with no problem. This run for Baron Corbin wasn’t one of those times, though. He held the contract for 58 days, and in those 58 days, he went 1-2 in televised singles matches. He would then be booked to look like a complete doofus in cashing in, only to be distracted by John Cena, which led to Jinder Mahal defeating him. The less said about Money In The Bank Winner Baron Corbin the better.
Team Little Big dominated Money In The Bank in 2018, with Braun Strowman winning the men’s match and Alexa Bliss winning on the women’s side. Alexa would cash her shot in on the same night, defeating Nia Jax (after Alexa interfered in Nia’s match against Ronda Rousey to attack them and cause a disqualification) to win the Raw Women’s Title. Strowman would be in possession of the contract for 70 days, going 3-3 in televised singles matches, although one of those losses was due to count-out and another loss was by disqualification. He was still being positioned as one of the top names on the WWE roster and went into the year’s Hell In A Cell event with a lot of momentum on his side. His match that night against Roman Reigns took place inside the Cell, and saw interference from Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose. Mick Foley was also involved, but as the Referee for the match. Eventually, Brock Lesnar would make his return to the company, kick the Cell door down, and attack both Strowman and Reigns with broken pieces of table while Paul Heyman incapacitated Foley with pepper spray. The match would be thrown out, meaning that Reigns was still the Universal Champion and Strowman would become the fourth person to fail at cashing in their contract.
Brock Lesnar and Bayley were the winners in 2019. Bayley’s was another easy case to figure out, as she would cash in later that same night, defeating Charlotte Flair to win the Smackdown Women’s Title. Lesnar was another case of someone winning Money In The Bank that didn’t “need” it to get any sort of push. He did hold the briefcase for 56 days, though, but to the surprise of nobody, he didn’t have any matches in those 56 days. He would cash in on Seth Rollins, defeating him to win back the Universal Championship that Rollins won from him at WrestleMania three months prior.
Last year, Asuka and Otis were the winners of Money In The Bank in the most unique matches the event has ever seen. It was, of course, when the matches took place at WWE Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Both matches would begin in the lobby of the building, and the competitors needed to make their way to the roof and enter the ring, where the briefcases were hanging above. Asuka would only hold the briefcase for one day (recognized as one day due to tape delay), but only because Becky Lynch relinquished the Raw Women’s Title due to her pregnancy, surprising the world and revealing that the women’s Money In The Bank match was for her title instead of a contract. Otis held the briefcase for 168 days (again, 168 recognized days due to tape delays), but would lose it in a match to The Miz, which is what got us into this mess to begin with. In the 168 days that he was the Money In The Bank contract holder, Otis went 4-0 in singles matches, so… at least he had that going for him, which is nice.
What do you notice about that journey down Memory Lane? Money In The Bank is usually reserved as a star-making tool, able to take someone to the main event scene with even semi-competent booking. The exceptions to that are when an already established talent wins, and their booking continues to make them look strong, or when a winner is made to look like a dunce until he loses the briefcase or fails to cash it in successfully. Where does The Miz fit in with all of that? Technically, he’s an already-established worker, but his booking has been about as shitty as can be for a long, long time. His recent run with John Morrison has been about as cringeworthy as it gets, with annoying promo after annoying segment after annoying promo, week in and week out. Some heels are annoying in a good way. For as long as wrestling has been a thing, the perfect heel is someone who will annoy you, frustrate you, and piss you off to the point that you absolutely cannot wait to see them get their comeuppance. The Miz… well, he’s not that kind of annoying. He’s the “change the channel” kind of annoying. He’s the “I can’t let my friends know I watch this shit” kind of annoying. That should’ve meant his cash-in would be unsuccessful. He gets his comeuppance, everybody shares a laugh at his expense, and we move forward to try and figure out who will win the Money In The Bank matches this year.
This is where the “but he’s going to lose the title to Bobby Lashley on Raw” crowd begins to chime in. That’s great. I hope he does. Not just because he shouldn’t be the champion, but more because Lashley should. Bobby Lashley has looked as dominant as anyone in the wrestling business for a while now. He has more than earned the right to be the WWE Champion. His story did not need to be told with The Miz being involved, though. What means more? Defeating the same person that everyone on the WWE roster has taken turns beating over the last two years, or beating the man who had as strong a 2020 as anyone in wrestling? Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Title against Bobby Lashley would be money. MONEY. They had a match at Backlash last year, but that was a different Bobby Lashley. Both men have come a long way since 2016, when they were feuding over the TNA World Title. If we can’t get the Lashley vs Brock Lesnar match that people have been wanting for years, I would happily accept Big Money Bob vs The Scottish Psychopath in its place. The rumor is that Lashley vs McIntyre will be taking place at WrestleMania this year. Fantastic. If that’s the case, though…
What in the entire fuck was the point of giving us The Miz as a two-time WWE Champion?!?
There are only six episodes of Raw left until WrestleMania. Throw in the Fastlane event next month, and that makes seven shows WWE had to get through before their biggest show. That’s it. Seven. One more than six, and one less than eight. They had all the pieces to the puzzle right there for their use. Bobby Lashley wants a WWE Title shot, but hold on, wait just one minute… Braun Strowman wants one, too. Lashley vs Strowman at Fastlane, with the winner getting a WWE Title shot at WrestleMania. Also at Fastlane, the one-on-one match between Drew McIntyre and Sheamus that we should’ve gotten all along. McIntyre retains… Lashley wins… there’s your collision course for Mania. The Miz, in the meantime, can… well, I don’t really care, to be honest. Threaten to cash in, don’t threaten to cash in… it doesn’t matter. At some point, though, he’s going to do it and fail. Then we could’ve moved on from this nightmare. Instead, we were stuck in the middle of a nightmare, only to stumble on an even bigger, scarier nightmare.
Y u do dis, WWE?
Weekly Power Rankings
- Paul Wight: In one of the more legitimately shocking signings in recent wrestling history, the Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Big-Show has signed a contract with AEW. Not only will he wrestle for the company, but he’ll be doing commentary for their new YouTube show, AEW Dark: Elevation, that will start airing on Monday nights. Wight signed with WWE on February 9th, 1999 and has been involved with the promotion for damn near the entire time since outside of spending 2007 away after letting his contract expire. The 49-year-old Wight is the current talk of the wrestling world, with news of his AEW signing breaking a mere couple hours before this column was posted.
- The Miz: Wight’s AEW deal is such a big story that it has pushed the story of The Miz cashing in his Money In The Bank contract to become the new WWE Champion to the back burner a bit. My personal opinion on the topic doesn’t matter here. If you win the WWE Title, you’re going to be at, or near, the top of these rankings, no matter what.
- Smackdown’s Elimination Chamber Match: You knew it was going to be good, simply based on who was involved in the match, and it did not disappoint. All six men got a chance to shine in the match, which can be rare for these types of things. WWE now has an interesting decision to make with the Universal Title. Edge has “chosen” Roman Reigns for a match at WrestleMania, and that’s a big money match that the company has been hyping for weeks now. However, there’s still one more pay-per-view to get through before we get to WrestleMania, so what happens with Reigns and the Universal Title? Do you just put him in a tag team match or something? You can’t have Reigns defend against anyone… well, more “shouldn’t” than “can’t” here… because the match outcome is a foregone conclusion right away, and that sure as hell takes the excitement out of things. We shall see.
- Brian Cage Powerbombing Sting: When Sting showed up in AEW, everyone assumed it would be in a strictly “managerial” type of role. When it was announced that he would be wrestling at the upcoming Revolution pay-per-view, everyone assumed it would be a match where he wouldn’t need to take any sort of bumps. You know… cervical spinal stenosis and all. Then, in a segment on Dynamite, Sting would take a kick to the gut from Brian Cage, followed by Cage planting Sting on the mat with a Powerbomb. Watching that live, I audibly gasped when Sting took that bump. I figured he would be saved at the last minute or something like that, but when he hit the mat, I was stunned. I saw the social media posts, so I know I’m not the only one who felt that way. I guess Sting is in it to win it. I’ve always liked Sting, so I hope this isn’t a bad idea.
- Bobby Lashley: Yeah, he lost the United States Title, but it’s not like he was pinned or anything. He still looked dominant, only lost the title due to the format of a Triple Threat Match, and has been moved up the card right away. I’d say that translates to being listed on things like this. Just wait and see how high he ranks next week if he wins the WWE Title on Raw.
- Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match: My God, we’re actually going to witness one of these types of matches on a live pay-per-view. Not on an old VHS tape showing Japanese wrestling in the 1990’s. Not on an indy show that not a lot of people will get to watch. Live pay-per-view. Kenny Omega. Jon Moxley. Two of the absolute craziest people in the wrestling business. The phrase “this isn’t for everyone” gets used in wrestling a lot, but it REALLY applies here. If you’ve never seen a match like this, you have to know what to be prepared for. There’s going to be buckets of blood. There’s going to be tons of moments that make you cringe or wince as you watch these two men inflict pain on each other. A whole lot of you are going to be disgusted after the fact. There will be people who call for boycotts of AEW and all that jazz. I’m just amazed that we’re getting to see it
- Raw’s Elimination Chamber Match: In my Running Diary of the event, I gave both Chamber matches the same rating, but after a second viewing of each, I bumped the Smackdown match up a bit. Raw’s was still very good. I can’t take anything away from it. It was just a different type of good. Slower, more methodical, and more physical. Generally less “high spots” than we got in Smackdown’s Chamber. It really comes down to your personal preferences. I know a bunch of people that preferred Raw’s match.
- The Entire Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Winners Segment: There was a lot going on here, but it all worked for me. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez basically working as faces out of nowhere, cutting good promos. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler showing up and being more intimidating than they get to be on the main roster. Beth Phoenix and MSK eating popcorn in the corner and watching in anticipation as the two women’s tag teams nearly came to blows. It was a fun time. I’d actually like to see Kai and Gonzalez move forward as faces, to be honest. It was something I never knew I wanted until seeing them here, but I think it could work out well for them. The pairing continues to be compared to Shawn Michaels and Diesel in their WWF days, and if you remember, Michaels and Diesel had a heel run as a tag team and then another run as a face team. They were successful in both runs, and I think we could get that out of Kai and Gonzalez, too.
- Serena Deeb vs Riho: I’m all for it whenever AEW delivers a match that helps their women’s division. Not a short match filled with awkward moments and a botch or two from people that clearly aren’t ready for the spot. A very good, lengthy, competitive match that helps both women involved and elevates them. In her first match for AEW in 11 months, Riho was able to come out victorious and advance in the Championship Eliminator Tournament, looking great in the process. In a loss, Deeb looked great, too, as always. Her “out” in the loss was that she wrestled injured, so it’s not one of those situations where she was “buried” or anything. This tournament has been good for AEW so far. Here’s to hoping it continues.
- Apollo Crews: Well, Crews is officially a heel now for the first time since signing his WWE contract in late-2014. This should be the character development he needs to make some waves for a company that has done nothing but have him portray “smiling black guy” for years. Continuing to feud with Big E over the Intercontinental Title keeps him in relevancy. We’ll see where it goes, but I’m definitely invested.
This Week’s Playlist: “21 Years” by TobyMac… “Truth Be Told” by Matthew West… “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green… “Here I Am (Come And Take Me)” by Al Green… “You Are My Lady” by Freddie Jackson… “When I’m With You” by Tony Terry… “Reasons” by Earth, Wind & Fire… “Love’s Holiday” by Earth, Wind & Fire… “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire… “Purple Rain” by Prince… “I Would Die 4 U” by Prince… “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder… “Love Light In Flight” by Stevie Wonder… “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers… “Wait For Love” by Luther Vandross… “Kyrie” by Mr. Mister… “Your Love” by The Outfield… “Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott… “Casanova” by Levert… “Rhythm Of The Night” by El Debarge… “Can We Talk” by Tevin Campbell… “I’m Ready” by Tevin Campbell… “Always In My Heart” by Tevin Campbell… “Tell Me What You Want Me To Do” by Tevin Campbell… “Let’s Chill” by Guy