The Money in the Bank Ladder Match didn’t start being an option for the ladies of WWE until 2017. The event has been a constant since 2010 which means there were plenty of women’s matches outside the MITB match itself. Many of those matches were for the Divas Championship.
We all remember what has happened in the past three years as Carmella, Alexa Bliss, and Bayley have all cashed in their briefcases and became champions. But what happened before the women started climbing up the ladder?
Before we witness the most unique MITB Ladder Match in history, Diva Dirt has decided to highlight five matches that have taken place at the MITB that didn’t involve the cash-in opportunity. These are in no particular order. Let’s start with a match from the first event in 2010 – Layla vs. Kelly Kelly.
Layla (c) vs. Kelly Kelly – WWE Women’s Champion – Money in the Bank 2010
After being the first Diva drafted during the 2010 Draft from RAW to SmackDown, Kelly Kelly would quickly chase championship gold. Her first major feud was against LayCool who was the Co-Women’s Champion. She would pick up singles victories against both of them prior to getting her Women’s Title match at the first Money in the Bank. This would be her first-ever title match.
Kelly very much should have won this match. She excelled during it and even had Tiffany by her side to even out the numbers game. If this match was during the current times they could have easily received another five to 10 minutes for the match as well.
In the end, Layla would be able to get the pin, and Kelly wouldn’t be able to hold the Women’s Championship in her career.
One may argue that this feud was THE feud for the Divas in 2013. Kaitlyn and Aj Lee have a long history with each other and it culminated throughout this year. Between a secret admirer, and consistently mocking Kaitlyn, Lee certainly was able to get under her skin.
During this time we also witnessed the first Divas Championship contract signing on SmackDown that showcased both women nicely.
This MITB match between the two was a rematch in hopes that Kaitlyn could win her title back as she lost it to Lee at Payback. This was Lee’s first title reign.
Towards the end of this match, Kaitlyn would hit a massive spear but was unable to capitalize because of her injured elbow. Lee was able to lock in her Black Widow submission which eventually caused her opponent to slowly go down to the mat and eventually tap out.
Much how I feel about how Kelly Kelly should have defeated Layla for the Women’s Championship is how I feel about Naomi with the Divas Title. Naomi should definitely have held that belt. The bad thing for Naomi whenever she tried to win the title she was going up against someone who most likely wasn’t going to lose it at that time. For instance, this period of time Paige had shockingly won the Divas Title just a couple months prior from Aj Lee.
Although Naomi earned a title shot by defeating Paige prior in a non-title match, Paige was still very much on Aj Lee’s radar. Those two would exchange the title back and forth during this time.
There was more to the storytelling on Naomi’s part as her Funkadactyl partner Cameron was far from rooting for her teammate. Instead, Cameron applauded when Paige won and then comforted Naomi. On the following episode of RAW, Cameron and Naomi would lose to Lee and Paige in a tag team match and the two would brawl after the match signifying the break up of the team.
If the storyline was different, Naomi would very much have become the Divas Champion. It just wasn’t in the cards.
Layla vs. Summer Rae – Money in the Bank 2014
In a storyline for Fandango’s affection, Summer Rae was seeking revenge for Layla taking her spot as his dance partner and love interest. Fandango was the special guest referee in this match and very obviously was going to favor Layla, which he did. After a fast count following a super kick delivered to Rae, Layla won the match.
The story would continue and the two women would quickly learn it made more sense to be friends than foe. They both attacked Fandango on a future SmackDown and the two would celebrate together. They would have a brief tag team partnership known as The Slayers until Layla went out due to injury.
The formula for this feud was and still is a common one, but these two women did a nice job to keep it interesting. It is definitely one to revisit.
Nikki Bella (c) vs. Paige – Divas Championship – Money in the Bank 2015
The last memorable match comes from 2015 when some Twin Magic thwarted the win of Paige to become a three-time Divas Champion. During this time, Paige received many chances against Nikki to regain the championship, but this was one of the few one-on-one matches. Prior to this match, she had a triple threat between the two and including Naomi at Elimination Chamber.
This match in particular took a turn when both women were perched up on the middle rope in the corner of the ring and delivered a punch to one another. Both fell to the floor below at ringside. What Paige wasn’t aware of was that Twin Magic occurred and Brie Bella took the place of Nikki as she was hiding under the ring.
Paige would then pin Brie instead of Nikki to win the title. The decision was reversed once Brie proved to not be her sister and Nikki came back into the ring to deliver the Rack Attack. She then pinned Paige although the match was technically already over, but the official counted to three and the bell rang again.
What were your thoughts on these past matches from Money in the Bank? What are some of your favorite matches from this event? Leave your comments below.
Check back in with Diva Dirt as we provide full coverage of the upcoming Money in the Bank event that takes place this Sunday, May 10.