Wrestlemania 22 played host to the second ever Money in the Bank match, and 15 years on the yearly tradition is still going strong as we head to this Sunday’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
The briefcase has since played host to some of the biggest moments in WWE history since Wrestlemania 22 and has taken something of a life of its own within the WWE Universe. 15 years on from one of the best Money in the Bank matches, we take a look at the six men who competed for that year’s briefcase and look at where they are now, from the WrestleMania Money in the Bank #2.
One and Only MITB Match
The Nature Boy Ric Flair doesn’t seem the most obvious competitor in a multi-man ladder match, but the 16 times World Champion was looking for another shot at a world title.
Flair was last seen on WWE Television alongside Lacey Evans in a feud against his own daughter Charlotte Flair, with the story being promptly dropped after Evans announced her pregnancy. The Nature Boy can also regularly be seen on the social media channels of his daughter and her fiancé, AEW Star Andrade El Idolo.
1st of 3 MITB Matches
Another unconventional Money in the Bank contender, Fit Finlay looked for a chance to earn his first world title. Finlay had just begun using his iconic shillelagh at this time and was just on the brink of beginning his alliance with Hornswoggle.
The Northern Irish man became a backstage producer for WWE in 2012 and has regularly been praised for his role in the Women’s Evolution throughout WWE. Finlay found himself released by WWE in April 2020 as part of their budget cuts during the Covid-19 pandemic but was rehired in November of that year.
Shelton Benjamin is the only man who competed in both the first and the second WrestleMania Money in the Bank Ladder match. The stipulation will forever be part of Benjamin’s legacy with his incredible stunts in the match being a constant highlight. Benjamin is also only one of two men in this match who are still with WWE to this day.
The gold standard found himself a part of MVP’s Hurt Business in 2020, winning the Raw Tag Team Championships with Cedric Alexander. The reign would last 85 days before dropping the belts to the New Day.
After losing the titles, Benjamin and Alexander were removed from the group and began a feud of their own, with Alexander coming out on top. Benjamin has most recently been seen losing on Main Event to Jinder Mahal, Karrion Kross, Angel Garza and Mansoor.
1st of 4 Money in the Bank Matches
Another ladder match specialist, Matt Hardy was an ideal choice for a Money in the Bank ladder match and was a huge reason for the success of this match.
Hardy left WWE in 2020 and joined All Elite Wrestling on the March 18th episode of Dynamite. Hardy joined the Elite for one night as they took on and defeated the Inner Circle in the first Stadium Stampede match.
Hardy has since left his Broken gimmick and become Big Money Matt, heading up his stable, The Hardy Family Office, The Butcher, The Blade and the Bunny, Private Party and TH2. Matt most recently faced old rival Christian Cage at Fyter Fest Night 1, losing to his old foe.
In 2006, Bobby Lashley seemed destined to be a future world champion, who would have thought it would take 15 years to get there? Lashley rejoined in WWE in 2018 after successful spells in Impact Wrestling and Bellator. After a difficult start to his return, Lashley would eventually link up with MVP, as he did in TNA/Impact Wrestling.
The two men would form the Hurt Business and become one of the most exciting acts in WWE. On the March 1st episode of Raw, Lashley faced WWE Champion The Miz in a Lumberjack match to claim his first world title in WWE.
Lashley successfully defended the championship against Drew Mcintyre at Wrestlemania 37, the first match in front of fans in over a year. Lashley is the only competitor in this match who is currently booked for this year’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view, with the All-Mighty WWE Champion facing Kofi Kingston on Sunday.
WrestleMania Money in the Bank Winner
Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam was the winner of the second-ever Money in the Bank ladder match, challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship at One Night Stand 2006.
Rob Van Dam most recently wrestled for Impact Wrestling but would leave the promotion in September 2020, last facing Sami Callihan in a winning effort.
RVD was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 Class and was the subject of a documentary as part of the WWE Icons docuseries on the WWE Network that same year.