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Seth Rollins became the latest champion to retain after a MITB cash-in

5 WWE champions who survived a Money in the Bank cash-in

In 2005, WWE introduced the Money in the Bank briefcase. Allowing its winners to cash it in at any time for a championship match of their choice, MITB has proven to be a real game changer.

In fact, those who win the briefcase are often touted as future champions. For the vast majority of the time, those who cash in the MITB briefcase find themselves victorious after successfully trading in their briefcase for a championship.


However, in its 17-year history, there have been five occasions where a champion getting cashed in on has been able to retain their title. Be it due to luck, skill or some kind of outside shennenigans, here are the five WWE champions who survived a Money in the Bank cash-in.

#5. CM Punk survived by a DQ loss against the face of WWE, John Cena

#WWE Fact! The first wrestler to cash in his #MITB contract and not win the Title was @JohnCena ,Vs @CMPunk RAW 1000

A controversial figure in wrestling today, CM Punk's achievements in WWE remain immortalized. Arguably the greatest MITB competitor in history, Punk is the only man to have won two Money in the Bank ladder matches and successfully cashed in the briefcase on both occasions.

However, in 2012, the Voice of the Voiceless found himself on the other side of the fence. Going up against longtime rival John Cena on the 1000th episode of RAW, Punk found himself at somewhat of an advantage. Unlike most cash-ins which happen by surprise, the heroic Cena had informed the then-WWE Champion beforehand of his intention to cash in.


Although the Straight Edge Superstar was able to walk into his championship match fresh and prepared, it seemed that Cena had victory in hand. Locking the defending champion in an STF, Punk was on the verge of tapping out until an enraged Big Show stormed the ring and attacked the Cenation leader.

While John Cena won the match by disqualification, the champion's advantage allowed the Second City Savior to walk away with his title intact. It goes to show that regardless of which side of the cash-in he was on, Lady Luck was definitely in CM Punk's corner.

#4. John Cena survived by pinning the Intellectual Saviour, Damien Sandow


One of the most dominant superstars in WWE history, John Cena has had a rather checkered past with Money in the Bank. Aside from being the first person to fail to win a championship after cashing in, Cena himself has been the target of a MITB cash-in on a record three occasions.

However, the third time must have been the charm for the leader of the Cenation as he defeated then-Mr. Money in the Bank Damien Sandow. Having returned early from an elbow injury to capture the World Heavyweight Championship at Hell in a Cell 2013, Cena was a prime target for the Intellectual Savior on the following night's RAW.

True to form, Sandow played things very smart. Attacking Cena and going after his injured elbow before cashing in, Sandow was able to soften his target before going for the gold.

Unfortunately for Sandow and the masses he had been trying to save, Cena overcame the brutal onslaught and characteristically beat the odds. Thus, John Cena became the first defending champion to successfully win outright against the MITB winner.


#3. Jinder Mahal survived by pinning the Lone Wolf, Baron Corbin


One of the biggest surprises in 2017 was the decision to give Jinder Mahal a run with the WWE Championship. Up until that point, Mahal had been presented as a lower tier heel before suddenly receiving a push that culminated with a victory over Randy Orton for the title at Backlash 2017.

The Modern Day Maharaja was booked as a cunning champion who often relied on his henchmen the Singh Brothers and The Great Khali to help him retain his title. However, on the August 15, 2017 edition of Smackdown, Mahal's title reign was in severe jeopardy.

Taking on John Cena in the show's main event, the two superstars fought a highly competitive match before it was cut short by Baron Corbin. Corbin, who was feuding with Cena at the time, interrupted the match and attacked his rival before focusing his attention on the vulnerable WWE Champion.

The Lone Wolf then passed the referee his briefcase and the title match was made official. However, as soon as the bell rang, Cena turned the tables by distracting Corbin. Taking advantage of this, Mahal rolled up Mr. Money in the Bank and retained his title in quick fashion.


Looking far more lucky than resilient, the Modern Day Maharaja's title reign continued until November of that year. It would also be revealed that the failed cash-in was more of a punishment to Corbin rather than an elevation of Mahal. Had more attention been drawn to the rare feat of surviving a cash-in, it certainly would have helped Jinder Mahal's reign as champion.

#2. Roman Reigns survived after battling Braun Strowman to a No-Contest

WHAT is @BrockLesnar doing here during this #UniversalChampionship match?! #HIAC

2018 seemed to be the year of Braun Strowman. The Monster Among Men, who turned heads for his brute strength and intense presence, had finally embraced the fans as a popular babyface.

Following his success in that year's Money in the Bank ladder match, Strowman seemed poised for a Universal title reign in the near future. However, at the time, WWE was dead set on making Roman Reigns its top hero.

Throughout his time as Mr. Money in the Bank, Strowman had unsuccessfully attempted to cash in his briefcase on then-Universal Champion Roman Reigns. At Summerslam he was attacked by Brock Lesnar, and on the following RAW, the Big Dog was saved by Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose of The Shield.

Surprisingly, Strowman would then turn heel and align with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. Unlike most villains, however, Strowman chose to announce his next cash-in attempt beforehand. Challenging Reigns to a Universal Championship match at Hell in a Cell, The Big Dog accepted and Mick Foley was appointed special referee to keep these two combustible elements under control.


Unfortunately, the match soon descended into complete anarchy. Aside from interference from The Shield and Strowman's allies, Brock Lesnar would also appear and lay waste to both Reigns and Strowman.

The match was then controversially ruled a No-Contest. Reigns kept his title while Strowman lost his briefcase in the only cash-in to have ever ended in such a way.

#1. Seth Rollins survived after pinning Austin Theory


@_Theory1 is now the 5th Superstar to unsuccessfully cash in his #MITB contract

The most recent example of a champion who survived a cash-in took place on the November 7, 2022 episode of RAW. The champion in question was Seth Rollins, who himself was no stranger to the Money in the Bank briefcase.

The current US Champion made WWE history in 2015 when he cashed in his briefcase at WrestleMania 31 in an event dubbed "the heist of the century." This time, however, he found himself on the other end of the stick.

Following a brutal beatdown at the hands of Bobby Lashley, The Visionary found himself in the crosshairs of Austin Theory.

Theory's cash-in was also a WWE first, as prior to this, no other WWE Superstar had ever cashed in their briefcase for the United States title. In fact, this was the first time in history that the briefcase was cashed in for a secondary championship.

Despite his injuries, Rollins showed amazing resilience as he kicked out of Theory's A-Town Down finisher. However, the real difference maker in the match was Bobby Lashley. Pulling the referee out of the ring, an irate Lashley laid waste to Theory and damaged him just enough for The Visionary to secure a match-winning Stomp.

In many ways, it was fitting for Rollins to stand among the list of champions to survive a Money in the Bank cash-in. For someone whose WWE career has been so deeply connected to the briefcase, The Visionary's mix of luck, toughness and cunning makes him the ideal superstar to walk out of a cash-in with his title intact.

Edited by
Jacob Terrell
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