Friday, 7 February 2014

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

WWE's Straight to the Top: The Money in the Bank Ladder Match Anthology is out now on DVD and Blu Ray, available from www.wwedvd.co.uk, currently priced at £19.99 for DVD and £22.99 for Blu Ray. The three disc set, chronicles each and every Money in the Bank Ladder match in history, starting at Wrestlemania 21 and going up to 2013's Money in the Bank PPV, expect appearances from some of WWE's top names over that period including Chris Jericho, Edge, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro. 



Match Listing



*DISC 1*

A Revolutionary Concept

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Edge vs. Christian vs. Kane
WWE WrestleMania 21, April 3, 2005

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Matt Hardy vs. Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley
WWE WrestleMania 22 "Big Time", April 2, 2006

Ladder to Success

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Jeff Hardy vs. King Booker vs. Finlay vs. CM Punk vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge
WWE WrestleMania 23 - "All Grown Up", April 1, 2007

Ultimate Opportunist

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Chris Jericho vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. John Morrison vs. Carlito vs. CM Punk vs. MVP vs. Mr. Kennedy
WWE WrestleMania 24, March 30, 2008

Avoiding Obstacles

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Finlay vs. Christian vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Mark Henry
WWE WrestleMania 25, April 5, 2009

*DISC 2*


New Stars on the Horizon

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Kane vs. Christian vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler
WWE WrestleMania 26, March 28, 2010

Inaugural Event

SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Big Show vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Christian vs. Matt Hardy vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Cody Rhodes
WWE Money in the Bank, July 18, 2010

Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Randy Orton vs. John Morrison vs. Evan Bourne vs. Mark Henry vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs. Ted DiBiase
WWE Money in the Bank, July 18, 2010

Era of Awesome

SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Kane vs. Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater
WWE Money in the Bank, July 17, 2011 

*DISC 3*

Caution in the Wind

Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Rey Mysterio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Alex Riley vs. Evan Bourne vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz vs. R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger
WWE Money in the Bank, July 17, 2011

Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship Contract
Christian vs. Sin Cara vs. Santino Marella vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Tensai vs. Damien Sandow
WWE Money in the Bank, July 15, 2012

Long Awaited Return

Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE Championship Contract
John Cena vs. Kane vs. Big Show vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz
WWE Money in the Bank, July 15, 2012

Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship Contract
Cody Rhodes vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Wade Barrett vs. Damien Sandow vs. Jack Swagger vs. Antonio Cesaro vs. Fandango
WWE Money in the Bank, July 14, 2013 

Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE Championship Contract 
CM Punk vs. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Christian vs. Rob Van Dam
WWE Money in the Bank, July 14, 2013

Review


          The Money in the Bank Ladder match has been one of WWE's success stories over the last ten years or so. Alongside the Elimination Chamber the match has developed a life of it's own, and there's a reason that it's spawned it's own pay-per-view and say the Punjabi Prison match hasn't. That reason is that all of these matches have more than enough moments that make you sit up and take notice.

The earlier matches on the set seem to focused on creating the "Wrestlemania Moment" with many of the competitors wanting to leave a lasting impression on the night's events. Moments like Shelton Benjamin running up the ladder to knock off Edge at Wrestlemania 21, Jeff Hardy's leg drop off the top of the ladder to Edge who was lying on a ladder straddling the ring and the barricade at Wrestlemania 23, John Morrison's moonsault to the outside whilst holding at Ladder at Wrestlemania 24 and Benjamin's ridiculous ladder leap at Wrestlemania 25 standing out in this reviewers memory. 

As the bout transferred to it's own PPV, the bout is given noticeably longer and the pacing is changed to reflect that, as the matches slow down to a certain degree, but that doesn't mean there's a lot to enjoy here. Kofi Kingston's Boom Drop off a ladder putting Drew McIntyre through announce table in 2010, Evan Bourne's shooting star press off a ladder in 2011, Tensai's sick powerbomb on Sin Cara in 2012 and CM Punk's brutal beating at the hands of Paul Heyman being particular highlights. It's a shame that a number of spots get recycled at this point, with of course the commentary team pretending it's completely new, I'm talking Big Show's special Ladder and covering Show in a sea of ladders which both see at least two outings. 

Former Money in the Bank Winner The Miz (Did you know he headlined Wrestlemania?) is our host for this one and for the most part "The Awesome One" does a decent job of leading us from one ladder match to another, filling us in on details of cash-ins and developments within the WWE at the time. He manages to keep his smarmy ways to a minimum, until it's time to talk about his involvement in the matches, at which point he becomes rather tedious and a frustrating watch. If I had wanted to hear about how good The Miz is, I probably would have brought his DVD (He doesn't have one).

As with any of WWE's match type anthology sets, this one needs a number of sittings to work your way and I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I was picking and choosing which matches I wanted to see, rather than sitting and watching match after match as I did for this review. This is for the simple reason that after watching a number of these matches, it becomes very easy to notice patterns in the action and become desensitised to the highspots. Something that might have made you sit up and take notice in the first match, probably won't have the same effect if you see it again in a few matches time. Therefore, I'd recommend picking a few matches at time from this set, rather than attempting an all night cram session!

It's a shame that all of the cash-ins were saved for the Blu-Ray set, as it would have been nice to see some included here, even in a cut-down format. Another nice addition could have been more insight from competitors who made their name in these type of matches, people like Shelton Benjamin or Kofi Kingston, perhaps in place of every single entrance, which one again probably isn't needed on DVD when quick introduction would suffice.

As much as I don't like dwelling on such thing, it would be a miss if I didn't mention Chris Benoit's inclusion in this set. Of course, Benoit is present in the very first Money in the Bank Ladder match and is very involved in the conclusion of that match. All commentary about Benoit is cut, as well as some interesting camera angle edits for the finish, which will be more than notable for anyone who has seen this match in the past. There was something almost perverse about watching Benoit squirm in pain on the mat, complete with screams, with no commentary to cover it, I would have felt much more comfortable with the original commentary still in place. The camera angle change as well felt unnecessary, as it almost glorifies Benoit's actions, because it looks so strange that it makes the viewer question why it has been done in the first place. I know it's been done with all good intentions, but if WWE are going to include Chris Benoit matches on DVD sets in the future, they might be better off just leaving them on in full.

With that aside, if you haven't got the PPV's that these matches come from (and I'd reccomend going and getting a copy of Money in the Bank 2011 anyway), then I'd highly reccomend this set to you, as there's hours of good quality spot-heavy action, with some of WWE's biggest names and a few surprises along the way (Tensai was in a Money in the Bank Ladder match?)

Top Three Matches From This Set


1. Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Edge vs. Christian vs. Kane
WWE WrestleMania 21, April 3, 2005

2. SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Kane vs. Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater
WWE Money in the Bank, July 17, 2011 

3. Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Chris Jericho vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. John Morrison vs. Carlito vs. CM Punk vs. MVP vs. Mr. Kennedy
WWE WrestleMania 24, March 30, 2008

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