Every day from March 1 until WWE Wrestlemania 33 on April 2, Fightful will be bringing you the Countdown To WWE Wrestlemania 33. Each day, you will be getting a top 10 list or an event preview or statistics/figures from past ‘Mania events and everything in between.
In today’s column, we will be taking a look at the Top 10 Ladder Matches In ‘Mania History. The ladder is a vital weapon in the pro wrestling world and at Wrestlemania, has provided some of the best highlights in the shows history.
#10: Mr. Kennedy vs. CM Punk vs. Randy Orton vs. Finlay vs. Matt Hardy vs. King Booker vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Edge – Money In The Bank Ladder Match (‘Mania 23)
The sheer amount of main event level talent in this match is amazing, with everybody other than Finlay and Matt Hardy holding the WWE Title at one point in their careers. This match featured the usual ladder match craziness and it would be the final time the Hardy Boyz competed in a ladder match at ‘Mania. Jeff Hardy took out Edge with an insane leg drop that wound up putting both men through a ladder on the arena floor. Mr. Kennedy won this match after knocking CM Punk off the ladder by hitting him with another ladder, then grabbing the briefcase.
#9: CM Punk vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Jericho vs. Carlito vs. MVP vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. John Morrison – Money In The Bank Ladder Match(‘Mania 24)
Shelton Benjamin was the cornerstone of the Money In The Bank Ladder match for many years, much like Arn Anderson was the cornerstone of the War Games Match. This was one of Shelton’s better performances, as he did several amazing dives and spots involving the ladders. This was also the first ‘Mania match for Y2J since WWE Wrestlemania 20, and he has competed at just about every ‘Mania since. Punk would win his first of two Money In The Bank Ladder Matches here and he got some help after a returning Matt Hardy took out MVP.
#8: Kevin Owens (Champion) vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. The Miz vs. Sin Cara – WWE Intercontinental Title Ladder Match (‘Mania 32)
While I believe hardcore wrestling fans would’ve wanted to see the first singles match between Owens and Zayn in the WWE (not counting NXT) in this spot, we still got a heck of a ladder match here. The match featured the ‘Mania debuts for Owens and Zayn, plus the final ‘Mania appearance for Stardust (Cody Rhodes). Zayn had the highlight reel move of the match, suplexing Owens head first onto a ladder that was propped by the corner of the ring. Ryder pulled out the upset win to become the WWE Intercontinental Champion, but would lose the gold to The Miz just a day later on WWE Raw.
#7: Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Ric Flair vs. Finlay vs. Matt Hardy vs. Bobby Lashley – Money In The Bank Ladder Match (‘Mania 22)
Ric Flair and Finlay, one wrestler who is in the WWE Hall Of Fame and one that needs to be, proved that age was simply a number in this match. Flair actually competed in a few more ladder matches during his WWE run, while Finlay started a streak of Money In The Bank Ladder Matches, but this particular ladder match was the first time either competed in such a match. This was also just the second ever Money In The Bank Ladder Match in WWE history, the tradition began a year earlier at ‘Mania 21. RVD would win this match and go onto challenge John Cena for the WWE Title a few months later, a title RVD would capture.
#6: Bad News Barrett (Champion) vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Luke Harper vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose – WWE Intercontinental Title Ladder Match (‘Mania 31)
For Daniel Bryan fans, of which I am one, this would be the final great wrestling moment in the stars illustrious wrestling career. However, if you are a fan of pure brutality, then just check out the moment were Luke Harper power bombed Dean Ambrose through the ladders. R-Truth was doing a gimmick at the time where he was afraid of heights, so logical Vince McMahon booking said to put him in a ladder match for comedic relief. Bryan would walk away the WWE Intercontinental Champion when it was all said and done, but would retire a few months later due to repeated head injuries.
#5: Jack Swagger vs. Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. MVP vs. Matt Hardy vs. Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston – Money In The Bank Ladder Match (‘Mania 26)
This was the largest Money In The Bank Ladder Match in WWE history, with a grand total of ten wrestlers taking part in the match. The main storyline of the match was that Drew McIntyre got a free ride into the match because he was Vince McMahon’s chosen star of the future, which ticked off the other wrestlers in the match. Christian, Kane and Shelton Benjamin, who were in the first rendition of the match, competed in the fifth incarnation of the match as well. Jack Swagger won the briefcase on this night, cashing it in just a few days later to become the WWE Champion.
#4: Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane – Money In The Bank Ladder Match (‘Mania 21)
This match was the first ever Money In The Bank Ladder Match in WWE history and it was easily the best of them all. Another interesting note here is that four (Edge, Christian, Y2J & Chris Benoit) of the six competitors in the match are Canadian. There is a great story coming out of this also as Chris Benoit sold his arm injury so well during the match that officials backstage truly believed he had been injured. Edge won the match and would cash in the briefcase over half a year later, defeating John Cena to win the WWE Title.
#3: Dudley Boyz (Champions) vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian – WWE Tag Team Title Ladder Match (‘Mania 2000)
If you want to see a match that can make six wrestlers into stars in one match, look no further than this classic encounter here. Although this was essentially a glorified TLC Match, it was the first in a series of three bouts between these teams. Oddly enough, Edge & Christian would walk away in all three of these triple threat matches (1 Triple Threat Ladder Match & 2 TLC matches). The insane amount of crazy spots and dives in this match made ot one of the most memorable matches of all time.
#2: Dudley Boyz (Champions) vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian – WWE Tag Team Title TLC Match (‘Mania 17)
This TLC rematch is ranked ahead of their first encounter because not only did it feature run ins from Lita, Rhyno and Spike Dudley, but it all had the insane spot of Edge spearing Jeff Hardy from the top of a ladder.
#1: Razor Ramon (Champion) vs. Shawn Michaels – WWE Intercontinental Title Ladder Match (‘Mania 10)
The first Ladder Match in ‘Mania history took place at ‘Mania 10 as Shawn Michael and Razor Ramon battled to see who would become the undisputed WWE Intercontinental Champion. This match was an instant classic, as both wrestlers took a beating that certainly left them bruised and hurting for weeks afterwards. Razor would become the undisputed champion that night, which was also the ‘Mania debut of Diesel, better known to some wrestling fans as Kevin Nash. The two would duel in a ladder match again a few years later at WWE Summerslam ‘95, but it wouldn’t measure up to the standards the first match set.