July 16, 2012
PHOENIX, AZ. – The last-minute inclusion of a fifth former WWE Champion into the Money in the BankLadder Match for a WWE Championship Contract was not enough to deter John Cena, who muscled his way, literally, back into the title picture with a monumental win Sunday.
It was a chaotic, ladder-slamming, organ-jarring collision in which the Cenation leader bested not only former WWE Champions Chris Jericho, Kane and Big Show – all of whom were scheduled to compete – but also former champion The Miz, who was named a surprise entrant during the pay-per-view broadcast. Coming out mere hours before the match’s opening bell, The Awesome One – who’s been away from the ring so that he could star in the WWE Studios’ film “Marine: Homefront” – pledged to make a “sudden impact.”
Standing in his way, however, were four other former champions, including Cena, who vowed for weeks to recommit to regaining the WWE Championship he’s held 10 times previously.
Before his outstretched hand could secure the briefcase, however, Cena first had to contend with a formidable field of former champions. The out-of-control battle saw no shortage of highlights, ranging from Jericho’s sleeper hold applied high atop the ladder to a super-sized Attitude Adjustment for Show through the Spanish announce table.
The huge AA was not what ensured victory for Cena. In fact, the maneuver, which came within the first five minutes of the match, only served to set the tone for a barbaric brawl. The impressive act of strength was only the tip of the iceberg for Cena, who truly had a herculean showing in his first Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Before the final bell rung, he’d unleash his inhuman power in at least one more incredible, contract-securing, display.
There’s no doubt that Cena was the least experienced “banker” heading into this match. Whereas the bout was Cena’s maiden voyage into the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, all other participants are veterans of the match format. Kane and The Miz are former winners, Show’s competed before, and Jericho, though winless in Money in the Bank, invented the match concept.
No amount of experience could prepare any of the competitors for the pain they’d end up enduring. After Show was laid out with the Attitude Adjustment, Cena, Kane and The Miz all took turns piling ladders onto the fallen Show, ostensibly burying the angry giant and taking him out of action for several minutes.
From there, the participants set their sights on those Superstars who were still upright. Determined to finally prevail in a match of his own creation, Jericho took the fight The Miz, momentarily locking in the Walls of Jericho. After that attempt was interrupted by Kane, Jericho propped a ladder on the top turnbuckle, with the top pointing in toward the ring, and rammed Miz face-first into it, treating The Awesome One to a skull-crushing finale of a different variety.
The Miz would regain his composure, only to be assailed by Kane. When it looked like the championship contract was The Big Red Monster’s for the taking, the pesky Y2J reinserted himself into the action. Moments later, Jericho joined forces with The Miz to double-suplex Kane onto a ladder.
At this point, a re-energized Cena ran amok, slamming both The Miz and Jericho onto a ladder – a precursor to a crowd-pleasing double “You Can’t See Me” fist drop for two of the match’s cockier Superstars. Though the move caused the U.S. Airways Center to explode with excitement, it would not be enough for Cena to score victory … yet.
After seemingly being down for the count, Show emerged from his crypt of ladders just in time to stop Jericho, who had bounced back from the Cena fist drop, from grabbing the contract. An infuriated Show worked over his former WWE Tag Team Championship partner, breaking ladders, as Michael Cole put it, “like toothpicks.” Show used pieces of a shattered ladder to brutalize Jericho. He then moved on to Cena, whom he sandwiched between a ladder and the ropes before splashing him with evil intentions.
With other Superstars downed minutes in, Show resorted to a trick seen years ago in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match: The World’s Largest Athlete unearthed from beneath the ring a heavy duty, giant-sized, reinforced ladder that made the other steel ladders look meager by comparison.
Kane stalled Show’s attempt to grab the briefcase, and Jericho repeatedly slammed a chair into the giant’s back, causing him to come back down to the canvas.
Smelling opportunity, Jericho began ascending the ladder, as did Cena. As the two staggered warriors climbed one rung at a time, the valuable briefcase swayed overhead. Cena maneuvered Jericho onto his shoulders, causing the WWE Universe to erupt with anticipation for the towering Attitude Adjustment to come. The cagey Jericho had other plans, however, and with catlike grace, he turned the AA into a sleeper hold on Cena as the Cenation leader stood near the top of the ladder.
Despite battling valiantly, Cena could not hold on, and he slipped to the mat, leaving Jericho, by himself, inches away from attaining the championship contract. Jericho shrugged off a brief flurry by The Miz, only to meet a more massive foe: Big Show.
Staring in horror at the monster across from him, Jericho soon ate a WMD and fell lifelessly to the canvas. The Miz scaled the ladder but met a similar fate. Then, with the drive of a champion, Cena scaled the ladder and thwarted Show’s briefcase grab.
Holding the briefcase before his face, Cena used the steel case to block a third WMD from Show that dented the steel. As he struggled mightily to fight off Show and take the briefcase, Cena ended up snapping the briefcase from its steel bracket, winning the guaranteed championship contract in a most unorthodox way and continuing to blast Big Show with the case.
With a look of amazement and relief plastered across his face, the Cenation leader celebrated high above the U.S. Airways Center as his legion of passionate followers cheered on, undoubtedly anticipating the moment the righteous Cena chooses to cash in within the next 365 days.