If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you read our guest post from Grahame Gallacher which is part one of this Wrestling With Numbers series looking at Money in the Bank. I had previously planned on doing a rather large Money in the Bank statistics piece covering all the basics in terms of participants, victories, etc. but thankfully for my time Grahame sent us a submission with all that info and more. Please again read his piece as this is an accompanying article that attempts to expand on a few of the interesting stats Grahame dug up.
Held Contract Length
Obviously, one of the most interesting aspects of Money in the Bank is not what happens during the event or the match but rather the aftermath, specifically how the guaranteed title shot is handled. Some guys, more notably Kane, will cash-in almost immediately (Kane won and cashed in his briefcase on the same night), some wait a few weeks or months and others almost a whole year. As Grahame pointed out the average held contract length is 90.57 days, the longest being Edge at 280 days, the shortest, of course, Kane with zero.
You’ll see from the graph a few names stick out immediately with Edge and Dolph Ziggler really jumping way out ahead of their nearest competition Daniel Bryan. Ziggler and Edge’s combined days (547) are only two days shorter than the next five combined (Daniel Bryan, The Miz, Damien Sandow, CM Punk and Rob Van Dam – 549).
I also wanted to look at the held contract length’s over time to see if there’s any pattern in how WWE books briefcase holders:
It’s hard to find any huge trends here, the problem is Edge’s initial run with the briefcase is large that it makes the subsequent lengths seem so small when they are rather average. We do however see much shorter lengths between 2006-10 when the average held contract length was a mere 55.71 days.
If we eliminate The Miz’s 127 day run in 2010, our average from 2006-10 is only 43.83, a steep decline from our overall average. Comparatively, 2011-13 has seen the average shoot up to an above-average 99.67 and a 104 day average in the past two years.
Appearances/Money in the Bank Victories
Quickly, I wanted to look at the efficiency of Money in the Bank winners and who makes the most of their opportunities. We see from the chart that Christian is easily the least efficient participating in six Money in the Banks but coming home with no victories. Thankfully for Kane, he narrowly avoided this distinction by taking home one victories in his six tries.
We know CM Punk has the most victories with two but he did so in four appearances, which isn’t a bad rate but pales in comparison to our most efficient Money in the Bank-er, John Cena who is 1-for-1 and has a very good chance of making that 2-for-2 this Sunday.
Anyone who’s read any my previous statistical pieces know I’m obsessed with studying star ratings. Yes, I know they are on guy’s (Dave Meltzer) opinion, yes I know they aren’t an exact science but I think it’s a fun way to gauge the reputation of a match. Plus, Dave’s built up a cache of 30-plus years rating matches and more times than not general consensus doesn’t differ far from his thoughts.
One thing to note right off the bat is just how well received each and every Money in the Bank match is, our scale starts at *** but the average is 3.95 , just a touch below **** with a standard deviation of 0.33. It should be noted that Dave Meltzer is notorious for loving and in some cases overrating ladder matches. With that said, I can’t say I disagree with him on ratings for any of these Money in the Bank matches, I’ve felt each one was at least above average.
Our lowest rated match is the 2008 contest which is interesting given a solid collection of talent in the match: CM Punk, Mr. Kennedy, Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, John Morrison and MVP. One possible reason is match time as the 2008 contest is our third-shortest Money in the Bank match (only WrestleMania 22 in 2005 and 2010’s WrestleMania XXVI match were shorter).
The three shortest Money in the Bank’s averaged 3.67 stars, pretty far below average. On the flip side, the three longest (2011 World Heavyweight, 2010 World Heavyweight and 2013’s WWE Championship) averaged 4.17 stars, well above our overall average.
An interesting note is the two highest rated matches happen to be the first and the most recent. I personally found the 2011 World Heavyweight to be my favorite (could be personal bias because I was there live) with the debut in 2005 coming as a close second.
Regardless, Money in the Bank’s are like pizza, even when they are bad, they are still pretty damn good.
Let’s now look at the average star rating for individuals. I removed all wrestlers with only one Money in the Bank match under their belts to give us a more complete dataset. Among those left, the average star rating was 3.94, so we don’t change too much from our overall average. The standard deviation of .17 is a tick lower.
We see four guys stand out: Edge, Randy Orton, Rob Van Dam and Daniel Bryan. They pace us with a Money in the Bank average of ****¼ with a combined 10 matches to their name. Our lowest participants are Jack Swagger, Mr. Kennedy, John Morrison and dead-last MVP.
MVP’s average of 3.58 over three Money in the Bank matches is our lowest but I’m more surprised by Morrison’s pedestrian average of 3.63. Sure, MVP may have participated in some clunkers (by MITB standards) but Morrison is the prototypical Money in the Bank participant (maybe next to Shelton Benjamin). A guy that’s synonymous with the match and seems like the perfect candidate to steal the show with acrobatic moves, creative use of the ladder, etc. That’s not to say he was the sole reason for his matches low ratings, knowing the matches he participated in, he wasn’t. Plus we’re looking at a sample size of only two matches, still, it was odd to see his name stand out among the pack.