Money in the Bank: Jericho’s Frankenstein

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June 26, 2012

“An invention has to make sense in the world it finishes in, not in the world it started.” – Tim O’Reilly, CEO, O’Reilly Media

When Chris Jericho originally pitched his concept for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match in 2005, he was just looking to strong-arm his way onto the main card for WrestleMania 21. Little did he know that seven years later, his brainchild would not only be a WWE staple, but also a course-altering event on the pay-per-view calendar – rivaled only by the Royal Rumble Match in terms of implications for the championship scene.

Despite his improvidence back then regarding the long-term potential of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Jericho rarely lets an opportunity to remind the WWE Universe that match is his creation slide.

Arrogant though he is about having conceived the career-shortening, ladder-destroying contest, Jericho has yet to actually grab hold of the invaluable Money in the Bank contract. Whether this motivating factor will be enough to propel Jericho to the top rung July 15, when he faces off against John Cena, Kane and Big Show, is anybody’s guess.

On Monday night, however, Y2J did lend some advice to first-time banker Cena: It doesn’t pay to be nonchalant heading into one of WWE’s most dangerous match formats. If any Superstar can caution Cena so, it’s Jericho. After all, he is the inventor - the Dr. Frankenstein, if you will - to this particular monster.

The groundbreaking Money in the Bank Ladder Match concept came to Jericho in early 2005, as the WWE Universe was gearing up for WrestleMania 21. Weeks out from the biggest event of the year, Jericho found himself without an opponent – a scenario that did not sit particularly well with a competitor who prides himself on stealing big shows.

“[T]here was no way I was going to head into ’Mania and end up on the DVD-extra dark match battle royal that took place before the show every year,” Jericho confided in his bestseller, “Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps.”

In turn, Jericho pitched to the WWE powers-that-be, including then-Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, his idea of a multi-Superstar ladder bout. His creativity and moxie impressed Bischoff. Weeks later, on The Grandest Stage of Them All, Jericho found himself pitted against five other Superstars in a match that he later described as a “staggering spectacle that came close to stealing the show.”

Though Jericho came up short in that match, as he would in his two subsequent Money in the Bank Ladder Matches, he walked out of Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center satisfied that his unconventional idea had come to fruition.

“It was such a successful concept that it has since spun off into its very own PPV,” he wrote in “Undisputed,” adding, “Our little baby is all grown up.”

Regardless of its maturation, the Money in the Bank Ladder Match has yet to reward its proud papa with a guaranteed championship contract. Will July 15 mark the date when the inventor finally prevails in the very match he created, or will Jericho again be foiled by his Frankenstein?  

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