Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

PHILADELPHIA – On Sunday night at Money in the Bank 2013, you didn’t need a crystal ball to see the future of WWE. In a bout featuring seven of sports-entertainment’s fastest-rising Superstars, Damien Sandow made a stunning emergence as the winner of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship Contract. And it all came at the expense of his longtime partner and best friend, Cody Rhodes.

View photos from the hard-hitting Ladder Match action

Atop the ladder above his ailing associate, Sandow grabbed the briefcase to conclude an absolutely brutal contest that incited chants among the Philly crowd of “This is awesome!” On this night, the City of Brotherly Love witnessed the precursor to what will arguably be The Intellectual Savior’s finest golden achievement. Save for John Cena last year, all winners of a Money in the Bank Ladder Match have successfully cashed in their title opportunity to become a World Champion. Sandow may very well be the next man to do just that.

Watch Sandow backstage as a man of few words following the match

With two tandems among the field of seven, among the match’s biggest questions was whether these duos would maintain their alliances, or if it would truly be every man for himself. That question was quickly answered when the two Real Americans – Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro – and two Rhodes Scholars began brawling with each other at the contest’s start in what resembled a Tornado Tag Team Match.

Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Cesaro executed the first high-impact maneuver of the pay-per-view when the Swiss-born brute deadlifted Rhodes, slamming his back into a ladder propped up in the corner of the ring. But Rhodes wasn’t down for long, nailing a Disaster Kick into the skull of Cesaro.

United States Champion Dean Ambrose, who cut his teeth in chaotic Philly-based wrestling organizations, began to enter the fray. While brawling with Swagger, Michael Cole noted that the frantic, frenzied style of this Ladder Match in a northeast hotbed was a comfortable setting for the “Hound of Justice” – who ended up playing a pivotal role in the contest.

The match’s eventual victor took matters into his own hands, using Fandango as his personal battering ram, sending the bellbottomed dancer face-first into a ladder and following it up with a suplex onto the hard steel of another. The Intellectual Savior of the Masses began to climb, but Barrett arrived in the ring with a single rung of a broken ladder. The vicious hooligan bludgeoned Sandow with the weapon, allowing Barrett to climb the ladder and become the first Superstar in the contest to get his hands on the blue briefcase.

And here is when pairings among the competitors became most evident. The two Real Americans dashed into the ring, and when Swagger grabbed Barrett’s trunks and tossed him from the ladder, Cesaro caught the Brit with a nasty uppercut to an audible reaction from the Philly crowd.

Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

The newest Real American attempted to defend against the attacks of Ambrose and climbed the ladder, but Rhodes – who was participating in his fourth Money in the Bank Ladder Match – managed to secure Cesaro on his shoulders, then maneuvered across the ring where he slammed Cesaro onto the steel rungs propped in the corner.

Outside of the ring, Swagger executed a slingshot onto Sandow, who flew into a ladder that was draped across the apron of the ring. Attempting to win his second Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Swagger ran into the ring and climbed the ladder.

Barrett, having recovered from the uppercut, met the Real American at the top with a jaw-cracking Bull Hammer Elbow. Once again, the former bareknuckle fighter was in close reach. But before Barrett could gain the footing necessary to win the contest, the athletic Fandango executed an impressive somersault powerbomb to send the former Intercontinental Champion hurtling to the canvas.

With shades of Terry Funk in the main event of the ECW Barely Legal, Ambrose put a ladder on his shoulders and whirled around the ring, swinging the weapon’s ends into the bodies of his fellow bout combatants. But once again, The Real Americans worked together with each grabbing one end of the United States Champion’s ladder. Ambrose, however, exhibited impressive athleticism and flipped himself to the top of the horizontal ladder – perpendicular to the ring – and attempted to grab the briefcase from the unorthodox platform, only to be dumped to the outside by Cesaro and Swagger.

Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

With no ladder in sight, Zeb Colter barked to his strongmen, instructing Cesaro to climb atop Swagger’s shoulders in a unique attempt to bring the briefcase to The Real Americans. Immediately, Cody Rhodes, the undeniable star of the matchup, nailed a missile dropkick to Swagger’s gut, sending Cesaro tumbling to the mat. From there, Rhodes went on absolute fire. He executed two consecutive Cross Rhodes maneuvers, including a counter of Barrett’s unsuccessful Wasteland attempt. The crowd sensed that Cody’s time was now and began to voice their support for the talented second-generation Superstar.

Lacerated by vicious wound at the top of his head, Cody’s battle scars were clear as he climbed upward in what seemed like his moment. But Cody suddenly became the victim of an unexpected attack by Ambrose’s Shield cohorts – Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. The Usos ran entered the action to even the odds, drawing both the intruders and the match’s competitors into a massive ringside tussel. With everyone distracted, Ambrose capitalized and climbed to the top of the ladder. Before the Shield member could snag the briefcase, Cody once again created a pivotal moment by tipping the ladder, sending Ambrose into the cadre of grapplers tangling below outside the squared circle.

Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Once again, Cody had the ladder and ring to himself. A man who has long been believed to be one of the most talented young stars on the roster, he made his ascent and had victory clearly in reach. Then, long having laid low in the brutal contest, Sandow appeared in the ring just beneath Rhodes on the rungs and tossed his supposed best friend to the mat.

Seconds later, the cerebral Superstar held the briefcase in his hands and, with it, a near guaranteed future World Heavyweight Championship reign.

Once “Hallelujahs” echoed throughout Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, the disoriented Rhodes realized what had just taken place. Betrayed by his tag team partner and best friend, the son of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes stared off toward Sandow with blue eyes opened wide by his associate’s devious strategy.

Watch Cody react to Sandow's victory while being examined by doctors

No matter the means by which he snared victory, The Intellectual Savior now has a World Heavyweight Championship Match contract in-hand, and with it, an inevitable title around his waist.

Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

PHILADELPHIA – On Sunday night at Money in the Bank 2013, you didn’t need a crystal ball to see the future of WWE. In a bout featuring seven of sports-entertainment’s fastest-rising Superstars, Damien Sandow made a stunning emergence as the winner of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship Contract. And it all came at the expense of his longtime partner and best friend, Cody Rhodes.

View photos from the hard-hitting Ladder Match action

Atop the ladder above his ailing associate, Sandow grabbed the briefcase to conclude an absolutely brutal contest that incited chants among the Philly crowd of “This is awesome!” On this night, the City of Brotherly Love witnessed the precursor to what will arguably be The Intellectual Savior’s finest golden achievement. Save for John Cena last year, all winners of a Money in the Bank Ladder Match have successfully cashed in their title opportunity to become a World Champion. Sandow may very well be the next man to do just that.

Watch Sandow backstage as a man of few words following the match

With two tandems among the field of seven, among the match’s biggest questions was whether these duos would maintain their alliances, or if it would truly be every man for himself. That question was quickly answered when the two Real Americans – Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro – and two Rhodes Scholars began brawling with each other at the contest’s start in what resembled a Tornado Tag Team Match.

Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Cesaro executed the first high-impact maneuver of the pay-per-view when the Swiss-born brute deadlifted Rhodes, slamming his back into a ladder propped up in the corner of the ring. But Rhodes wasn’t down for long, nailing a Disaster Kick into the skull of Cesaro.

United States Champion Dean Ambrose, who cut his teeth in chaotic Philly-based wrestling organizations, began to enter the fray. While brawling with Swagger, Michael Cole noted that the frantic, frenzied style of this Ladder Match in a northeast hotbed was a comfortable setting for the “Hound of Justice” – who ended up playing a pivotal role in the contest.

The match’s eventual victor took matters into his own hands, using Fandango as his personal battering ram, sending the bellbottomed dancer face-first into a ladder and following it up with a suplex onto the hard steel of another. The Intellectual Savior of the Masses began to climb, but Barrett arrived in the ring with a single rung of a broken ladder. The vicious hooligan bludgeoned Sandow with the weapon, allowing Barrett to climb the ladder and become the first Superstar in the contest to get his hands on the blue briefcase.

And here is when pairings among the competitors became most evident. The two Real Americans dashed into the ring, and when Swagger grabbed Barrett’s trunks and tossed him from the ladder, Cesaro caught the Brit with a nasty uppercut to an audible reaction from the Philly crowd.

Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

The newest Real American attempted to defend against the attacks of Ambrose and climbed the ladder, but Rhodes – who was participating in his fourth Money in the Bank Ladder Match – managed to secure Cesaro on his shoulders, then maneuvered across the ring where he slammed Cesaro onto the steel rungs propped in the corner.

Outside of the ring, Swagger executed a slingshot onto Sandow, who flew into a ladder that was draped across the apron of the ring. Attempting to win his second Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Swagger ran into the ring and climbed the ladder.

Barrett, having recovered from the uppercut, met the Real American at the top with a jaw-cracking Bull Hammer Elbow. Once again, the former bareknuckle fighter was in close reach. But before Barrett could gain the footing necessary to win the contest, the athletic Fandango executed an impressive somersault powerbomb to send the former Intercontinental Champion hurtling to the canvas.

With shades of Terry Funk in the main event of the ECW Barely Legal, Ambrose put a ladder on his shoulders and whirled around the ring, swinging the weapon’s ends into the bodies of his fellow bout combatants. But once again, The Real Americans worked together with each grabbing one end of the United States Champion’s ladder. Ambrose, however, exhibited impressive athleticism and flipped himself to the top of the horizontal ladder – perpendicular to the ring – and attempted to grab the briefcase from the unorthodox platform, only to be dumped to the outside by Cesaro and Swagger.

Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

With no ladder in sight, Zeb Colter barked to his strongmen, instructing Cesaro to climb atop Swagger’s shoulders in a unique attempt to bring the briefcase to The Real Americans. Immediately, Cody Rhodes, the undeniable star of the matchup, nailed a missile dropkick to Swagger’s gut, sending Cesaro tumbling to the mat. From there, Rhodes went on absolute fire. He executed two consecutive Cross Rhodes maneuvers, including a counter of Barrett’s unsuccessful Wasteland attempt. The crowd sensed that Cody’s time was now and began to voice their support for the talented second-generation Superstar.

Lacerated by vicious wound at the top of his head, Cody’s battle scars were clear as he climbed upward in what seemed like his moment. But Cody suddenly became the victim of an unexpected attack by Ambrose’s Shield cohorts – Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. The Usos ran entered the action to even the odds, drawing both the intruders and the match’s competitors into a massive ringside tussel. With everyone distracted, Ambrose capitalized and climbed to the top of the ladder. Before the Shield member could snag the briefcase, Cody once again created a pivotal moment by tipping the ladder, sending Ambrose into the cadre of grapplers tangling below outside the squared circle.

Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Once again, Cody had the ladder and ring to himself. A man who has long been believed to be one of the most talented young stars on the roster, he made his ascent and had victory clearly in reach. Then, long having laid low in the brutal contest, Sandow appeared in the ring just beneath Rhodes on the rungs and tossed his supposed best friend to the mat.

Seconds later, the cerebral Superstar held the briefcase in his hands and, with it, a near guaranteed future World Heavyweight Championship reign.

Once “Hallelujahs” echoed throughout Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, the disoriented Rhodes realized what had just taken place. Betrayed by his tag team partner and best friend, the son of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes stared off toward Sandow with blue eyes opened wide by his associate’s devious strategy.

Watch Cody react to Sandow's victory while being examined by doctors

No matter the means by which he snared victory, The Intellectual Savior now has a World Heavyweight Championship Match contract in-hand, and with it, an inevitable title around his waist.