By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Here on WrestleMania Recall, I will be ranking my top 31 favorite matches in WWE WrestleMania history. A new installment will be posted every day in the month of March, culminating with my No. 1 favorite match on Thursday, March 31st, mere days before WrestleMania 32. Each article will offer an in-depth look at each match and an analysis of why it is among my favorites.
If you didn't know it already based off my inclusions of Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair and Edge vs. The Undertaker in this series, you know it now: I love WrestleMania 24! The funny thing is that I wasn't even a fan for it (I officially started watching Raw weekly two weeks after it occurred), but when I saw the commercials for it, I desperately wanted to order it, before coming to the realization that it was on pay-per-view and would cost almost 60 bucks. Damn!
I previously discussed the inaugural Money in the Bank Ladder match from WrestleMania 21, but this Money in the Bank match in particular from WrestleMania 24 holds a special place in my heart and is definitely among if not my favorite of all-time. I remember watching its highlights during the annual WrestleMania special on NBC in the fall of 2008 and just being blown away by it. I watched bits and pieces of it over the years that followed but never the full thing until CM Punk's 2012 documentary was released. And holy shit was it amazing.
The combatants included CM Punk, then-WWE Tag Team Champion John Morrison, Carlito, Mr. Kennedy, then-United States Champion MVP, then-Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho, and Shelton Benjamin. It was the first Money in the Bank match to feature seven people. It was originally going to feature eight, but due to Jeff Hardy getting suspended mere weeks prior to the event, he was pulled from the bout. That added an extra element to the contest because it was heavily rumored he was penciled in to win the briefcase.
As a result, all seven men had an equal chance of capturing the contract, and each of them had their shining moment in the matchup. MVP dominated early on by knocking out everyone with a ladder before meeting his match in Jericho, though it wasn't long before all hell broke loose. Morrison soon grabbed hold of a ladder and, in one of the coolest things I have ever seen, did a backward moonsault off the top of the rope and landed on several Superstars at ringside. And that was only the beginning!
Benjamin, like the true MVP (not Montel Vontavious Porter) of Money in the Bank that he was, at one point executed a powerbomb to Kennedy that sent him and Morrison flying off the ladder. He also jumped from the top rope and onto the ladder before falling to the mat and eating a GTS from Punk. That wasn't his ultimate downfall, however; that was saved for a littler later on when Carlito and Kennedy pushed him off the ladder and through another ladder at ringside, essentially ending his Money in the Bank pursuit for the night.
There were simply so many remarkable moments that it would take another ten paragraphs to describe them all in detail, but here are the highlights: a Walls of Jericho to Morrison on the ladder, a Mic Check to Punk off the side of the ladder, a Backstabber to Jericho off the ladder, and a Codebreaker to Punk in a ladder. Oh, and how could I forget Matt Hardy making a surprise return, ascending the ladder and hitting a Twist of Fate on his arch-rival MVP off the top?
Yeah, it was pretty incredible. With everyone else incapacitated, Jericho and Punk climbed the sides of the ladder set up underneath the briefcase, and although Jericho looked to put Punk away the same way he did Morrison, he was unsuccessful in his efforts. Instead, the crafty Punk locked Y2J's leg in the ladder and and redeemed himself from the year before by becoming the new Mr. Money in the Bank. He went on to cash in to become world champion three months later and the rest is history.
SEE ALSO: "WrestleMania Recall, Match #9: The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage, WrestleMania 7"