WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 6.13.11
By Neil Borenstein
Each week here at 1wrestling.com, I will select three of the top wrestlers from the Monday Night RAW brand and present them to you in inverse order as the show’s Wrestlers of the Week. In choosing the brand’s top three superstars, performances from that week’s RAW and any relevant preceding programming will be taken into consideration. This is a RAW exclusive. However, SmackDown and NXT brand wrestlers will be eligible if they appear with any significance on that week’s RAW broadcast.
Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week for June 13, 2011
3. Ezekiel Jackson – for setting up his team’s pinfall victory over his Capitol Punishment opponent, Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, in six-man tag team action:
It didn’t take all that long for Ezekiel Jackson to get a real opportunity at escalating his status in the WWE once he departed from The Corre. Since leaving the group and becoming enemy No. 1 of it, he has been granted a shot at his former leader Wade Barrett and the WWE Intercontinental Championship at this Sunday’s upcoming Capitol Punishment Pay-Per-View.
It seems that Jackson leaving The Corre was just the first domino to fall in the end of the faction. This past Friday night on Smackdown, Barrett left Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater high and dry in six-man tag team action. In doing so, Jackson was able to dismantle Gabriel en route to victory for his team. And that caused Gabriel and Slater to inform Barrett backstage that he would be on his own at Capitol Punishment, and potentially forever as The Corre was officially finished.
Barrett found himself in new company on RAW this Monday, as he teamed up with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to face the combination of Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan and, of course … Ezekiel Jackson. And while Cara and Bryan had their own issues to deal with against the duo formerly known as Simply Priceless, it was Jackson and his determination to get over on Barrett ahead of their match in six days that scored his team the victory.
Barrett had control over Bryan in the latter stages of the bout. But Bryan was able to kick Barrett in the face from the mat and crawl his way over to the corner to make a hot tag to Jackson. Jackson, who was very much looking forward to getting his hands on Barrett, blitzed the Intercontinental Champion with a couple of shoulder tackles before sending him into the corner for a devastating splash against the turnbuckles. The dominating Jackson lifted Barrett up for a succession of hard slams right back down to the mat as a way to set up for the Torture Rack.
Jackson’s attempt at the submission was halted when Rhodes and DiBiase moved in for the save with a bunch of kicks and forearms to the big man. But Jackson was able to use his incredible power to lift both men over the top rope and sent them crashing all the way down to the outside. From there, Jackson lifted his partner Bryan up and hurled him right into both Rhodes and DiBiase on the outside. Jackson focused back on Barrett, who finally returned to his feet, and send dropped him right back down to the canvas with a closeline. Cara, who had been taken down earlier from a cheapshot by Barrett, called for the tag and Jackson obliged. Cara was able to nail a springboard crossbody on Barrett for the three-count victory, mainly made possible by the pure dominance shown throughout the closing stages of the contest by Jackson.
The very physical, aggressive and dominating Jackson sent a hell of a message to Barrett with that showing. Barrett barely walked away a broken man while Jackson looked primed to take the Intercontinental Championship right off of him at Capitol Punishment. Perhaps the only thing that can save Barrett and his title reign is a peace-offering to Gabriel and Slater, whose help may not even be enough anyway with how impressive Jackson has looked as of late.
2. CM Punk – for defeating John Cena in RAW’s main event, and for getting in the face of Stone Cold Steve Austin (a much anticipated interaction):
CM Punk is viewed by many as one of the best heels and overall wrestlers in the WWE today. There is certainly no denying that. And some of his best matches have come both on Smackdown and recently on RAW against one of the greatest performers in the history of the business – Rey Mysterio. Those two have traded wins over the past two Monday nights in what could easily be considered the best matches on their respective RAWs. As a result of the 1-1 tie, they will face each other in the rubber match at Capitol Punishment this Sunday.
Mysterio got a bit of a warmup when guest general manager Stone Cold Steve Austin booked him as a surprise opponent for Christian when the former-five-day World Heavyweight Champion escaped an “ass-whoopin’” from Randy Orton. Meanwhile, Punk was booked from the get-go to take on John Cena in the evening’s main event.
Before that main event even took place, Punk had a relatively busy night. First, he along with the new Nexus played a role in dismantling Mysterio during and after his match against Christian. Punk also had a little backstage confrontation with Stone Cold Steve Austin – a showdown that many would absolutely love to see should Stone Cold ever decide that he’s ready to step back into the ring for one more match. Punk didn’t get the last word against Austin. But he held his own in their little discourse and proved that they could have a very interesting program should one ever be possible.
When it did finally come time for Punk to lace up the boots and hit the ring for his match against Cena, it would have to come without the help of his new Nexus minions. That was a credo from Austin and one Punk didn’t really have a problem with. Perhaps he knew what was coming.
Toward the end of a decent battle between the two elite RAW superstars, Cena managed to secure the upperhand with the beginning of his closing series of moves. But as he looked to go for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, R-Truth came out of nowhere through the crowd and began teasing a kid for his John Cena baseball cap. With Cena distracted, Punk was able to get back to his feet and drill the WWE Champion with a Go2Sleep that put him away for the three-count.
Punk needed some assistance there, but a victory over Cena will do wonders for Punk’s confidence heading into Capitol Punishment – especially considering Mysterio heads into their match a bit broken down.
1. R-Truth – for laying out three people, including John Cena, as his final message just one week away from his WWE Championship Match at Capitol Punishment:
With the biggest match of his career coming up at Capitol Punishment, R-Truth has one last chance to send a message and get into the head of his opponent – WWE Champion John Cena. Truth’s rather unstable mindset made not one, but three appearances on RAW just six days ahead of his match for the WWE Title.
Truth first made his presence felt during what was supposed to be a fun segment involving Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle was launching t-shirts to the crowd when Truth came out to sarcastically point out how fun it looked to propel those t-shirts out there to all the little Jimmy’s – and little Jenny’s. Being the “good R-Truth” that he is, Truth asked if he could take a whirl at doing that before ranting about how he was going to become the WWE Champion this Sunday and there was nothing Cena could do about it and there was nothing Hornswoggle could do, either. Hornswoggle didn’t make the brightest move of his life next when he pointed the shooter at Truth and pulled the trigger, sending a t-shirt right into him. Truth grabbed Hornswoggle and at first acted like he wasn’t going to do anything. But then he booted Hornswoggle right in the face, which prompted guest GM Stone Cold Steve Austin to make an announcement via the tron that Truth should face somebody his own size. John Morrison then appeared on the screen with a smile on his face. Truth was just fine with that and showed Morrison what he was going to have to get by stomping on Hornswoggle before talking to himself as he headed to the back and Jerry “The King” Lawler hit the ring to check on Hornswoggle.
Truth’s match against Morrison didn’t end up actually happen. Truth hit the ring. But when Morrison failed to show during two attempts at playing his entrance, Truth went to bring the fight to him. Unfortunately, the fight had already been brought to him, as Truth made his way to the backstage area where there was an already downed Morrison being checked on by personnel. He told the hurting Morrison that at least he got got by the future WWE Champion before slamming a rolling cart right into him.
Two guys down, but the most important one was yet to come. Truth’s night was not yet complete. He made one final appearance toward the conclusion of the main event between CM Punk and Cena. Just when it seemed as if Cena was going to put Punk away for the victory, Truth made his way through the crowd and stopped to speak with one of the little Jimmy’s. He asked the young fan if he would be willing to trade his Cena hat for a drink of water. While Cena barked at the fan to refuse, Punk caught him with a Go2Sleep and covered for the victory. From there, Truth made his way to the ring and nailed Cena in the face with the open bottle of water. Truth followed up by planting Cena face-first into the mat and then hit the outside to grab the WWE Title. He made his way back into the ring and told Cena that he was going to beat him for the belt. And that’s the truth.
Over the course of this three-hour RAW, Truth was able to take out Hornswoggle, Morrison and Cena to send a rather strong message for Capitol Punishment. He’s as ready to go as he’s ever been and looks to be in good shape for a shot at the WWE Title. Now we just have to wait and see if his first shot at the richest prize in the WWE will be a deservedly successful one.