Posted June 21st, 2011 by 1Wrestling News Team

WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 6.20.11

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 20, 2011

3. John Cena and Randy Orton – for collectively scoring their team a main event victory to close out RAW one night after retaining their respective heavyweight titles:

John Cena and Randy Orton both entered this past Sunday’s Capitol Punishment Pay-Per-View having to defend their respective championships against two bitter superstars that felt they were being screwed over by the WWE and the WWE Universe.

Cena put the WWE Championship on the line against R-Truth, who distracted himself by getting involved with another “Little Jimmy” and subsequently found himself on the wrong end of an Attitude Adjustment for the pinfall. Orton went up against Christian yet again with the World Heavyweight Championship up for grabs, and The Viper escaped with a controversial pinfall victory that left Christian feeling screwed once again because his foot was underneath the bottom rope during the count.

Truth and Christian took some time on RAW to file their grievances in front of the people, and they were soon joined by The Miz. All three superstars began bantering over who was screwed over worse and that prompted Smackdown general manager Theodore Long to book a six-man tag team main event matchup. Truth, Christian and Miz would team up to face the combination of their Capitol Punishment opponents – Cena, Orton and Alex Riley. The people got to select the stipulation for this bout and they chose an elimination style match over one fall to a finish and 20-minute time limit.

Riley, who put up an outstanding effort against Miz at Capitol Punishment and walked away with the victory as a result, was unfortunately the first member of his squad to hit the showers after Miz hit him with a Skull Crushing Finale while the referee was distracted to enable Christian to get the cover. The score was made even when Miz was put away with an Attitude Adjustment from Cena after a Skull Crushing Finale reversal for the pinfall.

Down to a two-on-two situation, Orton eventually got tagged in and switched into Viper mode. He took Christian out the equation temporarily with a closeline over the top. He dodged a scissors kick from Truth and came right back with an RKO to get the 1-2-3 for an elimination. Orton, however, fell victim to an immediate spear by Christian that netted the five-day heavyweight champion an elimination for his squad.

Christian’s excitement was short-lived, however, as Orton dropped Christian with an RKO behind the referee’s back. Cena was then able to quickly lock on an STF, which Christian had no choice but to tap out to and leave Cena as the sole survivor of the match.

Cena and Orton stood tall together inside the ring as RAW came to a close.

Even after losing Riley early on, Cena and Orton were able to hang tough and work together to score the win. And that is no small feat considering their history of being bitter rivals and the fact that they were both coming off hard-fought championship defenses just 24 hours earlier.

2. Kelly Kelly – for capturing her first Divas Championship thanks to being voted into a title match against Brie Bella:

With the way the title tends to get thrown around from time to time, it’s pretty shocking that Kelly Kelly has never been crowned the WWE Divas Champion during her five-tenure with the company. Over time, her in-ring work has certainly progressed. And while she’ll never be confused for Trish Stratus or Lita in between the ropes, she definitely not the worst the WWE has to offer. Eventually, she needed to be thrown a bone. And she got just that from the WWE Universe.

Courtesy of this “Power to the People” edition of Monday Night RAW, she was voted in over Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres to challenge Brie Bella for the Divas Title.

Brie maintained control for a good portion of the match coming courtesy of a distraction to Kelly by her sister, Nikki. But Kelly was able to fight back by snapmaring Brie off her. Kelly followed up with a kick to the knee that tripped up Brie and allowed Kelly to pound her face relentlessly into the mat. A Lou Thesz Press with mounted punches was next out of Kelly’s arsenal, as was a bulldog close to the corner for a near fall.

Kelly’s offense was temporarily put to a halt when Brie reversed a whip into a swinging neckbreaker that netted the champ a two-count of her own. Kelly was moved into the corner, but caught a charging Brie with a boot. From there, Kelly attempted a victory roll, but it was stopped short when Brie held on for a cover in her favor. Kelly was able to reverse it, though, and keep Brie down for the three-count to become the new WWE Divas Champion.

Kelly was pretty emotional after the match and thanked the people for voting her in during a postmatch interview with Jerry “The King” Lawler. It was a bit overdramatic, but I can’t muster up a reason why an extra minute or two of Kelly Kelly is a bad thing. And we’ll likely see a lot more of her as long as she can hold onto that Divas Title.

1. CM Punk – for becoming the new No. 1 Contender for the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank:

There are few superstars in the WWE right now as good as CM Punk. And there are even fewer as egotistical as him. And he came armed and ready to this week’s RAW with a plan that would catch a lot of people off guard, but would potentially serve to further satiate his own ego.

He opened the program by mocking the fact that the people had the power to decide this week’s content. He wouldn’t trust them to do so. But he also informed them that they wouldn’t have any factor in guiding his career. According to Punk, he is the best wrestler in the world because wins and losses still matter and he has plenty of them – most recently a victory against Rey Mysterio in their rubber match at Capitol Punishment and a victory over John Cena from a week ago. Therefore, based on his accomplishments, he declared himself the new No. 1 Contender for the WWE Championship. And he wanted it made official by the anonymous general manager, as well as the fact the match against Cena would take place at the Money in the Bank PPV. Until the GM did so, he planned on holding a good old fashioned sit-in.

The anonymous GM did chime in, but was reluctant to immediately name Punk the No. 1 Contender. Instead, he planned on taking it under consideration. He then asked Punk to leave the ring, which he refused to do. Punk’s continued defiance eventually forced the GM, who did plan on naming him the No. 1 Contender later on in the evening, to make the straight edge superstar earn the spot. Punk was put into a triple threat match against Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio for the No. 1 Contendership with the stipulation to be decided by the people. The people chose a Falls Count Anywhere Match.

Based on their past three matchups, I would not have minded a fourth straight showdown between Punk and Mysterio. But the inclusion of Del Rio made things a little different. And the match turned out to be pretty exceptional and worthy of determining the next in line for the WWE Title.

Despite having to work for it, Punk did manage to secure the No. 1 Contender status he wanted simply handed to him at the top of the show. After hitting a leg drop off the top on Del Rio while he had a cross arm breaker on Mysterio, Punk went for the cover but was only able to get a two-count. He was then briefly taken out of the equation by Del Rio with a running enziguri in the corner that caused Punk to roll to the outside. Mysterio was then able to hit Del Rio with the 6-1-9 and followed up with a splash off the top that brought upon a cover. Punk was able to stop the cover by hurling Mysterio right into the ring post. He followed up by stealing the pin and gaining the three-count victory.

Amidst his celebration, Punk grabbed a microphone and made a shocking announcement to the WWE Universe. While he will face Cena on July 17 at Money in the Bank, that date also marks the last of his current WWE contract. When the clock strikes midnight and the calendar turns to July 18, his contract will have expired. And he plans on leaving … with the WWE Championship.

I’m sure Cena will have something to say about that. But it’s tough to deny the wave of momentum going for Punk right now. And it will be no easy task for Cena to prevent Punk from doing as he declared – stepping away from the WWE with its top championship in his possession.


Neil Borenstein

Category: Wrestling.

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