Posted December 20th, 2011 by 1Wrestling News Team

WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 12.19.11
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 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 December 19, 2011

3. Alicia Fox – for miraculously pinning Divas Champion Beth Phoenix in a quick non-title bout:

Beth Phoenix didn’t head into Sunday’s Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view expecting to put the WWE Divas Championship on the line. But in an impromptu bout added to the card, she ended up putting the title on the line in a singles match against Kelly Kelly. The short notice didn’t really seem to both Phoenix much as she was able to put Kelly away with an electric chair variation to score the three-count and retain the championship.

Having disposed of Kelly, it was time for Phoenix to move on to her next foe. And that came in the form of one of Kelly’s buddies over on RAW, Alicia Fox. Phoenix and Fox squared off in what appeared to be a mismatch heavily favoring The Glamazon. But somehow, Fox was able to miraculously pull off an upset in non-title competition.

Fox started the match by breaking out of a wrist lock before delivering some vicious kicks to Phoenix’ arm. Fox went for an irish whip, but Phoenix reversed into a sidewalk slam and pounded away at the body with some fists and kicks. Phoenix then lifted Fox off the mat and tried to bounce her off the top rope for a suplex. But Fox got out of the move in botchtastic fashion and hit a reverse DDT on Phoenix instead. A flipping leg drop from Fox followed and she pinned for a shocking three-count that gave her a non-title win over the Divas Champion.

By the logic that is pro wrestling, a non-title victory over a champion means an actual championship match is not too far off. So, I think it’s easy to expect that Fox will receive a Divas Championship matchup against Phoenix sometime between next week’s RAW and the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. I just don’t expect the result of that match to be the same as what we saw Monday night.

2. Sheamus – for once again dominating Jinder Mahal in singles action:

Sheamus and Jack Swagger also entered Tables, Ladders and Chairs without anything on their plates for the evening. That all changed when they partook in a minor war of words in the back, which prompted Smackdown general manager Theodore Long to book the two superstars in an impromptu matchup later on during the PPV. It was a match that pit two extremely talented wrestlers against each other for what turned out to be a decent little match. But even with Vickie Guerrero in his corner, Swagger was not able to put away Sheamus. After getting out of an Ankle Lock, Sheamus was able to hit Swagger with a Brogue Kick that put an end to the contest in his favor with the pinfall.

Though that matchup might have been a bit random, Sheamus has lately had in issue over on Smackdown with Jinder Mahal. Mahal hasn’t had the greatest of luck on Friday nights and failed to change his fortune this past week with a loss to The Celtic Warrior.

At his request, a rematch was booked between the two for this week’s RAW broadcast. Unfortunately for Mahal, the result was much the same as a few days ago. Mahal came to the ring preaching to Sheamus that somebody needs to put him in his place. Even if that statement is true, it certainly wasn’t going to be him to do it.

These two went at each other really hard from the opening bell and Mahal did manage to get some offense in. A dropkick to the side of Sheamus’ head followed by a high knee out of the corner even allowed Mahal to score a quick pin before locking on a headlock. But that’s about where it all ended for him.

Sheamus elbowed out of the head lock before sending Mahal to the ropes. He drilled Mahal with some double sledges before hitting a couple of closelines to put him on the mat. Sheamus headed up top and leapt off for the battering ram, only to change course when Mahal rolled out of the way. Upon getting right back up to his feet, Sheamus was able to catch Mahal in an Irish Curse backbreaker that transitioned right into the Celtic Cross. Sheamus moved in for the cover and got the three-count to pick up another impressive victory.

Not only is Sheamus picking up victories in great numbers these days, but his level of aggression is really kicking up too. It seems that whenever an opponent might be making some ground on him in a match, a switch gets flipped in him and his attack gets much more destructive. That’s been the case against Mahal both times they’ve faced each other and is a trend we’re likely to see in all matches going forward involving The Celtic Warrior.

1. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan & Zack Ryder – for following up their championship victories at Tables, Ladders and Chairs with a nice six-man tag team main event victory:

The Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view was a pretty solid event to be a wrestling fan. When the show was all said and done, the WWE showcased a number of champions that true fans of the sport could really appreciate. CM Punk retained the WWE Championship as a result of defeating both Alberto Del Rio and The Miz in a Triple Threat TLC Match for the title. Daniel Bryan went against his promise to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania by instead successfully cashing it in against the newly crowned World Heavyweight Champion, The Big Show, who had just won it from Mark Henry. And to kick off the program, everybody’s favorite internet sensation Zack Ryder made good on his United States Championship opportunity by defeating Dolph Ziggler for the strap.

Those three superstars kicked off RAW this week in one of the biggest wrestling hotbeds across the United States – Philadelphia. Punk started things out by getting himself down to the ring and then called for both Ryder and Bryan to join him. He figured Philadelphia would enjoy the sight of seeing the three of them hold of titles, especially Punk and Bryan who met 10 years ago right in that very city.

Eventually, Miz, Del Rio and Ziggler made their way to the arena and circled around the ring for an attack against the champions. Punk, Bryan and Ryder fended them off nicely, until John Laurinaitis came out from the back just as Ryder was being sent into the steel ring steps. He got the creative juices flowing and somehow came up with a six-man tag team main event for the evening that put Miz, Del Rio and Ziggler against the combination of Punk, Bryan and Ryder. I wonder how he managed to come up with that idea!

This match turned out to be a lot of fun and primarily focused on giving all three champions an opportunity to get over in front of the Philadelphia crowd. Things started off strong for Punk, Bryan and Ryder when they headed into a commercial break after delivering several aerial attacks to the opposition on the outside. When the program returned, Miz, Del Rio and Ziggler found themselves on top of the action, but it was only a matter of time before the champs took back over.

Once Ryder dodged a charge in the corner by Del Rio and lifted him all the way to the outside, he was able to crawl to Punk to get a tag just as Del Rio snuck back into the ring and got one to Miz. Punk springboarded into Miz with a flying forearm and then came right back with a closeline and swinging neckbreaker. He drilled Miz with a knee in the corner and then delivered a running bulldog. He positioned Miz on the mat with a bodyslam for a flying elbow drop off the rop and it connected. Punk covered for a two-count and then quickly locked on an Anaconda Vice, which Ziggler broke before kicking away at Punk all the way toward the ropes. Once at the ropes, Ryder pulled Ziggler out of the ring and put him down with a closeline. At that same moment, Bryan and Del Rio were tagged in for their respective teams, and Bryan came in with a missile dropkick to Del Rio. Miz managed to deliver a kick to Bryan, but Punk hit him with a kick of his own to the gut before lifting him up for a Go2Sleep. Del Rio pushed Punk to the outside and then sent Bryan shoulder first into the steel ring post before looking to float over into the cross armbreaker. But before he could, Bryan reversed it into the LaBell Lock, and Del Rio had no choice but to tap to give the team of champions the victory.

Punk, Bryan and Ryder all looked excellent in this match and a great job was done to get that result by all involved. It was especially nice to see both Punk and Bryan, two guys that carried the indy wrestler label for so long, make it to the top of the WWE as its premier champions. They’ll all break off into separate feuds going forward, I’m sure. But for at least this one night, in Philly of all places, it was definitely fun to watch the three of them together and come out looking strong.

Neil Borenstein

Category: Wrestling.

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