WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 6.4.12
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 June 4, 2012
3. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston – for recovering from the wounds dealt to them by Big Show last week to come out with a good showing against Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks:
In what could not have possibly been the wisest moment of their respective careers, WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth and Kofi Kingston made the decision in the concluding moments of last week’s RAW to try and save Brodus Clay from the beatdown he was receiving at the hands of The Big Show. Their efforts were futile, however, as Show simply tossed them around like ragdolls as well and left them licking their own wounds.
Truth and Kingston were still feeling the effects of that beating a week later. But they needed to push forward in order to compete on RAW this Monday night against Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. While the tag team titles were not on the line in this bout, it was still important for them to come out strong because of their still relatively new status as champions.
They did appear to be a bit slower than usual, but Truth and Kingston still put forth a great effort that got them off to a hot start in the match. It was only when Hawkins provided a distraction allowing Reks to pull Truth off the top rope that things went a bit sour for the champions. That loss of control was still fairly brief and control swung back in their direction once Kingston was tagged into the match following a kick to Rek’s face by Truth.
Kingston flew into the ring with a springboard closeline to Hawkins. He nailed Reks on the apron and then turned back to Hawkins with a couple of double knife-edge chops followed by a dropkick. He hit the ropes for another big closeline before pumping himself up for a Boom Drop.
As he backed up toward the corner and prepared for a shot at the Trouble in Paradise, Kingston noticed Reks getting back onto the apron and drilled him with a shot instead. But the time he turned around, Kingston had to duck a closeline from Hawkins and then try and poor attempt at a Trouble in Paradise that Hawkins was able to dodge. Kingston got right back on the horse, though, and came out of the corner with a high crossbody onto Hawkins that enable him to go for a cover.
Reks made the save at two and sent Truth to the outside. But he soon joined Truth on the floor when he was pulled to the outside, as well, leaving Kingston and Hawkins alone again in the ring. Hawkins took this time to charge at Kingston in the corner. He ended up eating some turnbuckle when his intended target moved out of the way and was then subjected to a successful Trouble in Paradise. Kingston quickly covered up and produced a three-count to give the still-injured tag team champions a tough victory.
Truth and Kingston will certainly face tougher challenges during their title reign than the likes of Hawkins and Reks. But it was still mightily impressive for them to come out hurt and put forth the showing they did. It was a definitely a confidence builder for them.
2. Sheamus – for picking up a second consecutive pinfall victory over the always impressive show off, Dolph Ziggler:
Sheamus has plenty on his plate for No Way Out, where he’s set to put the World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Alberto Del Rio. The two had a heated exchange on last Friday night’s Smackdown, leading to Dolph Ziggler stepping up and offering his services as a challenger for Sheamus later in the evening.
Ziggler was afforded that opportunity and put up a hell of a fight against the Celtic Warrior, as he always does. It just wasn’t enough in the end to put away Sheamus, who thwarted an interference attempt by Jack Swagger and shut the lights in Ziggler’s head with a big Brogue Kick to score the pinfall victory.
This would not be the final encounter between these two, as Sheamus and Ziggler were set to face each other yet again in the opening bout of this week’s RAW. Swagger would not accompany his partner for this bout, though Vickie Guerrero remained ringside to support her client.
For the most part, Sheamus seemed to have great control in this match. But even in defeat, Ziggler still makes his opponents work out there in the ring. While he had a much easier going in the early stages of the bout, Sheamus found himself relinquishing control more often as the match wore on. And Ziggler was able to come up with a few near falls as a result.
But Sheamus remained focused and determined, leading him to eventually put Ziggler down with the White Noise after avoiding a Sleeper Hold. Sheamus then pumped his chest and waited for Ziggler to get back to his feet before drilling him with a Brogue Kick to the head. For the second time in as many appearances, Sheamus was able to cover up and get the pinfall courtesy of that move.
Sheamus’ night took a bit of a turn when he was attacked by Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez as he headed up the ramp – an attack that could leave his arm stinging thanks to having a cross armbreaker applied while hanging off the stage. But Sheamus is a gutsy fella and will sooner turn that into motivation for his title match in two weeks rather than make it an excuse. And with two straights wins over a quality foe like Ziggler, Sheamus looks completely prepared for whatever’s in store for him inside the ring.
1. John Cena – for returning after a week hiatus to thwart the plans of John Laurinaitis by scoring victories over both Tensai and Michael Cole:
Unfortunately for the likes of Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, John Cena was absent from last week’s program and was therefore unable to put a halt to the destruction laid upon by The Big Show. He was, however, promised to be back on this Monday’s RAW and would surely offer some sort of reaction for what took place.
Being that Michael Cole ran the proceedings at the top of RAW, Cena found it hard to get a word in edge-wise and seemed to be defending himself more than anything. So it did come as quite a relief when John Laurinaitis rolled himself onto the stage and offered Cena the same deal he provided Show last week. Cena could name his opponent for the evening – it just couldn’t be Show, who was off for the night, or Laurinaitis, who declared his retirement as a singles competitor. Without those two options available, Cena decided that he would face Cole.
Cole spent the entire evening begging to get out of the situation, but he was unable to get anywhere in his protest. The match was going to happen. Only, there was a last minute curveball tossed out there by Laurinaitis. The Cena vs. Cole bout would of a no disqualification variety. However, would only take place if Cena was able to defeat Tensai.
Tensai’s had a good run against Cena since making his debut back with the WWE, so this wouldn’t be an easy task for the former multi-time heavyweight champion. But with a lot to prove and the humiliation of Cole on the line, Cena was able to hang tough and find a way this time to put the big man away. After kicking out of a cover following a double underhook suplex, Cena avoided a splash and went forth with delivering his series of moves to Tensai. He got all the way to the Attitude Adjustment and dropped Tensai to transition into a cover for the three-count.
Realizing his impending doom, Cole tried to run out of the arena. But Cena caught him. Cena stripped him, choked him, made him apologize to Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross, poured JR’s barbeque sauce all over him and then blasted him with a fire extinguisher. But just as Cena was about to put Cole away with an Attitude Adjustment, Tensai re-emerged on the scene and drove Cena into the mat with a chokebomb. Cole tried to take advantage of the situation by covering Cena. But Cena still kicked out and went forth in finishing Cole off with the Attitude Adjustment.
Things will be a lot more serious when Cena enters a Steel Cage with The Big Show at No Way Out. But he made out very well on at least this night, overcoming Laurinaitis’ People Power to get that big win over Tensai before humiliating Michael Cole much to the delight of everybody tuning in.