WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 7.2.12
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 July 2, 2012
3. Santino Marella, Christian, R-Truth and Kofi Kingston – for teaming up in what eventually dwindled down to a 4-on-1 situation against David Otunga for an interesting eight-man tag team victory:
From time to time, the WWE likes to cluster a bunch of superstars together into a matchup for no sincere rhyme or reason. This Monday night’s RAW became one of those nights, when an eight-man tag team matchup was scheduled as the first bout of the broadcast.
In one corner would be the combination of The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O’Neill, accompanied to the ring by Abraham Washington), former Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and former John Laurinaitis lackey David Otunga. In the other corner stood the current WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, IC Champion Christian and United States Titleholder Santino Marella.
To be fair, there were a few connections in this match. The Prime Time Players are the next in line for a tag title shot, Rhodes is still displeased over dropping the Intercontinental gold to Christian and Marella is simply always a good time when he gets in front of the crowd.
But in just throwing these teams together, a lack of chemistry on one side of the ring spelled its doom in the long run. The tandem of champs managed to get along just fine. But the other group was clearly not on the same page.
Over the course of the match, A.W. saw less and less reason for his team to remain in the match. And after he called for them to leave the ring and essentially turn the match into a 4-on-2 handicap situation, Rhodes also decided to split just as Otunga was looking for a tag.
That left Otunga all by his lonesome to deal with the entire opposing team. Just to make matters worse, Brodus Clay made his presence felt as a measure of gaining retribution for the few occasions Otunga has gotten involved in his business. Otunga did his best to flee the scene much like his partners did. But he was surrounded and stopped by each member of the opposition, including a determined Funkasaurus who sent Otunga back into the ring and right into an awaiting Cobra. Marella covered up after the strike and collected the three-count for his team.
To add some insult to injury, Christian delivered a Kill Switch to Otunga after the match and Clay followed up with a splash. The mood turned a lot more delightful afterward, however, when all five men were joined inside the ring by some young fans for a little bit of dancing.
This, if nothing else, was a mildly entertaining match that gave a little bit of insight into the tag title situation, as well as the brewing rivalry between Clay and Otunga – a man that just so happens to need somebody to watch his back apparently.
2. The Big Show – for building up his Money In The Bank credibility with a No Disqualification Match win over Kane:
The Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the WWE Championship briefcase will involve an odd assortment of superstars this year. While Chris Jericho and Kane are no strangers to these kinds of matches, John Cena will be participating in his first and The Big Show is hardly so nimble a guy to be stepping up ladders. But that is the four-man bout as it stands and there really is no clear-cut favorite in this one.
In spite of that little nimble crack I just made about Show, he still stands a great chance of walking away with the briefcase. It might take him longer to climb the ladder, but the sheer focus he’s possessed and destruction he’s laid out over the past few weeks makes him a man few wish to reckon with.
Just last week, Show was able to completely thwart Brodus Clay’s attempt at revenge. And then he went on to demolish Cena at the end of the night. Show has his sights set on hurting people as he goes forth in trying to claim the WWE Title.
This week on RAW, he met one of the men he will be opposing at Money In The Bank.
In a bit of a brouhaha at the top of the night, everybody involved in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match and WWE Championship bout got into the ring for a little discourse that turned into brawling. And when the smoke cleared, Show was standing tall over everybody.
His night would continue on in much the same fashion, when he was scheduled to face Kane in a No Disqualification Match. Show would not be able to manhandle Kane like he can several other superstars on the RAW roster. And he was given a far greater fight than the one presented to him by Clay a week ago. But not even Kane could stand in the way of Show’s impressive roll right now.
When Show initially introduced a chair into this match, Kane was able to avoid being nailed by it and even picked up a pin attempt off DDT. But when he went to the top rope, Show avoided a closeline by Kane and then delivered a spear to The Big Red Machine as Kane looked to pick up the steel chair. Show followed up by slamming Kane into the chair via a chokeslam before covering up for the pinfall.
Show will meet capable competition, Kane included, when he enters the Money in the Bank Ladder Match in two weeks. But he is far from a long shot considering his sheer ability to take guys down and out regardless of the method involved. Win or loss, he’s definitely going to hurt some people in the process.
1. AJ – for scoring the pinfall in her mixed tag team bout alongside Sheamus before moving on to cause a disturbance in the main event matchup involving CM Punk and Daniel Bryan:
AJ has undoubtedly crawled into the hearts of many wrestling since she first started going a little loopy. CM Punk is not the only person that digs crazy chicks, a categorization that seems to fit the bill perfectly for AJ as of late.
AJ’s episodes seem to serve multiple purposes. Not only is she just generally off her rocker, but her desire to impress Punk and become the center of the attention has led AJ to influence several matchups surrounding the WWE Title scene. On numerous occasions, she has buried herself inside the head of Kane and caused him to screw up during tag team competition and the WWE Championship Match at No Way Out.
Now instead of just suddenly appearing to play a role in screwing up matches, she will have direct involvement at Money In The Bank. While serving as the guest general manager of the week, Vickie Guerrero announced on last Friday’s Smackdown that AJ will serve as the referee for the WWE Championship Match between Daniel Bryan and Punk at Money In The Bank. Bryan, who was the one who initially pushed AJ over the edge, was not pleased with this decision that clearly benefits Punk.
But Bryan could possibly warm up to the idea if Punk’s attitude toward AJ doesn’t change, however.
AJ was scheduled to compete in a mixed tag team match this week on RAW alongside Sheamus against the duo of Dolph Ziggler and Guerrero. Bryan tried to butter AJ up prior to the match with a rose, but AJ saw right through him and ended up biting the rose petals off their stem after telling Bryan that she would run into the arms of the man she loves following her victory.
One part of that statement was accurate – she did win the match. In an effort to avoid eating a Brogue Kick late in the match, Ziggler tagged Guerrero in and therefore forced AJ in as the legal competitor, as well. Ziggler still took the Brogue Kick and ended up on the floor. But then AJ managed to hit the Shining Wizard on Guerrero for the pinning opportunity and ensuing three-count.
AJ immediately headed to the back thrilled with her victory. But when she got there, Punk was on the phone. She pestered the WWE Champion about who he was on the phone with and then became incredibly upset upon finding out that Punk didn’t even see her match. He didn’t pay attention to her. Way to go, bro!
AJ became motivated to do something about that when the returning Eve Torres got in her face later in the night. Torres always seems to be seeking attention and AJ promised to show her exactly how to get attention.
She did so by once again becoming an interfering factor in the main event. John Cena teamed up with Punk to take on the duo of Chris Jericho and Bryan in this match, though Cena and Jericho had already brawled to the back by the time AJ hit the arena. When she did, she skipped around the ring in hopes of drawing focus her way. But she became upset again when Punk and Bryan just continued fighting each other instead of turning toward her.
Eventually Punk and Bryan took themselves out with simultaneous cross bodies. AJ took this opportunity to make her move and she pulled a table out from under the ring. After setting it up, she headed up top and appeared ready to jump right through it. Bryan quickly fled the ring and stood between the ring and table while he pled with AJ not to jump. Then Punk climbed a few turnbuckles to convince her to get down. And that’s where AJ made her move. She kissed Punk, shoved him off the turnbuckles, and he collided with Bryan just before the two went crashing through the waiting table. AJ proceeded to chant “Yes!” as RAW came to a close.
After it was all said and done, she got what she wanted. A victory over Ziggler and Guerrero didn’t net her the attention she sought from Punk. So she received it at the end of the night by interfering in a tag team match that boiled down to almost a preview of what could take place at Money In The Bank.
She’s clearly going to play a role in the outcome of the WWE Championship Match at that pay-per-view. But now it’s uncertain what side she’s going to be playing on and exactly how much she will influence the bout’s result.