WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 9.3.12
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 September 3, 2012
3. Eve Torres – for graciously beating the No. 1 Contender to the Divas Championship, Kaitlyn:
When John Laurinaitis was leading the way on both RAW and Smackdown, Eve Torres developed a great deal of leeway when it came to the power she possessed within the WWE. Once the general manager was exiled from the WWE and replaced by AJ Lee and Booker T., Torres lost her control and simply fell into the line with the rest of the superstars.
Slowly but surely, Torres regained some of her status by winning her way toward an assistant position over on Smackdown to Booker T. Even though Booker was receiving advice already from Teddy Long, who served a great deal of time as GM over on Smackdown, it seems that Torres has shown much more initiative in her role to help Booker get his job done more efficiency. She has also developed a much nicer attitude along the way, as well.
This shift in demeanor was put on display this week on RAW. She stepped into the ring for a one-on-one matchup with the surprise No. 1 Contender for the Divas Championship, Kaitlyn, who took her position on the totem pole when she eliminated Torres in a battle royal two weeks ago. Meanwhile, the titleholder, Layla, sat by at the commentary table and continually pointed out her skepticism over the new Eve Torres.
Inside the ring, Kaitlyn’s early advantage over Torres was relinquished after delivering one right hand shot that seemed to wake up her opponent. Torres came right back with a takedown and fired away on Kaitlyn until the referee stepped in to break the two apart. After Torres calmed down, she offered up a handshake to Kaitlyn to show her good sportsmanship and continued on the offensive with a wristlock. Torres then took Kaitlyn down with a drop toe hold and slapped on a front face lock.
Kaitlyn eventually worked her way back to her feet and shot Torres into the ropes, but Torres took out her legs on the way back to remain in control. Kaitlyn had to be checked on by the referee at this point and Torres stood back while she was helped back to her feet. Once getting there, however, Torres pounced with a kick to the midsection and a spinning neckbreaker that put Katilyn back down on the mat for a three-count.
Torres continued to display her newfound humbleness by helping Kaitlyn back up after the bell and by offering up a handshake to Layla at the announcers’ desk. Layla, almost reluctantly, obliged.
It’s clear that Kaitlyn is pretty much an afterthought at the moment and she is merely the placeholder to bridge toward an eventual Divas Championship Match between Layla and Torres. Torres’ respectful ways are questionable at best, but she is putting on a face for now and working her way toward that title shot she would have liked to participate in at Night of Champions.
2. Sheamus – for soundly defeating Jack Swagger to the point that The All-American American needed to re-assess his recent performances:
Sheamus is biding his time right now until the moment comes at Night of Championships that he can once again get his hands on Alberto Del Rio in the World Heavyweight Title Match. Del Rio has been a rather big thorn in the side of Sheamus throughout their rivalry on Smackdown, and he’s going for what could very well be his final shot at the belt before Sheamus moves on to his next foe in two weeks.
In a rare move by the WWE, Sheamus actually opened up RAW this week with a microphone to discuss what his matchup with Del Rio. Unfortunately, he was interrupted by CM Punk before he could say much, and the WWE Champion rambled on a bit about folks like Jerry “The King” Lawler and John Cena.
Sheamus eventually had enough of hearing this and basically called the Chicago-native a hypocrite for disrespecting him despite all of his own claims about being disrespected. He even invited Punk down to the ring instead of talking to him all the way from the stage. Punk simply responded by considering Sheamus to be beneath him, an assessment that general manager AJ Lee disagreed with when she skipped her way out to the stage and booked a matchup between the two.
That bout would not go down, however. When it was time for the two champions to go at it, Punk elected to cash in one of his personal days and he left the arena. Without an opponent, Sheamus was told to remain in the ring while Lee scrambled for another challenger. That unlucky soul would be Jack Swagger.
Swagger obviously doesn’t present the same kind of challenge that Punk does, but he is still a tremendous wrestler that can give anybody a hard time regardless of his won-loss record.
Still, Sheamus handled the All-American American fairly well and even broke out a new move in his arsenal that could possibly even make an appearance against Del Rio at Night of Champions.
After kicking out of a two-count following the Vader Bomb by Swagger, Sheamus caught Swagger charging in at him by delivering a knee to the jaw. Then he broke out the Texas Cloverleaf, which made this fan of the move pretty excited, and Swagger was left with no alternative but the tap out.
After the bell, Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez – who were sitting by at the ringside as this match took place – ran into the ring for a brawl with the World Heavyweight Champion. The end result was Del Rio getting the White Noise, while Rodriguez got the worst of everything by eating a vicious Brogue Kick originally intended for his boss.
As is usual for The Celtic Warrior, he seems pretty pumped right now and is more than ready to defend his championship against Del Rio in two weeks time.
1. Dolph Zigger – for picking up a meaningful victory over Randy Orton in one-on-one action:
While Dolph Ziggler awaits the most opportune moment to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase, he is caught up at the moment in dealing with Randy Orton. Orton was the man that prevented him from taking advantage of perhaps his best opportunity to call for the title shot a few weeks ago on Smackdown, and Ziggler has yet to move past that unfortunate moment when he received an RKO instead of pinning Sheamus to take claim to the World Heavyweight Championship.
After going at it in singles competition during the main event of last Friday night’s Smackdown, a match that Orton came out on top of, they would face each other yet again to open up the in-ring action of this week’s RAW. Ziggler would take this opportunity to exact some revenge and even the score against The Viper.
As expected, they put on a solid back-and-forth exhibition in which the tides could have easily turned either way. But when things started to heat up at the end, it was Ziggler who managed to catch Orton and keep him down by any means necessary in order to come out victorious.
After missing the leg drop bulldog, Orton promptly placed him on the ropes and delivered the DDT to set up for the RKO. When he went for the move, however, Ziggler shot him off into the corner. Ziggler charged in at him, but Orton avoided him and went for a rollup instead. Ziggler reversed that rollup and grabbed a hold of Orton’s tights to keep his shoulders pinned down on the mat for the three-count.
It sure was a sneaky way for Ziggler to get the win, but a victory is a victory to him. That’s a great match for him to take a win out of and it will certainly help elevate his confidence level as he continues to seek out the best moment to cash in his title shot. I doubt we’ve seen the last of Ziggler vs. Orton, as well, so it should be fun to see what developed as those two continue to go at it in the coming weeks.