WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 11.5.12
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 November 5, 2012
3. Wade Barrett – for agreeing to be involved in the elimination-style Survivor Series Match before putting on a good show in front of his home crowd against Brodus Clay:
When The Miz bailed on Team Punk because he was un-impressed with the way that CM Punk bailed on his group once Ryback hit the ring last week, Paul Heyman was left searching for a replacement. It’s unknown how much Heyman will really have invested in the elimination-style matchup at Survivor Series considering Punk is no longer a part of it. But he still did his job prior to that alteration and landed a suitable replacement in the form of Wade Barrett.
Barrett wasn’t initially on board with joining Team Punk. However, he re-thought is stance and agreed to be a member of what is now Team Ziggler on the condition that Heyman owed him one. Heyman agreed to that, and it will likely come back to haunt him down the road since Barrett wanted it in writing.
Now with a purpose for Survivor Series, and a big match scheduled for Main Event on Wednesday night against former-World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, Barrett took to the ring on RAW for a bout against The Funkasaurus, Brodus Clay.
Clay did well at the start, but the man with the hometown advantage took control soon enough when he caught Clay coming off the rope with the Winds of Change side slam. Barrett delivered the mounted punches and then sent a few boots to the back of Clay that left him dangling off the apron. Barrett exited the ring to drill him with several knees to the face and then re-entered to go for a cover that only got him a one-count.
Barrett applied a chinlock and then a front chancery, but Clay was able to push him off and drop him with a forearm. Clay followed with a closeline and a charging headbutt, and then he connected on a splash in the corner. Clay went to the well once too often and was sidestepped went he went for another splash to Barrett in the opposite corner.
Barrett immediately came at Clay with a kick to the midsection, which set up the Souvenir elbow to put Clay down on the mat for the three-count.
Barrett really handled the big man pretty nicely in his home country and looks poised to put up solid competition against Sheamus on Wednesday night. That was also a good sign for his involvement on Team Ziggler at the Survivor Series, as he also seems primed to be a healthy contributor in that matchup.
2. Sheamus – for picking up a solid victory over The Miz to continue moving forward after his World Heavyweight Championship loss at Hell In A Cell:
Wade Barrett’s opponent for Wednesday also had a good night on RAW. Sheamus is looking to get himself into gear for his World Heavyweight Championship rematch against The Big Show at Survivor Series, where The Celtic Warrior hopes to reclaim the gold he lost at Hell In A Cell. He will be given a good test against Barrett on main event, but his Monday night dance card was booked, too.
Sheamus faced The Miz, who had dropped out of Team Punk earlier in the night. In what was perhaps the best match of the night, Sheamus also received a great challenge from Miz. All the while, he had to worry about Big Show being nearby, as the big man provided guest commentary at the announce table.
Show would provide enough of a distraction midway through the match to allow Miz to take advantage and gain control of what was really going Sheamus’ way to that point. Miz did some good work on Sheamus in the second half of this match and picked up a few near falls in the process. But when Miz attempted a charge in the corner at Sheamus, he was met with the Irish Hammer.
Sheamus was full steam ahead with another and then delivered a big shoulder block into the turnbuckles on Miz. He drilled Miz with a running high knee, but Miz was able to fight back a bit and get the boots up when Sheamus charged at him in the corner. Sheamus still caught Miz running at him out of the corner with a powerslam and covered up for a two-count.
Sheamus lifted Miz off the mat and took some elbow shots to the side of the head for his troubles. When Miz retreated to the corner, however, Sheamus got lifted onto the apron and nailed Miz in the head with a right hand. Sheamus followed up with a shoulder tackle off the top turnbuckle and covered up for another two-count.
Sheamus tried to lift Miz up for the White Noise, but Miz squirmed out and shoved Sheamus into the turnbuckles before quickly rolling up for a one-count. Miz hit a boot to Sheamus’ knee and dropped him with a DDT for a slightly more successful two-count.
Miz headed for the ropes and missed a low kick, which Sheamus countered with a rollup of his that he tried to transition into a Texas Cloverleaf. Miz kicked him off and ducked a Brogue Kick, but an attempt at the Skull Crushing Finale was blocked and Sheamus elbowed out. Miz once again took out the knee of Sheamus with a kick, but a charge at Sheamus out of the corner caught him in the White Noise, which connected this time. It was time for the Brogue Kick and Sheamus hit it to get the pinfall over Miz.
Sheamus engaged in a staredown with Show following the match, and it will surely be a physical rematch between those two come Survivor Series. Sheamus needs to focus on Barrett for Wednesday night first, but he seems ready for his shot at reclaiming the World Heavyweight Championship.
1. Ryback – for dominating during his short time in the main event to get a pinfall over WWE Champion CM Punk in tag team action in preparation for his new title match at Survivor Series:
Ryback entered this week’s Monday Night RAW as a member of Team Foley in a traditional elimination-style matchup at the Survivor Series. It was there that he would be given the opportunity to get his hands on CM Punk, who would captain the opposing team. That match was shaken up quite a bit this week, however, by none other than Vince McMahon.
After addressing Brad Maddox’ desire to get a WWE contract and a match against Ryback, the former of which will be granted along with $1 million should he be able to defeat the man he screwed at Hell In A Cell, McMahon had one more piece of business to handle. He pulled Vickie Guerrero out from the back and heavily persuaded the managing supervisor of RAW to book a WWE Championship Match at Survivor Series.
Somewhat unwillingly, Guerrero went along with McMahon’s ideas, pulling Punk and Ryback out of the elimination match to go at it for the WWE Title. To make the match even more interesting, it quickly became a triple threat bout with the addition of John Cena to the fold.
Guerrero also made a more immediate decision after meeting backstage with McMahon. She booked a tag team matchup for Monday’s main event, which teamed Punk and Dolph Ziggler up to take on the duo of John Cena and Ryback.
Ryback remained on the apron for most of this match, while Cena was kept in the ring for quite a bit. But once a tag was finally made to him, Ryback made very quick work of the opposition.
He burst into the ring with a couple of closelines for Punk, followed by a back body drop. Ryback very briefly turned toward Ziggler to drop him with a forearm before getting right back at Punk with a spinebuster. Ziggler then got tossed into the turnbuckles and lifted up for a slam that dropped him right onto Punk.
Ziggler got closelined to the outside and that left Ryback alone in the ring to set up the finish. First, he dropped Punk with the Meat Hook closeline. Then came the Shell Shocked, which kept Punk pinned down for the three-count.
Meanwhile, Cena looked on from the floor as he tried to recover from the punishment he sustaitned during his time in the ring. When Ryback started to chant “Feed Me More,” Cena entered the ring and engaged in a staredown with the man he stepped aside to for the WWE Title Match at Hell In A Cell. At Survivor Series, he will have to actually get in the ring with Ryback and that realization dawned on him at RAW came to a close.
Ryback remains a dangerous man and doesn’t seem deterred in the least by his “loss” at Hell In A Cell. Next week, he’ll get to deal with Maddox. And then at Survivor Series, he’ll get another crack at the WWE Championship, albeit it with Cena thrown into the mix this time.