WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 11.19.12
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 19, 2012
3. Ryback – for taking out some aggression over being screwed at Survivor Series in the opening matchup against Tensai:
Ryback’s second shot at the WWE Championship went about as well as his first. Just like his match against CM Punk at Hell In A Cell, Ryback seemed to have the match wrapped up until outside forces screwed him out of securing the WWE Title at the Survivor Series.
At the pay-per-view on Sunday, Ryback was just moments away from getting the biggest victory of his career with both Punk and Cena laid out courtesy of the Shell Shocked. Before he could cover up on Cena, however, Ryback was attacked by three NXT superstars – Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. They attacked Ryback and put him through the Spanish announce table, leaving Punk alone in the ring with Cena to steal the pinfall and retain the championship.
Ryback never really seemed to be a patient and forgiving man, so it was no surprise that he opened RAW calling out both Punk and the three henchmen that played a role in the outcome of the previous evening’s main event. He threatened to tear the place apart, which didn’t please supervising manager of RAW Vickie Guerrero very much. She told him he was going to do no such thing and even introduced him to his opponent for the show’s opening match.
It turned out to be Tensai, who Ryback has faced in the past and had some trouble with despite still coming out victorious. Ryback’s most notable problem with Tensai in past matches was his inability to lift Tensai up for the Shell Shocked. Luckily for Ryback this go around, he was far more determined.
Tensai is a big and powerful guy, which resulted in him getting some offense in against Ryback. It was just a matter of time, though, before Ryback let loose. He got Tensai into position to closeline him over the top rope before following the big man out so that he could toss him into the barricade. Ryback then put Tensai back into the ring and dropped him with the Meat Hook closeline, which set Ryback up to finish it with a Shell Shocked that he was able to pull off with little difficulty. The pinfall followed and Ryback came away with a convincing rebound victory.
Ryback’s night was not complete and it would sour toward the end. He was “invited” to Punk’s celebration for being WWE Champion over the past 365 days. Ryback took that invitation and interrupted the titleholder during his speech. But as Ryback made his way down the ramp, he was once again attacked by Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns. They sent him through the announce table again, laying Ryback out and leaving him to be stood over by the self-proclaimed best in the world as RAW came to a close.
The night didn’t end the way Ryback would have liked, but neither did the Survivor Series and he let his aggression out with a solid win over Tensai. Ryback will wise up to these attacks and it seems only inevitable that he will get his revenge over the guys from NXT, possibly clearing another path toward Punk and the WWE Championship.
2. Wade Barrett – for defeating Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston in non-title action:
Wade Barrett may not have been the final man standing in the Team Ziggler vs. Team Foley elimination-style match at the Survivor Series, but he was on the winning team and managed to go relatively deep. He was sent packing when The Miz countered out of a Wasteland and hit the Skull Crushing Finale, but Barrett was able to lend a hand in dwindling down the numbers earlier on when he eliminated Kofi Kingston from Team Foley.
The pinfall over Kingston in that match led to Barrett receiving a non-title showdown against the Intercontinental Champion. Barrett was pretty motivated and sought a good showing against Kingston in hopes of receiving an Intercontinental Title shot somewhere down the line.
If Barrett was truly auditioning for a future title opportunity, he certainly impressed. Not only did he take Kingston to task, but he came out victorious even after a late scare.
Kingston was able to come at Barrett strong with a cross body off the top rope and an SOS, both of which netted Kingston near falls. But when Barrett connected on a kick to the gut and ran Kingston’s previously-injured eye across the top rope, Kingston’s control of the match ceased and Barrett finished him off with the Bull Hammer elbow to pick up the pinfall.
It’s hard to believe that two pinfalls over Kingston won’t grant Barrett a shot at the Intercontinental Title sooner rather than later. He’s qualified for the opportunity and could have a great shot at taking the belt if he performs like he did at the Survivor Series and the following night on RAW.
1. Randy Orton – for picking up a 2-out-of-3 falls victory over nemesis Alberto Del Rio:
Randy Orton had greater success than Wade Barrett in that Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler elimination-style matchup at the Survivor Series. He made it all the way to the final two to battle Ziggler for victory of the match. Unfortunately for Orton, a punt to the head was countered with a super kick from Ziggler that he was unable to get up from when he was covered up for the three-count.
Prior to taking the loss, however, Orton was able to eliminate a recent nemesis when he took Alberto Del Rio out of the equation with an RKO. The Viper would receive another shot at besting Del Rio 24 hours later when he went up against Del Rio again – this time in a 2-out-of-3 falls match.
Orton got the first fall, even if it came in a manner he would have rather avoided. It was a disqualification against Del Rio, who punished Orton’s arm against the steel ring post and ignored the referee’s warning to stop. While that put Orton up 1-0, the damage done to his arm would cause problems when Del Rio managed to slap on a cross armbreaker. Orton was forced tap out, which evened things up at one fall each and left the match up to a more pressure-filled third fall.
Del Rio continued to target the arm and even locked on another cross armbreaker, which Orton got out of by rolling Del Rio up for a two count. After kicking out, Del Rio charged at Orton in the corner for an attempted springboard enziguri kick. Orton was able to avoid it, though, and shot right back at Del Rio with an RKO that connected. Orton covered up for the three-count to grab yet another win over Del Rio.
Orton found himself at a disadvantage when Del Rio sacrificed a fall to severely weaken his arm. But, Orton stuck in there when it mattered and gutted through a third fall in order to hit the RKO. It was an impressive win after falling just short for Team Foley.