WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 4.1.13
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 April 1, 2013
3. Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show – for displaying their cohesiveness six days before going up against The Shield:
Many superstars in the WWE have encountered the wrath of The Shield, but three of them are bold enough to try and fight back at WrestleMania. Randy Orton, Sheamus and The Big Show will combine their efforts on Sunday with hopes of ending the reign of terror placed upon the WWE by Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
The one problem with that plan is that Orton, Sheamus and Show have not worked together nearly as much as The Shield and one could easily question how well these three superstars can work together against their far-more cohesive competition.
Orton, Sheamus and Show would put their partnership to the test on Monday by taking part in six-man tag team action against 3MB. Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre are hardly in the same category of difficulty as The Shield, but this would still be a nice test to see if Orton, Sheamus and Show could get the job done.
It turns out they can. Sheamus did get worked over a bit by 3MB during the match, but an Irish Curse backbreaker swung momentum right back in his team’s favor. Show was tagged into the match and gave Mahal a couple of closelines, a back splash in the corner and then a shoulder tackle. Slater and McIntrye were then caught in goozles, and Show shoved Slater into an RKO from Orton, McIntyre into a Brogue Kick from Sheamus and then held onto Mahal for himself so he could deliver the KO Punch. Show covered up on Mahal and collected the pinfall for his team.
Despite this effort, The Shield wasn’t impressed and appeared in the crowd to make it know that they didn’t believe Orton, Sheamus and Show could function as a unit at WrestleMania.
It’s true that the edge in chemistry does go to The Shield, which has been a solid unit since joining the WWE. With a common enemy, though, Orton, Sheamus and Show should be able to shelve their differences and will look to duplicate their work from Monday night when they square off against The Shield at WrestleMania.
2. Chris Jericho – for picking up a win over United States Champion Antonio Cesaro even with Fandango hanging around to distract him:
Chris Jericho is wrestling a bit of an unknown at WrestleMania, as Fandango is a pretty tough read during this early stage of his career. One week, Fandango is ripe for the picking to take a mocking based on his name. Then the following week, he’s destroying Jericho in the middle of the ring right after Y2J came out on top in a match against Dolph Ziggler.
Jericho has at least been enlightened to the fact that Fandango is a threat to him and he needs to keep a close eye on the newcomer whenever he’s around. Jericho would need to play by this strategy on RAW, when he put in another night of singles work against United States Champion Antonio Cesaro.
Like last week, Jericho was able to pull through with an impressive victory. And he had to do it with Fandango hanging out on the stage scoring him during the match. Fandango eventually moved down closer to the ring and Jericho finally drilled him with a dropkick through the ropes once he got sick of receiving such low scores.
After doing that Cesaro was almost able to put Jericho away with a small package. Jericho kicked out, though, and managed to get Cesaro into the Walls of Jericho to force the champion to tap out in this non-title encounter.
Also like last week, Jericho’s celebration was cut short when Fandango assaulted him after the match right in the middle of the ring.
Those sneak attacks will not be a part of Fandango’s game plan come WrestleMania, though, as he needs to face Jericho face-to-face, one-on-one this Sunday. And the momentum that comes from beating Ziggler and Cesaro two weeks in a row is a surefire way to make sure Jericho feels ready and prepared to be the first man to both face and hopefully beat Fandango in a match.
1. Dolph Ziggler – for beating Daniel Bryan in singles action before watching his WrestleMania tag team partner destroy Team Hell No:
Dolph Ziggler may have taken the loss to Chris Jericho a week ago, but he has bigger things on his plate heading into WrestleMania. He will team up with his “heavy,” Big E. Langston, to face Team Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Championships.
The big question in that tag team matchup will be what Langston brings to the table. It’s obvious that he can overpower foes from outside the ring. But can he handle the rigors of an actual match?
The answer to that question would not be found on this week’s RAW, as he simply remained in the corner of Ziggler during his singles match against Daniel Bryan. Langston, as well as AJ Lee, did, however, still play an integral role in the conclusion of the match even from the ringside area.
In the midst of a solid bout between Bryan and Ziggler, AJ decided to get herself involved by playing those mind games with Kane that she does so well. She skipped around and distracted him so that Langston could come from out of nowhere with a crushing blow that dropped Kane. Langston did take a basement dropkick to the back of the head from Bryan following that assault. But in taking time to deliver that move to Langston, Bryan opened himself up to be rolled up by Ziggler, who hooked the tights and got the three-count.
Following this win, it became the Langston show. He came into the ring and dropped Bryan with the Big Ending. Kane tried to come in and get the better of the big man, even locking on a goozle in hopes of hitting the chokeslam. Langston was able to power out of that, though, and hit Kane with the Big Ending, as well. Ziggler and Langston held the tag titles up after this domination in what they hope will be a preview of this Sunday.
Langston may not have had a match in the WWE yet, but he hasn’t given any reason to believe he can’t be the same dominant figure that he has been as bodyguard of sorts for Ziggler. Ziggler is a great wrestler himself and can more than hold his own, but to have the kind of muscle Langston brings to the table to compliment his game provides this duo a great shot at being the team to take the straps off Team Hell No.