WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 5.6.13
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 May 6, 2013
3. Kaitlyn – for pinning the No. 1 Contender to her Divas Championship, AJ Lee, to record a win for her six-person team:
Kaitlyn is a very busy lady these days. Not only is she the Divas Champion, but she is also the object of somebody’s affection in the WWE. Between fending off challengers and figuring out who her stalker … err, admirer is, she has a fairly tight schedule.
The champion managed to work in a six-person tag team match on this Monday’s RAW, where she teamed up with The Funkadactyls to face AJ Lee and The Bella Twins. This bout was the intermingling of two separate feuds, of course, as AJ is the No. 1 Contender for the Divas Title, and Cameron and Naomi have their own bit of heat going with Nikki and Brie.
There is also some reason to believe The Bella Twins might have something to do with Kaitlyn’s admirer situation. After a team meeting backstage between the champion, The Funkadactyls and even Natalya, Nikki and Brie emerged from behind a curtain with smiles on their faces. It was just a smidge suspicious that they happened to be hiding out there at that moment.
Regardless, there was action to get to in the ring and most the match was dominated by AJ working over Cameron. AJ taunted Kaitlyn throughout, but there was little she could do about it with Cameron finding very little breathing room in this contest.
When Cameron moved away from a splash in the corner from AJ, however, she was able to create a momentum swing. She put AJ down with a closeline and then hit a crossbody out of the corner before crawling to her corner for a tag to Kaitlyn.
Once in the ring, Kaitlyn stared down AJ as the challenger tried to back her off. When that didn’t work, AJ slapped Kaitlyn across the face, which simply angered the champion. Kaitlyn blocked another slap from AJ, who turned to her corner for a tag but only found the Bella Twins abounding her. When she turned around, Kaitlyn ran in at her with a spear and covered up for the three-count.
AJ did most of the offensive work in the match, but Kaitlyn barely had to break a sweat in taking care of the No. 1 Contender once she was tagged into the match. In that moment, where Kaitlyn was annoyed at the slap and blocked another from AJ, it showed that Kaitlyn can intimidate AJ and may very well hold a mental advantage along with the obvious physical edge she’ll have in their title match.
2. Randy Orton – for continuing to show his dominance over both members of Team Rhodes Scholars as he awaits a showdown with The Big Show:
Randy Orton is very clearly headed down the path toward the match against The Big Show. However, his past couple of weeks have been filled with matches against Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow.
Last week, Orton competed in one of the best matches of the night on RAW against Cody Rhodes, coming up with a win off a Disaster Kick-countered RKO. Then on Friday night’s Smackdown, Orton made relatively easy work of Team Rhodes Scholars’ other member —Damien Sandow — with another RKO finish.
Unfortunately for Orton, Sandow got some redemption later on Smackdown when he attacked The Viper during a spat with Show. That led to a rematch between the two on RAW this week, where Orton would try to make it two in a row against Sandow.
If points were awarded in professional wrestling, Sandow would have received plenty for his spectacular rendition of Orton’s theme music prior to the match even starting. Unfortunately for Sandow, the only thing that matters is what occurs in the ring and he couldn’t come up with a performance nearly as good as the one he dished out on the mic.
Orton, who controlled the match early on, found himself in a chinlock midway through and needed to fight out of it. Once he did, Orton hit a couple of closelines and the snap slam before getting jacked up for a charge in the corner. Sandow caught him with an elbow to the face, but Orton took right back over by hitting a dropkick to Sandow as he jumped off the turnbuckles.
Sandow rolled to the apron, which led to the rope-assisted DDT. Orton then called for the RKO, which he hit as Sandow was simply stumbling on his feet. The three-count was guaranteed from there and Orton picked up his second win in a row over Sandow.
Orton’s night was not all rosy, as he caught a KO Punch from Show when he was heading up the stage toward the back. The Viper certainly would have liked to close out his night in better fashion, but he should get his chance at redemption against Show shortly. In a face-to-face showdown, Orton should fare a lot better.
1. Ryback – for continuing to make his case as a legitimate contender by beating Kane and then laying out John Cena:
One could easily make the case that Ryback is being cowardly in his recent actions (or non-actions) concerning John Cena. Ducking a main event bout last week against The Shield is not exactly the symbol of bravery. But it’s also possible that Ryback’s moves are actually calculated and could stand to put him in the best situation going into a WWE Championship Match at Extreme Rules against an injured champion.
That match was called into question early on RAW, when Vickie Guerrero interrupted Cena during one of his speeches to ask the champion about the stipulation for the title match in two weeks. Ryback came out for the announcement, but Cena didn’t really care what conditions the match was wrestled under. With the ball in Ryback’s court, the challenger called for their encounter to be a Last Man Standing Match.
With that business taken care of, Ryback had some more to take care of. Daniel Bryan, who Ryback beat on Smackdown, was interviewed backstage. He was also attacked by The Shield on Friday, but he assured everyone he was fine and would challenge Ryback to a rematch. Ryback heard this and appeared on screen, turning down the challenge from somebody who is half the man he is. Kane showed up and asked if he fit the bill, to which Ryback told Kane he wasn’t the monster he used to be. Regardless, that challenge was accepted and Ryback vs. Kane was set for the main event.
In a solid match between the two big men, Ryback rarely seemed deterred. After catching Kane coming off the ropes with a spinebuster, Ryback wanted to “Finish It” and looked to lift him up for a Shell Shocked. Kane blocked, however, and countered with a suplex. He covered for a two-count and then climbed the ropes.
Ryback met Kane on the turnbuckles and fought him to prevent the flying closeline, but Kane shoved him back down to the mat. Ryback came right back at Kane by hitting the ropes to trip him up, which allowed Ryback to get Kane on his shoulders for the Shell Shocked. Ryback marched and hit the move this time to get the cover and three-count.
That was a great display of strength and would have been perfect cause for celebration had The Shield not hit the arena right after. Ryback left the ring almost instantly, while Bryan and Cena hit the ring to help Kane. Ryback entered the ring against shortly, though, with a steel chair in hand. While it may have initially seemed he would use the weapon against The Shield, he drove it into Cena’s gut instead and then smashed him across the back. The show ended with Ryback standing tall over the body of the champion.
Ryback honestly looks great in this feud and stands a real shot at dethroning Cena. He has been smart and calculating throughout this feud, and he’s established good momentum heading into the WWE Championship Match. With the Last Man Standing stipulation and Cena’s bad wheel, Ryback has the edge.