WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 5.20.13
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 20, 2013
3. Sheamus – for making Titus O’Neill eat his Extreme Rules postshow comments in singles action:
Sheamus faced one of his heaviest challenge at Extreme Rules when he battled Mark Henry in a Strap Match. The Celtic Warrior touched all four corners in succession and essentially buried Henry’s confidence to the point that The World’s Strongest Man may have walked out of the WWE.
It was an impressive feat for Sheamus, who rarely goes into a match the weaker man, to all but one individual — Titus O’Neil. O’Neil apparently trains with Henry and questioned Sheamus’ toughness even in his victory on Sunday. That was naturally going to draw some heat and O’Neil stood by his comments. That led to a match on RAW, where O’Neil would get to test out his claim in singles action against Sheamus.
O’Neil, who is a member of The Primetime Players alongside Darren Young, does have singles potential and he didn’t disappoint on Monday night. He showed some great power and had a few near falls against a former heavyweight champion. He realized, though, that Sheamus was tougher than he wanted to give him credit for.
O’Neil tried to put the match away on a cover following some outside interference by Young that hung Sheamus up on the ropes. Sheamus then slid out of a powerslam and sidestepped a charge that drove O’Neil into the turnbuckles. White Noise came next and Sheamus seemed ready to deliver a Brogue Kick. He pounded his chest and waited for O’Neil to turn around so he could deliver the winning blow. He covered up and got the three-count to prove to O’Neil exactly what he is made of.
O’Neil brought it (and had some help along the way from Young), but his assertion that Sheamus wasn’t tough was proven false on this night. Sheamus had a grueling battle with Henry a night earlier and still had enough in the tank to take on a hungry young superstar looking to prove a point.
2. Randy Orton – for giving Jack Swagger two bad nights in a row by RKOing his way to another win:
Like Sheamus, Randy Orton faced a tall order at Extreme Rules when he fought The Big Show in an Extreme Rules Match. Both competitors delivered a lot of punishment in that match and it took Orton resorting to a slightly frowned-upon maneuver to put the big man down for good. When he knew it needed to be done, Orton framed up Show and ran in for the punt to the skull to pick up the victory.
A man that had just as much luck at Extreme Rules as Show was Jack Swagger. He was on the losing end of his World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contenders “I Quit” Match against Alberto Del Rio, but he would receive very little time to dwell on the defeat when Vickie Guerrero announced on RAW that he would go one-on-one with an opponent of the WWE Universe’s choosing. Fans could vote through the WWE App (which I think the company REALLY wants us to know about). The choices were R-Truth, The Great Khali and Orton.
Of course, The Viper won and was sent out to give Swagger a second bad night in a row. Even with the disappointment from the previous night, Swagger still put forth a great effort and continued to have Zeb Colter in his corner to provide him with an advantage whenever possible. None of it was enough to tackle Orton, though, as he once again managed to sneak in an RKO to come out on top.
That RKO came after battling out of a Patriot Lock, which Swagger applied after avoiding an RKO. The move was latched on for about a minute and even Orton grabbing the bottom rope couldn’t break it. He had to kick Swagger off, which also sent The All-American American to the outside. Swagger quickly shot back into the ring, but he missed a closeline and caught the finishing RKO upon turning back around. Orton covered up, got the three-count and celebrated in front of the crowd that put him in the match in the first place.
After having Show on his mind ever since WrestleMania, Orton was finally able to move past that feud and come out strong in his first match after Extreme Rules. We’ll have to wait and see what’s next for The Viper, but it’s certain that he’s ready for whatever that might be.
1. The Shield – for remaining at the top of their game by defeating Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston in six-man tag team action just one night after taking their titles at Extreme Rules:
There was no bigger winner, or set of winners, at Extreme Rules than The Shield. Each man tasted his first dose of championship glory in the WWE and fortified the fact that the faction is as strong as it’s ever been.
At the pay-per-view, Dean Ambrose kicked off The Shield’s success by taking the United States Championship away from Kofi Kingston. The duo of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns capped off The Shield’s night by claiming the WWE Tag Team Championships in a Tornado Match against Team Hell No’s Daniel Bryan and Kane.
With gold added to their group, The Shield entered Monday night with even more confidence and conviction than before. They would need it, as they teamed up in six-person tag team action to face the three men they were victories over the night before — Bryan, Kane and Kingston.
In a backstage segment, the former champions were not as collected as The Shield. Bryan was freaking out and not even Kane or Kingston could get him calmed down. He seemed to get himself together enough, however, for the match against The Shield.
Things really picked up in this match when Reigns and Kane were tagged in. Kane took down Reigns and knocked Rollins off the apron for his first shots. He sent Reigns head-first into the turnbuckles and put him down on the mat with a slam. A closeline followed, as did a couple of charging closelines in the corner, before Kane put Reigns back down on the mat with a side slam. Kane covered, but he could only get the two before Ambrose broke up the pin.
Kingston came in and delivered a double axe handle off the top to Ambrose. He closelined Ambrose to the floor and then combined with Bryan, who targeted Rollins on the opposite side, for dual suicide dives to the outside. That left Kane and Reigns to duke it out inside the ring, while the other four individuals battled on the outside.
Coming off the ropes, Kane hit a leaping DDT on Reigns and covered for another two-count. Reigns created some separation by kicking Kane and he tried to pick him up, but Kane sent Reigns into the ropes instead and hit a boot to the face. Kane signaled for a chokeslam and waited for Reigns to get back to his feet, but he was temporarily diverted by Ambrose coming at him off the top rope.
Kane hit Ambrose with an uppercut and then turned back toward Reigns. Kane clasped his hand on Reigns’ throat, but Rollins springboarded in for an attack on Kane to break the hold before the chokeslam could be delivered. Reigns then waited for Kane to get up so he could charge in for a monstrous spear, which led to a cover and the three-count.
The Shield walked away with another victory to their credit and they’ve never looked more dominant. With an endless streak of wins and now with championships around their waists, The Shield is primed to do even bigger things around the WWE, which should be of great concern to every other superstar in that locker room.