WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 5.27.13
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 27, 2013
3. The Bella Twins – for capitalizing on a miscommunication between Natalya and Kaitlyn to score a tag team victory:
Life as Divas Champion has been rather hectic for Kaitlyn. She has her former best friend, AJ Lee, to worry about as No. 1 Contender for that title. The Bella Twins remain a thorn in her side. And she has a secret admirer that has been keeping her on her toes. It’s admirable that she has been able to keep everything in order to this point.
She has faced some unraveling along the way, such as what went down this week on RAW. She teamed up with Natalya in tag action to face Nikki and Brie Bella. The Bella Twins are always mischievous and have their sights set on making Kaitlyn’s run with the title a difficult one. It even seems as if they are behind the whole secret admirer situation that has occupied much of Kaitlyn’s attention.
Natalya, who was in front of her hometown crowd in Calgary, has been trying to help Kaitlyn during the secret admirer search and is as close to a trustworthy partner as the champion has right now in the Divas division. That trust would not prevent some miscommunication in this match, however, which worked in the Bellas’ favor.
Kaitlyn struggled early, but she was eventually able to tag Natalya into the match. Natalya, who celebrated a birthday on Monday, turned momentum back to her team and even managed to lock on a Sharpshooter to Brie — apropos considering it was also Bret Hart Appreciation Night and “The Hitman” was in attendance.
Nikki broke up the submission by slapping Natalya across the face, and Kaitlyn returned the favor by spearing her. Nikki rolled to the floor and Brie sent Kaitlyn outside, as well, leaving her alone in the ring with Natalya. Brie grabbed Natalya with hopes of hitting a bulldog, but she moved out of the way when she noticed Kaitlyn coming in with another spear. Kaitlyn inadvertently nailed Natalya with the spear, and she was sent back to the apron by the referee after showing concern for her partner. Brie knocked Kaitlyn off the apron and then covered up on Natalya to get the three-count.
The arrogant Bella Twins mocked Natalya by singing “Happy Birthday” to her in a not-so-nice way, and that upset Natalya. The whole situation can’t be good for the friendship between Kaitlyn and her. For Brie and Nikki, though, they got the best of the champion and her buddy, and were very proud of their accomplishments.
2. Randy Orton and Sheamus – for combining en route to victory over Team Rhodes Scholars in tag team action:
Randy Orton and Sheamus have been intertwined off-and-on for several months now, so it’s a common occurrence for them to team up as one of the toughest teams in the WWE. They recently joined Kofi Kingston on last Friday night’s Smackdown to face The Shield. It ended up in a loss, but there were some shenanigans on the part of The Shield in the concluding moments of the bout, which ended on a Dean Ambrose pin on Kingston.
Orton and Sheamus moved past that for tag team competition on RAW this week to go up against some familiar opponents of Orton’s — Team Rhodes Scholars. Several weeks back, Orton had a good run in singles matchups against both Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow, so having Sheamus at his side for a tag match would certainly add another level of excitement for The Viper.
Orton ran into a little trouble late in the match, but he created some separation with a T-Bone suplex on Rhodes. He tagged in Sheamus, who rushed into the ring with some double sledges to Rhodes before ramming him into the corner. He then ran off the ropes and delivered a high knee, draping Rhodes across the ropes.
Sandow reached out to tag himself back into the match, and he caught some clubbing shots to the chest from Sheamus on the apron. Sheamus lifted Sandow on his shoulders with a fireman’s carry to bring him back into the ring, but Rhodes caught him with a Disaster Kick to slow the Celtic Warrior down.
Orton got back into the action by drilling Rhodes with a right hand and bringing him to the outside. Sandow covered Sheamus in the ring, but he only got a two-count. Rhodes got hurled into the time keeper’s area on the outside by Orton, while Sheamus countered the Terminus with some elbows inside the ring. Sheamus then lifted Sandow and delivered White Noise, which pumped Sheamus up for the Brogue Kick. He hit the move once Sandow got back to his feet and the three-count followed to get the win.
Orton and Sheamus exhibited some good teamwork in this match, and they proved that they could do some damage in the WWE’s thin tag team ranks should they look to pursue this partnership long term.
1. The Shield – for retaining the Intercontinental Championship and WWE Tag Team Championships with separate wins over Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston:
The Shield reached a new level of success at Extreme Rules when they managed to acquire the United States Championship and WWE Tag Team Championships. Those belts give Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns some validation as they continue on their crusade for justice. And much like every victim of The Shield before them, Kofi Kingston and Team Hell No were simply left in their wake.
The Shield would put their newly won titles on the line on Monday night in a couple of rematches. First, Ambrose defended the United States Championship against Kingston in a match that previously took place on Smackdown before the rest of The Shield got involved.
Rollins and Reigns didn’t get involved in the match this time, and Ambrose was able to pick up the win on his own. Kingston seemed to be on a roll when he first hit Ambrose with an SOS for a near fall before delivering a basement dropkick to Ambrose, who had moved to the outside. Kingston put Ambrose back into the ring and springboarded himself back in with a closeline. Another two-count followed, and Kingston had to once again chase Ambrose on the outside.
This time, Ambrose got the better of Kingston by tripping him up and sending him face-first into the steel ring steps. Ambrose put Kingston back into the ring and drilled him into the mat with a Headlock Driver. Ambrose hooked the leg and collected the pinfall to retain the U.S. Title.
Ambrose was joined by his partners after the bell and things looked rather bleak for Kingston. That was until Kane and Daniel Bryan came out to the ring and the WWE Tag Team Championship rematch got started.
Earlier in the broadcast, Bryan continued to express his concern over being considered the weak link of Team Hell No. Kane couldn’t get him off that train of thought, but an appearance from Bret Hart seemed to get Bryan in the right mindset.
Bryan took some late punishment in the match, but he definitely upped his intensity in the closing moments and really tried to take the fight to Reigns on the outside. He took things a little too far, however, and ignored Kane’s warning to get back in the corner while he took care of Rollins inside the ring. Instead, Bryan leapt off the apron and right into a big spear from Reigns.
Kane then caught a knee to the side of the head after Rollins springboarded into the ring, and that enabled The Shield to get the cover and the three-count to win this match, as well.
In Bryan’s hope to prove he is not the weak link of the team, he very well may have cost the team the win and its shot at reclaiming the tag team championships. That’s not going to sit well with Kane, and it has become apparent Team Hell No is on rocky terms right now.
The Shield, however, is perhaps stronger than it’s ever been. With the United States and WWE Tag Team titles still in their camp, there’s no telling how much more successful they can become — and how much more damage they’ll do across the WWE.