WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 6.10.13
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 June 10, 2013
3. Damien Sandow – for taking care of R-Truth as preparation for his preshow match against Sheamus at Payback:
Damien Sandow and Sheamus have engaged in a battle of wits in recent weeks. Sandow believes he is intellectually superior to Sheamus, yet he always manages to be outsmarted by The Celtic Warriors. They will stop playing games on Sunday, as the physicality picks up when they go up against each other on the Payback Kickoff preshow.
Sandow got a warmup match this week on RAW when he faced R-Truth in singles action. Since Sheamus has seemed to get the better of him in most of their encounters, it would serve Sandow well to pick up a win just to build some in-ring confidence.
While Truth doesn’t represent the type of challenge Sheamus will on Sunday, Sandow still looked great against the veteran. Sandow had been working over Truth, trying to keep him grounded as to avoid any quick moves that Truth is capable of hitting. Sandow had a chinlock applied that Truth was able to get out of, hitting a kick, some closelines and a headscissors takedown.
Truth then kicked Sandow in the gut and delivered a sitout front suplex for a two count. When Truth hit the ropes to follow up, however, Sandow clipped him in the knee and delivered a side slam that is called The Silencer. That turned out to be enough to pick up the three count.
Sheamus came out after the match to say his piece, mockingly congratulating Sandow on his win and declaring he would kick off his head at Payback. A bit gruesome, for sure, but Sandow did seem pretty PO’d over that announcement.
Sheamus is going to be a tough opponent for Sandow and the odds are likely against him. But he does have the smarts to find a whole in Sheamus’ game and it’s possible he could pull off the upset on Sunday.
2. Chris Jericho – for getting past Dolph Ziggler’s distraction and utilizing one from Alberto Del Rio to pick up a win over Big E. Langston:
Chris Jericho kind of came out of nowhere when he challenged CM Punk, through Paul Heyman, to a match at Payback. The two obviously have some history dating back to WrestleMania XXVIII, but Jericho jumped head-first into something far greater than his previous rivalry with Fandango.
On RAW, Jericho shed a bit of light into his motivation for wanting a bout against Punk on Sunday. To put it simply, he knows Punk brings the best out of him and everything is elevated to another level when the two of them go at it. They are both similar in the way they came into the business, and they have the same mindset that they are the best in the world. Jericho has a strong desire to come out on top when the two meet for the third time (following that WrestleMania match and one at the following month’s Extreme Rules show).
Jericho was interrupted by another nemesis, Dolph Ziggler, who is returning from a concussion and will put his World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Alberto Del Rio on Sunday. Ziggler went on a rant that Jericho quickly got tired of, and he challenged Ziggler to a match right there and then. Ziggler granted him a match … it was just against Big E. Langston.
Jericho still took the fight and he had a heavy task ahead of him by going up against the much stronger Langston. One of those displays of power came when Langston reversed a whip to the ropes on Jericho and caught him attempting a crossbody. Langston delivered three straight backbreakers to Y2J before covering up for a two count.
Langston trash talked Jericho while picking him up off the mat and delivered a right hand as he backed him into the corner. Langston continued to stay on Jericho with some shots to the midsection, and then he backed up a bit to attempt a charge in the corner. Jericho caught him with a boot to the face and ascended the turnbuckles to deliver a crossbody off the top rope. He covered up for a two count, and then he noticed Ziggler hop onto the apron.
Ziggler yelled toward the referee but jumped down once he saw Jericho running at him. Langston took that opportunity to run into Jericho and pull down the straps. As Langston waited for Jericho to get up, though, Del Rio ran down and attacked Ziggler from behind. That distracted Langston, who ended up charging right into the turnbuckles once he turned his focus back to Y2J. Jericho followed with the Codebreaker, which netted him the three count.
Jericho could certainly use a momentum-building win like that going into his match against Punk. He will face a different kind of opponent and somebody far tougher to get past. But Jericho has the tools to get it done, and he brings with him the confidence and determination to finally score a victory over Punk.
1. Daniel Bryan – for once again putting on an incredible performance in a singles showdown with The Shield’s Seth Rollins:
Daniel Bryan is pretty much the hottest thing going in the WWE right now. He may have developed a complex in which he believes everything that goes wrong is his fault, but he still goes full force in every match that he’s in. Just last week, he competed in two bouts in which he was on the losing end up a six-man tag and received a disqualification victory over Ryback after being forced through a table. Still, he was the best competitor in each of those contests.
Regardless of in-ring performance, he is still rubbing people the wrong way — namely his partners. Kane has long been frustrated with Bryan constantly proclaiming that he is the weak link of their team, and even Randy Orton has had enough of Bryan’s shenanigans since he has been teaming up with Team Hell No to battle a common enemy in The Shield. The fact that Bryan dropkicked him in the face on Smackdown, inadvertent or not, didn’t help their situation, and neither did Orton’s admittedly purposeful RKO to Bryan as retaliation.
After Bryan and Orton saved Kane during a 3-on-1 attack from The Shield during his bout against Dean Ambrose on Monday night, the three of them received a surprise backstage. Not only did they find out that the WWE Universe voted for Bryan to face Seth Rollins later on RAW (and Orton would therefore face Roman Reigns), but Bryan and Orton would fight for the WWE Tag Team Championships at Payback against Rollins and Reigns. Kane wasn’t thrilled at first about being tossed aside considering he is Bryan’s partner, but then Vickie Guerrero told him he would get a United States Championship Match against Ambrose at the pay-per-view, and all was well. He even hugged Guerrero, much to her chagrin.
Much like Kane’s match earlier in the night, Orton’s match against Reigns ended with interference and it was ruled a No Contest after both Rollins and Bryan got involved. The match between Bryan and Rollins followed immediately, and it did end with an actual winner.
It wasn’t without a distraction toward the end, but Bryan was still able to pull off an actual victory on the same night Kane and Orton weren’t exactly able to do so. In the concluding moments of what was an incredible performance from both Bryan, who held a considerable advantage at the beginning of the match, and Rollins, who turned things up a bit midway through, the two men met atop the turnbuckles and Bryan attempted to take Rollins back down to the mat with a back suplex. Rollins managed to counter, though, and crashed down on the chest of Bryan to keep both men down as the referee started a count.
Bryan managed to get back to his feet first and Reigns chose that moment to hop onto the apron and walk toward him. Orton noticed this and simply tripped up Reigns, giving Bryan the opportunity to dodge a splash in the corner from Rollins. Bryan quickly grabbed hold of Rollins and went for the small package, which was enough to get the three count.
Bryan’s celebration after the match was almost ruined when Rollins grabbed him off the turnbuckles, but Bryan drilled him in the head with a kick and Orton followed with an RKO to show some unity between two men that have had very little of it before Monday night.
It is strange to see Kane taken out of the picture like he was, and for Orton to step into a title match that really rightfully should belong to Team Hell No. But those are the cards Guerrero dealt, and it’s a good thing for Bryan and Orton to show some semblance of teamwork before going after the titles on Sunday against Rollins and Reigns, as it didn’t go so well for the two of them on Smackdown.