WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 8.12.13
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 August 12, 2013
3. Alberto Del Rio — for taking care of business against the recently returned Kofi Kingston with a submission victory:
When Alberto Del Rio puts the World Heavyweight Championship on the line at SummerSlam, he will do so against an opponent he has not had much luck against recently. Christian, who was deemed No. 1 Contender following a triple threat victory over Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam two weeks ago on Smackdown, has been successful on multiple occasions in non-title matches against Del Rio. He will look to replicate those wins on Sunday when he goes for the championship.
Del Rio was the one to get some work in this Monday, though, and it would be imperative for him to come out on top of his match, especially after losing in the main event to Captain Charisma last Friday night. The champion would face Kofi Kingston, who returned a week ago on RAW with a victory over Fandango but lost to the same man four nights later on Smackdown.
Kingston would have loved to get right back on the horse against the World Heavyweight Champion, but it wasn’t going to be his night. Instead, momentum went Del Rio’s way.
Kingston tried to close things out with a Trouble in Paradise as Del Rio was coming off the ropes, but Del Rio held on and scurried to the outside to avoid the move. Kingston ran after him and gave chase, even following Del Rio right back into the ring. A superkick from Del Rio was caught by Kingston, though, and a rollup that only went to two followed.
Del Rio charged at Kingston in the corner after kicking out, but he caught a kick through the ropes to the face. Then Kingston springboarded in for what was supposed to be a closeline, but Del Rio caught him with knees to the gut instead. Back in control, Del Rio grabbed Kingston’s arm and slapped on the cross arm breaker, forcing a tapout in the middle of the ring.
In a backstage segment, Christian assured that he only needed one more match to take the World Heavyweight Championship from Del Rio. The champion interjected himself into the interview and assured Christian that after SummerSlam, there will be no more matches.
Even after falling to Christian lately, Del Rio remains confident in his ability to get the important one over his challenger and keep the championship around his waist. That arrogance is not always the most endearing, but it seems to work well for Del Rio and he’s sure to have enough in his tank, and possibly up his sleeve, to crush Christian’s recent bit of success.
2. The Usos — for gaining some redemption over The Real Americans by putting together a solid end to their tag team match for the win:
The tag team scene in the WWE is looking for contenders, as The Shield’s Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are chomping at the bit to put their WWE Tag Team Titles on the line against any team that dare crosses them. Two top teams that could vie for that championship match are The Usos and The Real Americans.
These two teams faced off last week on RAW, and a cheap shot by Jack Swagger behind the referee’s back enabled Antonio Cesaro to pick up the win in that match. These duos would give it another go on Monday night, and there was some redemption gained by Jimmy and Jey.
The Usos caught fire toward the end of the match and showed some tremendous chemistry in outsmarting The Real Americans. After Swagger was caught with a Samoan Drop and backed into against the turnbuckles, he somehow kicked out of a pin at two and was then pulled out of the ring by Cesaro.
The Usos saw the perfect opportunity to hit the ropes and launch themselves to the outside onto Swagger and Cesaro. Swagger was rolled back into the ring and Jimmy headed up top. Cesaro held onto his leg to prevent him from jumping off, but Jey delivered a superkick through some space between his brother’s legs to knock Cesaro off the apron.
Swagger then ran toward the corner, forcing Jimmy to dive off. But as he did, Jey made a tag and darted in to roll up Swagger for a three count.
This was an impressive win for The Usos, who possibly moved themselves closer toward another tag team championship match. It’s also possible The Real Americans get another crack at The Usos, as there should still be plenty of fight between these two teams.
1. Rob Van Dam — for becoming the new No. 1 Contender for the United States Championship by standing last in a 20-man battle royal:
There are plenty of super-confident superstars in the WWE, and United States Champion Dean Ambrose fits the bill with the best of them. As a member of The Shield, he always feels untouchable. He claims to be the true best in the world and the real champion as opposed to WWE Champion John Cena, and he will get the chance to back all that up this Sunday at SummerSlam when he puts his U.S. Title on the line during the preshow.
A problem with that was he had no opponent coming into this week’s RAW. Alas, a 20-man over-the-top-rope battle royal solved that. A good mix of wannabes and true contenders filled the ring for the occasion, and it came down to a longtime favorite earning the opportunity to add another title to his already legendary résumé.
After Mark Henry got rid of Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett in succession, the final three men remaining were Ryback, Rob Van Dam and The World’s Strongest Man himself. Ryback, who was fairly dominant throughout the battle royal, seemed to stand the best shot out of the three. But when he was put onto the apron by Henry, a kick from RVD and closeline from Henry put him on the floor.
With a size disadvantage, Van Dam had to play it smart against Henry. He avoided a lockup and jumped onto Henry’s back. Henry backed him into the turnbuckles to get him off, but RVD still responded with a kick to his face. RVD leapt up to the top turnbuckle, but Henry tripped him up by hitting the ropes. After RVD fell to the apron, Henry charged at him, but Van Dam pulled down the top rope and sent the big man crashing to the floor to take the win.
RVD and Henry showed some good sportsmanship after the match, but their good time was spoiled when The Shield decided to descend upon the ring. The Big Show came out to the ring to even up the numbers, and The Shield reversed course as a result.
Van Dam has done fairly well in his return to the WWE, and it will be all that much if he is able to capture the United States Championship from Ambrose at SummerSlam. Perhaps with Henry and Show keeping an eye out for the rest of The Shield, RVD might not have to worry about dealing with any outside interference.