WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 9.2.13
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 September 2, 2013
3. The Miz — for getting a submission victory over current nemesis Fandango:
The Miz and Fandango have been on each others’ nerves ever since the latter kept interrupting the special hosting duties at SummerSlam of the former. Last week, the two took part in a tag team matchup also involving Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow, and Miz was on the winning team largely because Fandango abandoned his partner and walked out of the match.
There would be no walking out on this week’s RAW, as Miz and Fandango went one-on-one in the show’s opening matchup.
The match almost faced a premature stoppage when Fandango suffered a bloody nose during a commercial break. The match continued coming out of the break, though, and Fandango had the upperhand, sending Miz hard into the turnbuckles and covering up for a two count. He briefly choked Miz against the middle rope and then stepped away, distracting the referee while Summer Rae slapped Miz across the face from the outside.
That, along with a minor dance number from Fandango, seemed to anger Miz, who got up and delivered a few punches before whipping Fandango into the corner. His aggression got the best of him when a charge into the corner got him a boot in the face. Miz quickly recovered, though, by grabbing Fandango’s leg and pulling him off the top turnbuckle.
Miz tried to take advantage of his fallen foe by applying a Figure Four Leg Lock, but Fandango kicked him off toward the turnbuckles. Miz slid underneath and ran right toward Fandango in the opposite corner, but Fandango dodged him and Miz got caught on the middle turnbuckle. Fandango moved to the apron, delivered a fist to Miz to bend him back and then springboarded back into the ring with a leg drop.
While nicely executed, Fandango seemed to hurt his leg on that move and took some time before grabbing Miz and moving him toward the center of the ring to try and go for a pin. As he did, Miz grabbed Fandango’s leg and managed to apply the Figure Four Leg Lock. Once he got the move completely locked in, Fandango immediately tapped out.
Miz has certainly gotten the better of Fandango recently, and it will be interesting to see if Fandango tries to even the score or simply walks away.
2. Rob Van Dam — for beating Damien Sandow despite the presence of Night of Champions opponent, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, at the top of the ramp:
One of the more interesting bouts on the Night of Champions card is the World Heavyweight Championship Match between titleholder Alberto Del Rio and Rob Van Dam. Van Dam now has Ricardo Rodriguez, Del Rio’s former ring announcer, in his corner, and that has served him well in defeating Del Rio already en route to earning this title shot.
Del Rio still prizes that World Heavyweight Championship, though, and he’ll be sure have something up his sleeve at the pay-per-view in two weeks. He even tried to get into RVD’s head this week on RAW, when Van Dam had a singles contest against Money in the Bank contract holder Damien Sandow.
Van Dam seemed to have a good handle on this match, until Del Rio decided to come out to the arena and stand on the stage for a better view of the in-ring action. Sandow took advantage of the distraction by getting on the offensive, but Van Dam would manage to work his way back in control for the win.
Sandow came up with a few near falls, including one off a swinging neckbreaker. When he tried to hit a suplex on RVD following that failed pin attempt, Van Dam blocked the move and rolled Sandow up for a two count of his own. Van Dam then hit a couple of closelines and a heel kick to Sandow’s face.
RVD delivered the Rolling Thunder and, instead of going for the cover, he headed toward the corner with a Five Star Frog Splash on his mind. Sandow grabbed his tights from behind before he could leap up, though, and he rolled RVD up for another two count. Sandow tried to toss RVD to the outside, but he held on and remained on the apron to drop Sandow across the top rope. Then RVD was able to head up top and deliver the Five Star Frog Splash, which netted him the pinfall.
With Del Rio looking on and obviously furious over Van Dam’s victory, RVD managed to get a big momentum boost. RVD appears prepared for his title match at Night of Champions.
1. Randy Orton — for defeating a desperate Cody Rhodes into unemployment and once again ending RAW standing tall over Daniel Bryan:
With Triple H and the McMahon family backing him up, it seems almost impossible for Randy Orton to have a bad day. The WWE Champion and face of the company has gotten the better of Daniel Bryan as they head into their championship rematch at Night of Champions, and it has been largely because of Triple H dealing him favorable situations.
Not only did Orton receive another opportunity to humiliate Bryan on this week’s program, but he was also afforded a chance to deal a crushing blow to another WWE superstar that dared to challenge Triple H’s definition of what is “best for business.”
Triple H, Orton and Bryan started the show going at each other again, with Orton and Triple H wanting Bryan to give up his championship rematch in two weeks. Bryan obviously refused and continued to throw insults at the WWE Champion and COO, prompting Triple H to book Bryan in a main event bout against the superstar who has wanted to help him out in this whole fiasco but never could under the threat of being fired — the Big Show.
Triple H and Orton were happy with their decision, but not everybody agreed. They ran into Cody Rhodes backstage, and the second generation superstar questioned Orton’s desire to not face Bryan at Night of Champions. In his eyes, that match is what’s best for business. Triple H took exception to somebody else deciding what is best for business, and for not receiving an invitation to Rhodes’ upcoming wedding. As a gift to Rhodes, Triple H booked him in a match against Orton on RAW, and a loss would ultimately put an end to his WWE career.
Those were heavy stakes for somebody who was just offering up his opinion, but having his job on the line, especially with a wedding coming up, would ensure Rhodes would bring his “A” game into a match against The Viper.
Late in a close, hard-fought match, Rhodes almost put Orton away when he countered an RKO into a Cross Rhodes. Orton was able to get the shoulder up just before the three count, and Rhodes was visibly frustrated. He grabbed Orton’s legs as the champion held onto the bottom rope, and he was kicked off while Orton moved out to the apron.
Rhodes moved to Orton, who dropped him across the top rope. Orton then slid back into the ring, but he caught a back elbow from Rhodes, who went for the rollup and got another two count. Rhodes then tried to hit the Disaster Kick, but Orton ducked and Rhodes landed awkwardly on his leg.
Orton pounced on that injury and kicked at Rhodes’ knee. He then immediately lifted Rhodes off the mat and dropped him right back down with an RKO. The three count followed, and Rhodes was subsequently fired by Triple H as a result of this loss.
As if getting a man fired just before his wedding wasn’t enough, Orton’s night got a little bit better just as RAW went off the air. After The Shield demolished Bryan and Show was forced to nail him with a KO Punch, Orton came down to the ring and stood tall over his Night of Champions challenger as Monday’s broadcast came to a close.
While Bryan continues to feel the wrath of those in charge, Orton is having a wildly successful ride as WWE Champion. Not only is he standing tall over Bryan on a weekly basis, but he is also capturing victories against other WWE superstars that stand in his way.