WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 9.30.13By 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 30, 2013
3. Brie Bella — for getting a good warmup win over Alicia Fox for her Divas Championship Match at Battleground: Things are going rather swell for Brie Bella these days. Starring on the Total Divas program, recently getting engaged to WWE Championship hopeful Daniel Bryan and having a Divas Championship Match this Sunday at Battleground are a few things Bella has on her plate. With her engagement becoming so publicized, she has had to deal with Randy Orton getting in her business and threatening her boyfriend. A backstage confrontation and a demoralizing beatdown of Bryan at the end of RAW this week were some of the negatives Bella went through on Monday. However, she has to keep her focus on her championship match vs. AJ Lee on Sunday, and a warmup against Alicia Fox did her well in preparation for what could become her second Divas Title reign. Fox is not exactly the cream of the crop in the WWE’s Divas division, but she served as a worthwhile opponent for Bella on this night. She was aggressive and picked up some near falls. It just wasn’t enough to pull out the win — or steal away the momentum — from Bella. While in a chinlock late in the match, Bella called for some support from the crowd and used that to fight back with a few elbow shots and a soaring forearm shot. She followed with a couple of dropkicks before charging at her fallen opponent with a knee to the face. As Fox tried to roll out of the ring, Bella grabbed her leg unsuccessfully and caught a kick to the face when she tried to pull Fox back in from the floor. However, Bella still managed to flip out of a back suplex before delivering a slap and a Bella Buster to Fox. The cover came next for the three count. As previously mentioned, things aren’t completely rosy for Bella, as her fiancé faces the daunting task of avoiding injury against the venomous Orton. But as things relate directly to her, the prospect of having gold around her waist to join that on her finger could make for a great week for Bella.
2. The Shield — for coming away with a six-man tag team victory over Dolph Ziggler and The Usos after brutalizing the Rhodes family: The self-proclaimed “Hounds of Justice” have been nothing more than the hired henchman of the McMahon establishment ever since SummerSlam. It’s a role they don’t seem to mind, though. In fact, it’s one they have thrived in. The combination of United States Champion Dean Ambrose and WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns has served its purpose admirably, and it will have another task at hand come Battleground. As we learned on Monday night, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon put forth another business proposal to the Rhodes family. Cody Rhodes and Goldust could earn their jobs back with a win over the tag champions, or a loss would mean they would never work in the WWE again and their father, Dusty Rhodes, would also be dismissed from his job in developmental. After accepting those terms, The Shield came out of nowhere to attack, and they left the Rhodes family lying in the ring. The Shield’s work was not done for RAW, and they combined for a six-man tag team matchup against Dolph Ziggler and The Usos. The effort was certainly there for Ziggler and The Usos, but like many before them, they just could not do enough to outlast the more focused and cohesive Shield. Ziggler hoped to have the match put away when he dropped Ambrose with a leg drop bulldog, but Reigns came in to break it up just in time before the three. Before Reigns could follow up on Ziggler, he caught a kick from one of the Usos and was then pushed out of the ring. Uso hit the ropes, but he got caught by Ambrose, who made a tag to Rollins. Ambrose got lifted to the outside by Uso after that tag, but Rollins ducked a closeline and hit an enziguri on Uso. Ziggler snuck in from behind with a Zig Zag, but he was then drilled with a huge spear from Reigns. That was all she wrote, as Reigns covered up on Ziggler for the three count. The Shield remains a tough — almost impossible — out in the WWE, and that means Rhodes and Goldust have their work cut out for them at Battleground.
1. CM Punk — for making his final stand before his Battleground matchup against Ryback with a win over Big E. Langston before wreaking havoc on the Heyman family the rest of the night: CM Punk could easily get riled up on a weekly basis as his plan to get at Paul Heyman continues to be thwarted by the remaining Heyman guys. The former WWE Champion remains focused, though, and he remains optimist that the time will one day come where he can gain the ultimate retribution against his former manager. That time could come at Battleground, where Punk faces Ryback. He was thirsting for a fight right at the top of RAW, though, and Big E. Langston answered the call. This would serve as a terrific test for Punk just six days before the pay-per-view, as Langston comes with similar size and skills to Ryback. He handled the challenge well, closing out this hard-fought contest with a great series at the end. After avoiding a splash in the corner, Punk hit a few kicks to take Langston down. A swinging neckbreaker followed, and the pumped up Straight Edge Superstar drilled Langston in the corner with a running knee and then a short-arm closeline out of it. Punk headed up top for the flying elbow drop, and the Go2Sleep was sure to follow. Punk lifted the big man up to hit the move and, upon connecting, promptly covered up for the three count. A fun match, for sure, but Punk’s night was just starting. In a backstage interview, Heyman kind of challenged Punk to get in his business over the night. And Punk did just that. During a match between Heyman guy Curtis Axel and R-Truth, Punk’s music played in the arena seemingly out of nowhere. Punk never appeared, but the distraction to Axel left Truth an opening to put the Intercontinental Champion down and pick up the pinfall. Later, in a ridiculously awkward segment, Heyman brought Ryback down to the ring so he could propose to him … to be a Heyman guy. Punk took that opportunity to cut through the crowd into the arena. When he jumped the barricade, he landed on his leg and played up an injury, but it was all a fakeout. He drilled everyone from Heyman to Ryback to Axel with a kendo stick, delivering the most punishment to Axel. Punk is at a disadvantage considering the numbers, but he proved on Monday that he’s capable of finding ways to get closer to Heyman. It’s clear that the time will come for Punk to get what he wants — his hands on Heyman. It might come sooner than later.