WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 10.14.13
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 October 14, 2013
3. Tamina Snuka — for proving her dominance in a match against Brie Bella set up by Stephanie McMahon:
Brie Bella came up short in her Divas Championship Match against AJ Lee at Battleground, but there is more turmoil than that going on for the Total Divas star right now. Being engaged to Daniel Bryan is surely a positive in her personal life, but it has only served as a negative when it comes to her dealings in the WWE (with the exception of her relationship playing out on a reality TV show, of course).
Since Bryan is an enemy of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, that was inevitably going to trickle down to affecting Bella. She has already had to put up with listening to Randy Orton threaten her fiancé, as well as actually watching The Viper assault him. And this week on RAW, she got thrown into a match against Tamina Snuka based on the fact that Bryan chanted “Yes!” over Triple H’s prone body one week again when he was laid out by The Big Show. Another condition of this match was that Nikki Bella would be barred from ringside, but Divas Champion AJ Lee could stand in Snuka’s corner.
Lee stood on the outside and had multiple conversations with her title, but she didn’t really have any actual influence on the match itself. Instead, Snuka did a fine job of handling Brie Bella herself. Aside from early control and a bit of a flurry toward the end of the match, Snuka was largely in control. She fought through that late rally by Bella and cut her down by blocking a hurricurana attempt before drilling her with a big boot to the jaw. Snuka covered up from there to get the three count.
Snuka wasn’t done just because the bell rang, though. She grabbed Bella and put her down on the mat with a Samoan Drop. She then delivered a shoulder breaker before heading up top to hit a Superfly Splash. From there, Lee entered the ring to pick up the scraps and lock on a Black Widow submission. Lee even continued to taunt Bella after relinquishing the hold, until Nikki came down to the ring.
Tamina may simply be the muscle for the Divas Champion, but she certainly knows how to get the job done. She handled essentially Lee’s top contender with a convincing victory, which had to please the bosses in the process.
2. CM Punk — for “beating the clock” to earn the right to choose the stipulation for his match against Ryback at Hell In A Cell:
Heading into this week’s RAW, CM Punk’s match against Ryback at Hell In A Cell was simply a one-on-one affair. There were no stipulations or conditions. It was just two men locking up in a rematch, with Punk once again vying for his shot at having just a few moments alone to get his hands on Paul Heyman.
Then RAW came about, and Heyman had to open his mouth to lay the groundwork of a change in stipulations that would work against him. In meeting with Brad Maddox, Heyman offered up a suggestion that the match at Hell In A Cell be a handicap match, in which Punk would go up against both Ryback and Curtis Axel as punishment for his cheating ways at Battleground. Taking that suggestion under advisement, Maddox developed a method to enable Heyman to get his way.
Maddox booked a “Beat the Clock” challenge. Ryback would face R-Truth, while Punk would go up against Axel. Between Ryback and Punk, whoever could beat their opponent faster would earn the right to name the stipulation for the match at Hell In A Cell. Heyman wasn’t exactly thrilled with that announcement since he wasn’t handed his choice on a silver platter.
Instead, his clients would have to go out and earn in for him … and they failed. Ryback took perhaps a bit more time than should have been necessary when he finally put Truth away with a Shell Shock at 5:44.
Punk didn’t take care of business a hell of a lot faster against the Intercontinental Champion, but he did beat that time by 11 seconds. Axel’s mistake was trying to go for the win, when Heyman kept instructing him to simply run out the time. He got overzealous, and that’s how Punk got him. At first he countered a suplex with a rollup that netted him a two count. Then, he drilled him with a kick to the head that set up nicely for the Go2Sleep. Punk covered up and got the pinfall, earning the win and the right to name the stipulation for Hell In A Cell.
Punk kept with Heyman’s initial theme of having a handicap match, and it would remain 2-on-1 against Punk. However, Axel will not join Ryback in the match — Heyman will. And the bout will be contested inside a Hell in a Cell.
Punk still has his sights set on getting his hands on Heyman, and locking him inside the Hell in a Cell is probably a good way of going about doing that. He will still have to deal with Ryback, but this match is now on his terms and he should be prepared to handle things at the pay-per-view.
1. Cody Rhodes and Goldust — for dethroning The Shield to become the new WWE Tag Team Champions, with the help of The Big Show:
Cody Rhodes and Goldust had perhaps the most significant victory of their respective careers when, with their father, Dusty Rhodes, in their corner, they managed to beat The Shield’s Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in tag team competition at Battleground. That match was not for the WWE Tag Team Championships held by Reigns and Rollins, but it did grant Rhodes and Goldust their jobs back.
Now back as active competitors on the WWE roster, Rhodes and Goldust were granted another match against Reigns and Rollins — and this time it would be for the WWE Tag Team Titles. And just to make things more interesting, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon informed The Shield of a No Disqualification stipulation being added to the match, which reasonably should have worked in their favor with Dean Ambrose lurking around.
That stipulation would backfire, though. While this was a hard-fought bout between the two teams in its own right, the result would come from the help of some outside interference.
Ambrose did his part by putting Rhodes and Reigns, who had just speared Goldust through the timekeeper’s area, into the ring. As he was sliding Reigns back in, the crowd started to make some noise and The Big Show was shown walking to the ringside area. Ambrose grabbed a chair as Show hopped the barricade, but Show drilled him with a kick and a KO Punch that took him out of the equation.
Show then caught Rollins flying in at him from the ring, and he dropped him with another KO Punch. From the ring, Reigns started yapping at Show, which caused enough of a distraction for Rhodes to get back to his feet. Rhodes missed a Disaster Kick, but it got Reigns close enough to Show for the big man to nail him with a KO Punch. Rhodes covered up and got the pinfall to score the Rhodes boys the WWE Tag Team Championships.
After the match, Show celebrated with the people in the crowd, as Triple H went nuts inside the ring. So, he continues to get his revenge against the establishment.
As for the new champions, the road to keep those titles is sure to be a bumpy one if Triple H and McMahon have anything to say about it. But they dethroned The Shield for now, and things are definitely going well in their favor from where they were at prior to Battleground.