WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 10.21.13
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 21, 2013
3. Randy Orton — for taking care of business against former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler in preparation for Sunday’s title match:
With the big WWE Championship Match inside the Hell in a Cell taking place this Sunday, both Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton received a final warmup match. They would also participate in a contract signing at the end of the night, but these singles matchups could go far in giving each of them a bit of added momentum as they chase the vacant championship.
Orton’s opponent was former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, who certainly has the talent and championship ability to give The Viper a run for his money. Orton is simply too focused and forceful right now, though, and Ziggler couldn’t put a halt to his push toward the title.
After Ziggler hit a leg drop bulldog and covered Orton for just a two count, he charged at Orton in the corner. Orton caught him, though, and delivered a t-bone suplex. Ziggler rolled out to the apron, where Orton performed his rope-assisted DDT. Orton called for the RKO, but Ziggler temporarily avoided one by dropkicking Orton in the face. Ziggler covered for a two count and tried to hit the Zig Zag. Orton held onto the rope, however, and delivered the RKO when Ziggler ran back at him. He covered for the three count and got the win.
Orton’s only success in the contract signing at the end of the night with Bryan was a few verbal jabs, but he still looks plenty prepared for what should finally be the match that decides who the new WWE Champion is at Hell In A Cell.
2. CM Punk and Big E. Langston — for combining to take care of Ryback and Curtis Axel in tag team action:
The numbers are starting to even up for CM Punk in his quest to get his hands on Paul Heyman. It was Punk against the world, as he had to deal with Ryback, Curtis Axel and Heyman on his own for quite a while now. But after Heyman downplayed the talent level of Punk’s opponent on Friday Night Smackdown, Big E. Langston, the Straight Edge Superstar seemed to find himself an ally.
The two joined forces to take out Ryback and Axel on Friday night, and they would do the same thing in an official tag team matchup Monday night on RAW.
It all started when Langston interrupted a backstage segment with Heyman and his clan. Langston was still angered by Heyman considering him marginal, and a battle against Axel was born from this confrontation. That never took place, though, as Langston felt the wrath of the entire group. But when Punk came to his aid, Vickie Guerrero made an official tag team bout out of it.
Punk and Langston did well in their new alliance. Punk found himself in trouble late in the bout, but he got out of a powerslam and drilled Ryback in the side of the head with a kick to get a tag into Langston. Langston moved in at the same time Axel got a tag, and he took the Intercontinental Champion down with a couple of monstrous closelines. A massive splash after hitting the ropes followed, and Langston delivered a splash to the fallen Axel after gaining plenty of momentum after hitting the ropes some more.
The straps came down and Langston went to pull Axel off the mat. Ryback tried to attack from behind, but Punk flew in with a springboard forearm shot to halt that. Langston then hit Ryback with a splash, and Punk finally put the big man out of the ring with a closeline to the floor. In the clear, Langston put Axel down with The Big Ending to get the pinfall.
For Punk, this is just a little extra momentum heading into his Hell In A Cell Match. For Langston, an Intercontinental Championship Match awaits, as he will square off with Axel at the kickoff portion of the pay-per-view.
1. Daniel Bryan — for getting a good warmup for his WWE Title Match at Hell In A Cell by facing United States Champion Dean Ambrose and one-upping Randy Orton by the end of the night:
Daniel Bryan’s singles match for the night came against United States Champion and Shield member Dean Ambrose. Much like Randy Orton, he faced an opponent more than capable of giving him a run for his money — and one that could certainly provide momentum should he score a victory over him.
This match opened the in-ring portion of RAW and got things going on the right foot. These two threw a lot at each other and, at another time, could put together a seriously entertaining rivalry. But it was evident that The Shield’s string of bad luck would continue on this night, and Bryan would go into Hell In A Cell with his head held high both in this victory and at the end of the contract signing at RAW’s conclusion.
Bryan got the ball rolling on closing his match with Ambrose out when he tossed Ambrose, who had just scored a two count off a spinebuster, to the floor. Bryan dove through the ropes to nail Ambrose on the outside, and then he put him back in the ring so he could deliver a missile dropkick. Bryan kipped up and hit a series of kicks to Amrbose’s chest, but the one he intended for Ambrose’s head was ducked and Ambrose went for a rollup. Bryan rolled through, though, and transitioned into a Yes Lock to force Ambrose into submission.
If that wasn’t enough, he got the physical upperhand over Orton at the end of the night. While he did take plenty of insults from Triple H and Orton during the contract signing, he was provided a distraction by Big Show in order to drill Orton right in the face with a running knee, perhaps a sign of things to come on Sunday. He then closed out the program atop the truck Show drove into the arena, chanting “Yes!” as RAW finished out.
Bryan has the edge right now, and that’s a good thing to have going into Hell In A Cell. If he believes he can trust Shawn Michaels to referee the match properly, then Bryan should have as fair a shot at the WWE Title as he is likely to get. And heading into the bout with this level of confidence can only serve him well.