WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 10.28.13
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 28, 2013
3. The Real Americans — for defeating WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust in non-title action:
The returns of Cody Rhodes and Goldust to the WWE have paid immediate dividends for the brothers. They earned their jobs back with a victory over The Shield, and then defeated Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns on an episode of RAW (with the aid of The Big Show) to become the new WWE Tag Team Champions. And they proved their title victory was not a fluke by defeating The Shield and The Usos in a triple threat match for the belts at Hell In A Cell.
For all this success, Rhodes and Goldust are sure to have a target on their backs with a growing tag team division that has some contenders in it. One of those teams looking to heighten its rank is The Real Americans, who suffered a setback in losing to Los Matadores at Hell In A Cell but still believe in their cause.
Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro went up against Rhodes and Goldust in non-title action on RAW. This reasonably should have been a victory — albeit hard-earned — for the champions. Instead, it resulted in what could be a rematch for the gold in the not-too-distant future.
With Rhodes and Cesaro outside the ring, Goldust avoided a charge in the corner from Swagger and hit a cross body block off the top rope for a two count. Swagger immediately slapped on the Patriot Lock upon kicking out, but Goldust managed to get him off by directing him into the turnbuckles. Goldust rolled Swagger up and got another two count when Cesaro moved in just in time to break the cover.
Rhodes ran at Cesaro to try and closeline him out of the ring, but Cesaro dropped the top rope and Rhodes hit the floor instead. Goldust drilled Cesaro with an uppercut and closeline to send him outside as well, but that distraction allowed Swagger to clip Goldust in the back of the knee. Swagger applied the Patriot Lock again, and Goldust tapped out this time to award The Real Americans the submission win.
The titles may not have been on the line, but The Real Americans should have at least earned a championship match with that victory. This may have knocked Rhodes and Goldust down a few pegs after such a successful return, and Swagger and Cesaro could capitalize on that if given the opportunity.
2. CM Punk — for beating Ryback for the second time in two nights, this time via submission in a Street Fight:
CM Punk accomplished the two things he set out to do at Hell In A Cell: defeating Ryback and getting his hands on Paul Heyman. The first of those goals came when he pinned Ryback inside the Hell in a Cell upon hitting a Go2Sleep just moments after putting him through a table via the flying elbow drop. Then, with Heyman at the top of the cell from the very start, Punk grabbed a kendo stick and met him up there, delivering a multitude of shots with the weapon before hitting another Go2Sleep.
With Heyman out of the way, Punk’s focus turned solely toward taking care of Ryback. The two would face off again on RAW, with the WWE Universe picking the stipulation between a Tables Match, Street Fight and Falls Count Anywhere Match. The Street Fight won the poll.
Punk ended this one in somewhat similar fashion to his bout 24 hours earlier. Ryback ended up on a table set up near the corner after Punk countered a powerslam with a kick to the head. Punk headed up top for the flying elbow drop that once again sent Ryback through the table. He immediately slapped on an Anaconda Vice, which forced Ryback to tap and hand over the victory to Punk via submission this go-around.
Punk’s night took a sour turn from there, as the Wyatt Family attacked him just as they did to Daniel Bryan earlier in the show. That might Punk’s his attention toward dealing with Bray Wyatt and his goons. But if that’s the case, at least he can go into that war with some closure in his dealings with Paul Heyman.
1. John Cena — for putting aside the pain of his elbow injury to defend his newly won World Heavyweight Championship against Money in the Bank briefcase holder Damien Sandow:
There were a number of pundits who thought John Cena was returning too early from his elbow injury, but he proved all of them wrong. He certainly was not 100 percent upon entering his match against Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at Hell In A Cell, but he was healthy enough to take whatever his opponent could dish out in order to become the new champion when it was all said and done.
Cena opened RAW to make sure the world knew that he was back and that “The Champ is Here!” He planned on not only being a prominent player on RAW yet again, but also on Smackdown as its signature champion. He even told Del Rio, who is entitled to a rematch, that if he wants some, to come get some.
Instead of Del Rio, though, it was Damien Sandow who came down to get some. The self-proclaimed uncrowned champion doubted Cena’s quick healing and believed he was fooling everybody but him by claiming he was as healthy as he was. Sandow teased cashing in his briefcase and then took it back, but when he brushed up against Cena as he was leaving the ring and Cena pulled him back, Sandow began beating him in the arm with the briefcase. The assault continued on the outside, and Sandow realized it was as good a time as any to actually cash in. A referee was signaled down and Sandow officially cashed in his Money In The Bank contract.
A doctor was seated ringside to keep check on Cena’s status, and the elbow was obviously hurting and remained a target for Sandow. But Cena did a fine enough job fighting through everything Sandow threw at him, including a piledriver that he reversed into a one-arm Attitude Adjustment that kept Sandow pinned to the mat for the three count and the World Heavyweight Title around Cena’s waist.
This is, overall, a gutsy comeback for Cena, who fought through his elbow still not being fully healed in two straight matches to win and retain the World Heavyweight Championship against quality competition.