WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 12.2.13
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 December 2, 2013
3. Sin Cara — for scoring an upset victory over Alberto Del Rio:
Once a promising prospect in the WWE, Sin Cara has gone through a plethora of injuries and other disappointments that have severely cut into his potential breakthrough as one of the best high-flyers to pass through the company. There might still be some hope for Cara if he can remain healthy the rest of the way, though, and it appears one of his brighter moments came this week on RAW.
It didn’t seem like things would work in Cara’s favor on this night, as he was scheduled to face Alberto Del Rio, who has had considerably more success than Cara since their move from Mexico over to the WWE. This should have been a slam dunk for Del Rio. Perhaps calling Cara a piece of trash and threatening to call immigration on him struck a nerve, though.
A late-match rally by Cara was halted when Del Rio ducked a closeline and nailed a German suplex for a two count. Del Rio stayed on him with a series of vicious headbutts before calling for a cross arm breaker. Del Rio hit the float over, but Cara shoved him off before he could fall down and apply the submission.
Del Rio caught an elbow to the face when he charged at Cara in the corner, and then he missed and enziguri kick in the corner. With Del Rio down on his back, Cara delivered a senton off the top rope, transitioning into the winning pinfall right after.
Del Rio has had better moments in his time with the WWE, but this was a big deal for Cara. His luck has been limited, but this win could springboard him into better days.
2. Daniel Bryan — for gaining some redemption over last week’s abduction by the Wyatt Family by scoring a singles victory over Erick Rowan:
Last week was not a good one for CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Facing the entire Wyatt Family in a 3-on-2 handicap match, the bout ended with the Wyatts abducting Bryan and The Shield attacking Punk.
Well, Bryan managed to make it back in time for this week’s RAW, where he went one-on-one with Erick Rowan. Luke Harper also stood ringside to watch the back of his partner, but Rowan did an admirable job of using his size and power advantage against Bryan.
Bryan has faced that obstacle his entire career, though, and he managed to get some breathing room by avoiding a splash on the mat and sending Rowan to the outside by dropping the top rope. Harper moved onto the apron, but Bryan quickly sent him crashing to the floor with a running dropkick. Bryan then hit the ropes and dove onto Rowan on the outside.
Bryan went to lift Rowan up, but he was just shoved away and Rowan headed back into the ring himself. Bryan stayed on him by delivering a missile dropkick off the top rope, and he kipped up to stay on the attack. Bryan hit multiple kicks to Rowan’s chest, but upon stepping back for one to the head, Rowan caught him and lifted him up into a powerbomb position. Bryan fought out and landed back on the mat, delivering a boot to Rowan’s face while against the turnbuckles.
When Bryan climbed the ropes, though, Rowan ran it at him with a big boot to the face. Rowan then pressed Bryan over his head and walked toward the center of the ring, where Bryan managed to get down and roll Rowan up for the sudden pinfall.
After getting the win, the lights went out and Bray Wyatt appeared on the big screen. He essentially made a call for Bryan to join up with them, which is an intriguing proposition. That’s especially true considering Kane, who previously booked Punk in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match against The Shield for Tables, Ladders and Chairs, scheduled the same kind of bout for Bryan against the Wyatt Family.
That’s a daunting task even for Bryan, who really doesn’t stand much of a shot against the three Wyatt family members. Maybe joining them wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
1. Damien Sandow — for beating Dolph Ziggler for the second week in a row to earn No. 1 Contender status for the Intercontinental Championship:
Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow have engaged in a few interesting battles over the past few weeks. When RAW was in Nashville two weeks ago, they fought in a Broadway Brawl that saw Ziggler emerge as the victor after blasting his opponent over the head with a guitar. Just last week, Sandow evened the score when an oar shot to the back and a You’re Welcome onto a trash can netted him the pinfall over Ziggler in a Hamptons Hardcore Match.
While these gimmick matches were certainly entertaining, they had to lead toward something more significant for these two superstars. On this week’s RAW, they had the rubber match without any kind of special stipulation, other than the No. 1 Contendership for Big E. Langston’s Intercontinental Championship being on the line.
Langston sat at the announce table to provide some guest commentary, and he picked Ziggler as the superstar he would rather face at Tables, Ladders and Chairs based upon their history. Unfortunately for the titleholder, he will need to wait another day for that showdown.
After only coming up with a two count from a leg drop bulldog, Ziggler headed up top. Sandow was quick to get up, though, and hit the ropes to send Ziggler crashing back down to the mat. Once Ziggler got back to his feet, Sandow quickly grabbed him and drove him down with a You’re Welcome. The cover followed, and Sandow picked up the pinfall to become the new No. 1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship.
Taking two in a row over Ziggler gives Sandow quite a bit of momentum as he now looks forward to facing Langston for the gold at Tables, Ladders and Chairs.