WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 12.23.13
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 23, 2013
3. Sin Cara — for continuing to pick up victories with a pinfall over former Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel:
The Sin Cara character has had its troubles since debuting in the WWE, but he is picking up steam lately. He has defeated Alberto Del Rio, which is no small feat, and would look to add onto his resurgence in a bout against former Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel.
The high-octane offense of Cara was put to a temporary halt when Axel quickly removed himself from a fireman’s carry and dealt a clubbing forearm to the back of Cara’s neck for a two count. Instead of really staying on top of Cara, Axel got cocky and slapped him around a bit. When he tried for a real move, Cara countered with a Samoan Drop before heading up to the top rope. He flew off with the senton bomb, and he covered up to collect the three count and another mark in the win column.
Cara is obviously being set up for something significant, and racking up the wins will make his tenure in the WWE all that more delightful when given bigger opportunities. Let’s see if he can keep it going.
2. Mark Henry—for keeping Christmas alive by defeating Bad Santa Damien Sandow:
In the interest of being festive, the main attraction for this week’s RAW — at least from what was advertised prior to the show — was a match between Mark Henry (as Good Santa) and Damien Sandow (as Bad Santa). Sandow had his heart set on cancelling Christmas, while Henry wanted to see to it that such a situation didn’t happen. It’s just a slightly different way for the WWE to show its Christmas spirit than when Stone Cold Steven Austin stunned Santa Claus.
There was very little doubt which direction this match would go, and the WWE Universe needn’t worry about Christmas being taken off the calendar this year.
Henry one-upped Sandow most of the way through. From putting Sandow’s head in a toilet to shooting a firing extinguisher at him when Sandow couldn’t get the thing going twice, the match was always in the bag for Good Santa. After that second misfire with the extinguisher, Henry got Sandow with the World’s Strongest Slam, and it was all she wrote. Henry covered and got the three count to keep Christmas going.
To add insult to injury, Henry opened up a couple of gifts, one of which contained a tray of cupcakes. After taking a bite, Henry slammed the whole pan in Sandow’s face.
You can’t really make too much out of that. It was a gimmicky match for the holiday, and the good guy won.
1. Fandango — for snatching a contract for a future Intercontinental Title shot off a pole in a bout against Dolph Ziggler:
Damien Sandow failed in his match at Tables, Ladder and Chairs to capture the Intercontinental Championship. He earned the opportunity when he defeated Dolph Ziggler in the final bout of a contentious series between the two. Unfortunately, Big E. Langston was just too much for him, and the belt remained around the waist of the big guy.
Sandow’s part in the IC Title picture seemingly ended, and it was time to name a new No. 1 Contender on RAW this week. With a gift placed on a pole, Ziggler went one-on-one with Fandango to see who could snatch the present first and earn an Intercontinental Championship Match next week on the New Year’s edition of RAW.
Even though this was yet another opportunity for Ziggler to get that chance at his former bodyguard, the Show Off once again couldn’t get the job done.
After both superstars fell to the floor, they met up again on the turnbuckles in hopes of reaching for the present. They traded some shots, and Ziggler managed to knock Fandango to the apron. Fandango quickly responded with the kick to the head that draped Ziggler across the top turnbuckle. Fandango climbed and tried to grab the present over the prone body of Ziggler, but Ziggler came to just in time to crotch Fandango across the top rope.
Ziggler then climbed and actually got a hand on the gift, but a few punches from Fandango stopped him in his tracks. Ziggler responded with a few shots, but Fandango grabbed his head and smashed it into the pole, dropping Ziggler onto the steel ring steps and then the floor. Fandango had a clear path the present and pulled it off the pole this time, setting up a title match against Langston next week.
Ziggler is having some trouble getting the job done, but Fandango came through for a significant opportunity in his still young career in the WWE. It will be no small challenge for the ballroom dancer, as Langston will be the favorite to win and retain the championship. But it would be a mighty accomplishment if Fandango could get the win somehow.