WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 1.13.14
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 January 13, 2014
3. Alberto Del Rio — for earning a win over Rey Mysterio in part to prove his value as the true Royal Rumble contender over Batista:
Alberto Del Rio seems intent on ruffling the feathers of the returning Batista, who has already received an abundance of the hype as a top contender in the Royal Rumble. Del Rio, a previous winner in 2011, made is clear that The Animal doesn’t impress him, and he wants to be the guy to eliminate Batista en route to another Royal Rumble victory.
Del Rio maintained that stance this week on RAW, putting on a strong performance against Rey Mysterio before grabbing the microphone again to state his case against Batista.
In the match, Mysterio managed to hit a 6-1-9 after reversing an Alabama Slam with a head scissors takedown. But it wasn’t enough to keep Del Rio down, as he quickly shot up to his feet when Mysterio climbed the ropes and crotched him across the top turnbuckle. As Mysterio hung down, Del Rio drilled him with a super kick. With Mysterio down on the mat, Del Rio called for the end and slapped on a cross arm breaker that Mysterio tapped out to.
Del Rio grabbed a microphone after the bell and asked Batista how he liked the condition of his friend, Mysterio. He then warned Batista that the same thing would happen to him if he shows up next week. Del Rio reiterated he would be the one to throw Batista out of the Royal Rumble, and then the ignorant people will stop talking about Batista and starting talking about him.
Del Rio is likely in for a rude awakening when Batista does make his return on next week’s RAW. It’s not going to be as easy as Del Rio thinks to dispose of The Animal. But for at least this one more week, Del Rio made a strong statement.
2. Daniel Bryan — for making his time as a Wyatt Family member short-lived by fighting back against Bray Wyatt inside a Steel Cage:
A couple of weeks ago, Daniel Bryan made the unpopular, yet genius, decision to join up with The Wyatt Family. Bray Wyatt tried to recruit Bryan for weeks, and beat him down mercilessly at each time they were rejected. But Bryan eventually came to the realization that there was only so far he could go strictly on the support of the WWE Universe, and he turned himself over to Wyatt.
He had a few matches as a part of the family, but it was clear to see the four members were not on the same page. They didn’t find immediate success as a group, and Bryan was the one to pay for his shortcomings.
Bryan and Wyatt were slated to team together on this week’s RAW, opening the show in tag action against The Usos. The match ended on a disqualification in favor of Jimmy and Jey Uso when they went to go high risk, and Erick Rowan and Luke Harper decided to attack them in the ring. Jey got out of the beatdown when he avoided an attack in the corner and ended up super kicking Bryan on the opposite side of the ring.
Jimmy and Jey were able to walk on their own to the back, avoiding any major damage. Bryan, however, was not spared for this inconvenience, and he got to his knees to take the Sister Abigail from Wyatt in the middle of the ring. He initially needed some help being carried up the ramp, but he soon walked on his own.
It’s good that he still had some fight left in him, as Kane and Brad Maddox collectively came up with the idea to book a rematch for the main event, except this time in a Steel Cage that only Kane would hold the lock to so they couldn’t escape from the door.
That match didn’t turn out any better for the Wyatts, as The Usos were able to knock Bryan off the ropes, which sent him into Wyatt to crotch him on another rope. With Bryan and Wyatt both fallen to the mat, Jimmy and Jey went over the cage and dropped to the floor, securing the victory.
Despite the loss, Bryan was still a winner after the match. He refused to take another Sister Abigail and eventually got sick of being berated. So, with the strong backing of the WWE Universe, he broke free from the Wyatt Family.
Bryan sidestepped a charge from Wyatt in the corner and fought back with a series of punches. Strong running corner dropkicks followed, and Bryan continued with some kicks that culminated with one to Wyatt’s head. Bryan tore off the suit he was wearing, revealing his normal trunks and boots. He then went back to kicking and stomping away at Wyatt, as Harper and Rowan tried to break into the cage. Bryan sent Wyatt into the cage to knock both of them off and onto the floor, before putting Wyatt down for good with the running knee. Bryan then climbed the cage, sat on top and performed the “Yes” chant along with a hot crowd to close out the show.
This was premature in my book, as Bryan as a member of the Wyatt Family had major potential. But it’s clear I’m in the minority on that one, and Bryan gave the crowd what they wanted by stripping away the Wyatt gear and getting back to the Bryan they all know and love.
1. Kofi Kingston — for scoring a huge upset victory over WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, who had designs on taking out some aggression on Kingston:
For Randy Orton, being the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and supposed “face of the company” means that he should be protected. This is especially regarding Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, who Orton believes should be looking out for their top guy. Instead, they handed John Cena a rematch for the championship at the Royal Rumble.
Orton remained irked at this injustice, and he barged into Kane’s office on RAW this week. The champion wanted The Authority, but Kane told him they weren’t there. He then granted Orton the opportunity to take out some of his aggression on Kofi Kingston.
Kingston reasonably should have been easy prey for The Viper, but Kingston refused to give in and he kept himself in the match. He rolled away from a knee drop from Orton, and followed up with a dropkick and leaping closeline. Kingston made the mistake of taking time to pump himself up before going for a Boom Drop, and he missed when Orton rolled away. But when Orton looked to make him suffer for that mistake by putting him between the ropes for a DDT, Kingston moved off them and countered with an SOS, which Kingston turned right into a cover for a three count.
That was completely unexpected, and Kingston made sure to get out of the ring before Orton could even think of getting retribution. Orton, meanwhile, was bewildered by the loss, though he still managed to get some aggression out by attacking John Cena’s father in the front row.
Kingston may not get an immediate title shot for this upset victory, but he should gain some recognition for it. At the very least, it elevates his confidence heading into the Royal Rumble, where a win would guarantee him a WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match.