WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 1.27.14
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 27, 2014
3. Dolph Ziggler — for winning the “Battle of Cleveland” in front of the hometown crowd against The Miz:
With RAW hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, the WWE elected to play to the hometown crowd and book a “Battle for Cleveland” match between two of the town’s native sons. Dolph Ziggler and The Miz went at it in one-on-one competition for the right to be called King of Cleveland, I guess?
Miz was in a stellar position to take the match when, after blocking a dropkick, he put Ziggler into a Figure Four Leg Lock in the middle of the ring. Ziggler was in a bad situation, but he managed to gut through the pain and finally grab hold of the ropes to force Miz to break the hold. Miz dragged Ziggler back into the center of the ring and tried to re-apply the hold, but Ziggler pulled him down for a small package. It went to a two count, before Miz rolled the other way to reverse the pin for a two count of his own. Once the two superstars got back to their feet, Ziggler darted in at Miz for a Zig Zag, and that kept Miz down on the mat for a three count.
The match was kind of pointless, and likely won’t do much as far as elevating either superstar into a worthwhile situation. But it’s good for Ziggler to get any win he can, and I guess he’s the King of Cleveland now.
2. Naomi — for pinning the Divas Champion, AJ Lee, to score the win for her team in an eight-Diva tag match:
In a throw-in-every-Diva-we-have moment on this week’s RAW, the Total Divas contingent of Cameron, Naomi, Nikki Bella and Brie Bella faced off with the not-Total Divas crew of Divas Champion AJ Lee, Tamina, Alicia Fox and Aksana. With Naomi getting ever-so-close to a Divas Championship opportunity, it would be interesting to see how big a role she would play and how much she could get after Lee.
She wound up playing a big role and even put away the Divas Champion in securing the victory for her team.
After Nikki Bella dropkicked Tamina, the two made tags to Naomi and Lee, respectively. Naomi ducked a kick from Lee and came back with a dropkick. She then hit another dropkick and countered an Irish whip reversal into the corner by shaking her rump and kicking Lee off her. Naomi waited for Lee to get back to her feet and ran in for a flipping closeline. She ran around, did a little shaking and delivered a leg drop to get the cover for a two count.
Tamina “broke up” the pin, which caused the Bellas to come into the ring to attack her. They looked for a double team suplex, but Aksana came in to join the party. Cameron and Tamina got into the mix for a crazy six-person suplex that went in favor of the Total Divas. That cleared the six of them out of the ring, and left Naomi and Lee to finish off what they were doing.
Naomi got up first and ran over to grab Lee, who shrugged her off and delivered a kick to the midsection. However, when Lee came off the ropes, she was met with the Rear View from Naomi. The pin from Naomi followed, and it went to the three count to give her team the victory.
The Total Divas danced around to celebrate the victory after the match. Naomi should be the most excited, though, as being the one to get the winning pinfall should only further her status as the clear No. 1 Contender for the Divas Championship.
1. Alberto Del Rio — for moving on from his Royal Rumble Match disappointment to get a convincing win over Kofi Kingston:
Just like the other 28 superstars involved in the Royal Rumble Match, Alberto Del Rio and Kofi Kingston had high hopes of being the last man standing in the ring and going on to main event WrestleMania. It didn’t work out for either man, however, and they are left to find another way to make their marks in New Orleans.
They both tried to get back on the winning track this Monday on RAW, where they battled each other in singles action. They didn’t exactly have the crowd in the palms of their hands the whole match, as “JBL” and “King” chants broke out during the match. But the two superstars kept on taking care of business, and Del Rio ended up doing it just a bit better than Kingston.
Del Rio put Kingston down with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and then he pointed to the WrestleMania XXX sign hanging at the top of the arena before signaling for a cross arm breaker. Before he could even float over, though, Kingston countered out and tried for a Trouble in Paradise. Del Rio dodged it and countered with a backstabber. Del Rio covered, but he could only get the two count.
Del Rio was a little bit flustered and thought about his next move, electing to head up top, where he was met by Kingston. Kingston crotched him across the top and climbed the ropes in hopes of hitting a superplex. Del Rio got out of that predicament and shoved Kingston down so that he was hanging from the ropes. Del Rio dropped down to stomp on the chest of Kingston, who then received a super kick to the side of the head after slowly getting to his knees. Del Rio covered up for the three count this time.
The Royal Rumble wasn’t the success Del Rio had hoped for, but he got right back on the horse and scored a convincing victory over Kingston on RAW. It’s a good momentum builder, as he seems intent on still making an impact at WrestleMania.