WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 3.3.14
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 March 3, 2014
3. Dolph Ziggler — for getting a much-needed victory over Alberto Del Rio with special guest Aaron Paul on his side:
Dolph Ziggler is one in the long line of WWE Superstars that isn’t too thrilled with his role and the way things are going in the company. He hasn’t had much success as of late, and he also isn’t seeing too many opportunities for one of the better in-ring workers the WWE has. Ziggler’s displeasure even brought him to challenging Batista on Smackdown last Friday night after essentially insulting the WWE Universe’s favorites — a class that includes The Showoff.
Ziggler didn’t do so hot in that match, falling victim to three straight spinebusters and a Batista Bomb to drop the match by pinfall. But standing up to Batista was a bold move, and he got right back on the horse this week on RAW. Driven in by special guest and star of the movie Need for Speed, Aaron Paul, Ziggler battled Batista’s former nemesis, Alberto Del Rio, on Monday night.
Paul, who also provided some guest commentary as the match went on, did a bit more than just drive Ziggler into the arena. He also played a big role in Ziggler picking up a much-needed victory over Del Rio.
Ziggler got a two count after drilling Del Rio into the mat with a DDT and tried to lift him off the mat to follow up, but Del Rio countered with an arm breaker before nailing the low side kick to Ziggler’s head. Del Rio covered up for the two, and that’s when Paul took off his headset and stood on top of the announce table to serve as a distraction to Del Rio. A lot of time was wasted by Del Rio in yelling at Paul, so when he went to set up for the cross arm breaker, Ziggler spun out and countered with the Zig Zag. Ziggler covered up to get the pinfall, and then he celebrated with Paul in the ring.
Paul isn’t going to be there every week to help out Ziggler, but this was a big confidence builder for Ziggler to get a win over a former World Heavyweight Champion. He’ll need to keep it up on his own, and maybe he can work himself into being that player that can contend with a brash Batista one day.
2. The Wyatt Family — for getting the upperhand on The Shield yet again and for sending another message to John Cena:
The Wyatt Family may have its attention divided among multiple causes, but it still appears as strong a unit as ever as Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan go about handling their business.
Their current agenda consists of going at John Cena, while also dealing with whatever animosity still exists between The Shield and them. Last week, they were the cause of Cena being stretchered out of the building and Wyatt scoring a disqualification victory over Roman Reigns. This week, they would leave Chicago feeling just as good about themselves in both areas.
First, The Wyatts partook in a six-man tag team matchup against The Shield, which would be a rematch from their excellent matchup at Elimination Chamber. The Wyatts once again benefitted from some internal conflict in The Shield, though not from the same source that they have been accustomed to.
When Dean Ambrose, who has been the problem in The Shield as of late, broke free from Wyatt with a DDT and looked to make a tag to Seth Rollins, Rollins jumped off the apron and left his partner hanging. Reigns questioned what he was doing as he walked up the ramp, and Rollins told him he couldn’t be the glue, and Ambrose and he could go figure it out.
Rollins remained on the ramp to watch the rest of the match as his partners tried to figure it out. While Ambrose was distracted, Wyatt splashed him in the corner and then hit the ropes for a running shoulder tackle. Wyatt covered, but Reigns rolled in to break the cover at two. Reigns tossed Wyatt to the outside, before dropping Rowan with a Samoan Drop. Reigns ducked a closeline from Harper and responded with a Superman Punch, which he then promptly used again to knock Wyatt off the apron.
Rowan nailed Reigns from behind, but Ambrose attacked him to prevent a powerbomb attempt. Ambrose continued to attack Rowan, who shoved him away, allowing Reigns to run at him with a closeline that knocked him to the outside. Ambrose delivered a drop toe hold to Harper that put him against the middle rope, and Reigns ran around the ring on the outside to deliver the leaping dropkick to Harper’s face.
Wyatt made his way back into the ring at this point, and Ambrose jumped him and proceeded to deliver a series of punches. On the outside, Reign speared Rowan over the announce table. Harper dropped Ambrose in the ring with a big boot to the face, before hitting the ropes and delivering a suicide dive to Reigns that pushed him back over the announce table. Ambrose then leapt onto Harper on the outside and beat him down, but Wyatt grabbed him soon enough and sent him face-first into the steel ring post.
Wyatt then put Ambrose back into the ring, picked him up off the mat and delivered a Sister Abigail to close the match out with the pinfall.
The Wyatts did definitely take advantage of further problems erupting in The Shield, but Reigns and Ambrose still put up a hell of a fight that The Wyatts had to handle accordingly. They did and got another win over The Shield.
Wyatt would later address his dealings with Cena, who came out and gave an impassioned speech in front of the crowd about his history in Chicago and change having to go through him. Wyatt appeared on the Tron to cut Cena down verbally, comparing him to a thoroughbred racehorse that eventually finds himself no longer winning and in the back of the barn. Wyatt then questioned how long Cena could fend them off and claimed to know what Cena is afraid of.
The whole message made Cena appear a little less confident and comfortable, which certainly puts Wyatt and his crew in an even better position when you also factor in that Cena is still injured.
The Wyatts are definitely at the top of their game right now, and are handling all of their business very well.
1. The Usos — for finally capturing the WWE Tag Team Championships by defeating The New Age Outlaws:
The Usos have waited a very long time to emerge as the top tag team in the WWE. While they performed well and racked up wins, they also waited for an opportunity to fight for the WWE Tag Team Championships. They finally received a shot against The New Age Outlaws at Elimination Chamber, but Jimmy and Jey were unsuccessful in taking the straps away from the six-time titleholders.
They got some redemption one week ago on RAW with a quick, non-title victory over The New Age Outlaws. However, The Usos would receive another crack at The New Age Outlaws and, more importantly, the WWE Tag Team Championships this week on RAW in front of a very supportive Chicago crowd. There was a good aura in that building, and it had a now-or-never feeling for The Usos.
It turned out to be now, as Jimmy and Jey were able to finally knock Road Dogg and Billy Gunn off the pedestal when it counts and claim the championships they have long been vying for. After a couple of straight two counts for Gunn, he went to deliver a Fameasser to Jimmy. The move was avoided, though, and Jimmy hit the ropes, ducked a closeline and dove to the outside onto Road Dogg, while making a tag to his brother as he was in the air. Jey ducked a boot from Gunn and responded with a superkick, before he headed up top and flew off with the splash. He covered right up and collected the three count, securing a pinfall and the right to be called new WWE Tag Team Champions.
The Usos were clearly excited after the match regarding their achievement, and now they can officially be considered the top duo in the tag team division.