WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 3.10.14
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 10, 2014
3. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins — for proving that The Shield can still coexist by winning a tag match against Cody Rhodes and Goldust:
Cracks are certainly forming in The Shield, as Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have both done some things recently to put into question their commitment to the group. The threesome remains intact, for now at least, but it’s a wonder just how long they can coexist.
Kane took them to task on RAW this week, wondering if there was still value in having The Shield around or if it was diminishing its status. To Kane, the disintegration all started when Roman Reigns and Rollins lost the WWE Tag Team Championships to Cody Rhodes and Goldust. So, he booked them in a match against the brothers to see if they could exorcise that demon. The Shield accepted, albeit in quite the confrontational manner toward Kane.
If Rhodes and Goldust were the source of The Shield’s problems, Reigns and Rollins certainly didn’t show it in the match. Late in the bout, Rollins and Rhodes got tagged in as the legal men, and Rhodes went for a rollup with a move out of the corner for a two count. He followed with a drop-down uppercut and flipped out of a back suplex, springboarding off the ropes with a Disaster Kick that knocked Reigns off the apron. Rhodes then caught Rollins charging in with a boot, before flying off the top turnbuckle with a moonsault that only netted a two count.
Rhodes charged at Rollins in the corner and delivered a right hand that positioned Rollins on the top turnbuckle. Rhodes pulled him off and delivered a Muscle Buster, which also went for a two count, this time because Reigns broke up the cover. Goldust took care of Reigns by dropkicking him to the floor, but Rollins then sent Goldust out of the ring as well. Rollins hit the ropes and collided with Rhodes by butting heads, which parted the way for their partners to get back in the ring and for Reigns to drill Goldust with a spear.
Rhodes tossed Reigns to the outside, where Goldust also went, and then turned back to try for a Cross Rhodes on Rollins. Rollins countered out with a snap mare, though, before catching Rhodes going for a Disaster Kick and tossing him back-first into the corner. As Rhodes rebounded out of the corner, Rollins hit the ropes and delivered a stomp to the back of the head that put Rhodes down on the mat for a three count.
The Shield came together in the ring after the match and looked unified. It’s tough to tell how long that will be the case, but the group appeared to be on the same page and as strong as ever on this night.
2. John Cena — for getting a match with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania and defeating one of his family members in singles action, Erick Rowan:
John Cena’s task at WrestleMania 30 was pretty apparent once his matches at the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber were sabotaged by The Wyatt Family. A few interactions on RAW made it all that more obvious that Cena was headed for a showdown with Bray Wyatt in New Orleans. All that was left was for the challenge to be laid out, and accepted.
The setting for that was this week on RAW. After Hulk Hogan made a huge announcement regarding a 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Cena met the Hulkster in the ring to hype up the man and essentially toss his name in the hat to be a part of that battle royal. Then Wyatt and his crew came down to crash the party. After Wyatt said his piece, Cena said his and took his name out of the battle royal consideration to challenge Wyatt for a match at WrestleMania.
We didn’t get an answer right away, and the match between Cena and Erick Rowan went down from there. Cena looked to be in bad shape when caught in a bear hug by Rowan, who basically rag-dolled him. With Hogan in his corner, Cena found the strength to break the hold, but Rowan simply drilled him in the back to stay on top. Rowan hit a bodyslam, but when he went for another, Cena got out of it and pulled Rowan down for a rollup that went to a three count.
The Wyatt Family teased going at Cena and Hogan in the ring after the match, but they backed down and left the two to pose in the ring in celebration. Later in the broadcast, Wyatt would accept Cena’s challenge for WrestleMania.
Cena will have to be prepared for absolutely anything when it comes to facing Wyatt, but this was a match he had to go after. The Wyatts have caused him enough problems that dealing with the head of the group at WrestleMania was his only option.
1. Daniel Bryan — for getting his match against Triple H at WrestleMania — and maybe more — by holding RAW hostage, and for scoring the pinfall in a tag team main event:
Daniel Bryan was only going to take “No” for an answer for just so long. Finally having enough of being screwed over by The Authority, Bryan started clamoring for a match against Triple H at WrestleMania last week. All he got was another speech about how he’s a B-plus player and a Pedigree at the end of the night after managing to kick Triple H in the head from his back.
Stephanie McMahon and Triple H came out during RAW, and McMahon explained that Bryan attacked Triple H last week and suffered the consequences for it, and that it was also grounds for immediate termination. However, in leading by example, they offered an apology to Bryan, as there is value in his brand. McMahon noted it wasn’t as much value as that of Randy Orton, Batista or even Triple H, but he certainly has a niche following. Instead, they would let Bryan keep his job, so long as he returned the favor in offering them an apology. If he does that, they can move forward. Otherwise, severe consequences would await.
Needless to say, that apology wasn’t going to happen. Instead, Bryan went all out in getting the people on his side, and occupied RAW. He brought a slew of Bryan followers into the ring and around the ringside area to hijack the show until he was given what he, and the fans, wanted — a match with Triple H at WrestleMania 30.
This occurrence was something Triple H and McMahon figured they could easily handle by having security get everybody out, but there were two guards who were severely outnumbered. Bryan even threatened to have the entire crowd leave the arena and let The Authority run the rest of RAW in front of an empty arena. The longer this went on, the more McMahon and Triple H got annoyed, and there was only one way it was going to end.
Triple H explained that he was trying to protect Bryan all along, but that’s done now. Triple H finally gave in and accepted the challenge for WrestleMania. But then Bryan upped the ante by saying he misspoke when he mentioned he would let RAW go on if he got that match. He threw out the stipulation that if he defeats Triple H in their match, then he gets put into the main event for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Orton and Batista. Triple H got even more irate, and gave him that as well.
With Bryan having exactly what he wants, he readied for the main event later in the show, where he teamed with Big Show to face Orton and Batista. The Authority had left the building at this point, and McMahon and Triple H were counting on Orton and Batista to get the job done, which they did not.
Orton had Bryan in position for an RKO after hitting the rope-assisted DDT, but Bryan countered with a backslide that went for two. Bryan then ducked a closeline and rebounded out of the corner with a running knee to Orton’s face. He covered up and got the three count to secure the win for his team.
What a banner way to close out the night for Bryan. He infuriated Triple H enough to finally accept his WrestleMania challenge, worked in a stipulation to move into the championship match with a victory over The Game and then pinned the champion in the evening’s main event. He still has his work cut out for him, but Bryan has absolutely proven that he’s ready to take on The Authority and their goons head on in his hopes of gaining a fair shake in the WWE and a title opportunity.