WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 4.28.14
By Neil Borenstein
Each week here at 1wrestling.com, I will select three of the top wrestlers from Monday Night RAW and present them to you in inverse order as the show’s Wrestlers of the Week.
Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week for April 28, 2014
3. The Usos — for retaining the WWE Tag Team Championships with a win over Ryback and Curtis Axel:
Ryback and Curtis Axel have been set up recently as the next in line to challenge The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championships. They attacked Jimmy and Jey Uso following their tag team match last week against the Rhodes brothers, a duo RybAxel defeated two weeks ago to really push the idea that they were ready to challenge for the straps.
Instead of holding this match off until Extreme Rules, the WWE elected to have The Usos defend the tag team championships in the opening match of this week’s RAW against Ryback and Axel. The challengers were pretty close to pulling out the victory, but they succumbed to the sneaky tagging that The Usos have become known for.
After Ryback kicked out of a rollup, he attacked Jey to maintain control and tagged in Axel. They both Irish whipped Jey to the ropes, but he ducked a double-team attack and delivered a superkick to Ryback. Just prior to delivering the kick, however, Jimmy made the tag when his brother hit the ropes, which neither member of RybAxel picked up on. As Ryback went down, Axel moved in on Jey with the Perfectplex and held on for the pin attempt. But Jimmy immediately launched himself off the top rope with a splash onto Axel to not only break the cover, but to get a cover of his own for the three count.
It was a good effort from Ryback and Axel. And while there’s no telling if that will be their only shot at the titles for the time being, they certainly won’t have the same kind of momentum they came into this match with even if they are offered another opportunity. The Usos looked good defending their titles and remain worthy champions.
2. Cesaro — for getting another victory over Jack Swagger and costing Rob Van Dam a shot at the Intercontinental Championship:
Cesaro has a lot on his plate these days as one of the fastest rising stars in the WWE. His potential has skyrocketed since winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania, making his first order of business the following night to trade in his Real American family of Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger for the managerial expertise of Paul Heyman. With the addition of Heyman, the possibilities seemed endless for Cesaro.
One thing that won’t be immediately possible, though, is going after the Intercontinental Championship. When Cesaro decided to move on from the Real American, he didn’t do so in amicable fashion and made enemies out of Colter and Swagger. Last week, Swagger’s interference in Cesaro’s semifinals match in the Intercontinental Championship No. 1 Contender Tournament got him counted out, advancing Rob Van Dam to the finals instead.
Cesaro got the last laugh on Swagger after the match, but a backstage confrontation centering around Heyman and RVD brought upon another enemy. This week on RAW, Cesaro handled his business against both.
In looking to build off a win over Swagger from Smackdown, Cesaro went one-on-one again with the All-American American. Of course, there was going to be managerial involvement in this match with both Heyman and Colter at ringside. There is no love lost between those two, and they seemed to be the more bitter rivals in this feud.
Colter was the first to get involved when he grabbed the leg of Cesaro, enabling Swagger to drop Cesaro with a forearm strike. It prompted Heyman to run around the ring toward Colter, grabbing onto his mustache and causing Swagger the reach through the ropes at him. With that distraction, Cesaro came in from behind and delivered a German suplex to Swagger, holding on for the pin that went to three.
The night would not be over for any of these men. Cesaro came out later to play a role in the finals matchup between RVD and Bad News Barrett, directly affecting the result of the match. Swagger also came out in an effort to go at Cesaro, and he got a bit greedy by also going after RVD since he turned down an earlier offer from Colter to join up with them in the fight against Cesaro and Heyman.
Needless to say, Cesaro, Swagger and RVD are all caught up in a mess here — one that Cesaro reasonably got the best out of on RAW by the way he defeated Swagger and cost Van Dam his chance at fighting for the Intercontinental Championship. The three of them will look to settle things in a Triple Threat Match at Extreme Rules on Sunday.
1. Bad News Barrett — for winning his tournament finals match against RVD to secure a shot at the Intercontinental Title against Big E at Extreme Rules:
Bad News Barrett has made a lot of noise since stepping down from the podium and getting into the ring to unleash his bad news physically. He’s made an impact in getting past Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus to advance into the finals in the Intercontinental Championship No. 1 Contender Tournament, and he would look to earn his way to Extreme Rules for a title match against Big E.
Before his match against Rob Van Dam, he delivered one of his speeches to call out RVD’s age. Mind games aside, it wasn’t Barrett’s talking that did Van Dam in, but some interference from the former Real Americans.
RVD had Barrett on the mat courtesy of a kick, with hopes of pulling off a Rolling Thunder. Barrett got up, though, and instead ate a couple of closelines from Van Dam. RVD put Barrett back down with a step-through kick, and he seemed to be heading for the Five Star Frog Splash next. However, he stopped in his tracks when he saw Cesaro making his way to the ring.
Swagger was close behind, and he pulled Cesaro off the ring apron and began fighting with him on the outside. This took RVD’s attention away from Barrett, who got back to his feet and wound up for a Bull Hammer. Barrett swung away when Van Dam turned around, but RVD ducked and dropped him with another kick. He hit the Rolling Thunder this time and headed up top, looking to close out the match with a Five Star Frog Splash. Cesaro ran onto the apron, though, receiving a kick as he went at RVD. Still, it gave Barrett some extra time to recover, which was the case when he lifted the knees as RVD dropped on him with the frog splash.
Barrett shot up off the mat and waited for RVD to follow suit so he could drill him with the Bull Hammer. Once he did, Barrett covered up and collected the pinfall.
He now moves on to Extreme Rules for that Intercontinental Championship Match. With the roll Barrett has been on lately, it could be bad news for Big E.