WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 5.12.14
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.
Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week for May 12, 2014
3. Cody Rhodes — for getting a much-needed confidence builder by beating former tag team partner, Damien Sandow:
The brotherhood between Cody Rhodes and Goldust is pretty rocky right now. They have not been successful lately as a tag team, and have miscommunicated to the point of costing each other matches. It has not only taken them out of the tag team title picture, but it has put some doubt as to whether they can really even co-exist going forward.
In an effort to try and rebuild some personal confidence, Cody Rhodes took to the ring for singles action on RAW this week to face his former Rhodes Scholars tag team partner, Damien Sandow.
Rhodes fought his way out of a chinlock from Sandow, delivering some right hands and then hitting the ropes for a short-range closeline. Following a kick, Rhodes dropped down for an uppercut before heading for the apron and coming back in with a springboard dropkick. Rhodes hung Sandow on the ropes and delivered kick between the legs, setting up for a try at the Cross Rhodes.
Sandow fought out with a snap mare that sent Rhodes into the corner, where Sandow followed with a series of shoulder blocks and then some punches after the referee backed him off. Goldust caught the referee’s attention at this point, which allowed Rhodes to get out of his predicament by raking Sandow’s eyes. Rhodes then came off the middle rope with a Disaster Kick, transitioning into the cover for a three count.
His methods weren’t the most ethical, but getting a win was important for Rhodes. The relationship between Rhodes and his brother is probably still more on the sour end, but this win at least gave him a good confidence builder.
2. John Cena and The Usos — for combining in six-man tag team action to defeat The Wyatt Family:
The fight rages on between John Cena and Bray Wyatt. Cena may be losing the audience (more so than before), but he still stands by his credo of “Never Give Up.” Wyatt really wants to test that theory, and he is determined to keep going at the former 14-time heavyweight champion.
Cena recruited a little help in his fight this week on RAW, partnering up with WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos to face the entire Wyatt Family in six-man tag team action.
Wyatt prevented Cena from closing things out on an STF to Erick Rowan, hitting a backsplash and then looking to follow with the Sister Abigail to Cena. After Wyatt delivered the kiss to Cena’s forehead, one of the Usos was able to make the save by delivering a superkick to Wyatt. The other Uso followed suit with another superkick to Wyatt that sent him to the floor. Luke Harper then got dual superkicks, and The Usos hit the ropes and dove to the outside onto Wyatt and Harper. Left alone in the ring with Rowan, Cena lifted him up and dropped him with the Attitude Adjustment, leading to the pinfall.
Wyatt got a microphone after the match and thanked Cena for helping him realize what he must do. That ended up being tossing out a challenge for a Last Man Standing Match at Payback, which Cena is slated to respond to on Smackdown.
There has been a lot of give-and-take between Cena and Wyatt in this feud, but Cena was the one between them that needed a boost the most. Alongside the tag champs, he was able to get a nice win over The Wyatts and enhance his confidence as he heads into Payback looking to finally rid himself of his nemesis.
1. Sheamus — for beating both members of RybAxel one right after the other:
Last week, Sheamus reaped the benefits of Triple H’s vendetta with The Shield. Dean Ambrose was forced to put the United States Championship on the line in a 20-man over-the-top rope battle royal to open RAW, and Sheamus delivered a Brogue Kick that enabled him to toss Ambrose to the floor and become the new U.S. Titleholder.
After spinning his wheels since his return from injury to the WWE, Sheamus now has a purpose — to defend his championship. He wouldn’t exactly do that this week on RAW, when he competed in non-title action. However, he pulled double duty and more than proved he deserves to be champion.
Curtis Axel and Ryback flipped a coin prior to any match taking place, determining who would face Sheamus and perhaps take a crack at earning one of the first shots at the U.S. Championship against him. Axel was the victor in that exchange with his partner, and he went one-on-one with Sheamus.
Axel thought he was on his way to pulling off the upset when he connected on a neckbreaker to Sheamus from the top. He only got a two count from it, though, and proceeded to set Sheamus up for a Perfectplex. Sheamus blocked and lifted Axel onto his shoulders. Axel got out of that and sent Sheamus to the ropes, but Sheamus blocked a dropkick and countered into a cloverleaf submission that Axel tapped out to.
Ryback attacked Sheamus after the bell, and he yelled at the champion to fight him. Sheamus rarely backs down from a fight, so he accepted a second consecutive match with the other half of RybAxel.
Sheamus wanted to close this match out late with a Brogue Kick, but Axel distracted him by hopping onto the apron, and Ryback was able to put Sheamus down with the Meat Hook Closeline. Ryback pulled the straps down and signaled for a Shell Shocked. Sheamus dropped down as Ryback ran forward, though, and he caught Ryback on the way back with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus was able to cover up and get the three count this time.
Sheamus had to work for it, but he proved plenty even without having to defend the United States Championship. He’s going to be a hard champion to knock off.