WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 5.19.14
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 May 19, 2014
3. Cesaro — for making the most out of having Paul Heyman as his manager in a victory over United States Champion Sheamus:
Cesaro’s rise in the WWE was accelerated when he became the new Paul Heyman guy. Opportunities that might not have been available to him under the guidance of Zeb Colter are now possible with Heyman in his corner. One of those situations could be a shot at the United States Championship.
Cesaro squared off with the new United States Champion, Sheamus, on RAW this week. Considering this was a non-title bout, a win on Cesaro’s part could instantly move him into No. 1 Contender status for an actual championship match. Heyman knew that fact all too well.
After Sheamus hit a powerslam and got a two count, Cesaro called over to Heyman to serve as a distraction. Heyman ran around the ring and hopped onto the apron, ripping off his jacket and throwing it into the ring to steal the focus of both the referee and The Celtic Warrior. Heyman dropped back down to the floor and Sheamus tossed the jacket at him, but this all enabled Cesaro to get up and come in from behind with a German suplex. Cesaro held on for the pin and collected the three count, scoring a big win with the assist from Heyman.
Sheamus quickly realized they pulled one over on him, and he appreciated the tactics. He put a hand out to Cesaro, but Cesaro simply walked past him and went up the ramp with Heyman.
Cesaro did have a previous 239-day run as U.S. Champion before joining up with The Real Americans, so he does have some history with the title. Now he could be on his way toward regaining it just over a year later if his victory on Monday has any influence on who Sheamus defends the title against next.
2. Alicia Fox — for getting a win over Paige after going off the rails following a loss to the Divas Champion last week:
After essentially dominating a match against Divas Champion Paige last week, yet still coming out on the losing end of the match, Alicia Fox went just a bit haywire and caused a scene around the ringside area. She was seriously in rare form, and it was really tough to judge exactly where it was all going.
Whatever prompted the tantrum she threw, it seemed to work in getting Fox to up her game in another match against Paige this week on RAW. Fox once again dominated the in-ring action and managed to actually step away with the victory this go around.
Paige fared a bit better during the match this time, but it was still mostly dominated by Fox. Paige did hit the Paige Turner at one point during the match, but it only got her a two count. That seemed to be where Paige lost her way. She walked into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Fox, who held on and tossed Paige into the steel ring post through the turnbuckles. Fox nailed Paige in the face with a boot, dumping her to the apron. Fox then dragged Paige to the center the ring, where she covered up and got the three count.
That was a shocker, to say the least, especially considering the string of bad luck Fox had last week and the success Paige has achieved since first appearing on RAW. Fox still went crazy after the match, but to score this win off the Divas Champion was a major accomplishment.
1. Rob Van Dam — for winning the Beat the Clock Challenge to earn an Intercontinental Championship Match against Bad News Barrett at Payback:
The process to name a new No. 1 Contender for the Intercontinental Champion took place on RAW, with General Manager Brad Maddox announcing on the preshow that a Beat the Clock Challenge involving six Superstars would take place over the course of the broadcast. The Superstar to win his match in the least amount of time would move on to face Bad News Barrett in a title match at Payback.
The matches were Big E. vs. Ryback, Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam and Mark Henry vs. Dolph Ziggler. The first of those bouts went to Big E., as he hit the Big Ending on Ryback for the pinfall to stop the clock at 5:02.
With the bar set, RVD vs. Del Rio was next on the schedule. Van Dam avoided a cross arm breaker by countering with a kick to the head. He followed with the Rolling Thunder and then headed up top to attempt a Five Star Frog Splash. Del Rio moved out of the way and went for a crucifix pin, but RVD kicked out at two. Del Rio pushed Van Dam into the corner and ran at him with a leaping enziguri kick, only to get another two count. Del Rio then went for a kick to the side of RVD’s head, but Van Dam dodged it and countered with a rollup, holding on for the three count. He stopped the clock 47 seconds before the previous mark, making 4:15 the time either Henry or Ziggler needed to best.
Neither Superstar was able to make that happen, as Ziggler hit a Zig Zag and went for the cover just as time ran out. That left Van Dam as the fastest victor and granted him a match vs. Barrett at Payback for the IC Title.
When RVD came out to the ramp to celebrate that, he was attacked from behind by Barrett, who then proceeded to deliver some bad news. That attack wasn’t great news, but it doesn’t erase Van Dam’s match at Payback.