WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 6.16.14
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 June 16, 2014
3. Stardust — for debuting as the new personality of Cody Rhodes to great success with a win alongside his brother against Rybaxel:
When Cody Rhodes went through a bit of a funk and believed that his brother, Goldust, was in need of a better tag team partner, none of the Superstars he selected for that role seemed to net any better results. The reality is, Goldust still wanted to team with Rhodes, and it was just going to take some sort of change on Rhodes’ end to try and right the ship.
That seems to be what took place this week on RAW. After Goldust made his entrance for tag team competition against Ryback and Curtis Axel, Rhodes debuted a new persona called Stardust. This was essentially like Goldust — painted up a bit differently with some slightly tweaked mannerisms, but otherwise just as creepy. The transformation was a success for Rhodes, who played a critical role in his team coming away with a rather quick and impressive victory over Rybaxel.
Following a double team to Axel, Stardust dropped him with a DDT in the middle of the ring. He ducked a closeline from Ryback, who was sent to the floor by Goldust, and then ran at Axel in the corner. He was lifted over to the apron, but he avoided some shots from Axel to deliver a headbutt that backed Axel up. Stardust hit a springboard elbow and dodged a closeline near the corner. Stardust delivered a shot to the midsection of Axel before hitting a Diamond Dust off the ropes to pick up the pinfall.
He went a bit extreme to get into a better place mentally, but Rhodes was definitely effective in his debut as Stardust. This gimmick is likely to stick if he can maintain the edge he seemed to have on Monday night.
2. John Cena — for getting past Kane and some other Authority henchmen in a Stretcher Match to earn a spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match at Money In The Bank:
With Money In The Bank about two weeks ago, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match was still missing two combatants. The Authority had plans right off the bat on RAW to take care of that situation. One would involve a battle royal, and the other would serve as punishment to John Cena for helping out or sticking up for those that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have been fighting against, like The Shield and Daniel Bryan.
McMahon promised that a Stretcher Match between Bryan and Kane would take place at Money In The Bank, and that’s just not going to happen now that Bryan is on the shelf for the foreseeable future. The Authority doesn’t like to lie, so they sought out Cena’s help to make a Stretcher Match happen later on during RAW and officially booked him to face Kane in a bout of that kind. The winner of that match would claim what would be the final spot in the championship Ladder Match at Money In The Bank.
It wouldn’t be The Authority’s bidding if there weren’t some shenanigans in this match, such as when Cena seemingly had Kane well on his way to being wheeled up the ramp on a stretcher to the finish line, until Seth Rollins and Randy Orton came from out of nowhere to attack Cena. The fight moved into the ring, where Rollins dropped Cena with a double forearm shot before Orton hit an RKO. Rollins then brought a chair inside the ring, but Dean Ambrose ran to the ring and dropped Rollins with a spear before any damage could be done.
Orton pulled Ambrose off Rollins and wanted to send him outside, but Ambrose reversed and sent The Viper to the floor instead before closelining Rollins out of the ring. That’s when Kane made it back into the ring and chokeslammed Ambrose. Kane then ran at Cena, who dropped the top rope to get Kane back outside. Cena picked up the steel ring steps that were already in the ring and chucked them at Kane on the outside. Cena then put Kane back on the stretcher and began to wheel him up the ramp.
Just before crossing the finish line, Kane sat up and grabbed Cena’s throat. Kane got off the stretcher and looked to chokeslam Cena onto it, but Cena got out and countered with an Attitude Adjustment that put Kane right back on it. He then pushed the stretcher the rest of the way over the finish line and took the victory, adding his name to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match at Money In The Bank.
At the top of the night, Cena probably figured his chances weren’t great of getting into the title hunt, being on the bad side of The Authority and all. But he made it through that Stretcher Match and now has a shot at claiming his 15th heavyweight championship.
1. Roman Reigns—for plotting his way into a battle royal and winning it to secure his place in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match at Money In The Bank:
The other slot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match at Money In The Bank was to be decided in a battle royal on RAW. The Authority wasn’t exactly picky with who would be in it, other than to say that Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and John Cena would not be.
Ambrose moved past that pretty quickly to continue his feud with Seth Rollins, while Cena got his chance in the Stretcher Match. Reigns, on the other hand, wanted in the battle royal, and he got a little creative to make that happen.
He sought out the assistance of Vickie Guerrero, who has essentially resorted to being The Authority’s lap dog. When he caught her running coffee backstage, Reigns tried to butter up Guerrero and tell her to stand up to Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. She wasn’t exactly buying into that, but Reigns did tell her she forgot the sweetener. When she ran to get it, Reigns dumped a little something into the coffees.
Triple H never received his cup because he accidently — though was not apologetic for it — backhanded it onto Guerrero. McMahon got hers, though, and it induced a hell of a vomiting fit that resulted in Guerrero getting puked on and Triple H taking his wife out of the arena. He also left Guerrero in charge for the rest of the night. That was Reigns’ opening, and he convinced Guerrero to let him into the battle royal.
With such a big opportunity at stake, Reigns did not disappoint. It came down to two big up-and-coming Superstars, with Rusev and Reigns being the final two. They started out trading some right hands, and Rusev took the early edge when he countered a whip to the ropes and put Reigns down on the mat. Rusev screamed a bit and delivered a hard-charging splash in the corner. When he turned back to the opposite corner seemingly to restart for another charge, Reigns followed him and dished out a closeline. An uppercut from Reigns followed, and he lifted Rusev over the top rope and onto the apron. Rusev held on despite taking a few right-handed shots, but he face-planted right to the floor when Reigns drilled him with a Superman Punch.
The Authority is going to be pissed when they find out about that, but there’s not much they can do now. Guerrero will surely feel the heat from this turn of events, but Reigns earned his way into the title match at Money In The Bank, and he stands just as good a chance as any to step away with his first heavyweight title in the WWE.