WWE Monday Night RAW Wrestlers of the Week 7.7.14
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 July 7, 2014
3. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan — for getting a non-title tag team victory over The Usos:
After the exciting battles The Usos and The Wyatt Family have had, it’s hard to hate them continuing to compete against each other. With WWE Tag Team Championship implications clearly on the line, the two duos opened the in-ring portion of RAW this week for non-title action.
During the commentary of this match, the announce team brought up the difficulty in telling Jimmy and Jey Uso apart. Conveniently, that theme played a part in the result of the match.
After kicking out in the nick of time from a superkick and avoiding an aerial attack thereafter, Harper managed to put one of the Usos down with a sitout powerbomb. A save was made to prevent the count from going to three. After getting Harper out of the ring and onto the apron, The Usos delivered double superkicks to knock him down to the floor. They hit the ropes with hopes of both diving to the outside on Harper, but Rowan grabbed one of their legs and Harper was able to sneak in from behind for a closeline to the other. Harper covered up and got the three count, but not without some controversy. After the decision, The Usos argued that the legal man wasn’t pinned.
Regardless, the loss stands, and Harper and Rowan put themselves in position to likely score another shot at the tag titles. They have been solid opponents for The Usos, and they have every ability to be the ones to take the straps off them.
2. Chris Jericho — for having a successful in-ring return to RAW with a win over The Miz:
Chris Jericho made a surprise return last week on RAW, and he did so as an interruption to The Miz. It wasn’t all fun and games for Jericho, who was later attacked by The Wyatt Family. But coming back to break up Miz’ own return and put him down with the Codebreaker was a solid introduction back into the WWE fold.
What later transpired between Jericho and The Wyatts wasn’t going to change the fact that a match between Jericho and Miz needed to happen. It took place this week on RAW, and Jericho made the most of his in-ring return.
Miz could have nailed down a submission win after coming off a rollup and stopping short of a dropkick from Jericho to tie up the legs and apply a figure four leg lock. Jericho made it to the bottom rope to force a break of the hold, but Miz continuing working on the leg with a series of kicks. Miz stepped away for a moment, which resulted in him catching a fist to the face from Jericho when he moved back in. With Miz tending to his “money maker,” Jericho took him down and put on the Walls of Jericho, which forced a tapout.
Bray Wyatt cut his celebration short with some words from the rocking chair, prompting Jericho to eventually grab a mic of his own and tell Wyatt to shut the hell up. He then threatened to beat Wyatt’s ass, but Luke Harper and Erick Rowan suddenly appearing caused Jericho to have second thoughts.
Miz was clearly a stepping-stone to bigger things with Wyatt. And with a win in his first match back, Jericho has the ring rust shaken off as he heads into battle with a Superstar the likes of which he hasn’t seen before.
1. Randy Orton — for hitting an opportunistic RKO to get the pinfall over Dean Ambrose:
For all the help he’s receiving from The Authority and Kane, Randy Orton still hasn’t managed to get the WWE World Heavyweight Championship back in their camp. Of course, having to deal with the likes of John Cena and Roman Reigns does complicate matters — as does Dean Ambrose getting in the business of fellow-Authority cohort, Seth Rollins. This week, Orton and Ambrose went one-on-one for some bragging rights.
Orton would have been perfectly content accepting a countout victory after dumping Ambrose on his head on the outside with a barricade-assisted DDT. However, Ambrose had enough fight left in him to get back up and just beat the 10 count. Orton couldn’t believe it, but he went back to work with a stomp and then a try at a rope-assisted DDT. Ambrose countered that by dropping down and getting a rollup, which Orton kicked out of at two.
Orton shot up and went for an RKO, but Ambrose once again countered with a backslide, getting another two count. Orton then delivered a kick to the face of Ambrose, which shot him back into the ropes and propelled him right back into an RKO from Orton. That kept Ambrose pinned to the mat for a three count.
That was a tough one for The Viper, but he was able to get a hard-fought win over Ambrose without the assistance of anyone from The Authority.
He did join in with Kane for a beatdown of Cena during his main event bout against Rollins, before Reigns came down to even the party a bit. That example proves the deck will be more stacked at Battleground when he heads into the Fatal Four Way Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. But Orton is always a contender and could escape with the title.