It's not often we get to say WWE puts on a Raw where the show was almost all well delivered but that was the case on Monday. While it wasn't perfect, even when the company tried to experiment with something new and different, it did well.
Braun Strowman showed fans a completely different side of his personality and found a whole new legion of fans while Elias took another step closer to being a huge star. Seth Rollins walked out of the tag team shadow and popped back into the main event scene in a big way and the women of Raw delivered well heading into the Elimination Chamber match.
Raw was well done by almost all parties involved and it was much easier to pick winners this week than losers.
Winner: Fatal 5-Way
This was a great match delivered by all five men with the right two people standing at the end. Even though the match ended in a no-contest finish the bout was entertaining and fast-paced. A special nod of the cap to Apollo Crews who could have buckled under the pressure of such a high stakes match but instead stepped up.
Some fans will hate there was no actual winner but it's a great way to ensure fans tune in next week to see how WWE deals with the problem.
Loser: Bliss/James vs Absolution
This wasn't a bad match but in another showcase of the Elimination Chamber, it didn't live up to what Bayley and Banks delivered with Nia Jax. The partnership of Bliss and James still feels off but WWE may try to make it a bit more believable or offer a swerve as time goes by.
Solid performances by both Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose here which is a good sign these two ladies are learning quickly. WWE was right to move both up to the main roster.
It's nice to see The Revival get a win over an actual team that has some credibility. It appeared the WWE was going to run The Revival into the ground but they picked up a big win over Gallows and Anderson. Even more, it looks like they might have started a mini-feud that will be fun to watch as one of these teams moves forward to challenge Sheamus and Cesaro.
The Revival won in "Revival" fashion too with a silent tag that led to a devasting finisher to put Anderson away. Excellent match all the way around.
Loser: Cesaro and Sheamus
Not everyone will agree, but for this writer, when a tag team is pitted against a singles competitor, the team should win almost every time. For Sheamus and Cesaro (tag champs) not to be able to overcome Roman Reigns it makes the team look weaker and Reigns strong but not in a believable way.
The team should have found a way to cheat or distract their way to victory here but instead, Reigns beat the odds. Fortunately, Sheamus should be able to overcome this setback.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Rollins moving into a singles run instead of the rumored partnership with Finn Balor is a welcome sign. The Architect was able to get the fans on his side early, convince GM Kurt Angle to add him to the main event scene and the WWE, its fans and Rollins will be better for it.
He delivered a strong promo and even if his run as a singles wrestler doesn't last long, it's nice to know there is an alternative to WWE pushing Roman Reigns straight to Lesnar with no questions asked. This is the kind of thing Rollins should be doing and teaming with Jason Jordan or whomever WWE deems a worthy replacement.
If this is how WWE plans to go about setting up the ultimate feud between "The Hugger" and "The Boss", they are on the right track. It was an excellent match with teases of heel turns at just the right time but no real resolution in that respect thanks to the interruption by Nia Jax.
It was a great step forward for all three women and set the tone nicely for the Elimination Chamber match. Bayley looked great in an upset victory, Banks looks like she's about to turn and Jax is crazy over with the crowd.
Winner: Braun Strowman
How can you not love Braun Strowman right now? Even when WWE throws him into something completely unexpected, he rattles off the segment like a true pro and goes over with the crowd a la The Rock. If he keeps this sort of thing up, he could be WWE's next big powerhouse hero that starts an unstoppable train of popularity.
He makes great sense with his personality to try this sort of song and dance routine but WWE made sure he finished it off with a little carnage just to ensure fans still knew he was the Strowman people had come to learn to love.
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