Tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw was a complete and total surprise. WWE decided to spend the first two of the three total hours of the program as a showcase for seven WWE Superstars in one match. It was a seven-participant gauntlet match that featured all the competitors in the Elimination Chamber match and almost everyone responded favorably. From fellow wrestlers to fans and television viewers, WWE hit a home run with the idea.
Seth Rollins had a career performance and others shined as well. It was a clear winner on the night and because it was so good, it made everything that came after it feel like a loser, with one exception. One very deserving former WWE Superstar is going into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Considering how good the show was, the list is going to feel a bit lopsided but here are your winners and losers for Raw, February 19, 2018.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
It makes sense to start the winner's list with the announcement that Double J, Jeff Jarrett will be the newest induction into the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame. He might come as a bit of a surprise considering his somewhat rocky reputation with Vince McMahon and WWE but he's definitely deserving of the nod. He was a major influencer on the wrestling industry and he had a big in-ring career between WWE, WCW and TNA.
This also has to be a good sign that his rehab troubles are mostly, if not all behind him. This year's class is looking to be one of the best WWE has ever put together.
Can @TitusONeilWWE & #Apollo earn another victory over #RAW #TagTeamChampions @WWECesaro & @WWESheamus?— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) February 20, 2018
Hopefully they've been studying the numbers crunched by @DanaBrookeWWE! pic.twitter.com/unkxVhcEyi
Just prior to WWE Raw, Apollo Crews dropped the "Crews" part of his name and became Apollo. Like Cesaro, Elias, Big E, Rusev and others before him, WWE proved that they're either too quick to make unnecessary changes or they're concerned with things that most people won't make an attachment to.
There are rumors the name change occurred because the last name of the Florida shooter was Cruz and Vince didn't want people making any association or connection whatsoever. The mass shooting was absolutely terrible but most people wouldn't make the connection. By making the change, WWE actually draws more attention to this.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins was the man on Monday and he set a new record for Raw. The first two hours of the show featured a Gauntlet Match with the participants of the men's Elimination Chamber match and the highlight was Seth Rollins lasting 1 hour and 5 minutes.
1 hour and 5 minutes is the longest amount of time any WWE Superstar has spent in a match during RAW's 25-plus year history. Fans were elated to see Rollins eliminate John Cena and Roman Reigns before eventually being eliminated by Elias. Everyone knew they were seeing history and a number of WWE Superstars posted positive comments on their social media accounts.
Winner/Loser: Braun Strowman
Seth Rollins was the showcase of the Gauntlet match but Braun Strowman ended up winning the contest. So, why would he be considered a loser? The biggest reason would be that because he won the match on Raw, he's likely not going to win the Elimination Chamber match on Sunday.
Most people would believe Strowman is due and after his musical performance last week, there are many fans who believe he's as hot as he's ever been. For those fans, it's a bummer if he doesn't go on to win.
Loser: Asuka and Nia Jax
This might not be fair but WWE has to be careful of how they use competitors who have a clear barrier when it comes to delivering promos in English. For Asuka, this is a real challenge and WWE should have known better than to let her stumble through her promo. This kind of promo set her up to fail.
Jax coming in to lay out the Empress of Tomorrow is all well and good but do any of us really believe Jax will win the match? WWE needed to do a better job of making fans believe Jax ending her undefeated streak was a possible result.
Loser: Mandy Rose
Rose has real potential but there were parts of this match that were hard to watch. She is painfully unprepared to close out a show like Raw and after the Gauntlet match, even proven in-ring performers like Bayley, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss and Mickie James couldn't help her look like she belonged.
In fact, there were moments it looked as though Mickie James was visibly upset with some blown moves and WWE isn't going to be happy with that. She needs to step up her game especially because WWE appears to have big plans for her.