One week after getting taken out by Strowman and his goons, the Shield were seeking their revenge. They got it at the expense of everyone else.
The Shield's revenge was the focus of the show and while there were a couple moments that appeared as though they could almost save the three-hour broadcast, in total, this particular episode of Raw was not just bad, it was often illogical, dry, pointless and frustrating, suggesting the company simply doesn't care about the fact they were writing a go-home show to Hell in a Cell.
It wasn't all fails, but it was close. Here are your winners and losers for Raw, September 10, 2018.
Losers: Opening Segment
You got to give it to WWE. Nobody can write a 15-minute segment that completely undermines most of the roster like they can.
To see the Shield get some revenge for last week makes sense but to have them walk through nearly the entire cast of heel characters on Raw hurts each and every one of those men who had to later come out and pretend to be relevant. All the while, Strowman is doing his best, but as a heel, he's just not as effective as he is when playing the monster babyface. The monster is not only teaming with Ziggler and McIntyre in a manner that doesn't fit his character but now he's running from his adversaries.
This team is like The Bludgeon Brothers when they debuted but missing one large characteristic: no one seems to care. Where the Bludgeon's caught our attention, these squash matches for AOP (it seems we can no longer call them Authors of Pain) don't mean much and the more WWE offers up this kind of booking, the less fans will care.
That this team was part of the opening segment of the show and so easily beaten by The Shield only to win in matches of this kind makes even less sense. Just terrible writing that isn't doing this team any favors. It screams WWE is not sure what to do with this team.
Any chance of the B-Team being relevant again went out the window on Monday as they lost their contractually obligated rematch. This match was nothing more than a glorified squash setting up the rest of the evening and the bigger story in what will happen with The Shield. As such, the B-Team (once the tag champions) became a hiccup.
It's actually amazing how fast WWE can undo all the good work they do with a team when they choose to simply move on.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens was very good on Monday which makes it even more difficult to accept where all of this is going. Owens will likely lose to Lashley in the same way Sami Zayn did, the only difference being that KO will deliver strong promos on his way to another loss.
That WWE wants fans to believe he quit over his friend's well being is a bit of a stretch and the company still really dropped the ball on that idea but how good Owens was during his promo just goes to show he can work with total garbage and make it entertaining.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
It was going to be interesting to see what happened when WWE needed Rousey to actually sell the idea that she could be beaten or hurt by a WWE opponent. This was the first taste of that as Rousey was the victim of a vicious assault on her ribs. She did a decent job of selling the idea she could be vulnerable.
She proved that even in agony she could pull out a win but to demonstrate that their is a way to get to her is smart by WWE who up to this point has made her unstoppable.
Winner: Mick Foley
Perhaps the biggest news from the show was the reveal that Foley would be appointed as special guest referee for the Hell in a Cell match between Strowman and Reigns. While the choice is interesting and perhaps a bit out of left field, it adds a wrinkle to the match which could allow for some interesting outcomes.
Not the best we've ever seen but the promo with Elias was short and sweet and it served its purpose. That the Drifter then went on to lose to Finn Balor felt like time filler on the show.
Loser: Final Brawl
If this was the best WWE could offer between the two main eventers heading into Hell in a Cell, fans can probably skip this pay-per-view and not feel too bad. This final meeting between the two felt forced and even the stage crash at the end wasn't as effective as it could have been.
The match itself should be better than this final confrontation but WWE's job was to make it feel can't miss. They didn't do that here.