This week's Raw was one of those middle-of-the-road shows where the brand was a bit too far from Money in the Bank to do anything really significant, but couldn't afford to not progress feuds and battles to get fans interested in the pay-per-view. While there were some decent moments, there were a lot of times things didn't work.
Between his promo and singles match that turned into a tag match, Reigns occupied the first third of the show. He was joined by Kevin Owens but someone else stole the moment. Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax made things official with a contract signing, Strowman got a win after Finn Balor put up a great fight and Stephanie McMahon made fans realize how important she is to the pulse of the show.
Here are your winners and losers from Raw on May 21, 2018.
Winner: Jinder Mahal
By the time the first hour of the show had ended, only a few WWE Superstars had appeared on the show. The opening was meant to focus on Roman Reigns and Jinder Mahal, and Mahal stood out with an anger-filled attack on Reigns and Seth Rollins after the tag match had concluded. Clearly, WWE is working towards Mahal taking on Reigns at Money in the Bank and likely losing but for now, this is good for Mahal who was on the verge of irrelevancy.
It's important if WWE wants to not waste what Mahal has become by allowing to get the upper hand every once and a while. While the other guys like Rollins and Owens were stealing the match, Mahal ended up stealing the segment.
Loser: Zayn Calls Out Lashley Sisters
This storyline was already going to teeter on the verge of ridiculousness, so WWE had to tread carefully. Instead of doing so, they had Zayn call out a bunch of men dressed as women and no one found it funny. In fact, no one in the crowd reacted at all. Zayn did his best to make the segment work but he was dealing with material that was so bad, not even the Rock could have saved this. Of course, this was how WWE was going to take this.
The way WWE is using Lashley since his return is utterly disappointing. They have a unique talent on their hands and somehow this is the best idea they could come up with. It's beyond sad. It's unacceptable and the fans are going to react accordingly.
The lone bright spot here was the Lashley finally looked dominant, which was long overdue.
Losers: Baron Corbin and No Way Jose
To put these guys in a match is fine, but the outcome also predictable. Corbin won which signals the start of No Way Jose's trajectory toward enhancement status (which we knew was inevitable) and Corbin seems to be running in place, not getting too far ahead before fans understand the WWE will back things off once he takes on an opponent worthy of a win over a big-name heel.
Corbin deserved to get the win here as the WWE Universe knows he's the strong competitor, but it's somewhat disappointing knowing that it likely won't lead to much.
Winner: Stephanie McMahon
Sometimes, you don't realize what you're missing until it's gone. Even then, you don't realize how important someone is when they're gone until they come back. That was the case with Stephanie McMahon who made the contract signing between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey work. WWE had no real history to work from with Rousey and Jax here so McMahon was a necessary evil trying to stir the pot.
There were teases of Jax potentially turning heel which will raise a number of questions and that's good for the match. The last thing WWE needs here is for people to think Rousey winning is a given.
Loser: Alexa Bliss
Another loss to Ember Moon leaves Alexa Bliss in a land of uncertainty. She's qualified for Money in the Bank but the losses are starting to add up after being the sliest and often dangerous female on the WWE roster.
The match itself didn't accomplish much and perhaps that's worse than simply having Bliss lose. If WWE is going to have Moon go over Bliss, it really should mean more than a quick match on Raw.
Winner: Finn Balor
He may not have come away with the win, but a loss to Braun Strowman doesn't hurt Balor. A good showing with hints that he might actually beat the Monster Among Men does wonders for Balor who is teetering on being one of the upper echelon stars on the roster but hasn't quite made that jump yet.
Balor put on a strong showing and Strowman did well to sell Balor as a legitimate competitor. There was nothing really riding on this main event and for that reason, it was a tad disappointing, but the match was strong.