The last Raw before the Christmas Day edition of the show brought some interesting developments. In some cases, it was like Christmas had come early with the debut of Hideo Itami and the return of The Revival and Brock Lesnar, but at the end of the day, were those really good things? Depending on who you ask, that may be up for debate.
There was no Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose looked to be legitimately hurt which is not good news for The Shield. The women are getting their own Royal Rumble match, the main event for the Rumble is set and an important member of the roster looks like he’s not nearly as seriously hurt as people had been worried he might be.
There were good and bad on Raw this week and like always, we’ve decided to list your winners and losers from Raw, this week for the December 18, 2017 episode.
Loser: Women’s Segment
Between the match at Clash of Champions and the cluster fu^$ that was the women battling it out on Raw only to all make up the moment Stephanie McMahon strutted into the picture, WWE has perhaps its finest roster of female talent available to them and they’re booking of these women is just plain odd.
It’s all supposed to lead to a major announcement regarding the Royal Rumble and in that respect it did, but there had to be a better way to get to the end result. Expect something similar on Tuesday because that seems to be the WWE way; do the exact same thing on SmackDown Live as you did on Raw.
Winner: Women’s Royal Rumble Announcement
With the harsh criticism of the segment that led to the announcement of the first-ever female Royal Rumble match, it should be noted that the actual announcement of the Royal Rumble elimination match itself is huge news. It’s a historic moment for the WWE and women in wrestling.
The Royal Rumble is one of the most cherished WWE events and for years the women have been largely ignored. No longer will this be the case as the WWE can use the match in the same way it does the men to set up major feuds heading into WrestleMania.
Loser: Dean Ambrose
It appears that Dean Ambrose is suffering from a legit elbow injury that is going to keep him out of action for a while. It is for this reason Samoa Joe targeted the elbow on Raw and Ambrose sold the injury so well.
The Shield reunion apparently does not have a lot of supporters in high places. From Roman Reigns catching the mumps and Ambrose potentially missing time, someone somewhere is trying to kill all the momentum of this group. Hopefully, Ambrose has a speedy recovery.
Winner: The Revival
It was at the expense of Heath Slater and Rhyno but the return of The Revival was a welcome sight. One can only hope they stay injury free enough to show the WWE Universe that they are in fact one of the better teams in the tag division and worthy of being considered for a strong run towards the titles.
Their style is completely different than any other team in the WWE and that alone makes for interesting options when it comes to future matches. The reaction from the crowd to see them back is a strong sign.
Loser: Hideo Itami
Some will suggest the debut of Hideo Itami was great and a welcome change to a Raw show that saw a couple returns on Monday. I’m in the camp that doesn’t believe this was a wise move. The only positive that comes from this is that there was some exposure to draw attention to the fact Itami would be heading to 205 Live, but why have a match on Raw to do so?
Itami was publicized as the next big arrival in the Cruiserweight Division and his first appearance or match should have been in that area, not in a tag match with Finn Balor on Raw. If the WWE wants to have people view 205 Live as important, they need to do important things there.
In two consecutive weeks, Sheamus was in action and this was following a scary announcement that he was nursing a serious spinal injury that could threaten his in-ring career. It is a pure winner here that he’s able to wrestle twice after this rumor surfaced.
It has to mean that those who jumped the gun on his career are simply wrong about the severity of things. This was the type of injury that WWE forced Edge to retire over. If it were nearly as bad as people believed, there would be no way he’d be wrestling right now.
Asuka is awesome. Let’s start this entry just by getting that out of the way. That said, even talent who are awesome can be told to do too much of one thing and it becomes stale. It’s happening quickly with Asuka who doesn’t need to have squash matches every week to feel important.
It would be wise for WWE to try something different with Asuka to keep her fresh to the WWE Universe. I can’t tell you what that is because my guess is as good as yours but these squash matches will get old.
Winner: Matt Hardy
It was a good move to change the promo style of Matt Hardy and WWE did the right thing by giving him more freedom to be “out there”. A chess match against a goldfish is out there.
Interesting and perhaps not caught by everyone who watched Raw was the reference by Hardy to Wyatt and his alter ego, Sister Abigail. Apparently, WWE hasn’t killed off the idea of the wicked queen of Wyatt’s other side after all. More of what Hardy did this Monday and less of what he did last Monday is the way to go.
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