It was the first Christmas Day episode of Raw in eons and while fans and their families were at home enjoying the holidays, the superstars of the WWE were busy putting on a show for a packed house in Chicago for an episode of Raw on Monday night.
Some major names showed up to help too. From John Cena making a return to Elias being the center of attention for the first time in a few weeks, they kicked off an entertaining holiday show with a bang. The show ended with an even louder bang as new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions were crowned and an unlikely new pair took home the gold as a Christmas present.
It wasn’t all perfect, but for a Christmas Day show, it was pretty good. Here are your Winners and Losers From Raw December 25, 2017.
5. Loser: Dean Ambrose
It was announced on the show that Dean Ambrose, who was suffering from a nagging injury, actually underwent surgery and will be out of action for nine months. This is a huge loss for The Shield but it’s also terrible timing for Ambrose who will miss The Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
As we learned in the show, it didn’t take long for WWE to find a replacement for him as the company teamed Jason Jordan with Seth Rollins and crowned them the new tag champions with a win over Cesaro and Sheamus.
5. Winner: Enzo and Nia Jax
— Nia Jax (@NiaJaxWWE) December 26, 2017
You might not love the idea of Enzo Amore and Nia Jax being linked romantically but the two have on-screen chemistry and the fans are eating it up. With every possible advancement or everything that didn’t follow the crowd either cheered or moaned and it’s clear fans are fully invested.
It’s two of the WWE’s most unique characters being linked in an unusual way. Sometimes these things don’t work out very well and other times they are a huge success. This appears to be the latter as the WWE Universe can’t wait to see what happens next.
4. Loser: Brian Kendrick
It was announced and confirmed on Tuesday that Brian Kendrick suffered a major injury with a broken orbital bone thanks to a GTS delivered by Hideo Itami. He’ll be out of action for a while and its an unfortunate accident as that kind of thing can and should be avoided.
It was really just adding injury to insult as no one in the crowd cared about the match nor the competitors in it so Kendrick got his face busted up pretty good for almost nothing.
4. Winner: Mandy Rose
No one really expected much out of Mandy Rose. Perhaps considered the weakest part of the Absolution faction, fans haven’t really seen her wrestle and didn’t expect her to be a strong part of the group from an in-ring perspective. She surprised everyone on Christmas night and performed better than well in a match that allowed her to go toe-to-toe with three of the WWE’s best.
The announcers did a decent job of selling her talents as well and that’s a step in the right direction for her character, who up to this point hasn’t had much of a focus.
3. Loser: Hideo Itami
Not only did Itami injure another wrestler but he performed in front of a very knowledgeable wrestling crowd who should have given a little respect to an international star, but instead gave him total silence. It’s not been the greatest of starts for Itami who didn’t have a good run in NXT and his introduction to Raw has been bumpy at best.
He appears to be one of those guys the fans aren’t going to go for and like a Sin Cara or other international star meant to bring something different to the WWE roster, he’s likely not going to be around long enough to really deliver anything good.
3. Winner: Elias
Even though Elias lost his match against John Cena, he comes off as a winner. Not only did he cheapshot Cena but in his match, he controlled much of the action. It was a great showcase for The Drifter.
You can just feel how Elias is close to breaking out and perhaps a strong showing at The Royal Rumble would be a good spot for him. The WWE clearly likes him but on this night, not as much as a returning Cena.
3. Loser: Seth Rollins
One sort of has to feel sorry for Seth Rollins. He should be a main event guy, but he’s pegged to work The Shield reunion, which in and of itself isn’t bad except that nothing has gone right since the reunion was scheduled to happen. First, it was Reigns who went down with the mumps and now its Ambrose who’s out for nine months. Finally, Rollins gets a throwaway partner in Jason Jordan and handed the belts to try and make Jordan popular with the fans. Rollins has become a glorified babysitter at this point.
2. Winner: Kane
If you’re going to book Kane in a squash match, this is the type of storytelling that needs to happen more often. It was expected Kane would beat Heath Slater. But, inside the story was the background of Rhyno trying to toughen up his tag partner and it didn’t make an upper-tier competitor like Finn Balor or someone else important looks weak.
The company is clearly not done doing whatever it is they’re doing with Kane. They might as well make his appearances mean something. In this case, they appeared to do so successfully.
2. Loser: Finn Balor
The fact that he’s gone lower down the card than Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel to taking on Curt Hawkins is anything but compelling television. Not only is there no background story here, but WWE actually wants fans to believe that someone like Balor would answer an open challenge to someone like Hawkins and feel good about the victory.
Balor really must have upset someone high up in WWE because he’s on the fast track to nowhere. He’s forced to work Christmas Day in a match that wasn’t even worth him hopping on a flight to Chicago.
1. Winner: Matt Hardy
Finally, some in-ring action for “The Woken” Matt Hardy who attacked Bray Wyatt and ran him from the ring. This is so much better than just behind-the-scenes video snippets and it showed that Hardy actually had something to back up his odd words.
It worked with the crowd too who chanted “Delete” throughout the segment that followed. The Chicago crowd ate it up as they should have. It was the best work Hardy was done as the “Woken” character, which is interesting because it was quite short.
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