The night after a fired-up Great Balls of Fire pay per view, WWE put on a Raw that was, for the most part, good, with only a few weak spots.
There were some unanswered questions leaving the pay per view and Raw didn't ignore them (all but one anyways). Roman Reigns needed to address his apparent heel turn and near destruction of Braun Strowman, Brock Lesnar would appear and talk barely escaping the onslaught that was Samoa Joe and it was safe to assume The Hardy Boyz, Big Cass and The Miz would have something to say. How would Seth Rollins react to a clean (sort of) loss to Bray Wyatt and what was the next logical step for Alexa Bliss who purposefully got counted out of her match but retained her title?
Here are the 5 Winners And 5 Losers from the show.
After a clean loss to Goldust (which was helpful for Goldust's push), R-Truth is once again in limbo in the WWE. A low-end card enhancement talent, Truth is quite good there, so perhaps it doesn't matter, but at some point, R-Truth is going to need to make headway as a character or have some sort of success. Even Booker T alluded to it during the match in that he's the weak link on every team.
A second clean win over Seth Rollins — and to say clean, we mean no outside interference — is finally giving Wyatt fans a glimmer of hope that the WWE has decided having Wyatt lose each and every week is a bad idea. Two straight victories over Seth Rollins is no small thing. The WWE could have come back with a Rollins win to even things out, but instead, Wyatt got the pinfall and he's starting to look more credible.
Clearly the idea of not bringing Enzo on television was to sell the beating he took at the hands of Big Cass at Great Balls of Fire, any maybe the little behind-the-scenes clip they showed of Enzo being helped to the back and calling him tough is enough, but it feels like there was an opportunity to missed here. It doesn't appear Enzo is the guy who comes out of this split with a bigger career, but he has the ability to surprise people. It could have been good to have him address the beating in some way.
I can't recall a segment or in-ring promo between two wrestlers that felt as uncomfortable but as awesome as the Lesnar and Samoa Joe in-ring segment felt. Equipped with a four-letter bomb by Lesnar, it legitimately felt like he and Samoa Joe could go at any moment and that these two are creating a feud that will be one for the ages. The back and forth was terrific and Lesnar choosing to speak was a nice touch (even if he got a bit carried away).
It feels like one of the biggest names on the red brand has no real direction. With his win over Elias Sampson on Raw (which is how it should have played out) Balor now has no real beef with anyone, no real feud to sink his teeth into heading into Summerslam and opponent on the horizon. The WWE needs to find something for him quickly before he heads into the one of the biggest shows of the year without anything to do.
There hasn't been a time since the Hardy's returned that they teased more the idea of the "Broken" gimmick coming back than they did on Monday. This will have fans excited in anticipation, even if a tease was all this was. Matt Hardy actually said the words 'broken' on the show and got a huge pop. The fact that everyone seems to be gunning for the Hardy Boyz might also be a sign that to survive, they'll need to get a little crazy.
The way the match between the women unfolded, it looks like they may be headed for a fatal four-way match at SummerSlam between Bayley, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, and Alexa Bliss. If so, that's too bad. It would have been nice to get the payoff of a Jax and Bliss matchup with potentially a heel turn and match between Sasha and Bayley. It could still happen so we'll have to rule this one a maybe.
There's nothing like a strong hook to get you excited about next week's episode. The WWE did a magnificent job of making the WWE Universe wonder what's going on when the teased an announcement between Kurt Angle and whoever was on the other end of the phone that sent he and Corey Graves a text. When Angle said "I love you" to end Raw to whomever it was, the Internet went crazy with speculation it could be Stephanie McMahon or Dixie Carter.
Until the WWE stops putting the cruiserweights in pointless tag matches for the sole reason of getting everyone on the show, we'll keep categorizing them as losers. These tag matches do nothing to further the storylines and in this case told us nothing more than Akira Tozawa was still No. 1 contender. The only real bright spot here was how Cedric Alexander sort of looked like he could make for good heel character. It was brief, but the moment was there.
His segment, creating an awards show called "The Mizzies" was so much better than it should have been, it makes the Miz a hands-down winner on Monday. The entire segement was well done. From the Miztourage accepting for best supporting role to Maryse crying over her win to the little tease about a Shield reunion. There was a lot going on and it worked well.
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