Monday’s Raw was going to need to answer a few questions, namely what was going on with the booking for the main event of Survivor Series. Was Triple H working his way into a program with Braun Strowman? Was Kurt Angle going to have a beef with Triple H after being attacked from behind?
Or, was WWE about to leave all those questions unanswered and take things in a different direction? There were plenty of other competitors involved in Survivor Series and the three-hour Raw program proved there were more than just three people at the top of Raw’s totem pole.
There was a title change, three new female competitors debuted on the show, and a few more teases of action that could be coming to finish off 2017. Here are your 5 Winners and 5 Losers From Raw – November 20, 2017.
5. Loser: Jason Jordan
Jordan actually didn’t look too bad on Raw. So, why is he a loser? Mainly because while the WWE had him stand up to Triple H and then go toe-to-toe with Braun Strowman, he was quickly pushed aside and made irrelevant when Kane returned and stole his spotlight.
The good news is Jordan didn’t have to take a loss thanks to Kane, the bad news is no one will remember Jordan now and the WWE Universe needs a reason to get invested in whatever the WWE chooses to do with his character. This started as a night that looked like it could be good for him. It ended with fans going, “oh well.”
5. Winner: Kurt Angle
Angle was a winner here for a couple reasons. First, by having Team Raw win at Survivor Series his job as general manager was safe. More importantly, after confronting Triple H about his sneak attack the night before, Angle proved he doesn’t care much about his job if it means making sure people understand he’s not to be trifled with. He was willing to throw down with “The Game” at any moment and that there’s still a lot of fight left in him and Triple H is best served not to forget that.
There was a clear direction that Angle is going to be one to watch and that soon enough he’d be set up for a major feud with “The Cerebral Assassin”. It was good writing and a strong way to start the show.
4. Loser: Cruiserweight Match
Well, we guess the WWE is back to having Cruiserweight matches for the sake of having a match while putting the entire cast of 205 Live on TV. A cluster of cruiserweights all grouped together in a massive multi-tag match just isn’t want this division needs. Not to mention, the WWE still hasn’t explained why Enzo Amore‘s buddies are all of a sudden his buddies.
Raw needs to take the time to highlight a couple cruiserweights in matches that truly showcase what they can do. At the same time, try and get fans invested in a character. Amore simply spouting off that they’re all better to be a part of the Zo Train is a waste of TV time.
4. Winner: Balor and Joe
Unlike Balor’s feud with Bray Wyatt—which felt over before it really started—this battle between Samoa Joe and Finn Balor is a rivalry that is going to have a lot of teeth for a while. In a top-notch matchup, Balor and Joe took it to each other proving that their heat during Survivor Series was no small issue.
Joe got the rub this time which made him look strong, but Balor didn’t look weak in defeat. There’s still plenty of gas left in this gas tank and it will exciting and fun to watch as it runs its course.
3. Loser: The Miz
He was hugely over with the Houston, Texas crowd but it didn’t matter, The Miz was the sacrificial lamb to allow Reigns to capture a title he’s yet to hold. The Miz is proving he can make the title mean something and that despite his win/loss record, he’s still a huge fan favorite, but he’ll have to wait a little longer to get that big win he deserves. His quest for the IC Title record will also have to wait for a while.
As for the MizTv segment, there were parts that died a slow and painful death, but there also moments of entertainment. It goes to show that he can handle anything thrown at him and make it watchable. He put on a strong match with Reigns, it just wasn’t his night.
3. Winners: Paige and Her Entourage
The return wasn’t perfect but it was fresh, timely, and leaves a lot of questions which will be answered in the coming weeks. In the debut of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, the Raw Women’s Division added a whole new crop of potential matches. That’s the good.
The bad is that Paige took a lot of awkward time to pander to the crowd, the attack felt impactful but delayed and like a couple of women weren’t exactly sure where to go and when. The beatdown of Bliss, however, felt a bit more prepared. It will be interesting to see if this was just first-time jitters or if these women aren’t quite ready.
RELATED: PAIGE RETURNS TO RAW
2. Loser: Elias
Taking Elias off of WWE television and not focusing on him for a few weeks as the company built toward Survivor Series really hurt his connection with the fans. The crowd wasn’t nearly as hot for Elias as they typically are, and his segment didn’t register. Fortunately, he has the charisma to get the fans back but WWE can’t take him off TV for long.
His beef with Hardy feels like it’s going to be a reproduction of his beef with Jason Jordan. It’s not good for Matt Hardy who is likely to be sacrificed as a way to get Elias over. How quickly fans have given up on the dream to see “Broken” Matt in the WWE.
2. Winner: Asuka
While watching Asuka take out female no-name after no-name is entertaining, her stepping up a bit to take on an inexplicably confident and arrogant Dana Brooke was fun too. Asuka is truly a dominating presence in the female division like the WWE hasn’t had in a long time. Only Nia Jax may be her equal and it feels like that may be where this ultimately goes. For now, Asuka will continue to dominate.
It will be interesting to see if she stays separate from the returning Paige since mixing the two together would be disastrous for one of them.
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1. Loser: Braun Strowman
He’s the Monster Among Men, and it’s clear the WWE plans to build a major portion of their company around his success but for now, fans will have to put up with Braun helping Kane look believable in a feud that really shouldn’t be happening.
He was taken out by the Big Red Machine thanks to a chair shot to the throat. Fair enough, this might be the only way to slow down Strowman. Strowman’s match with a bigger name is being put on the backburner for now. Credit to Strowman for selling the heck out of the chair to the neck.
1. Winner: Roman Reigns
Despite the fact that Reigns didn’t need the title, and the last one he held he made about as irrelevant as it has been in ages, Reigns winning the Intercontinental title gives him the label as a Grand Slam winner.
I wouldn’t expect him to hold the title long. The Miz will either find a way to steal it back or someone else will get it from him in a way that doesn’t make him look too defeated. For the moment, Reigns gets the title so that makes him a winner. Long-term, it seems like a poor play by WWE.
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