If nothing else, Monday’s Raw was interesting. Without a red brand pay-per-view until the Royal Rumble, the show advanced ideas in an offbeat way, let other ideas simmer and didn’t really offer much in the way of a main event or big-ticket match to close the show.
That’s not to say the entire program was a waste of time. The WWE Universe got to see Matt Hardy move closer toward breaking down and perhaps changing his character, Paige’s group of women got a name and Jason Jordan dug a deeper hole as a babyface, almost ensuring the fans have no interest in his progression. Even Elias, who advanced himself in a big way, wasn’t perfect.
Was Raw a filler show this week getting fans set for ideas that may be coming down the pipe or were there actually developments that will make a difference in the bigger picture? Here are your 5 Winners and 5 Losers From Raw – November 27, 2017.
5. Loser: The Miztourage
Teaming the Miztourage with Elias is an odd choice and while the WWE must feel they need to stay on camera on do something useful in The Miz’s absence, teaming them with “The Drifter” and having them do comedy mock-harmonic tunes might not be the right way to go.
Their segment with Elias was unbearably long and it offered no real substance other than an attempt at a little comedy which felt both forced and out of place. It goes to show how important The Miz really is because he makes Axel and Dallas fun to watch. This wasn’t so much fun.
5. Winner: Seth Rollins vs Cesaro
The one positive in having no immediate match to promote, or a feud in which one must quickly build to, is that strong matches between two quality talents is a good way to fill three hours and Seth Rollins and Cesaro did just that.
It was a technical match that was full of strong spots and good storytelling and Rollins got the eventual win after a hard-fought battle. Every once and a while WWE needs to march out one of these matches to show the fans that their guys can still go.
4. Loser: Apollo Crews
We’ll be adding both Titus O’Neil and Samoa Joe to our list of winners but for Apollo, the news isn’t so good. In an attempt to help Titus save face after a loss to Joe, Crews did his best to stand up for his leader but Joe wiped the floor with him fairly handily. As Booker T put it, maybe Crews just needs to turn in his Titus Worldwide card.
4. Winner: Titus O’Neil
Titus usually winds up on these lists as a loser and technically he was again this week, but his showing was strong and this was the best we’ve seen Titus in some time. He looked mean, full of purpose, and at times ready to try and upset Samoa Joe in their one-on-one match. It didn’t happen and Joe eventually made Titus tap out but it was a massive improvement over past O’Neil performances.
3. Loser: Asuka
It was an interesting choice to have Asuka defeat Dana Brooke in mere seconds but at the same time, the right one. Asuka looked strong and Dana didn’t necessarily look weak, just overzealous. Where things went off the rails for Asuka is that she was left alone by Paige and her new group.
Understandably, the WWE didn’t want Asuka receiving a beat down and they didn’t want Paige’s group to look like three women couldn’t take out one. But in the end, it appeared as if Asuka might have something to do with Paige and that’s not really what the company was going for here. It seemed too fishy to be effective.
3. Winner: Absolution
To have the women come out an explain their allegiance to Paige was smart and it makes sense (mostly). That they are also systematically taking out the women of Raw one-by-one is wise. It makes them look calculated and it doesn’t sacrifice the strength of characters like Bayley and Mickie James.
2. Loser: Bray Wyatt
Wyatt’s character feels so lost that it’s going to become impossible to save him at some point. His promo before his match with Hardy was a hot mess of words that didn’t make sense and it was as if the WWE wrote some dribble to fill a couple minutes and said, ‘here, let’s see how much we can confuse the fans’. Congrats WWE, I, for one, am thoroughly confused.
2. Winner: Matt Hardy
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) November 28, 2017
Finally, something is happening with Matt Hardy and his “Broken”/”Woken” character. Hopefully, it’s not too late as the crowd didn’t seem too terribly interested in it and there was an awkward silence for something that should have gone over huge.
This was the most the WWE has ever come right out and addressed the idea of Matt breaking down and it was done to such a degree the company wouldn’t dare turn back now would they? There isn’t any word on what the WWE will be allowed to use and what they won’t so it will be interesting to see where this goes.
1. Loser: Jason Jordan
If WWE could find a better way to get fans to care less about Jordan, I’d be interested to see it. The road the company is sending Jordan down is either pure genius or backfiring in a major way. If the WWE is planning on turning Jordan heel, this storyline is great. Fans are getting so tired of his whining that they’ll eat up the chance to boo him. But, if the WWE is trying to build actual sympathy, it isn’t working. The fans are going to turn on Jordan, assuming they haven’t already.
1. Winner: Elias
Monday was a coming out party of sorts for Elias. Yes, he lost the match, but it was a strong contest in which “The Drifter” never looked better. He took Roman Reigns to the limit on more than one occasion and how he was booked speaks volumes as to the confidence the company (or Vince) has in him.
To give credit, Roman looked strong here too and while this might not have been the first title defense people would have expected, it was a strong way to start his title run.
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