One week before TLC, Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns were going to lock up inside a steel cage. Would fireworks explode as the members of The Shield and members of the Miz’s team collide? Or, would the cage successfully keep everyone out? As the show ended, we learned the WWE had something else completely in store.
In other news, would the WWE address the departure of Neville? After walking out on the company last week, how would the company proceed? Would WWE even discuss his situation or would it be business as usual?
The Shield reunited in an old school way, the tag titles were up for grabs, and the Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt feud took a sillier turn than it had already.
Here are your 5 Winners and 5 Losers From Raw – October 16, 2017.
5. Loser – The Good Brothers
The idea that WWE has no idea which direction to take Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson is disturbing. To have them spend nearly five minutes of an in-ring pre-match promo (including their own rendition of the HonkyTonk Man’s theme music) with Elias was not only an odd combination but a waste of everyone’s time. There were moments where things were on the verge of being funny, but then reality set in that this just isn’t becoming of a team that should be so much more. They also took the pin in a match that didn’t look too strong in.
So too, trying to make Elias a comedy act is not the right way to go with his character. He needs to be disturbed, twisted and insulting. Not funny, goofy and insulting.
5. Winner – The Shield
The show kicked off with the Shield and it was the right way to go, especially if you consider that WWE and the group went full old school. Dressed in the attire, greasy hair, the crowd entrance and the original theme was enough to get the crowd chanting “this is awesome.”
The group acted as one unit and not three individuals in a trio. If the fans are going to believe in a Shield reunion this is absolutely the way to go. They even topped it if off by threatening the general manager for good measure.
4. Loser – Kalisto
— KALISTO (@KalistoWWE) October 15, 2017
Kalisto had a rough night. He came out to the ring without the new Cruiserweight Title, he showed off on social media, then he tried to cut a promo on Enzo and struggled mightily to find his words. Finally, he got attacked by four members of the Cruiserweight Division for some unknown reason. It was odd since just a week ago, everyone in the division hated Enzo Amore.
Unfortunately for Kalisto, it looks like he is a placeholder for the title until Enzo wins it back on Sunday. If that’s the case, it may mean Kalisto goes back to being largely irrelevant, only this time on 205 Live.
4. Winner – Apollo Crews
Crews actually got the rub on an episode of Raw. We can only assume that someone backstage said, “whoa, how long has it been since we’ve given Crews a victory?” The downside of that is that the match felt thrown together for the sake of giving someone new a victory. In a six-man tag that was a little too quick to really showcase anyone, Crews came out of it the one participant who actually appeared capable.
Crews is probably better served to head back to NXT, but until that happens, the least the WWE can do is give Crews a win every now and again. He’s got the tools, he just doesn’t seem to have anyone in management or the writing team backing him up.
RELATED: STARS THAT NEED TO GO BACK TO NXT
3. Loser – Finn Balor
This whole thing with Sister Abigail/Bray Wyatt and Finn Balor/The Demon King has gone beyond silly and we haven’t even seen Sister Abigail in person. It can only go downhill from where it is now.
In a promo that must have been extremely boring for the live crowd, the cameraman got right up close so that the technical crew to cut back and forth between Balor in the ring and a pre-taped Demon King. It was cheesy and it did nothing more than tell us Finn Balor would be wrestling as his alter-ego. The whole segment rang hollow.
3. Winner – Alicia Fox
It seems like the WWE is taking advantage of a very entertaining Alicia Fox by giving her some time on camera and an avenue to show what she can really do beyond the fifth or sixth wheel in a tag match. She may have lost the match to Sasha Banks but she got the last laugh when she attacked Banks backstage.
Alicia is old school in that she will trash talk her opponent while stomping on her. Her split-screen promo was gold too. “Where’s my t-shirt!” She wants to know where it is and we want to know where to buy one.
2. Loser – Curtis Axel
— Italo Santana (@BulletClubItal) October 17, 2017
He had the crowd firmly behind him to start Raw on Monday (chants of “Curtis Axel” echoed through the arena), but by the time Raw had ended, not only was Axel destroyed by The Shield, but he was revealed never to be the fifth man in the main event at TLC and was quickly passed over for the actual member.
Hopefully, the WWE realizes the fans want Axel in some of the future storylines and they give him an opportunity beyond a stepping stone that likely has no future.
2. Winner – Dean Ambrose
We’ve already labeled The Shield as winners here but to be specific, this reunion should be huge for Dean Ambrose who looked completely reborn and reinvigorated to be a part of the group again. It couldn’t come at a better time since he was on the verge of being lost.
This might be just the thing to reboot Ambrose even if the reunion doesn’t last forever. He needed something that could give him the right kick in a new direction and this definitely has that kind of feel to it. The WWE Universe should be excited about his future.
1. Loser – Kane
First, we’ll say this isn’t a complete loser since it was cool to add a wrinkle to the main event and add a fifth man. The WWE doesn’t do nearly enough of this surprise type booking and giving fans something unexpected to look forward to was a good idea. That said, this partnership feels all sorts of random and wrong.
To pull Kane out of obscurity only to throw him into a multi-man tag match where he’s not really needed seems forced. Is this leading to a feud with Strowman? The two seemed pretty tight on Monday, but what else could the WWE have planned for the “Big Red Machine?”
1. Winner – Braun Strowman
While the WWE teased the idea of not having Braun Strowman be part of the match at TLC, they did the right thing by making sure Strowman was not only a part of the match, but he might be the centerpiece. He looked to be getting along with Kane, but will it last?
Strowman looked at home in his match with Roman Reigns inside the cage and there’s a good chance he could wreak havoc on Sunday in the tag match that is going to make someone look good. That someone is either Reigns or Strowman.
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