This Monday's episode of Raw was going to determine whether or not the WWE could get on without guys like Brock Lesnar and John Cena. The week prior you could feel their absence and that was not a great sign for the company. This week, they'd be gone again. Could the WWE provide a better product?
A Shield reunion was in the works thanks to an attack by the Miztourage. How would the now-defunct trio respond? Strowman was on a warpath. Who would be his next victim? And, how would Enzo Amore respond to his beating at the hands of the entire Cruiserweight Division?
Outside of the Shield (whom we assume everyone is happy to see back again), here are your 5 Winners and 5 Losers From Raw – October 2, 2017.
5. Loser - Matt Hardy
The schtick is already getting old. Every few days the WWE Universe seems to be talking about how Matt Hardy is teasing the fans with his "Woken" gimmick and every Monday, the WWE does absolutely no follow-up when it matters the most. This doesn't work if Matt Hardy is half Team Extreme and half "Woken". In fact, it's completely beside the point.
With Jeff Hardy on the shelf, there is no better time to give Matt Hardy a ball to run with. If it flops, he's no worse off than he is now, which is awkwardly teaming with Jason Jordan for no good reason other than a lack of direction.
5. Winner - Bray Wyatt
Finally, the WWE Universe might get to meet Sister Abigale. What took so long for the WWE to run with this idea is baffling, especially when you consider the need to find unique ways to get female talent over and something fresh to give Wyatt's character a little life.
His promos on Raw where among the best he's done to date and while the effect of changing his face into some sort of demon is not a great sign for where this could go (and how campy our cheesy it could get), it was different and for Wyatt, we should be happy for different.
4. Loser - Titus O'Neil
We know Titus O'Neil would rather be wrestling than a manager, but this is probably not what he had in mind. It appeared as though the WWE was setting up Crews with two straight losses so that Elias could do something useful with Titus. Now, it appears like the WWE is reverting back to using O'Neil to have Sampson feud with Crews. It's illogical if that's the case because we know Elias simply outmatches Crews already.
O'Neil didn't look good in the ring either. When your announcer Booker T says, "just look at those love handles" when referring to Titus having been away from the ring for too long, that's not a good sign.
4. Winner - Braun Strowman
Last week, the WWE decided they needed to give Strowman the rub by having him destroy Curt Hawkins and then Dean Ambrose. It was the least they could do after he lost after one Brock Lesnar F-5. This week, they had him destroy Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose and it's probably a good idea.
WWE hurt Strowman the way they booked him at No Mercy. They're in recovery mode now and any win needs to feel big so Strowman can gain that momentum back.
3. Loser - Mickie James
It was difficult to determine where to classify Mickie James because, at the end of the day, she'll be getting a shot at the WWE Raw Women's Championship. To get her to that point, the WWE has decided to re-run the "Piggy James" bit, this time calling her old instead of fat. It doesn't really register because James isn't old. She's just more experienced than the other female talent.
The WWE Universe is also finding out through this James storyline that Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss are besties again. Does anyone know exactly when that happened again?
3. Winner - Enzo Amore
Amore does a wonderful job as the annoying heel you want to see get his due. His promo work on Monday was tight and the idea that no one could touch him led nicely to the idea of introducing someone new to the division.
For all that Amore does to drive people crazy, he is by far the best thing to happen to 205 Live and the Cruiserweights since they added Neville. With two big names, it helps their division. Now with three, it's actually worth watching. The Cruiserweights may not like Amore much, but they're going to owe him a lot when this is said and done.
2. Loser - Rey Mysterio
Yes, we're aware Rey Mysterio was not on Raw. We're also aware that bringing out Kalisto in this spot means Mysterio will likely never be back in the WWE and that's a shame. This would have been the perfect opportunity to bring him into the fold and make his entrance impactful.
Kalisto is where he needs to be and for that, he's a winner, but Mysterio's fate was sealed the minute the WWE decided Kalisto could do what Mysterio does. He's likely going to finish his career on the independent scene with no WWE send off.
2. Winner - Alicia Fox
It was nice to see Alicia Fox get some time on WWE programming. She came out during an interview not too long ago complaining that maybe she was too nice backstage and embarrassed by her career. She has no merchandise, isn't being used, and seems to always let people overlook her. She proved on Monday she has the ability to be one of the more entertaining women in the division. If she keeps having performances like this, the WWE may notice and give her more to do.
It helps the WWE to use Fox since they're female battles are growing stale. New faces (even if they are older faces) is never a bad thing.
1. Loser - The Miztourage
After last week's Raw, it appeared as though the Miztourage would be getting a push and potentially working against the Shield. They laid out Roman Reigns and stood tall. What the WWE Universe is really learning is that the company doesn't believe Axel and Dallas are credible opponents so they've replaced them with Sheamus and Cesaro who will be teaming with the Miz.
It's a demotion for the original members and a promotion to suffer and loss for The Bar. Everyone knows a Shield reunion ends up in a win for the Shield. Why not let them beat the Miztourage? Let the heel group get the better of the Shield by cheating and sneak attacking. Don't just sacrifice them quickly on a Monday night to put someone else in.
1. Winner - Kalisto
Kalisto should have been in the Cruiserweight Division the minute WWE announced they were going to have one. It made no sense to keep him on the main roster when he was one of the most popular little-men WWE had. Finally, they've put him in the proper spot.
He was a pleasant surprise, but there are two issues here. What does this mean for Neville who was kind of forgotten about within one week? And, can someone please do something about Kalisto's new music. It's awful. When you have to read the name first to realize who is coming out, there's a problem there.